the balancing act
lady boss - 1 wife - 0
This idea of "doing it all" can be damn hard sometimes. Am I right ladies? My whole life I dreamed that one day I would be the ideal wife. The Proverbs 31 wife we all strive to be. Cooking all the meals, taking care of the house and the future littles. Sweeping & singing, cooking & cleaning and all the while caring for my husband and going above and beyond like I did when we first started dating.
But that's not the only dream I had. I also dreamed of living my dreams. The one's God designed just for me. Touring the world with my music. Running a successful business. Writing anything and everything I could get my little creative hands on. And making designated time for Mr. Charming and I to entertain and spend time with the people we care most about outside of just the two of us.
But somedays, ok, most days, doing both is just. Really hard. I like to think I'm pretty good with time management. On good days I start the day in prayer and focused, taking quiet time with God to set my intentions for the day. Then, I make my lists and my schedule. But then there are the days when the motivation lacks, the jobs take longer to complete, new meetings are scheduled, or the puppy rolls in mud requiring a 20 minute bath before dinner, and the schedule gets 1, 2 or even four hours behind.
I say this because today I've taken on a large freelance client, three social media clients, and had a two-hour lunch meeting and when I got home around 3:30, I realized the dinner we are supposed to eat at 7pm was never put in the crock pot. In fact, it's still in the freezer. Meaning that the dinner menus I so proudly made on Sunday with each meal meticulously planned will be off by a day and tonight we will probably end up eating leftovers. Or a salad. Or gluten-free cereal. Which is why today's score flashed like this in mind, the way a sports scoreboard lights up when team A makes its first point against Team B.
But you know what? That's ok. Because I have God's grace & my husbands loving grace that he extends to me everyday. It humbles one to know that perfection isn't the goal. I have to say that one more time because I was able to finally let that go a few years ago...
Perfection isn't the goal.
The goal is balance. And on some days the scale may tip further one way, but I can rest in the fact that no matter which way it tips, I know I am doing it for the good of my family. Whether its serving up a stew from the crockpot, or booking a job that helps pay for the stew. Whether I am sorting the laundry, or writing this blog, I am doing so with God first and foremost in my heart, and my husband and our family in a very close second.
And, that, that evens the score every time.
The balance is found in forgiving yourself. Knowing that while there are some days that we feel like superwoman, closing the deal, returning the calls, making the meals, picking up the house and having time for a hot bath and a date night, there are other days when our biggest accomplishment may be taking a nap. Finding five minutes for prayer. Or simply just giving your husband a hug and telling him you appreciate his support on your journey. Just continue to get up, dress up and show up, always leaning on God's understanding before your own.
Melissa at A Virtuous Woman posted this lovely list of what it means to be a Proverbs 31 wife. I strive to live this way for my husband and take care of my home, my body and my loved ones the way God intended. I had to include this into Nosh & Nurture because it is He that nurtures us, His children. I pray everyday that I, in return, can love the way He does.
1. Faith - A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15
2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)
3. Mothering - A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)
4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)
5. Service - A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)
6. Finances - A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)
7. Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)
8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)
9. Time - A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )
10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)
Nosh & Nurture's Cookie Bake-Off
Hosting a cookie bake-off blog event, contributing to numerous St. Patrick's Day blog link ups and launching a brand new website design all in the same weekend... probably not the best set of activities to lump into one weekend & I don't think I've gone to bed before 2am for the past four days...
But, you know what? It was totally worth it. This weekend has filled me up so completely with community, love, laughter and delicious treats! On Saturday I invited fellow friends & bloggers to take on six gluten-free, dairy-free cookie recipes with me. I've been wanting to try new ones so that I can have an arsenal of go-to favorites and thought "what better way to try them than to mix it with quality girl time?"
Jenni from Jenni's Ferris Wheel of Food, Holly from My Plant Based Family and Cheryl from In Life Ministry joined in, as well as my good friends Jana, Sommer and my sister-in-law Tiffani.
One of my biggest intentions for 2015 is to get more social. We work so much that sometimes we forget what's really, truly important. And that's connection. Connection with those we love. Connection with our community. And getting out of our comfort zones and connecting with new people. I know for me, and for a lot of women my age, that ones that hardest of all.
I'm blessed that this blog allows me to connect to a community that is so loving. A community of health-minded, driven and passionate women all setting out to help and serve, one meal at a time.
For so long I've been guilty of feeling guilty when I've taken time to rest, relax, socialize and just take my focus off of being productive. Last year I asked God to help me prioritize my time to how He wants me to spend it and I'm blessed & thankful that included time getting to know more strong, amazing women. A couple of years ago, if I took time to spend the day doing something, that although was enjoyable, but didn't generate income or job leads, I'd feel anxious, stressed and unproductive.
What I've learned is that it's beneficial for us as a whole to take the time to connect, recharge, refresh, live and love. And the funny part about it all, is that in doing so, I'm actually more productive in the time I spend on my business endeavors when I've been recharged by spending time with my husband, with my family and friends or just working on a hobby I enjoy.
The bake-off was a great way to kick off the weekend. Once all the girls arrived we spent some time chatting and doing introductions for those that didn't know each other. We snacked on crudites and fresh fruit and got to baking! We experimented with two chocolate chip cookies, an oatmeal banana raisin, a chewy ginger cookie, a dark chocolate ginger, and a double chocolate chip coconut.
We had a nut-free and an egg-free station for those who had specific allergies and only two of the six recipes used refined sugar, which some of us abstained from due to sugar sensitives or for those of us that had cut it out. But I wanted to make a good mix to strictly test out more gluten-free baking ingredients and methods.
After trying the six recipes and baking for a couple hours, it was time to TASTE! The BEST part of any bake-off or cooking event. Although they all received rave reviews by at least a couple of members of the party or another, there was a shining star among them all and it was the Double Chocolate Coconut cookies we tried from Ditch The Wheat. We also decided that though the Oatmeal Banana Cookies were scrumptious, they belonged more to the breakfast snack category than cookie.
All in all, it was an amazing way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Next time we plan to cook up some amazing Paleo brunch selections and I welcome the time off to enjoy it fully.
How do you spend time & build community with the women in your life?