Faith & FamilySimple, Purposeful Living as Mama November 7, 2018Hello sweet friends and welcome new ones! I’m Lindsay and am thrilled you’re here. Today is a happy day for me. I’ve heard a lot of “Oh I’m so happy to see regular blog posts again!” from many of you and it’s just in time for something I’m really excited about. My blogging journey has been like reading a never-ending personal development book. It’s been amazing and inspiring, hard at times, and incredibly refining. While I started this blog years ago to share our home renovations and design, I knew from day 1 that I wanted it to be real. For me, that meant sharing heart and struggles as they came. So as God has continued shaping me as a person, how I view this blog and what it needs to be has shifted as well. I’ve felt the ever-increasing tension between being a “home blog” and sharing the renovation and design journey we’re so passionate about and being true to our purpose. Sharing how we make home and inspiring others to do the same without breeding discontent or materialism is a hard battle. At times, it’s felt impossible and those are some of the times I’ve been quieter. But God has continually revealed through wise friends that it’s not always a clear road to walk and I will often stumble, but it’s worthy. And so, I’ve continued craving ways to infuse the purpose and meaning I feel in my own home and life into this blog as I share our story. God has been so good to connect me with other amazing, like-minded ladies who have so much heart, but who are also using their gifts to create in unique ways. And as I’ve talked with each of them, we all felt a similar pull to share the gifts God has called us to, use them for His glory, and infuse purpose into our work. We started tossing around the idea of what it would look like to do something together celebrating that. And the idea for this November series was born. I talk often about simple living and purposeful living, and to me, those are very intertwined. I don’t know if any of you have listened to The Simple Show podcast, but I love her definition of simple living. For years, “simple living” meant less stuff to me. And I think that’s a big part of it! If we’re stuff managers, that takes away from living in tune with our purpose. But I do think there’s more. It’s simplifying your life and saying no to good things so that you can say a big YES to the most important, purposeful things. It’s streamlining the stuff in our lives, the time we’re expending, and what we’re “consuming” so that what comes out is completely in line with the purpose God has given us. Reduce the noise and clutter, sharpen the purpose. For the month of November, I’ll be joining with three other amazing creatives to share how we live simply and with purpose in several big areas of our lives. First off, I’d like to introduce you to my dear friends and co-hosts: Eileen from Eileen & Co. Amber from Amber Tysl Jessica from Grace While We Wait This is an amazingly, talented group of ladies. Unlike other blog tours I’ve done, this isn’t totally home-focused. In fact, we aren’t all home bloggers! While home will make an appearance, that isn’t the whole focus and to me, that’s the beauty of it. We’re all different and will bring you different perspectives. Each week, we’re going to talk about a specific area of our life and how this idea of simple and purpose applies. First up, we’re talking about our role as Mama. Then we’ll cover Kids, Home, and finally Routine. Our heartfelt desire through this is that by sharing each of our different walks in life and how we view each of these areas, you’ll be inspired to infuse your own life with a dose of simple purpose as well. And we invite you to share how you’re tackling these things! We want to learn from you too! Now onto this week’s topic: MAMA. I’m Lindsay: small-town girl, crazy pie-in-the-sky dreamer, lover of the cozy seasons, and a craver of comfort food. I married my college sweetheart and God dropped the most beautiful adventure into our laps to renovate houses to pay off our crazy college debt. Gifts were cultivated together and our life took an incredible turn I couldn’t have planned myself. Then, our two current babes came along. First our Rosie girl, who’s now 3 and then Dax, who’s 18 months. Motherhood is one of the best, most powerful callings of my life. It has such value and I continually feel the weight and the joy of this privilege. In thinking over what I wanted to share for this week’s topic on Mama-hood, the list was initially short because while I feel so much purpose in it, it can be easy to neglect taking care of mama with all of life’s other seemingly more important demands. Caring for and doing things for myself has been a learning process…one that has taken time for me to see its’ immense value. So today, I’m going to talk about self-care. Later in the week, I’m going to address my wardrobe and how I’m trying to simplify that area because I’ve gotten so many questions about that! It’s been so hard for me to prioritize this because frankly, it doesn’t feel like there’s time. But I’ve continually seen the immense value of it. When I don’t fill up myself first, I have nothing left to pour out onto others. This isn’t a hard and fast formula everyone should follow, but these are the areas I’ve discovered over time need attention for me to be the best version of myself and the best version of mama. I’m still learning and focusing on these areas. I definitely don’t have it all figured out, but y’all, I can tell such a difference when any of these aren’t focused on for a season! And that continually affirms their need in my life. I need a creative outlet. There are many times in my motherhood journey where I’ve written this off. I’ve told myself it isn’t important for me to spend valuable time on a creative outlet because time is so scarce! My kids need me more! But I’ve seen over and over that when I’m exercising the gifts God has given me, even if it’s just for ten minutes a day styling a floral arrangement, I am filled up in a different way. For all of us,the outlet will look different based off of how God has gifted us and how He’s called us. But for me, it surrounds the making of home. It’s renovating and designing spaces with my husband, it’s decorating for the seasons, it’s designing a kids’ space, and it’s finding recipes and cooking up meals I want to try. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, I think this is a worthy pursuit. I know a mama who loves to knit and while her kids play in the backyard each day, she sits in a chair and creates something. And it fills her up in a way, it’s something just for her and energizes her for the other tasks at hand. For me personally, I’ve found that when I’m neglecting my health, I am not at my best. And trust me, I’ve spent quite a bit of my motherhood journey so far neglecting parts of my health. I don’t have as much energy, which often translates into not having as much patience and I feel run down. We’ve continually been on a journey to eat well, but this last year realized we’d gotten really good at weeding out a lot of bad and not making sure we were getting enough good. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how we eat from the recipes I’ve shared, so I’ll do a full post on that later, but the key for today’s post is making sure you’re getting good nutrition. Read up on it some, add in more fruits and vegetables, weed out some processed food and you’ll feel your energy increase! Since I became a mother, exercise has been incredibly spotty. Like the outlet talk above, I’ve felt guilt to spend the time on it. But I’ve realized that exercising regularly completely changes my outlook. I’ve always said I’m not a runner. I’d see people post “running is my therapy” and I was like Sure it is. I couldn’t see how anyone could enjoy it. Well, cue motherhood and the constant little voices (that I love, but can wear on you) and the quiet of an outside run started calling to me. The first time I told my husband I wanted to go on a run, he looked at me like he didn’t recognize me! But that first run showed me I wanted to be a runner. Now, I’m talking a 20-30 minute slow jog in the great outdoors, not a marathon. But for me, my mind quiets when my body starts moving. The fresh air, beautiful views on local trails, and the quiet gets my mind going. I pray and sort through my thoughts and lately, have been having the best ideas on my runs. For me, this currently happens 2-3 times a week, though I desperately want it to be more because I enjoy it so much! But, celebrating the progress and what I can fit in vs. wallowing over what can’t is key. I’m not telling you to go and become a runner! I’m just saying find a way you enjoy to move your body. It will give you fresh energy and a quieter mind and for me, it majorly boosts my creativity! Quiet time to read or journal often feels non-existent as a mama. Get up thirty minutes early? Not if I want to stay awake all day, right? That was my perspective for so long and for me, that meant it never happened. I know plenty of mamas who fit this in during naptime or before bed. But for me, getting up a little earlier and reading my Bible, a devotion, and journaling has become a necessity. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to prioiritze it, but once I did on a consistent basis, I can see that my heart and perspective has shifted. When I spend time reading God’s word and trying to align my perspective with His first thing, it seems to carry throughout the rest of the day. We have a whole week devoted to rhythms and routines in this series, so I’m not going to say a ton about this here. But I have to mention it because being intentional with routine has been the key in caring for myself as mama. For so long, I knew the things I wanted to fit into our days or weeks (both for the kids and myself), but just couldn’t find the time. And while time is still scarce, working to create intentional habits where routine and time management is concerned has opened up a lot of time for things that didn’t fit before. It may not be as much as I’d like, but it’s some and that’s progress! For me, the morning has become my crucial mama time. I finally realized and accepted that for me, that was my main shot each day at uninterrupted “me” time for reading, journaling, and some creative work. For others, that pocket may be elsewhere in their day. Once I embraced that and created the habit of getting up earlier to a dark, quiet house, I noticed a pretty immediate shift that’s only gotten stronger. Something about starting my day with quiet and working on some passion projects energizes me for the rest of the day. I’ll share my exact routines during the routine week! We’re all different, but for me, this can be the hardest to prioritize. But I’ve also found it’s perhaps one of the highest necessities for me. While I long for strong community and friendships, I see that my tendency is to get immersed in my day-to-day with these precious little people and before I know it, I haven’t responded to a friend’s text for a week! I’m working on being more intentional with my relationships because they’re so precious and needed for me. I’ve seen that as wonderful as motherhood is, it can also be isolating and building a tribe of people to speak into your life and who you can pour your life out for in turn provides so much perspective. And there’s just something rejuvenating about going out for a ladies’ night where you can eat a meal, savoring each bite, and enjoying good conversation instead of taking turns to shovel your food in before somebody loses it. It takes time and effort, but building a strong community around you is so, so worth it, friends! Pray for it and then reach out. Okay, friends! There’s this homemaking, renovating mama’s take on self-care: filling up your cup so that it can be poured out for all the right things! As I said above, I’m a work in progress. I always will be. I don’t do one day perfectly. These areas get neglected often, but how I feel when they do shows me how needed they are in this season and life! A look at how I’m trying to simplify my wardrobe with purpose coming later this week – stay tuned! Now, make sure you head over and check out my dear friends’ take on purposeful motherhood: Jessica from Grace While We Wait Eileen from Eileen & Co. Amber from Amber Tysl And I would love to hear your self-care musts! What fills up your cup?