A little encouragement:

Some days are hard.

You might feel the tension of wanting to get past a certain obstacle, once-and-for-all.

You might feel like you just don’t have the energy.

You might feel like you’re.just.done.

You keep pressing forward, and put one foot in front of the other.

Then, the tides turn.

You realize that the things you have prayed, wished, hoped, and longed for- they are beginning to unfold.

All the things that didn’t make sense before are beginning to make sense, now.

Y’all know that I’m BIG on sharing what I’m going through in the hopes that it helps someone. That if someone else relates, or gets hope from it- than it’s important to share!

Today, I realized, that so many things I’ve prayed for over the last 10 years have begun to come to tuition- even if they didn’t look the way I intended- or according to my plan.

Today, I want to encourage you- if you are there, in the deep of it all.

If you can barely see what’s ahead of you.

If you are barely surviving- and holding on. . . Keep on keeping on.

Keep fighting.

Keep pushing forward- because- if you pursue the things that are on your heart.

Man, things will look different.

I can promise you the timeline. That’ll look different for each and every person. It’ll depend on how much of the work you put in- but, man. . .

Where you see darkness, now- you’ll see the light and beauty, later!

Keep holding on! Keep fighting. Keep making changes!

Progress

Today, progress looks like my kids playing bookstore!

They set up stations: a bookstore and a restaurants.

Now, they are taking turns visiting each establishment.

Free/pretend play is so important for kids to explore their creativity. To explore social interactions. To understand the world around them.

Last week, we started limiting technology time.

Since the pandemic began, we’ve been in transition after transition both physically (which is to be expected when you travel full-time), and in regards to finding employment opportunities that help us live this lifestyle. During this time, we have relied a little more on technology than we would have normally.

Sometimes, we have periods of more technology than other times. I’m learning to accept that’s ok! However, it’s important to notice when technology is interrupting healthy day-to-day functioning!

So, when the kids were throwing fits and having meltdowns, we knew it was time to adjust our schedule, and re-focus them on how to handle situations.

Today is a small victory! Our house feels peaceful, once again- as my kids are exploring free/pretend play, while getting along, and treating each other with kindness!

Rainy Day Activities

Since we are no longer in the “survival mode” of homeschool, we are starting to add more activities in our day.

Lately, my girl has been loving painting.

This week, she painted an egg carton.

The next day, she used pinto beans to transfer from a bowl to the egg carton.

Both painting and this activity are great for fine motors skills.

She’s also learning how to sit still and focus on one activity for longer periods of time.

What are your family’s favorite rainy day activities?

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.

Your Goals

One thing I’m learning is that the goals we set don’t have to be grandiose. They don’t have to be loud. They don’t even have to be linear, following a specific track.

Write them down. And, also enjoy the journey. Know that if it doesn’t happen in the exact time frame you thought or how you thought, it still happens- and that’s something you should be proud of.

You can hustle. . . you can also take it slow.

Some seasons, your goals can be fluid.

This past year has taught me, that sometimes, goals happen long after you wrote the plan. Long after you changed the behaviors. Long after you’ve re-trained your brain. Long after you’ve done the front-end work.

So, set your goals. But, breathe. And be ok with them not happening on your time table. Because, sometimes, they don’t.

Smoothies and Simplicity

I don’t know if it’s because it’s starting to warm up, or what- but the kids and I have been on a smoothie kick, lately.

I love how easy it is to throw a few simple ingredients in my ninja, and bam- less than 5 minutes later my breakfast, lunch, supper or snack is ready.

In my 20’s, I was on board with doing things “the hard way”, if it saved money.

However, in my 30s, I’m willing to pay a little more to make life simpler.

This conversation came up with my hubby and I the other night.

We were looking at camper vans, and dreaming about what we would want to get when the kids are older and have moved out. I told him, I’d much rather pay someone to professionally build out a camper van for us.

There are some things, in life, I haven’t enjoyed, simply because I felt like the process made me feel like I was fitting a square peg in a round hole. But, once I bought x,y,z- it made the process much more enjoyable.

What’s something you have bought to make life a little simpler?!

1/2 Birthday

For my son’s birthday, back in October, he wanted me to make him a cake. The way our plans for him played out, we didn’t have time on his birthday. So, we got him cupcakes from Wal-mart, and had his birthday experience celebration. I told him we can always make one later.

Then, life happened. And we didn’t make time around his birthday to make a cake. Well, I had the idea to celebrate with a birthday cake on his 1/2 birthday. . . And he has been eating it up ( no pun intended).

He has been living it up, all day!

Friday donuts were, of course, for his 1/2 birthday. Haha.

He got to lick the spoon AND the whisk, because, of course, it‘s his 1/2 birthday.

Needless to say- I think we’ve started a new tradition.