We face so many choices in our day-to-day lives, and I find it hard to make decisions more often than not. Some of the decisions that we face are inconsequential, some sway the course of our day, week, month, year, or even our entire lives in ways we can’t even always see when making the decision.

Welcome to the mind of a chronic over-thinker.

In decisions that are clearly the difference between right and wrong, I feel capable. In decisions that honor God or stray from Him, I feel led by the Holy Spirit. But in decisions that are neither right or wrong, toward God or away, I feel deeply conflicted.

Often, I feel like one choice is the more responsible, although the riskier choice usually has some perk(s) that appeal to me. I don’t mind taking calculated risks, I don’t mind going out on a limb. It’s the only way to grow.

I have watched what “playing it safe” and never venturing out boldly does to a person. I refuse to leave stones un-turned, adventures unexplored. This is my one life and I want to live it passionately and fully alive. But that doesn’t always make decisions easier for me. In fact, it rarely does.

I am currently deeply conflicted between two choices, and as exhaustion clouds my brain from working all night, I cannot even begin to tell you which choice makes the most sense. Okay, sort of I can. One choice seems a little wiser to me, a little more like the “secure” choice. The other choice is the one that carries the most risk. But the “safe” choice requires super human strength and energy to manage. The other choice does not.

I’m feeling less than super human with my energy and strength at 5:30 am after working the night shift. Why did I think this would be such an easy transition?

I worry sometimes that I am over romanticizing one choice or the other, because I tend to do that. Or sometimes I create false obligations to something, obligations that exist only in my mind. Or sometimes I wait for approval/permission to make a choice.

A recent moment in my life made me realize how much time I spend waiting for the approval of certain people, waiting for their permission, their go-ahead to do things, say things, reach for things, achieve things. Heaven forbid that I stray from the beaten path or disregard the unspoken permissions granted to me.

I’ve decided to stop living that way, to stop owning someone else’s opinions of my life and my pursuits. I will serve my God, I will love my family, and I will live fully. I will accept the wisdom of people who have gone before me, and I will weigh what advice I’m offered against my own experiences and knowledge, and I will pray. And then I will leap, or step, or tiptoe, or crawl, forward. Always forward.

Until next time,

blue signature

Posted in faith, family, life, marriage | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chasing Ideas

I’m a dreamer, I always have been. I have ideas and I flit after them, and chase them until the spark is gone. I quickly find a new spark, and chase away until the light dims.

This sounds whimsical and fun if I write it in the right light, but truthfully, I leave a lot of things undone.

Some of my most recent ideas:

Shoe Buddies (shoe deodorizers) – I was going to sew 20 of these a day and make a nice trickle income for our family. I was going to get my kids involved in the production, and let them earn some commission for their work. I was going to sell them in person and online and wherever anyone had stinky shoes. Reality: I completed one order and never made another shoe buddy. But I have a shelf full of the stuff to make gobs of them

Selling on Amazon – I started reading about selling on Amazon, flipping clearance items and making a steady income. I bought the labels, the scrapers, the stickers, the bags, the thermal label printer, signed up, paid a month of Amazon’s FBA seller service. Reality: I never even shipped in a single clearance item purchased, and ended up returning all of the things I bought so they weren’t lying around to be wasted.

Digital Design/Marketing Company – I bought a domain, I created a logo, I was going to make logos and help people navigate the world of social media. I was going to help small businesses reach the next level, grow, and gain visibility among their target clientele. Reality: I wrote a couple of cute blogs, dabbled with my social media page, and stopped there. (Digital markets are tough, and time-consuming!)

Photography – I mean, I have the camera, right? I did it before, right? Reality: I didn’t even dust it off.

College – I’ve forever dreamed of going back to school, of furthering my education, of holding a degree. But the truth is, I started raising kids at a young age and I didn’t want to miss the best years of their life because I was so wrapped up in school. I was going to take the leap this year, online classes offer quite a bit of flexibility, but I’ve changed my mind again.

Sometimes all of these sparks that have burned out feel like failures to someone who is dreaming big, waiting for the right idea to turn in to a flame, pushing, chasing, running after sparks that don’t seem to last. Sometimes they don’t last because I don’t put the consistent long-term effort in that would turn them in to something more than just a fleeting idea.

