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Hello. Anybody there?

all of me for all of you

Longest break ever.
It has been so good and so needed.

When we moved home to Georgia, life cranked up a notch or twelve. We’re at a church we love serving with friends we adore, we’re here with family and old friends that we want to invest our time and hearts into, our sign business grew and grew and grew, and our kids are all in school now. You know how that story goes….their academic lives, social lives, and sports agendas dictate our calendar! I feel like the time span between school starting last August and finishing this May lasted two minutes.
These years are so short.

By the time Lent rolled around this year, I had so many things jostling around in my head and heart that I couldn’t think straight. At one point, I am certain I was twitching.

*The kids were crazy busy in school, and I was crazy busy managing their work and their sports.
Hats off to all you mamas who’ve had all of your kids in school for forever. Homeschooling might seem daunting to you, but let me just tell you, for us it was quiet and uninterrupted. We were almost always home together living a much more slow-paced life. I had no idea how C to the R to the A to the Z to the Y {CRAZY} our life would become having all three in school! NO REGRETS. They love it. I couldn’t pay them to come back home, and guess what? They couldn’t pay me to bring them back. It is exactly what our family needed…I desperately wanted partners in their education and in their spiritual formation. There is nothing sweeter than having people who love your kids and who are willing to provide echoing voices in their lives. But hear me say…It added CRAZY to our lives.

*Andy led a college team from our church on a spring break mission trip to Haiti, which is awesome, but when he knew he was going to be gone for about ten days, he suggested that it was officially time that I take over the communications side of our sign business.
SAY WHAT WILLIS? That’s basically what I said to him. No joke. Up until this past Spring, I have been responsible for the marketing and creative design with our signs. This meant I gave Andy the ideas and he made them happen, and then I networked through blogging and Pinterest and Instagram the finished product. It worked great for us for the first three years because I’m definitely the “people oriented” person and he’s absolutely the “task oriented” person in our relationship. However, when the kids went to school this past year, we knew that somewhere along the way it would benefit Andy’s sanity to remove a few things from his ever-growing to-do list, especially since he has a full time job. He had to work HOURS each night after he got home from work in order to get everything done for our sign business. He sat me down right before he left and showed me the administrative ropes, which honestly made me cringe. {and twitch.} I think I mentioned that earlier. Anywho, he left for his mission trip, and I dove into the deep end and figured it out.

BUT. The added administrative tasks on me started to drown out my creativity. Blog posts felt as much like work as the laundry does for me, and you know how I loathe laundry! I felt behind. Late. Lost. Out of touch. I started comparing myself and my blog and our business to others, and that pretty quote floating around on Pinterest is true…Comparison really is the thief of joy. It’s not a pretty site when my flesh gets involved, which is why it was time for a break.

Sometimes you have to stop looking around at everyone else’s creativity so you can uncover your own.
When you notice yourself not celebrating other people and their gifts and successes, it’s a red flag that you need to step back and let your heart be searched by God.
His heart dissection allows soul-searching questions to interrupt your ego’s agenda, and transformation occurs when you face the hard truth to some of his questions.

He wants all of us for all of Him.

It has been almost 4 months since that last post. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. My heart feels, uuummmmmm, dissected. It feels amazing to be in a place where my heart doesn’t have a will of it’s own. I don’t feel like the weight of my world is all on my shoulders. Any fear I had about a blog break hindering our sign business has been squished. God has a great sense of humor like that. I needed to be humbled and reminded that this business is from him and for his glory. We’ve sold more signs in the past 4 months than any previous year during those same months. He is our provider. Everything we have is from him. I don’t know why I ever lose sight of that truth.

On top of some major heart-work, God also made clear to me what’s next, which is a beautiful answer to years of prayers. I’ve always wanted to pursue my master’s degree in counseling. I was in the middle of choosing a graduate school when I met Andy, fell in love, got married and moved off to Seminary. As he finished his degree, we started our family, and I’ve been at home with our kids for the past 13 years. When we sent them to school this year, I decided to spend the year praying and processing if now might possibly be the time for me to pursue my degree. I am so happy to say that he has confirmed it over and over to me that this is absolutely what he made me to do. It’s not even something I feel like I’ll be doing..it’s more just who I am.

