Breaking the Rules

Breaking the Rules

Yesterday I read a post by Sarah Bessey that my sweet friend Laura K Fanucci shared, and it was brilliant.

It was an article all about going "off-brand." That you don't have to follow all the rules that you've set for yourself in the past.

Sarah says,

Going off-brand can be terrifying. Daring to change our story when we find our primary identity in that particular story feels like we are losing our own sense of self. It’s more than just changing an opinion or a way of life: it’s changing who we thought we were.

Things can change. Allows things to change.

And it kind of rocked me. 

It rocked me and really reminded me of a couple thoughts I've been ruminating with the past few weeks.

First of all, for a couple years now, while trying to build a ministry slash business, being a mom to three sweet girls, having a miscarriage, working at a hospital and cutting my hours to make space for said ministry slash business, realizing that more hours at home doesn't equal more hours to work on the biz, trying to take all the online courses I could ever take, being obsessed with female entrepreneurs on Periscope, on Snapchat, on all of the media that I could consume... while trying to do ALL OF THAT for a couple of years, I realized I was a little tired.

I was a little tired of being a brand, of trying to perfect my Instagram, of saying the "right" things in my Facebook posts or my Twitter statuses.

I'm a little tired of trying to create, constantly, of trying to deliver, constantly, of trying to answer questions day in and day out.

I'm tired.

My husband is tired.

My kids are tired.

And really, when I made the leap with Blessed is She (the ministry slash biz I've been referring to), I leapt in the hopes that the Lord would take it and do whatever He'd like.

And that is what's happened. None of this is about me. All of this is about Him. All forty writers, all five of us on the administrative side, all of us are doing this with the ultimate goal of growing closer to him, as sisters, in community, together. And He has done that, in a huge way.

But in this time of growth for Blessed is She, I think that I came to realize that while I do want this ministry to grow, it was doing so at the expense of something else.

It was growing, and my kids were watching more Netflix than I'd like. It was growing, and my husband was becoming more and more disconnected because of my work level. It was growing, and my heart was heavy with guilt that although I was the Director of this amazing ministry, I have my own vices. I have my own struggles with daily prayer, I have my own struggles with right speech. I have my own trials.

This ministry has not only increased my faith in Christ and in His Church, but it has held a mirror up to my life. It has shown me every crevice that is incredibly far from excellent:

It was showing me my dirty laundry. 

This ministry has simultaneously pushed me in prayer while also poking holes in the woman that I thought I was.

So, I'm tired. I'm tired of feeling inadequate. I'm tired of my husband feeling neglected. I'm tired of my kids seeming neglected (in my mom-guilt eyes). I'm tired of feeling like I'm neglecting myself, even more so.

Secondly, The other thing the Lord revealed to me in the past few weeks is how much NOISE I am surrounded by.

I always put a podcast in while I'm doing chores, I have the music blaring when the girls and I are in the car, there is always something on when I'm working.

NOISE.

I stopped listening to podcasts as much as I had been. I did the laundry in quiet. I washed the dishes in silence. 

I allowed the Lord to whisper to me in those moments, instead of constantly being surrounded by anything and everything else in the world to talk to me before Him.

So today I walked into the office, the room I've been avoiding with all its unopened books, my Bible sitting there, untouched, my prayer journal, still perfectly unused, the silence.

I grabbed the Bible, and I grabbed my prayer journal. I turned to Psalm 13. 

How long must I carry sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

This is day 1. 

I am recommitted to my husband, to my children, to this ministry being life-giving, to taking care of myself.

I am so excited to work on my vices, with the Lord's strength and mercy, to work on the parts of me that this ministry has shown me I could work on. I'm so excited to creep closer to all-over wellness of my being, with daily devoted prayer time, with eating better, with not drinking, with being healthy from the inside out.

I am so excited to make small adjustments to my daily routine to accomplish this:

  • going to bed earlier (this is where I'm setting myself up for the next day!)
  • waking up to help the girls get ready for school (aka not yell at them to hurry since I'm the one running late)
  • waking up to pray through Scripture and my prayer journal
  • going to work out after I drop the girls off
  • eating at home as opposed to eating out
  • using our essential oils for health and wellness
  • working on Blessed is She during nap times and before bed so as to be engaged with the girls when they're awake
  • making time for Mike as much as possible (going to his football games, being supportive of him when we are both home)

I'm becoming okay with changing up my "brand." I'm okay with evolving, with changing, with allowing the Lord to change me. 

I'm becoming okay with growth.

I'm becoming okay with silence.

I'm becoming okay with going against the grain of expectations I've set on myself.

It's time to become. 

Sometimes the story we tell ourselves about our own lives can become a prison, it can keep us from the real life that is waiting for us. // Sarah Bessey

And me? I'm ready to live.

In between tweeting, reading books to my daughters, and [not] burning mac n cheese, I am the Founder + Creative Director of Blessed is She women's ministry + community.