Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The winds of change...

Two and a half months. That's how long it has been since I posted on this here little blog.

I have been writing. Just, ya know, not here.

There are a few reasons for this.

First, we have a couple life-changing events coming up, but none of them were public knowledge until recently. So, although they took up massive amounts of mental/creative/writing space, I was unable to post any of them here.

Second, once the decisions were made about said life-changing events, my daily routine started looking a lot different. And I helplessly (or intentionally) watched as blogging slid further and further down the list of priorities.

Third, well, there is no third. Just first and second.

So what are these big changes that have kept me from my blog? Here goes...

1. I am moving. Blogs. I am moving blogs. Is that how you say that? Anyway, in about 8 weeks I will no longer be posting here at my12hats and will be moving to another soon-to-be-disclosed blog that fits my life and my role and my blog direction a little better. My12hats has been feeling, well, ill-fitted for a while. I no longer have twelve hats. I have learned - through much trial and error and loss and crisis of identity - that I have one hat. I have me. And "me" doesn't change with my role or "job." More to come..

2. I am moving. Houses. Cities. States. We are moving from our beloved Memphis, TN to our beloved Athens, GA.  My heart is torn. So sad to leave the city and the church and the people that have shaped us and loved us and poured into us over the past five years. But so happy and relieved to finally head "home" to our families.

3. We're having a baby! What's that you say? Didn't I just have a baby? Why yes, yes I did. Nine months ago, to be exact. That baby and this baby will be 16 months apart. Am I panicking? A little. Am I excited? A little more. Am I grateful? There are no words. I was once told I would not be able to have children. So now, to find out I am carrying our FOURTH healthy little heartbeat... there are literally no. words.

So that's it. Those are our big changes. The next few weeks will be full of doctor's appointments, packing boxes, craigslist ads, moving trucks, last hoorahs, tears, excitement, and - unfortunately - very little blogging.

But stick around, my friends, because once the move is made, the new blog will be posted, and oh what fun you and I will have.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Where Hustle Meets Flow

I'm calling it. 10:34am on Friday morning, and I'm calling it. February's hustle is a bust.

I haven't lost any weight. But I haven't gained any. So that's something.

My daily Jesus time happened today. For the first time since February 9. Ugh.

And clearly, the blogging has not happened. Not even three times a week.

I went to bed last night feeling defeated. Feeling like I have lost momentum. Feeling wilted and heavy - like kale that has been boiled too long.

I went to bed, telling myself that February was a wash, and March will be better.

But this morning I have new perspective.

Because last night I had a dream. I dreamed that I was asleep. I was asleep between the paws of a lion. I was asleep, resting sound and comforted, in between Aslan's front paws, resting my head on his mane, under his chin. Feeling the rise and fall of his chest as he kept watch, and I slept.

And I woke up this morning and remembered something. Something I learned long ago in the middle of my depression. Failing at one thing (or two or three) does not make me a failure. Failing at one thing does not define me or label me.

Because I did hustle this month.

I got my family of five, plus the dog, packed and loaded and relatively happy so that we could enjoy a trip to the mountains. And when we returned, I got my family of five, plus dog, unpacked and unloaded in a relatively timely and peaceful manner.

I cleaned my house. Like, the whole thing. Every. Room. I don't think that's ever happened before.

I hosted overnight company in my home for a week. And I loved it. And enjoyed it. And didn't stress about the dust bunnies one iota.

I opened up my home and my heart to two Connect Groups. Women who are overcoming Anxiety and Depression. And families who are seeking to parent their children with Grace.

I tried a new class at the gym.

I paid off debt.

I kept a relatively clean minivan (canIgetanamen from the minivan section?).

I hustled. A lot. More than most months, I think.

Yet somehow I dismiss all of that because, you know, I didn't do three things perfectly.

But waking up this morning, after sleeping all night in the bosom of the Lion, I know that His grace is sufficient for me. That His power is made perfect in my weakness.

I know that my life is not defined by a number on the scale or the stats from my blog or even the amount of time I dedicate to His Word.

Because He doesn't just meet me during my quiet time. He meets me when I'm rocking a snotty, fussy, sick baby at 2am. He meets me when I am the snotty, fussy, sick baby at 2am. He meets me when I'm doing the umpteenth load of laundry and looking at umpteen more loads that need to be done. He meets me when I'm grumpy with my family and impatient with the mess. He meets me when I'm waking up in the morning, making mental lists of all the things that must be done before my head hits the pillow that night.

He meets me in my sleep, when I am wilted and heavy and feeling like a failure.

So here at the end of February, my hustle doesn't look like what I thought it would when I started on February 1.

But my house is clean. And my heart is at rest. And my God meets me where I am.

And that, my friends, that's worth more than all the hustle in the world.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Attitude Determines Altitude, and other cliche's about the way we think

I have a bad attitude. Seriously. That's all there is to it.

My attitude? 

It's been in the pits for three days. Behold, it stinketh.

Here's what happened. At least, here's the short version of what happened.

My house was clean after Christmas. (As we have discussed, when I say "clean" I really mean "I-have-kids-and-a-dog-and-an-arts-and-crafts-addiction-so-my-house-is-never-more-than-85%-clean" clean.) But still, it was clean - ya know - for me.

Then we found out we are moving. We don't know when (exactly). We don't know where (at all). We just know that sometime between now and June, we're moving. And suddenly, I have lost control over our year.

And in my attempt to control something, I started cleaning out closets and drawers and attic space.

Then I got sick. In the middle of all the projects. Remember this

For ten days, I wallowed in feverish, achy agony.

And when the fever and the agony were gone, there lingered a cough and a sinus infection. It still remains.

Then there was a trip to the mountains. Which I loved, but which required the loading and unloading of all the peoples and animals in our home, plus their stuff.


So, basically what I'm saying is that life happened. Nothing terrible or tragic. Nothing life-altering or traumatic. It's just the stuff of life.

But life keeps getting in the way of my plans.

My plan was to eat healthy and homeschool and keep the house clean and always be kind to my husband and never lose patience with my kids and read lots of books about all the things and cook better meals and organize every corner of the house and train the dog not to bolt out the front door and make homemade organic baby food and run a 5k and spend time with Jesus everyday and never get behind on laundry and take meals to people who are sick and develop the important relationships in my life and cultivate new friendships and do. all. the. things.

But life happened. It got in the way.

So now my attitude about life, stinks.

And all this - the stuff of life - is causing me to reevaluate some of my hustle. As much as I would love to cook a healthy, homemade, "real food" meal for dinner every night. Sometimes I'm sick. Or tired. Or busy.

As much as I want to hit the gym everyday, there are days when just taking a shower is an achievement to be celebrated.

As much as I want to have a clean house and creative homeschooling and long conversations with good friends, there are days when clean undies, a few worksheets, and a quick text are all I'm capable of.

Life happens.

And if my plans don't allow life to happen, if my plans get thwarted every time life steps into the game, if my plans make life feel like an interruption... well, maybe I need to change my plans. Because life, it happens. And that isn't going to change.

I don't really have an answer today. Maybe this is just a confession.

My attitude stinks. And somehow I need to figure out how to merge my plans and my life

In the meantime, my awesomely amazing hubby has taken all three kids to the zoo. So I'm going to get my booty off the couch, throw on some workout gear, and do the kind of cleaning that works up good sweat and counts as fitness points. How's that for merging plans with life?

Hustle on, my friends. Hustle on.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What's On My Nightstand?

Confession time: the title of this blog is deceptive. The truth is that my nightstand is currently covered in clean, folded towels that somehow landed there when I got thrown off course on my way to put them in the bathroom closet... six days ago. It also has baby Tylenol. And a pair of fuzzy socks. And a half empty water bottle (or is it half full?). And my phone charger. And a picture of our wedding day, covered in a 1/4 inch of dust. And a fork. Not sure what the fork is for.

My books are actually all over the house. One on the end table next to my couch, for reading while I'm feeding the baby her bottle. Two of them are sitting on a shelf in the bathroom, next to the bubble bath and the Jake and the Neverland Pirate figurines. One is on my phone. The same one that's on my phone is also waiting for pickup at the library (I just can't get use to the whole new-fangled reading-on-an-electronic-device thing. Give me the musty smell and leafy pages of a library book any day.)

But... if I were the type of person who kept a perfectly tidy and well dusted nightstand with plenty of room for reading materials, these would be the books I would place there for the month of February:

1. The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life by Tory Johnson.
This one is fairly self-explanatory. Tory is a TV personality who was basically told to lose weight or lose her job. So she lost the weight and kept it off. This is her story.

2. The Anxiety Cure by Dr. Archibald Hart
I'm leading a church connect group on anxiety and depression, and I cannot tell you how nervous I am. (And the irony that my anxiety connect group is giving me anxiety is not lost on me, fo sho.) It's the first time since My Great Depression that I have reached out to others, face to face, to share my story and ask them to share theirs. For obvious reasons, I won't be relaying details here in the blogosphere, but suffice it to say, I'm super excited to study this book together and gain a few more Tools for the Toolbox.

3. Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
Yet another church connect group the Hubs and I are leading. This is a book I read about once a year, and it's definitely one I recommend to all parents, regardless of your kiddos' ages. The premise is that we are to parent our children the way God the Father parents us, His children - seasoned with lots and lots of grace. This book opened my eyes to what grace really is, and I was surprised to find that grace includes (but isn't limited to) discipline, guidance, and boundaries. Such a great read, and I'm excited about sharing it with other families in our church.

4. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
This is a novel that was recommended to me by a friend. I'll give you fair warning: it is not a family-friendly book. I would venture to say, based on what I've read so far, it's probably more a PG-13 book. Having said that, Roberts is an amazing and inspirational writer. I find myself highlighting lines in the book just because of how beautiful they are and because I think "Shoot, I wish I had written that." Ya know? Anyways. I'm still in the middle of the book, but if you're interested in reading it, check back with me in a week or so, and I'll fill you in on the deets.

So that's it for February. I'm lining up the March books now (going for 3 nonfiction and 1 fiction.) If you have any recommendations, I'm all ears. Post them below in the comments.

Note: Please do not post sappy Christian romance novels. I admire their authors, but I'm not a fan of their style and probably will not be reading any this year.

Peace out and hustle on, my friends!


The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood