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Why we’re taking a break

2.12.2021 • 2 Comments

Why we're taking a break by Valerie Woerner | Val Marie Paper, margin, intentional, prayer journals, doing less, margin in business

Our Lent Prayer Guide begins 2/17! Download it for free here.

Remember December? I sure can’t forget. Our team was stretched to the brink. We shipped 5,000 orders in 10 days. No fancy warehouse. Just 2 VMP employees and lots of helpers. 2 other VMP employees fielded what had to be a year’s worth of emails… and not always the kindest ones. 😉 This isn’t a pity party, but as someone who started talking about margin almost 7 years ago, I thought it would be helpful to see, not only where the wheels came off, but how we get back to margin. 

Margin doesn’t come easily or naturally to me. I remember the rocking chair I was sitting in, nursing a 4-month old Vivi, and my mind being blown by the content of the book Margin by Richard Swenson. (I’m actually rereading it this year! 🙂 ) With a sweet new baby, I started enjoying more space in my days than I ever expected. 

How did it happen? A lot of it was honestly the realization that I had choices. I couldn’t choose everything, but I had enough choices that would affect my life in a more positive way if I made them good ones. 

Our natural bent is to keep adding things without thinking we have choices until our days are overstuffed. 

  • My kid has to do all the activities. 
  • I have to wash my hair every day.  😉 
  • We have to go to every birthday party we’re invited to. 

It’s also our natural bent to blame a lot of other things for where we’re at. I had several really valid excuses swirling in my head last December BUT if something else is responsible for why my life is too full, I’m powerless to change it. (I’ve already mentioned the mistakes we made last  year.) There are always things we CAN change though.

We can say ‘this year will be different” but ultimately, we have to do something different!

So we’re doing something different!

Why we're taking a break by Valerie Woerner | Val Marie Paper, margin, intentional, prayer journals, doing less, margin in business

We decided to take off one week each quarter to refresh our team. There are so many different moments of really busy seasons, (i.e. yearly pre-orders and Christmas, or last year’s vicious combo of the two, and this year’s book launch!) and though we take breaks, we never really stop as a whole team.

So, starting Feb. 15, we’re having our first-ever VMP week off.

1. Jane won’t be shipping orders.
2. Brandi won’t be posting on social media.
3. Kara won’t be running our team or her inbox.
4. I won’t be creating content. (This blog post went out automatically!)

If you head to our shop, you’ll see a “VMP VACAY” page letting you know you can order, but all email responses or shipping of items will take place next week when we return.

This won’t fix everything, but honestly, I feel like it’s sending us along the right trajectory. It’s helping us rebuild. It’s reminding us that to some degree, we can choose the chaos in our lives. Not all of it, of course, but we aren’t bystanders. 

If you’re longing for more margin but aren’t sure where to start, here are few things you can lift up in prayer:

1. Awareness to see things I’m choosing that I don’t think I’m choosing.
Wisdom to choose God’s best plan intentionally.
Courage to say no to everything else. 

I was wanting to include some content from Diana Kerr, my life coach, because she loves margin as much as I do. Then I realized she has two things happening now that fit perfectly with this topic!! 

What do you want to know about margin? Planning on writing an e-book on the topic!

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Comments (4)

I loved this part, Val: This won’t fix everything, but honestly, I feel like it’s sending us along the right trajectory.

You’re so right. One week off/quarter won’t solve all your margin problems 1000%, but I think we tend to not take action sometimes because we think, “Well that will only partially fix the problem.” Most problems have a LOT of little pieces to them, and the solutions to those problems are also typically multiple things that add up to make a big impact. Not sure if I’m making sense. But I love you and I totally high 5 you for this decision!

Wow! What a week to be off! Lots of sick parents and unexpected snow! God is so gracious to have carved out that week for us to deal with lots of personal stuff! Thanks for supporting us in it!!

Thank you Diana!! Love you and all your support and how you challenge me in this area and pretty much all areas. 😉