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Friday, December 14, 2012

tips & tricks

Hey ladies! I'm back (and so are Hayley and Casey) with follow ups to our "day in the life" posts. We want to share a few tips + tricks for how each of us makes our life work for us. The hope is that there being three of us, you'll get a wide range of encouragement and tips and find something that is helpful for you. Here are just a few things I rely heavily on to make life work with a few different businesses, a few different ministries, a few kids and a busy husband. 

- I absolutely try not to compare myself to other women. For good or for bad. Most of my real-life friends have no clue the scope of what we do online and I have a feeling - I have no clue about the secret things they have on their plate. So I don't feel shameful that my kitchen floors aren't clean and theirs are. I don't judge them if they show up at church without lipstick on. I don't feel intimidated if they grind their own wheat for their bread while I'm making boxed macaroni and cheese. I just don't do it. We are each called to our own things. We each have our own sized "plate" of what we can take on. I listen to the Lord and my husband about what can go on my plate and I don't feel bad about what isn't supposed to be on it. 

- I over-communicate with my husband. Y'all. We talk a lot. We talk about every minute detail in our schedule so stuff doesn't sneak up on us. I tell him when I'm overwhelmed. I tell him when I'm excited. I tell him when I feel encouraged and when I don't. He tells me everything. He tells me when he's worried, he tells me when he thinks I'm working too hard. He tells me when he is frustrated and he tells me the details of his ministry. We have to be on the same team or no one will be on our team. And we have too many things spinning to not constantly communicate about what is going on and where we both are. My relationship with Jesus is the most important, but Nick is a close second. If things are out of whack with those two in my life - everything is out of whack. 

- Schedule everything. This doesn't work for everyone, but for me - it's a lifesaver. I schedule my blog posts about a month out. I make at least one to-do list everyday that includes EVERYTHING (do laundry, wipe down kitchen, order new homeschool supplies, send that network email, write post, take pictures, call mom, etc.). Nick and I meet once a week to totally thoroughly schedule out our entire weeks down to what we'll eat for dinner and when we'll give the kids baths. My motto is - plan EVERYTHING you can, and then hold your schedule loosely with grace. If it has to change, it has to change! No big. Also, I never get my entire to-do list done, ever. So I'm not a slave to it. But I do have to be as organized as possible concerning what needs to be done. 

- I admit when I'm wrong. When I'm late on projects, when I drop the ball, when I take on too much, when I snap at my kids, when I whine too much to my sister - I'm quick to apologize. I think the scariest thing about being a woman is the idea that I could get to the end of this life and tried to DO ALL THE THINGS WELL and be so terrified of being wrong that I just keep going the wrong way. If you're going to be a wife, a mom, a business woman, a blogger, a shop owner -- you're going to mess up every single day. And that's where God's grace abounds. Love His grace and walk in it and try again when you mess up. 

- I know what sacrifices our life calls us to and I try not to be bitter about them. We don't really have free nights where we just fold laundry + watch tv or read books and do crafts. I can't ignore "work emails" for the weekend. Trust me, people be getting feisty. I can't air my dirty laundry or real, personal hurts on facebook or my blog. I don't get to rest when my kids rest and my job is far from done when they go to bed. But you know what? Our lifestyle comes with LOTS of benefit and freedoms, so I refuse to let myself feel bitter about the small sacrifices we have to make. 

- I wear yoga pants a lot, a hat about twice a week, I cry in the shower once a week when I'm overwhelmed, and my kids watch tv. I'm just saying all this to say - VERY human over here. I do not have it all together. I am not super mom or super woman. 

 - Lastly, I have allies. This is something I'm really trying to work on, but I really believe in it. I think real gospel community (hey! that's the name of our church) means that we get weak with people and we let them in to our weakness. I have a handful of online friends and a handful of real life friends that I let in to my crazy. I ask for their help, their prayers, I tell them my goals and my fears and I try to be there for them in those things too. 

Hop on over to hear from Casey and Hayley about what works for them! I have a feeling it will be super different from me and you'll be incredibly blessed by it! 


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