When You’re Not In The Holiday Spirit: That’s Ok!

It’s almost December. Like, tomorrow. I really truly want to be in the Holiday spirit, but today. . . I’m not feeling it.

My husband is out of town.

I’m tired.

I miss my family.

I miss my friends.

We’ve had 6 different illnesses run through the family in one month, and it’s looking like this winter is going to be a rough one.

And, I’m just weary from waiting on God. I’ve been processing this waiting period, and it just doesn’t make sense. Maybe it never will?

So, you know what? I’m just going to let myself feel all the feels.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in life, it’s this: Feel All the Feels.

Let yourself think about the frustrating things. Be sad that life doesn’t look the way you planned. Feel hopeful for the future. Laugh at the funny things in life, and allow yourself to have fun. Feel happy, when you find joy in something. . .

It’s when you hold those things back, that you’re not being your true self.

And, just remember to not camp out in one space for too long. If you’re mad or angry for too long, you run the risk of only thinking negative. And, if you pretend to be happy, when you’re not- and you shove those feelings down. . . They’ll find a way out.

That doesn’t mean you have to display every emotion, publicly.

But, allow yourself, and love yourself enough, to process those feelings, privately- or with a trusted person!

If you’re also not feeling the Holiday spirit, today. . . I’m sending you love. Know that you’re not alone. This world needs you.

A New Season

Wow. Have you ever looked back on a time in your life…a time where you thought you were happy. You thought things were the way you were wanting to live, and even though you thought you wanted to live that way…things just didn’t feel right…Only to come out of that season and think…Man, I was not happy.  There was a lot going on there. Those aren’t the things I wanted. That’s not how I wanted to live. I am coming out of one of those seasons.

I needed it though. Without trial, we don’t appreciate the things in life that we have. We don’t grow. We just stay right where we are. And sometimes, it’s ok to be content with where we are. And it’s also great to want more out of life. To do more. To be more.

I found myself waking up each day. Going to work. Picking up my kids. Coming home. Repeat. Day.After.Day. Sometimes, routine like that is great. That’s where you should be…but for me…I wasn’t living. I didn’t make time for myself. And it wore me down. I was doing for others…but not doing for myself. And we have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. (this is where I am always reminded of the flight attendant coming over the intercom, explaining that in case of emergency to place your breathing contraption on before you can help others.)

I found myself slowly depending on God more and more. He brought me to a point where I needed to depend on Him to live. He showed me that His love is what fills me up. That I can get my joy from Him.

And now, I feel like I am living more in the present. I look forward to living life. I have more joy. Some days I fall flat on my face. And my savior is there to pick me up. I’d rather it be some days…than most days. I’d rather depend on Jesus most days. I try for all days, but I’m human…

I’m glad to be back. I’m glad to be myself, again. I have a lot to say, a lot to share, and I’ve found my voice again. I can’t wait to walk this life with you!!

A new season has begun. 417614_10150596051541806_1618798859_n

Can I just end on one note. If you are reading this…and you don’t feel this way…know that you ARE loved. Whatever you are feeling like you are not…you are. Can I challenge you? Whatever you are feeling like you are not…will you go look at yourself in the mirror and say: I am ( fill in the blank with whatever you are thinking you are not)… I AM enough. I AM a good mom. I AM smart. I AM peaceful. I AM joyful. I AM loved. You ARE!

Journey to 1/2 Marathon: 11/26

Well, since setting my goal for running a 1/2 Marathon in March. . . So far, I haven’t made any progress. I went running one day. For 3 minutes. I decided that I can.not. give up on myself.

The last time I proved to myself that I could do hard things was about 7 years ago.

Then, it was a mental obstacle. Once you get past the mental obstacle- your body can do hard things.

This time, I’ve been much more stagnant. I know that I can push past the mental obstacles of running, but now I’m worried about being able to overcome running long-distances, physically.

One thing I will say, is that I have been closing my rings more often. My jobs keeps me active. Now, I just need to add in cross-training and walking/running into my daily schedule.

Car Convos

When my oldest son started PreK4, it was the first time that he was at a school where I would not also be there.

It was harder on me than it was on him.

By this time, our bedtime routine was also getting harder. Making sure that I tucked in both boys, and listen to their stories from the day…or whatever they wanted to tell me…on top of bathtime, and brushing teeth…made for a verrry long bedtime routine. So, I was looking for ways to make our routine shorter. I started singing to them and stopped asking about their day at bedtime…and started asking about their day in the car.

