Karen Stott » | Sharing my mess, my hope & my journey cultivating an Intentional Home

Ahhhh!!! It

Ahhhh!!! It’s the first Monday of Spring and I feel so compelled to make it a great one!

Writing in my journal this morning reminded me of the story of how it came to be, and I’m just so thankful to finally have this tool in my hands.

As a busy work at home mama, I desperately needed something to help me organize and prioritize my days. I searched endlessly for a journal or a planner that would help me stay on track and couldn’t find anything that fit my needs. Traditional planners made me feel overwhelmed and inadequate because I didn’t have enough things to fill in all of the spaces. Regular journals didn’t offer the prompts and focus I needed. So when I couldn’t find anything, I designed this journal around my perfect day.

It has spaces for scripture, gratitude, goals, prayer and the top things on my list that day. Each week has a memories I want to make and weekly to do’s section as well as daily free journaling space. I’m so excited to finally have it as a part of my routine. It has been the most helpful tool ever, and I hope it’s a blessing for you as well.

 

For the next 48 hours we are offering our first EVER sale on the #intentionalhomedaily journal and I’m just beyond excited. Many of you have expressed interest in getting one but didn’t have the funds… nows your chance! For 2 days ONLY these journals are 30% off!!! Which brings them down to $20!!! They have never been sold at this price and we won’t sell them this low again, so if you’ve been waiting, grab yours today!

Use code “happyspring” at check out!  You can click SHOP at the top of the blog, or click the journals image in the sidebar.

 

Thanks so much for supporting our sweet little shop!

xoxo,

Karen

 

5 steps to breaking work addiction
It started last night in the kitchen… Isaac was whipping about, sautéing meat and prepping dinner. “I had a tough conversation with the kids today.” “yeah?” I replied…”You know when they say that I’m stern, and I don’t feel like I am, but they feel like I am?” “uh… yeah.” came out of my lips, but my heart was sinking as I kinda knew what was next.  He continued… “So even though I don’t feel like I am, they still feel that I am.  And that’s really important to pay attention to.  It means I need to change something.” I was silent at this point, because I knew this intro was very likely not about him, and very probable he was sharing the story to add a little sympathy sponge to the harsh blow that was coming.  He’s so good like that.  His heart just oozes compassion and grace, and he never comes at me with.. “you need to change this”…  He always leads with a story of how he’s messed up, and needed grace, and the struggle to change. He leads like Jesus would want him to.  And I’m so thankful for that.  I stood there.  Fridge light on my face, wondering what was next.

“So, I was talking to the kids about your retreat, and how you need to go away to be with your staff so you can focus.  And that means that when you come back, you can all the more focus on them.  I explained that was why it’s important that Mommy has her time away.  She can focus on work when she’s there, and focus on us when she’s home.  But then one of the kids said… ‘But Dad, she doesn’t do that. She works all the time.” Insert heart plummet.  He saw the look on my face, empathized with a sweet smile and continued…. “And then Zay jumped in and said… ‘Yeah dad, she always says just 5 more minutes and then she’s on the computer for like an hour.”  At this point I felt like I shouldn’t even consume oxygen.  I needed to find a way to hide beneath the floorboards of our home and never come out.  I didn’t deserve this beautiful family.   I shouldn’t have this wonderful home and these 3 gorgeous kids and a swoon worthy hubby.  I didn’t deserve any of it.  Because obviously.. I can’t even enjoy what is right in front of me.

I sank… completely and utterly inward in this downward spiral of guilt, self hatred, and the feeling of being torn in two by the loves of my life.  My family.  And my work.  It’s at this point that I somewhat feel kindred with Chris Soules as he felt madly in love with two women at the same time.  Oh the nerve of him!  Not really.  I’m guilty too.  But it’s not women…  It’s family and business.

There are times, like yesterday, that this truth hits me like a midnight train to Georgia.  I am overcome by self hate, sadness, anger and guilt.  I pack on the lies as if they sit heavy on my shoulders like our one year old son.  They are present.  Tangible.  I chew on them over and over and over until the insecurities have woven through my pours and start to effect everything I do.  And the way I move, talk, breathe, push on.  I love my work.  I love it.  And if I’m not careful, it has the power to take over my whole world.  I feel it in my bones as much as breathing.  Eating.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with it actually.  I think God Himself breathed it into my soul.  Like Noah and the ark if I can be so bold.  It was his passion.  His calling.  He kept going for years despite the naysayers.  He knew it was his purpose, and to stop would be disobedience to His very maker.

Honestly, I feel very Noah.  I empathize with what he probably felt and the works of his hands, and heart.  I’m not saying I’m going to build a boat in the park behind my house, but what I am saying is that I am passionate to the core.  Fiercely stubborn.  And have an addictive personality.  As I was texting with my sis this morning my next “crazy idea”, she responded.. “Well… when you’re determined, you usually get what you want, so I’m not worried.”  Boom.  True.   I could’ve been offput by her words.  I could’ve taken them, slanted them, and mutated them into some oddly contacted bash of my persistence.  But that’s not what she meant.  She meant I’m passionate.  And persistent.  And it’s good.   God made me that way on purpose.. for a purpose… greater than me.

It’s that same persistence that has build Pursuit Community.. and Intentional Home and countless other random projects, businesses, and movements I’ve put my soul into over the past decade.   It is good.  It is.  But it desperately needs to be put into check at times.  And that is the train that ran over me in the kitchen yesterday.

Check mate.  It said.

There’s no getting out of this one.  There’s no escape.  Perception IS reality when it comes to your kids.  And your own childhood for that matter.  Think back to your own childhood… what sticks out?  What do you remember?  What kind of parents did you have?  Were they Angry? Mellow? Disengaged?  Or, looking back, did they simply have a lot going on in their own world that you as a child couldn’t yet understand?  Were they depressed?  Lost a job?  Experiencing loss, or betrayal, or divorce?  Were you putting them through living hell with your own drama and they didn’t know how else to respond?

There are a myriod of answers to all of those questions.. but still… interlaced into all of those things is your perspective.  YOUR reality.  Of what your childhood was like.  18 years.  18.  If God sees to bless us with it.  My brothers best friend died suddenly at their football practice when he was 13, and I was 10.  He was our only neighbor growing up in the country, and like my big brother for those ten years.  And then, he was gone in an instant on a Wednesday night.  Since then I’ve always had this twisted picture of how little time we have, and how we don’t really know how much we are going to get.  It’s haunted, or blessed me, my whole life.  18 years.  That’s all the time we have to make up our children’s memories.  And probably less since kids don’t usually start remembering their childhood until the ages of 4-6.  So in actually, it’s more like 12-14 years.  12 to 14.  Do you see that?  Do you feel that?  12-14 years with our kids remembering their life at home with us.  12-14 birthdays.  12-14 summers.  12-14 Christmas’s.  What are we doing with that time?  What am I doing?

It’s been plaguing me for a while.  Taking up residence in my brain like a hobo under the bridge I drive by each day.  It has no right to be there, but it is.  And it feels very safely at home there.   This fear.  What if I miss it all?  What if I miss their faces because Apple and I have become best friends.  What if I miss their laughs because I’m laughing at something my friend across the country just posted on IG?  What if I miss the cuddles with our one year old because I’m too worried about what I can’t type with one hand?  It makes my heart sick.  Two times over really.  Because I don’t want to miss them.  Yet I also don’t want to miss what God has clearly asked me to do outside of this home either.   It’s the bachelor season finale all over again.  But with eternal impact.

These stakes are high friends.  Too high.  I sat there in a cloudy daze as the words from my children’s lips, and my husbands compassion washed over me like a fresh spring rain.  It soaked in from my ears, to my brain, to my heart and escaped out through my breath.  The truth.  I’m addicted to work.  The truth.  I need to change some things.  The truth.  I’m blessed beyond my comprehension at how grace filled and loving the people that make up my family are.

And they deserve better.

So here it goes.  From what I’ve heard the first step to overcoming addiction is to realize it, and own it.  So here I am.  I have a problem.  And I freaking LOOOOVEEE my work.  I have another problem.   I freaking LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEE my family even more.  And they both can’t carry first place trophies.  There’s no tie in this race.

