It's been a loooooooong year...
It's been one of those years.
Full of ups and downs, personal joys, and some deep sadness I never expected.
I'd pulled myself out of public view after the big old Christmas sale over a year ago. I had to, I was just too worn out to keep juggling all the balls that go with the business as usual.
If you are doing it all by yourself, you are bound to be in over your head at times (eeek! feels like most of the time for me).
You know the feeling, your so tired that when you wake up, it feels like you haven't slept in weeks? And the weight in your chest makes you think you must have cried in your sleep all night? Yep, that's a really good sign you need to take a brake peeps! You can't focus or think straight, and you just want to hide! I know it sounds like depression, but for me it was just pure exhaustion.
I over did it, and I knew it.
So instead for the last year, my focus shifted to working with a distributing co. to the wholesale market. I got to work with some very lovely ladies, but in the end, it just wasn't the right fit and didn't work the way we had hoped it would.
What I loved about the experience? Ultimately, being able to cross an avenue off my list! It allows me to focus on the other options I have to grow my business, without the distracting question " I wonder if that's a good way for me to go".
Sometimes I think the endless options in front of me are my biggest demise! I don't make decisions for myself well-I get overwhelmed and then just shut down until my brain gets quiet again. (Why it's so much easier to help someone else make decisions than myself????)
While it wasn't exactly a restful year, I do feel refreshed and a bit revitalised just breaking from the routine. I was able to sort out ideas without pressure, and really re-examine what it is I'm trying to do here! I've been able to set some more realistic goals, and try to talk myself into saying "no" to some things...we'll see how that goes lol.
One of my big goals is to stop allowing myself to feel the pressure to "keep up" with everyone around me and to ENJOY the ride again. To work at a pace that allows me to be part of what's going on in my own house (my dog Charlie says YIPPEE -YIPPEE-YAY to that by the way) instead of my poor family getting shoved to the bottom of the pile day after day.
At the top I mentioned the personal side of things. Yep, it's been a year full of tears with a heaping side of joy.
I have a sweet new nephew.
I also have a brother with a broken heart and marriage, who still loves his wife in spite of.
I've watched his heart be torn out. I've watched him hurt beyond words.
I've watched him turn himself over to God, and seen him take the steps towards becoming a transformed human being. A better father, brother, and man.
Joy, Joy, JOY!!!
My dad is now a diabetic. My strong papa, (the one I made cry once-ugh, I don't recommend that). The one who led fearlessly. Who has loved the Lord his God with all his heart, and sacrificed everything to follow Him, is now becoming a shell of man. He physically looks nothing like he did a year ago. He is worn, and tired. I am sad, and heartbroken. I selfishly don't want to lose him. He's too young, and it's too soon by my standards.
But as my dad would say "Have you thanked Jesus for it"?
He never missed the opportunity when we were kids to pound into our brains that we are to "Give thanks in all circumstances".
Because he knows the secret of giving thanks-it's not just because God told us to do it. Joy comes from giving thanks and praise no matter what the circumstances peeps! We enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise! It there that you'll find your joy, because He is your joy! It's the key to victory over circumstance in our lives. I am so grateful for someone who led by example. I love my dad.
So "Thank You Jesus for my dad, thank You that when he goes, it will be to meet You face to face. Thank You for letting us borrow him all these years. I am so grateful".
The list of things that have brought tears goes on, but I would rather say that I am a firm believer that there are things in our lives that can only be accomplished through sorrow and brokenness. In fact, I think back on the most beautiful people (inside) that I've ever known are the ones who didn't feel sorry for themselves, but embraced hardships and tragedies as if they were a friend sent by God himself. And in fact, I believe they are.
I want to be one of those people.
For your reading list:
Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard