It’s January 2020, and I have read about 15 blog posts talking about 2020 Vision and what it means for each individual author as we enter 2020. The crazy and really awesome thing is that having 2020 vision or focusing on 2020 vision for the year 2020 looks different for every person I’ve come across. To some it means getting clear on their goals and sticking to them, for some it means laying down a dream from 2019 that didn’t pan out, for others it means taking a step back and being with family, and for some it means stepping up and pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones. And I think there are many ways I could interpret the meaning as it pertains to us and our current season of life but I want to open up and share with you guys a piece of what 2020 Vision means for Honeysuckle as a business and Jake and I as it’s owners as we take on another year of Entrepeneurship.
Truth moment. 2019 was hard.
Flat out, it was freaking hard. I started out 2019 thinking ‘this is it, this is the year that everything I’ve worked for will pay off. This year is going to be HUGE.’ And it was, but as usual, not in the way I had envisioned it. I think one of the problems started with me and a lack of clarity when it came to what I envisioned Honeysuckle becoming. I am by nature a dreamer, I mean I have like 100 different dreams or visions of all the possibilities there could be in just one day. My mind has always worked like that and I predict it always will to some degree. It’s part of the blessing and the curse of being me, I guess. But what I didn’t know at the beginning of 2019 is that for every 500 ideas I have, only one of them is something I should pursue. Notice I said the word should there, not could or want to. I could and I want to pursue every one of those 500 dreams but the should is the thing I have to focus on. And the should is the one thing I lost focus of in 2019.
There was a lot that went in to 2019 being hard, and I can’t speak for Jake or even our previous business partners who we spent the year with in business together, and simultaneously in life together. But for me, I made it harder on myself by forgetting (or ignoring) that little word should.
I mean, we started a podcast called The LEAP Podcast, we had an entire week a few years ago called LEAP Week and we have lived our life and operated the majority of our marriage through the lense of taking leaps of faith. It had become our brand so to speak, it was engraved in who we (or I) were and somewhere along the line taking leaps of faith began to feel easier than not risking it all. There have been many times where my need to ‘leap’ into a new season has been good, but I think 2019 was one big year where I misinterpreted what God meant when He called me to ‘leap’. See, I saw partnership and doubling our team as an opportunity to double EVERYTHING. Double the possibilities, double the orders, double the income, double the business growth, double our social media following, everywhere I looked I saw double. But what I didn’t account for was double the emotions, double the emotional toll, double the sacrifice, double the fatigue, double the late nights, double overhead.
I doubled myself, my family and my partnership out of commission.
This isn’t exactly a post about the partnership and our relationship with our previous business partners and while there were a lot of factors that went into us walking our separate ways, I don’t plan on getting into here. But, in order for me to get into 2020 I think it’s important to lay groundwork for 2019 and really I think it’s important for me and my heart to be 100% honest with you guys, and that means admitting where I went wrong. And I went wrong by pushing too hard to make every single dream I had come to fruition. I ignored should and instead went with ‘Yeah, but there’s four of us so we can totally pull this off!’
Guys… just because you can DOES NOT mean that you should. I’m talking to you, girlfriend! The one who is about to jump into 2020 and be the super motivator, inspirier, B/A mama who is determined to make this her year! Listen to me, sister. This can still be your year without you burning out yourself, your family and everyone else around you.
I decided for the year of 2020 to take every month and give it a ‘word of the month’. My word for January has been reflection. One of the things I have come to realize through my month of reflection is that life isn’t sectioned off into chunks of ‘this season/year everything was exactly how I wanted” and “this season/year I crashed and burned”. It’s much more gray than that.
My daughter was gifted mega blocks for Christmas this year and my son was gifted about a million legos. I’ve spent a lot of hours in the past few weeks sitting down with them, stacking one block on top of the other, some angling this way, some angling that. Each one a different color, a different shape and size, some even facing different directions. But as you continue to stack these legos one on top of the other you don’t look at them and say ‘Oh this block is perfect’ to one and then the next one ‘ooo, you don’t look so good’. All you see when you sit back is one colorful, abstract yet beautiful lego mansion that you created simply by stacking one block at a time.
2019 I encouraged four different people to take their own box of legos and dump them out on the floor, hoping that by some miracle the fact that there were four of us would make them connect the way they needed to. And not just to make a lego house, I wanted a lego dynasty! All I saw was mass quantity, I didn’t see the beauty in each individual block and I certainly didn’t understand the beauty in stacking the blocks up one at a time.
2014 is when Honeysuckle started, every year up until 2019 (or maybe even the end of 2018) we had laid one lego block at a time, it was hard work but it was fulfilling and fun and I felt so much joy with each and every lego piece the Lord handed to me. I knew He was instilling in me lessons and arming me with pieces I would need to carry the weight of the next one. It was slow moving but it was steady and we were able to withstand the pressure of it because the process moved slow. As we were handed more blocks suddenly it felt a little heavier, like there was a little more responsibility He was giving us, and as you are given more responsibility you feel like there’s more at stake and more to prove. So as the lego blocks the Lord handed us started to feel a little heavier, we started throwing some of our own up there too.
Months went by like this and eventually we started to crumble. Suddenly we found ourselves drowning in a sea of lego blocks that we could no longer carry all stacked nicely on each other, they came tumbling down and we were scrambling to pick up the fallen pieces and keep life ‘balanced.’
Guys, that’s no way to live! And I know some of you will read this and be like yeah this chicks crazy and I would never do that, and good for you!! But there are a lot of you who are just as stubborn as I am who are reading this going “this would never happen to me, I don’t need to slow down. I need to push harder because only if you work yourself to death do your dreams come true”. First of all, I love you and your determination to reach your goals but please hear me. I was exactly, listen to me, EXACTLY like you. 90% of my mental battle last year came from me trying to decide if I was pushing too hard or not pushing hard enough. The problem was, I just kept asking that question on repeat. I wasn’t actually looking for the answers. If I had been, I would have seen them on the face of my husband, I would have heard them in the voices of my kids asking me to just come play with them. I would have seen a sea of people wanting to help, but not knowing how because they knew I was too stubborn to want to know the truth.
2019 was hard. But I also learned A LOT. I was humbled A TON, and now I know that I have a clearer vision for 2020, only this time I’m humble enough to know that just because I have a clearer vision doesn’t mean I see the full picture.
So, here’s the deal for 2020 at the Honeysuckle Shop. We started this business with legos stacked one on top of the other. We will continue to grow this business with one lego at a time. This year we are dedicated to getting back to our roots, to being open to hearing the Lord speak in our lives and to get back to allowing Him to hand us the legos that He wants us to have when He wants us to have them.
I will always be a dreamer, and I will never let that part of me be changed. God made me that way for a reason and it is a gift He has given me. But it’s time for me to get back to letting someone else decide which dreams should be chased and which ones are for me to imagine just for fun. There is a season for all things, guys. There is a season to push yourself past your limits to see just how much you can handle, there are seasons for taking crazy leaps of faith, and there are seasons for taking a step back.
After all, before an arrow is released it is pulled back. It sits still for a moment while the bowman lines it up and at just the right moment it is released into the air with so much power, and speed that it will pierce its target with all accuracy. 2020 is a season for Jake and I that looks just like that. We are pulling back, taking a breather, sitting still and letting our bowman line us up with our target.
But, I need you to know one more thing. Only you can know what season you’re entering. There are many of you who are just exiting a season of stepping back and now you’re being called to step out of your comfort zone, there are some of you who are just learning to stack those legos and are so worried about stacking them the ‘right’ way. Some of you are exactly where Jake and I were a year ago, drowning in a sea of legos desperate for help. Whatever your season is, be in it. I dropped all those legos because rather than focusing on the ones I had, I just wanted the next best thing. I wanted the next thousand followers, I wanted the next viral sign, I wanted to be like so many business women I look up to. And none of those things happened because I wasn’t looking at the gifts I already had. God has to know He can trust you with a little before He can trust you with a lot. Be faithful in the season you’re in, know your heart and know that whatever the season you’re in, it is for a reason. I know it sounds cliche but it’s true. Do yourself a favor and be so deeply invested in the season you’re in that you don’t see the bad and the ugly but instead you see the possibility and the growth and the humbling of your spirit.
I fully believe God has a plan for each and every one of us, but so often that plan gets hidden under the weight of ‘if I just had what this person has’. Ugh, guys! You are SO much more special and way too important to get stuck on what that person has. You have a thing! You have a talent! You have a purpose that was given to you and you alone! Own that, be proud of it and be 100% all in to wherever you are in life right now! You owe it to yourself and to the people you love to be taking your legos and slowly but steadily stacking them up one at a time.
I love you.
And if you want to know more details on what this all looks like for Honeysuckle, here are the details we know so far (subject to change). We are not going anywhere! We are still painting signs, taking custom orders and overall working hard to fill your homes with decor that inspires and encourages you. We will not be hosting any Events in 2020. As we welcome a baby this spring we have decided that our priority is being home with our baby and our other three kids this year, so hosting Events will be on hold until another year. We will still be taking part in some of our favorite local Events such as Creatively Lancaster and can be found in Prussian Street Arcade as well as the Limestone Gift Shoppe at Hertzog.
You will also be seeing and hearing more of us through The LEAP Podcast, weekly Facebook LIVE videos, and here on our blog! Our goal this year as we line ourselves up and prepare our hearts for where the Lord calls us is to continue to provide encouragement for your home and your hearts. We will forever vow to be real and honest with you guys as we walk through this life with you in hopes that we can shine the light of Jesus and encourage you as well! Basically, we just really freaking love you and we hope our lives and our transparency will help you with your every day as well.