My journey to being a HANDS FREE MAMA …

I mentioned to Andrew back in the summer that I wanted “Hands Free Mama” by Rachel Macy Stafford. I had no clue what I was asking for but I knew the cover looked pretty, the tag line sounded intriguing and it was probably something I SHOULD read. Little did I know it would have me feeling this way. Broken. In a good way.

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I received the book as a birthday gift from Andrew and I read the first chapter the next day. In the book she suggests reading a little at a time, even spending a month on one chapter. After reading the first chapter I realized I was going to need a month or so to start putting some of the practices into place so I decided to do a chapter a month. I attempted to  draw guidelines for technology, emails, and more. I sucked that first month. I am being brutally honest. The only thing I was good at was making myself feel REALLY bad for how much I was missing because I was too engulfed in my emails, Facebook, website, and even blog.

Next I read chapter two. Yikes. Now I am even more aware how much this is a real issue in my life. Are their moments that I have missed?? Moments I will never get back that have completely escaped me? Yes! So many. Now I just finished chapter three and I feel like it is really setting in. I actually want to throw the phone when I think about my phone and what it has done to me. Might sound dramatic but when I realized that the thing I guard the VERY most is my phone.. it was heart wrenching. Listen to this.. I carry it from room to room..like a child. I frantically look for it if I don’t see it near me. I always have it on me. I respond to it IMMEDIATELY. Do I this for anything else in my life? Do I respond to Emlyn as soon as she needs me? No, I say hold on a minute. Do I respond to Andrew as soon as he needs me? no same thing.. ONE SEC!

This is hard guys. Really hard. I can’t stand what the phone has become in our home. Its got to change. I can’t miss moments I will never get back. The phone for me is a sign of my over commitment. Over commitment to the business, to the desires, dreams, and unimportant things swirling in my head. I want to be intentional with the people I love and not with my emails, overloaded agenda, and more. So what does this mean for me?

It means it is time for some serious boundaries. Work during work hours ONLY. It means setting office hours and responding to emails only during office hours! What did people do before smart phones and iPads? Left work there! This is so hard for me. I love what we do. I love this place. I love hearing from our fans and knowing we are making a difference in peoples lives. The truth is though that I have two lives in my home that I need to make a difference in first! All of this is great and God is SO glorifying it. But I know this right here is what He is calling me to do. A year to be intentional. Intentional with my minutes, hours, friends, family, and so on. I don’t want moments to pass me by because my head was buried in emails and a long to do list. Living is not completing the list before me. Living is not being completely disconnected from what is in front of you.. Living is connecting to the ones who are before you. Living is living simply. Living is letting go of perfection and letting the noise of your life be filled with JOY and laughter instead of the sounds of your technology.

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THE HANDS FREE PLEDGE

I’m becoming Hands Free.

I want to make memories, not to-do lists. 

I want t feel the squeeze of my child’s arm, not the pressure of overcommitment. 

I want to get lost in conversation with people I love, not consumed by a sea of unimportant emails. 

I want to be overwhelmed by sunsets that give me hope, not by overloaded agendas that steal my joy. 

I want the noise of my life to be a mixture of laughter and gratitude, not the intrusive buzz of cell phones and text messages. 

I’m letting go of distraction, disconnection, and perfection to live a life that simply, so very simply, consists of what it really matters.

I’m becoming Hands Free. 

This DOES not mean I can not run a business, and spend time working. This simply means that I need to devote me UNDIVIDED attention to my family when I am with them. There has to be a time to work and socialize APART from our time together. You may not even notice a difference but we will. I have realized the cost of my distraction in my family time and it is time to focus on the roses that are before me!

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon- instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”  – Dale Carnegie

I share all of this in hopes of bringing some revelation in your own life! If you would like to join me in this Hands Free journey please COMMENT, or message me! I want to know who is with me! I encourage you to introduce HANDS FREE time periods into your day to start. Mine are FIRST thing in the morning and right before bed. Turn everything off or lock your devices away from you. One of my rules has been that I CAN NOT touch my computer or phone until I have read my daily devotional and bible! This has been a great rule for me! Buy the book. Maybe you already read it but still struggle. READ IT AGAIN! My prayer is that this blog posts finds other mommas that need to realize what the cost of their distraction is. This is what matters most ladies. This is it. Thanks for reading!

Sharing, serving, and celebrating,

Chrissy