How do you do it all? No, really??

Tsh over at Simple Mom has been sharing her “behind the curtain” view on how she manages a young family and a growing, successful blog at the same time.

I’ve really enjoyed her posts on the subject.  And found it refreshing to have these questions teased out in the open.

I often get emails asking me how I do it all, as well…and I can tell you there is always a sincere pause after reading it as I wonder how in the world someone could think I do it all!

For every “yes” I say in life, there is a “no”…and the very best we can all do is be intentional and clear about what we are saying yes to so we create a life we absolutely love and that is in total congruence to our inner values.

In fact, that is what it is all about.

Honoring our life with our choices.  Living our gratitude with how we are creating our life.

And sailing that ship through the waters of distraction and busyness and noise and static of the world.

It’s why I believe so firmly in our need for silence and space for listening. For self awareness, self connection and developing an inner anchor.

I had the privilege of reading through Mandi Ehman’s ebook, How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too which shares in depth about her personal story being a stay at home mom and realizing her dreams of pursuing a business…as well as concrete tips and strategies for how she makes it work.

In Mandi’s words, “There’s no doubt that being a mother is the highest calling there is. It’s a privilege I don’t take lightly, and I wouldn’t trade a moment with my girls for all of the riches in the world.

But I am also a woman with unique skills, an entrepreneurial spirit and dreams of my own, and I’ve discovered in the last few years that it is possible to juggle motherhood and family alongside my own passions and pursuits.”

This is what I have found in my own life is the barometer of balance: Am I more or less the true and best version of me?

My ultimate goal every day is to continue to become more of the person I am meant to be, in closer alignment with my true inner value and beliefs.

Regardless of what happens, what my reactions were or how I lived the day, when I reflect and process it, I am always looking for the thread that helps me see my inner person developing, my spirit strengthening, my growth.

And when I begin to see that something in my life- either the choices I’m making, the time I’m spending on certain things, or the thoughts and attitudes I’m holding…when they are consistently leading me farther away from congruence with my inner values- I know what needs to change.

When I am no longer growing and developing and becoming more of the person I want to be…then I need to take serious stock and make changes.

I am called to make sure that the work I do in the world directly helps me become a better person, a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, a better friend.

That the work I do and the time I spend doing that work continues to grow me and develop me and spur me on to being more in alignment with who I am and who I’m meant to be.

That is my bottom line.

That is how I know whether I’m honoring God, honoring myself and honoring my family through my work…and it is also how I know when I need to make changes or shift priority in how I’m spending my time and focus.

How about you, what barometer do you use to help you live the life you deeply desire?


9 responses to “How do you do it all? No, really??”

  1. excellent post! thank you! finding balance is a day to day struggle for me. sometimes i don’t do too bad, other days, i’m way off. but i’m finding that even though i’m a busy mother of young children, when i’m developing my talents and nurturing my hobbies, i’m a better mother because i’m happier and feel more at peace. i’m a mother first, but i’m not only a mother. and the more i fill my reservoir, the more i have to give.

    finding the balance of it all is the most difficult part i think. i prayerfully try to seek it each day. like i said, some days it works and some day’s it doesn’t. but i hope that every time i try, i get a little bit closer. 🙂

  2. This is why I stopped teaching — I couldn’t do it all. As risky as it was to jump into writing full time without an agent or even the promise of a book deal, I nevertheless did it (and found the time to feed my family more regularly in the process!).

    While I wanted teaching, mothering, and writing, I wasn’t always giving my best.

    I’ve been meaning to tell you: I ran that half marathon in 2h:27m:53s, just under my goal of 2h:30m.

  3. Stacey– Yes, yes and yes! Love your comment, couldn’t agree more!

    Caroline– How exciting– You go! That is fantastic, what an accomplishment 🙂 🙂 I didn’t know you were working on a book- would love to hear more about that!

  4. Hi there! I have been reflecting on this very thing lately–finding balance and being the best wife and mom I can be while not denying who I am and what I have to offer. I have just ended a lifelong habit of people-pleasing and “DO-ing” too much, as if that somehow helps me “earn my keep on earth” or please God!! While I am thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom, I am now pursuing writing, which is my true passion (although I love to edit, too). Whether we work or don’t work, it seems we get critics from either side–which is another reason to follow our OWN path, right? I know that TOO much doing is bad for me–but the RIGHT doing is wonderful (if God is in control of it!).
    One of my barometers is “if you resent it, change it.” I think I read that in a Dr. Sears book on having a baby!! I love that because I know that if I feel myself getting mad, or resenting something or wishing a particular part of my life were different–it needs to change! Right now, that’s home organization and maintenance!
    I have another one, which is “confront it, or let it go.” If it bothers me, I try to figure it out or go to that person. If I’m not willing to do that or it’s not worth it, I let it go!
    Both of these come down to one thing for me: PEACE. I need peace (which is a state of mind AND of heart for me, and knowing I am right with the Lord and His purposes for my life during any given season). For me, peace is closely related to my rest. That means a lot of time at home, a slow pace, ample time with the Lord (to check in and make SURE I’m right with Him), time outside, time for creativity and not taking on too many projects (which is hard for me!).When things start to get out of alignment and my peace starts to slip, I step back to re-evaluate!! {I love your stuff about saying yes and no–so key!!}
    In fact, I am helping a friend write a book about her facing her biggest fear…we just launched a blog for her to start “meeting” people! Her story is amazing and she is such an encourager!! We’ve been working like dogs to get the blog going in time for her two-year surgery anniversary and I’ve been working around the clock. I can feel myself about to run out of peace!! So I know I have to re-visit expectations and re-prioritize! I hold my peace at a premium! Great post–keep it coming!! 🙂 P.S. I’m excited for Tsh’s blogging webinar, I can hardly wait! I’ve blogged “casually” for four years and I’m ready to “kick it up a notch,” both professionally and personally!
    P.P.S. Here’s my friend’s blog if you’re interested! Keep in mind, it’s brand new and a work in progress!! 🙂

  5. I find that if I am conscious about how my actions are making me feel, I can better align with my true self and step into JOY no matter what is going on.
    I plan my day into sections (no, I am not high strung, I just love organization…it grounds me!) based on how I want to feel. In the morning I want to feel energized and connected to my kids and playful and on top of all my duties. Then I ask myself what are the actions that are going to support this desired feeling state and I do that. For the mornings, it means I have to go to bed at a decent hour, eat right and excercise, prepare for the day ahead the night before and make sure the kitchen is tidy before I go to bed.
    I do this for each part of my day, which leaves me feeling exactly how I want to feel AND oh so proud of myself. I have developed this method to be in control of getting sucked into the doings and the ultimate stress of life. I want my doings to support my desired feelings!

    I recommend it!

    p.s. Lisa…notice my company name change? opting for the positive…will send you a reponse to that mail today!

  6. Wow! What an amazing post (and answer to my question!!!)! And loved the comments as well. There are 5 values I’ve “set” for myself as being important (spirituality, family, integrity, health, growth) and while I do consider them when planning BIG picture stuff (not always successful!), I’m not intentionally bringing them into the day-to-day.

    Love how you said when certain things are “consistently leading me farther away from congruence with my inner values- I know what needs to change.” I think the “consistently” part is huge: to keep an eye out for those things and take “serious stock and make changes.”

    Thank you, Lisa! (And thank you for giving me my #1 find on Twitter which is how I found this. I’m compiling my Top 10 Finds for a post I’m working on and this goes to the top!)

  7. Oh Ladies, I am LOVING this conversation!

    Tabitha– first of all– love your friend’s blog– great work making that come together– and I also love how you have established so many safety nets for yourself so that you don’t get too far off center- beautiful!

    Sigrid–LOVE the new name- such a high energy feel!

    Angela– You know, it didn’t occur to me until you said it, but YES I do believe this post was in response to what your (wonderful!) email had me thinking about– Love it!! And love YOU! So good to hear from you always…What fantastic values, by the way!

  8. “the very best we can all do is be intentional and clear about what we are saying yes to so we create a life we absolutely love and that is in total congruence to our inner values.”

    Well said! This is something I’m trying to remember throughout each day. Thank you so much for putting it so perfectly into words!

  9. Lisa~thank you for the thought provoking post. I am another b-schooler and think your banner and opt-in look fabulous! I also totally relate to your content. I am turning 50 next year, have a high school graduate going off to college in the fall and a high school sophomore, and feel like it’s time to get back the parts of me that got lost over the years. Putting everyone else first has produced good children, a good marriage, good friends, and a good business but I need to invest in my health now. I’m looking forward to reading your blog and perhaps taking some of your classes in the future.

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