One Thing: Connect

Social Anxiety.

The fear of being nervous or uncomfortable in social settings” (webmd.com)

Connecting with other people is so hard for me. And, although I was “diagnosed” with social anxiety. I’ve come to the point where I’m not claiming it. I’m not going to let that define who I am, in the sense that it stops me from living the life I want to live, and it stops me from being the person I was designed to be. It’s not happening.

What is happening, is I’m using that to help me grow. I’m using that to connect with other people who have walked the same or similar path.

I’m thankful for Network Marketing. There’s one company in particular that threw me into Personal Development like no other. If it weren’t for that company, at that time, I wouldn’t have made the progress I’ve made.

I’m thankful for my mom. She helped me say “no” to solutions that were not beneficial for me, and frankly that sent me on a path of creative solutions- teaching me to be resourceful.

I’m thankful for my loving God. For the healing He provides.

Let me set the record straight. Healing comes from many different ways, and healing is different for each person. And for many, if not most, healing is a daily habit- not a once and for all.

Side note: 3 years ago, I made a vision board. One of my areas of growth, that I wanted was deeper friendship. I have a very similar picture to the one in this post pasted on my vision board. 3 years later, I’ve seen how that vision has come to pass in many different ways.

Background:

Let’s just paint the picture, real quick, and get a little vulnerable.

I was the little girl who was afraid of light switches. The kid/teenager who timed it right, on most occasions, that other girls/women didn’t see the stall I walked into in public restrooms. I waited in the public restroom for the other girls and women to finish their business, wash their hands, and walk out of the bathroom before I exited the stall. (I’m sure more people saw me than I realized, but I tried really hard to time it just right). Don’t ask me why I did these things. I have no idea. Haha. I’m sure it relates to the fear of social settings, and a need for control of that fear?

I was the teenager who had panic attacks in places like the fair and IKEA. Sweaty, itchy, swelling hands. Heart racing. Hard to catch your breath, panic attacks.

Got the picture?

It affected me in one way or another on a daily basis.

It wasn’t until I started talking about most of these things with my husband (then boyfriend), that I realized these things are not “normal” to all people. (Yikes).

Side note: Normal is a relative term. I’m thoroughly aware that most people have something they struggle with. Anxiety and social anxiety are common. When the anxiety is high, and affects your daily functional level- is not typical of people functioning in their healthy state.

To this day, I still have a hard time looking people in the eye when I am mad, frustrated, angry, or uncomfortable.

Most of the struggles that I have had due to “social anxiety”, I have overcome or at least improved upon.

I’ve gotten much better in many of these areas. I’ve grown so much, and am proud of that growth. I’ve worked hard and overcome a lot for it.

Yet, connecting with people, is still an area that I have to continually work at, process, and improve on, and it feels hard and uncomfortable most days.

So what has the process been for this?

* I don’t think that I really did much growing in my high school and early college years. I just survived the anxiety and avoided uncomfortable situations to the best of my ability.

* Taking classes in college that pushed my limits, helped.

* After I hit my “rock bottom” with anxiety and depression, I started going to therapy. This helped me a ton.

*Pray. Read my Bible. Pray. Bible study. Pray. Go to Church. Pray. Read more in my bible. Pray. Go to all on the conferences at church available, the classes too. Did I mention pray?

* Shortly and also overlapping this time, I was with a network marketing company that valued personal development. All the time spent in personal development, giving my life to Jesus, classes at church, and discipleship school….my friends and family…all contributed to me moving past the debilitating part of social anxiety- into growth and standing firm into who I was made to be.

* I went through a time where answering phone calls, text messages, and emails, immediately, was too much. So, I answered when I could…and sometimes not at all- mainly because the notifications drove me crazy, so I would open, read, and then forget to respond until days/weeks later…or I would just not remember at all.

* Eventually, I came out of all of that, began enjoying hanging out, calling and texting, again.

* Creating a weekly, and then a daily habit of building relationships with my family and friends. If I’m not careful, I could accidentally go weeks to months, before I see the people closest to me, outside of my husband and kids. I can very easily get stuck in a routine of dropping kids and hubby off at work, being at home, and daily pick ups. So, I make a habit out of connecting with other people, in some way. Making connections and building relationships has easily gone from something I dread (you know the part where you have to make yourself go be around people) to something I thoroughly enjoy.

My process most likely won’t work the same for you as it did for me. All the same, if I did exactly what you did..it won’t work for me.

We were all designed differently.

The most important part, is I took One Thing at a time. Slow steps. When I took on too much, I had set backs and started over again.

The best thing you can do is figure out what One Thing you can do.

Is there anything you can do to connect with other people right now?

Make a list of the areas within relationships that you want to grow. Start with one.

What’s the One Thing you can do? Write it down. Add it to your daily list. Check it off once a week. Once a week will become 2,3,4,5,6x…and then a daily habit. Sometimes, it’ll take months just to make that one thing a daily habit.

Seriously.

Growth doesn’t happen over night. You may not even see it until years later…

It takes a lot of work to get past any struggles related to connecting with people, but once you do….you meet some pretty amazing people.

One Thing: Time with Jesus

Often times, we try to over complicate things. We look around at other people, where there are in life. When we do that, sometimes, we are hard on ourselves. We try to do things that they are currently doing, because if they are doing those things…they must have done those things from the beginning to get where they are. And if they are doing things, then I must need to do those things, too. Right. Right? Wrong.

We were each made uniquely. What works for one person will not work for each one of us individually.

We can get ideas from other people. We can look at what they are doing, study what they are doing, and practice what they are doing. But we can not copy what they are doing, exactly. We have to be true to who we were made to be. We can take ideas from different sources, and combine those together, and then spin them all around into what works for us.

That’s what this is intended to be.

As I share about my “one thing” that was a key to unlock the other things….know that this is just one of many resources.

If you are a person that finds yourself barely able to keep your head above the water…take what you can and practice it. Don’t try to make things happen that aren’t designed to be practiced yet. Some of the information you will find will be to hold on until later. Until you have unlocked other pieces in your life. Some of the information will not be for you, and that’s ok. Some of the information you will need to tweak and make it work for you, and that’s ok, too. Take solace in hope. I’ve been there. It’s hard, and as you keep pushing forward. You will come out the other side. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be other hard things. What it does mean is that you are stretching your perseverance muscle in this area. When you do that, you’ll be able to take what you learn and use that in other areas.

If you find yourself in a similar season, take solace in the fact that you are walking this road with someone beside you. I’m right there with you, in the trenches.

If you’ve been there and done that, gained a ton of wisdom, and this brings back fond or even painful memories. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for the wisdom you pour out into others.

Background:

Growing up…I went through this process…

1. Confusion…Who is Jesus? Who is God? I don’t really understand any of this….during this time, I tried to make myself fit into a box that I wasn’t understanding, tried to do things I hadn’t built a foundation for, and did I say I was confused?

2. Ok…I kinda get it…if you want to be good….you follow God. Is that right? I do good things, I go to heaven…right? (I would later find out that this is not quite how it works…but its where I was at.)

3. Accept Jesus as my savior. I was about 13…and I had no idea what it meant or what I was doing….again, this is where there was still confusion and more of the trying to do things I wasn’t ready for….like reading my bible on my own. I didn’t know where to go what to do, how to do it….but, I also didn’t ask for help. I didn’t let anyone know that I needed help…so, I didn’t allow for a foundation to be built the first time I gave my life to Jesus.

4. Live life. Do things my way. This went on until I was about 27. I had lived my teenage years, ventured into adulthood. Early adulthood looked like, wake up, eat, go to school, go to work, sleep repeat with life events like getting married and having kids, graduating, and starting a career. From 24-27 is when I was having a ton of anxiety and depression. This was my rock bottom. I knew that I couldn’t keep going doing things my way.

5. Give my life to Jesus. For real this time. This time, I surrendered a whole lot more…not completely..because surrender has been a process for me. Honestly, its a lifelong process. Living life, continuing to go to church, allowing seeds to be planted…I understood what was happening this time. But this was the key. This was the one thing that unlocked the other things.

Out of my Daily 5, Time with Jesus is number one, because relationship with Him means that everything else falls into place. Not perfectly, but the way it should be with room for human error.

I had tried all the things first…journaling, reading my bible, worship, going to church, going to retreats and conferences. Those are all great…but without the one thing, its like putting a square peg into a round hole.