It’s time for a change.  Not just one that I feel.  One that they feel.  A change that is so dynamic and powerful that they look back and say.. hey.. remember that spring when our Mom changed?  Remember the year we got her back?   That’s what I want.  I’m not saying this to whoa is me, or paint the picture that I’m some crazy disconnected mom. Because that’s actually super far from the truth.  I’m actually a great Mom.  I am very present, and I love my kids.  I sow into them and their little hearts and their gifting.  We go on dates and have traditions.  We laugh and have dance parties all the time.  We have a super fun family environment.   What I’m really saying in all of this is… it can be better.  I can be better.  I know in my heart that I’m divided.  And that is what needs changing.   Isaac went on to ask the kids… “Well, how often does this happen that Mom is on the computer so long?”  Ava quickly said.. “Oh, it’s only been 2 or 3 times.”  Knowing this brought a bit of relief to my heart, but not enough.  I can still be better.  I want their perception of childhood to be that I was there for them.  Present.  Not divided.  I want them to know that they are the priority.  Not my work.  Not my staff.  Not my emails… and certainly, not my Instagram.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

 

 

1. Change where I sit first thing in the morning-

I know, I know, this probably sounds really silly, but studies show that a physical change is enough to snap you out of habitual patterns.  For example… if you always pick up your phone when you’re on the couch, and you’re trying to cut out phone time, stand up and walk somewhere else.  If you head to the refrigerator when you get a bad text or see something upsetting on social media, go outside instead and walk around the block.  Do something opposite of what you did before.  This will help form new habits and break you out of the old ones.

For me this looks like my cozy pink chair at my desk.  Every morning, without fail, I take the kids to school, I come home, and I head straight for that chair.  It doesn’t even matter if I have work to do!  It’s just habit!  So this morning I decided to start to break the addiction to be at my desk.  After the kids were at school I sat in the rocking chair.  I had my cup of coffee beside me, and reached for my Bible instead of my computer.  Just a simple change in where I was sitting was enough to snap me back to what was really important, and what I wanted to fill up my life more than work.   Getting God’s word in my mind and heart first thing in the morning has been a huge shifter for me. And it sets up the day to be more successful.

 

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 2. Recommit to work hours-

Computer ONLY during nap time.. other work (like packaging, shipping, writing notes, reading) when Logan is awake and happily entertained.   No more computer work when he’s awake.  Just because he’s happy, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

I’m going to stick hard and fast to my work hours of 9-2 Monday/Wednesday/Friday with writing/personal days on Thursdays, and school on Tuesdays.

 

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3. No phone AND No computer from 3-8 pm.

This is family time.  They ARE my priority, and they need to see that they are my priority.  Our oldest child is almost ten, and she will have her own phone soon.  I don’t want her learning my ugly habits and engaging more with people in other places than the people right in front of her.  Electronic addiction ends today.

I’ve actually been doing fairly good at the no phone rule.  My phone is my poison.  So I know pretty well I need to steer clear of it.  Like…. not even have it within reach during those hours.  If it’s in arms reach.  I WILL touch it.  I may not even be looking for anything or needing anything, but I will just touch it… because.. it’s an addiction.

The computer however was almost like this little secret weapon addiction.  I had no idea.  When Isaac said that yesterday I was like “WHOA… that is not true.”  But then I started watching my habits.  The computer is in the living room.  So I can sit there in my comfy pink chair and “be involved” with what the family is doing.  It’s so sneakily deceptive!!!!  I totally thought I wasn’t addicted to the computer, and then I realized where I sit down the second I come home from dropping off the kids at school.  Or where I sit when the kids watch tv after school.  Well.. NO MORE.  I will not sit there outside of my “hours”.  I can also put my phone in the other room, or turn it on do not disturb before 8:30 am and after 3 pm.

 

 

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4. Get outside

For me, nothing puts things back in perspective like getting outside, or hanging out with friends and family.  GET OUT!!!!!  As a work at home Mom, days can be dreary, and repetitive, and lonely.  No wonder all I can think about is work.  It’s all I do!  It’s my connection to the outside world!

Learning to schedule time out of the house once or twice a week has been a huge shift for my introvert heart.  I love being at home, but being at home too much tends to cultivate a mindset that is completely centered around me.  Getting outside reminds me that this life is bigger than me.  Even if it’s going for a walk outside or taking the kids to the park.  Just seeing something being these walls changes my gears, and my heart.

 

 

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5. Document what truly matters

I’m going to start using #writingtheirchildhoodstory on my IG posts.  I feel like I need a constant reminder of what really matters.  What I do today.  What I say today.  What I show them is important today… those things will be what they remember.  And I feel like keeping track of those intentional decisions to lay work aside and choose them with a feed of pictures will really help me.   My kids are 9,8 and 1.  The older two are very much in their prime years of writing their childhood story.  These are the days they will remember.   As Isaac and I look back on our childhood, and what stuck out to us.. most of those things happened between the ages of 6-16.   My kids are there friends.  And maybe yours are too.   If you want to join me… feel free to use the same hashtag.  I would love for us to encourage each other in this!

