I Needed Rest.

Last weekend was INSANELY good. My good friend (and insanely talented photographer!) got half of the photos done for the new collection before we got rained out. Sunday was filled with church and lunch with friends. After filling our bellies at Panera, my girlfriend and I drug our guys to the craft store. They discussed all sorts of man stuff (Motors? Carpentry? Who really knows… ) while we ooh’d and ahh’d over washi tape.

Then came Monday. It wasn’t a BAD day… but have you ever felt that “let-down” after a busy, full week? There’s something about finishing up a big project that makes me feel a bit… empty, maybe. Do you get that too? I love the feeling of that last-minute push, and seeing a huge amount of productivity happening right in front of my eyes.

So this monday’s feeling was a bit unnerving, like I should be doing something new and exciting… but I was also not quite ready to pick up the next project. Like I was somehow in a crafting limbo. 😂

When you need to rest, listen to your GUT.

I mulled around the house for a while, soothing a cranky toddler and getting breakfasts. Then I snuggled on the bed and picked up my journal. After scribbling and talking to Jesus for awhile, I very distinctly felt the word  REST  pressing on my soul.

I didn’t want to rest, but knew I needed it. I felt wiped. But I was also worrying about the work I needed to do. “Just REST.” I reminded myself.

 

I needed to let myself  REST  after the busy.

To  CELEBRATE  the things I’ve accomplished.

To RECOUP for the next big things.

 

Resting is harder than it sounds. Like any normal human, I questioned my need for rest off and on all day. 😜 I felt lazy, but also very low in energy. So, I snuggled the kids. Took a short nap, ironed new clothing tags, and watched PLENTY of Netflix. I ended the day with Alex and the kids at Chick-Fil-A. It was SUCH a good day. 😌

 

When you need to rest, listen to your GUT.

The whole day, I had worried that my “crafting slump” would carry into the next few days (which it has often done). But when I woke up on Tuesday morning, I felt SO refreshed, and ready to roll. I knocked out the grocery list, ran a few other errands, made lunch, and did a CRAZY amount of chores & food prep. By the end of the day, I was that good kind of tired.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned time and time again… it’s a good idea to listen to that little voice in the back of your head. You know the one. That “gut” instinct you often have, but often choose to ignore. The one that tells you to rest. The one that tells you that your new idea is a good one, but you’re too scared to listen.

When you need to rest, listen to your GUT.

 


Wishing you a day of rest when you need it… & the courage to listen to your gut. 😉

Real Love.

We’re bombarded by LOVE this month. Fuzzy heart pillows, and boxes of candy lining the aisles. There are greeting cards, dozens of red roses and stuffed teddy bears. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a total romantic, and LOVE this holiday. BUT:

I’m afraid we’re forgetting some important things about REAL LOVE in our celebration.

 

We’re forgetting the hurting. The widows and widowers who miss their loved ones. We’re forgetting the divorced, the broken-hearted, and the single. Because… love is more than mushy feelings and chocolate kisses. Much, MUCH more.

 

It’s found in the heart of a sleepless mother keeping watch over her fevered baby. The broken-hearted prayers of a couple trying to hold their marriage together, when the feelings of love has long-since gone. It’s the heart of a woman who opens up her home and listens to a friend talk until 1 a.m.

You see… real love isn’t always comfortable. It’s not always easy. Honestly, real love often feels like you’re slogging uphill with mud caked around your wellies. Real love is found in the hurting. The moments when you’re not sure that you can keep going.

Real Love: Hang on to the people you care about, and don't let go.

Real love is when you bite your tongue before you say hurtful things to your best friend. Sometimes it’s opening your mouth and speaking some truth over a bad situation… even if it feels uncomfortable. Real love can be standing your ground… or letting go of something you’ve been holding on to.

I’ve seen men set aside their own ambitions to take care of their newborn baby while their wife fights depression. I’ve watched wives working hard to bring home the bacon, while their husbands struggle with chronic illnesses and raise the kids. Single women who open their doors, and hearts to care for hurting friends.

