I love Jen Hatmaker. We’ve never actually met, but I secretly think we could be BFF’s for life. She just gets it. She is also able to reciprocate everything I am feeling in such a simple and profound way. If you don’t know who Jen Hatmaker is then you clearly must be living under a rock. Just Kidding. Jen Hatmaker and her husband, Brandon, live here in Austin where they lead Austin New Church and raise their 5 kids. She is an author, blogger, and an all around awesome individual!
I recently finished reading her newest book, “For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards” and I feel incredibly inspired with a fresh perspective going into 2016. Every mom can benefit from reading this book. It is witty, supportive, inspiring, and you will want to be best friends with her too. I feel like I was able to take a big sigh of relief once I finished this book. We truly live in a world of impossible standards and are exhausting ourselves trying to be the best at everything. No one wants to be the slacker mom, wife, friends, or employee. We want to look like we have it all together, but guess what? Jen says we don’t have to be perfect. See why she is best friend material? For those that don’t have time to dive into a book right now, here are a few things that really hit home for me…
- Show Up For Your Own Life :: How many times do we wait around for things to be perfect or wishing for things to go a certain way? I am definitely guilty of this. Jen stresses the idea to show up for the life that you have and to slow down on the wishing, striving, and controlling. While it is always good to set goals, we need to learn how to find joy in where we stand today and live in the moment. When you can let go of where you want to be or how you want things to go, you can step into your purpose.
- If It’s Not a Hell Yes, Then It’s a No :: Raise your hand if you are a “yes” person? ::insert hand raise:: I don’t like disappointing people, so saying no automatically makes me feel like I am letting someone down. I get that sinking feeling in my stomach and immediately become apologetic. But why though? If I don’t have anymore of myself to give then I shouldn’t feel queasy about it. She says,
“So that medium yes, that I-feel-like-should yes, that guilty yes, that coerced yes, that I-actually-hate-this-thing yes, that I-guess-so yes, that who-else-will-do-it yes, that careless yes, that default yes, that resentful yes, that I-probably-shouldn’t-but-struggle-with-boundaries yes? NO. Nope. Now, the things that make your heart race, your blood pump, the fire in your belly burn, your gifts to leap to life, and keep your family and home healthy and strong…the hell yeses? ALL IN, BABY.”
This was so empowering for me. As moms, we are often bogged down with “yes” activities through school and life that we fall behind at home because we over commit. I feel like this is a good life lesson to teach our kids, too. It is okay to give, but only give to your best ability. Take a moment to set boundaries.
- Balance Is Like A Unicorn :: “Balance. It’s like a unicorn; we’ve heard about it, everyone talks about it and makes airbrushed T-shirts celebrating it, it seems super rad, but we haven’t actually seen one. I’m beginning to think it isn’t a thing”. “No one constructed fairy tale childhoods for their spawn, developed an innate set of personal talents, fostered a stimulating and world changing career, created stunning homes and yard-scapes, provided homemade food for every meal (locally sourced, of course), kept all marriage fires burning, sustained meaningful relationships in various environments, carved out plenty of time for self care, served neighbors/church/world, and maintained a fulfilling, active relationship with Jesus”.
As you see, no one can balance that job description. It might appear that way on social media because only the best parts of their lives are on display. We compile a list of others successes and achievements and create this “perfect” person of who we want to be in our heads. We feel that we should be the best at everything, too. Jen goes on to say that, “The only thing worse than this unattainable standard is the guilt that follows when perfection proves impossible”. This shouldn’t be our standard and I love that she started a dialogue about the balance roller coaster. I would love to look cute, have a spotless house, fresh meal on the table, and my kids behaving perfectly every day. But you know what? That isn’t my reality. So you’re telling me that I can’t be mom of the year, wife of the year, blogger of the year, friend of the year, and homemaker of the year? Phew! Because I am failing miserably.