A few weeks ago, my head was just absolutely spinning. Granted, school was still in session so I was teaching full time, on top of wearing the many other hats that I wear. I had a ton of deadlines for posting for several collaborations, was having writers' block, and I felt like no matter what I did, I couldn't keep my head above the water. I try to have at least one phone conversation a day with my mom and I remember telling her, "I'm missing Grandma and feeling a little envious of what her life looked like."
You see, my Grandma was born in 1913. She lived to be 100-years old and she didn't live in an age of social media, Internet, cell phones or digital cameras. She worked with her hands in a garden that she and my Grandpa grew, she cooked all their meals, baked hundreds of pies, and cleaned the house the old fashioned way: with a mop and giant bucket of soapy water. She wasn't then, completely distracted with a million other things that were going on in the world. Life was about caring for her family and loving the people around her well. She went to church every single Sunday, as well as every mid-week service. She mothered many children, and Grandmothered TONS more. My mom says that she can't remember a single time that my Grandma ever complained or said something negative.
But life now, well, it looks different doesn't it? The roles of women have changed immensely (and thank the Lord, because I personally live in a household where the MAN cooks and helps out so often!) I dedicate a lot of my time to taking pictures, working with other companies in collaborations and sponsorships, and with everything else going on, I usually have to write myself an actual list of things that need to get done or I would absolutely, positively forget. Sometimes my head is so cloudy, my eyes so blurry, that I actually close them and think about how Grandma would do things.
Would she care about her followers on Instagram?
Would she fixate her thoughts on toxic friends or relationships?
Would she panic when someone unfriended her on Facebook?
Would she doubt herself or tell herself that she wasn't good enough?
What do you think? NEVER?! Because if so, you're right. My Grandma's eyes were always fixed on Jesus and the Cross and ensuring that she and her family made it to Heaven. Her life was like a bubbling creek, echoing only the soothing sounds of her peaceful world. Did things in her life ever go wrong? Of course. She lost many of her own children before she passed away, she experienced heartache, hurt, and lived without her husband for twenty-six years. But none of that stopped her.
So recently my husband and I were able to go away on a short and much needed vacation. We woke and rose out of bed only when we wanted to, had as many cups of coffees in our pajamas as we wanted before deciding to get dressed and make plans for the day. We spent several nights in the darkness down by the sea, as the stars glowed around us and we heard nothing but the gentle tide escaping the sand. We didn't have obligations, there was no one around who physically or emotionally needed us. Our children were at home, being well-loved and cared for by the people that we trust. And because of this simplicity, everything for the first time in forever, just felt right.
But the second I woke this morning, my first day back in reality, I found myself feeling a similar array of distraught emotions. I felt a tinge of sadness, overwhelmed and began questioning myself. After several cups of coffee and playing with my incredibly joyful children, this made me stop and ask myself, "Who told you that you have to live a life of shoulds? Who tells you that you have to go and do and chase Earthly things, instead of simply taking life slowly and breathing in your Creator? Does your mind have to be cloudy simply because you aren't waking up on a beach? Do your eyes have to be hazy because you aren't allowing yourself peaceful sleep?"
Lara Casey says it so well in her book Make it Happen: "Maybe a purposeful life means you'll have fewer followers on social media because you aren't glued to your phone as much anymore. Maybe you'll get out in your garden, or paint, or have a long coffee date with someone and build a lasting connection...When we stop chasing those impossible standards and surrender our fears, we become TRULY productive in what matters. We experience genuine fulfillment, an imperfect yet intentional life, driven by a clear core purpose."
How many of you are there with me? Do you let life clutter your brain? Do you find yourself wondering if you are loved, or if you are worth someone's friendship? Do you bog yourself down with check-lists and overcommitment? Do you allow trivial worries to wreck your happiness? Well today I am standing with you and cautioning you to please stop. You are worth more than all of that, you are deserving of so much more and simply put: YOU ARE ENOUGH.
I can't wait to write more about our beach trip, about the many lessons that it taught me and what I learned during our four days away, but in the mean time, please know that I believe in you. I say it often and I'll say it again, I think social media is weird. I believe that there is a lot of good that comes with it, like positive friendships with people from all over the world, that it brings a sense of community and introduces us to some seriously great individuals. But if we let it, it also does a great job at ripping us apart from one another. I can't tell you how many times I have questioned someone's love for me based on their caption, how I have considered deleting my account and 'getting off the grid.' But I daily choose to use it to share my story, as a space to write my words and use my voice. To document life and show ya'll the messy but beautiful obstacles my family overcomes.
How are you feeling this Monday afternoon? Do you feel revitalized from a refreshing weekend? Have you had an inspiring quiet time that you want to share? Or do you feel too bogged down, too uninspired, and you're in need of a quick prayer and huge hug? Share in the comments below because I LOVE hearing from you! Or shoot me an e-mail! Wherever you are, I'm here praying and cheering you on!