a little life update

Friends, I'm going to be honest. I have no idea what I'm doing.  I've been feeling so much pressure over the past few weeks to FIGURE IT OUT. To make definitive decisions in lots of areas. To blog or not to blog? To quit Instagram or not quit Instagram? To switch my Etsy shop over to an instant download model or not? To pursue this interior styling thing or not? For whatever reason, it's felt like I needed to figure it alllllll out right. this. minute. I feel like everyone is watching me. That is of course not true, but for whatever reason there has just been so much PRESSURE in my mind and my heart lately!

I've been digging deep and trying to figure out two things: a) what I think God is calling me to and b) what brings me the most joy. Really, those two things are one and the same, but for the sake of this blog post, I'm separating them.

What I think God is calling me to, first and foremost, is my vocation as a wife and mother. To pour my best energy into my family and my home. I have finally settled into this deep joy and contentment in motherhood, which feels like a hard-fought victory after months of depression. All glory to God for this victory, to be sure!

I tend to make these major declarations at the drop of a hat. Like how I'm quitting Instagram for three months. I said it was because God was calling me to it, but really that's not true. I just cannot find balance or discipline, so it seemed easier to just ignore it for awhile, without ever getting at the root of the problem - which is my own lack of discipline. The more I pray about it, the more I'm hearing God tell me not to quit, but to learn to exercise self-control, which is way harder. But I figured it wasn't possible that God wasn't calling me to quit, if that makes sense. I automatically assume social media is simply a distraction from God, not something that can be used in His will, so it seemed logical that my desire to quit aligned with God's will. In reality, that's not true. I feel more strongly than ever that He's asking me to use this medium for His glory. I have no idea what that looks like, but I'm going to try my best to be obedient and continue to pray for the right words and the grace to share what He wants me to share.

When it comes to blogging, I've been so torn. Part of me wants to quit everything altogether, and just be a wife and a mama without any kind of "following." But, for whatever reason, God has given me this platform and this influence and I know He can use it, so I just keep praying for the grace and the words to keep going. I feel like all blogs are nowadays are a slew of sponsored posts and content. And power to those people for forging their own path and making an income on their own terms. That's awesome. I just don't have an interest in that route, at least not right now. So I wonder, is it even worth it to blog? What's my end goal? Does anyone even read blogs anymore? Is there a single post idea out there that hasn't already been done fifty thousand times? But does it matter if it's not necessarily unique, since it's unique to me and only I can bring MY voice to it? These are rhetorical questions, but they're the ones that have been bouncing around and around in my brain for weeks.

And then there's my new business venture. A month or so ago, when I launched Hazel + Herman, the plan was to get it rolling and making money, then close up my stationery shop and go full steam ahead with the interior decorating. But things have changed over the course of that month and now the plan looks much different. I realized I don't actually want to style houses or spaces for clients. I know, I know. How can I flip flop SO drastically?! The thing is, any time I find a hobby that I'm good at, I feel this pressure to make it a business. That's what people do, right? It feels like every stay at home mama also has a side hustle, be it an Etsy shop or a profitable blog or whatever it is. I feel this pressure to keep up. To be in the rat race. To commiserate with all the mamas lamenting how little sleep they get because of how full their plates are. But friends - you don't have to have a business. You don't have to have a side hustle. IT'S OKAY.

I was hanging out with a friend a couple weeks ago and she asked how my Etsy shop was going and what my days looked like. As I described what my days look like with my shop and Xavier, she said "wow, so you only work like an hour or two a day?!" She didn't mean it this way, but I instantly felt guilty. Which is crazy! It's true - I only "work" an hour or two a day on my shop, blog, etc. And somehow that feels like my dirty little secret. Like I don't want anyone to know. But friends, I am so grateful for the freedom to do that!! I am so grateful that Matt and I have chosen to live very intentionally on just his income, so that I don't HAVE to work and make a second income. I'm so grateful for the freedom and flexibility to play with Xavier, take him to the library and see friends. The bulk of my time - like 94% - falls under the category of "mothering." There's just no other way to put it. But somehow, that doesn't feel like enough. Like I feel the need to qualify my "title" as "oh, I'm JUST a stay-at-home mom." But there's no "just" about it. It is hard, good, refining, beautiful work!

I know this post is rambling, and there's not really any wrap-up. I guess I just wanted to confess that behind the curated Instagram feeds, people are just trying to figure it out. We are wondering if the choices we're making are the right ones. We're wondering if it's God's voice we're hearing or just our own. We're afraid people will judge if we change our minds - like launching a business only to decide a month later it's going to stay dormant for awhile.

It's okay to be figuring it out. I'm going to be figuring things out for the rest of my life. I'm forever going to be a work in progress. And praise God for that!

So some nuts + bolts type stuff:

  • My Etsy shop is staying open. I'm in the process of switching all my designs over to instant downloads, which means you'll be able to edit the information yourself. Easy peasy, for you and for me! I have a slew of new designs in my head that I can't wait to create, too.
  • Hazel + Herman will eventually be a home goods store, but I have no idea on a timeline for that. I still have huge dreams of helping people turn their homes into havens, but it's going to look different than I originally thought. For now, I'm putting it on the back burner and praying for right timing to pursue opening a storefront. Online first, then hopefully a brick-and-mortar in my little town.
  • I'm going to be blogging again! Just for fun. You can expect bits and pieces all over the map, from homemaking and motherhood to fashion and DIY to cooking and adventures and finance and everything in between.

I'm so grateful for you sweet friends for cheering me on, for the messages telling me my posts have encouraged you or jump-started your faith or somehow led you to Jesus. Truly, truly, those messages are like gifts straight from God telling me to keep going. My wish for this life is simple: to make much of Jesus. That my marriage, my mothering, my home, my business(es), my social media accounts, my blog, all of my words and all of my actions and all that I am would exist soli deo gloria - for the glory of God alone.