Over the last couple of weeks we’ve made a few changes, and the results have taken me by surprise — in the best possible way.
For years now, probably four solid years, I’ve always (always!) associated myself as a gal who works a lot of hours and somehow the rest of life falls into place. And sure it’s been mostly easy to make that happen, but as of recent I’ve noticed a strong, slow change of how exactly to redirect my focus. You see, I’ve been feeling like what was was just too much. Too much chaos. Too much last-minute scrambling. Too much trying to keep up with so-and-so. And instead of ending my workday feeling inspired, I felt exhausted. And through some wonderful conversations as of late, I know I’m not the only “handmade maker turned mama” to feel this way about daily life.
The truth is, these changes have blessed me in big, exciting, incredible ways.
Here’s what I mean: for the month of April I’ve already read 2.5 books, taken Max to the park to swing about 3x/week, gotten plenty of rest each night (and haven’t used an alarm clock the entire month, either). I’ve baked breakfast delights a couple days a week. Our dinners are super healthy/tasty, yet even more affordable. I’ve even been creative in the most wonderful of new ways — by finally learning and practicing how to embroider. Yippee!
It’s been totally life-giving to make these changes.
What I am realizing is my family wasn’t at the top of my list. But this entire month they have been, and would you believe we’re all thriving from the changes I’ve made?
I’m so encouraged by women who do what’s right for them/their families, instead of seeking to mimic Mrs. Jones.
What makes us creative women so special is we can make possible our hearts desire. But not just make possible, we make better.
And you know what else? We’re ALL creative women, made in the image of God, the ultimate creator. The misconception that only painters or musicians or architects are artists is a lie. The talent you’ve been blessed with is enough.
My handmade story began from a desire to learn how to sew, back in the fall of 2008. Little did I know my husband and I would both lose our automotive industry-related jobs (we were living in Detroit then), and this newfound passion of sewing would become a lifesaver and creative outlet. It was my main focus for years and led our family on some wonderful adventures: quitting my day job in Minneapolis to focus on Gussy Sews, traveling to blog conferences to meet some of my dearest of friends, encouraging others (and receiving encouragement as well) through my online blog community, traveling to Tanzania and having my heart continue to be changed since returning home — it’s been almost 2 years now. YES! Handmade is so dear to me. And I love perhaps even more that I’ve been able to revive the creativity that’s inside me in a fresh, freeing way.
What is pulling on your heart? What creative inspirations are you wanting to start? And who are you waiting for to give you approval to get started?
My feeling is those dearest to you have already said “yes”. You didn’t hear them because you’re just too busy scrambling and trying to keep up — continuing to do the same crazy thing that really isn’t working for you — to even notice their affirmation and blessing.
It’s time to wake up.
Today is the perfect day to make change.
Two of my powerful questions: What would you try if you had no fear, and what adventurous change would you make if you weren’t afraid of risk?
Maggie this really blessed me today. You are so right- make family the top of our list and taking care of ourselves. Bless you today!!
Thank you so much for this, Maggie. I have been struggling with feelings of inadequacy lately because I am no longer contributing much to the family income for the first time. I think I’m letting too much of the world’s standards creep into my brain, because I am very fulfilled being a mother and home educator. I just have this feeling that I need to be doing “something else” that makes money, too, and it’s hard to let go of. Today I’ll start praying more fervently that God will help me see that He and my current job are enough. Thanks again!
@Minnesotamom, do you want to know something I realized once I slowed down a bit? Even though our income didn’t increase, we have more money in our bank account. Keeping a better watch on it, because the time to do so is there, has made a huge difference. Maybe there’s something like that you could keep your focus on? :) And another thing I realized, sometimes our neighbors are suffering, even though they don’t seem to be or admit it, but saying “yes” over and over and over doesn’t always bring peace. It’s the comparison game… our hearts are encouraged more when we don’t do it. XO
you are delightful and such a breathe of fresh air!!!
if i could I would quite my office job and figure out something to do at home – so I am not driving in traffic 5 days a week. I don;t know what I would do – i am a single mom and i do need my full time job, its income and benefits!! But I love the hope in what you are saying – I can make small changes to make my days not so frustrating and difficult!!
Thanks Maggie – have a great weekend!
@tiffany day, start small — are there other areas in your life you can simplify or say “no” to during this specific season that will make your day-to-day more peaceful? I’m always encouraged when I remember what we’re doing today can change if we need it to. Next month or later this year we could find ourselves in a different schedule. Life is flexible. Don’t forget that :)
I am right there with ya. I’ve noticed since I’ve said “no” to handmade and “yes” to my family more, I am more content, more rested, and a better wife and mama. And then when I do make time to create, my work is 10x better and I enjoy it much more. Loving this new season I am in!
@Anna French, HIGH FIVE! :)
This truly is the best Maggie we’ve seen in years. Take it from the expert.
I’m proud of you magg.
this resonates with me! I’m closing my shop soon (we are moving) and purposefully announced that I wouldn’t be blogging for a while. Because I really do feel the need to refocus on the family and our move. A lot of times our dinners are last-minute and random. i’d like to work on that this summer ;)
Hubbs and Maggs, you two are dear to my heart, and you know I pray with you and for you every chance I get. xox
I don’t even want to say this out loud but here goes; I would pursue adoption. I’m single and 43 and have always wanted to be a wife and mom. I haven’t wanted to have a job outside my home. For 31 years I’ve dreamed of having a family.
Fear of people’s judgement.
Not wanting to put a baby in daycare.
Those are my fears.
Not wanting to raise a child in a single-parent family.
Without all of them, I’d pursue adoption.
What a sweet blessing to see such wisdom you speak at a young age (I can say this since I am older ;) ) Thank you for an inspiring post. May the Lord continue to bless your family as you seek Him and His will. Have a blessed week!
There are so many things I would try if I wasn’t full of fear. I would love to perfect my sewing and open an online shop. I would also love to open an online boutique too! I run a business with my husband and have 13 year old daughter who is a competitive dancer. So between fear and lack of time, I need extra encouragement to fulfill my own dreams(: For now, raising my daughter fills my heart(: Susan
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