My season of overwhelm hit me last year like a ton of bricks. I struggled to admit I was going through a tough season, because I also felt so blessed. We had been praying for husband to get this job, we were longing for a backyard for the kids, and I have always dreamt of living close enough to the ocean I could spend summer days with my boys there as they grew.
Also, as a mother, I needed to stay positive and upbeat for my young sons. At this point, for the second time in two years, we needed to move across the country. (and if you count my husband’s internship, this was actually our fourth cross country move in three years!) I needed to be their rock, I AM their rock. I wanted to be a supportive partner, because I also knew this was a huge transition for my husband. Not to mention, every one in my family was healthy and we were moving for an incredible opportunity. Who was I to feel sad about that? Despite feeling overwhelmed, and quite frankly burnt out, from wondering about what ifs and the small details of planning such a move. I vowed that I would enjoy the cross country drive with my family and focus on a slower pace of life, once we arrived.
We did have a lovely trip, we stopped at beautiful places, lingered at breakfast restaurants, and listened to some great books. It was when we got here that the overwhelm became too much. Unloading the moving truck, making a home, ten days before Christmas. Missing my friends in Oregon and Indiana, struggling with the energy to create new relationships because saying goodbye hurt so badly. (and what if I had to do it again!?) It was Christmas day, when I felt my heart couldn’t take it anymore. I knew I had to make some changes and repair my own heart. I had no idea what it looked like, but I knew I needed to make changes.
So, I went to the library.
Over the course of this year, I have read a lot books centered about less, slower, more simple. I’ve read about consumerism, finances, parenting in this age of nonstop on the go madness. I still have a long, long way to go in my own personal journey. I joke about being a recovering busy body, truly until this year sitting still was a challenge for me.
Here are some of my favorite books from this year:
Present Over Perfect – This is not a new book, but when I read it, I felt her words in my heart in a way I cannot explain. She described everything I had been feeling, and then gracefully shared how she sorted through it. I had it for three weeks, and read it cover to cover twice.
7 by Jen Hatmaker- This again is a book the rest of the world read forever, but I missed the memo. She shared about her own family’s journey to finding contentment and finding more joy right where they were, and how the shifted their focusing outward to the community. It had me planting a garden, pulling out my sewing machine, and trying to connect more with my own neighbors.
The Year Of Less by Cait Flanders- I will be forever grateful to the Instagram account that shared this book. I listened to the entire audiobook in one single day, because I adored her words so much. After that day, I stopped by new clothing (only secondhand and only what I genuinely needed) I learned more about reusing what I have and making things do.
A Simplified Life by Emily Ley– I actually read this book last year, but wanted to share it in this round up anyway. Emily Ley does this really magical job of combining practical ideas and grace. The book is also very beautiful and inspiring.
The Cozy Minimalist- This is actually a home design book? However, I devoured it.
When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley- This book just came out last week! I devoured it over 24 hours because it was speaking so deeply to my soul. Emily’s writing is amazing, and her Simplified planner. (Tip: I love their social media!!)