Friday, March 13, 2015

Grace In The Daily Routine

I've been burdened this week. My daily routine is one that's fairly consistent. Day in and out I could likely tell you that everything is the 'same old, same old.' But that's the burden. Everything isn't the 'same old, same old.' And, friends, that's okay to acknowledge. Each day He presents new opportunities, new trials, new mercies. 
No two days are the same, nothing worldly is a constant. And so, if I am going to cultivate a life of joy, I must cling to the one thing that will not ever be shaken: the Gospel. 
The daily routine, the hustle if you will, is constant but ever-changing with the passing hours. My burden is for you and for me and for women who want to make it happen for His glory. You've had a passion set in your heart. You're filled with potential. But the daily routine this week has presented you with a pre-schooler with the stomach bug, a boss who returned from vacation with the funk, a print package that needed to be redone completely.
Where's the joy? The joy is in the gratitude friends. Let's make our anthem this season, "thank you, Jesus." Let's make the distractions our focus. Let's focus on what He's put in front of us as it comes.

Wherever he's put you, lean into it. Whatever he's presented to you this week, welcome it with open arms. And friends, invite His grace and its bountiful glory into your daily routine.

He's placed you where you are for a reason. No more self doubt. No more talking down to yourself. We cannot encourage our people if we're too busy beating ourselves up over every detail and distraction. Lean into Him.

When we are weak, He will be our strength. When our souls are weary, He will be the traction under our feet. He will be our portion.

God has the ability to stretch your heart, calendar, and ability to make it happen. If He's put a calling on your heart, He will be the provision. Trust that He's moving in your story.
And when the feeling of overwhelm creeps in? Get still before the Lord. Being still before Him doesn't mean the world will stop moving or that you can stop the hustle, but it allows you to lay it all at His cross and walk away victorious, renewed and equipped.

Those God-sized dreams won't work unless you do, but they also won't work until we hand it over completely to Him. Faith in His provision isn't about making the daily routine perfect, it's trusting His plan is greater than ours. One foot in front of the other, the small steps matter

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
— Hebrews 4:16

Do not hold your daily routine to a standard of perfection. In His timing all things will come to fruition. 

If we let the hustle overcome the heart, we'll lose focus. That was my February. The hustle won. The heart was buried deep in the chaos and brokenness of our world. But God. God redeems me (and you). He gives new mercies and He presents the opportunity for me to realign the hustle so its centered on the heart of what matters most: a life of joy cultivated through His Good News and sovereign hand.
There is abundant grace in the process. There is beauty in the drafting of our story.

Monday, March 9, 2015

March Goals With Grace

February. I have so few words to share about last month. I came to my keyboard to sum up January, and found myself thankful to Him for carrying my weary soul and showing me the goodness in our days. But February? Well, I sat to work through my PowerSheets page entitled "This Month Wins" and I had to be honest with myself. Last month did not win. 
Last month, I felt distracted, worried. I was filled with self-doubt. I grasped onto control rather than surrendering all to Him. When I dug deep in reflection of February, my heart revealed a lack of trust in Him to work good in the 28 days of February. 
We saw health issues in our own home. I saw serious mental breakdowns of persons in the profession around me. And then, and then, there was the persecuted church. Such a short month. So much tragedy. Those 28 days left me anxious, worried and breathing out 'why' in place of the praise. 
I declared March 1 my fresh slate. 
The good news is the Gospel of truth teaches His mercies are new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23. Through the struggles He refines us for our good and His glory. And best of all? The good news, the best news of all - Jesus came before us. 
My PowerSheets pep talk went a little something like this: I can do this! I am worthy and equipped because He has secured our victory. He has already accomplished everything on the cross. His love has won. He has set me free. 
And so, I drafted my March monthly goals with a clean slate and new mercies in mind. 
  • Meaningful Bible study. Full surrender of those little parts of worldly life I selfishly cling to.
  • Daily disconnect: turn off phone from 8-5 at work.
  • Weekend disconnect: delete social media apps on iPhone.
  • Celebrate Jackson's fourth birthday well and with a whole lot of love.
  • Celebrate three years with my law firm and attorney team.
  • Family trip to Nashville for Spring Break, intentionally planned for days well spent.
  • Adjust and adopt a new workflow around Saturday activities. 
For me, March is about acknowledging the small moments and lifting up praise for each and every one. His praise will ever be on my lips this month. No more 'why' only 'thank you.' 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10 Ways To Stress Less In Your Daily Routine

The hustle is my love language. And, while I love the hustle, I aim to not let it be a synonym to "busy." Busy is a buzz word of late, one I myself use more often than I'd like. Rather than cultivate a life of busyness, I want to intentionally create a life that is full of joy.  
If I'm going to cultivate joy in our daily routine there must be a balance between the hustle and the heart. Today I'm sharing a handful of practices I use to stress less in my daily routine in order to cultivate a higher level of joy. I'd love to hear what you do in your daily routines to stress less! Leave me a shout in the comments!

Start with Gratitude

Flip the script on complaining. Every time your lips go to breathe out a complaint, pause, and rather find a point of gratitude in whatever is the fire under your complaints. Try this: grab a sheet of paper and list out the first five things that come to mind you're grateful for.

Pray

Don't just tell others you're thankful, thank Him. Instead of asking Him why or what's next, stop and lift some praise, even for the trials. Prayer is a means of communication with God, an opportunity for us to know Him more and to receive His grace. (1 John 5:14-15)

Open your Bible

Whether you do a full devotional reading or glance at the bible app to cling to just one piece of Truth, do it. We even have some lovely pieces of scripture featured in our shop that serve as daily reminders to keep rooted in joy.

Have a Dance Party and Karaoke Solo

Whatever your jam may be, turn up the tunes. Just do it. Sing loud. Dance wild. Be free.

Step Outside

That workspace you've designed specifically to get your creative juices flowing is great I'm sure, but there is no substitute for stepping outside and breathing in some fresh air.

Prioritize the to-do List

Your to-do list for the day should consist of only three tasks. To-do lists never end. Pick your top three and accept while you're a rockin' boss lady you need to remain sane. Next, tackle your most important task first thing. The hustle is ongoing, but if you knock out that vital item at the start of the day you can look back and know 'X' got done.

Remind Yourself This:

Just because something bad happened at the end of the day does not make it a bad day.

Have Accountability in Community

This can come in several forms. I have a blog BFF I chat with an a daily basis. Whether it's to chat about motherhood or run design ideas by one another, she's my go-to gal. There are also a handful of thriving communities of creatives and mothers who are looking to encourage you (Hi, our blog and social media community is one of them!). Join a facebook group or two with like-minded women. Whether you're diving into blogging, entrepreneurship or sorting out motherhood, surrounding yourself with those people who 'get it' is crucial. Your real life best friends and husband may not be those people and that's okay because really it takes a village.

Schedule in Margin

Yes, schedule it in. Likely you found my little space of the interwebs because you're a dreamer and doer. You know, one of the shakers and makers of our generation. But all that hustle will wear your spark down quickly if you don't have control over your work flow and daily routine. I work a day job and run by Erin Creative Co. That's two full time jobs, friends. To distance myself from potential burnout I schedule in two off nights per week. No work. None. I've seen serious fruit from more margin in my daily routine.

Reward Yourself

Sometimes you really do deserve that piece of chocolate you've been daydreaming about since 8 a.m. Sometimes that sweet little design in our shop you've been eyeing is just what your heart needs, and you deserve it. Sometimes it's as simple as a fresh coffee and a quick scan through your blog feed. Whatever it is, treat yourself, friend!