Friday, March 16, 2012

All I need.

Today is one for the books.
And if it's been quiet around here... well, here's why.
By the time I lay my head on my pillow tonight, I will have worked a total of 14 hours in two different hospitals.

It started with a clinical that I co-led (I know, what?!) for 8 hours, which began at 6:30am. I'm now in my 4-hour break, and I'll go back for what was supposed to be a 12 hour night shift in the NICU. But I asked for grace. Grace for it to only be 6 hours. And they were kind.

My Etsy shop has been so, so busy with new convos coming in at least 10 times a day. So busy that I've contemplated closing it down for the next month just to catch up (i.e. I have at least 80 purses to sew that have already been paid for... and that doesn't mix well with 14-hour days). I know it's stressful being a bride. I've been there. But to get several messages every day saying, "Just checking in to see how the bags are going!" stresses me out beyond belief. I'm a people pleaser through and through, and though I'm not even late delivering the bags, the fact that they could be disappointed in me makes me lose sleep.

I had a professor who once said, "Sometimes you just need to ask for a little grace." It stuck with me. So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm in need of a whole lot of grace. Grace from God, first of all, because I am so not perfect. I get frustrated and overwhelmed and impatient and discontent at this over-the-top busy time in my life where people are pulling at me from every single direction. I need grace from you, too. "You" being everyone around me who is in my life. Maybe that comes in the form of a little less pulling, and accepting when I have to say "no" one more time. Maybe it comes in the form of praying for me... I would appreciate that more than you know.

Here's the thing, too. Sometimes "grace" comes with perspective. I need the perspective that wow, I am healthy and able enough to work 14 hours in one day. I feel gifted as a future nurse and am able to minister to people in their deepest times of need. What a privilege. And on top of it, I have been given a gift to design and sew purses that people enjoy, so much that they are in high demand. And not to even mention that I have a husband and family whom "supportive" does not even begin to describe. They are amazing.

I think these things as I remember one of my classmates who was in a near-fatal accident yesterday, who was supposed to graduate in May right alongside me and the 97 others, and may never wake up. I think of his sweet wife. I think of the patients I spent the last 8 hours with whose bodies are riddled with cancer and disease. And I must think, "Thank you, God." In these overwhelming-beyond-what-I-can-take moments, gratitude is really all I need.


  1. Hey Whit!

    When I read this post, my experience was placed on my heart so I thought I would share. May not be new news to you or the advice you were seeking, but know that I am praying for you through this stressful time!

    Back in September, I opened my Etsy shop. At first it was just a hobby then it became a great side business. Andrew and I didn't HAVE to have it to eat, but its steady stream of income each month helped to save a little, go to the occasional concert, eat out- not worrying about our money... that sort of thing. Needless to say, even though we didn't HAVE to have it to survive, I worked- in my people pleaser attitude- very hard at growing my business and going above and beyond what my customers wanted so that we could have that money. Plus, I wanted their parties with my garland to be perfect. In doing so, I created a lot of stress for myself when things got super busy. At the end of December, we were going to move and with Christmas orders, Christmas holidays, and moving, I was totally overwhelmed (like you are now with wedding orders). I remember just feeling on pins and needles, so stressed and concerned about everything being perfect, that I felt like I might break down at any second because almost all of my life was busy.

    So I stopped one day and tried really hard to remember what my Etsy shop was about. 1) It was something I truly loved doing. It did get overwhelming sometimes, but I loved creating. 2) It was to provide some residual income for my little family.

    In thinking this out I looked how much money I had made (more than I had ever dreamed) and realized that I could put my Etsy shop on vacation, continue to enjoy it (because it wasn't stressing me out), and in general, love life a little bit more because I was a LOT lESS stressed.

    I was scared to put my shop on vacation because I thought it would look bad to customers, prevent me from being able to make the money I had when I reopened, etc, etc. But I decided it was worth it. If all of this stress was in my life- this was at least the one thing I could have a little control over. I contacted all customers that I had been having conversations with about custom orders to say I was closing in 2 days and they needed to get their order in. Then when I put my shop on vacation mode, my banner said I was taking a break to move and catch up... something like that. Feel free to convo me about custom orders, but I wouldn't be getting back to them as quickly as usual. This small action gave me comfort knowing I didn't have to answer convos so quickly and it allowed me to easily say no to custom order requests with justification. It freed up SO MUCH TIME.

    Long story... sorry, but the result when I reopened my shop after a few weeks 1) I felt way more relaxed and enjoyed life during those few weeks more. 2) Andrew and my family enjoyed me way more :) 3) We didn't lose money that we needed. It turns out, I didn't HAVE to have those orders nearly as much as I did my sanity. 4) When I reopened, my etsy shop got busy like I had never left... my customers didn't actually care. They understood. I did get a couple of convos during my few week vacation and I was able to decide if I had the time to make them or not and just billed directly through PayPal if I decided I wanted to take them.

    All that said, you don't have to put your shop on vacation mode obviously, but I remember feeling so bad about it at the time- like I was failing at something. Now I realize, it was the best decision I have made in regards to my shop and great for my own health, relationships, etc.

    Hang in there!

    Love you!

    1. I totally needed to hear all of that. Thank you so much, Allison. I am definitely going to put my shop on hold for a few weeks (maybe about 6) for my own sanity, health, and to finish nursing school strong. Thanks for your encouragement - I really, really appreciate it and I was able to read this to Shawn and it helped him understand some of the feelings I've had. Love you girl!

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart in this post. It filled my morning with perspective and peace! :)

    Praying that the Lord will still your heart Whitney! That would fill you with peace, gratitude and a willing heart to sustain you. I pray for wisdom in your inmost place- that you would know the right calls to make with your etsy store and your customers. I pray for deep rest and for new mercies, graces, and joys to become a part of your day. Know how treasured you are by those around you- but especially by our God who lavishes his love upon you.


  3. Praying the joy of the Lord will be your strength!! That you will feel Him leading you beside the still waters and that He will make you lie down in green pastures and rest! He is your shepherd-praying for rest and for a fresh wind!

  4. Praying for you in this busy, but blessed time! :)