I recently read this post by my good friend Diana at The Girl Creative, and I have to say – it so inspired me to write this post. Sometimes you just have a stream of consciousness, and you need to get it all out.

How do we keep life in perspective while trying to run a successful blog? How do we keep our priorities straight?

It is so easy to get caught up in it all, I know I have had those days. Days when I put my kids on the back burner because I keep checking my Facebook page, or check for comments on my post. Days when I like to browse everyone else’s posts, and ‘Pin’ away. Days when my daughter has actually said to me, ‘Mom – your computer is not as important as me being on the bus on time’ (mind you – she has always been on the bus on time! She has anxiety over making mistakes which we are working on). But just that the words came out of her mouth, what do you mean? Have I ever let you miss it? Do you think I value the computer more than you my darling?

We have all had those days, we have all been there. Our blogs give us a creative outlet, a place outside of our kids to just BE. Something that doesn’t say our name over and over and over again, something that doesn’t whine and make us wipe runny noses or stinky butts, something that doesn’t throw a tantrum because their toy won’t stand up straight. It is our sanctuary away from it all, our nice little pretty place we can escape to. And not only that, but it is our place where we can talk to other women who are in the same exact position we are in. That share our interests, have kids of their own, love to create, and sometimes even share our dreams. I know I can post something – whether it be something that is getting me down, or something I am excited about – and I will get encouragements from others over it.

Romans 12:15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

It is one of the many small joys I have found in the blogging world.  But how do you keep it all in perspective? How do I not let it overrun my life, and become my number one priority?

Firstly, I always try to remember that Jesus says to love your neighbor as yourself. Mathew 22: 39

So what does this mean, how do I do this?

I try to make lots of appointments throughout the week. I schedule pre-planned playdates for the kids, I set up BBQs with friends in advance, and I try to have family get togethers pre-planned. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of spontaneous activities as well. But by having these pre-planned events it forces me to STEP AWAY.

I learned a long time ago to always let my ‘yes be yes’, and my ‘no be no’ – Mathew 5:37

It was a hard lesson, but one I am glad I learned. (And even more glad that my friends stuck by my side through that time in my early adulthood!) But by learning that lesson, I now know that if I commit to something, I stick with it no matter what (unless my kids get sick or some other unforeseeable act of God occurs).

What that means is that if I pre-plan a playdate, or BBQ of some sort, it forces me to step away from my blog or my sewing and engage with my friends. To have real making memories time. The lasting, more important kind that your kids will cherish! I don’t care about the mess it makes in my house from people tramping in and out from the backyard (well, yes I do – but I don’t let it bother me at that moment – ha!), I don’t care if my kids stay up late one night of the week so we can roast marshmallows after the sun sets, and I dont care if they go to bed dirty sometimes – what I care about is the time we spent together as a family and the time we loved our friends.

Another way I try to love our neighbors as I would myself, is by helping when someone asks. Because lets face it, life isn’t pre-planned!

Recently I had a friend call whose husband is in the military. He got a hole in his pants and didn’t know what to do because inspection was the next day! There was no time to get new pants hemmed, as it was Sunday and all of the local tailors were closed. Could I help?

You know, I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to do that day – but when that little voice speaks to you, you know you have to help. This man and his family serve our country, and make great sacrifices for us in their life. Can I set aside my simple plan for the day and hem a pair of pants? Of course I can, come on over any time you would like – and I will put everything else aside to hem these pants to perfection for you. Not only that, but why don’t you leave your daughter here afterwards and I will watch her while her and Chloe have a playdate! I will call you in a couple of hours to come pick her up.

Sometimes it is small acts like this in every day life that can make a big difference. It is the small things that your kids will remember, the small acts that make others smile, and the small acts of love that make another feel special. So at the end of the day, I try to remember what is TRULY important – is it getting that skirt done on my timeline, or is it the person standing next to me?  

And more often that not, the person standing next to me is under 4 feet tall.  But more on that later.

I also like to give, give, give! I give away some of the clothes I make. You know all of those hand me downs, or the handmade clothing you make your kids that you hold onto, thinking one day you might need them? Isn’t it all just STUFF?!! Why keep hanging on to it? It is just another thing to weigh you down. How about letting it go. Do you know how happy it makes people to receive a very large bag of clothing for their little one? And not just the things that are easy to give, but the handmade items, or dresses you fell in love with when you bought them. That is not to say I dont have some handmade keepsakes, but with the amount I create – I can easily give some and make someone else’s day with it!

Want to stash bust? How about instead of finding a project to make, going through your fabric and getting a box of fabric to give to someone who may not have the money to buy a bunch of fabric at the moment?  When someone comments on something they like of mine, often they will get one of their very own. Its something that gives me joy.

Another thing about blogging – the thing we always take for granted in our lives.  Our husbands.  Your husband absolutely needs to be on board with what you are doing! If he isn’t, it is NOT worth it. My husband knows how important this is to me, he knows I am trying to start a business – and he fully supports me. We recently sat down and had a talk about it even, just to be sure we were on the same page. Where are we going with this? How do we know what to pray for, what are we sowing seeds for so we know what harvest to expect and reap?  Is it turning from a hobby into something else?

It is easy for me to take the time away from my husband and put it towards the blog. He is the one who is supposed to love me the most and understand. And sometimes I do. Times when I know I could be spending with him will go towards a blog post. But more often than not, I really try to make my evening time spent with him. Once the kids go down, we spend our time together. One night a week we try to have an at home date night – where we cook with each other and dine in candlelight. We are also looking into other ways to strengthen our marriage – turning off the TV and playing a board game instead, or finding other ways to build intimacy.

In all of this…

Sometimes I still fall over on all of these points, and sometimes I do great. But through it all I remember one thing. I remember that it is only by God’s GRACE that we are saved. No matter how hard I try, no matter how many acts of kindness I do, and no matter how many church services I attend, it is ONLY through HIS GRACE.  After all, He is still supposed to come first.

God wants to be a part of your every day life. As I mentioned earlier, it is in the little things. So when I am sewing something for someone else, I pray for them while I am doing it. I listen to worship music in the background sometimes, or on the rare occasion I remember – I might have a podcast going. I don’t always get a chance to pick up my bible, in fact I admit I haven’t done it in a while. I wake up with the kids lately, whereas I used to wake up before them. I would like to remedy this and start setting my alarm to get up earlier. I like starting the day off with that quiet time. But I am thankful God is a good God, and just the simple act of saying, ‘God, be with me today’ helps me know that He is by my side always.  Heck, He is there even when I don’t say it – and thank God for that!  Literally.

And back to my kids – who are the innocents. The ones we are called to raise, our number one job. The ones we guilt ourselves over if we aren’t playing play-doh with them every second of every day. Just remember, your kids are going to love you no matter what. And you love your children no matter what. That doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking minute with them doing arts and crafts. Play time alone is good for them! It helps them to use their imagination and sparks independence, teaching them to learn and grow.  *Note – I am not downing on those who do spend all of their time happily playing with their kids, some people genuinely enjoy this and I am so in awe of these people!

I have a pretty good schedule going during the week, which my kids can depend on. The mornings are usually Mommy time (unless they get hijacked by a doctors appointment or other incident), but once I get the kids dressed and fed and for some of them, off to school – from about 9am to 11am, they have some independent play time and TV time. After that – we go and do something. We get out of the house! Sometimes it is for errands (no fun for them, but part of life). And sometimes it is to go to the park or other kid friendly place – but we do it!  Naptime happens every day in our house come 1:30 – 3:30 (more Mommy time – yeah)! And after naptime the kids have me for the rest of the day until bed. More outside time, playtime, playdate time, whatever. But we are doing it together. And after bed, it is hubby time.

That gives me about 4 hours each day to spend on the computer or in front of the sewing machine or however else I choose – not bad I would say, and I feel like it is a pretty good balance. So when you ask me how I get it all done, that is my schedule.  I don’t shop, I don’t watch TV, I put all my free time into my passion – sewing.  

And when my kids come up to me when I am in the middle of sewing a line, or reading or writing something – sometimes I tell them to give me a minute, and sometimes I stop right away.  But I will always turn aside and give them my undivided attention to hear what they have to say.  This way they know they are important, they are heard, and they are respected.  

Sure, there are days when this doesn’t work out. But this is the norm. So when you ask how I find time to do the things I do – there it is in a nutshell.

But just remember, God loves you no matter what. He loves your kids no matter what. And He wants you to be happy. He wants to give you the desires of your heart!

Psalm 37: 3-4
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

He wants you to be happy, to live a full and happy life in Him. Invite Him to be a part of your life, lay your blog down at His feet – more than likely He will give it back to you. But remember, everything is about perspective and priorities.

And if you feel you need a blog break to get them back in line, then that is exactly what you should do. Way to go Diana for taking the initiative!

 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…

Happy Sewing!