Like a weather man predicts a good rain storm coming our way, I knew that spring time around here would feel a bit stormy at times. But like many good storms, we usually needed the rain and a few days later the grass is always greener, flowers are blooming, and the world seems suddenly more beautiful after a good rain. If you've read earlier in my blog posts, you also know I have been feeling this nudge to be a bit more courageous in my faith, for my family, or with my heart. It's scary to try new things and I am so slow to adapt to big changes. Things sound exciting to me until it starts happening and then I panic a bit inside. I doubt and sometimes doubting freezes my good intentions and I do nothing to move forward. Well, I'm trying really hard to not let my doubts, fears, and unknowns paralyze me. These last few months I've just decided to jump, to take leaps of faith and see where it lands me. And so I am going from there to here these days...
First of all, these little years of my children are days I have prayed for since before I was married. I prayed for my future children and looked forward to these mommy days like little boys dream of being football stars. Now that it is here I am loving it, but also living in reality of making it work with things that also happen when you get grown-up responsibilities put on you besides just being a mama. Bills have to be paid some how, children have to be trained some how, relationships have to be nurtured some how, others must be served some how, houses need cleaning, meals made, and growing must be allowed. Being a mama also means holding onto some sort of identity other then being called "mom", even though most days that is all I really care to be called.
As I slowly stepped out of the fog of having a new baby I was seeing that there were just some things I wanted to be courageous about. Things that held a lot of value for me, but at the moment my current circumstances were making it hard to achieve. I'm slowly getting an everyday perspective that this life here is very temporary and what I do today really matters in the long haul. How I spend my hours is pretty important, considering it could be my or my family member's last minutes at any given time. For as much as I prayed for these years with little ones, I didn't want to waste them.
These thoughts started to lean hard on my heart and I slowly started to make some decisions in favor of establishing some good new rythems to how we function here as a family, growing up little hearts for Jesus and getting to know our Savior more ourselves. The first big leap was going to part time home-schooling. God has honored this choice and made it work really well for our family right now. I love what it has done for my relationship with Jax and his over-all growth. Another leap was getting chickens. I am serious. My middle son is a lover of animals and I saw an opportune moment to really hone in on some of his gifts and use the caring of animals as a great lesson in life in many areas. Seems silly and like ridiculous extra work, but at this house with this kid, it's worth it. And maybe the biggest leap of all... starting a whole new job. I have worked in the arena of early-childhood for 11 years. Teaching and doing in-home daycare in some way or another since I graduated from college. While I have a huge passion for leading the little ones, loving on them, and preparing them for the next big years as a child, I knew as we added a 3rd child of our own that this sort of job for me was really going to stretch how well I could balance family and work. So when I had a friend ask me if I had thought about starting my home-made baby-food business lately, I first laughed it off and then started to really give it some serious thought.
How did I get here you might ask? Any one who knows me well, knows I enjoy being in the kitchen and bringing good food to those I love. I love what gathering around a table with others does for relationships and I love reaching people's hearts through the art of a good meal. I think eating well is important, but I also know eating something especially tasty can make a bad day seem alright again. I have made my babies first bites from the beginning, have enjoyed teaching my friends and family how to serve up some fresh baby bites, and love sharing those first experiences with baby and food with others. I've never thought of myself as someone with the ability to start my own business or offer something special, but a little nudging from a few friends, a good support from my hubs, and asking God to lead the way has led me to this new adventure called Mama Made.
I had no idea where to start or how or when. A friend mentioned the farmers market circuit and I started to really explore that avenue. Praying hard as I tip-toed forward with this idea, I actually started to see it start to take shape and become more than an idea, but an actual means to an ending that I wanted for my family. I have been overly blessed with the amount of help I've had to get this off the ground. My incredibly talented friends and family have stepped in to offer their skills to help make this business idea come to life. One step after the other started to fall into place and before I knew it, I was standing in my very own farmers market booth next to my best partner ever, my sweet sis-in-law, Heidi. Getting to that place was a lot of hard work. A lot. I would lie to say it wasn't really hard at times and there were moments I wanted to just quit. But, I also am holding onto the truth that I knew this was going to be a crazy spring, May especially. The work/family balance feels really off centered right now, but I know we'll be sitting in green grasses and seeing the beautiful flowers soon...after the storm is over. At least I am trusting God's leading right now and hoping that is the outcome!
I have been forced to really get out of my comfort zone as I move ahead with this. I have had to ask for help, specific help, which is hard for me. I have had to let some things slide for a bit while I worked to get some of these other things going. I have had to let my friends and family see me frazzled and exhausted and unsure of myself. I have had to stay up really late, say no to other things, turn my TV on more then usual for my kids while I worked, make tacos to eat for days in a row, let my laundry pile up to the ceiling, and just barely keep things afloat at times while I did all I could to get this off the ground. I am learning lots, tons actually. And if this business is nothing more then a step into something else eventually, then I know that I have given my all into this plan for now, God has opened doors, and I am jumping with my eyes wide open to any and all possibilities. My biggest worry is that I will let too much space get between my relationships with my family and friends while I go ahead full throttle for a short bit. And that all this work now, will hurt any relationships in the long run.
I really want these new adventures to be a good, good thing for our family. To allow for a better home focused way of life where I have more time to train and be with my own children. A routine where I go to bed at night feeling good about how I spent my day with my family, where I am with friends and family outside of this home, and connected to Jesus. I want my hours to count in the right way, so when this temporary home becomes my past, I can look back and know I spent it wisely and in the light of the Lord.
I am so thankful for the relationships in my life that have helped me get to this place. My life is a puzzle put together with people from many places along the journey. I know God uses these people to help mold me...my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, and sometimes total strangers with short encounters. I am excited about where this crazy season of trying new things could take us as a family. I'm also a bit scared about what it could do. So time will tell, but for now I know I am moving from there to here...