Three years ago I was given the amazing privilege to work from home.
Because that’s what it is— a privilege.
The fact that I get to work is a privilege and one most people yearn for.
But working from home, I realize is a dream come true, so there is not a day that I don’t head to a shoot and whisper, “Thank you, Jesus.”
I always say I had no idea what He had in store but I really had no idea!
But now my days are different and amazing and fun.
They hold beauty.
They are laced with whispers of His grace.
They protect memories and freeze them in time.
But how do we make it work?
I have no idea.
The entire Magnolia journal this month is about anticipation and it drew me in immediately.
Lindsay, Eileen and Jessica have been planning to share our lives here with you through the month of November for a while, but to be honest, I had no what idea to say!
In the background, I am still anticipating your response to sharing my next dream with you, as I prepare to announce a launch date and hit send on that e-mail. My fear of failure paralyzes me often, and the questions start running through my mind, but then I read something like this and I take a deep breath and think, “Okay, Lord, if this is from you, show me your path.”
As I write this, I’m listening to Christmas music, it is pouring rain and candles are lit as I sit so quietly…alone.
My three children are at different places — two at school (the same one, thankfully) and my little girl at an in home daycare.
It was not always this way. Just yesterday, in reality three years ago, we were about to welcome our little surprise, not knowing how she would rock our world in the very best way.
I had just quit my amazing, secure job to work from home and be with these three babies—just four, two and brand new. One in half day 4K, one in our church WEE school and Callie at home with me. She adjusted her naps to the boys drop off and pick up schedules, in the midst of basketball season, and we survived. We lived through heartbreak and came out stronger as we watched our friends live through the hardest time in their lives and admired their joy, celebrated and longed for heaven as it seemed so near.
Today, as we approach Callie’s third birthday, I sit in awe.
I never would have dreamed this is what our lives would look like.
I told a friend this morning, I just want so badly to do the right thing—to be a good steward of our finances (and not beat myself up or question every purchase!), to raise my children to love Him, to follow His lead for my “career” and that in every step, WE are walking in obedience. And as she laughed as I over-analyzed as I tend to do, I knew she had to have been praying for me because I walked into the house, sat bags on the counter and felt Him whisper and I physically felt my body relax, “Just let me lead.”
And I felt it so deeply, “Let’s do our thing like we always do.”
Which sounds so strange! I know! But He reminded me, it’s just us and there’s no magic formula. I may disappoint Dave Ramsey, it may not make sense on paper since I quit my job not even a year after we bought this house, but somehow it works.
Because we earnestly seek Him.
So what does a day typically look like around here for me?
Different. Every single one is different.
On Monday, Callie goes to WEE school then daycare all day because I teach dance. Praise Jesus! I teach dance! It is so fun, so rewarding and leaves me in tears as I ponder how He brought it into our lives. So after I take her to daycare around lunchtime, I squeeze in a few edits from the weekend and hope to start an upload before I go.
On Tuesdays, I teach Callie’s group dance then we usually go to the grocery store and she’s exhausted so she naps. Tuesdays starting in three weeks means a basketball game every Tuesday until February. Same thing as Monday, I edit during the afternoon and answer e-mails and texts.
I start almost everyday with a walk. And this walk with friends rejuvenates me in the absolute best way. Just last week I started walking at 5:10 (yes, a.m.) and when I get home, I’m able to do a little bit of work (edits, uploading galleries and answering e-mails) all before the kids wake up. Let me be clear, I am NOT a morning person. Whatsoever. BUT it’s productive and I am so thankful for that time once it’s done. I usually do my quiet time right when I get back and I love, love, love doing this before I start working because it just sets the tone for how thankful I am for this job and gives me such a peace as I open my editing software to the most beautiful people.
Once school lets out, the chaos begins, Kuy has been playing football, which we love, but it means only a little bit of time to play before we head to practice and scramble for dinner. I wish I wasn’t so bad at cooking and providing meals for my family but it’s just not my strong suit in the fall season of sessions, Kuy’s practices and Russ’ practices.
I struggle internally because I want to steward our time, well, too. I want to honor my children when they’re home so I TRY to focus on them and stop working for a minute when they walk through the door (they ride the bus or stay with my mom because she works at their school!) but, of course, that’s not always the case.
It’s also important for Cray to have some time alone so he may get a little bit of tablet time or go to his room to play to decompress.
Kuy and Callie never need alone time and love people and talking and all the things that require a lot of energy. 😉 But, as much as they love quality time, Cray loves quiet proximity. On the other hand, Kuy and Callie can pretty much roll with anything.
And even though, they’re still little, those young, young years of 4, 2 and new and 5, 3, and 1, were hard, these years are hard in a different way. Questions daily run through my mind and I have point myself back to the Spirit’s leadings..
Did I answer all the questions they asked? Did I prepare their hearts so they realize the world does not revolve them? Are they kind and respectful to their friends and teachers? Do they know in this big, big world, they are a vital part? Do they know I pray purposefully for their passions and that they use them for His glory? Did we read the Bible enough? Do we exemplify this ourselves? Or did I yell, again, today even though I said I wouldn’t?
I could go through every day of the week and share what we do, but it’s not who we are. We recognize it’s bigger than us. We strive daily to please Him. And when we fail, like we always do, He is still there.
And like I wrote in one of my favorite blog posts ever, He will rescue us with “both hands.”
So Mamas, let me be clear. You don’t “got” this.”
Even bigger and better than we could ever imagine.
PS For the month of November, Lindsay, Eileen and Jessica and I are going to share a little bit of how we intend to live our lives with purpose. Today, I was all over the map, but these few things help to me to “survive” as my friend Sarah would say, a little easier. I hope they help you, too.
- I walk almost every morning…getting up early and getting exercise in rejuvenates me in the very best way.
- Quiet time, obviously…meeting with Jesus. I love, love, love Bible studies and being able to discuss these with friends and share how He’s working and pushing us outside our comfort zones. I LOVE learning more about His character and it fascinates me the depth of His love…and how He really cares for our everyday lives.
- I TRY to plan on Sunday—-and I’m.so.bad.at.planning. But really it has made such a difference when we pick up on Sunday and make a plan so I can see what all is coming up—what sessions and where, where will Russ play, where will Kuy play, etc./who is helping him get to where he needs to be, all that fun stuff!
- I GET DRESSED! I know this sounds ridiculous and truly, when we planned it, I thought I would spend more time on a capsule wardrobe…because let’s be honest, I wear the same thing over and over so I have a few staples (and you KNOW I love my thrifted finds —BUT to reduce clutter, I also only buy what I KNOW I would actually wear —you can find these tips in my newsletter!)
- GOOD pair of jeans, or now that we are in the winter, I can wear leggings!
- My favorite tees, almost always layered with a cardigan (perfect with leggings, too)
- Comfortable, cute shoes!
- I have to have shoes on to feel productive. I know it’s the weirdest thing so I invested in some bedroom shoes and I really really love them, too.
If you’re still here in the longest post ever, thank you. As always, I am so grateful for you.