My name is Lis, I am a mother of 5 amazing children! Our family is crazy, complicated, fun and messy! I have a lot of “baggage” some might say, having had an eating disorder, having gone through a divorce, having experienced major loss and trauma, HOWEVER, I choose to see my baggage as stepping stones that have made me who I am today! I’m sure I will go into more detail on all of that in future posts, but for now, I AM STARTING A BLOG!! Woohoo!!! And here is my first entry… (I honestly thought about ending it there but figured that probably wouldn’t get the reaction I was hoping for, sarcasm doesn’t translate well in text).
So, the biggest question on my mind right now is WHY THE HECK AM I DOING THIS?!? I just recently started an Instagram and Facebook page, (Yes- I am super late to basically everything) and I have been struggling with the occasional question of “What is the point of this?” or “How much of this is actually even REAL?!” I promise you I don’t have my kids dressed in super cute clothes, lounging in the back of a vintage pick-up truck, making fresh squeezed lemonade as I gaze on, all smiles, in my sundress and trendy accessories. Nope! Most days around here I feel I’m successful if all of my kids are in CLEAN clothes! And, to bring things truly into focus, we definitely have days in which even THAT super small goal is not met! (MOM DISCLAIMER- I cannot be held responsible for children who refuse to change underwear, especially when all of the underwear are the same color!) I don’t have makeup on most days, and if I am not expected to be anywhere, people who are closest to me know, you should text before you drop in or I will probably be without a bra as well! For visual purposes, and with the goal of being “real” I included the most recent photo I have of my every day self on my phone!
Some of you may already know our family has recently started a small business. Well, since this blog is intended to be an attempt at making a deeper connection, and hopefully a ministry out of this venture by being TRANSPARENT, I’m going to share the WHOLE story behind that. I’ve always had thoughts/dreams of opening an Etsy store. I love the vintage feel and items that have a history of “family” have always appealed to me. However, as a stay at home mom with 5 kids, those dreams were never going to become a reality in my mind. So, back in the real world and not in my Mom fantasies, my Husband’s company merged with another and they completely restructured their payroll. What that meant for us, to keep it simple, was that Hunter was now going to be making a more comparable salary to everyone else in his field , translating into a substantial pay cut. This would also make it hard for him to find a job that would pay what he was earning before. We had recently moved into a home with our first mortgage ever, so, needless to say it felt as if the bottom fell out. We started researching and praying about job/school opportunities, staying open to EVERYTHING.
I had a day in which the Holy Spirit so graciously convicted me of the amount of time I spent on my phone. Most days I was spending hours doing the stupidest things. The realization came for me when I looked down at my 18 month old who could turn on the “Trolls” soundtrack, and SWIPE to operate my phone BY HERSELF. At that age she was only able to do that because she had seen me do it so often. (If you are questioning the authenticity of that moment, check out this video…. SERIOUSLY a problem…)
So, in this super convicting moment, I had the thought … there MUST be a way to redeem all this wasted time in a way that could help relieve the pressure on my husband and in turn,help my family! From there, I went on to research private labeling, Etsy, Amazon, passive income, CRAFTING (anyone who REALLY knows me is probably laughing out loud at that idea! Every craft I attempt looks as if my 5 year old did it. In fact, there have been many times during the Christmas season where my wrapping is SO BAD, I just let people assume she DID do it!) Anyways, I even thought about writing a book… My thoughts were everywhere. Over time I narrowed it down and decided to design and create family, home and baby items. I read an article during that process which stated the importance of choosing something you are passionate and knowledgeable about, in order to be successful. What was I passionate about? My faith, my family, my babies, (really ALL babies), adoption… So, the next step was coming up with a name, a product that would sell, all of that fun stuff.
While all of this was evolving, I read and researched a LOT. EVERYTHING I read told you NOT to narrow your audience, to keep your scope broad so that you would draw in a lot of people potentially interested in what you are doing- basically, stay politically correct. So, that’s what I did. Recently, however, I have had a HUGE conviction in this area. As I was getting ready to start this blog, I felt personally convicted that I was not being REAL. (I know I’m using that word a lot but it’s the best to convey my desire) That has been my biggest thing since starting this. I wanted to be a REAL person, putting out there my real struggles, triumphs, adventures- hoping people would read something that resonated with them, while allowing God to use my journey. At this point though I was finding myself doing product research, or setting up Ad campaigns in which I was avoiding anything that could be CONSIDERED faith based, in an attempt to keep my audience “broad”. Well, this might be great business advice, but that is NOT me. That is not who I am. I have been through a lot in my life and I cannot separate who I am and what I’m passionate about from my faith.
One really cool part of this story is that when I had this conviction, most aspects of the business were already underway and past the point of changing course. But, my sovereign, super amazing God already had me in a position to make the focus of the business a Celebration of LIFE, from a Christian perspective. I just needed to point the focus there: the miracle on display in each and every one of us God has made! To celebrate and embrace the things that make us unique, to encourage and support one another through the struggles that this life brings, and to accept the fact that we are never promised tomorrow. In doing that, we choose to live in the truth and the grace of today and to LOVE the people and the world around us. We have two girls with 2 very different adoption stories (will possibly share those in future posts), I have lost my Dad and both of my sisters in a car accident, we have lost a child, but what better perspective to have for a business that will CELEBRATE life and family!
So, here I am, writing my first blog as an introduction, hoping to make completely apparent who I am, what I love, where I struggle, and where I find my strength. I will probably talk about my grief journey, my parenting struggles, my struggle with depression and insecurities and my music. (Just the lyrics-I won’t submit your ears to my crappy phone recordings!) You will definitely see a LOT of flaw and transparency in my posts. I will try not to curse, though typing it out should provide the verbal filter I don’t always have in real life. I don’t fit the mold the world has put on a believer: I have a nose piercing, tattoos, enjoy the occasional glass of wine (yes, even as a Southern Baptist) but I am committed to trying my best to have ALL of this glorify the God who chose me and saved me, in everything that I do!
So, again, HI!! My name is Lis, I am saved by grace, and I can’t wait to see how Christ uses this new adventure in our life to highlight His goodness!!!
Please, comment below and introduce yourself! I would love to connect 😊