Working from home is a funny thing.
You might remember the first time I blogged about working from home (but I won't hold it against you if you don't since that was ages ago). In that post, I talked about the laughable moments from the outcome of working at home alone in my own space. Today, finally, I want to share a little more of the real struggle of home life / work life. Some days it's my best case scenario (think: it's a cold, rainy day, but you can work from under a blanket and never have to step one foot out the door), but other days it's my worst enemy. Like when living areas are messy, inevitably work life gets unorganized. Or like when I end up doing a lot of "accidental overtime" because work life and home life are one in the same. Instagram becomes my "work community" in a sense, which leads to me having unrealistic expectations for myself. And finally, no accountability means that nobody is there to see that I snoozed my alarm about 7 times too many. It's challenging to run a business from home.
With that, there are three words that I've absolutely had to learn these past months to stay afloat. They have been life-giving + business-saving all at the same time.
1 - Discipline. Ugh don't we all hate this word by now? I know I do. Because for me it evokes feelings of failure... like never being able to stick to a workout routine, having bad study habits back in college, or never finishing all those books I wanted to read. But for the sake of my business I really need to take the time to be faithful in the small things such as logging my work and keeping good records. It feels excessive and unnecessary in the moment, but I will really be doing myself a huge favor in the long run. I like to imagine future Jessie thanking me for my discipline with a pizza party. This dream is more motivating than it probably should be. #ilovefood
2 - Grace. I think we tend to get this one mixed-up in our heads and employ it as an excuse instead realizing what it truly means and how healing it is for our souls. For example, it feels kinda dirty when I speak grace over myself to justify watching an extra episode of The Office during my self-proclaimed lunch break. So that's not really what I'm getting at here. I'm getting at the grace that says "you don't have to be so hard on yourself". Grace in its true form is what lifts us up off the ground and takes a weight off our shoulders to move forward. We are human and we mess up, but we get to bypass the part where we wallow in failure or even self-pity. We get to pick up and try again and learn from mistakes.
3 - Confidence. Confession: sometimes I have to listen to Beyonce or wear heels and lipstick to finish up projects. When you value yourself and your worth, that adds value to your talents and your work. I think this is hard for Christians especially, because we are taught (or create all on our own) a kind of cheap humility that causes us to devalue ourselves and our gifts. I know you've met this person, the one who self-depricates either out of habit or trying to get a laugh, and it's honestly uncomfortable, right? I certainly don't believe that's what God intended (see 1 Corinthians 12). It's of divine importance to recognize things that we are good at and value our talents. Currently preaching to myself. This one is really hard and feels like I'm literally re-wiring my brain.
The crazy thing is, these three words are now becoming inseparable to me. Walk with me here....so grace can lead to confidence, but it's also important to be confident in the grace that you're receiving, right? And being disciplined can actually make us feel more confident, but only when it's not out-of-balance discipline. How do we keep discipline in balance? Thankfully, it's grace that helps keep discipline in check, and when you flip it around, discipline adds value to grace. Do you see what I mean? And I wish I could tell you that I've got these three things going for me in perfect balance, but whew do I ever have to work at these! It's rare that they come as natural feelings, but I know that when I put these three words into practice they are transformational for my business and home life...and ultimately my sanity.