Last week, as I struggled to go to a birthday party, post to two blogs, prepare for teaching Children's Worship, rush off to my Sunday School class, bake something for an event later, meet with a few other ladies for a committee, gather ideas for our fall festival, and you know.... be a wife and a mother, I read this section in the book:
"My incessant need to be better than, to be important, to be liked and right and good on my own and by myself- these things pulsed just under the surface of my smiling exterior."
That stings. It stings because it's true.
"Good" means I never mess up. Good means I weigh the perfect amount. Good means I can handle everything, I don't look like a fool, and I never lose my patience. Good means my husband will never be disappointed in me, my kids will always obey, and everyone basically likes me. Good means I am enough. My goodness is all about me.
Grace for the Good Girl, by Emily P. Freeman, page 25
As beautiful and freeing it is to bare my soul and to realize how twisted up I have become in this, it brings about changes in my life... some of them harder to give up than others. This book is divided up in three sections: The Hiding, The Finding, and The Freedom of Being Found. While I could nod and agree with everything in the first section, I'm finding the rest of the book a little harder to get through... because it's where I have to give up what I've clung to for so long.
Fortunately, I don't have to do it on my own.
In this process, I'm discovering that the things that I believe God gave me as a way to honor Him, like being a wife and a mother and an artist, have become joyless so many times because I'm rushing through them and using them as a way to make myself "approved" of by others. They've lost some of their innate satisfaction.
With that said, while I would never give up any of them, I am stepping away from designing for manufacturers for a while. I want to get back to the root of WHY I'm doing this. The heart of creativity. The joy of motherhood. The pleasure of being a wife. For me, those are all intrinsically connected.
This will be my last month of designing for the amazing companies (Lily Bee Designs and Authentique) that have allowed me to be a part of their teams for some time. They both create inspiring products for paper crafters of all sorts to use, and they have my full support. I love seeing people succeed in this industry, especially as bigger and bigger companies get in the game... please support these guys. They've got passion behind what they're doing, and we need lots of that.
I don't pretend to think that most of you guys will care about all of what I've written, but I feel like to be authentically me on my blog, I needed to sort this all out and share it with the few of you who might read through this. It's a little bit scary and definitely not within my comfort zone, but this is also who I am.
Oh, and for what it's worth, I will be continuing to work with sweet Noel at NoelMignon. That has always been a safe place and a home for me as a creative person... I believe my place is still there. It's a constant source of inspiration and challenge for me as a creative gal.
Thank you all for your support and kind words.... I always enjoy reading your comments. :)