Hustle. That has been the word to describe my life over the past two years. Early mornings, late nights, work on weekends, work on Labor Day. Hustle. Friends, after a while, the hustle gets hard.


At first it is exciting, you are excited to get up early each morning and adopt all the work habits that will get you that Big Life, take your coffee on the run, keep your laptop with you at all times, turn your car into a mobile office. But after a couple of years, you kind of want to just take a nap on a Sunday afternoon. In fact, that is my struggle now. Is it okay for me to slow down just a bit for that blessed nap during the Cowboys game?


This week I finished writing the ninth journal for our G&G Box, the ninth Grace and Grit woman. I always feel like drinking a glass of champagne when I hit the send button. It is a pretty big deal to me. I write about the women in the morning, while it is still dark outside and everything is quiet. I spend time imagining and researching women whom I feel could teach our girls a great life lesson. Sometimes I know whom I want and go after her, but sometimes I hit road blocks and have to keep searching. I work on instinct and when the right woman appears, it is obvious. There is a feeling that overcomes me, almost as though her spirit comes back to life in those early morning hours and invites me in.


I spend several hours over several days learning and thinking about her. I wish I could spend more time researching these women (but you know, I gotta hustle—sigh). I wonder about her day-to-day life. All of the attributes and quirks that history does not tell us — her hobbies, food choices, did she take Sunday afternoon naps. I spend so much time thinking about these women that when I sit down to write about them, it comes easily.  I wrote once about how I felt strong women in history make sure to leave a bit of their spirit behind so the rest of us can find it, and pick up where they left off. When I share these women’s stories I pray that I am weaving their spirit into the journals.


I keep my own collection of the journals on my bedside table. When I look at them, my first thought is that they are so beautiful — just an array of colors that entice me. My second thought is, God bless the sweet woman who edits my writing, she makes sure (my thoughts come out quicker than I can type and she makes sure everything reflects what I want these precious girls to know). When I reread the journals after her editing, the strong, brave women these journals are about shine. Their spirits flow out of that journal. (God Bless all the editing people in all the world, amen.) In the end, I get the distinct honor, privilege and responsibility to be the keeper of these women’s stories. Women who set out to own their dreams, women who set out to make a better life for themselves and others, women who brought the word hustle to the table and paved the way for me.


This week in trying to revitalize my energy level I started reading a book by John White, and in one small paragraph he took away my breath, writing, “Spirituality is not substitute for sweat… (anyone) who has been greatly used has done the work of two.” Hustle. That is some hard truth, heavenly truth. If you want to do great work, you must do great work.  These women understood this. I think it was just instinctually in their spirits. I don’t even think they questioned the workload. They just did it.


So, I will keep up the hustle. I will keep my treasured early mornings because good work doesn’t only come between the hours of nine to five. Making an impact, achieving big dreams, the work ethic that accomplishes these goals has to be woven into your life. As further proof, the other day my daughter called me to talk about daughter things, but in the course of the conversation she alluded to the fact that she understood my hustle and that I am trying to make an impact with girls. Of course she followed that up with asking for a car, a restored car, but yeah a car (more on that terror on another day). In between requests for fast-moving vehicles she said she understood what I was doing and why. If I want to support girls through this dream, the hustle must continue. But I also decided that even though I hustle, Sunday naps are a must — especially during Cowboys games!