Step on my Toes

We were visiting my husband’s grandparents in Lufkin, Tx. His grandpa has been very sick, for a while, and we haven’t been sure how much longer he will be here. So, when we get the chance, we head out to Lufkin for a visit.

One weekend in July, we decided to go out for a visit. During our time there, he spent telling us some stories, or giving advice.

And one of the most profound things that I took away that weekend came at one of the shortest, but direct conversations.

“When I go to a new church, I meet with the Pastor”, he said. And I tell him “Listen, I expect you to step on my toes. If you can’t give a message that is going to step on my toes, then I won’t be sitting in those seats.” He went on to say that there are too many people, nowadays, that are too afraid of getting their feelings hurt, and too many pastors that are afraid to hurt people’s feelings.

How true is that?

We need to step outside of ourselves. We need to allow and encourage our leaders, and people in our closest circle, the people that we trust, to speak truth, love, and kindness- even if they have to step on our toes.

Freedom isn’t Free

Freedom comes at a cost.

One thing I remember my mom and dad saying all.the.time. Is “Nothing is ever free”.

One time, we got a free dog at one of the daycares I attended. I don’t fully remember the conversation…but I remember mentioning something about a free dog. My mama taught me that the dog wasn’t free. We didn’t have to pay anything for him…but we (ok, my parents) did have to pay for dog food, water, bowl, etc…

I’ve always kept that, and other conversations like it, in the back of my mind.

Fast forward, and skip stories….

As I have grown, in life, I’ve realized I like expensive things.

I like running. Running is expensive- done right. You need to replace shoes and running gear, frequently. And let’s not forget to add in expenses for running races, travel, lodging, and meals for those weekends.

I like massages. Most relaxing self-care to date, for myself.

I also like getting manicures and pedicures, although I don’t go often.

I LOVE to travel. Enough said.

Growing up- and I can’t tell you exactly why- I had this mindset that enjoying expensive things, and having a lot of money was wrong.

But in recent years, I have found that enjoying expensive things, and even having a lot of money can be a good thing. Your heart just needs to be in the right place, and you need to make sure your heart is content in the things you enjoy. Because, if you’re always searching for the next best thing that’s going to make you happy….you’ll never be satisfied and find fulfillment in those things.

It costs to find that contentment. It means giving up all the material things that you have, to find out what truly brings you joy. It means continually checking your heart to make sure there is no jealousy, greed, or other negative seeds rooted deep in your heart. And that costs time.

Living in freedom comes at a cost. Some people give us that freedom, sometimes we have to work for that freedom, ourselves.

But in the end….it’s all worth it.

Breathe

Anxiety and depression. The darkness that these two are can be hard to explain to someone who hasn’t lived them on a daily basis.

They over take your life and your mind.

They can be…

-what it looks like to take every ounce of energy- just to get out of bed.

-your body constantly trembling from the inside, out.

-every noise and touch being over stimulating.

-negative thoughts in and out, controlling your mind. All. Day.

-holding onto the past, and fear of the future.

If you are reading this right now, and you are in that place. Like, deep, dark, in that place. I want you to know that there is hope. With help and tools, you can overcome. You can see the light again, or even for the first time.

Are you living life minute by minute? Wake up, shower, eat, go to work, eat supper, sleep. Repeat?

Many people I know have dealt with this. I have dealt with this. So, don’t give up- ok? Keep pushing through. Day by day. Do what you can, and do your best.

If you are in over your head. Like, there is no hope left. Get help. Tell a trusted friend, family member, co-worker, mentor.

Then, seek help from someone who is trained.

Because, although telling that friend is a great relief for you…the other side of that is that now they may be worried about you. And it is not their job, no matter how good of a friend they are, to make you better or to fix you. They can be a good friend, and not know how to help you. They can sit with you, and tell you how much it sucks….

But making things better- that’s up to you. You have to do that. You have to be able to choose to make steps towards feeling better. You have to find the help-again, from someone who is trained. And you can! And it does get better!! I’m here to tell you!

And in this process….

Look for ways to find life.