It’s ok to practice all of those things. They build a foundation, too. They build up your perseverance in other ways. But, I needed to realize that I needed to focus my attention on one thing. The key that I was missing was having a relationship with Jesus and surrendering my life to HIm.

Once that took place. I put my attention on that. What it looks like to have a relationship with Jesus and tell him day in and day out: Jesus, I can’t do this without you. Until then, there was tension in the other areas. This journaling isn’t working. I don’t know how to read the Bible and find your voice. Feeling awkward worshipping. And not even know what worship is or how to do it.

But once I gave my life to Him, the tension in that area released, and everything started slowly (for my time table- and perfectly on God’s time table) coming together and making sense.

From there, I was able to learn how to Journal with Jesus. Read the Bible looking for God’s voice. Worship. Praying. All the things that make up spending time with Jesus.

Here’s the thing. We get overwhelmed when we need to make it simple. What it boils down to, is pinpoint the tension. If there’s more than one source of tension, pick one that gives you peace. Practice them all here and there, but put your focus on one. When the tension releases, look up. Breathe. Now, tackle that next area.

You know where you are at in your journey. Maybe you have already given your life to Jesus, but praying is your tension. Put your focus on learning how to pray. Whatever your tension is. Learn how to do that one thing. Go to the conferences, the classes at your church, meet with mentors. Sometimes, you even have to put the basics of learning how to spend time with Jesus down for a minute to learn how to deal with giving your junk (you know- anger, sadness, all the hard stuff) to Jesus. Sometimes, that’s the key to go deeper. It’s like a wall- and you have to walk through letting him break that wall down, and that’s your tension. Then, you pick back up to adding those other things into your time with Jesus.

There’s no perfect way. There’s no one right way. This has just been my process, and one resource to you. Another perspective that hopefully breaks it down a little more and makes it simple. Stop trying to do it all, if it isn’t working. Focus on one thing at a time.

Helping Our Kids Find Their Calm

Today, my kids are cranky and fighting like crazy.

On days like these, their emotions tend to run high.

Recently, we’ve talked about them creating healthy boundaries with each other. When one of them is upset or bothered by something one of the others did, they need to be able to communicate without blowing up at each other.

So, we decided that we are going to read a book about healthy boundaries, together .

I’m confident, that this will be a helpful resource for them to find their journey to calm and peace.

Some other things we have practiced are:

*Me working on being a better example for them. First, they need to see their parents setting a good example of having healthy boundaries and communicating well.

* When they can’t be around each other without arguing, or if they are needing to calm down: we go to natural lights only. We turn as many lights off as possible, open up windows, and playing calming music. Give them their own space to calm down in.

*Calming smells- we use calming essential oils to help them with their emotions and to relax.

*Talk it through- sometimes, they just need to talk through what’s been bothering them. So, we talk one-on-one, and then as a group to work through the problem. This has really helped them to lighten the mood, resolve, and move on from whatever was bothering them.

*One-on-one time: sometimes, they act out and fight with each other, simply because they need some one-on-one time.

Helping our kids with their own mental health and emotions is important. How do you help your kids with their calm?!

“One Thing” Let’s set the background…

Let me set the background for you on the 8 topics that I chose for this “One Thing” series…..

Over the past 10 years, I’ve gone from living life with no passion, purpose, or reason to hitting what I call my “Rock Bottom” period, to coming out the other side, to beginning to thrive. In all of these areas, I have great passion. In all of these areas, I have hit a stage of tension, realizing that what I’m looking for is growth in that particular area. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, but I would say that I have gained some wisdom.

As I share tips and tricks, I have three groups of people in mind.

Group 1- You are in a season of “Rock Bottom”. You look around and you can barely breathe, your head is barely above water…and you don’t see a way out. Friend. I want you to know, that you are not alone. This season does not last forever. And you can slowly climb out of it, and you don’t have to do it alone. You can do it with loving people surrounding you. There are actions you will have to make. Do. Not. Give. Up. Keep going.

My prayer is that by sharing these following posts, that they can be one of many resources to you. Resources that will act like a hand reaching out and pulling you up. We can not get out of these situations alone. Use these posts as one starting place to begin climbing UP. You will likely have many starting places. View these posts as hope. Hope that this season will not be forever. You will see that other people have been where you are, and they go before you-sharing how they got to where they are now.

