About four or five months ago, I realized that I needed to be more selfish. I was in this season of busy. Making it to the bedtime finish line with the kids- and then starting a second round of 'day' just to get stuff done. Staying up until well after midnight, sleeping for a few hours, and waking up on empty for another long day with littles. Barely being the mom I want to be.
I was burning myself out for months, actually it was the better part of last year.. I was awake for the majority of a 24 hour day and yet I would go through days and not even understand where the hours went.
Something had to change-- I couldn't keep doing this. My mental state and my body were suffering. I was on a failing auto-pilot mode. So I made some changes- both drastic and simple. I'm still working towards a lot of this. It's a process. And the thing is- this will always look different for everyone.
But for me? It was a priority shift.... and it was a big one. I probably don't have to tell you that raising a family on one income is not easy. Actually- it's really hard.
I think there is a part of my heart that was trying so hard to change our financial situation that I compromised things without even being aware of it. I strived for success in my Etsy shop, trying on so many hats to just gain some sort of accomplishment. It worked, kind of. But in return all I found was stress/anxiety. That was not the return I was looking for. So before Christmas, I put my shop on 'vacation' and right now I'd say it will stay that way for a long time. I have plans for a more streamlined, simple shop on my website here- but its still in the works. I am still doing creative things- but at a pace I set, one that I am comfortable with and one that I am in control of.
We've unplugged. Stepped back. Scaled down. We've been intentionally working so hard towards minimalism- in every aspect of our lives( that is another big exciting post coming soon, friends.)
And our society looks at it like it's a crazy concept. Our family is going against every consumerism standard , stereotype, and American dream mantra. And I have to tell you- I really love it here. I feel like we're arriving where we need to be as a family.
"Through [skillful and godly] wisdom a house [a life, a home, a family] is built, And by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation], And by knowledge its rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Proverbs 24:3-4 [amp]
In this transition to slow down our lives, I've had to say 'no' to a lot of things. If you know me, you know that I say yes. all. the. time. And if I do say no, it's a long process of me overthinking how to say no without offending people. ( just ask my hubby- he's the voice of reason in my forever process of pleasing people)
Saying no to a commitment is hard for me. Like really hard. But in saying no, I'm actually saying yes to so much more.
+yes to more sleep ( hello 10pm bedtimes, you are my favorite )
+yes to more time with my kids ( I have no words to express how important this is )
+yes to more time for my house ( purging belongings that clutter our space and our hearts )
+yes to more uninterrupted time with hubby- ( we live a night shift life schedule so this time is limited and we savor it )
+yes for room to just sit in the presence of God and soak in his word.
it feels good.
-my email inbox is not always at zero ( which is a thing for me)
-I have several pending friend/follow requests and notifications on multiple platforms, and I'm more than okay with it. ( sorry/not sorry, if you are one of those people)
-I do not need to be available to immediately respond to someone or something. I actually minimized my home screen on my phone to only four essential apps/ things I use on a regal basis. Everything else is on a second screen I have to intentionally scroll to to get to things like Facebook, and Pinterest. Do this for a week, and it will help you understand where your time goes, let me tell you!
-I am free to walk away from my phone for hours at a time and its a good feeling. (actually, I cracked my screen about a moth ago- and my initial reaction was to go buy a new one- because it's outdated and now cracked-- but it's been something I don't use or need as much as I initially did since changing some of my priorities- so I don't actually care that much if it's cracked. >disclaimer: if someone wants to buy me an iPhone, I won't say no. )
-I don't have to attend your Facebook party to buy something I don't want or need. And I don't have to join your mlm team. (nothing inherently wrong with either of these things, I even enjoy some of them. It's just that I no longer feel obligated to keep up that social standard of saying yes to everything)
In case you haven't caught on yet-- this is me with a gigantic white flag.
We do not have to be products of our schedules.
We do not have to try and fit LIFE into our to-do lists and hope we can somehow come out the other side a great wife, a great mother, and a great friend.
We do not have to nurture the ebbs and flows of social media... the internet will still be there.
We can walk in the freedom of not being ruled by our phones( I still, and forever will love Instagram- so don't hear me wrong here.) and our commitments.
The mantras of hustle more / do more / be more till you make it are just so not for me. And I hope they're not for you either.
Because there is beauty in the rest.
There is an undeniable peace in a slow, quiet life.
There is so much space for growth.
"and to make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully, and to mind your own affairs and work with your hands, just as we directed you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders [exhibiting good character, personal integrity, and moral courage worthy of the respect of the outside world], and be dependent on no one and in need of nothing [be self-supporting]." 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 [amp]
God has been seriously un-rushing me. In my heart & relationship with Him, my motherhood, my marriage, my friendships, my goals, my work.
It has been a big season of understanding and clarity. Of shattering skewed perceptions and expectations. Of grace-filled 'aha moments'.
I feel like I'm arriving at a place God has been preparing for me & I'm looking forward to being here.