How To Simplify Fall

One of my favorite quotes by Rach Kincaid is “brave yes, firm no.” I want to spend my time doing exactly what God wants me to do (even if it’s scary or hard) and not being distracted by other good things or worse, by bad things.

Now that our vacation to the beach is over (last week was fabulous and amazing), we have officially started our fall season. This has nothing to do with pumpkin spice lattes or the first day of fall and everything to do with Justin starting classes (as teacher and student), ball starting, and us swinging back into homeschool after taking most of August off.

10 Ways to Make Time for Projects

I cringe a little when friends ask me how I find time to blog and podcast and raise my boys. I didn’t wake up one morning and think I’ll start writing a blog and I’ll cohost a podcast and I’ll start some art projects. It happened really slowly.

The best things in life are slow. We develop as people; we develop our craft; our projects grow (and sometimes shrink) right along with us. That’s how it all works in different seasons of life.

Enough of my mama friends have asked me how to make time for these things (while looking at me like I’m a freak to make this happen) to make me realize that I’ve learned a few things about getting the work done while you’re mothering. Because, right now, all of my work is done with my kids home with me. I don’t have a babysitter or a regular day free for work- although I’m not saying that will never happen. So here are ten ways I accomplish projects.

How a Social Media Restriction Changed February + A Few Guidelines

I have a hard time waking up and in January my habit was to roll over when the alarm went off and scroll through Instagram with groggy eyes. Then, of course, I had to check Facebook and sometimes Twitter which I don’t even use consistently. Before I knew it, thirty minutes had gone by, my boys were waking up, and I was frustrated.

I wanted to read my Bible and pray during that first morning time and I wanted to be a little more prepared to see my boys when we were starting the day. So I issued myself a February challenge. During February I didn’t check social media from 10 pm to noon the next day. No instagram stories, no facebook scrolling (although I did use the pages app to post to the blog page), no wasting time reading captions. Now I’m not hating on social media, especially Instagram. I love Instagram. I have curated the people that I follow and I honestly learn a lot from it. But anything out of place is, well, out of place.

9 Project Ideas

Lately I’ve gotten quite a few questions about project ideas and how I fit in time to do projects. This post won’t address both of those topics but I’m going to tackle a list of project ideas if you are looking for some inspiration for March. Or April or May or- you get the idea.

(However my number one tip on accomplishing projects? Start small with something you know you can manage and let it grow if it blossoms. Commit to 20 minutes once a week and see where it takes you.)

The one thing I would challenge you to do when you start any project is to document your work. Whether you take pictures for yourself (maybe on a private Instagram account so you can make a photo book later) or share them in a public spot on the internet or take notes on what you are learning, you will get more out of the work if you can see what you’ve accomplished when you’re done. Does this mean all the work will be good? Of course not. But that’s not why you are doing it.

How to Grow into Your Style

Recently I’ve realized that I’m growing into my decorating style. I’m also growing into a clothing style and I’m growing into a lot of things that I’ve been working on: things like what I like to draw and how, handlettering, even crafty things. I’m never going to arrive. The nice (and frustrating) thing about life is that we should always be growing, tweaking, changing.

We have more natural talent in some things. We have an idea of what looks good or is appealing. We don’t know why something works but we just know that it does. But even those natural skills need sharpened. There’s that famous Ira Glass quote about the gap that you have when you first start doing things. You’re just not quite there.

I’m still not there but I’ve seen my style evolved as the years have passed and I’ve realized part of it has been giving it time. But not just blank time. You can’t sit around staring at the wall and grow.

How To Approach the New Year: Happy 2017

Sometime in November I mentioned to a friend that I was breaking up with 2016. It’s been an interesting, in many ways difficult, year. And yet, when I stopped a few evenings ago and really thought back over the year, all I saw was the goodness of God blanketing every hard thing. I’m learning this year to hold two opposing emotions about the same event. I’m glad to close the door on 2016 for many reasons but as I thought this through I realized something.

Nothing really changes when that ball drops at midnight on January 1st. It’s not magic. Life isn’t suddenly different. I’m not even suddenly different. Some of the difficult parts of 2016 won’t cease to be when the calendar changes to 2017; they will continue and new hard things will arise.

Now I love a new year as much as anyone. I’ve been working on goals for 2017 and I’m excited for what’s upcoming. But it doesn’t mean that suddenly everything will be rosy and all-worked-out like I would prefer.

When You Want Personal Growth

I went up for the hit at practice and barely grazed the ball. I might not have played volleyball for six years but there was something else wrong with my hitting. So I asked. Even though I was a coach and maybe should have had it all together, I walked over to another coach, who is an excellent hitter, and said, “ok, what am I doing wrong?”

He told me. The next hit wasn’t great (remember that whole six year gap?) but it did feel like hitting when I corrected the problem.

So much of growth comes from being teachable. It was the first thing I told my girls when we held our first practice alone. Learning to play volleyball is, in a large part, based on how teachable you are. Will you be offended when you’re corrected? Will you do what you’re told, even if you think you know better? Will you complete the practice necessary to get better and refuse to give up?

Sports don’t prepare most people for a life of sports. Sure, a talented few will move on to play in college, and an even smaller number will play some type of professional ball. But for most of us, sports is a fun outlet where we can learn skills that will help us in life.