What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Heather Brown and blogs over at My Life Well Loved 

Have you had one of those days recently where it feels like everything is crashing in on you, and felt you were the most stressed out mom? Today I wonder how it was only a week and a half ago that I was on a beach in Mexico without a care in the world.

We haven’t traveled much all summer long but then everything stacked up. Mexico—>Bachelorette Party at the Beach—->New York Fashion Week and of course in between those trips, blog deadlines, motherhood, learning Empower, teaching Pure Barre classes, wife-ing, small groups at church and all the other things you and I…we all do… are still there.

Not to mention, Leyton turned two last week so that brought an onslaught of emotions, as well as party planning that still needs to happen. I am SIMPLIFYING his party this year, but we’ll talk about that another day.

Of course I’m incredibly excited to go to NYFW, but it’s also really hard to leave my little man (& my big man-ha) again. It’s also hard lining up the child care, hearing stories from your mom of him acting sad and saying “ma-ma” while you’re gone, and missing them like crazy.

It’s funny how just when you think you’re in a good groove and found a balance, life throws in some curve balls. Although we can’t always be in balance, Eric and I try to communicate when we are out of balance for a season due to travel, moving, baby stuff, work stuff, etc to let the other know we are aware of being out of balance. That way the other spouse can help us get back to where we need to be.

Where we find ourselves failing is when we don’t acknowledge to the other that we are out of balance. We both need the accountability to help get back to balance. Although life can’t always be pretty with a bow on it, I’ve been intentionally trying to take a few much needed steps to help me stay towards balance that I thought some of you may appreciate too. Because, hello, life as we know it is HECTIC, BUSY, and STRESSFUL and we can easily let it get the best of us.

When we went to Mexico, I decided to bring books with me because well, it seems that vacations are the only time I have to read these days. I packed The Best Yes and Present Over Perfect…noticing a theme here? I also packed a good light read for being on the beach, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’m trying to start being more mindful about what I say YES to so that it can be my best yes…and so that I CAN be present over perfect. I haven’t finished either book yet but I’m excited to have gotten started and determined to finish.

Today when I was a stressed out mom at my wit’s end, nerves frayed and almost in tears trying to hit deadlines but also be a good mom the 3 days I’m at home with Leyton before leaving again, I simply stopped. I sat down. I turned on worship music. And I invited Leyton to come sit in my lap.

We swayed to the music. I prayed the only thing I could think to get out: “Lord, help my racing mind to slow down. Help me.” I’ll tell you what, it helped. In that instance, I sat there just singing, swaying and tears brimming at my eyes. Motherhood is such a gift. But it’s so hard.

We are not perfect. Life is not easy, but we are here as a community of “lovies” (a title for the MLWL community you guys suggested) and in the body of Christ to help each other live a life well loved. A life full of promise. A love for each other that only comes from women encouraging women and seeking wisdom in God’s word.

And you know what, if you aren’t a believer, that’s ok because we’re here to love on you as well. I see you weary momma. I see you frazzled wife and stressed out mom. I see you lady who is worried you aren’t beautiful enough or smart enough or whatever “enough” you struggle with.

This post literally flowed from my brain (on overdrive) to my heart as Jesus helped me process through, to hopefully encourage you today wherever you are.

I want to encourage you today to take 5 minutes for you. Maybe light a candle, pray, start a good book, cuddle up with a blanket, stretch, do something to bring your weary heart to a state of rest even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes.