I am the last person that should be writing about slow living.

Back in high school, I was an insane overachiever. The kind that cried when she got less than an A. The kind that was on three sports teams at once, practicing from the last school bell until after ten at night. The kind that still went to school with mono, so she wouldn’t fall behind. It was so over the top that during junior year, my English teacher pulled me aside to say,

Jenny, you can’t keep going at this pace with everything. Someday it’s going to catch up with you.

Of course, being the all-knowing teenager that I was, I scoffed at her words and continued to put my head down and plow forward.

Fast forward 20 years and I’ve gotten a lot of shit done. If there’s a task that needs finishing or a project to tackle, I’ve already come up with a system to maximize efficiency and conquer it (you don’t even want to know what I’ve done to our meal planning). I even married a guy that can take on more at once than I can.

In our first six years of marriage, we’ve added two babies and two foster fail pups to our family. We’ve completed two renovations on our historical home, with a third massive one looming. We’ve started and grown our real estate company from working out of our home office to six employees, three brokers, and opening our second legit office space this month. We’ve been involved at church, hosted and led various small groups and bible studies, and volunteered in our neighborhood (Mark as neighborhood president for five years). We started homeschooling our kids, stayed in shape the best we could (except for the month of Flabruary. Winter… ugh.), and even squeezed in a few vacations.

After all that, I thought I had enough years of accomplishments under my belt to prove my high school teacher wrong.

Then we had our third kid.

I had heard countless times that three kids is the hardest number to manage (even harder than four or more). But I figured I could handle all this, just like I have with everything else.

But I couldn’t.

This sweet little bundle of joy has been my tipping point. The overwhelm has brought out the ugly in me. The kind that snaps at the people you say are the most important to you. The kind that wants to hide in a closet to get away from the chaos, binge on chocolate, and maybe even have a good cry. It’s not even that this baby has been uniquely difficult (although he did have some colic, but we’ve figured that out). It’s the sheer craziness of trying to balance three kids five and under, two rambunctious dogs, grow a business, homeschool our kids, manage a renovation, give back to our community, and still have a marriage we actually want to be in.

I’ve never believed that anyone could truly “have it all” — something always has to be sacrificed — but, this is surely the expectation I’ve placed upon myself.

As I said, I’m the last person that should be writing about slow living.

Yet God keeps whispering to me to write about this.

I’ve honestly done my best to ignore Him. To kindly remind Him that there are a slew of people more qualified and competent to write about this. Or hell, just even a better writer.

Or bargaining with Him to put it off until another time when, “things aren’t so crazy?” I mean, we are literally days away from breaking ground on the biggest home renovation we’ve undertaken: digging a new foundation in order to add much needed space to our home that feels like it’s bursting at the seems.

A new foundation.

More space.

Perhaps that’s intended to be about more than just our house.

The Start of a New Foundation

Welcome to my journey of learning to live restfully during the craziest season of our lives. I have an inkling that if God can reframe my mind and remold my heart, there’s hope for all of us type-A, overachieving perfectionists out there. If you’re one of those too, I hope you’ll join me in grabbing a shovel to see what we can unearth in order to rebuild a foundation that leads to a more restful and purposeful life. It’s going to be one hell of a ride!

12 Comments

  1. THIS!!!! This, sister, is awesome! And I think the message you’re going to be writing about is one that needs to be heard by so many people. I know that I need to hear it. Thanks for responding and being obedient to what God has been tugging your heart to write about! I can’t wait to see how this unfolds.

  2. So blessed to have you as my favorite daughter (yes, I know, I only have one, and there has been a time or two when you were my unfavorite daughter) as well as your amazing husband, Mark, those three fun and loving grandkiddos, and, ok, Aston and Enzo too. When you ask for gift ideas I always say time with you; and that’s probably the toughest to find in your busy life. When you were growing up I on occasion (perhaps I need to add an “s” to occasion) told you I hope you have a daughter just like you. I’m very proud of the person you are including wife, mother, daughter, business owner, entrepreneur, writer, friend, teacher…and all of your accomplishments. Always remember to put God, husband, and family first. (P.S. And nobody expects or even wants you to be perfect cause you’d be unbearable….and lonely). I look forward to reading about your continuing adventures! And possibly sharing in some of them.

  3. Yessssssss. Jen your writing is fantastic!! Zach and I experience this and we don’t even have children yet (!?%*#$!!). Looking forward to learning what truths and “solutions” you discover!

    1. Thanks Anna! It’s definitely not a challenge confined to parents — but kids surely make it crazier. Cheers to the adventure ahead!

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