Taking a Step Back

hollydays_pressing_pauseJust a warning that this is probably going to be pretty lengthy. I invite you to hang in there with me, this is truly a blog post from the heart. I don’t know where to start even though I’ve written this post a million times in my head over the past week. I guess I’ll start with some recent observations…

Last night I carried my 4-year-old off to bed for the last time. The. Last. Time. You see, today is her fifth birthday and she is truly growing up faster than I can control. 5 years old, can it really be true?

Last night, we had awful storms in our area. We had over a foot of rain. Lightning lit up the sky like a strobe light and kept on for hours. I think we finally went to sleep around 4:00 am and got up at 7:45. It was around 9:30 last night that my 4-year-old, sleepy eyed crept quietly into our room. The loud thunder woke her from her almost 2 hour sleep. She snuggled with me in bed for about two seconds before she was sound asleep again. Sleeping so peacefully in my arms when all the chaos of crashing thunder, lightning and a violent downpour surrounded us.

This morning peace, stillness, a strange serene feeling. I’m sitting in my bed, laptop in my lap looking at pictures from her first birthday:

happy-birthday-photo

How quickly time passes. How this day is almost a blur, just a collection of memories I am so grateful for taking the time to capture. A day paused for a moment.

Anyway, that thought brings me to this. Before my now five-year-old was even born, I started HollyDays. It has been such a blessing in my life. I have met so many wonderful people throughout the eight years (YES, EIGHT YEARS) of the business.

Somehow, even with the years of experience under my belt, something isn’t right anymore. I have felt this tug on my heart for about a year now, not knowing what it was but knowing God wanted me to change something. I don’t know how to put all my thoughts and conclusions into words except, I would like to press the pause button.

I don’t know exactly how to describe what is going to happen, but for now we are not going to be processing any further orders. Jen and I had a long, tearful talk last week. I want to be able to take the summer “off” to spend with my daughter in what will be her last summer before she starts big kid school. She is so excited about it. I feel like as moms, we try to take on so many responsibilities, more than we are even capable of accomplishing. We are bombarded with images on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, that show how beautiful a busy, “successful” life can be, but do you see how many times I tell my daughter “hold on just a second, I’ll be right there”? It’s not because of cooking dinner, cleaning a toilet or folding clothes, it’s because I’m trying to rush an order out the door or reply to emails that are piling up in my inbox. In fact, even when I am not working, my thoughts are often on the business because it’s impossible to close your office door at home and turn off your work-at-home-mom-brain. If anyone hasn’t told you before, running a small business isn’t as easy as it should be. Overhead expenses, time-sucking responsibilities, late nights that aren’t so glamorous. Profit isn’t as quite as beautiful as you’d imagine either unless I am truly working those late nights every night and I’m not willing to trade my family for money. In fact, we’ve been trying to grow our family for three years, with no success. Maybe it’s God’s will for us to be a one child family or maybe He is asking for me to be faithful in little, so I can be faithful in much. I hope the latter is true.

We aren’t going away completely. You will still be able to get HollyDays products through online retailers (so grateful for that opportunity, that I took for granted way too long, until now) I love blogging, I love sharing and connecting with our truly amazing clients (that’s what kept me from doing this a long time ago). However, right now God is calling me to sit peacefully in his arms and be faithful to His call. I once read something from a mom saying how at the end of her days, she wished she “enjoyed the doing a little more” instead of the “getting it done”. That’s where I am. I am ready to enjoy the doing. Ready to truly be the Proverbs 31 woman I want to be. The woman God desires me to be. Glad he’s still working on me. Ready to see where he leads me.

With that, I want to say thank you. Thank you to my MANY wonderful clients through the years. I have loved working with you. To Jen, you are amazing. I don’t have words to express how thankful I am for the help you have been to me, to HollyDays, to our clients. Yes, I’m tearing up again. I’ll miss talking to you weekly and brainstorming with you. You have truly been a blessing. Thank you, sweet friend.

And thank you for hanging in through this long, emotional, probably-too-much-info post. I’m grateful for you.

