I can’t remember exactly what the inspiration was to write this series. I think it is something that the Lord has been brewing in me for almost a year now. It’s actually been tough to write it down in precise words. Since the beginning of the year,  I have watched dreams come alive for a friend of mine. A true beauty from ashes story. I also experienced a friend’s dream come alive in the form of a fundraiser for her ministry. I’ve had lunches with a friend who has been hanging out on a limb, knowing exactly what she needs to be doing in her career, just finding the right time to pull the trigger.  I’ve witnessed a women’s ministry unfold, piece by piece, out of sheer obedience and fear not to unleash it because it might implode if they don’t! Heck, I myself, have been trying to step out in faith on things I should be doing with my business. I have seen how painstakingly I have taken the tiniest steps ever because I don’t want to neglect other important things in my life. Or at least that is what I think holds me back. Truthfully, I am just scared of a lot of things. Scared and excited. I wondered if other women felt this way too. Turns out, they do.

I posed a few questions to about 30 women I work with. Some friends, some acquaintances, some I hardly knew. I simply asked them what their dreams and goals were for now and for the future. Not everyone answered me. Some people couldn’t even grasp the question. They hadn’t given it a thought. But some answers, oh, some responses brought me to my knees weeping. I kept thinking, “Why do we think and feel these things and no one knows about them?” How is it possible to have so many beautiful dreams for yourself, yet not a soul knows. Or maybe you have shared it with someone special, but it is all almost shared with a scoff of disbelief…something that you would only like to keep in your head.

As I looked at responses and experienced my own experiences this past year, examined my own heart, I think it all came to me in a series. The series I want to share here. The reason we do not act on God-breathed ideas and talents and dreams, is all because of lies. Lies that we are told, and believe. I believe they are ingrained in us so hard, that we don’t even realize they are lies.

I work with women. I love working with women and communicating with them. And while it isn’t necessarily my “job” to do this kind of thing {write about barriers to our own joy}, I am going to be putting it all out there the way I see it. My prayer is that maybe this will speak to you. Maybe it will allow you to move forward with something you have felt has always been in your heart to do. Breaking the down the barriers of lies we tell ourselves, one lie at a time.

Lie #1: You can have it all.  

I don’t know when or how or why this notion has been heaped upon women over the years, but it has. And it’s breaking our backs. The thought that we can have it all comes from a good place, I am sure. From a standpoint of women’s lib-that we are equal to, or have every right to be equal to our counterparts of men. I am in total agreement with that. I think we do deserve equal rights. I think we are extremely smart and capable of so many things, career and beyond. Far beyond. We are great communicators of much and we are mothers and friends and ministers. Yes, WOMEN are fierce ministers {I’ll write about this later}. We are so much. BUT we can’t have it all. Or maybe I should say, we cannot have it all at ONCE. It’s just not possible.

Having it all. All. ALL. I am assuming that “All” encompasses all of most of the following things: Love, Marriage, a family, an education, a career you enjoy,  a home (that is clean and tidy), sleep, a great body (or at least a decent one if you work on it enough), great friends, lots of volunteer time and a thriving spiritual life. All of these things are great and necessary and good. But the strain we put on ourselves to get all of these things is maddening. And harmful, and unbalanced. The very fact that we try to achieve balance is quite unbalanced. 

My good friend, Emily Mills has some beautiful thoughts about achieving balance in this article she wrote a few months ago. In it she wrote:

“To achieve the fallacy of outward balance, we’re forced to compare value: kids, career, ministry, nutrition, etc. But the truth is, my kids will never weigh as much as a job….and yet my job is an extension of my calling. And so is my calling of greater value than my kids? If my miss my daughter’s classroom party, am I devaluing her completely? Let the insanity stop! Let’s crush this scale that has morphed into a measuring stick of achievement!”


Our outward actions and achievements are never going to balance out. If you work full-time, you can’t get those hours back in the day to spend with your kids. On the same token, if you have 3 toddlers under the age of three, and have opted to stay home,  I think it is safe to say you are not going to be able to have total focus on a career that requires a lot of time and man power. Something always has to give. And that is OK, you guys! Stop looking at it like a pie chart and look at it from a perspective of a season in life. Are you still using your giftings? Loving your family to the fullest with no boundaries? Looking to serve others without gain? These are all things we have a God-given capacity for. And they shift from time to time. Some areas get more attention than others at a certain time. My fear, however for us, is when something gets put on the back-burner and never returns to the front.


This past year, I experienced the Not Having It All thing in my own way. Since I have had my youngest, I have been taking the tiniest of steps trying to get myself in a good place between motherhood and career dreams. A couple of areas that have thrived more than others are my role as a mommy to Woods who is home with me most days. I feel like I get a lot of quality time with her to read, play, get out of the house, etc. On the same note, my fitness business dreams are slowly coming to fruition. I have done several group classes and grown my on-line presence at a pace I am pretty happy with. On the contrary, two areas have suffered are my friendships and my involvement in my big kid’s school. I am an “older” mom with a toddler.  Most, though not all, of my close friends have all of their kiddos in some form of formalized school most of the day on most days. I do not. My mornings are swifter than a lightning bolt, and timed to a tee. In order for my business to work and my family to be fed, I am on a tight, regimented schedule.  I have been bound to the house for nap time from 11:30a-3p everyday and then it’s off to the races of school pick up, dance, sports and anything else older kids schedules entail. I rarely see my friends, which makes this little extrovert often go into a dark, lonely place. I also have been strapped for time to do anything with my kid’s school. I LOVE being a room mom and school volunteer. But the past two years with a baby on my hip and now a toddler in my shadows, I have had to scale back to almost nothing. I have tearfully told my kids I will not be able to do the all-day field trips I once was so good at participating in, resorted to many donut stops over my usual cute and well-thought-out homemade goodies. It doesn’t mean I don’t value my kids in their current stage, or not LONG to be involved 100% as THAT mom who holds the school together like crazy glue. I do. I want to. I will. I just haven’t been able to for a little while. And when I tried, it left me flat, and tired and frazzled. My “No” made me so much more confident and relaxed. You guys, there is a season for such things. IMG_2397So, what has this said to you? Do you try to make your life an equally divided pie chart? Have you been beating yourself up mentally for taking that job? Have you said yes to every single extra-curricular activity under the sun so you can be the perfect mom, wife, employee, church member, etc? What if you can take this approach:

1. Ask yourself what “having it all” means to you. Write it down.

2. What are some of the dreams you are holding on to? Write them down.

3. In those dreams, which ones can you focus on now? Which ones can you focus on in the next year? Which ones can you focus on in the next 3-5 years.

4. Pray. Pray for the Lord to reveal to you the things that you can back off of for now. What drains you? Ask him to give you creative visions and ideas. When He does, write them down.

5. Make an action plan. Doesn’t have to be too detailed, but get the wheels rolling. Pen to paper.

My friends, it’s ok to not have it all. Not a single one of us does. We are not meant nor are we made to be perfect. Unload some of that pressure off of yourself. I think once you really let this idea that you can’t have it all sink in, all of the other barriers I am going to write about will fall away.

Deep breaths, my friends, deep breaths. There are incredible things ahead, just maybe not all at once.

I’d love to hear your feedback!