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work-life balance

heart thoughts from a small business owner {beauty in brokenness}

for the last seven years, i have been the co-owner of a seemingly-successful business.  truly, an art that i fell in love with became more than a hobby and indeed, it grew to provide the keeping for our whole family.  despite a mind-blowing level of competitiveness in what quickly became an over-saturated market, the vision and skill that soon became a waking and sleeping passion seemed to resonate with many who were willing to invest in its by-product: the legacy-leaving for their own family.  by Grace, this creating of art from life brought joy to us and to our clients.  and it provided for our family.

vintage camera photo may 2014a

somewhere along the way, though, that art, that business, those gifts became tainted with fear.  i took on more and more work.  my business-partner didn’t always  operate with the same insatiable drive (more accurately stated, vacillated between patient standing up for the need for rest and margin, and all-out passiveness, likely a knee-jerk-response to my never-ending push for more work, better skill, more advanced tools for the trade).

this mama who sometimes humbly, oft-times proudly, called herself a home-educator and stay-at-home-mom found my heart drifting from that first calling.  as a small business owner, i fell asleep and awoke envisioning my work and my art.  i resented intrusion and i resented what seemed like a forced need on my part to drag everyone along at breakneck speed.  i was ever pursuing an invisible goal to be successful, to have all we needed and wanted, and to be recognized and chosen and yes, i say even revered, though i would never have admitted to it, for the path we pursued.  how dare they not get it, not run with me, not hop into the wheel that kept turning faster and faster, craving the same success i did.

this may sound hyperbolic, but i believe unless i call the ugly monster by name, its defeat by the sword of truth is impossible.  i finally see that ironically, every good and perfect gift, given by the Father of light, is easily tainted by his children, who can take that gift and choose to love it more than the giver.

it’s a journey begun some time ago, but with the help of my heart-love and my God, i am baby-stepping my way toward living first to love, second to work.  i may lose it all, but to lose it all is worth the true all, the honor of my Papa and the faithfulness to my husband and children… and then the love of those in our community.  and it’s a risk i am willing to take.

so with that familiar wobbly, hands-in-the-air toddler walk, i pick my way forward.  i begin to pull back, to draw boundary-lines, to say no maybe more often than yes.  to trust that the work that is from Him will bring joy and it will develop in me peace, and patience, and most of all fearless love.  and that fearless love will spill over into the work that is truly from Him.  i begin to ask for His help knowing what or which work is from Him.  and i pray that in my brokenness, Light is made visible.

have you had a “made whole in brokenness” moment?  i’d love to hear your heart… dare to share below?

dancing divider webb