Dirty Pants & My Breakthrough Moment

In honor of Lucy on her birthday. Happy birthday Lucy! Love you.

___________________________________________________________

I homeschooled for most of elementary school y’all! And by that I mean by the time I landed in middle school I had an abnormal amount of confidence coupled with a lack of self-awareness. But, eventually the home school bubble started to wear thin and I slowly became more self-aware… painfully so. Things like… ROXY is preferred to shirts with horses running through fog (you know the ones!?), most people wear jeans instead of stirrup pink leggings, greasy hair isn’t a good look for me, bras are for everyday, and the list goes on! By the time I got to eighth grade I was feeling embarrassed, completely uncool, alone, insecure… I figured out that there were all of these social rules I had been unaware of and I was subpar. I think at that point I started to believe I had to be perfect for people to like me.

ENTER LUCY…

I met Lucy at a pre-season volleyball camp the Summer before eighth grade. She was the coolest. I remember thinking she was so pretty and fun and generally everything I wanted to be. She lived right up the street from me. I don’t remember how it happened, but she invited me to her house one day. Glory!

I remember we were getting ready to go to a football game. Of course, I was hoping to put on my most perfect self. As we were picking out outfits she started digging through her hamper of dirty clothes. She pulled out a pair of crumpled, slightly visibly dirty, stinky jeans. She gave them a little shake and put them on. It kind of stunned me in the best kind of way. She wasn’t embarrassed. She didn’t make an excuse or apologize. She wasn’t trying to be perfect. She was just about to rock some dirty jeans. With me watching. No shame… And I loved her for it.

I guess that was a small thing. I don’t know if she was even conscious of it or if she would remember it, but it changed my whole world. Here is what happened for me in that moment:

I adored her. I think showing imperfection openly like Lucy did is actually counter-intuitive. Instead of judging or criticizing or thinking less of her, I actually liked her even more. I had already admired her, but this made me relate to her and feel like we could actually be friends.

It set me free. Seeing someone else be imperfect showed me that it was ok for me to be imperfect too. Wearing the right outfit wasn’t a requirement for people to like me. Even the “coolest” people are flawed, and I could go ahead and let go of that standard.

I wanted to set others free. That moment gave me a bit of a strange passion for doing that same thing for others. No ones wants to be around perfect people. Now, I like to go ahead and shatter that intimidation that comes with an image of perfection right away. Having a great hair day? Go light on the make up. Having a friend over? Don’t stress about making your house look perfect. Killing it at work? Feel free to skip shaving your legs next week… Just filling you in on some of my tactics.

Needless to say, Lucy and I became best friends. So many fun, hilarious high school memories. Later, in life she continues to bring freedom and joy in each new season.

She had babies before me. She invited me over and showed me her C-section scar, her stretch marks, what happens to your boobs… Later when our kids were toddlers she led me to her basement and opened the door to a huge room covered in toys. “We don’t clean this,” she said. Ha. Brilliant, right!? Our next house included a basement free-for-all area inspired by Lucy. She had 3 kids before me. When I asked her “What do you do?” She told me that crying helps.

This is the best kind of friend. Feel free to loose yourself from a standard of perfection. When you show your flaws you bring freedom to others and win real friends. So rock those dirty jeans with a smile sister. You might change someone’s world.


8th grade graduation

8th grade graduation

Braces and drivers license together

Braces and drivers licenses together

Getting into trouble together

Getting into trouble together

Dances. Sophomore year?

Dances. Sophomore year?

Sport and silliness

Sports and silliness

img_0001

First day of school

pregnant

Pregnant with round faces and bellies

coffee cup in Monument, CO

Coffee Cup in Monument, CO

Interview on Balancing Work + Motherhood with Rebecca from Creative Habitat (VIDEO)

Thank you to Rebecca Wolford with Creative Habitat for this interview!

Listen for some of my top tips and things I have learned along the way the past 6 years as a mom + entrepreneur. I talk about money, boundaries, vision, balancing work/family and more.

See more mompreneur interviews from Rebecca here:
Website: www.CreativeHabitat.org>>
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CreativeHabitat.org >>

Vision

I find it important to carry with me a vision way beyond my current reach or capabilities. Often things I envisioned for the distant future approach faster than I had expected. I can only be ready to take hold of these opportunities when I am anticipating and preparing for them. Sometimes the grandness of my thoughts and ideas sound silly to say out loud in light of my current skills, or income or position. I sometimes feel I don’t have the right to carry such dreams, but I have found that God is no respecter of persons and is often ready to do more through me than I feel deserving of. So I don’t argue and just keep my eyes on the horizon.

Here are pieces I write down in my journal and look at regularly to collectively create vision:
✔️Passions
✔️Hope/Dreams
✔️Ideas
✔️Change (things I want to confront)
✔️Roadblocks (problems to solve)
✔️Skills
✔️Strength (Strengths Finder)
✔️ Personality Type (Meyers Briggs)
✔️ People to Follow (above me)
✔️ People to Seek Out (peers)
✔️ People to Pour Into (those I lead)
✔️ Pursuits (things to research/learn)
✔️ Verses (promises to hold on to)
✔️ Books to read
✔️ Things to sow into
✔️ Gratitudes (things I am thankful for)
✔️ Things to drop or let go of
✔️ Action Item (specific steps to take)
✔️ Routine (to incorporate daily)

Assumptions

A couple assumptions I start with when meeting new people:

1) You are doing the best you can. 99.9% of the time nothing you say is going to offend me.

2) If we get 5 minutes to talk, we are going to connect over something and be great friends.

3) It is important for me to understand who you are and how you fit into God’s big picture plan. There is something important you have to offer and I can learn from you.

4) You would probably love to hear one of my stories. Lol! This one is a bit selfish, but I do love to tell stories and most people oblige me with a smile.

Growing Pains

Remember my post about the breaking that happens when you have a new baby? Yeah I’m right in the middle of that right now. There are some seasons (like having a newborn) that feel overwhelming, like living in deficit. The goal is to learn how to experience the pain of these growth moments without causing damage to relationships and without developing bad patterns. Here is how I am coaching myself through it:

Avoid Self-Pity: Don’t add up hardships, exaggerate or build a case against yourself. Just breath through the present moment.

Avoid Blaming: It isn’t someone else’s fault that it’s hard or painful. Don’t take it out on your spouse or support system.

Focus on Solutions: What real things would help bring relief? Extra childcare? Pay someone to clean? Chocolate chips? Yes to all of these for me.

Fight to Get Time with Jesus: Right now it never seems like enough, but even a few moments after the kids go to bed give me fresh perspective and a new breath of life

5 Minute Vacations: Pause and be fully present in the good moments. Shake off the stress and gulp in that sunshine, sweet baby smiles, or laughter with a friend. Take a mental snap shot, so in that in the rough moments you can remind yourself of the good ones.

Distractions: Sometimes it’s hard and nothing can be done. Listen to music, zone out on Facebook, just avoid deep thinking in the low moments. Put your anchor down in hope, not hopelessness.

Feel the Pain: Cry when needed.

To my fellow mammas, I feel your pain! Like climbing a mountain or running a marathon, what a proud accomplishment it is to raise kids!

Aurora Sunday

People keep asking if we have a name yet. We do! But, the meaning is actually more important to me than the phonetics, so I don’t like to tell the name without the whole story, so here it is!

In praying and planning for the worship night, God had given us this verse as a theme:

“My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul… I will awaken the dawn!” Psalm 108:1-2

The idea that we sing before the morning – while it is still dark. That our praise actually calls forth and “awakens” the break of light that we know is coming because of our hope in Christ.

So we had no ideas for a name at all. Then a friend commented that praying for name makes it a whole lot easier. So I prayed, and then almost instantly the name “Aurora” popped into my head. I looked it up and it means “the dawn!” So of course we had to go with that – a name for the season!

**So when I say “Aurora” it is as in “awakening the dawn” not the Disney princess! We will probably call her “Rory” or “Ari.”

Middle name will be “Sunday.” It kinda goes with the theme and incorporates being born during the Easter season. It may be Friday, but Sunday is coming!… Also it’s just fun and we will have a theme song for her too “Easy Like Sunday Morning”.

So the name will be Aurora Sunday Jones!

Stretch Marks

Every time I think I can’t get any bigger I wake up with fresh stretch marks! This time around I am kind of good with it though… After having Judah I was mostly back to normal after about 9 months. But, after Mia that was not the case. I remember looking in the mirror and realizing some things would not be going back to normal. At that point I decided that I would have to make a break with any part of my self worth that was unknowingly rooted in body image. You of course always want to look your best, but regardless of the final outcome I decided I would not be making any agreement with shame and insecurity. I put away clothes that didn’t fit, bought larger sizes that I felt confident in and started rockin a one piece. Motherhood has a certain refining nature like no other. If you embrace the chaos and change I think it brings a new more unhindered freedom and authenticity.

Mother Teresa’s Daily Prayer

DEAR JESUS, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.

More Brokeness, More Grace

I don’t actually think we have capacity for more kids right now. In fact I think we are generally running at our our highest capacity all the time – I know I am. For me, adding another baby comes with an expectation of increased brokenness and an increase of grace to match it. I know in the beginning there is this sort of personal rebellion and ache as my comfortable life breaks to make room for more; but it’s beautiful and worth the cost of increase. When we pour out, I think God honors it with filling us up. I think it is the same principle as weight lifting. You add more than what you could do yesterday, you are in pain for a short season, and then wake up the next day stronger. 

Proverbs 11:25
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.