As many of you know, in August 2018, I resigned from my office job to become a full time stay at home mother. While, the desire to become a SAHM with Kinsley during these early years played a big role in this decision, my passion for writing played a key part as well.
So yes, I did resign from my office job, but no, I did not stop working.
You probably noticed my blog writing picked up a little, which is fun and all, but trust me, blogging is not what pays our bills. I did take on freelancing, though. Since August, I've had several different clients, a couple of whom I am still working on projects for.
You're probably wondering just what exactly I mean by freelancing. The projects I work on have varied from writing product descriptions for gift basket companies in L.A., to handling social media engagement for authors, to blog/article writing over holiday traditions, to one of my favorites, which has been taking on the social media of a vegan baby shoe company based out of California.
Along with a few other projects and personal pieces that I have submitted to places, the freelancing life has been both relaxing and stressful at times. Though I enjoy getting to create and help brands build relationships with clients and customers, not all my writing projects are fun for me, and not all clients are pleasant to work with. Sometimes deadlines are overwhelming (even though I chose to take on the deadline). However, that is the upside to freelancing; some projects are weekly, some are monthly, and some are by milestone. Meaning, if I decide that I no longer want to pursue working with that client once I've completed the initial project, I can choose to go my separate ways once the project is done.
Some clients want me to create a full monthly social media strategy plan for them, some want me to only handle engagement, some want me to handle their ads, some want me to create/find the photos, edit, or research for them, some give me free range to take over their social media profiles and transform them, while others control what time of day I post and what kind of captions are created.
Though I have absolutely loved freelancing, working from home with a toddler is by no means easy. There have been days when I'm sitting in my bathroom floor, typing as quickly as I can to get the article complete to send to my client, while I watch Kinsley standing in the tub, slowly dumping water everywhere, knowing good and well she shouldn't be, but also knowing because my laptop is out, that I won't be stopping her.
Pick your battles, momma.
These are the days where motherhood and work clash. Where I do miss having my own office space - quiet, with a phone that I can put on hold and set down (without my toddler running off with it to hide it in the most ridiculous spot known to man).
Being able to spend these days with Kinsley as my coworker have been nothing short of wonderful. I've got to see her accomplish new skills, say new words and my personal favorite, read her the same book 50 times in a span of 20 minutes.
Becoming a freelancer and SAHM was a desire of mine that Wes and I had been discussing for several months. I had planned on pursuing it a little sooner, however when we finally decided it might be time, God let Wes know he should quit his job and pursue children's ministry. When we felt that calling, because we had no clue how long Wes would be out of work, or what the next few months would look like for him, we both knew I would have to keep working and put my dream on hold.
One of the first things Wes said to me was, "But, you won't be able to stop working right now, this was your time to pursue your dreams."
I knew it was something I wasn't going to give up on though, so I felt comfortable in putting it on pause. I truly felt that freelancing and staying home with Kinsley was what God was calling me to do during this season of life. I was also very confident that this calling Wes felt was something that needed to be pursued at that exact moment, rather than later on down the road.
That said, at the end of July, Wes still didn't have a job. He did have a couple of interviews for a Children's Pastor position lined up for August though. We felt confident that God was doing something big with those interviews. The last week of July, Wes came home one night from a prayer retreat, claiming he needed to share something with me.
"I know we were going to wait until I had a for sure job lined out in order for you to resign, but God told me tonight that it's okay for us both to transition right now, at the same time; that he would provide for us, financially and with a job. So I think you need to resign. Not later, but now, or at least whenever you're ready."
It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders because a couple weeks before, Wes and I had both been struggling. Even though I had put this desire on hold, the closer it got to the end of summer, the more I felt God pressing on my heart that it was time, and the more Wes felt the pressure that one of us needed to be working, rather than both of us be searching for new jobs. I didn't fully understand why God would be pushing me to resign now, when Wes and I had both agreed it would be okay for me to wait.
That night was pivotal for us. As we both felt a peace that God was going to provide both of the desires of our heart, He also gave us a peace as a couple, that we could walk through this together, even if there were uncertainties and fears. We knew the next few weeks would not be easy; they were both exciting, and terrifying, for all of us.
So I made plans and began preparing to resign from my job, a job that I did love, but a job that I knew it was time to say good-bye to.
Many of you know the end result of this story, but for those that don't, August was the craziest month of our lives. Wes had two interviews; one in California at a multi campus church and another at our home church. Both interviews were during the same week.
We had been praying some big prayers the past few months and we knew God was busy at work. What we didn't know was just HOW He was working.
The three of us flew down to California on a Friday night, interviewed, then left on a Monday morning. Wes was offered the position shortly after arriving home, with an offer that needed an answer by Friday. We met some of the kindest, most loving people, and have even continued to maintain some of the friendships we made during our time spent out there. After arriving home and settling down, we woke up to a puking baby late Monday night. Hoping we had dodged it, Wednesday night, 10 minutes apart, Wes and I both were hit with one of the worst stomach bugs we've ever experienced.
Wes's second interview was scheduled for Thursday morning. After puking his guts up all night, pale faced, nauseous and very weak, he was determined to make it through that interview due to the time crunch of the current offer on the table.
After finishing that interview, he was offered the position.
Here comes the hard part.
Two offers. Twenty-four hours to accept and decline. Physically and mentally exhausted.
Friday morning came and we still did not know if we would be continuing our life in Arkansas or if we would be moving to the California coast.
After having a conversation with my dad, in which I'm still not sure what exactly was said, Wes looked at me while we were driving on our way back from the doctor's office and said, "We're staying."
We had a long conversation and both agreed that our work in Arkansas was not done just yet. We do fully believe that we won't be staying in Arkansas forever, but for now, it is home.
So here we are, 2019.
Freelancing, motherhood, marriage, ministry, a toddler and a dog.
If you would have told us last January what the year 2018 was going to look like, I probably would have 1. laughed. and 2. cried. because man, it wasn't always fun and it wasn't always easy.
God truly taught us what it looked like to walk in faith, because if we're honest, we felt like we were walking through a dark tunnel, with no light in sight - just a soft whisper calling to us, saying "take the next step."
I would never say it wasn't worth it or that I wouldn't do it again. Wes and I grew immensely as husband and wife, as parents, as children of God, and as individuals.
I don't know what exactly is in store for 2019, and in some ways, I don't want to know.
I know there will be change; there will be good, there will be bad and most importantly there will be love. I've never been one for surprises, but this past year God changed that perspective for me, so as I try to not wrap my fingers shut, I pray I will hold loosely to any plans I have for this year and let God move.