Real love gets right down into to dirt of life. It gets messy. It takes on work and burdens that we’re not sure we can handle.

Real Love: Hang on to the people you care about, and don't let go.

Maybe that’s why we celebrate love in February. A month when we’re longing for winter to be over, and for the flowers to bloom again. Because when life’s circumstances feel cold and heartless, love can step in. Real love. The kind that hangs on to you no matter how bad the winter. The kind that doesn’t give up even when it seems like everything is cold and dark and dead.

 

Please hear me:

REAL LOVE doesn’t require a significant other, a dozen roses, or any of the trimmings that everyone is trying to sell you right now.

Just hang on to the people you love, and don’t let go.

Real Love: Hang on to the people you care about, and don't let go.

 

I hope you’ll help me share this message and encourage others to celebrate REAL love on Valentine’s Day! Share this blog post on Facebook, and please share a photo of someone you know who DOES love everyday! Use the hashtag #chasingreallove .

February Journal Prompts

Hello, dear friends!

It’s the start of a new month! I started this blog post and half-way through writing the intro I realized I had more to write than I had first realized on the topic of love. 😊 So for now, I’m simply here to share February’s Journaling Prompts with you all.

FebruaryJournalingPrompts

(FYI: I’m not focusing on romance in them… because… there are singles in this world. But I’ll save my thoughts on real love for a later date! 😆 ) Click the picture below (OR CLICK HERE) to download a printable copy of the prompts!

I hope these inspire you to keep a daily practice of writing. ❤️

 


 

 

Write Your OWN Story.

The world we live in is an AMAZING one. I love the technology and connectedness that is constantly at my fingertips. At any point, I can text a friend, get creative ideas from Pinterest, or be inspired scrolling through my Instagram feed.

BUT. There can be too much of a good thing.

When I came across this quote on Pinterest, it felt like it snugged down into my soul:

I’ve been pondering over this idea for a few days now: that we should focus on what WE’RE doing, and less on what other people are doing. It’s begun to change a few of my actions, too.

Because sometimes, I have to be reminded to set the screen aside and get my hands dirty. To stop reading other people’s work, and open up that blank page. Stop saying “I want to” and exchange that for “I’m DOING.”

We are in such a saturated world. The internet is saturated with good ideas, everyone’s stunningly decorated homes, fancy little crafts to do with the toddlers, and SO much more. There’s homemade bread and beauty recipes, 18,000 different diets to try, and a dozen “right” ways to parent, keep a schedule, write a blog… you get the idea.

Maybe we just need to stop for a second, and put the screens down. Stop and remember that you can choose what kind of life you want. Realize that the people on the other side of the screen aren’t perfect; they’ve just chosen to live WELL. (And they probably struggle when they see your adorably perfect family on Instagram, too!)

 

Here’s my encouragement to you today:

Start today. Write your own story.

Start writing your OWN story - instead of just dreaming & wishing for a better life.

What’s one thing you need to STOP thinking about, and start DOING instead?
(Let’s chat in the comments below!)

 


On Slow Mornings, and Rest.

I woke up early. Well, earlier than usual, at 7:00 (Alex & I are both night owls.) The kids were still sleeping, and the house was quiet. I snuck out into the living room, praying that nobody woke up. Z-man did, went to the potty and searched for his “Bunners,” a security toy he’s had since he was a newborn.

Bunners found, I headed back to enjoy the little quiet time I had left. Bible, Jesus, Sole Water. The kids got up around 8, and I got them breakfast: waffles, syrup, and “fluff” (my Mom’s favorite term for Whipped Cream 😆). A bit of business work, laying out the day ahead of me.

Give Yourself Permission to REST.

 

Then it hit me: I was TIRED. Like, couldn’t keep my eyes open tired. The kids were playing with a newly opened Christmas toy, so they were happy and busy in front of me. So, I took a nap. (Yes, at 10:00 in the morning.)

