with Hannah Garland

  • Hannah Garland

This is not a blog

Updated: Jan 21

There are days when the best thing you can do is have grace for yourself.

I did not write a blog this week. This is not a blog. In fact, I have accomplished very little this week.

  • My house is a mess. Like really, really messy. Between my excessive postpartum hair shedding and two cats, it’s pretty gnarly around here. I can literally pull 30 hairs out of my head right now.

  • I have not showered in 4 days (I know, gross).

  • I’ve eaten almost exclusively breakfast foods and sandwiches all week. I think I made one dinner.

  • I still haven’t unpacked from a road trip that ended 5 days ago.

  • I did the dishes once all week but didn’t wipe the counters.

  • Two days ago, I put items that needed to go downstairs at the top of the stairs. They’re still there.

  • I did the laundry but never folded it. Clothes can have wrinkles during quarantine, right?

  • I just looked at my face in the mirror and quickly looked away in horror. I look so tired.

  • I took the bag of dirty diapers to the front door but never took it outside.

  • I haven’t brushed my hair all week. But that’s not unusual.

  • My baby hasn’t been bathed in 8 days.

  • Once again, I did not write a blog. Enjoy this...diary entry.

I’m not ashamed of this “diary entry” that may pass as a blog. It is the product of a week where I spent my time feeling content, at ease, and present. It may seem as though my time was spent poorly when you look at my list of undone items but, if you think that, your perspective is off.

My vision for my life is to be wholly devoted to peace, encumbered by anxiety, fear, and strife. I actively pursue living it on a daily basis by trusting in God and freeing myself of things that cause unnecessary stress. There are times when I am so tired or overwhelmed (for many reasons) that doing normal things like laundry and cleaning up is too stressful. On those tough days, I narrow the scope of what counts as “success” and give myself the freedom to focus only on a few select things.

On those tough days, I celebrate my motherhood. If I’m a present mom who effectively keeps my child secure and loved, then I’m doing a great job. At the end of the day, my children will remember my presence and love most fondly - not a perfectly organized closet, clean counters, or manicured hair. They will recall the mom who ate lunch with them and joyfully read them stories. On the most challenging and tiring days, I remind myself that I’m doing a great job simply by being present.

On those tough days, I celebrate my marriage. If I’m a kind spouse who is patient and gracious, then I’m a good wife. If I’m failing at being a kind spouse, I need to stop everything else I’m doing and fix my marriage first. Laundry and baby baths can wait until my husband and I are not at odds. When we’ve been together 50 years, we’ll remember a peaceful home more readily than a tidy home.

On those tough days, I celebrate any accomplishment. Instead of looking at the list of things not done, I look at the things that are done. If I didn’t stay in bed all day out of laziness or selfishness but instead accomplished any single thing, no matter how small, then I was successful.

On those tough days, I consider that neither I, my husband, nor my children, should carry memories of me as a stressed out, wound-up, overwhelmed person. And I do whatever I can to give myself grace for the day, remember that laundry can wait, and focus on what matters most.

Hi, there! I go deeper into topics in my podcasts. Each are 20-30 minutes long and they drop weekly on Thursdays. Please check one out here!