What do you love to do?

What brings you joy?

You might even ask: What do people do for fun? What do people do to fill themselves up? And the next thought might come: I don’t even remember what fun looks like, anymore.

Here’s what you do. Are you ready?

Find a quiet place. You can close your eyes. Or just sit in silence. Maybe you have some worship music playing ever so quietly in the background. Take some deep breaths to calm yourself. When your mind starts to calm…..and thoughts start to come back into your mind…no, not that one..that one was negative..push it away. Rebuke it.

There it is. That one. Maybe you were thinking….”it’d be nice if I could just _________ right now”. Was it take a shower? Go on a walk? Read a book?

Now. Go do that one thing. Are you at work? That’s ok. Take a break, for a min. Obviously, you don’t need to take advantage of your employer. Be respectful in how you go about taking your break. But, if you’re feeling like you need to be able to breathe. Listen to your body. It’s telling you something. It’s telling you that you need something more, or less, than what you’re putting yourself through right now.

And above all else, know that you are loved by someone that can love you like no one else can.

School is back in session, and I Couldn’t be more excited….

For the first time ever, I am super stoked about my family being back at school. Because this means that I will have time to do things that I am not able to do while they are home. When they are home, I allow myself to be distracted by their presence. Which is not necessarily a bad thing- it just means I have a hard time focusing on getting things done, past the surface things like washing and folding clothes, dishes, sweeping and mopping, you know? The basic stuff.

And that’s fine- except we really need the organization, and to minimize the things we own by the end of May. That’s 10 months. I have 10 months to keep working on getting us organized and ready for the travel life.

I’m also excited, because I get to make time for me.

Spending time running, figuring out how to work in at-home work outs. Working towards better nutrition for our family.

Between baby number 2 and baby number 3- I unofficially resolved to not work on my health as much as I had before. It was honestly too hard in that season. I was working on surviving and healing.

But, now I am excited to begin jumping in feet first.

And then, there is the rest of my daily 5, err…it actually turned out to be daily 6, for me.

Over the summer, I got the opportunity to hear John Maxwell speak at YL’s convention. He spoke about the Rule of 5 <———You can read about it for yourself! It’s pretty great advice.

Anyways, when we got home. I quickly decided what my “daily 6” things would be.

1. Spend time with Jesus- I knew that I needed to make getting back in the word, and focusing my mind and heart on the heart of Jesus- a priority.

2. Clean and Organize-Spending 1-2 hours a day cleaning and getting everything organized for travel life.

3. Educating myself on my passions: 1 hr of Health and wellness, Education, Photography, or Growth.

4. Content production- working towards creating content every day- whether that be blogging, podcasting, or something else.

5. Connecting with people- I love my family and friends. I am also an introvert. So, if I don’t make connecting with people a priority. I get lost in my other daily activities, and forget to connect with people….and we all need community.

6. Exercise. One of my goals is focusing on my health and wellness, and well…again, if I don’t make it a priority…it won’t happen.

And in between all of this, finding ways to bring in income for our family. Because when it gets down to it….we still have to make money on the road when we travel. I wish I could win the lottery, or something…but that’s just not my reality, at the moment. So, I’m learning how to squeeze in ways to bring in income, in a flexible way, that allows me to do all the things, and still contribute financially.

My biggest prayer at the end of this year, is that all the hard work will pay off and we will be set up to succeed when we “launch out” in May. Then, we will have all the time in the world to explore and learn, as a family.

Get Back Up

I’ve spent so much time worrying about the things that don’t matter. Trying to figure out the exact right thing it is that I’m supposed to be doing. Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

I find that no matter what I try to do, I don’t fit. Or it doesn’t work for me and my personality- no matter how passionate I may be. And I’m tired.

At the same time…in my head, I know that if I keep being persistent, if I keep doing the daily things…that overtime, everything will line up, and I’ll be exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

And right now, I need to allow the character development to take place.

I don’t know about you, but being in this place can feel lonely sometimes. It can make you feel unknown and unseen. Especially, when you are passionate about so many different things, and you’re just trying to figure out how to make things work.

