I hit a point where exhaustion was my normal, sleep seemed overrated, and everyone got the worst of me. but I had done it…I was self made, self taught, self promoted, self “fill in the blank” but in all that “self”, the important things were forgotten. we live in an age where anything we want to know or learn is available to us…we can reinvent ourselves into whatever we want, and in doing so, we can become our own god if we aren’t careful. what we invest in can tip the scale so much so, we are consumed by it. I thought I had everything to do with the growth of this business when in reality, the “givens” of it, the skill set…God gave me those gifts, I just had enough common sense to pay attention to them. This business wasn’t mine, it was His, I just got entrusted with it and here I was thinking I planned the whole thing out. one thing was for sure, i did have a whole lot to do with allowing it to over take my life. we have a way sometimes of messing up good things. just me? when you forget a close friends kids birthday party, and you even did the signage for it, thats bad. insert ‘girl raising her hand’ emoji except with an embarrassed sheepish look.
i had created this thing for this person and i didn’t even like who i needed to be to fill it. i didn’t really like what i was having to sacrifice to maintain it. because in maintaining something that is all consuming, it has to remain all consuming. i set the standard of no boundaries so to continue that course meant continuing with no boundaries, and how far beyond those no boundaries would it actually go? the thought of that and what else i would actually lose along the way terrified me.
so i threw my hands up. i said no, for the first time that year, and I almost sent a “just kidding” follow up but the Holy Spirit must have bound my fingers because against all that was in me, i didn’t, i lingered on ‘no’. then i said no again, and again, and again, and for a little over a month i didn’t touch work. not one project. not one email. not even creating for myself. i almost had a bitterness towards it…i was almost mad that it stole so much, but then more mad because i allowed it. i needed breathing room. and the “no’s” gave it to me. and the air quality was outstanding.
the wind blew that fresh air wildly around all the areas of my life. i needed a mindset shift so i picked three areas that had suffered the past year and ordered twelve books that spoke to the heart of them. my book loot arrived and i started right away. the words on the pages were water to dry land. my gaze began to refocus and i quite liked the view. two wild-heart-toe-heads that i enjoyed, and were no longer just my duty. a sexy man i wanted to know the inner workings of again instead of just appease with surface conversation. the view was beautiful, and i quite liked having boundaries in sight and sacred space once again. the intentionally investing in myself impacted how I invested in my family, my friends. praise God for grace because they were arms wide open, instead of holding my absence against me. sure i had still been there, but i certainly wasn’t present.
i walked into my closet one day and was totally caught off guard…it was like blinders were removed. it was excessive. it was too much. i couldn’t even see what i had hanging there because i had so much. how much of this do i wear? gosh how much do i even like? so i researched, simplifying your wardrobe. i was simplifying everything else so why not this.
and CAPSULE it was. i found Caroline’s website unfancy.com and began going through her worksheets. in a split second upon finishing, the closet was completely emptied and the process of letting go was underway. truly thats what it is, you need to know that upfront. its a letting go. letting go of feelings i didn’t know i expected clothes to make me feel, letting go of ideas about myself that weren’t true. ya’ll i bought a shirt i never wore from a place i don’t really ever shop, but i remember when i bought it i was in a phase after our second kid of trying to be more conservative and look more like “a mom” whatever that means. so many things like that though, clothes were never meant to fill my identity or define who i am. fashion is an expression of what i ALREADY KNOW I am, not what gets me there.
so thats my why…CAPSULE-ing not because its a hot topic, but because it was needed. SO needed. i started a book shortly after i set my first wardrobe. it was a God send. all the work i had been doing the past few months…ohhh and it was work, pulling out the weeds from my garden, tilling the soil for new life, refocusing on what God intended this business to be and not what i made it into…this book was like the confirmation of all that, affirming it, saying well done now keep going. its words became the seeds for new growth in the new season i was now heading into. winter was over. the first book i read this year, The Deborah Anointing, talked about seasons. it was interesting to me because my mentality around winter prior to reading it, was that it was a season of death, all the things dying, bleakness, barrenness. so negative right? but what i learned…winter is the time to do intentional work and to rest. because do you know what comes next, spring! the spring rain watering the earth (Hosea 6:3). but what will bloom if you never clear out what has passed and prepare and plant for whats to come. winter is a season of slowing down, and preparing. and this was the first year I’ve done that in a long while.
spring is now here. the rain is falling. the fruits of labor are beginning to show their first colors, their first buds, their thriving.
“it never occurred to me that they intentionally kept it small, that they intentionally kept it simple.” - Present over Perfect