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Comments

  1. Lynsey Smith says

    You are so precious Holly. I have always admired you so very much. So kind and talented in so many ways. Time truly does fly by. I felt that same feeling last year and I can honestly tell you, you will not regret your decision. Enjoy every moment with your family. Much love, Lynsey

  2. Elizabeth G. says

    I am so very proud of you Holly! I’ve been able to watch you grow (literally – sheesh!) into this woman that you are now! Our little girls are growing and you are already on your way to being a great Proverbs 31 woman by realizing that you need a pause! It’s a Pause, not a Stop! Who knows what scene you’ll be moving to next once the “movie” God has planned for you starts back again! So glad you are listening to Him and making the choice…………… supporting you 100%!((HUGS))!

    • says

      Elizabeth, Thank you so very much! I have totally missed your sweet comment until today and I wish I would have seen it before I saw you last week (and I wish I could have had more time to chat with you). You are so precious and encouraging. Thank you, thank you! I’m so glad to know you!

  3. Valerie Scott says

    Holly,

    An important part of anyone’s journey is listening to the still, small voice within you. That requires attention and stillness. Without it, decades could go by with you whirling past many things which are far more important only to realize the opportunity is past. “Good is the enemy of the best,” the sage said. You have looked within and chosen to seize these precious days to be more present with Karidyn. HollyDays will wait and I, and all your other customers will be right here when you decide you want to crank up again. And always remember you can choose the speed. And if you decide to move into new areas of your life, you have given us all lovely memories and wonderful gifts for the little people we love.

    Enjoy every day. I will keep you, Jonathan and Karidyn in my prayers. Embrace your beautiful life and drink deeply of it.

    Wishing you every happiness,

    Valerie

    • says

      Valerie, Thank so you much for these encouraging words. This was an extremely difficult decision, but God has continued to confirm it over and over. Thank you for the prayers. Thank you.

  4. Stephanie Benzaia says

    What you are doing is so incredibly faithful and you will be rewarded in so much more than you can imagine! I will miss all of your ideas, gifts and beautiful Christmas Cards but you are absolutely doing what is best for you and your beautiful family! Congrats and I wish you the best of luck in everything that you do!

    • says

      Stephanie, Thank you so very much! I am so glad I was able to meet you through HollyDays and Jen! You are so kind. Thank you so so much!

  5. Sherry Peters says

    You are such a blessing to Daddy and I! We love you more than words could ever express. Tears are streaming down my face right now as I think of the precious memories I have of spending time at home with you from a baby and up that have made a difference in me. We are proud of the women, wife, and mother you have allowed God to make you into. The future is before you and God has great plans to bless you and your family further. Love you lots! MoM

  6. Susan Doering says

    You give your all to every project you do with such a sweet spirit. I have always been in awe of your talent and your ability to complete so much and keep your ‘cool’ and patient composure. We all look forward to what God has in store for you and your family. We love you Holly, your family and Hollydays!

  7. AMBER DARNELL says

    What a true example of what God wants ALL his children to do….wished I could be as strong as you…so upset to see this post but know HOW MUCH I appreciate all the things you’ve done for me in the past…MAY GOD continue to bless you!

  8. Rachel says

    Hi Holly,
    I stumbled upon your site sometime in 2012 and fell in love with your talented work.
    I have printed out EVERY SINGLE calendar you have posted and have it at work AND home to look at daily.
    So many compliments have been given when co workers or friends see it hanging on my wall…
    They often times ask me if I made it (I am a designer) and I get so excited to say “NO!” and show them your site and share my excitement for your products. — Now, I see a lot more of your calendars and ‘gifts’ around my office and the same excitement being shared with people they know.

    I applaud your dedication to being a fully commited mom — a rarity in today’s society.
    My mom is my best friend and the best mom I could ever ask for and our friendship and respect for each other is beyond bounds. I attribute our incredible relationship — and the 22 year old woman I am today — to her commitment to “being there”.

    Your daughter is a very, very lucky girl and I am positive she will grow into a beautiful woman, just like her mom.
    Good luck and thank you for spreading your joy, creativity and warmth!!

    • says

      Hi Rachel, Your kind words have truly warmed my heart! I do hope that when my daughter is 22, she will say the same thing about me. How lucky your Mom is to have a daughter who realizes these things! Thank you so much for your sweet compliments. I am so glad you enjoy the calendars. So very grateful to hear these words today, thank you.

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