I've always struggled with considering my job, really jobs, as real jobs. It's so stupid that I undermine the power of raising little humans to become big humans that have the potential of changing the world. That is NO small thing. Even so, if I'm honest, I undermine it. I undermine my role is Founder of Sacred Holidays too. That somehow because it is something I am wildly in love with, that it doesn't count as a job to write Bible studies. The fact that I could wear PJs to work every day for both of these gigs doesn't help. (Ha!)
Regardless, I'm learning to validate and value both of those as for real things. (Feel free to laugh at my ridiculousness. I am fully aware that others have caught on to all of this for themselves way earlier in the game.)
This past fall I made the decision to go on maternity leave, for lack of a better word. I had gotten more speaking requests with the popularity of Sacred Holidays rising and felt like I needed to say no for this season.
I hate saying no. I hate it. I'm a doer. I'm an achiever. I do not say no.
The past 10 months of saying no have been really sweet and taught me some things I don't want to forget and hope it encourages some of you who are in a no saying season of your own:
You won't regret this time.
I was certain I would. You don't put the breaks on something that is building up momentum, especially when you had been waiting for so long for something to happen. I felt like I had put the breaks on for the past 5 years and I really didn't want to slow down once again. Believe it or not you won't be upset by the change in speed because you will be allowed to do more, go more... later. Slowing down allows you to see other paths. More than that it allows you to see what's right in front of you because it's not longer flying by you. You will fall in love with what's right in front of you.
Your family will be really grateful and you will love this time with them.
You will swim too late and have ice cream night too much and tickle fights and rubbing backs and morning snuggles. You will kiss boo-boos and send someone to time out 1,403,388 times and wash just as many dishes. You will create recipes and color endless pages and have tea parties and paint nails. You will have real conversations about Jesus with your kids and see a faith begin to grow in them. You will dream again with your husband and learn how to handle going from man-to-man defense to zone and you'll go on more dates and get hooked to Netflix. Yes, all these things and so much more will happen and you will love (most) every second of it. You wouldn't trade all the speaking engagements for a single one of those.
Getting away by yourself is vital.
Since you aren't having to prepare for a speaking engagement or be gone for one, you can have some time to just dream and breath and be. You will find some places with free WIFI and hot coffee and tea on demand. You will find your little table in the corner and slip right into a rhythm of dreaming, praying, writing, thinking, and observing. You will realize that even extroverts really need some alone time.
Saying no allows for saying yes to other things.
I kind of laugh at the idea of calling the past ten months maternity leave because we did PLENTY of things-- both as a family and as a ministry. However the simple saying no to the addition of things outside of our home has been a sweet ten month break. This break has allowed for time to readjust a lot of the things that had fallen into survival mode. We moved weeks before maternity leave and have set some really sweet and new family traditions. Sacred Holidays is growing more than I ever dreamed-- both in numbers of people doing the studies, our team, and what we will be producing. I'm writing again on this blog. I'm pretty sure I was posting a blog maybe every 3 months before. I could never give up on this space or you all. For some reason you always come back and invite your friends to join you. I'm so very grateful for you all.
Having a platform isn't a pre-requisite to make a significant impact in the world... not for God.
This is an ironic statement because I'm currently reading Michael Hyatt's book, Platform. Listen, I totally get in this day and age, if you want to sell something and get paid or speak something and get heard, you have to have a platform (or audience if you prefer). I'm learning this isn't a bad thing. I've avoided the pursuit of it for so long because it felt vain. Even so, it's not required. You don't need to have well connected friends to get noticed. You don't need to have a master's in english to write good content. You don't need 1 billion followers on Instagram.
If God has called you, He will use you. Enough said. Rest in that alone. The rest is nothing without Him.
One day, you will say yes again. This is just a break.
Tomorrow, April 1, I am back to speaking. I'm taking it slow and not going to commit to more than one engagement each month for now. I am so crazy excited to be back in front of ladies. I LOVE to write and have loved this season behind a screen but there is nothing like having a front row in watching God move in the hearts of women as they open God's Word. Crosby's First Baptist Church, I'm coming for you and so excited for your masquerade theme!
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