Family and Friends, Goals

2017 | Progress, Not Perfection

I’ve been in the process of writing this post for about 3  or 4 weeks now. I’ve had a hard time putting my thoughts to words. So I apologize in advance if this post seems scattered or disjointed. It’s really a raw, real representation of where my brain is right now. Thanks for reading.

For the past two years, I’ve picked a phrase for the year, to base my goals and thoughts around. 2015 was Engage Intentionally, and 2016 was Show Up. 2015’s was kind of thrown under the bus by way of pregnancy, buying a house, moving, and giving birth, but looking back at 2016, I definitely was able to “show up” by serving others and engaging with those around me more.

At the same time I was thinking about and searching for a word or phrase for 2017, I started looking more into Lara Casey’s life, her PowerSheets, blog and other channels. I’ve known about PowerSheets for at least a year now. They’ve always intrigued me, but last year I brushed them off, thinking I didn’t need them. Then, this past November, I really started to be curious, and as I was watching Lara’s video introduction to the 2017 PowerSheets, it hit me. I needed to tend to my progress. I needed to focus on the bettering of myself, not the perfecting.

Progress, Not Perfection

I’ve uncovered something about me over the past year or so, and that is that I have some strange OCD-like tendencies. Not so much physical cleanliness (my house is living proof of that!) but the mental. I often find myself needing to wait until the perfect moment, until things are just so, until I can start and finish something. An example of this is scripture study. I often feel like I cannot open my scriptures until my house is clean, my mind is clear, my kids are sleeping and the house is quiet. Only then do I feel prepared to break open the Word and read and learn. But how often do all of the above collide at my house? Not often. And so I put it off, and then it doesn’t get done. The same goes for exercising. I feel like I need my children to be sleeping, or occupied, and I need to be in an appropriate state of dress, and I need a certain amount of time carved out, at a certain time of day, if I am going to get any sort of physical activity in. Again, how often does that happen at my home? Hardly ever. And so, again, because the state of things isn’t perfect, it doesn’t get done.

This is no way to live. I need to stop waiting for the perfect moment, and just do it. I need to figure it out, and dive in, and get it done. It’s ok to be interrupted during my reading. It’s ok if I need to stop my work out to get Abe a drink. It’s ok. IT’s OK.

Something else that I’ve been thinking about is this — I’m very much the same person I was in high school. But I’m also very much not the same.

When you’re young it’s easy to chalk things up to being young and inexperienced and just go with the flow. But as you get older it’s harder to do that. It’s harder to say “oops, oh well, that doesn’t really matter” because now, it does matter. When you’re a 27 year old wife, and mother of 2, the decisions you make do matter. And they affect not only you, but your family. It’s not as easy to put on a fake performance when you’re teaching 2 toddlers what it means to love themselves wholly. You can’t pretend to be someone you’re not with you’re mentoring and teaching teenage girls how to be who God made them to be.

I’ve always thought I’ve had a pretty good knowledge of who I am. I’ve always tried to stay true to myself, and do my best. But over the past year or two, something has been creeping into the back of my mind. It nags at me when I fall asleep.

It’s the feeling of being frozen and fake.

It’s also the feeling of needing to pull back.

It’s the feeling of wanting to dig deeper into myself.

To really find myself, to better myself, to uncover the pieces of me.

I often push the messy and ugly pieces of my life down, I go merrily along my way, but only on the surface. I’m not depressed, I’m not hiding from a deep dark secret, but I think there is more to me than I currently know. And I want to discover that.

But how? How do I do that?

I’ve been working my way through the prep sections of this year’s PowerSheets, and I’ve already uncovered some truths. Truths like I want to be successful. But also that I can’t shake the feeling that there is something more out there, that involves so much less.

I need room to breathe, I need to be able to fall asleep without the “I should have done’s” racing through my brain.

It’s the enemy that is currently on my heels and in my head. It’s the enemy telling me I’m not good enough. He’s also telling me that I should be doing more. He’s distracting me with visions of grandeur, when all I really need is simplicity.

And so.

And so.

I’m going to take a small step back from blogging. Not totally, of course. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years (on various blogs) and I can’t totally give it up. But I won’t be posting quite as consistently, and I’ll be less inclined to post across my social media channels.

I want, no, I need, to utilize my time better.

It’s manageable, to keep doing what I’ve been doing, for sure. I’ve been running this blog for 2.5 years, and for the last year I’ve been doing it while also being a stay-at-home mom to two small children 19 months apart. My kids are taken care of and loved, my house is clean (sometimes), and I have a good relationship with my husband, but I keep feeling like there is something more. Instead of rushing around, trying to meet deadlines, and schedule social media posts, and also trying to run my household, I want to have more balance and less stress.

So yes, it would be manageable to keep doing what I have been, but is it something I want to manage? Something is whispering be still, and stop. And I can’t deny that.

I wrote a blog post in 2015 about my small dreams. And those are still my dreams. And that is still ok.

I don’t need to chase anything. I don’t need to be a bigger blogger, or make more money, or open my own small business, or do anything else that might scream “watch what I can do as a stay-at-home-mom”. I can simply by that mom. The one who stays at home. Who takes care of her family. Who spends time with her kids. Who spends her spare time reading or doing things that she wants to do, not that she feels she has to do. Who doesn’t feel guilty when she schedules a play date instead of using that time for furthering her social presence.

My dream is to simply be the best wife, mother, person I can be. To create a home that is a safe place for all who enter, to better myself as much as I can by leaning into my identity as a daughter of God. And so that is what I am to be focusing on this coming year. As I mentioned before, I’m not giving up on blogging completely. I’ll still be writing, I’ll still be posting content, both sponsored and not, but I won’t be giving in to the pressure that blogging can create. I’ll post on whatever sites when and what I feel like, and I won’t feel bad about it.

Phew, if you made it this far, you deserve many gold stars. To be honest, this was mostly written for me, as it was therapeutic for me to write out and process my current thoughts and feelings. I’m planning on sharing my actual goals and resolutions next week, but for now, I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my brain. I love you guys, I really do.

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  • This is a great take away for me: “I don’t need to chase anything…or do anything else that might scream “watch what I can do as a stay-at-home-mom”.” It’s a constant struggle to utilize our time most effectively or to get to the place where our priorities really reflect our goals and dreams. Your on the right path.

    • Thank you! I know, it can be so hard, and it’s definitely a constant struggle, like you said. Thanks so much for your comment <3

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    This is so good! It reminds me a lot of a book I just read called No More Faking Fine by Esther Fleece that I recommend you read! It will help solidify a lot of your processing.

    • Thank you! I’ll have to check it out. I just read Make It Happen by Lara Casey and it was amazing and perfect.

  • This is going to be a great year for you! Hard but good. I chose intentional because I have a lot of intentions but either my anxiety or laziness get the best of me and I end up doing nothing, so 2017 is going to be about doing things and taking action.

    • Thank you! I’m excited 🙂 I love the word intentional!!!

  • Ashley Ziegler

    You are just so wonderful! 🙂