One of my life issues is emotionally closing up when I’m going through something hard. It is easier for me to put up walls than be real. I don’t know if it is from a heart that wants to protect itself from being vulnerable or from fear of letting others see me hurt. Letting people help me is something hard to accept as well. I feel like the two are somehow connected. Maybe letting people in is asking them to carry the burden of hurt as well, and I don’t want that.
Can you relate?
For five months, we have pulled back from a lot of life. As we adjusted to being foster parents and have walked through some fires with our foster son, we have done life closely with one another. I think a lot of it was because our plate has been so full we literally couldn’t carry much else, but as you can imagine other areas in my life took a second seat to carrying for our foster son and our three biological kids. They have been my world.
As Haven 2014 (Haven is a local DIY Blog Conference) was approaching, I struggled with should I sell my ticket or not. My family and foster son had been my world. They were the priority and all else took a back seat. Did projects really matter? Was my blog a silly thing to invest in? I wondered how I could emotionally switch from my family/foster mindset to a mindset to dream and talk business for three whole days.
I decided to go, largely because one of my best friends would be there and the ability to catch up with her was exciting.
So I went. I walked in with a heavy, hurting heart. I was on fumes, and I knew it. I know I was probably a little more quiet than last year. But, being real about where I was and at peace with it, was actually good for me.
For three days, I got to laugh with friends, dream up new ideas, be inspired, and poured back into. It encouraged my soul every time someone asked me about our family, said they were inspired by our foster parent role, and were encouraged by how we were living. I felt loved, carried, and slowly I let some girls in. They allowed me to be real, cry, and hurt. Thank you Christina, Angie, and Erin for walking through fire with me and giving me laughs along the way.
As a result, I felt loved and felt this spark light back up in me that was born to create and dream. I remembered in a fresh new way why I love blogging and why I love this community that blogging brings me.
The hotel was beautiful, the food was amazing, the swag was incredible, the bloggers were so kind, and the brands were generous. Last year, I largely was big into networking and experiencing it all. This time I relaxed, enjoyed, and it was much more about heart level, life changing conversations with sweet friends with a touch of learning. It was just what I needed.
It didn’t hurt that I learned from some of the best there are as well. To know people on and off the web is a huge gift.
I missed my family greatly, so there were lots of texts and selfies sent back and forth, but I am so thankful I had this weekend away. There is more to me and my life than just my family. We need community. We were wired for it.
If you have been following me on Instagram, you know I came home from Haven to find out that our foster son is leaving us. Tomorrow, he will be moving to a great aunt’s house. Although my heart is breaking, I feel like God has been slowly preparing me and our family for this transition. I have a peace. God is so gracious to us. I have gotten to know this sweet great aunt, and have the very rare pleasure to now call her friend. We will see this sweet boy that has become part of our family again.
As we have walked this road, I am continually amazed by the love poured out. I have not perfected letting others in, but I am trying. I am in a continual journey to become a better version of myself and who God created me to be. That alone is the perfect project.
Erin @ DIY on the Cheap says
I’m so glad that you decided to keep your ticket and come to Haven! It was wonderful to see you and I hope you know that I am always here! I know you are going through a difficult time and a huge transition for your family, and I will do whatever I can to help support you and help you through it!
love you sweet friend! Thanks for being a rock to lean on! XOXO
Valerie @ Making It Worthy says
I’ve sold my ticket every year (3 times!), for similar reasons, this time I was/am nursing a baby and didn’t think I could manage it since he doesn’t take a bottle and my husband had no time off (due to a new job). Thanks for sharing your heart and encouragement for those of us who are hesitant to take time for themselves and who question the value of blogging/business dreams while trying to care for their children/family.
Valeria, you’re awesome! It was so good to see your name pop up! I think it’s a constant balance act, but I am seeing that God did not put these desires in me to not act on them. I just need to walk cautiously and carefully while balancing both. FYI there were several babies at Haven this year! I can think of 4 or 5!? The moms had to nurse them too…and it was fine! I hope you can make it next year! XOXO
living life in the dash says
Precious insights to your big heart! Thank you for sharing!
Ohhhh you are awesome! Thank you Georgia!! XOXO
Heidi @ Decor & More says
I, for one, was so happy to see you at Haven! I’ll be praying for you all as you transition into yet another new normal… God has blessed you with the capacity to love and nurture those in need. What an amazing gift to be living out HIS purpose for you! Hugs and hope to see you again soon…
Thank you Heidi! I am so so sorry about your ankle! Missed you that last day, but I hope you’re resting well. I know summer is flying too quickly, but you def need to be feeling like your self when school starts! It takes a special heart to teach such little ones 🙂 XOXO
Karen Bernstein Cooper Dogsdon'teatpizza says
It was so good seeing you at Haven. Hang in there and know your ATL crew is here for you, whatever you need. Just call – ok? xoxo
Karen, you are amazing!! Thank you sweet friend! XOXO
Kirsten - Sweet Tea & Saving Grace says
I can’t begin to imagine what you’re dealing with on a personal level, but I’m so glad you were encouraged by the women at Haven. I live in Atlanta and couldn’t make the conference this year, but did meet up with several of my closeset blog friends for dinner Saturday night and that little bit of time filled my love cup to overflowing! I’m very much looking forward to next year. It’s amazing what a group of women can do for one another 🙂
YES! community is so important! Thank you so much for your sweet words! XOXO
Christina @ The Frugal Homemaker says
oh, Erica!! I struggle with this too – so much easier to just close off our heart and soul to others when we are hurting but that is probably when we need others the most.
I am so glad you came to Haven. I needed the respite, the distraction, the laughs, the tears, and the bonding with others too. Had no idea what day it would end up falling on – but I know I would have been a bundle of tears on Thursday and Friday if I had been sitting at home.
Praying much for your sweet family! You have been an encouragement and a inspiration to me.