I can be all things to all people…

I feel like I’ve come a long ways since these posts here and here.  Remember the time where I talked about how crazy difficult it was to find a balance between blogging and managing my family?  God has been merciful and gracious to me and my family over the past 2+ years.  Where I was weak and incapable, he carried me and most importantly my family.  It feels as though a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders.  The sad part is that it wasn’t a burden I was meant to endure, it’s one I chose to carry myself.  Maybe you’re carrying the same burden?  The “I can be all things to all people” burden.  Have you carried the burden that never allows you to utter the words “no” or “help” before?  I lived there for quite some time recently.

So what’s changed?  I simply stepped back and decided to LIVE in the present and accept the fact that it would mean someone somewhere wasn’t getting the best of me – but my family is, always.  I asked for help and we met a wonderful lady here in Bend that has really become a huge source of relief for us, helping a few hours per week with the day to day tasks that we were falling behind on.  Most importantly though my perspective changed when I came to realize that I simply couldn’t do it all and that it was ok to say no.

A big part of that freedom came for me when we moved to Oregon, we had almost zero obligations outside of TFF and our children/home.  It’s very interesting to take a step back and start from scratch, re-writing your daily schedule.  Chooseing carfully what your family will participate in and what you’ll say no to.  If you’ve ever been in this same position, moving to a new town or state you’ll understand.  It’s been very refreshing for us to say the least!

The fact is though that it doesn’t have to take a out-of-state move for these changes to happen.  If you’ve found yourself at your wits’ end I want you to know that it is possible to find peace and to find balance in life.  I was taught for many years that balance was elusive and that it was a pendulum of sorts swaying back and forth as your focus shifted from area of life to another.  However I don’t necessarily believe that anymore – sure there will be seasons of life when you have to devote more time to one area than another but that doesn’t mean your family has to sacrifice.  It’s a choice I had to make – put my husband and my children first and then with what’s left ask the Lord to help me stretch my time, energy, and finances to meet the needs that MUST be met and let the rest just be.

We’re coming up on a new year, will you continue to stretch yourself way too thin as I did for too long?  Will you continue to carry the  “I can be all things to all people” burden?  Just try it, let it go and see how it feels!

Now you must know I am so very thankful for all of you – our readers, because when I’ve let TFF slip a bit and not allow it to be the focus of my attention you all have been faithful to visit our blog and support us.  When I take hours off at at time on random days to romp around the forest with my children, you let me know that it’s ok and that you aren’t going anywhere.  So for that, I say a big HUGE thank you.     


  1. Samantha Miller Doerfler via Facebook says

    thank you for this- I am going through something similar in trying to cut back and I feel like I am often trying to be all things to all people and I just can’t and my family needs to be my focus. It’s nice to know that you are doing it too and I am not selfish or shouldn’t feel guilty as others have the same issues with taking on too much!

  2. Lana says

    I completely adore you Julia! I love how transparent you are in sharing from your heart. I appreciate the reminder to Get my focus in line here. Seems to be a theme for me right now. I too am learning to say no more but still struggle with the help one. 😉 thanks for the reminder!

    Merry Christnas to you and your family!

    • says

      I’d squeeze you if I could :) You’ll never regret asking for help or saying no if it means that your priorities are where they should be. Merry Christmas to you too!

  3. Joelene Green says

    I just started reading TFF about a month ago and love it! I simply enjoy just looking all the deals you find; it inspires me to go out there and find my own deals. Its a great gift you have and I am so glad that you are doing it through God. Kepp up the awesome work!!! :-)

  4. Valerie says

    Thank YOU for all you do! and Thank you for taking the time to share this with us! I sure wont go anywhere you have helped my family so much this year and i have been able to pass your name along to others and you have helped them!

  5. Mandy Halverson via Facebook says

    The Lord has given you the gift of encouragement, Julia!! By the very definition …

    “to inspire (someone) with the courage or confidence (to do something)”

    Thank you for inspiring me/us to have the courage and confidence to prioritize our lives and invest in what is eternal. Sales, deals and coupons come and go … but the investment in people lasts forever. You have reminded me today that I must store up my treasures in heaven.

    Thank you for encouraging me today and also for challenging me to put my family first.


  6. Nikki says

    congratulations on finding it okay to say no or to ask for help si so that you can enjoy you’re family. That’s a lesson some people go a lifetime without figuring out.

    Thank you for all you do. You have certainly helped change the quality of life I am able to offer my family with the knowledge you’ve shared.

    Best wishes and blessings to you and your family this Christmas.

  7. Kim says

    I completely know where you’re coming from. I had a “hobby” that turned into something that took way too much of my time due to requests I received from people. Because I wanted everyone to enjoy what I could provide, I never said no. Now, we have to move (though just across town), but this has allowed me to start saying “no.” In doing so, I’ve realized how much time I’ve missed out on my kids. I, too, will start a fresh year with fewer obligations!!!

    I also want to thank you for your knowledge you’ve passed on over the last year. Because of this, I have a well-stocked pantry and personal care closet that has allowed me to focus my finances and time on moving this month instead of having to shop (we’ll see how much my husband likes moving all my laundry soap though :) ) Happy holidays to you and your family!!!!

  8. Kym Anderson says

    Julia, Always take the time too romp around the forest with your children, we will let cha, hehehehe. Thank you for all your time with us as well… Happy Holidays to you and your’s….:)

  9. Dana Marie Stege via Facebook says

    You are awesome! I appreciate all of the deals you put up for us. And one of these days, I’m going to win one of those giveaways!!! Have a wonderful, merry CHRISTMAS!!!

  10. Tiffany says

    Great insight, Julia and highly commendable! I totally agree that balance doesn’t have to be elusive. I think it needs to be an intentional choice and you might have make some sacrifices to get there, but it’s totally worth it!! About a year ago, we made a similar change (and some major sacrifices to get there) – I quit my job, we sold our lovely house, and I took our kids out of childcare. We didn’t make any commitments outside of the occasional night out with friends or church activities. It was glorious, exactly what we needed and really gave us time to spend with the Lord, determining His priorities for our lives. Now we have slowly added commitments back into our lives but they are carefully and prayerfully chosen and so far, our live still feels peaceful – just how we love it.

  11. Vicki Chism says

    Congratulations on being able to say no. It took me way too many years to figure it out, but when I finally did, I felt a wave of relief. God and family are more important than anyone or anything else and have to come first to have real peace in your life.

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