For 2-3 years, it got increasingly harder to get my oldest to talk to me…about anything. This little 4-7 year old.

Then, I remembered an article I had read a couple of years before.

It talked about instead of asking “How was your day? What did you learn today?”

To ask this list of other questions.

So…I did that. For months, it felt like pulling teeth, getting him to talk to me.

He is a car rider, so every day, when he got in the car, I’d ask him “What was your favorite part of your day?”

Then, one day…I purposefully didn’t ask. He would screech, cry, not want to answer…so, one day…I just let it be…

(In a whiny voice) “Mom. You forgot to ask me about my day!”

We were half way home.

“No, son. Every day, you get upset with me when I ask…so, today I decided to take a break. Do you want to tell me about your day?”

“Yes”

“Ok. What was your favorite part of your day?”

That day unlocked a little piece of his heart.

He needed to know that I cared about his day, and he had grown accustomed to me asking.

So, for three years, every day, in the car, I’d ask. Some days, I’d get an answer. Some days, I’d get the dreaded screeches and whining. But, most days our car convos would branch into other things he would want to talk to me about.

Then we moved schools. And that felt like another unlocking moment. He loved where he was at, and he was a completely different kid.

Now, I greet him and his brother, every afternoon with “What was your favorite part of today?”

They love it. It’s something that has brought them closer. And it even gets them talking about their day to each other…

I just have to make sure they have a snack, first….because, you know….#hangry runs in the family.

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?!

Our Journey Through Life May Look Different Than We Plan

Today, my younger son asked me for “oils”.

We were reading a story, and his arm was itching on a scab on his arm. I asked him what he needed, and he told me he wanted oils.

It’s funny.

5 years ago, I stopped buying essential oils for our family. My husband and I were in Discipleship School at our church. At the time, I felt like I need to stop buying them, to make room in our budget to help pay for D-school, our trip that was associated with that, and our daughter would be arriving shortly after.

I had a huge inventory for our home, so I was ok with setting aside purchasing any more for a short amount of time.

Well- that short amount of time ended up being five whole years. We are finally nearing the bottom of our inventory. . . and it’s made me reflective of the past five years.

From 2014-2017, I was consistently using essential oils and natural remedies to support my family’s wellness.

But, when I set them aside, so to speak, I have noticed that my family asks for them more when I ask them “what do you need?”

This really made me think. . .

Because, I’ve noticed that a lot of things that I thought were going to “breakthrough” for our family while we were traveling- I didn’t actually see progress on until these past few months, since we have been home.

My kids encouraging each other. My oldest taking responsibility for chores, without being asked. My kids being excited about Church and open to bible stories.

Time and time again, since February, all the things I thought would happen ( because I planned it that way, so of course it’s going to happen that way) while we were traveling, only started happening all this time later. . .

After two years of consistency and space.

I know that some of these things may seem very small or trivial.

However, it just really highlighted for me- that we are all on our own time table in our journeys through life. No matter what that looks like.

We can’t expect things to happen a certain way, on our journey, let alone other people’s.

Life happens, there are ups and downs, curve-balls are thrown.

No matter what it is that you are waiting on, things will come together in due time- whether it looks like you thought it would, or not.

Homeschool is what you make it

A few months ago, I felt like I was grieving the end of our homeschooling era. But, to be honest. . .homeschooling started way before we actually started traveling and bought curriculum. And it’ll keep going whether my kids are in public, private, or homeschool.

I’ve learned that homeschooling can be a heart posture. It’s those moments that pop-up out of no where. The teachable moments. The trips that involve learning. The vacations with the history lessons. The practicing reading night after night. The life lessons every day. All the silly games your kids make up to practice the math they see in every day life.

Wherever you are in your journey with schooling your children, remember that it starts with where you are right now.

Take those moments, and see where they go! They can be pretty magical!

Nurturing your child’s strength, and allowing them space to grow

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2020

Looking back over the past 11 years, I’m so thankful that we have leaned into, encouraged, and nurtured creativity.

Whether it be playing in boxes, writing a book, creating a treasure map, or a board game- these kids know how to entertain themselves when they are bored.

One of my favorite phrases that I’ve adopted is: “It’s not my job to entertain you”.

When the “I’m bored” sets in, or the “I don’t wanna…” get murmured, or technology gets taken away…it doesn’t take long, and these kids are creating something.

In my opinion, one of the most powerful aspects of parenting is knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and matching that with nurturing your child’s strengths and areas of growth.

What aspect of parenting are you most proud of, in your family?