A notebook...who knew??

What you are reading below is a REAL email I sent to a complete stranger who is now my sweet friend and mentor.  

There are many funny things (now funny) about this email.  First, notice the date and time.  January 3 — CLEARLY, I’m in full-out“New Year Resolution” mode since this email was sent at 2:00 am in the morning! 

I remember this email clearly.  We were just back from a family vacation.  I was tired and overwhelmed with the remnants of Christmas and vacation sprawled all around me.  I was facing the reality of “normal” meals needed and at the same time so stuffed from Christmas I didn’t even want to think about food let alone get back to “game on” supper time!  (Which truth be told - I’m not that consistent or good at anyway.) 

I was googling all kinds of things .. meal delivery, meal prep, organization…I honestly think I even googled “prepared food delivery to Carmel”..I wish I was kidding.  What I stumbled upon (I’m sure God was shaking His head thinking .. we are about to go around this mountain AGAIN.. enough is enough) is a website of a local company with the name Divine Order.  Wait!! yes, Divine Order…exactly what I need!  See, I knew I was about to go around the mountain again, too!

The second funny thing (again, now funny) is I thought .. I really did .. that an organized kitchen and office would solve all of my “problem areas.”  To my amazement and delight was what started with that email was a fascinating discovery of myself and why I not only do the things that I do but most importantly beginning a new journey of awareness to why I think the things that I think!  This awareness has been life changing for me.  To be very clear: not life changing in the sense that dinner is prepared, yummy, and served with a smile every night! I do not want to mislead you.  But, the space in my head which ultimately affects my heart is much clearer and much more open to accepting who I am and what I enjoy!  I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to think about it much.

This process is worthy of sharing one day because I know there are many women just like me who go go go .. hit a wall .. get back up and go go go again but don’t really address why the cycle goes on and on (this is the mountain I was referring to earlier!)  I’m still learning so much about myself and I’m pretty sure I haven’t even moved out of the awareness stage yet!  I secretly think I’m enjoying the awareness phase so much because it is giving me PEACE.  It’s a peace with myself (who I am, my likes and dislikes) in a way I haven’t experienced before.  I’ve always tried to measure up to some ideal I’ve created in my own mind! Like most of us, my expectations of myself far exceed the expectations others place on me.  Thatis exhausting.  But the thing is..I didn’t even know I was doing it!  It’s been a recalibration on many levels for sure.

Barbara, the owner of Divine Order, did help me organize the kitchen and clean up my office but what she taught me early on is it’s never about the kitchen or the office!  Very true.  I’m not sure I believed her at first..ha.. but I do now.

I was telling her one day all the things I had on my plate and that I was having a very difficult time balancing it all.  I love the phrase “joy in the journey” - but, I wasn’t feeling joyful.  I wanted to but honestly I couldn't even define or articulate what was keeping me so “busy” and stealing my joy.  I try, as we all do, to please God and stick close to my path of duty as a wife and mother but I wasn’t doing that well.  I was completely out of balance and knew I was ready to hit that wall again.  This cycle affects everything.  Most importantly, it takes me away from my prayer time ..the confusion leads me away from God…not toward Him.  

This conversation led to a very practical suggestion she made .. that truly has led me right here - pondering this whole process.  She encouraged me to define the areas of my life that were priorities and needed to be organized in a way that was simple yet very effective.  She told me about a disc bound notebook she used herself and how it helped her organize her thoughts and tasks all in an easily accessible place.  I had never heard of disc binding before that day.  You better believe I was all over it!  I couldn’t “Add to Cart” fast enough!!

That whole process led me to wanting to create my own “printables".  I wanted a pretty to-do list, meal planning template, journal pages, etc.  This is when I decided to look into rebranding Motherhood Press and at the same time re-launch the website and offer all kinds of “printables.”  Not until I met Erica at Be A Heart did I even consider making and selling my own disc bound notebook!  Funny how God works.  One thing led to another and God opened and closed doors all over .. and here we are..Orderly Days® is a real product.  

Orderly Days® is a notebook for wholehearted living because that is what it did for me!  It helped me identify what is important - what the priorities were for that season.  As we all have learned, different seasons of our lives can shift our priorities and that is ok .. but I needed a plan and a tool to execute my plan!

I wanted you to know my story before I launch into telling you all the amazing things about a disc bound notebook!  Disc binding was new to me as I’m sure it’s new to some of you.  The versatility is endless.  It lies flat and the rings take up little space.  You can take pages in and out and shuffle them all around.  If you really love the system, like me, you will want to purchase a punch.  (I have a link to an affordable, high-quality punch on My Favorite Things page.) The punch will help you customize your notebook to include future printables and other personal touches.  I pretty much disc punch anything I need to hold on to anymore and stick it in my notebook!  

The bottom line is .. we all live fast-paced, busy, FULL lives.  But when our to-do list manages us and we don’t manage it, we lose our balance and ultimately lose our peace.  And when our peace is gone we can’t be silent and listen to HIM who wants our attention!  Orderly Days®, for me, is a remedy for my ongoing battle - battling a divided heart.  The desire to live in the world and not of it..to clear my head so that my heart is ready to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  I pray you will give it a try!

Kate Conway1 Comment