I actually start classes this coming Monday. {Insert SCREAM!}
Who knows what in the world that means for writing blog posts?
I know that I love the process of writing. I feel like my soul comes alive when I write, but I’m going to be getting my fair share of writing done in extra long papers over the next two years!! Maybe I’ll share with you all what I’m learning as I dive into classes!

I’m a ball of nerves about balancing marriage, parenting, our business, life, and school, but I know it’s what’s next for me. I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!

Thanks to those of you who have sent texts and emails over the past few months…just checking in. They always came at just the right time.:)

I’ll be back soon {I HOPE} with pictures from our New York City vacation!! Best ever. I think I say that after every vacation, though. #littlemissdramatic

Alely - Life is full! Happy for your new chapter as you pursue your masters degree in counseling!

michele m fry - So glad you are back blogging!!! I am so excited for you to start school, this is your calling!!!
Love ya!! :)

Jackie - Excited for you as you venture onto this new path…God has some great things in store for you through this! Can’t wait to see what they are, how He grows you and leads you to bless many. You will be a fantastic counselor! xoxo

Lori H - So excited for you! And so excited when this post showed up in my reader today :)
You will be an awesome counselor – you are a natural! I know that just from following your blog and emailing. Good luck with your first day of school :) xo

Debbie w - I mussed you. Most every day ( after lent! ) I checked your blog to see if you were back. I am excited for you…you’ll be fine!

Christy - I just LOVED seeing your post pop up in my inbox. Wow! You have a lot on your plate. Glad you found peace on your blogging break. Blessings for the days ahead.

Becky - Oh girl. He’s in the mind blowing business. So happy for the boom in your business and for you pursuing your gift of counseling. Thrilled for you!! It’s gonna be good and I wouldn’t worry about blogging at all. It’ll all take care of itself :-)

paige - so excited for your TOMORROW!!!!!!
can’t wait to hear all about it my friend…and life over the last four months
xoxo

giosmama2626 - Going back to get your degree? You go girl! I’m so happy for you and super proud. So very wonderful. I’m rooting for ya. No fear- you can accomplish all of this without a problem. Moms just ROCK like that.

XOXO

laura@top this top that - good for you with school and with the sign business. will still be cheering you on as you journey through this next chapter.
Happy summer. Let me know if you are around my area and we can get together for coffee…tea.

Lynn Richards - Good for you!!!! I so appreciate your honesty. Both my husband and I are going through a time of being quiet in the sense that all plans we make are put on hold and we wait to see what God will do.
Maybe a blog break is in need for me as well. Something else to consider.
xo

Shar - Missed your blog posts. Glad you were blessed with answers in your quiet time.

Lemonade Makin Mama - I loved every single word of this post and the truth within it. He truly DOES know what we need and how to make it happen in ways that blow our minds. Cant wait to see what’s in store for you girly!!

Kristi - Love you and miss you too!

Katie R. - Isn’t it neat how Gid speaks to us so clearly when we are obedient in the hard things?? I can’t wait to hear how diving into counseling stretches and blessed you :) It’s kind of funny, because I feel like I’m doing things opposite you. As soon as Jistin and I got married, I went to grad school for social work and have been loving counseling and meeting people where they’re at. But now we have our first baby and I feel such a tug to not return to work. But it’s hard decision for me, transitioning from one season to another. Social work isn’t a job to me, it really is an extension of who I am. So while I’m sort of grieving (that sounds dramatic, I know) taking a step back from social work, I am really excited (and nervous) to see what being a full time mom means for me. All that to say, I’m praying for you as you move from one season of life into another, equally as important one!

Linsey @ Bravehearted Beauty - If you’re writing, heck YEAH I’m here! I missed you and I bless you whether you write here or not. Flipping out about your pursuit of counseling! Yes, God! This is SO GOOD! Love you, girl!

Laura @ Finding Home - Beautifully said – and just know that we will be here whenever it works for you! Take care sweet lady, Laura

Donna - Good for you! Glad you are going back to school. I know how busy life gets when you have a big family .Just so you know , it doesn’t change too much when they are older, as we remain busy with them and grandchildren. But it is such a joy. Life goes by in a wink honestly. The older you get the faster it goes. I’m sure you will be a wonderful blessing to many as a counselor. I hope you have a little time left for blogging as I love your blog and seeing pictures of your home.enjoy the rest of your summer. I will look for that prayer book. I need that.

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