You Don’t Have To Hustle

“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” ~ Brene Brown


It was exactly ten years ago when I about lost my mind after having surgery. That sticky-hot summer I had to break up with the sloppy perfectionist in my head. I had rushed my recovery, pushed myself too hard, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out how to ask for help. I found myself pulling away from everyone and then clinging to them at the same time.

I had spent thirty-one years hustling for my worthiness and my body (and mind) suffered for it. Something had to change, so I started with my mindset.

I realized that perfectionism was fear-based hiding. Back then, to be loved meant that I needed to be perfect. Y’all, that’s messed up. Now, to be loved means allowing myself the shame-free space to be real and vulnerable with the ones I love. I am done jumping through invisible hoops.


To have an Unrestricted Summer we have to let go of things and live unscripted. For the control freak inside of all of us, this is easier said than done. If you are Type A, by all means, be Type A. Make those lists and goals and work hard for them. But, when life doesn’t measure up to the expectations in your head and your list is unrealistic…can you experience joy to the fullest instead of the looming disappointment that comes when you can’t micromanage every aspect of your life?




Can finished be good enough?


Tidying up in five minutes clean enough?


Can you welcome someone into your home and heart without apologizing for the messiness?


Can you stop being so hard on yourself and find one thing that you did well today and celebrate that?


My list is so long and I’m not juggling all of my roles very well right now. But, I’m happy because I’m not putting so much pressure on myself. My joy is unlimited because I know eventually everything will get done and if it doesn’t…so what?


Having an unrestricted summer for me means letting go of the goals I had for my children mastering their chore list. For the first few weeks of summer vacation, I spent the first ten minutes after I returned home yelling about what could have been done in my absence, the trash that could’ve been picked up, pointing to the clothes that don’t belong in the floor while mumbling in frustration. Do I want chores to be done by someone other than me? Heck yes. But, I don’t want to waste those first ten minutes in frustration after walking through the door and that to be what my kids remember about our summer.


Mom yelled a lot.


I don’t need a perfect summer, but I desperately need a playful one.


The list will get done.


The deadlines will be met.


That sermon and calendar of events will be scheduled and planned.


The laundry will still be there. But, the moments will either be missed or meaningful.


The dishes will still need to be washed while little faces beg to be kissed.


My house is messy, my hair is messy, but my heart is the furthest thing from messy. It’s full.


I’ll lean in for one more kiss and let a few things go, like having everything in place.


Maybe life would be different for all of us if we didn’t feel like we have to hustle to prove ourselves.


Eat the ice cream and go for a walk later.


Go to the store without makeup on and dare to look people in the eyes.


Wear the soft T-shirt three days in a row.


Grill the hot dogs because you forgot to marinate the frozen steaks.


Wear the swimsuit without the cover-up at the beach and show your daughters what confidence and joy is like.



Stay off Facebook and Instagram wondering if your friends are having more fun and looking better in a swimsuit than you are.


Be busy drinking moments instead of documenting every-dang-thing on social media.


Take a break from the pressure and unrealistic expectations. Look for joy and create joy, the dishes will still be there when you come home happy.

I’m trading my hustle for holy passion and messy hair. What do you need to trade this summer to experience more joy?

So much love to you,

Jennifer Renee
Prayer for an Unrestricted Summer (These graphics are for you to share, pin, and use however you want!)

4 thoughts on “You Don’t Have To Hustle

  1. I definitely need to shed my desire to be the perfect mom so that I can revive my creative side, re-connect with friends, and be the nurturer God made me to be!

    Three years ago, a family tragedy struck. At the time, I was stretched way too thin – working too many hours helping others, but at the expense of my own health and three sweet kiddos. I responded – appropriately at the time – by cutting back to the basics, primarly focusing on God, family, and self care.

    Now the pendulum has swung the opposite direction. My kiddos are more than nurtured, my quiet time with God rocks, and my self care is on point, BUT my soul isn’t.

    Thanks, Jennifer, for another inspiring post! Just the kick in the pants I needed to put my creative-nurturer back to work! Blog launch calendar, here I come – with life balance in mind! Adios, perfectionista-mama!

  2. AMEN!!!!! Well Spoken! Thank You! I have my answer. Thank You, Jennifer! <3 🙂

  3. Thank you. I thought at my age no one could kick me in the pants and wake me up. Wrong. If only someone would clean my house, I no longer can. Thanks again Jennifer. Much love

  4. Still struggle with this, possibly now more than ever. Old habits, especially bad ones tend to die hard. I wonder how I got to this place and how, at my age, to let go and move on. Thanks for the inspiration.

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