The Last Five Years

Well hello, everyone! I cannot believe it has been nearly FIVE years since I last sat down to type out a post for The Southern Eclectic. Things have changed quite a bit over here, as I'm sure they have for you, too. 

If you would have asked me if I were ever going to start blogging again, I probably would have shrugged and said, "Maybe in a few years after my youngest is in kindergarten," without giving it another moment's thought....but I have been feeling a nudge to start designing and putting words down again since late last year. My hesitation has rested largely in the fact that I am a completely different person than I was when I last signed off in 2013. My waist is thicker, my crows feet are deeper and my sunspots are darker...but there has also been deep heart change within. I can't pretend to be driven by fashion or career goals anymore e.g. #Voguecoverorbust. One of the main reasons I stepped away was due to the time consuming nature of an online publication. I don't want to constantly be editing photographs, looking for the shot with the best lighting, racking my brain for what outfit to style and write about, try to adhere to a set posting schedule or worry about what witty caption to put beneath pictures so as to appeal to the most amount of people. 

But also...It. Was. EXHAUSTING. So much pressure! And to what end? Climb one hurdle only to see a larger mountain in the distance? It was a never ending rat race that left my wheels spinning. I had to step off of the merry go round and say enough is enough. And it was first...because it was defining me. My IDENTITY was so wrapped up in blogging, designing and creating a lifestyle brand that letting it all go meant finding myself somewhere else, which, turns out was the most wonderful thing that could have ever happened. 

Without further ado I will tell you what I have learned: the world is enticing. Don't buy into the lies. That you have to be prettier. Thinner. Curvier. Smarter. Healthier. Stronger. Have perfect children, a fairytale marriage and be impossibly fresh looking without any concealer. Because here's the thing: you will never be enough for the world so stop serving a master that can never be satisfied. That is exactly what I was doing. We feel pressured into buying a new dress. More expensive shoes. Better makeup. Taking incredible vacations. There is always something else to reach for. The next want. At what point will we ever truly have peace with what the world offers? (Spoiler alert: WE WON’T)

The world will never be enough to fill the void within that only Christ was meant to fill. In The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis said, "It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased." 

In the last four and a half years, I have learned a lot. I've learned who Jesus is. I've learned our struggles and imperfections are where He meets us and I've learned in our confessions of brokenness He brings us together. I've learned wearing a mask is exhausting, life is messy and if we pretend otherwise, the only person we short change is ourselves. Broken is beautiful. I want other women to know this. I want my sons and daughters to know this. Jesus knows this and that's why He came. He came for the weak. The weary. Those that knew they desperately needed a Savior, not those that were king of their world and pushed Him out of their quest for impossible perfection. My life has been transformed since I last wrote and this time around, this blog will look different. I am not a professional blogger and I'm not going to play one on the internet. I won't have certain posts on certain days. (If I manage to post two times a month as I kick back into gear - free margaritas for everyone).  I wish I had time to make mood boards of outfits that work well for the beach and transition great for a date night...but I would rather spend that time building forts out of pillows or going on a walk with my kids. I'm not going to put together a list of where the best sales are happening (but thank you to those bloggers that do because #helpful). But I'll talk to you about the magic of motherhood...and also share the moments when I question my ability as a mother. I'll tell you I haven't washed my hair in four days and probably won't for another two because sleep > showering. (At least until the next collection launches...then I'll spruce myself up and style some outfits). I may or may not proofread what I type depending on how many people are saying Mama and pulling on my clothes so grammar police, take it easy and show some grace if you would. I'll tell you I don't have all of the answers and I am fairly certain I beat out Paul for the worst sinner alive, but I have a perfect God who loves me anyway - not when I am prettier, thinner, better dressed and clean up my act - but right where I am.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. God gave us all things good. So let's enjoy the heck out of it! But while I still love talking about style, entertaining, home decorating (we are renovating a house top to bottom and I cannot wait to let you in on this process), travel, beauty and all of the other frivolous topics in the menu bar up above, those things are no longer what DRIVE me, and I wanted to be authentic about this from the get go. I am working on a new collection because it is nice to be creative and use those gifts God gave me, but it is not my focus. It's not my purpose. It's not what defines me. And it is no longer where my identity is found. I have tried to reflect this in my Instagram feed throughout the last five years, and I hope it carries over here onto the new Southern Eclectic as well. I look forward to creating a space of guidance, inspiration and creativity; a community of fun - focused on authenticity.

My name is Sheridan. I'm a nobody. I'm nothing outside of what Jesus Christ did for me. But because of Him, I'm somebody. Without further ado, let's talk about pretty things...but not be afraid of the mess.