This verse does not describe me. But, it is constant on my mind and a regular prayer of my heart. Interrupting our regularly scheduled program to talk from the heart today. I promise this won't be a habit, hah! I do pray, though, that this post encourages those who could use some encouraging. And couldn't we all? :)
I'm just gonna dive into it, okay? A woman loses so much more than her body after having a child. She is forever changed from the inside out. This is both an amazing, (and fast), transformation, as well as completely rattling and terrifying. Matt and I had three babies within 16 months; boy-girl twins and then the sweetest surprise of a lifetime. Our days were long and full and our nights were short, (and also full). Before I knew it, I was unsure of what to do with myself when I wasn't doing for my babes, and in those precious overlaps where they were miraculously sleeping at the same time, I was feelin' a little lost
Anxiety set in quick. What if I wouldn't know how to socialize with adults anymore?)! What if I couldn't think of anything to talk about and I'd become that new Mom updating everyone on her kids' bowel movements?! I needed to do something to connect to the world I missed being a part of. God created me an extrovert, and the truth of the matter was that while I reveled in being a Momma to Colin, Shire and Mason, I missed the world outside our walls. And I was afraid of losing myself stuck inside them.
When our twins were 10 months old and I was a few months pregnant with our third, I started thrifting for furniture to refinish and fill our new and empty home. After our Mason was born I picked up the pace, packing the kids in the car and grabbing whatever I could for under $15 to flip and resell. It was an unusual outing to take with a double stroller full of babies, bottles, and burp cloths, and a baby strapped to my torso, but we were all brave and it was a little slice of freedom from the house. Their afternoon nap was my work time in the garage. Some days that meant 2 solid hours, other days that meant, well, nothing. However much time I'd get in those quiet moments working in the garage, I would take my Momma hat off and just 'be'.
Refinishing furniture has lead to the beautiful gift of interaction, fellowship, and serving others, (and the extra income has been a blessing). My children have grown up understanding my work and how it has molded into the business my incredible sister-in-law, Cate, and I now co-own together. They get it. Since 'extra' time to run a home business has never existed in my personal situation, I've blended my children into it. With a creative business, there's a beautiful opportunity to invite little ones to observe, learn and try what you do! My babes were my first 'business partners' and have happily ridden this ride with me from the very beginning. And while I can't tell if refinishing furniture will be something that sticks with them into adulthood, (although they're constantly requesting that we go to the thrift store and love weighing in on what comes home and what doesn't), I pray that they find a passion of their own one day that the Lord will use to bless their lives and others' in unimaginable ways.
It sure has blessed mine. This sweet girl, painting her first piece.
Balancing motherhood and a small business is hard and difficult and presents challenges every day. I don't have the answers on how to make it all go right, but I can offer this; it'll be alright. Be brave and confident in the Lord. He will guide you and He goes before you. He has given me the courage to say yes when an opportunity is right, and no when it's wrong. He has laid out this path before me and is gently encouraging every step - and let me tell you, I don't often know what the next step will be until it's right in front of my nose! But I will focus on Him who created this passion and joy within me, and 'laugh without fear at the days to come.' Don't you love those words!?
If you are a stay-at-home-parent and small business owner, or are thinking about starting one, I am an open book on this subject and always up for a chat! Whether you just want to share your experience or perhaps have any personal questions, please feel welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll respond, I promise!
Thank you so much for stopping by; I love sharing from my heart with you all! Stay tuned for a major transformation packed with exciting deets - new product love, new technique love, and an unusual durability test. It's a doozie!