In short, this website is for the folks cultivating a slow lifestyle where nature is integrated into a daily/weekly self-care ritual. It's for people with a lot going on, and I must live out what I write.
It's a lot of work maintaining a slow lifestyle. At the end of the day, you have to consistently remind yourself of your "why." Sometimes it's resisting what's popular or trendy. Every decision is intentional. Remembering that every "yes" - is an invisible "no." Saying "yes" to more writing time is a "no" to cleaning, is a "no" to downtime, and is a "no" to present time with my boys.
It's funny because when I worked, I often made decisions that best aligned with taking it slow. I worked fellowships that were 40 hours with less pay when teaching. I took the 5am shifts in bakeries post-culinary school. In later years I took the pay cut to work from home. I consistently got paid less to work fewer/odd hours. Once I had children, my blog (which was relatively popular) had to be shut down. I couldn't authentically live a slower-paced lifestyle where I was present and be both a worker and a writer. Many projects had to go. Part of myself needed to go in that season, but then there were perks. We were able to pay for things that we now simply choose not to... more on that later.
When it became time for me to move in the direction of cultivating the work I felt God led me to in this season, I took four months to prepare myself and my family. Since the age of 15 years old, I've worked or went to school and worked. There have been breaks (summer breaks) in between, but all in all, I've had a "hustle."
I needed to practice sincere seeking and stillness. I've loved every bit of that period and have felt supernaturally inspired to start this work. But then I started picking up freelance projects and started having deadlines, and felt myself slowly but surely unraveling in the space of that slow cultivation of life.
Internal and external chaos emerged: clean-up, write, care for baby, cook, look decent, my hair...oh my hair!... laundry, write, conference call, pick up/drop-offs, God time, research, reading, errrr... is something on the stove? Girlfriend time, "Don't spill that!"
And I'm back...
And that leads me to today, the last two days really, where I have felt like I'm working again. And this is not what I wanted - I didn't want to have to balance and prioritize. This time feels harder because I don't have the same spaces and privileges that I did months ago.
All of this internal "stuff" got messy.
For the last week, I'd been skipping my lone outside time in order to write, clean, read the Word, and spend time with my youngest son, Noah. So when my husband, Mike, suggested that I take my walk - even though it was raining - I went. As I walked, I felt the Lord whisper to me: This is the work.
This is what you are supposed to be doing. You are integrating. The truth is that I was created to have a vocation while also being present at home. It has to be this way. I was called from my full-time job because although it was good and noble work, it wasn't what He created me to do. I was not able to balance His vocation and work, and so working had to go. This website is for the folks cultivating a slow lifestyle where nature is integrated into a daily/weekly self-care ritual. It's for people with a lot going on, and I must live out what I write. So as I write this, I am outside with my voice recorder (on my phone) while my beautiful son plays in the rain.
Shalom, my friends!
Edited by Ashley Yancey