Because, REST. I’ve been steadily working on my health for almost a year now. My body has gone from exhausted and depleted to much healthier, and a part of that journey is knowing when I need to rest. (I’ve struggled with being VERY tired… Helloooo, toddlers! 😜)

Part of living slowly is listening to your body. Knowing when it needs rest. When you need to take the morning off from working and play, and take a nap instead. It’s something I’m constantly working on; to stop pushing myself so hard. To be comfortable with the ebb and flow of each day.

Let Yourself Rest

When I woke up, it was time for a cup of coffee and to start working on that to-do list. Keep my toddlers from emptying the toiler paper roll, making lunches… maybe a second cup of coffee (or some hot tea!). 😂 I’m finding that I am more productive when I allow my body to get the rest that it needs. My energy levels are slowly rising… as long as I take care of myself.

 


How About YOU?

Do you find that you need extra rest? Are you letting your body get the rest it needs, or are your pushing yourself too far? Let me encourage you today: Let yourself REST. 

 

How can you make time for extra rest or self-care?

My 2018 Word of the Year.

Back in 2014, I heard about choosing a word of the year instead of setting resolutions. I’ve never been really keen on resolutions. Because; let’s be honest: they are usually forgotten before January is half over. 😂 My Mom first mentioned the idea of picking a word for the new year, and for some reason that idea really appealed to me.

Picking a word for me start with some Jesus time and prayer at the end of the year. I like to see if a particular word starts surfacing a lot. I’ve had a word of the year ever since then (2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017). The best part about choosing a word is looking back and seeing where my word has surfaced and what I learned in the course of 365 days. My 2018 Word of the Year: Scale

I’ll be honest, when this word kept popping into my head, I was like “Really? It’s kind of a weird word…” But already I’ve begun to see this theme entwining into this new year.

 

My 2018 Word of the Year: Scale

Alex and I are both ambitious entrepreneurs, and we are both hoping to scale both of our businesses this year. As our plans begin to form, I can see that this year will be a good, but hard one. Scaling   UP  ➢  Chasing Wonderment will start with creating some simple routines that will help me be more consistent over time.

I’m also hoping that scaling up my business will allow me to scale   BACK ↩︎   in the extreme hours I spend working. That sounds backwards, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing: I am OBSESSED with business, it’s just about all I think about. I’ve set aside a LOT of personal projects in lieu of business projects. This year I’m planning to set the work down and give myself a break!

Lastly, I’m hoping that scale will go   DOWN  ↘︎  this year! As the kids are getting older (and less needy), I’m also hoping to make time for consistent exercise. Going to a natural doctor last year has set me on a really good course towards feeling healthy, and I’m looking forward to the weight loss that will follow as my body begins to heal. (Two babies back to back really threw my body for a loop!)

 

How about you: did you pick a Word for this year?
Please share in the comments below! 👇🏻


Memory Keeping with the One Second Everyday – 2017

One of my biggest goals for 2017 was to stay consistent with a really awesome memory keeping app that I downloaded in 2016. One Second Everyday is an app that allows you to take a tiny, one-second video each day. At the end of the year the app packs it into a short video that your family can keep forever!

Memory Keeping with One Second Everyday

2017 is the year I actually did it.

While I didn’t take a video Every. Single Day., I still managed to be consistent over the entire year, and couldn’t be happier with our end-of-year mash-up! 😍 It’s been SO much fun to see our entire year in this short clips! Our 2017 video is packed full of with clips of our adventures, and getting to see the kids growth over an entire year is amazing.

I thought you might like to see our final video!

 

This memory keeping app is available to download for $4.99 in the iTunes store!

 

(This is NOT a sponsored post – I honestly LOVE the app and wanted to share it with you!)

Bullet Journaling: A One-Year Review.

Here we are; a new year. 2018. Just the idea of having a brand new slate is SO exciting to me. 😍 At the end of 2017, I was really excited to flip through my bullet journal. The best part of bullet journaling is being able to see an entire year’s worth of tasks, notes, creative ideas, and scribbles all in one place. 😱 I wanted to do a one-year review to share some of what I’ve learned using the bullet journal system for an entire year.

Bullet Journaling: A One Year Review

It’s A L L in one place!

For R E A L S. I’m incredibly scatter-brained! While I am usually very careful to take notes and write down important things… I’m really bad at remembering where I put them. Being a paper & pen kinda girl, I always had 10 different notebooks filled with 400,000 different things. (I rarely use my phone for notes) This is a one-size-fits-all notebook! I use it for custom orders, designing new products, and even Sunday sermon notes.

Bullet Journaling 101: Daily List Page Design

 

I’ve become more goal-oriented.

I’ve never been a schedule person. In fact, strict schedules make me want to curl up in a fetal position and cry. Using my bullet journal, I can see over the course of a month what I need (and want!) to get done, and since it’s consistently in front of me, I am reminded of the goals I want to accomplish!

Bullet Journaling 101: Book List Page Design

 


What has changed in a year?

 

Bullet Journaling: A One-Year Review

 

My daily layout is changing.

Towards the end of the year, I started realizing that I needed to change my daily layout format into a weekly layout. As I’m scheduling out further into the future, it’s becoming more necessary to see an entire week laid out in front of me. For the majority of 2017, I was using a daily checklist, and I made the switch in December to play around with the layout. (To see how it worked and what I would need to change or streamline.)

Bullet Journal Weekly Layout.

 

I’m planning further ahead.

Aas my business is growing and the kids are getting older, I’m finding that I need to plan further and further out. I’ve added a 2018 and 2019 calendar page so I can jot down important dates months in advance. I am also using Tara Swiger’s book, “Map Your Business” (it could be used for yearly planning even if you don’t have a business!), which will involve setting up quarterly plans.

Bullet Journaling: A One-Year Review

 

A few more Thoughts on Bullet Journaling:

 


January Journal Prompts

It’s a new month… AND a new year!!! There’s nothing I love more than the excitement of January. I always feel so encouraged and energized. Planning, preparing, and writing down all the hopes & dreams of a new year is SO exciting. 😍

If you’re been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that I’m a HUGE fan of journaling, and use a personal “quiet time” journal as well as a bullet journal. Each month this year I’m planning to create a list of special journaling prompts for you. I hope this month’s prompts encourage you to set goals, dream big… & look towards the new year with hope and joy!

(Click the picture below to download a printable copy!)

 

 

I hope you enjoy welcoming in the new year with these daily writing prompts!

So, tell me… what’s your B I G G E S T hope for the New Year?

 


 

Celebrating 2017.

How was 2017 for you? 2017 has been so, SO good to us. I’ve done a LOT of growing, a lot of learning… and now I’m now excitedly planning for the new year. Before I start sharing some of my dreams for 2018, I wanted to share a few highlights with you from this past year.

I learned that it’s okay to need SPACE:

Being a stay-at-home-mom is HARD. Especially when you’re also trying to start a small business. There has been a LOT of self-inflicted guilt, high expectations, and frustration over trying to make this lifestyle work. This year has been a time of learning that it’s OKAY to need space. It’s okay for me to need regularly scheduled time away from my sweet little munchkins… and to MAKE it happen.

Schedules CAN be useful:

I’m a free-spirit. I don’t like to be tied down by schedules, by commitments… by anything, really. 😂 However, I’m beginning to learn how to create a routine (Yay, Bullet Journaling!) that doesn’t make me feel tied down, but that still allows me to accomplish the necessary things I need to do in order to grow and build Chasing Wonderment while keeping up with all the daily things (like chores… YUCK).

Bullet Journaling 101: Daily List Page Design

It’s OKAY to put down the phone:

This is the year I started putting my phone down more. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and found a routine for scheduling my Instagram posts. Mostly, I allowed myself to back away from pressure to answer immediately whenever I got a call or text. It’s been GLORIOUS.

Learning to make time for ME:

I’m really bad at self-care and making margin for myself. At the beginning of the year, I was pretty burnt out. I started this year out writing 30 Days of Slow… and honestly, it was as much for myself as it was for the 70+ people that have worked through it since then! I’ve been working on slowing down, learning to rest, and listening to my body so I can be there for everyone who needs me.

Dealing with Overwhelm - Find your triggers and apply these three tips to help fight overwhelm!

The TWO clothing collections from 2017!

I couldn’t be more pleased with the two collections that came out this year. The Well Collection was inspired by a desire to live well; to slow down, live in freedom, and feel whole. The Winterlust Collection was inspired by the chilly winter weather, wanderlust, and adventures. 😍 These collections couldn’t have happened without the creative genius of Sam, the photographer behind ALL of the stunning images in the shop.

A Simple Christmas.

Over the past few years, we’ve chosen to have a simple Christmas. Our tree went up, but all it held was a strand of lights. Christmas stockings were hung, but all the “extras” didn’t get added to the shelves and walls. .The decision was partly because of Alex’s hectic work schedule: he just didn’t have the time to get the decorations down! However, it’s also because we love simplicity during this season.

Simple Christmas Decor, Minimalist Christmas

We were wondering what to do this year. Should we get all the decorations down this year, or just keep it simple again?

Last weekend Alex went to get a Christmas tree… Z-man BEGGED to go with daddy. Miss T and I stayed home and snuggled up with a good movie. He came home with the top of a cedar tree… it was weirdly shaped and the epitome of a Charlie Brown tree. 😂 When I began putting sparkly lights a few nights ago… ALL the cedar needles began falling off. This weekend we’ll be hunting for Christmas tree #2. 😂

Simple Christmas Decor, Minimalist Christmas

To be honest, I’ve felt like Charlie Brown when it comes to Christmas these past few years. The pressure to have the perfect gifts and a perfectly decorated tree makes me wonder:

 

What is Christmas REALLY about?

 

It is a season where Everything. Must. Be. PERFECT? Or maybe it’s more about enjoying this special season, celebrating the birth of a perfect Savior, and less about the stuff.

Simple Christmas

It’s about loving on those around us.

There’s nothing I love more than spending time with family and friends. That’s the best part of this season; getting to be with those we don’t get to see that often. Laughing around the dinner table as Auntie tells the BEST stories. Hearing tales of when we were kids, watching the little ones open their presents…  and making new memories made with friends we hold dear.

This season should be FILLED with grace.

We have been given so much, so freely. Just pause for a minute, and let that reality permeate into your soul. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t need to have the perfect tree, or go into debt buying the perfect gifts. I can almost hear Jesus whispering “Rest, weary child. Just REST. There’s no need for all this worry over such temporary things.”

Simple Christmas Decor, Minimalist Christmas

So, it’s another Simple Christmas for us. I spent a few hours gathering some greenery in the backyard for window decorations, and the stockings are hung on the mantle… And I love it. I want to spend my time enjoying the people I love, watching Christmas movies and drinking hot cocoa… because to me, that’s what Christmas is all about.

The first Christmas was pretty simple. Why can’t it still be today?


What’s your favorite part of Christmas?

Things You Need to See (Vol. 1)

I’ve never been good at these link round-ups. Not on a routine basis, anyways. (Actually, I never stick with any one thing for too long… not a big fan of routine over here! 😜) However, I often come across articles, ideas, or beautiful things that I want to remember or share with you!

So here we go:

  • A Book Advent Calendar. Seriously, this is the BEST idea! No need to spend lots of money or give candy (if you’re against that kind of thing)… simply wrap up your favorite Christmas books (maybe supplement with a few from Nana’s house!)… & read your way to Christmas. 😍
  • You HAVE to follow on Barbara over on Instagram. She has the most simple, beautifully stunning feed. (And a lovely accent!)
  • The White Envelope. Wait a minute… I have to blow my nose. Seriously… grab your tissues before you read this. 😭😭😭 It made me re-think (yet again!) the meaning of Christmas.
  • OH! Don’t forget that Winterlust, my new clothing line came out on Monday! There’s plenty of time to get your orders shipped before Christmas! (I’ll be putting a rush on anything that has to be made!)

 


Share something that’s been inspiring you below!