What is the greatest obstacle or challenge you face in reaching these goals? The actual sewing part of my job is a love-hate thing. I really like the downtime while I’m sewing to think, decompress and just be quiet. But, sewing oilcloth can be really tough to do when you’re making larger items, like tablecloths, because it’s bulky and you have to pin it a lot. I am constantly bleeding from pin pricks. It’s ironic, really, because I have always hated needles (and blood!), and now I get poked with a pin or needle at least once or twice every day!
What resources do you use (books, blogs, websites, people) to help encourage and educate you? I try to keep things in perspective. I have several friends who have children with serious special needs. When I talk with them about what challenges they are facing with their life and kids, it always helps to remind me that the challenges I am facing could be very different and helps me to count my blessings.I also read the Nie Nie Dialogues. If you aren’t familiar with this family’s story, take a few minutes to ready about it, here. Stephanie and her family find joy in the simplest things, even while facing life-altering injuries and circumstances.
Another thing I do from time to time is to read a few blogs that have been set up by families whose children are suffering from cancer. It is so inspiring and convicting to read about the struggles these families face with their children literally every minute of every day as they fight to survive. It makes you realized how often you complain about tiny little things that really aren’t a big deal at all. And, it feels good to be able to support these families with your prayers, even when they are just friends of friends.
What do you feel is your most important characteristic in helping you live your life well and keeping things in balance? The ability to ask for help and a focus on forgiveness.
I try to see my life as an adventure, that is always unpredictable and always changing. This is a really new outlook for me, because I used to have a lot of anxiety, was a real neat-freak and I hated change.
Since starting my small business, I’ve really learned how to let the little things go. My house is clean (only because I have someone help me clean), but it’s not very tidy! My kids are well-rested and fed, but they might forget their library book or have the same exact lunch in their lunch box for an entire week (yes, BB&J – and not cut into fun shapes, either.) To be honest, my husband makes their lunches almost every day – and that is such a help to me – but also sometimes a big source of guilt!
It’s not that I don’t want to have a perfectly neat & clean house or put a note and homemade cookies in my kid’s lunches every day, it’s just that I’ve found peace with doing those things just every now and then, and still feeling like my life is full and my kids are happy. And, I’ve learned that it’s OK to have other people do things – especially when I feel overwhelmed when I try to do them all by myself!
Also, the role forgiveness has played in my life is huge. It’s not that I’ve been wronged by a ton of people or anything like that. It’s that I have learned to forgive myself for the wrong things that I do to other people, or to myself (like beat myself up or feel guilty when I don’t do something as well I wish I could.) Also, I’m a follower of Christ, and seeking His forgiveness in my life is the most important thing. He gives me peace through prayer, and I look to His Word for strength and help when I know I can’t do it on my own.
What advice would you give to another working/blogging mom if they asked you for it? Go for it! You can absolutely start a business or a meaningful blog. Just have a very specific idea of what it is that you want to do, and do a lot of research on the market you are wanting to enter. The better understanding you have about your competition and your specific market, the less time you will have to spend on your business to make it a success. Knowledge is power! And, always ask for help – because you’re gonna need it!