the greener side.

As much as I hate to admit it, one of the hardest parts of laying down my pride and letting go of who I was in Clovis, into who I am now, is that I do not make anywhere close to same amount of money as I used to. And that would make sense right? I left behind my business that I had worked hard daily to build since I was 18. I had been working full time as an established hair dresser for almost 6 years. Now, as my 25th birthday nears, I thought I would be making the most money that I've ever made and that is nowhere near the reality of things these days. 

I have been incredibly fortunate to have only struggled financially for short periods of time as an adult...but even then, not really. I have had a job since I was 16, sometimes two at a time, and I love to work. I am a very hard working person, who enjoys and prides themselves in a job well done. My hard work and my dedication to my job paid off financially. But ultimately, my marriage and own personal time usually suffered from it. I was, as my husband lovingly pointed out, a workaholic.  

Now don't get me wrong, I love my down time. I am capable of totally binging and being incredibly lazy. But usually not without a huge side of guilt. I have really struggled to find the balance. As I was forced to find the balance by moving and starting over as a stylist, I am still struggling. I humbly admit that I do feel less successful in my career daily because I don't bring in as much money. It's incredibly humbling to start over. Knowing that you are good, and knowing what you are capable of and wanting more, but having to put in the time all over again. It's hard. Painfully hard. It leaves you asking the day old question, in a different light, how do I define success?

On the other side of things, I enjoy and delight in my new freedom. I can cook every night. I can finally read all those books on my list. I can meet Josh for lunch. I can sit down with my big ol cup of coffee in the morning and read my bible without looking at the clock over and over. Most importantly though, my husband gets the best of me. Instead of getting the tired, worn out, exhausted, "I'm done." Lexi that he was used to getting after a 10 or 12 hour day. Now, at my new salon, I love that I can work 5 days a week, for half the amount of time I used to and still do everything I enjoy.  

Taste and see that The Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
— Psalm 34:8

During the days of trying to figure out if we should move or not, I really asked myself; what are the most important things to me? what kind of wife do I want to be? what kind of mother do I want to be someday? And the truth was, I didn't want to work the way I was any more. But I had no idea how to slow down. Slowing down frankly scared the crap out of me. The idea of cutting back and not being able to get people in, saying "no" to them....that was terrifying. But...why?

Honestly, at that point, it was not the money at all, it was my good ol fashioned pride and the fact that I am a people pleaser. Ultimately, to relinquish all of the control I thought I had over our financial standing, was a battle for me that I never saw coming. Leaving my job behind also provided a way for Josh to provide for us in a whole new way. In that sense, it also gave me the opportunity to respectfully submit to him in a new way as well. God revealed his faithfulness to provide in ways we could have never dreamt of. 

God saw my heart. He saw my panic. He saw and felt my stress. He saw me put Him on the back burner. And He lovingly called to me to make Him my number one. And for so long, all I saw was me and what I had created. What a joke right? God had blessed me beyond measure, and here I was proud of what I built. It is laughable really. Everything that I had, everything that was sitting in my bank account or in my closet, was because God had blessed my hard work.

Don't get me wrong, I do not believe in money itself to be a blessing, that is just ignorant. Money isn't the blessing. The blessing is that you did not deserve any of it in the first place, but in God's generosity, he has trusted you with that money. It's still his. Even when God gifts us with just enough money or way more than we need, it is still that, a gift. To me, money is the means to necessities, to further the kingdom by sharing it, and to bless others with. Money isn't evil, making money such a driving force can be though. The will to provide is one thing, but being consumed with it is gross. My great grandma Mimi always told my mama, "Enjoying nice things is great, but being driven by them is not." Well said Meem. 

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he feels distant.
— Rick Warren

My clients and their friendships were one of the biggest blessings I'll ever receive. Some of the greatest, most God fearing women, were ladies I met behind the chair. We laughed and cried together. We shared coming of age stories, breakups, come to Jesus moments, engagements, pregnancies, divorces, and was truly a gift. I think, that is what I miss the most daily. Being known and knowing each person that sits in your chair for a couple hours, and truly enjoying them. I have realized they were ultimately what made me feel so successful. 

Luckily, in surrender to God's will, to live in Clovis or to chase after Him to Bellingham, He called me to shed layers and layers of my wretched self, to make me more like Him. That was all I had prayed. [ Lord, at the end of this life, if nothing else, let me look more like you and less like me. Whatever it takes to do that, let me chase after you with my whole heart. ] He answered that prayer in such a different way than I saw coming. 

As I embark on this 25th year of a crazy, cool, unpredictable, and hilarious life that I get to live each day, I surrender who I have been and choose to love who I am now. I'm different than I was a year ago, or even 6 months ago. And I thank God for that. Because how boring would it be to write this today, a year older, and the same girl? No thanks. I will take God's unpredictable journey for me that isn't always safe and isn't at all boring, but is ultimately good. 

Safe? Said Mr Beaver; don’t ya hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he is good.
— The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis