Crate and Cottage blogger and instagramer Rachel Van Kluyve describes the importance of following your passions as a mom and wife and trusting in God - a Milk and Honey Magazine exclusive!

Taking A Time Out

Rachel Van Kluyve

We all have busy lives. People pulling us in all directions. Children, husbands, family, churches and friends all needing us in one way or the other. As women especially, we feel the need to always meet the needs of those around us. It’s in our nature, and while I am thankful for it, it can be exhausting and draining. We seem to forget about ourselves in the process and who we are tends to get buried into the needs of others. The Lord has taught me along my journey the past two years that I am important, and finding time to grow into who He created me to be is crucial to my wellbeing. It is my hope today that I can help you see the importance of leaning into your creativity and finding value in yourself.

My journey into finding my creative self started a little over two years ago. I was a place in my life where I missed being creative. I loved to decorate and craft and get my hands dirty with paint and sawdust, but after having two children and a lot of postpartum, I lost myself. I lost myself to duties and obligations and lost myself, really, within motherhood. So, two years ago I took a leap and started a little Instagram account titled Crate and Cottage. It was the name of the antique booth my mom and I opened in between my first and second child. We closed it after a year of fun, but when my second came, I didn’t have the time. The time for creativity got stifled again. So, for the name to live on, I used it to launch my new Instagram home décor account.

I was terrified. Scared my “real” friends would see it, so I kept it private. I told myself that once I got to 500 followers, no matter how long it took, I would then feel confident enough in sharing my new venture with the “real” folks in my life. So, I took to it. I jumped in. I styled scenes in the house and crafted again. In between kids napping, I taught myself how to work my camera and enjoyed posting my content and becoming a part of a community. Even if I only had 20 followers, it meant I had something for me and my creativeness. It held me accountable to create each day. It was exhilarating, to say the least, for this stay-at-home, homeschooling mom.

During those first few months of starting my Instagram, we found the land we always dreamed of, and after ten years in our first home, we designed and built our current farmhouse. I took the opportunity to invite Instagram along for the home build, and here I am today. I shared everything about the build process, if only for a documentation for myself. That documentation led to more followers, an even bigger community, and amazing opportunities I couldn’t have dreamed of. I’ve now had opportunities to work with big brands, be paid, for the content I create, be on local news stations, and have even written a book hitting stands next March all on my little desire to share home and creativity. I say ALL of that to say, listen to yourself. Had I not jumped, I wouldn’t be here. I got to a point where I realized if I didn’t have something for myself, I would drown into the needs of others, forgetting about myself and who my Creator created me to be.

I think in life, we have to many “we need to’s” and not enough “I want to’s!” It's ok, ladies, to make time for yourself and listen to what the Lord is whispering to your heart. It’s not going to be Instagram for everyone. It’s that dance class you always wanted to take or the painting class that has been on your mind for years. It’s the job that scares you to death, but you know you’d be good at. It’s the organization you want to start, aiding impoverished families. It’s your gift of baking people have told you to turn into something for years that you never listened to. There is something there! Its created and woven inside you. Something that gives you life and if you aren’t sure what that is, ask the people around you that love you. They will know. Sometimes it takes hearing other’s viewpoints and opinions that open our minds to our own. When I can’t figure out my own desires, I help others with there’s, and in helping others I in turn find out more about myself. Giving is so much better than receiving that way, and more often than not within the giving you find out more about yourself than you bargained for.

Crate and Cottage blogger and instagramer Rachel Van Kluyve describes the importance of following your passions as a mom and wife and trusting in God - a Milk and Honey Magazine exclusive!

Isn’t it fascinating that we are each gifted and chosen by God for specific purposes? I find peoples gifts and passions to be so remarkable. What one person has is not anything like the other. You are uniquely made in His image with your own passions and pursuits to follow. It’s just about taking the time to listen and discern them. I simply want to encourage you today to listen to your heart and hear how the Lord wants to use you. Take the time for yourself. Allow a few moments in your day to focus on yourself. When you’re the best you can be for yourself the better you are for others.

Had I not listened to my heart, recognized my desires and took that leap of faith, I would have missed out on so many opportunities that I never even knew were designated for my life. Even now, as we carve our schedule between homeschooling, running our real estate company, and my online presence, I’m reminded that I’m still growing and changing and desiring new things. I have to take the time for me and listen to the desires of my heart. It’s my hope that you today, are encouraged and challenged to take the time to listen to yourself and listen to what the Lord is telling you. You never know what beauty lies ahead.

A year from today, you may wish you had started today." - Karen Lamb

Crate and Cottage blogger and instagramer Rachel Van Kluyve describes the importance of following your passions as a mom and wife and trusting in God - a Milk and Honey Magazine exclusive!

Rachel, founder of Crate and Cottage, is a Nashvillian stay at home mom turned momtrepreneur. Most days you can find her in a messy bun and yoga pants wrangling two boys while running a real estate business, homeschooling, DIYing, and keeping up with her passions. She's most passionate in life about her faith, her three men, writing, and serving silently behind the scenes. She's an introvert gone social-media-vert, and when not busy you can find her... well, she's never not busy. :)