How To Stop Striving and Start Living

It’s been an interesting season over here. I’ve taken about 4 months off from blogging. It’s a good practice in life to really evaluate what you are doing, what you’re spending your time and energy on and whether or not you should continue to do so…

When we were packing up and moving into our new home in March it seemed like a good time for me to do this. I’ve been blogging now for over 3 years but most recently this past year I really felt the need to “make it something”. I invested hours and money in classes on info publishing (which I’m sure will come in handy) and I was working real hard to try to get this thing going.

Going where? That’s the question. You may not understand this and I don’t want my reason to sound shallow, but I wanted my blog to make money… like now. While it has brought in a small bit of money over the years I was really wanting it to be more substantial so I could ‘contribute” to the household income. You know, if I’m going to be spending time away from my main job (raising kids, homeschooling, being a wife etc) I wanted it to be profitable.

Then it happened. I stopped enjoying what I was doing and it became work. Burdensome work. Work that was causing me to strive and get frustrated. My husband kept asking me, “Do you not just want to do it because you love it?”

So I took a break to evaluate.

Would I continue to do this if it never brought in a substantial income? Am I that passionate about it?

Do I have room for this in my life at this time?

Is this even a valuable and worthwhile thing to continue? Is it helping others and enriching their lives?

Is this helping and enriching MY life or just causing stress?

Does it really matter? Am I only striving and if so, how do I stop striving and start living?

You see sometimes even good things need to come to an end. There’s a season for everything. “Trying harder”, “pushing through”, “pressing on” are not always the right course of action. Sometimes the cost is higher than the value that is created. Sometimes you need to pull the plug so you can really soar…

These are some of the thoughts I’ve been mulling over and praying through the last few months. I’ve finally wrestled through some of this and come to a conclusion although I still don’t have answers for all the questions.

I am passionate enough about what I do to continue whether or not I make a substantial income from it.

I am NOT willing to sacrifice my first job of raising and homeschooling my kids to strive to make another job  or activity work.

I really value moms at home. I also really value women who work outside the home AND in the home as well. I personally have always felt that my first job is in the home. I think it is one of the most worthwhile things that a woman can do, it has value for our whole society. I love this quote from Ann Voskamp’s article The Great Challenge Facing All Women and Why Women Need to Stop Judging Each Other.

“Because it doesn’t matter what any gatekeeper says: Mothering a mess of kids is as important as preaching to a stadium for a month of Sundays. 

The size of your ministry isn’t proof of the success of your ministry. The very Son of God had a ministry to 12. And even one of them abandoned Him. Forget the numbers in your work. Focus on the net value of  your work. ”

You will not become rich raising your kids, but you just may be raising world changers and that in itself is more valuable than a 6 figure income.  My kids need me and they need me to be present and hands on. They need me to train them, listen to them, teach them and nurture them. They come first and I find myself easily distracted by lesser things far too often.

I am not willing to sacrifice my peace in the pursuit of “success”.

We all have priorities. Yours do not have to be the same as mine and vise versa. For my husband and I we have come to the conclusion over the last year that we value PEACE in our lives. Peace in the home, peace in our relationships… just peace. Striving and peace rarely go hand in hand. Striving may get you some of the results you are looking for, but at what cost?

To us, success looks like a happy, loving, strong family. The end. That is our top priority.  Do we still want financial success? Sure, but honestly not as much as most would think. We are happy no matter what we make.  We will continue to steadily work towards the goals we have but our first priority will remain first.

Financial success means little if your relationships are in the trash can.  I’m not saying everyone who has financial success has relationships like that, but plenty of people put the pursuit of wealth, fame, and success over the pursuit of the things that are lasting- and we are not at all interested in that. Not even a little.

My health comes first.

I refuse to stop taking care of myself to “get somewhere” in life. I’m committed to taking care of this temple that I’ve been given by giving it proper sleep, exercise, and good food. Too many people push through and pay for it later in life, or sooner for that matter.

So this, friend, is where I have been. I will continue to blog and I’m hoping to get at least one post or recipe out a week. But I’m leaning heavily on grace, maybe I will maybe I won’t.  I wanted to share this with you to hopefully encourage you to look at things in your life and evaluate whether they are beneficial or not.

We each have only one life to live and it’s a short time in the whole scheme of things. Please, take time to evaluate if you are pursuing what is in YOUR heart or if you are just running the race that someone else set for you.  The truth is you will never win that kind of race. YOUR race is the only one worth running. I’d love to hear from you on this, have you ever had these questions before?


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