I am learning, you guys. I am learning not to say things like, "It has been so busy lately" or "When things calm down..." or "I'll have time for this after..." No. Just NO. Life is ALWAYS busy, and I am never going to just magically stumble on the time to catch up on everything I want to do.
BUT. I'm also learning that the idea of "doing it all" is a big fat lie. I can't. And I shouldn't try. When I overload myself with every good thing, whether I want it or not, whether I'm good at it or not, I am no good to anyone--not any reading audience (real or theoretical), not my friends, not my family, and definitely not myself. I have to unload some of the good--maybe a lot of it--to make space for the best.
I have done this before, shifted priorities, changed or eliminated involvements. It is always hard, but this might be the first time I feel like I am actually doing it well. I am being intentional, not just drifting along. I am making decisions before it is down to the wire. I am considering my own passions and talents, and also what my husband thinks, and through it all seeking God's wisdom. And it feels really good.
Feel free to draw your own conclusions about how this might apply to your life. I have to tell you, though, that this isn't the last time you'll be hearing from me about this topic. In the last 6 months, this is what God has been whispering to me. First He gave me the idea to speak about giving yourself the freedom to say "no." Then He led me to read Lysa TerKeurst's The Best Yes. Then He led me through a 2-month struggle with feeling completely insignificant--in the midst of which I got a request to speak at a moms' group... about struggling to feel significant in our everyday lives. And then... THEN He told me that it might be time for me to step down from women's ministry leadership in my church. And I really didn't see that all of these things were connected... until now.
A few weeks ago, my ministry hero and would-totally-be-BFFs-if-I-moved-to-Austin Jen Hatmaker posted that she needed some women to help launch her next book. I saw a similar post by her last year and applied. For that book, the launch team was comprised of 300 women, and the spots were gone in less than 2 hours. I was not among the elite.
So when I saw Jen's post about her new book (coming out in August)--and realized that it had only been 12 minutes since she posted it AND that this time the team would be 500 strong--I jumped at the chance. I knew my odds weren't great, but I needed to try. Me and 5000 other people. For real. FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE applied for this. We were told we would hear within 2 weeks.
You guys. THREE DAYS LATER... I got the email. I'm in! I AM PART OF THE LAUNCH TEAM! I don't even have words for this. Short of having something of my own published, I can't imagine being more excited! I received a digital copy of the book immediately, and the hard copy followed about a week later.
And can I just tell you, this is no coincidence. This team. This book. Friends, this book is bringing it all together for me. The power in unloading my life. The search for significance. Some other things that God has been laying on my heart--like growing relationships with the parents of my kids' friends. It is all coming together so beautifully, wrapped up in humor and grace from Jen. (We are in a closed FB group together now--I totally get to call her Jen.)
The book is called For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. You can preorder it on Amazon here. And you need to do it. NOW. Go ahead, I'll wait. And here's the thing... at this point, I can't tell you tons about the book. I will be talking about it a LOT as we approach its release date, but for now I need to mostly keep it to myself. But I am telling you, you need to read this book. It will set you free, because she tells you stuff like this: "We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise." And this: "Wise women know what to hold onto and what to release, and how to walk confidently in their choices--no regrets, no apologies, no guilt." YES. This is what I need, what we need.
This isn't even what I planned to write about when I sat down here today. But it's what I needed to say. God is shifting my priorities, shaping me, and I am still figuring it out--but I am telling you, so very much of it is summed up in For the Love. I can't wait to tell you all about it. (And in the meantime, this whole experience is leading me to be here with you all more. We are going to have so much fun!)