Finding Rest, Again.

If I am going to be honest, this blog should not be titled finding rest, but should be really titled ‘Learning how to Rest – for the first time.’

That is raw and vulnerable, but the truth of the matter is this has always been a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around. Over the past five years, I have been on a journey of dissecting what ‘rest’ looks like for me and understanding why I struggle with it so much. It is not that I do not like naps or enjoying a day off, but I internally feel guilty if I do not have a productive, “check off the list” kind of day. This has been a process of breaking this mental barrier of mine.

So, like I said, it has been a journey and as I have reflected and continue to become more self-aware of my tendencies, I have found that this is deeply rooted from and started at a very young age.

I will paint you a quick picture.
As a six-year-old, my favorite store was the container store. In fact, I got more excited about a new container then the actual doll that would be going inside of it. I started playing soccer at 5, piano at 8, flute at 10 and of course joined the student council in 4th grade, which soon led to me being student council president and senior class president throughout high school. I was involved with club volleyball and played every sport you can imagine. I also was in marching band, media club, prom queen, voted most likely to succeed and the list goes on. This followed me into college, where I joined honor societies and extra curriculars and in every way stretched myself to continue to achieve more. Now, part of this was to build a resume – I will admit, but a large percentage of the time, I thoroughly wanted and chose to be involved in all that I could stretch myself to do. From a younger age, I wanted the gold star and as I got older, I started asking myself the harder questions of why and is this worth my time?

I will admit, I am an over achiever and I happily accept that title, but in the last decade I have been trying to retrain my brain and reevaluate time and how it is spent. The last 3 years have been a journey as I have been finishing up my doctorate, building Imani Collective and growing my family. I am proud of where I am, but I am even more proud of how far I have come.

Many of you will look at my life and say ‘WHOAH – superwoman, you do too much.’ For me, you have to understand that I am high capacity person, I always have been and always will be. It is how the Lord built me, but in this new season, I am trying to take that capacity that I hold and place it in other areas like rest.

What does that look like?

I am actually not quite sure, but what I am excited about is the intentionality I am giving towards it. In about 10 days, I should be expecting my third child and in 2 days, I am for the first time taking a maternity leave. I will say with my second kiddo, Sophie – I at least wrote up a maternity plan for my team, but did not adhere to it at all and with Jadon (firstborn), resting was non-existent. I can still recall me holding a meeting at my house with my country director 5 days after giving birth. She thought I was crazy and still does, I just thought I was being supermom and keeping track to what Jenny always does best and that is ‘DO.’

Now as I look back… she was right. I was absolutely crazy.

With all that to say, I am excited for this new chapter, new intentions, new balance and new priorities. I am excited to give back to myself and learn a new way of thinking. This next step is not going to be easy and in fact, will probably be really hard for me, but I am not giving up on this. I have spent thirty years just going as fast as I can, as hard as I can and not really evaluating or more so, internalizing how I am being intentional with resting not just physically, but also my soul.

This is a time to soul search, be connected to myself on a deeper level and wipe away all those years of guilt for taking time for naps. It is time for me to realize that I am worth more. #shesworthmore

It is finally time for guilt free naps, endless books to be read, and long conversations over coffee to get lost in without a clock dictating my every move.

I am also excited to be sharing this process with you. I will blog when I can (but not setting expectations on myself) and I will show up raw for you on my social handles. I hope that as I dissect this next chapter of my life, that you are encouraged and can apply anything I am learning to your personal journey.

 

Also, if you have any advice, books, practices that I should try that will help with resting and being still, please send my way.

From the recovering workaholic, learning to rest for the first time in her life,

Meet your Newest Craft Guru + 3 Tips of Encouragement

You can now call me the master of crafts and circle time! This has been a crazy time with changing up schedules and losing childcare options. I have now stepped into full time teacher, entertainer, craft guru, while still managing the normal workflow. I know that I am not alone in this as I have been getting calls, texts and seeing many posts all over social media with the same “new schedule”.

Before I move on, I would like you to admire my craft wall my kids and I have created.

OK, thank you for that moment! Now I will give myself a pat on the back, continue to take deep breaths every other hour and navigate another week of creativity. (Thank goodness for google and good friends. What did mothers do before the internet??)

With all that said, I wanted to show up today to continue to encourage all of you, both mothers and fathers, who are navigating home and work life balance during this uncertain time. First, know you are not alone and know that there is no such thing as perfect parents. So, if you are seeing all the well curated posts with pictures displaying the perfect home-school room, well behaved kids and beautiful well thought out activities – PLEASE do not compare yourself to those pictures. I guarantee you on the other side of that perfect picture is a mama getting impatient with her kiddos not posing exactly how she wants, or better yet, a pile of clutter sitting behind her that accumulated 5 seconds before the picture so she could have the room look beautifully organized.

OR maybe not, but I am going to go with yes – the picture is not displaying the whole story, so stop comparing and know your children love you no matter if you make a noodle necklace, draw stick figures on a paper or run in circles all day. THEY STILL LOVE YOU.

We are all perfectly imperfect, so embrace that and know you are doing great!

Now, before I waddle (34 weeks pregnant here) to my kiddos, I have 3 tips to leave you with today in the midst of this pandemic.

1. See the good
We can choose to be inundated by the bad and negative especially in regard to everything going on around us, but strive to see the silver lining and see the good of today. You have an intentional choice to make. You can find the negative and heartache of the world and continue to complain about the new routines or see the good in the midst of it all. Find gratitude and learn to welcome it into your heart.

2. Give yourself Grace
This is a time that is not our normal and we have to start to give ourselves a lot of grace in every little moment. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and not to just push them away. I have found that many of my friends are on a roller coaster with their emotions. One moment they are feeling great and in an instant, they feel overwhelmed with what is actually happening in the world. Let your emotions go, and know again, you are not in this alone. Trust me on this one.

3. Love Deeply
This is a time where we can show up as mother, wife (father, husband), friend, and neighbor. Although we have to be at a distant and we are all navigating this new, temporary way of living – let us still show up for one another.
We are in this together.

From one mama to another – taking it one day at a time,