Oh Hey.

Welcome to my space. I write honestly about motherhood, finding joy, Jesus, not quite fitting in and embracing the mess. Grab a latte & let's skip the small talk. 

-Jen

How Have I Been Alive for 30 Years?

How Have I Been Alive for 30 Years?

Shouldn't I be an astronaut by now or something? With my 30th birthday in a few weeks, I have been in reflection mode. I'm in somewhat of a disbelief that I have been alive for so long.  It was just yesterday that I had a fake retainer, was jammin to Mmmbop tapes while licking sour straws. Now I'm boiling water for steel cut oats, attending preschool back to school nights and designing potty charts. How did I get here? 

Here are a few nuggets from my 29th year. Be inspired and think of your own. I would love to hear what you have learned this year, but since no one comments on my blog, I probably won't hear. 

The 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I am doing the right thing, the other 20% can be forgiven, given grace, worked on. This applies to eating healthy, being patient with my kids, washing my face (lol), cleaning my house. Of course I am trying my best most of the time, but this rule has given me wiggle room in my desire to be perfect. Letting go of 20% has been freeing and challenging, but I can rest in my humanness and not be so hard on myself and others. There is space for mess ups! 

Music is magical. Its ever evolving yet full of history. The right music can heal, inspire, guide. Find some you love and then find more. 

It's okay to have regrets. We are going to mess up and feeling remorseful is so normal. Regrets are a part of life and something we can learn life lessons from. Don't be afraid to mess up, go for it.

Fear wants to make your decisions for you, don't let it. Fear can invade relationships and tell you to hold back. Fear can steer you away from real conversation, it can keep you from your dreams. Say no to fear and ask the hard questions about your faith, about your life. Don't be afraid to talk to someone with differing views, love people who aren't like you, challenge yourself. 

Growing up is weird/good/weird. Hair starts growing, things sag and yet I still feel like a kid. That is, until I'm around 21 year olds..then I'm all "wear you're sunscreen," "save yourself for marriage!!!," "save your money!" "get a job!" Related: pimples are a part of life and don't disappear when your 30 like I had previously assumed....still breakin out!

Celebrate. Small victories and large. Babies being born, first steps, a good day. Celebrate it all.

Apologize without explaining your side. I know, i know, blah. We all have a story to go with our "sorry" but do your loved one a favor. Look them square in the eyes and tell them sorry and nothing else. This will bring freedom for both of you. It's a gift you can give to someone who has been hurt.

Laugh and cry. Let yourself feel these healing and freeing emotions deeply and often.

Learn to enjoy yourself. Take time to be alone and discover who you are. Sit with your questions, your thoughts. Write poetry, paint, take a nap under the trees. Spend time to reconnect with yourself each day. 

God is moving, always; even on your worst days. Ask him to show you and ask to be a part of it. 

Natural and simple things are usually the best. Sometimes a glass of water with lemon and a hug from your best friend is all you need. 

Slow down. You're not the president of the United States. You can turn off, slow down, skip, say "no thank you," stay in, stop rushing. I have clung to the phrase "never hurry" for years and I often repeat it to myself when I'm wanting to yell at my kids to get out the door. Never hurry.

Be kind to strangers. I think smiling at people can change someones day. A compliment in the check out line communicates hope and kindness. Smile at children, let someone in front of you on the road. Hold the door open. See people. 

You can be yourself. I feel horribly for my 20 year old self. I thought my hair/life/goals/day/interests had to be like everyone else's. Let's all be clones of each other! Thankfully, getting older also means you don't give as many shits about what everyone else is doing. (and you can curse a little bit). It's a beautiful thing and when I still have hair envy today, I remind myself to stay in my lane and embrace my hay like hair because it's a part of me; also to celebrate my friends Pantene locks because that's a part of her!

Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement. Cheer people on. Yourself, your friends. Write notes, write thank you's, support others. Words are things we give people and you can give courage and life. 

Cheers to each of you. SO MUCH LOVE. 

J

The Half Dressed Tree

The Half Dressed Tree

Brick Walls and Getting Back Up

Brick Walls and Getting Back Up