We wanted to share something that’s a little tougher than normal today. A little more raw than what we’re used to writing and you’re used to reading. Why? Because when we decided to share our life online, we committed that it would be first and foremost, a running diary of our life, so that, in addition to our pink slips of paper, we’d have a way to look back and re-live parts of our life, big and small, that we might otherwise forget. The things we did. The people we loved, and those who loved us. The good things in life, you know? This blog has been such a blessing to us in so many ways.
Second, we want this blog to help people. Plain and simple. And that happens in different ways at different times for different people. Sometimes it’s through an inspiring engagement or wedding story. Other times it’s an educational post helps a photographer improve their shooting or a creative entrepreneur grow their business. But, sometimes, it’s us sharing something we’re struggling with; maybe soothing you’re struggling with right now, too. Wherever you’re sitting or standing while reading this. In your cubicle or on your couch. In the middle of the day by yourself or in the dead of night with a crying baby on your shoulder. At the doctor’s office or the DMV. Whatever you’re doing, you might be doing what we’ve been doing lately, too.
Feeling overwhelmed. Afraid that you bit off more than you could chew. Swallowed up by your calendar and everything that’s still left to do. Is that you? Because it’s definitely us in this season. Or was us, at least, for the past few weeks. We haven’t been living in constant struggle, but we’ve been getting hit with these intermittent flashes of emotion and waves of tears. We never expect them. They just sneak up on us. But by the time they do, it’s too late. We’re consumed with all we have to do and all that’s not done. We start thinking that we have to do everything that’s scheduled for this entire month on the first of the month. And we get paralyzed. Unable to move. We stop happening to life and we let our imagination about life happen to us.
That’s been our last few weeks. Has it been yours?
The good news is that it’s a feeling that never hits us both at the same time. If it did, we might not have survived these last few weeks! It overwhelms one of us when the other feels optimistic, so we’re so thankful that one of us can be strong when the other is weak. We’ve had thoughts of serious doubts this month, for the first time in a long time, negative thoughts like, I think the calendar finally caught us. and We might’ve bitten off more than we can chew this time. or For the first time, I don’t think we’re gonna be able to pull a rabbit out of our hat and get it all done, pull it all off. We know it’s not rational. Being emotional never is, right? We also know that our problems are what we affectionately and jokingly call #firstworldprobpems. They’re not really problems when you think about, unless you think that living in the wealthiest nation at the most prosperous time in world history is a problem. But, we also have to remind ourselves that living in the “first world” doesn’t mean that we’re not allowed to feel upset or have struggles, too. They’re just different struggles, but the common thread is fear, and we’ll get there in a second.
In the midst of all that emotion, one quote, one sentence, stopped us right in our tracks, pulled us out of the rut we’d been in, and made us re-think everything, or maybe just finally see things clearly. Amy broke into tears about a seemingly small problem, and when Jordan started to offer a solution to that small thing, she finally admitted through her tears, “It’s not just about this one thing. It’s everything.”
Do you ever feel like that? Like you can’t separate each tree from the forest. Like it’s all or nothing and there’s nothing in-between?
To which Jordan responded, “One thing at a time is the only way to do everything.”
That’s when it hit us. All we can do is the best we can do with the most urgent and important task in front of us. Nothing more. Nothing less. So, we looked at the calendar again, but this time not one year at a time. Not one season at a time. Not one month or week at a time, but instead, for the first time in a long time, one task at a time.
On this day, here’s what we can do. It’s all we have time for, but it’s all that HAS to get done. And then the next day, that’ll be done, and this is what we’ll do.
By breaking our calendar into actual chunks, we broke them into emotional, manageable chunks, too, and we started to feel better. We did have time to get it all done. There wasn’t a ton of margin, not much at all, in fact, but there was enough time. It was just a matter of two things:
1. Will we prioritize the urgent and important over everything else.
2. Will we be satisfied with 95% perfect and done instead of 100% perfect but paralyzed and not complete.
All of that helped. So, so much. But it didn’t solve the problem completely, because this wasn’t just a scheduling, calendar, overextended, under-rested, my-life-is-a-never-ending-cycle-of-busy kind of thing. It was a faith thing. We didn’t have peace. Because at its core, it was about gratefulness. We forgot that no matter how much control we think we have, we don’t. So, right then and there, in our car, driving home, we decided to start telling each other everything we’re grateful for in this world. One thing after the next. All the blessings God’s showered us with. Our marriage. Our home. Our businesses. Our family and friends. And on, and on, and on. And you know what? With each thing, our hearts started to heal. Our attitudes started to change.
Because when we stopped to think about all that we have, we stopped thinking about all we have left to do.
You see, friends, for a few weeks now, we’ve been fearful because we’ve only been relying on our own strength. Scared that we couldn’t get it all done. Afraid that we wouldn’t be enough. We fought the schedule and wrestled the calendar and tried in every conceivable way to figure out how we could be scheduling superheroes and make it all fit. But even when we logically figured out that we did have enough hours in the day, it still didn’t give us peace, because our emotions were just symptoms of an underlying fear problem, because we’d forgotten that everything is out of our control anyways. And that is a good thing. There’s only One thing that matters. And when it’s first, when He’s first, everything else always works out, better than we could’ve ever planned it ourselves. So, today, we wanted to share this with you because God is teaching us is to trust. And reminding us to lean on His strength. And isn’t it just so much better to remember that we’re not in this alone?
Speaking of not feeling alone, on a fun little note, we’re writing to you from Virginia, where the first day of our Richmond workshop is underway, and where we will be hosting the Come Together Event with Katelyn James THIS Thursday! We are so excited to be able to offer our most affordable live event ever, and have just a few seats left! This is going to be a jam-packed educational evening full of practical application for small business owners, and we couldn’t be more excited for it! If you’ve been thinking about coming, this is the time to snatch one of the final seats! And don’t those fun, spontaneous decisions end up being some of the best?! You can sign up by clicking here! We can’t WAIT to see you there!