Sometimes these sparks die because the truth is, I’m a wife and a mom, and we have a little farm, and my time is limited. So limited.

Our lives have changed a lot in the last couple of months and as such, it was time for me to go back to work, but being stubborn like I am, I didn’t want the kids to go to daycare. So I took a night job. I told myself all the reasons this would be the best solution for us ever, I told myself how it would be nice to get out of the house every day, without the kids. I told myself the adult interaction, the customer service atmosphere, the paperwork, and trips up stairs and down again would all be fun.

I turned it in to a spark.

And I caught this spark. I landed my night job, I work graveyards. And you know what? The hours of sleep I got at night were precious. This isn’t as easy as I made it in my head. It’s incredibly hard to recover from working all night in time to do much the next day before it’s time for work again.

I’m not giving up this time. I’m not giving up that easy. I need this job, it’s part of my written plan and I’m putting action to it.

Writing down a dream turns it into a goal.

Giving a goal steps turns it into a plan.

Putting action to the plan makes it a reality.

The reality is, we are starting a new endeavor this week that has captured my full attention, and I am beyond excited. The reality is, these long nights will pay off in the long run. The reality is, sometimes we have to do really hard things, really consistently, for a time, to create a better future for ourselves and our families.

What hard thing do you need to do consistently, for a period of time, to help launch you forward in life?

With Love,

blue signature

Posted in faith, family, life, marriage, Parenting | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Making Clay Pots

My dearest husband and I are subscribed Datebox (follow the link for $10 off your first box! We get $10 off a box if you buy one, too.) We’ve enjoyed the dates we’ve done, but in all honesty, we’ve been subscribed for a year and we set our boxes aside far too often.

A couple of nights ago, we decided to break one out late one evening. It was an older one, from when we first subscribed – a kit to make clay pots for a herb garden, and a tasty snack to enjoy while creating.

If you know me, this is right up my alley. The excitement I felt at first glance bubbled out and I was giddy. And if you know my husband, then you know he will do anything to make me happy. (But clay pot making might not have been the first on this list of his things to try.)

We spread everything out on the table, and since it was an older box, we didn’t even try to find the Spotify playlist. We just listened to basketball in the background. We busted out the clay and it was….crumbling. It was too dry to make in to clay pots.20180104_234000.jpg

Well, I’ve brought various modeling compounds back to life with a little water, so I got the water bowl and we set to trying to revive the clay. And, with some persistence, we were able to soften it and mush it together and start attempting to shape it.

Knowing we had never made clay pots before, we started slowly, tentatively. Trying to turn round balls of revived clay in to pots. No matter what we did, the sides kept caving in. Thick sides, thin sides, round pots, square-ish pots, it didn’t matter. The sides caved, over and over again. We worked at it for an hour, laughing, smashing collapsing pots and starting over, staring at each other wondering what we got ourselves in to.20180104_234020.jpg

I got the clay too wet, I think. We got out the flour, and spread it over our surface and let our lumps of clay soak in a little flour, and then tried some more. Still, we couldn’t keep the sides from falling. We talked about using thread around them, but then we figured they would fall in. What about toothpicks? We continued trying with our hands while discussing the possibilities.

I was finally able to form a small, square-ish, short pot. It wasn’t pretty, but it was holding steady. My hubs was giving up, so I took his lump and worked it into a thick, round, shallow dish. And I proceeded to bake them both.

I’ve thought a lot about those poor pots since then. I’ve thought a lot about how the bible 20180104_234345.jpgrefers to us as being clay in the Potter’s hands. You know, often, I think I am difficult clay. Too dry, too wet, too stiff, too soft. Our good Father keeps at it, keeps working on getting those sides up, keeps working on shaping me into a proper dish. Yet, I resist, I ignore, I flop, I fold, I try to anticipate His next move and get it all wrong.

I can’t help but think that I need to stop being an insolent lump of clay and give the reins of my life more fully over to my Creator. Creator God is the facet of our Father in Heaven that I love most to read of. To think of His tender care, and maybe even deep frustrations, as He works with each us.

I had the best time with my precious husband trying to form these pots. I cannot wait to try another Datebox with him. Our shenanigans together, while they are obviously a huge part of relationship care, I think they are also deeply connected to the fine art of self-care – because I can’t be my best self without my partner in life and my other half.


Posted in life | Leave a comment