preparing: hearts, minds & circus-like lives

With Influence around the corner in just a week (AH!), I have a lot of prep to do. It's an honor to be a community leader again this year, leading a workshop and be coordinating the volunteers. Thrive is also helping out and we are doing all of the name tags, so I've been pouring over the list of attendees and designing & printing name tags for everyone! So, yeah. Lots of good stuff going on! And not to mention attempting to not ignore the tiny humans in my house and prepare my home for 5 days away. That's the scariest part of all!! As I began thinking about my time away, I started thinking about all of the mamas (there are LOTS) that will be attending the conference as well. Some maybe leaving their babies for the first time. It can be a VERY stressful and overwhelming time. It can even hurt your time away if you become too wrapped up in the details at home.

I've compiled a list of things that help keep my mind and heart calm as I take some time away from my family!


LEAVE A SCHEDULE: If your husband works full time out of the home, he may not be familiar with your day in and day out routine. This will not only calm your nerves, but help him out. Write down some important things he may not know that you do every day. BUT, remember, he is your partner not another one of your children. He is perfectly capable of hanging with the kids for a few days by himself. Be as helpful as he needs to make his life easier!

LET SOME STUFF GO: Give them some breathing room. Time with daddy should be FUN time! Most likely, daddy time looks a bit different than mommy time. And that's how it should be!!! As long as they are fed and happy...who cares?! They will love Daddy time!

LAY OUT CLOTHES: I have THREE babies. This is kinda key for my kids being dressed. Which, most days they aren't dressed with me at home but you get the idea. In case he decides to venture out for a trip to the donut shop, at least they won't be in mismatched clothes or the 3 year old wearing the 6 month old's pants? Yup.

CLEAN & FORGET IT: Leave the house in better shape than you will find it in. Yes, that's right. Unless your husband is one of those Mr. Clean folks (which I find to be like 1 in 50), just know it won't look the same way you left it. AND THAT'S OK! Leave him with clean laundry, an empty sink and a vacuumed floor. When you come home? Look at those smiling faces and thank him for keeping everything (or most things) in one piece! Let him know you want him to have a great time with the kids and you can have a cleaning party when you get back!

PREP SOME MEALS: Even if it's frozen pizza, get a plan for them. This will make life so much easier for everyone if they know they can eat! Have a crock pot meal ready, cook something so there are leftovers in the fridge. Leave out a box of mac & cheese. Just help him to not have to manage chasing kids AND cooking!

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As I prepare for an amazing 5 days away, I'm not only preparing my circus home, I'm preparing my heart & mind. I'm opening myself up to be rocked. To be open to what God has for me. What I love about Influence is that this isn't just your typical blogging conference. It's not just about SEO and social media. It's about life-giving, real connections. It's about using our online space to further the Kingdom. It's about more. While we all love (and need) a good SEO chat every now and then, we get the best of BOTH worlds.

We are inspired through our callings to make more of our online lives. That's pretty amazing if you ask me!!

The moral of the story? In the madness of preparing to be away: don't forget to prepare your hearts for what God will do.