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I’ve been dreaming, planning, reading, crying, writing, re-writing, dreaming some more…. All to get to the point of publishing my site & writing this very first blog. I’ve never had anything tug at me so much – and play round and round in my head – to push past the nay-sayers, and to share what’s on my heart.

My heart has been heavy the last few years, but not full. Life – the day-to-day – has worn me down. I’m no different from the next woman who strives to be the best at being a mother, being a wife, being a woman that wants her career to flourish. I was convinced – for years – that other women had it figured out. Their kids were more well-behaved, their careers were thriving, they made it to the gym more often than I did, they traveled with their family often, and they had time to somehow still create a Pinterest-perfect birthday party for their kid. It’s the last thing you want to see when you’re barely treading water.

That’s the highlight reel of social media though. It gets you when you’re most vulnerable.

Still, I felt unfulfilled and wanted to carve out something for myself. My days were (and still are) jam-packed with kids and a career and a household and a marriage, and… well, I love it most of the time.

But I was still chasing that fulfillment. That little side project just for me. Still chasing the idea that I could create something on my own. My voice. My agenda. My contribution. My tribe. My business.

I thought I had figured out that the blog would focus on personal finances. It’s a natural play off my degree and my career… but lately, I’ve had this nagging feeling that other women (SAHM’s, mammas with careers & career women who haven’t yet had a family) deal with the same self-confidence, exhaustion and life-balance struggles that I’ve dealt with. Women lose their joy along the way. Our deepest struggles are within our own minds. We create our own barriers without realizing it. Yet no one is vulnerable and willing to share their story.

I’m going to step out and say what so many women hear inside of their heads day in and day out: Life is hard. Life is chaotic. Life isn’t what it was a few decades ago, ladies. There is no idle time anymore. You’re still expected to raise a family, run a household, shuttle your kids all over place, prepare meals, check homework and not run out of steam by the time your husband comes home. Ladies, my last sentence didn’t even mention having a career or taking care of yourself… but you knew that had to fit in there too, right?

Listen, I love my children. I love my husband. I move mountains to balance my family, my relationships and my career. But I wanted even more for us. I wanted balance. I wanted the joy in life back. I wanted to feel that the time I spend here on this earth will serve a purpose.

The reality is that this seemingly well-put-together mom that you see in the picture may have looked empowered, but that’s because we learn how to control the narrative, right? My girls (nine and five years old) were laying on the ground – the parking lot at the top of a parking garage to be exact – mere feet away from me in the photo. (I have no idea why they were lying down. They’re kids. It’s just what they do.) My husband was supposed to be home on time so I could head downtown for this photo shoot alone, but instead, he got caught up at work. The girls weren’t supposed to be there with me. But life happened and we adjusted. You can act or react. I chose to act. Those photos felt like the first step in launching this blog. I don’t know why. But I wasn’t willing to give up what I was working toward, or put it up on a shelf for a while.

In the months since that day, a lot has happened. A lot that could’ve derailed this blog altogether. I’m sure the time will come when I’ll share that part of our journey, but know this… I was once again faced with the tough decision of whether to shelf this venture, or figure out how to make it work. The timing wasn’t right, I was told.

But you know what? The timing will never be perfect. I think God allows life to happen sometimes so that it can shape who we are, how we think, how we inspire others or impact one another. He knows I’ll rise to the occasion, or I’ll change direction. The things truly worth pursuing in life will never come easy, friend.

Maybe this perfectly imperfect life is exactly what my girls need to experience. To see that Mom isn’t June Cleaver and that’s okay. To see that Mom can’t always plan things perfectly, but she can somehow make it work. To see that Mom seeks out the uphill battles because the reward is so much sweeter when you work for it. To see that Mom isn’t afraid to fail.

Maybe this perfectly imperfect life is exactly what other women need for their own souls. To see another woman who isn’t going to pretend that success came easy. To see another woman that admits she struggles to feel fulfilled, or has really crappy days too. To see another woman that doesn’t have it all figured out because she’s learned too many times that it’s not within her control. To see that anyone can start something, but only those able to adapt and persevere will make it to the finish line. To see that real fulfillment comes only with serving His purpose for our lives, not our own.

This blog won’t connect with all women.

My journey is years of long hours and juggling acts to get where I am today in my career, in my marriage, in motherhood and in my Faith. And I’m far from where I plan to go. As I share pieces of my journey, it will deeply connect with some and others will graze over the words, but it just won’t resonate. We’re all on our own journey and this is for those who cross similar paths.

Those who feel a burning desire inside telling them they’re meant for more.

Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

Stephanie

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