07 October 2014

Hands Free Mama Book Chat: Introduction

I have been trying to nail down a good book to read for quite some time now y'all.
 I feel like every book I've picked up in the last month, I read a couple of chapters or even just a few pages, and I just couldn't get into it.  This happens to me from time to time with reading.  I can't find a book that satisfies the need I'm looking to fill.  Recently I've picked up everything from self-help to sci-fi to romance to biography, and nothing seemed to fit!

A couple of months ago, I was in the grocery store, and a book caught my eye.  It was called "Hands Free Mama".  Can you guess why it did?  That's right y'all, I am addicted to my phone.  Not that I look at it all the time (okay, okay what's your definition of "all the time"?), but I have to have it with me.  If it's not with me, I'm in a state of panic to find it to make sure I haven't missed any calls or texts or heaven forbid any snaps.  Needless to say, the whole "Hands Free Mama" enticed me.  

So I bought it.  I drove back home from the grocery store, and opened it up to get my read on.  And of course, I liked what the book had to say.  The introduction talked about how to be a Hands Free Mama in our "fast-paced, overly pressured, media-saturated world."  I found myself nodding my head, and as I read on, I thought, "Well that's a nice thought," or "Good for her for doing that."  

At that point, the Hands Free Movement didn't mean anything to me quite yet.  I bought the book because I knew I liked the concept of what she was trying to say, but I wasn't ready to commit to this whole Hands Free Movement quite yet.  

So I put the book on our bookshelf, until last week I picked it up again and knew without hesitation...I was ready to commit.

Life ever since Todd started school again has been hectic to say the least.  Usually by this time in a new semester, I feel like I've adjusted to his new schedule (our new schedule) and have a pretty good handle on things.  Not so much this semester.  I feel like Todd's busier than ever, I'm busier than ever, and our lives are a constant high speed.  From work responsibilities to church responsibilities to home responsibilities to family responsibilities and all the random stuff that fills every nook and cranny possible, we're both worn thin.  I often ask myself (like someone made mention in LDS General Conference), "Does my family receive my leftover efforts as a parent?"  

When I thought about whether or not Reese gets my "leftover efforts" as a parent and if Todd gets my "leftover efforts" as a wife, I did some serious digging and felt that it was time to resurrect "Hands Free Mama" by Rachel Stafford.  After reading the first couple of chapters, without trying to sound too dramatic, I was left in a puddle of tears and really felt like I was ready to commit to taking charge of my life again.  Not so much cutting out social media for good because let's be real, it also brings me so much joy to document our life through blogging and Instagram.  I love capturing moments with my family that I can look back on and relive forever.  But there will be balance.  And it will not be the most important.  

As I've thought about this, I thought sharing and recording my journey through this book would be more fulfilling to me and make it more meaningful.  It would allow me to look back on my journey and see how I've grown.  Plus any time I've made a significant effort to pursue a change or some sort of growth, it always seems to go better and stick longer if I do it with others.  Which is where you come in!

I want to extend the invitation to YOU.  This journey is not just for those who feel they are consumed by a media-saturated world.  This is a journey for anyone who feels like their life has lost its savor and maybe a little meaning.  Or that you've lost the ability to see its meaning and beauty.  This is a journey for anyone who is ready to "let go of perfection to grasp what really matters"!  

I will be having weekly posts about my progress.  The sweets of the journey and the sours of the journey.  The things that are easy and the things that are hard.  I'll be sharing personal insights I get from the book, and I hope you will join in some of the conversation!  If you're really feeling dedicated to the change, you can get the book here.  You can also check out Rachel Stafford's blog on being a Hands Free Mama here.  She is one heck of a woman, and her blog is inspiring.  One definitely worth your time to read.  

"May this book be your tool to start digging.  Digging for the life you want to live now, not someday."

When I read this at the end of the introduction, my heart surged.  Seriously.  It was on fire.  I knew I needed this in my life right now!  

Are you ready?  Ready to commit to letting go and embracing what matters most?  If you feel so inspired, join me on this journey!  I'd love to have you.  Here is the Hands Free Mama Pledge that I vow to hold dear to my heart.  The pledge that holds hope for the future and a promise that life is to be lived and to be lived whole-heartedly.


I hope you have a lovely day y'all!  Cheers to letting go.
❤, Ashton Tilton

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