I'm back!

Wow, it feels good to be back in this space. You'll notice a fresh look to the site as well as a fresh address (mattyewoodcock.com) thanks to the help of my talented friend Emily of Emily Wells Design. Yay! That's fun!

 Photo by  Rachel Coffey

Photo by Rachel Coffey

Since the last time I wrote in this space, I feel like I have become a new person in so many good ways.

When I stopped writing here, it was because I felt the need to retreat a little. Not out of any negative feeling, but more out of solitude. After walking through a miscarriage in March 2016, and then getting pregnant again later that spring, my heart was experiencing so many different things. Sharing publicly didn't feel right, or even possible. It's not that I didn't want to share, I just felt the need to spend time focusing inward and being with my people as we walked through that season. Essentially, it just wasn't the right time, and I listened to that.

I knew the time would come where I would be ready to write and share again, and even now, I don't know exactly what it will look like, but I'm so happy to be back. I've missed writing and connecting here.


Catching Up...

 

Since I've been on my spontaneous "sabbatical," so much has happened!

2016

We found out in June 2016 that God had given us another baby. We were pregnant! What a joy-filled day that was. 

We got to see our baby for the first time in July 2016.

Babywoodcock
MattyeandWoodyWoodcock

And we found out he was a boy in October!

IMG_5247.JPG

2017

Our son surprised us with an early arrival on February 2, 2017 (his due date was February 21!), and we named him Fox David Woodcock.

 Fox David Woodcock, February 2, 2017

Fox David Woodcock, February 2, 2017

I could spend a lifetime blogging cute photos of him and waxing poetic about our love for him, but I'll spare you...for now. ;) 

Well, ok, here's just one...

 Fox's first birthday

Fox's first birthday

We know he is the perfect boy for us. God gave us absolutely who we needed in a child, and he lights up our lives.

After having Fox, I experienced postpartum depression and anxiety. It was the hardest, darkest season of my life, which is something that is still hard and sad to say because it was simultaneous to one of the most wonderful seasons of my life, the first year with our son. 

I have walked a road of healing, and I am doing so much better now, praise God. I had the honor of sharing my story on my friend, Katie's new podcast, Untethered. If you're interested in what that season looked like and how God sustained us through it, I'd love for you to listen. And, if you or someone you know has walked through anxiety or depression, I hope it will be a source of light and hope.

I tell the fuller version of this story in the podcast, but after going back to work for several months after Fox was born, Woody and I prayerfully made the decision for me to move part-time starting in 2018. My leaders and coworkers were all so supportive of this decision, and it has been a great transition for our family. Not always easy, but it has been the right thing for us. 

So, here we are. 2018 has brought a new season of refreshment for our family, and we are so deeply grateful.


As for what's next? There is lots on my mind, and what you can expect to see here in the coming months is, well, who knows! ha! I do have some fun posts planned with party planning ideas, and I'll talk about goals, too.

If there is anything specific you'd like to hear about, let me know! 

Thanks for being here, friends. It's good to be back. 

xo. Mattye

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

This is one of my favorite weekends of the summer. I enjoy the casual, festive celebrations all around me, and I'm humbled and deeply grateful for the freedom we have in America and the sacrifices that have made it possible.

Woody and I had a June for the books! It was full of work + fun travel among hosting Supper Club and celebrating Father's Day. We knew it would be a lot going into it, but we also knew we had made intentional choices based on our values and goals so we approached it with enthusiasm and took naps whenever possible. We can only do a couple of months a year at that pace, but when it's full of what matters most, it's worth it!

Now we are taking a much anticipated week off! Hooray! I'm looking forward to decompressing and rejuvenating and spending time with people I love. I also plan to share my refreshed goals for July later this month.

I'm committed to making what matters happen, and sometimes that means giving myself some grace. I've got some goals in my mind to guide my July, and I'll be putting them to paper before long. I knew going into this year that I can't do it all perfectly, but I can do it, and I will!

I hope you'll find a way to spend time focused on what matters most to you this month, too. I look forward to being back with you soon, and in the meantime, check out some goals inspiration over at Making Things Happen!

And, Happy 4th of July, my friends!

May 2016 Goals

April was one for the books, y'all. We had our first all-day workshop for The Orchard Birmingham: A Creative Community for Women, Woody and I hosted friends in town for two weekends in a row, we had a big conference at work, and we finished the month with a few days away for a relaxing staff retreat in Florence, Alabama!

Not to mention, in the midst of it all, Woody and I pulled off getting our guest room set up with the help of our neighbor and my dad (and answered prayers for a mattress!), and I must say, it looks pretty good!

 We want our guests to feel so loved when they stay in our home. One of the ways we accomplish this in our guest room is by putting fresh flowers from our garden and positive words to encourage them! (Print by  N  aptime Diaries )

We want our guests to feel so loved when they stay in our home. One of the ways we accomplish this in our guest room is by putting fresh flowers from our garden and positive words to encourage them! (Print by Naptime Diaries)

While April was full, there was something about it that felt light and refreshing. After walking through the grief of our miscarriage in March, in April I was walking in hope and healing and it was good.

I'm excited for May, but found myself putting off my goal setting for the month. Being intentional takes energy. Yes, it's some of the most worthwhile energy you'll ever spend, but it's energy nonetheless. Sometimes that energy is harder to give than others, and that's exactly what I was feeling as May got closer and closer.

I willed myself to push through and sat down on my bed last night to work through my PowerSheets because I know how much it matters. I have purposed in my heart to complete my PowerSheets at the beginning of each month because they do so much good in directing my month and my heart toward what matters. And sure enough, I'm so glad I did it.

So if you're feeling challenged to keep up a good habit or a practice you know makes your life better, stick with it, friends! Even when you don't feel like it, commit to the process and do the good work and you will reap great rewards that have lasting impact!

What are you committing to make happen this month?

April Goals Progress

  • Three date nights with Woody
  • Calendar planning with Woody
  • Speak at The Orchard Workshop
  • Research Southern Makers Event
  • Apply to be a PowerSheets Community Contributor (Exciting news! I'll be sharing more of my goals and PowerSheets journey over at the Make It Happen blog soon!)
  • Prepare guest room (SO happy to have this done and ready for guests!!!)
  • Work on writing projects
  • Host DeShaws in Birmingham
  • Write blog posts: monthly goals + two others
  • Spring Cleaning- organize office and clean off porch (Woody and I are still planning to make this happen!)
  • Supper Club
  • Staff retreat with Woody
  • Revisit 2016 travel

May 2016 Goals

Three Dates with Woody
Charleston trip with Woody to attend a friend's wedding
Tennessee trip to visit family
Mattye Woodcock Writing Co. Photo Shoot (more to come on this exciting project!)
Supper Club
Two morning coffee dates with a friend
Write PowerSheets Community Blog Post
Bake cookies
Three blog posts: monthly goals + two
Get help for my back (been having back pain and need some relief! Looking at massage and physical therapy. Any recommendations welcome!)
Intentionally give from our blessing fund

Do you have any questions about goal setting or why I set certain goals? I would love to answer and help you in your own goal-setting journey!

The Story of Old

I love old things for the stories they tell and the way they tie people together--those who have never met, but somehow love each other.

We have a family quilt that I just love. As Woody and I talked about putting together the guest room in our new home, we shared ideas and vision for what it would look like, and through conversation, this family quilt became a centerpiece for me.

Guest Room-Family Quilt_The LovingKind

My mom told me she would like for me to have it, but I wasn't going to be able to get it from her in time for our first guests. But, like the sweet mama that she is, she surprised me and mailed it to me, and it arrived the day before our guests did! It was just the finishing touch the room needed and it makes me happy every time I see it. 

I asked my mom who made this family quilt, and she answered with the most simple and beautiful story of its place in our family story:

Family Heirloom Quilt_The LovingKind

"I believe my grandmother Ada pieced it and probably a woman named Mrs. Raby helped hand quilt it. Because I recognize some of the fabric from dresses I've seen pictures of my grandmother in. I just remember it always on my grandparents bed when I was growing up." 

I absolutely love knowing that this quilt kept my great grandparents warm and made their room pretty.

I love thinking about what my great grandmother, Ada, did when wearing the dresses some of these tiny squares were cut from.

I love the resourcefulness of that generation--making a quilt from items already owned--and I like to think I'm keeping a bit of that spirit by using the same quilt in my home instead buying one new. 

In our world of instant-gratification, quick-fixes, and easy access to most anything, it feels good to pause and let the past teach us.

Teach us to appreciate what we have and to savor the gift of something made by loving hands.

Hands that rocked my grandmother, who rocked my mother, who rocked me.

Hands that helped build my family.

Hands that I wish I could hold, caress, or high five.

But for today, I will proudly lay this quilt in my home, and welcome the heart of family, love, and resourcefulness it brings.

And finally I'll say, "If this was good enough for you, Great Grandmother, it's good enough for me." 

April 2016 Goals

March was one of the hardest and best months of my life. After just eight days of knowing I was pregnant, I miscarried March 3. I experienced grief like never before, and yet through the pain, God did some of the most beautiful work in my heart.

 I love the beauty and hope of spring blooms!

I love the beauty and hope of spring blooms!

My brain has processed a lot in the short road of finding out I was pregnant and then no longer being pregnant so soon after. In the days I was pregnant, I found myself worrying about what the future would hold with my pregnancy and wondering if everything was ok. I realized through my miscarriage that I had been trying so hard to trust God for the future when what He was really asking me to do was to trust Him for the moment.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." -Matthew 6:34

So as each new day comes, I'm constantly trying to adjust my gaze to trusting God in the moment. I hope to get pregnant again, and I hope it's a healthy, full-term pregnancy, and that I get to hold our baby in my arms. I am believing God for that. 

But in the meantime, I am trusting Him for right now. Taking each moment and every step to receive what He has for me now, believing these days are just as much a part of His plan for me as the ones where I'll have a baby in my arms. 

So here's to an intentional, purpose-filled April, friends, where His grace is sufficient for every moment.

March Goals Progress

  • Three date nights with Woody
  • Family calendar planning night with Woody
  • Family budget party
  • Host Woody's family for a weekend in Birmingham
  • See all of our parents in person
  • Supper Club
  • Work on writing projects
  • Two blog posts in addition to monthly goals
  • Research bedding options (mattress, bed, etc.) for guest room (suggestions welcomed!)

April Goals

Three date nights with Woody
Calendar planning with Woody
Speak at The Orchard Workshop
Research Southern Makers Event
Apply to be a PowerSheets Community Contributor
Prepare guest room
Work on writing projects
Host DeShaws in Birmingham
Write blog posts: monthly goals + two others
Spring Cleaning- organize office and clean off porch
Supper Club
Staff retreat with Woody
Revisit 2016 travel

What are you setting out to do in April? Share in the comments below or leave a link to your own goals post!

My five goal-setting tips

Through the process of working toward my 2016 goals and sharing them with you, I kept wondering, "is someone going to read these and think, 'this is nice for her, but I don't even know where to start with my own goal setting?!'"

There was a time when I would've looked at someone's goals and thought exactly that.

 Photo by  Rachel Coffey

Photo by Rachel Coffey

So what is the secret ingredient that got me from being unsure and intimidated by goal setting to using it as a valuable tool to live a purposeful life?

Well, it's not a secret.

And it's not unattainable.

It's really pretty simple.

I just tried.

That's it. 

Certainly, there are some great methods and incredible tools and strategies that contribute to successful goal setting (which I'll share in this post), but most of all, you just have to be willing to try.

The best thing I can relate it to is learning to ride a bike.


As a child, you've never ridden a bike yourself, but you've seen other people ride one, and it looks pretty fun. But, to a young child, a bike is different than a wagon or a stroller or a car--you know, the usual things kids are used to riding. Seeing other people do it, you know you can probably do it too, but you have to try in order to figure it out and to ultimately experience the fun of it.

That's kind of like meaningful goal setting.

It's different than the things you're used to doing, but you've seen other people do it successfully, and it makes you interested.

And, just as with learning to ride a bike, no matter how many people you've watched do it, you can't imagine the feel of your foot pushing the pedal forward or the movement of the handlebars within your grasp until you've experienced it yourself.

So it is with goal setting--you can watch and learn from others, but the only way to truly understand the value is to try it yourself. 


The first time I started working toward purposeful goals, I felt a little out of my element with thoughts like, "am I doing this right?" and "this feels more introspective than I'm used to being with myself."

To be honest, there are still times I feel that way. But, if there is any "secret" at all, it's to push through. Those feelings are worth feeling and then getting over in order to take steps toward living your best life. 

In just over two years of goal setting, I've learned a few things that I hope will help you in your own journey. I've been amazed at how much this process has positively impacted every part of my life, and I am passionate about seeing others experience the power of life lived with intention. 

Before we go any further, I just want to make sure we are all in agreement with a very important truth: a life of purpose and fulfillment is not just available to a select few-- it's available to everyone, and that includes you.

Setting meaningful goals is all about taking action to claim the life you were created to live.

Five Tips


1. Know your WHY.

It's important to know WHY you want to live a purposeful life. 

Is it to be be a great wife or mother or daughter or sister or friend?
Is it to advance in your job, your health, or your spiritual life?
Is it to pursue a creative passion, take on a long-dreamed-about adventure, or help people in need? 

Whatever it is, we each have things that are important to us, and setting those things as the big-picture for why you are goal setting will help keep you going when it feels hard to take another lap around the goal-setting track. 


2. Commit to the process.

As with anything that creates a positive impact, it's sticking with it that's half the journey.

Taking intentional, purposeful steps toward living the life you want and were created to live can be tough. There will be things that stand in your way and even fight against you.

That's why deciding in advance that you're committed is key, no matter what ups and downs the journey may take. That way, when you want to give up, you don't even have to give it a second thought because you've already decided you're not going to!


3. Find a system that works for you.

This was a game-changer for me. In fact, this is what gave legs to my goal setting journey more than anything else.

I had things I wanted to accomplish and dreams I was working toward, and when I found Lara Casey's Make It Happen initiative and her goal-setting tool, PowerSheets, something clicked.

I completely connected with Lara's heart and philosophy for "making what matters happen," and I highly recommend PowerSheets and her Make It Happen book.

Having a tool and a system that has proven to work is such a gift and will help carry you in the goal-setting process when you're unsure what to do next.

It was this post by Lara that captured my attention and my heart. Below is the comment I left on her post that day.

blog comment_the LovingKind

  I have recently become an affiliate with the  Lara Casey Shop  because I adore their products so much! All the opinions shared on this blog are and always will be my own. I have been promoting this product long before there was any affiliate program available, and look forward to continuing to share my heart for great products with you!

I have recently become an affiliate with the Lara Casey Shop because I adore their products so much! All the opinions shared on this blog are and always will be my own. I have been promoting this product long before there was any affiliate program available, and look forward to continuing to share my heart for great products with you!


4. Include others

I will declare it from the mountaintops, "We are made for community!" The God who created us designed us to be better together.

There is such amazing power in including others in your goal-setting journey. This can look like so many different things--sharing your goals with your spouse or a friend, sharing goals with a small group of friends, or connecting with people online to share in the journey.

A great place to start is right here. I would love to hear from you and cheer you on in your goals!


5. Practice grace.

I could write this a thousand times. There have been so many times in my goal-setting journey where I have missed a deadline (ahem, remember my recent post), not completed a goal, or faced my own unmet expectations.

How did that leave me feeling?
Guilty. Shameful. Sad. Embarrassed. Not good enough.

When I faced those feelings, I was left with two options: either give up or practice grace.
I chose grace, and it has changed me.

Grace helps rewrite my failures into my future.
Grace gives me a soft place to land when I've been tossed around by the demands of expectations.
Grace pats me on the back and says "It's ok. Just keep going."

Have grace for yourselves, friends.
 

Your goals won't be perfect, your process won't be perfect, and you won't accomplish everything perfectly, but with grace, you will uncover the beauty and treasure hidden within the imperfections.
You will discover that it doesn't have to be perfect to be purposeful. 

I LOVE this video by Lara Casey proclaiming PURPOSE over perfect.
 

I have had to lean on all five of these areas time and time again, and I hope they will help give you the nudge, prompt, or heave you need to live your most beautiful, purposeful life.

How can I help you or encourage you? Leave a comment below!
 

 

 

March 2016 Goals

I love March. It brings the first hints of spring and longer daylight hours as well as my husband's birthday and the anniversary of our engagement! This time of year often feels like a season of new birth as we emerge from winter, and it is sweet.

 We learned so much and had a great time with other married couples at  our church 's marriage conference this year!

We learned so much and had a great time with other married couples at our church's marriage conference this year!

February had several full weekends including traveling to Tennessee for Valentine's Day with two other couples, hosting friends for our church's marriage conference, and spending a long weekend in NC visiting sweet friends and family. In between all of that, our family calendar kept us in a great flow of communicating with each other and spending our days intentionally.

Most of all, I'm so grateful for the people and precious relationships that made February special, and I look forward to how we can continue cultivating that this month.

 I cannot describe how valuable spending time with other couples who share similar values has been for us. Investing in these friendships has brought so much richness to our lives. For the second year in a row, we went on a Valentine's weekend trip with friends, and we hope it will be an ongoing tradition!

I cannot describe how valuable spending time with other couples who share similar values has been for us. Investing in these friendships has brought so much richness to our lives. For the second year in a row, we went on a Valentine's weekend trip with friends, and we hope it will be an ongoing tradition!

Franklin TN_The LovingKind

February Goals Progress

  • Have three meaningful date nights with Woody
  • February family calendar planning
  • Plan and enjoy Valentine's weekend with Woody and friends
  • Invite Mom for a weekend in Birmingham
  • Kick off Young Marrieds Small Group with the Bradshaws
  • Post friendship list where I can regularly see it
  • Have two friend times-coffee, lunch, dinner, etc.
  • Write for the TLK blog (two posts plus goals)
  • Host The Orchard, meeting two
  • Try YNAB (We are loving YNAB so far!)
  • Write thank you notes (I got a few done, but still a few to go!)
  • NC trip with Woody to visit family and friends
  • Choose blessing fund purpose

March Goals

Three date nights with Woody
Family calendar planning night with Woody
Family budget party
Host Woody's family for a weekend in Birmingham
See all of our parents in person
Supper Club
Work on writing projects
Two blog posts in addition to monthly goals
Research bedding options (mattress, bed, etc.) for guest room (suggestions welcomed!)

I'd love to connect with you about your goals for March. Share in the comments below or leave a link to where you've shared them online. 

Also, if you're looking for a great tool to get started with meaningful goal setting, my absolute go to are PowerSheets from the Lara Casey Shop!
 

The LovingKind Turns Two!

I am so grateful for The LovingKind. As a writer and illustrator, it has been a dream to get to create and share here. But the thing I have loved the most is the community. Every time I get to connect with you about what matters in your heart or what inspires you, I am lit up with so much joy.

The LovingKInd Second Anniversary

As a thank you to every person who has read, liked, visited, shopped or commented here over the past two years, I'd like to give you 20% off your order in the TLK Shop through the weekend. Simply enter the discount code JUSTFORYOU at checkout. I hope you find something that makes you smile and helps you cultivate love. 

Happy Valentine's weekend, y'all!

xoxo.

Mattye

February 2016 Goals

I love February, y'all. Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. I know, it's not the most common choice for a favorite holiday. And no, I wouldn't give up Christmas for Valentine's Day. Yet, there is something so sweet about this day of love and I just adore it.

I love the colors, the hearts and the feelings I get around Valentine's Day. I love that it celebrates love and encourages us to think about the people we hold dear. While marketed toward romantic love, I think it's a great season for all of us to enjoy sweet treats, kind notes and intentional time with the people that bring love into our lives. 

  Need a little help spreading the love? Pick up a sweet card in the   TLK Shop   to celebrate those you love!

Need a little help spreading the love? Pick up a sweet card in the TLK Shop to celebrate those you love!

However you feel about Valentine's Day, I hope your February is full of joy, purpose and of course, love. I'm fired up about what God has put on my heart for this year, and I am so grateful to get to share the monthly journey with you here.

January goals Progress

My January goals didn't happen in my typical fashion because I was still working through the process of goal setting for the year. But, I did take time at the end of the month to look back at the steps I took toward my goals in January, even as I was still creating them! Also, the numbers listed beside each item indicate which of my yearly goals the monthly goal is helping me take a step toward. 

February Goals

I'd love to see your February goals if you've posted them somewhere or want to share them in the comments below!