I also use the app Day One on my phone.  It sends me an alarm every evening to write in my journal.  As a writer, this was actually hard for me at first.  I felt like I needed to write something amazing and brilliant each day, so I didn’t write at all.  Now I use it almost as a ledger.  About a month ago, my brothers and I were going through my grandfather’s desk after he passed away and we found his ledger.  There was only one, maybe two thoughts every day.  “Today I turned 90.” he wrote… another day he was having flashbacks of the war.  Strangely, those daily little ledgers of his simple existence meant more to me than probably a huge long journal.  It meant that every day mattered, that there was something to share, to document, to hold onto.  So now I use Day One for that.  I simply share what we did that day, funny things the kids said, and pictures of our day.  I choose to write something, everyday, even if it’s just a few words.  It helps me keep a big perspective.  That all of these little somethings, are what make up our life.

 

6. Unload your plate

This is actually THE thing I’m working on the most right now.  I do lots of things.  I juggle lots of duties.  And I don’t need to.  I tend to overload my plate more than anyone else overloads it.  I once heard the phrase… “If I’m too busy to make the kids lunches, I’m too busy.” And that rang so true in my heart.  But lately… their lunches have been exhausting me.  And that was a wakeup call.

I have too much on my plate.  And I need to fix that.  I am responsible for what I let be on there.. nobody else is.  So I have to focus on what is most important, and do that.

 

I really hope that sharing my story and these tips to get my life back have been helpful for you.. if they have, I would love to hear your story in the comments below.

  • Dawn Masters - So very true! We get so caught up in the whirlwind of life that we cease living and we merely exist.

  • Ashley Kester - Love you friend! Thank you for sharing your heart. You are not alone in this! I need to implement some of these things in my life as well.

  • Alisa Nelson - Thank you. My oldest is only 2.5 but I started my business fairly recently and feel the compulsion to always be working on it. Sadly, I know it’s true that I would choose work over my kids because I crave that passionate&successful feeling and I’ve been feeling the nudge to do several of what you listed above the past few weeks. Thankfully, a family friend is now watching my kids 1 day per week giving me a full day to work and focus so I can more easily pick my head up. Setting a more concrete schedule (with specific ideas for what the kids and I will do during the “play” times) has really helped me stick to working in the early hours and nap time.

    It’s encouraging to know I’m not the only one who struggles here. It’s easy to start believing the lies about being a bad mom. Praying for you now as you head into your media quiet hours.

  • Laura Yang - Love this so much, Karen!

  • Ginger Gregory Loper - thank you, thank you for this heartfelt, real, candid and inspiring post!

  • Rebecca Lewter - Thank you for sharing this!! I need to apply those to my life now!

Recently I saw the familiar book series, The Berenstain Bears while I was shopping for books online.  But this time they looked different.  This time, the nostalgic Bear Family I fell in love with as a child was talking about God.  Say WHAT?!?!  I almost couldn’t believe my eyes!  I ordered the book immediately and couldn’t wait for it to show up.  Sure enough… when it arrived, it was full of familiar family predicaments, but completely laced with faith and talks about God.   Turns out, Mike Berenstain, son of children’s author legends Stan & Jan Berenstain has continued the series after his parents passing.  He apparently decided he would bring faith, and God, and Biblical perspectives the forefront of his storylines, and has written titles such as The Forgiving tree, Keep the Faith, and Blessed are the Peacemakers.  I’m seriously just giddy to learn about all of this and I can’t wait to get my hands the rest.

My kids dove in immediately and absolutely loved the story.   My daughter asked if she could review the book for the blog… so of course I said yes… read her thoughts below.

 

 

“The book GOD MADE YOU SPECIAL is a wonderful book. It’s fun and exciting and it teaches you important lessons.
The bear cubs Brother, Sister and Honey ( Honey is their new youngest sister) know’s God loves them because their Parents tell them, the Preacher tell’s them and they read the Bible. The cubs know God’s love in other ways too. They could feel his love by the warm sun, the cool breeze, the flutter of a butterfly’s wing and the quiver of a baby bunny. But does God love all the other cubs in the world? Yes he does! Well on a bright sunny morning their friends come over for a BBQ. Those friends are Lizzy, Barry and their cousin Tommy. When the Bruins got out of the car Brother and Sister bear were surprised to see another. Brother and Sister bear wondered who Tommy was. Mama said “Hello” to Tommy but Tommy was to shy to say a word. Now Tommy finally said “Hi” with a big bashful grin. Mrs. Bruin said to go play with the other bears to Tommy Lizzy took Tommy’s hand and lead him to the backyard where there was a baseball game. And then it talks about how Tommy is different. Mama bear understands. And then they play baseball. Sister bear goes and set’s the table. She asks Mama a question “Why is Tommy different”. Mama replied “Tommy’s different because God made him different”. Now Sister looks at Tommy and says”He’s running and laughing with Honey” and then she realizes God wants everybody to be as joyful as Tommy. I think it is a great book to read.”

Review by Ava… age 9

  • Shannon McFive McConnell - I had seen this and wondered if it was legit. Thank you for posting-I’ll be on the look out for this gem!

2013 Shay Cochrane

It’s here! It’s here!  And wow… it was so worth the wait.  I’ve been working on these lovely journals for about 6 months, and then another 3 of production time and I am just smitten that they are finally in my hands.   I’ve already received so many sweet comments from those of you who’ve purchased one and I’m so thankful to hear that you are liking it as much as I do.  Thank you for sharing your story with me!

2013 Shay Cochrane

 

New here?  Wondering the story behind these lovelies?  Well here ya go…

For ten years I have ran multiple businesses out of my home while juggling other responsibilities like wifey, mommy, driver, chef, maid.. you get the picture. I struggled deeply with staying on task and actually getting things done. So often I would reach the end of the day, look around at the piles of laundry and mayhem on my desk and wonder.. what exactly DID I accomplish today? And fitting in a quiet time? Forget about it.

I knew I needed to find something that would help me stay on task. And not only for practical purposes, but for my spiritual health as well. I searched endlessly trying to find something that would work for the way my brain ticks. And nothing. I have dear friends that design gorgeous planners that I love looking at, but they don’t fit my lifestyle. I didn’t need something that scheduled. My personality just can’t wrap my mind around timelines and appointments. Yes.. I laugh at myself about that. But it’s true.

What I needed was something…. One thing that could do the job of many. I needed a planner, a journal, something to keep me washed in the word, something to help me focus on what mattered and what needed prayer. I needed a rough “guide” for my days. And I needed it to be compact enough to fit in my purse. I spend 98% of my days at home balancing all of my roles. I don’t have a lot of appointments other than dance class and football practice, this “planner” I was looking for needed to reflect a looser system. Last spring I started to design what my perfect day would look like. I wanted to read the Bible every day… focus my heart on gratitude. Focus on a few completable tasks each day, and remember to slow down enough to cultivate the moments I wanted my children to remember. At first I just used scratch paper, or napkins but soon, I had it all mapped out and hired a designer to make it even prettier. I started printing out these papers every day and using them to keep me on track. And you know what??? It DID!!!! I found myself getting more accomplished and feeling more at peace and less overwhelmed. Eventually they began cluttering my desk and I needed to get rid of them, but I was so sad about it. I mean, I had poured my heart out on these pages. They held my accomplishments, my fears, my thoughts and dreams. I couldn’t just trash them! That’s when it dawned on me how incredible it would be if I had a collection of these sheets that I could keep for generations and reflect back on. And a pretty little purse sized journal seemed like the perfect fit.

So here we are, a few hundred hours and several months later, and I’m THRILLED to show this little lady off to all of you! I am seriously smitten. And I hope and pray that this little piece of my heart is a blessing to many women, girls, mama’s, grandma’s and business ladies who are trying to be more purposeful with their days.

 

intentional home daily inside pages
intentional home daily little spaces
2013 Shay Cochrane
intentional home daily undated

The Details:

This gorgeous spiral bound hardcover journal is as pretty as it is useful. The 5×8 size makes it perfect for using at your desk, carrying in your purse or writing in while you watch kids at practice. At least it does for me! The spiral binding allows you to fold it completely in half for easy writing when away from your desk. There is a page at the beginning to write your name in case someone finds it, or if there are more than one of you in your home that use it. Like my daughter and I.

The setup of this journal is the first one of it’s kind and is filled with a combination of goal sheets, to do lists, prompted thoughts, daily Bible verses, prayer needs, praise reports, free journaling space and ways to love on others. It is broken down into weeks and then days. At the beginning of each week you will find a section to refocus your heart and jot down what is important to you for the week ahead “memories I want to make” and “anything & everything”. Next you will find your “Intentional Day” pages. Each day of the week has 4 pages. The first one begins with a Bible verse for the day followed by guided prompts to help bring focus, purpose and fulfillment to your days. Pages 2-4 are free journalling space. They could be used for additional comments from the previous page, an added to do list, writing out your prayers or thoughts or really anything your little heart desires. There are seven of these 4-page days and then it starts over. All of the pages are undated because we want you to get the most use out of the journal as possible. If you use it every day, GREAT! If you use it every few days, AWESOME! We don’t want you to have wasted blank pages so we left the dates to you! This journal covers 10 weeks ( 70 days )

intentional home daily weekly prompts
intentional home daily wire binding foldover

 The mission:  Every dollar of profit from these journals goes into our Adoption fund.  We have been in the process for seemingly forever, and every purchase gets us one step closer to bringing our sweet babe into our family.  Search “adoption” for more of our story.

Something Fun:  WE ARE GIVING AWAY 2 JOURNALS!!!!  To enter… leave a comment and click post to Facebook… then PIN one (or several) of these images to Pinterest.   Each thing counts as one entry!

I will pick 2 winners Wednesday March 11th and announce it on the blog!

Visit these journals in our shop here

  • Stephanie Tait - I love love love my copy of this journal. Time to get some for friends as gifts now I think.

  • L. Heggie - Ah! Karen – this makes me so excited! Thank you, sweet friend, for pouring your heart into a product created in order to help us pour out our concessions to the Lord. I am so grateful for you! XO

  • Amy Wadlington - Oh my gosh! Love this! I am a journal junkie and this might be the best I’ve seen.

  • Ashley Kester - Love this! I can’t wait to order one!! 😀

  • Christina Nichole Dizon - LOVE THIS GIRL!!!! <3

  • Casey Hollins-Sprouse - I love journals so much 🙂 This is great!

  • Angie Ochoa - I NEED this!!! I need something tangible that will help me to really get back to the basics with my walk with God. This is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  • Rebekah Wallace - This journal is the perfect balance between keeping track of tasks while not being a slave to them. I love the spiral format and that I can set it on the kitchen counter or on the desk beside me to scribble my thoughts as they come.

  • Caci Hyman - Love this and the design!

  • LaRae Humes - I love the intentionality (not a real word) of these journals! They are gorgeous and the fact that the profit is going toward your adoption is a beautiful testimony!

  • Alexandra Cintron - These are absolutely gorgeous journals. I love them. P.s. pick me! 🙂

  • Emily Ku - What a great idea! I have a separate agenda and journal and never thought about combining them.

  • Katie Ingraham - I am so excited for you! These seem perfect for busy mamas to make sure we stop and really take in the moments. I can’t wait to get my hands on one:)

  • Lauren Lawrence - I love this idea! A journal AND planner that isn’t rigid or super scheduled but something that helps me keep on task as well as keep my focus on where it should be- The Lord and the people He has placed in my life. I could really use this as a mom of a 2 year old and a 3 month old.

  • Naomi Gantner - Wooow!!! Love it!!! 🙂 you did a great job. 🙂

  • Maren Miller - These look amazing! I have been searching for something exactly like this and have never found it… until now! Woop!

  • Elisabeth Christian - Ahhh! Somewhere to organize my mommy brain all in one spot?!?!? Where have you been all my life? The journal is beautiful! Congrats on its completion/release!!!

  • Ashlee Faison Wallace - So excited for this journal! I love all of the printouts that Karen provides through Intentional Home & I just know I’m going to fall in love with this journal!

  • Lindsey Yeagley - Oh my gosh I NEED this!!! This is so great! Just the right amount of girly too 🙂

  • Larissa Clark - Wow! I Saw Maren Miller post and had to check it out! (Maybe she gets an extra entry?!?!?) I am loving the look of these… and more importantly, these pulled my heart strings a little. So beautiful!

  • Brianna Cox - I’d love to win the intentional home journal to help keep me organized and get back on track with daily devotions <3 it's such a lovely layout too!

  • Sally Nelson O'Donnell - Gorgeous!

  • Melissa Pepin - I adore this journal. Its silly to say that a little book can change your perspective but Ive said it over and over again about this journal..it has LITERALLY been a deep breath of fresh air, intentional heart, and perspective in my journalling routine. I kinda want to order a bunch of these just in case one day they don’t exist so I can still make sure its available for me to use! hehehe

  • Hannah Schonewill - I love the organization of this that allows daily thoughts and prayers to be intertwined with the daily schedule!

  • Tami Minso Troy Henion - I love seeing how a beautiful heart transpires just as beautifully to pen and ink. I’ve had my eye on this gorgeous planner since the new year. Just lovely!

  • Lorri Waldron Wright - Pretty journal. But, I love girly things.

  • Courtney Wise McComb - This is perfect and beautiful!! Love this simple planner 🙂

  • Sabrina Fields - Oh Karen, I love these journals!! I’m only partially through the one that I have but I already know I want to get another one before this one is totally full. It’s so pretty and so practical for what I need and how my brain works! Thank you so much for these!!

  • Jackie Bailey - Oh my goodness. Yes! I need this in the worst way!!

  • Amanda McIntosh - This looks awesome! I would really like to try one. 🙂

  • Anne Champion - Oh I love the design and simplicity of this journal! Devotions will look great in this. I’m thankful you’re doing this giveaway. I also pinned on Pinterest.

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  • Where do you get your journals printed?

If you’ve been a blog reader for longer than a few days you know that I wear my heart on my sleeve, trust everyone to a fault and want to help you any way that I can.  And this question is no exception.  However, it may not be the answer you are looking for.  When I set out to create my journals I wanted to create something unique, lasting, beautiful and top notch quality.  I’m sure you’re wanting the same.   I also though, wanted something truly unique in the journal market.  I searched endlessly for the good part of a year before finding a manufacturer that fit us perfectly.  With that said, I want to challenge you to do the same.  There are SO many great printers and manufacturers out there, all with different uniqueness and niches.   Call around, talk to local printers, get test journals made.  Find what is important to you and your product.  I have a great respect for this small little world of Christian books & stationary, and I’m excited to see new things come to the marketplace.  With that said, I don’t give out manufacturing information because I truly want Unique things to be launched.  You’ve got this.  I know you can find the perfect printer for exactly what you have in mind if you set your heart on it. 

  • How do I become a speaker at Pursuit Conference?

Well hmmm… this is a harder one to answer because we aren’t God… lol.  Short answer… we pray about every one of our speakers, and talk about them in great length before asking someone to speak.  We take stewarding Pursuit very seriously, and we have a membership of around 10,000, so who we select to speak into their lives is a big deal, and one we don’t take lightly.  My first recommendation would be to find your voice and hone your message.  Countless times I get approached by someone who wants to speak and I ask them what they want to speak on, and A, they have a list a mile long on possible topics, or say, “I don’t know, whatever you need me to.”  While I appreciate the flexibility, that’s not exactly the answer we are looking for.   We all have a story to tell.   God has given us all our share of trials and situations, and that is what we want to know.  What’s your story?  What’s your message?  What burns in your heart so much you feel like you’re going to burst?  THAT is what we want to hear about.   Make sure that is the message you are putting out there.  That you are blogging or writing about that.  That will help huge.  Another thing I would encourage you to do is get involved.  We aren’t a conference of popular people.  We aren’t only asking speakers with 20,000 followers.  We have speakers with 200 followers.  We just want to get to know you.  So come to a conference.  Get involved in a Pursuit group in your area.   Say hi.  Comment on our Instagram.  Help us get to know you.  Then, let us know you’re interested.  Hope to see you around soon!

  • How can I start a Pursuit group in my area?

Easy peasy!!! Just visit… THIS LINK.. scroll all the way to the bottom, and fill out the application.

  • Who designed your blog?

Well… there are a bunch of parts to that… I use Prophoto for all of my blog themes.   I buy one of their add on templates and I customize the heck out of it.  I’ve been using Prophoto for about 7-8 years so I am very well versed in their program.  I do everything from navigation changes to sidebar stuff, to more complicated pieces.  But I always find a theme with good bones.  I really liked the bones of this theme and the landing home page, so I chose it, and then changed a ton of stuff.

  • How do you do everything?

God’s grace.  And coffee.  Just kidding.. kinda.. A few years ago I wrote THIS POST… all about how I balance being a work at home mom… check it out and hopefully it will help with some of that.  I just realized I did that almost two years ago, so I should probably go in and update it! LOL!

  • Can I send you something?

Um.. YES!  Gifts is one of my love languages… so receiving things totally makes me feel all giddy.  I can’t guarantee that I will post about it, but if it turns out to be something I genuinely love ( which I probably will ), and I think my readers would enjoy it too, then of course I will share it!   I have a weakness for home decor, paper goods, and anything kid related… just saying… Just send me a note and my assistant will provide you the address.

  • Will you write a guest blog for me?

Currently I’m a mama of 3, wife to one, ministry leader, shop owner, blogger, and I’m writing a book.  So as much as it saddens me to not be able to help you, I just can’t add more things to my plate right now.  If you would like to feature a post that I’ve already written, go for it!  Just send us a note telling us you’re doing so 🙂   If you’d like to do an interview style post about me instead of a guest post, that it WAY more doable.  Send over a max of 5 questions and I will see if I can fit it into my schedule.  Here is one of my recent interview features for Kristin Schmucker.

  • Can you come speak at our conference/ workshop?

That sounds like a lot of fun!  Loving on women and encouraging them in their journeys is one of my favorite things to do and something God has stirred in my heart as one of my greatest callings.  Shoot me an email and let’s talk.  I would love to try and make that work!

  • Do you have wholesale pricing for your journals?

We are working on that!  We would love to do more wholesale orders, so if you’re interested please email the shop and we will get you the info you need!

  • I signed up for your Printable Club but I can’t find out how to download them.  Can you help?

YES!!! When you signed you, you were prompted to create a login with Tiny Pass… our membership software.  By the 1st of every month, the new printable bundles will be available on the website.  Sadly, the software doesn’t have a way to email all of our members to let you know that the bundles are up, so you’ll just have to check back in with us on the 1st.   To download your printables, just visit www.intentionalhomeproject.com sign in with Tiny Pass, and then click on the appropriate bundle to obtain your downloads.  If you still have issues, send us a note and we will happily help you resolve it.

  • I would love to collaborate with you!  Do you do that?

Of course! One of my absolute favorite things about blogging is the amazing women I have met through it.  If you have a collaboration idea, please send a note my way!

  • I would love to advertise on your blog?  Where can I learn about that?

Good news! You can learn about it right here!  I’ve been blogging for several years now, and one thing that is huge for me is that I stand behind my word and my recommendations.  I want to be a trusted resource for women.   Not just a place where people can find products that may or may not work.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to curate a collection of things that I love and would honestly recommend to a friend at dinner than to just sell open ad space.  Does that make sense?  Over the next few month I will be adding a collection of  “Gold Stars” to my sidebar.  Rooted in my deep love for Rachel Berry, office supplies, and all things gold, I thought it would be a fun way to share with my audience things that I have seen, used, read, worn and actually LOVE in person.  Just like if I was sharing an office space with someone, I wouldn’t open the room up anyone.  I would want to make sure that we meshed together well, that they were uniquely awesome, and that they jived with my friends.  Also important, I would want to make sure that my new office mate paid for the office space that they used.   The same methods of crazy go for my Gold Stars recommendations.  First, I’m going to just see if what you’ve got is something I’d rave to my friends about…. if it is, awesome!  Next, we would just set up a little something to compensate for the space you’re using.  If you are a blogger, and you’d like to trade side bar space… I’d love to chat about that as well!

Good morning from our neck of the woods... Been stewing on this goodness this morning and wanted to pass it along to you... "Call to me and I will answer you, and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3 I

Good morning from our neck of the woods… Been stewing on this goodness this morning and wanted to pass it along to you…

“Call to me and I will answer you, and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

 

I’m so comforted by this truth this morning. There are so many times in life where we don’t know what to do. We don’t know if we are supposed to say yes or say no. Move or stay. Rest or do. And it’s plaguing at times. So many options can leave us paralyzed into apathy if we let the overwhelm take hold of our heart. And then nothing is getting done. We are stagnant. Not resting or moving with intention. Just numb. And God does not call us to be numb. He has given us everything we need to be overcomers, not taken over.

I love how this verse says call to me, and I WILL answer you. It’s a promise. He WILL show us great and mighty things we do not know. He will bring an answer where we never saw one before. He will create an out. He will give us creativity to think outside of the box for a situation. Maybe it’s not one/or… Maybe it’s both/and… Maybe it is one or the other. The great news is this. He WILL answer. He WILL show us. He says His sheep know His voice. We can be confident of this… He will show up… And we CAN hear Him. It’s just His promise.

 

I’m always on the lookout for quick reads that can shove some good Biblical perspective in my face and give me things to ponder.  Once a Day Nurturing Great Kids devotional did just that.  The stories shared are short but powerful which is exactly what busy Mama’s need.  My favorite part of the book is the Points to Ponder spot at the bottom.  The author asks great questions which keep me soaking in new truths and encouragement while also challenging me to be a better Mama.