The 28 Day Challenge

It's officially Fall Sweet Mommas! 

I can think of no one better to quote right now than the sweet and sassy red headed Ann of Green Gables when she says, 

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
— Ann of Green Gables

Can I get an Amen?

There are so many things that I look forward to in October -- Warm apple cider and cinnamon donuts, driving to the mountains to look at the changing aspens, tucking my jeans into my favorite pair of boots for the first time.  (How can something so simply make me so giddy?  Is anyone else with me on this one?)  And, of course, our annual family trip to Anderson Farms.  If you haven't been, GO!  Anderson Farms will quickly become one of your family's favorite Fall traditions!

Now, don't get me wrong, I am a Summer girl through and through.  But this year, I am especially thankful for FALL, for the anticipation of a new season of motherhood, to embrace a slower pace that will (hopefully!) include some rest and self reflection.

This past season of Summer has been one of GOING. GOING. GOING.  Don't stop.  Don't rest.  Get all the things DONE. 

And, if I'm being completely honest -- I am completely exhausted.  I have not been the best version of myself lately and my ability to mask this is getting more and more difficult.  There's a huge part of me that feels like somewhere in the hustle of all of the hats I've been trying to wear, I've lost a sense of who Brittany really is. 

This past week, I think I finally hit rock bottom when, at my lowest point, I found myself ugly crying at my kitchen table at 2 am. During a bout of pregnancy insomnia, I thought of the brilliant plan to organize my life and all of my "to do's" in one single overnight span. 

Thankfully and humorously, my husband came upstairs to find me at my worst.  He then lovingly and gently fired me (Donald Trump Apprentice Style) from some of the many jobs I've been trying to do.  We laughed in that moment.  And then I ugly cried some more. But the truth is, this 2 am breakdown of mine was the tipping point for me.  For the first time in a long time, I realized that this pace I've been trying to keep is for a crazy person.  It's not for me.  It's not for you.  There has to be a better way.

In her new book Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist shares the following words,

I’ve always given my best energy to things outside myself, believing that I’d be fine, that I was a workhorse, that I didn’t need special treatment or babying, or heaven help me, self-care. Self-care was for the fragile, the special, the dainty. I was a linebacker, a utility player, a worker bee. I ate on the run, slept in my clothes, worshipped the altar of my to-do list, ignored the crying out of my body and soul like they were nothing more than the buzz of pesky mosquitos.

Now I know that in the same way I’ve always believed God’s spirit dwells deeply in this world, it also dwells deeps in me. I’ve know that, cognitively, but my life spoke otherwise. Now I know that the best thing I can offer to this world is not my force or energy, but a well-tended spirit, a wise and brave soul. My regrets: How many years I bruised people with my fragmented, anxious presence. How many moments of connection I missed— too busy, too tired, too frantic and strung out on the drug of efficiency. Now I know there’s another way.
— Shauna Niequist (Present Over Perfect)

During October,  MOPS is encouraging us as mommas to take part in the 28 Day Challenge, This is an invitation to take a step back and to have some fun rediscovering the very best versions of ourselves. 

Each day we are invited to take up one truth or one dare -- and to really follow through. 

Today for October 1st the truth we are challenged to answer is "In what ways do you feel out of control in your life?"

Today's Dare is: Jump into some water.  Skinny dip in a pool.  Swim in a lake. Wade in a river.  Let your skin touch water that been coursing over the earth since the beginning of time." (For the rest of the month's daily truth or dares, see your MOPS Welcome packet).  We would love for you to share your truth or dare experiences on your respective RRC Facebook Pages this month as a way to join in community with other moms from your group.

Each of us is also being asked to choose "One Big Thing" to round out the month.  Choose something fun and exciting that maybe you've wanted to try but have been too afraid to do or just haven't carved out the time in your lengthy "to-do" list.  

Maybe you bravely go sky diving or you spring for a babysitter and take a cooking class.  Take up a new hobby that you've been intimidated to try. Surprise your husband after he's done at work, dressed up for date night and have a reservation at a bed and breakfast waiting for afterwards. 

Do something fun and exciting-- something that reminds you of the girl who has been lost in the chaos of day to day life. 

This month we have the chance to remind ourselves as Shauna said, what it really means to offer ourselves fully and whole, "A well tendered spirit, a wise and brave soul." (Page 28).

This 28 Day challenge sounds both exhilarating and intimidating to me.  It's an invitation to do something for myself, which if I'm being honest, is often something that gets pushed way to the back of my priority list. 

But in my heart of hearts, I know that self care is a good thing. I am a better version of myself, a better wife, a better momma and a better friend when I take care of myself.  I am excited this month for the chance to dig deep and remind myself of the dreams I've been putting on hold for so long. It's a chance to reconnect with the girl God created me to be -- the one I've been missing in a season that has been too fast paced and downright overwhelming. 

I'm so excited for you to join me as we discover how this month can help us to come more fully alive!

Brittany Baker is a big city girl turned little mountain momma!  Six years ago, she and her husband relocated from the big skyscrapers of downtown Chicago for life near the mountains of Denver and they have never looked back.  Brittany lives with her husband Jeremy, their two children Mackenzie & Levi, their hyper lab puppy Boston and a menagerie of bunnies! Brittany and her husband attend the Red Rock's Church Littleton Campus & Brittany attends the Littleton MOPS location.  Brittany is passionate about encouraging women to live authentically and abundantly.  She began writing as a way to heal from postpartum depression and continues to share her heart over on her blog Little Mountain Momma.