(Side note: I’m finding, you can’t make things work if you’re not meant for it. If you’re trying to force something-it’s not where you are supposed to be. Or you’re not ready for that area, yet. When it’s time…it will happen and everything will fall into place).

In the meantime, keep working on yourself. Keep allowing God to work in your life. Keep being diligent and persistent. Keep taking that next step. And when you fall, get back up.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this today.

-Rooted Mama

Small Town, Texas: New Braunfels

Every summer, my husband and his family have spent time in New Braunfels. It’s a tradition. They rent out a condo at the Inverness along the Comal River. They have perfected the art of tubing down the river. Every year for 30+ years, there has been some combination of the family spending the summer relaxing.

Last year, my husband, our three kids and I missed, because of conflicting schedules, and jet lag.

This year, we went with a new spin.

As a whole family, we are out growing the condo. So my husband and I felt it would be best if we stayed somewhere that accommodates our little portion of the family.

So, we took our 5th wheel.

We hooked up at a local RV Resort, Hill Country RV Park– and they did not disappoint.

Amenities include a very nice outdoor pool, with outdoor games and daily activities nearby. A fitness center with an enclosed play area for kids. A playground. And an indoor pool, among many others that I know I am leaving off.

What I loved about staying there is that we had the comfort of home, with the added benefits.

Our stay was the week of the 4th of July- and we decided not to go see the fireworks. However, I snuck out when (I thought) the kids were in bed, and found a spot to watch the fireworks from the ground. Still beautiful. Little did I know, hubby and our two boys stepped out to watch fireworks that were going off close by.

I’d love to talk about other places we have visited and things we have done in the past in another post, but for this year…it was fun to start new traditions while learning how to keep some of the old ones.

Dream and Work, Work and Dream

When you go to work: Are you motivated? Do you enjoy what you do? Do you thrive at the place that brings in income?

This morning, I heard on the radio that a woman makes money by being a bridesmaid for people she doesn’t know.

In today’s world, it is SO easy to chase after your passions. The work you put in is hard. I can see that. However, there are a vast amount of resources to chase after whatever it is you love doing. It’s easier to have support, because people are looking for something other than the typical 9-5. It’s easier, thanks to the people who have lead the way.

There is always another way.

Seeking for your purpose means having hard days, it means failing over and over again, it means growth. It means getting back up, when you want to just crumble on the floor, it means doing work that you have to do or at best like, until the desire to do what you LOVE pushes you. It means problem solving.

So, when you go to work: Are you motivated? Do you enjoy what you do? Do you thrive at the place that brings you income?

If you can answer “yes”, no matter your occupation- that’s so wonderful. Keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you for showing us what doing what you love is all about!

If your answer is “no”. What are YOU waiting for?

You were not made to be miserable.

Change happens when you step outside your comfort zone. It’s going to hurt.

But, it’s OH SO WORTH IT.

Go find yourself. You’ll figure out how to pay the bills while you chase your dreams. God will provide. You’ll fall flat on your face.

You’ll get back up, and you’ll be one step closer to living out your purpose.

Small Town Texas: Shiner

Shiner, Texas.

We love this place.

Over the years, my husband and I have grown to love the little town of Shiner.

The first time we went on an anniversary trip, I had planned it because my husband loves Shiner and I figured he’d love going to tour the brewery. And he did.

On our first trips, we stayed at a quaint Bed and Breakfast, Old Kasper House . Now, I didn’t know how I would feel about staying at a place with strangers in the same house….so, we stayed in one of their cottages. And we loved it. We still got the feel of a bed and breakfast, while also having some privacy.

Cindy (I believe she is the owner, but I could be wrong) is super sweet. You can tell that she loves the community she lives in and will tell you some pretty great places to go and visit while you are in town.

In fact, every business that we have come into contact with is like that. They build each other up.

Another place that we have come to love, now that we have an RV is Shiner Boggy Creek RV Park. Jane is also super sweet, and will let you know about what all is going on in town while you’re there. There is a park right across from the RV Park, so if you have kids there are some fun things to do with them, as well.

We also like to venture out to the surrounding communities. There are a ton of history rich communities surrounding Shiner, so if you think you’ll get bored because it’s a small town- you won’t, because there are a lot of fun things to do to get you out and about.

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I hope you enjoyed reading about some of our favorite places in Shiner. If you find yourself out there, feel free to email us back what you loved: Contact@rootedmama.org

What If?

Have you ever had a thought that kept rolling around in your mind? It wouldn’t quiet itself until you said or did something about it?

I remember in middle school having these “what if” conversations with my mom.

What if (insert circumstance that had a bad outcoume)?

Over and over. These thoughts have played out in my mind for a lifetime.

Thankfully, my mom once told me (something to the affect of): “Jessica, you can not live on “what if”.

How true is that?

My what ifs were revolved around fear and anxiety. Causing more fear and anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle, really.

But here’s my thought….

What if I turned my “what ifs” around?

What if I stopped my anxious thought and replace it with a life giving thought?

You could do this with anything, really….

Original thought: What if the world keeps getting crazier and crazier —–> What if I show kindness and compassion to others around me- and it has a positive impact on people?

Turning our thought patterns around is hard. For all of us.

But, I think putting this into practice is worth a shot, ya’ll.

Because, some of the things I’m seeing breaks my heart. It makes me mad and angry. But, I can’t just sit on mad and angry. I can’t just sit on sad and depressed. I can just sit on anxiety. I can’t just sit on lack of good communication. I can’t just sit on lack of action.

It’s ENOUGH.

We are tearing each other down and creating division.

And…it’s ENOUGH.

We blame other people for the things going on in the world.

So, What IF….What would happen if we quit blaming our friend, our neighbor, our family, the guy that cut us off when we were driving, the mailman that got our delivery wrong, the President- GASP. I said it. Let’s be honest- sometimes Presidents make mistakes….let’s not even go down the road of our current President, because pointing out all his flaws won’t do anything.

What if WE rose to the occasion? What if WE showed the President what it looks like to bring our communities and our nation together?

What if WE showed that friend, neighbor, family member, mailman, how it looks to love, show kindness and compassion?

We all fall. It’s not a perfect process, but sitting in our current spot of complaining, finger pointing, name calling, and blaming is causing destruction and division. It’s getting us no where real quick.

So, let’s get out there.

Let’s go show kindness and compassion.

Each person on this planet has something stirring in their heart. Something that they have had enough of.

So, let’s go do something. Something productive. Something that HELPS and solves problems.

Do you have an idea on something that would help bring our nation together? Well, dang it, go do something about it. Don’t have the finances? You’re too afraid? Something else is holding you back? Well, dang it, figure out a way to get around that obstacle.

And every time we miss the mark- let’s dust ourselves off, figure out new way, stand up and do better next time.

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Thank you for taking the time to read what’s on my heart, today.

-Rooted Mama

Sleep Away Camp

Yesterday, I left my oldest son at his first week-long camp. He’s there enjoying sports, outdoor activities, and growing and learning with God.

I’m thankful that we are able to stay nearby at my sister and brother-in-law’s house…because if we weren’t, I would not be as calm as I am now.

Leading up to Opening Day, I’ve been worried about him. Will he remember to take a shower every day? Will he eat well? These thoughts, among many others have raced through my head off-and-on over the past few months.

And then today.

When we arrived at camp, they had everything worked out to a T. I’m sure there have been things that go on in the background, un-according to plan as all things do when you’re planning events….but, you’d never know, because of how smoothly things went.

I was still unsure as we were walking out of his cabin….

And then the parent orientation…

Ya’ll- they have cleaning their cabin as part of their daily routine. Like, cleaning the counters, making your bed…

Planting seeds of the importance of life skills.

When I signed him up, I didn’t know what I was getting….

I can’t wait to share our takeaways from this week!

Have you sent your kid(s) to a sleep away camp? What values or skills did they bring back that stuck?!

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Thank you for taking the time to read this today.

-Rooted Mama