Group 2- You are right where I currently am sitting. You are in the season of beginning to thrive. You were in a dark place. The fog has cleared. You are beginning to see how the things you have been hoping and praying for are slowly coming together. You’ve worked through a lot of stuff. You still have a lot of growth to do (little secret…you have a lot of growth to do at every season of life), and you are likely no longer beating yourself up over every.little.thing.

My prayer is that by sharing these following posts, you will know that you are not in this season alone. You have someone walking in this current season with you.

Group 3- You are in a season of thriving, in a TON of areas in your life. It is unlikely that you will cross this page. And if you do, that moment will be incredibly humbling. You have figured out things that most of us are still trying to figure out. You have incredible wisdom, and you got there by hustling, working smart, and letting other people pour into you. Now, you are pouring into other people. You know that in reality, every stage and season of life you have to dig deep, learn, fail, and re-learn. You have a growth mindset.

My prayer is that you keep pouring. You go before us, and we are learning. As we learn, we are also pouring into others. Your platform is bringing light to those who need it. It has a greater impact than you imagine.

The 8 topics that follow are my “Daily 5” and 3 other topics I am currently working on creating healthy habits for growth.

* Time with Jesus

* Cleaning and Organization

* Health and Wellness

* Education of my interests

* Self-development

* Exercise

* Connecting

If you’d like to learn more about creating your daily 5- follow John Maxwell’s website. He has a book that addresses this concept.

**This is not an ad, I do not get compensation from sharing John Maxwell’s website. He is one of many resources I’ve had the opportunity to learn from.

When grasping at straws…

Purpose-the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. (Dictionary.com)

Today, I am struggling. I am struggling to know which direction to take a step.

I know that I am made for a purpose. I know I have a purpose….. Do you ever get stuck in this spot: “What the heck am I supposed to be doing with my life?

That’s where I am right now. I have all of these things that I know that I am passionate about and good at.

But, how do I combine them to give them life and meaning to others? How do I use them to bring in income to help provide for my family, and the lifestyle we will be living? How do I…..?

I start grasping at straws.

I sit and mope.

I allow myself to get distracted.

drink colorful color tube

 

When I get in this spot…sometimes, it’s hard to remember…that all I have to do…is just to do. Do something. One thing….anything. Anything to make progress towards the BIG PICTURE. (I tend to get focused on the big picture and can’t see the small steps to get there).

I have said, written, and posted this so many times. Because I keep needing to hear it, think about it, and process it.

The good news is, when I have these moments. Moments of grasping, moping, and distracting…I am starting to get quicker at redirecting myself. Moments that used to take months, years… are now taking days, hours. One day- it will take minutes, then seconds.

Hopefully, over the coming weeks and months, I will be able to share the big picture with you all….but,

If there is anything that you take away from this, I hope you know that you can do it, too. You can take action. You can take steps towards your big picture. All of the lies you are believing don’t have to rein your thoughts.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Are you trying to figure something new out? For the hundredth time? Do you feel like you keep failing? Do you keep putting something down, to pick it up and put it back down again?

That’s ok!

Each time you do, you learn something new. Take that lesson, and apply it-each time you pick whatever that thing is back up. Be kind on yourself in the process.

During this journey, I have found that the best action against whatever it is your are “fighting” (anxiety, fear, etc.) is to take action. Do something. Do anything (that is legal, moral, ethical, and productive) to get you one step closer to your goal. Along the way, you will find your purpose.

Make that call. Write that email. Take that picture. Walk that lap.

Most of all, enjoy the process. (I know! Easier said than done-but you can do that, too!)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

-Rooted Mama

One Thing.

I am a dreamer.

I get an idea- and I dream it up, bigger and bigger, until its this massive idea that is overwhelming.

And then. I freeze.

I freeze from being overwhelmed.

I freeze out of fear.

Have you been there?

It’s…frustrating. It’s terrifying.

My family can not live off of dreams.

I also have faith and hope. I have faith and hope that these big dreams are going to work out. And little by little, they do. But, that BIG, MASSIVE, breakthrough that I am searching for. It hasn’t come to fruition, YET.

I say yet, because my God is big.

He is bigger than I can ever imagine.

I keep putting Him in a box.

And He keeps reminding me that…

1. He doesn’t belong in a box

2. And even if He did- He’s much bigger than a box

I believe that God moves in BIG ways. But, He can’t move, if we don’t have action.

So, when we are overwhelmed with “God, I don’t even know what I am supposed to do anymore?” “What do I do?”

Just do one thing.

What is the ONE thing you can do right now?

What’s the one thing you can do right now- it’s that little thing that will help you breathe easier.

You got it?

Wait, wait, wait. Don’t make it complicated. Quit overthinking it. Don’t let your thoughts run wild…go back to it.

What’s that one thing? Hold on to it. Focus on it. Start it. Complete it. That’s it.

Ready?

Great. Let’s go get it done.

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

I want to be very clear- I’m not a mental health professional.

I am; however, someone who has continually worked through anxiety and depression.

Because of my journey with anxiety and depression, I’m a big believer in sharing experiences. I believe that sharing experiences can be a source of healing to the person “going through it”. In my opinion, it can help to hear stories from those who have gone before you. I know, because it’s one of the things that helped me on my journey.

One of the many sayings I’ve heard over and over was: I wish I knew, then, that other people went through x,y,z.

Thankfully, talking about Mental Health is becoming more and more accepted.

This month, I’d like to share and re-share my journey.

I’d love to share resources.

I’d love to share hope.

If you or someone you know battles with Mental Health, know that you are loved. You are not alone.

Please visit https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/ if you need resources.

The Why Behind the Writing

Hi! My name is Jessica, and I am Rooted Mama!!

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed some new faces around here. . .so, I thought I’d introduce myself.

My family and I travel full-time. We homeschool while on the road, and we work remotely. And sometimes, we work camp!!

I started writing years ago, because I needed an outlet. Writing is therapeutic for me. I internalize my thoughts over and over again. Which, cranks up my anxiety.

SO, I started writing as a way to get those thoughts out of my head. To process. To verbalize all that internal thinking.

I’ve found that I love writing about a whole host of topics: anxiety/depression/mental health, marriage, parenting, education and homeschool, health and wellness, my walk with Jesus. . .and I LOVE sharing my passion of photography.

So, welcome AND thank you for following along this journey!! I’m humbled that you choose to take the time out of your day to read and join along!

The Pain You’re Feeling

11 years ago, this girl had NO IDEA that the pain she was going to walk through over the next few months and years….it would be hard. It would be dark. It would affect her relationship with her fiancé. It would affect her future pregnancies. It would take time to heal herself, and her future marriage.

If you have lost a baby- no matter how long you knew you were pregnant… your pain is real. I have no words for the hurt and pain you are feeling, because although I have been there…your story is different than mine.

If you’ve been feeling the hurt and the pain for days, weeks, months, years…yes, even after you’ve welcomed other children into the world…know that you are not alone.

I can’t promise anything to you. I can’t promise you a rainbow baby. I can’t promise the hurt will never go away. I can’t promise that around certain dates your mood won’t be affected.

But there is one who is a promise keeper. And it may not feel like it now, but He is sitting with you through your pain.

And if you allow it…the pain you are going through can allow you to grow, heal, and see that the days that were associated with deep grief and hurt…new days come and they can be associated with joy, love, and peace.

The plan

Life is so weird….especially life in 2020…

Early in my 20s…it’d make me anxious if things didn’t go according to plan. I’d cling to the plan, and act like a toddler (if not outwardly, definitely inwardly) when things didn’t go how they were “supposed to go”.

I like to know what “the plan” is. I don’t like going into things blindly.

Somewhere, over time, I started to let go. If plans change, more often than not. . .I’m able to wing it. I think it was almost a coping mechanism. I couldn’t hold onto the stress of things not going my way, anymore.

So, I stopped making long term plans.

For my kids’ birthdays, I started planning last minute. And for most anything, it seems like my best plans always come together last minute, anyways.

When we started “planning” our road trip, I was so excited!! After years of not planning super far ahead, we had this plan of where we would go, and when we would be there. It was a general plan, but it was a plan that was starting to come together.

And then, 2020 happened. And I have to laugh. Because, like for everyone else this year. . .2020 has definitely not gone according to plan.

Through this year, I’ve been reminded of why exactly it is, I’m more of a “wing-it” girl.

The last couple of months have reminded me that not clinging to my plan, allows for God’s plan to unfold. And, His plan always ends up better than mine!!