30 Days of Thankfulness

Join me, beginning tomorrow, on my annual “30 Days of Thankfulness”.

Some days and some years. . . It’s hard. Creating a spirit of thanksgiving in your heart takes intentionality and discipline.

If you find yourself finding the negative in your day-to-day, and you’re done with it- join me.

I think you’ll find a new habit, and a little bit of that Negative Nancy weed pulled out of your heart.

What do ya say?! Join me!

Change is Needed

There has been a lot going on the last two years. So. Much.

I already knew that we needed a change, as a society.

However, the last two years. . . It has really opened my eyes to just HOW MUCH change we need.

When I think of all the things that need to change. I am reminded that it starts on an individual level. One person makes changes in their lives, and then those changes have a ripple effect on the people their are closest to in their lives, and so on.

If you’re eyes are just opening to the fact their needs to be a monumental shift in America.

Start small.

Start with one small thing that you can implement in your life.

Think about the things you are watching, reading, how much time are you spending on social media? Think about the places you are spending your money. What are you putting your time and energy into?

Then, hone in on just one thing to change. Maybe, you and your family cut back on tv time, or the type of tv you’ve been watching. Maybe you shift the kind of music you’ve been listening to.

Change it. Set a goal for one day, for one week, for one month, for one year.

If you mess up. DO. NOT. Be. Hard.On.Yourself. Do not. DO not beat your self up. Give your self grace. Dust yourself off, and get back up, and keep at it.

I can’t tell you those things that you need to change. You know what’s best for yourself and your family.

I can give ideas and resources, and that’s what I’ll be here for.

Change is hard. You may see some small improvements. You may see no improvements. You and your family may take 1 step forward, just to get 10 steps backwards.

AND- you may come out of a season. . . And, all of a sudden. You’ll see it. The work you and your family has done to make changes. You’ll see the fruit. It’ll be beautiful. It’ll be worth it.

Let’s get ready for change.

Dear America, It’s time.

This has been weighing heavily on my heart.

My goal in writing this, is not to diminish any one side’s voice.

Rather, to bring to the table that there is a time and a season for everything.

I feel like I’m pretty middle of the road- and even so, I know I’m still at fault, at times.

I’ve spent the better part of the past year trying my best to listen, and I still felt like there were times my voice wasn’t heard.

On one end, I’m tired of being a punching bag, on other, I need to stop throwing the punches, on the other, it’s time I make amends, and use my voice to help build bridges.

The point of this is, cycles happen- and they don’t break until there is change.

And, there needs to be more people standing up in the gap, building bridges to make change.

This is not to say that this is necessarily “your time” for any specific area- rather, whatever you are ready for, and on your time table- I’ll hope that you’ll remember and be open to what changes you are personally ready to take.

Politics aside, this is not to say don’t stand up for what you believe in.

Rather, stand up for what you believe in and be loving to your neighbor. Hear when you have wronged others, and when you’re ready- because we are all on different time tables- break the cycle.

We all have a responsibility to the parts we play in our circles, in our society, and in the world.

In different aspects of our lives, we may be in different parts of the cycle. We may be breaking cycles in one area, and still needing a lot of work in another. And in some- man, do we really need to just stop talking, and start listening and doing!

If I’m way off base, or you feel like any part of this was hurtful- please feel free to open up to conversation with me!

My goal is to keep a space that allows for honest, open communication that works towards coming together.

Relationships

I could write a novel on just how bad I am at relationships. But. . .there is good news. I’m sure there are some out there reading this. . .thinking. . . “I am right there with you. I am no good at relationships”.

The good news is that:

*You don’t have to always be where you are. You’re not a tree, if you don’t like where you are, then move. Meaning. . .you may not be great at relationships right now, but you can be.

*You don’t have to have a ton of friends to be good at relationships. You don’t even have to have a ton of people. When we love the people we are entrusted to; whether that be a greeter at Walmart, the person driving next to us on the road, or people in our daily lives, the impact of Jesus on them can far exceed us trying to make a million friends on social media.

*You don’t have to feel the pressure to get it right, every time. We are human. We are going to mess up. There is room for grace, repentance, and forgiveness.

All we have to do is say “yes” to the very next thing in front of us. Say “yes” to working on what God has called you to. Say “yes” to work on that character trait you feel like you just don’t have down quite yet. Say “less of me and more of You, Jesus”. Say “yes” to taking our pain in relationships, only to Jesus. Little by little. . .all of the things we work on become noticeable. People will recognize it. Our efforts become recognized. Trust builds. Or builds, again.

I firmly believe that when we work on ourselves, first, that overflows into our relationships. When we work on ourselves, first, it changes the dynamic of our relationships and our situations.

If you don’t know how to do that. . .take a look around you. You are most like the 5 people you are around on a daily basis. Surround yourself with 5 people that have those things that you want to work on down. Learn from them. Observe how they handle the situations you struggle with. Use that or adapt it to fit you (in a healthy way). We want to learn from them, while still remaining true to who we are.

And. . .by the way. . .this should be an ongoing process. We should strive for a growth mindset, daily. There will times where we get stuck, and that’s ok. That’s why we surround ourselves with community. Iron sharpens iron.

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.

Self-care Day 7

Today, has been pretty chill.

Last night…I didn’t go to sleep until 1:30 am.

So, I was anticipating today being a very hard day.

But, it wasn’t as rough as I’d expected it to be.

Self-care today was FaceTiming with a friend.

We talked for two hours, just about all different things…and it was just what I needed.

Today made me realize, before the pandemic, I was doing little things throughout the day to take care of myself.

And then, as we have progressed through this, and transitioned as a family to our new normal at home…I was taking less time for myself. Which started creating more anxiety in me, than what I’d been having the previous month.

I’m so thankful I decided to do this challenge to help me sort through why my anxiety was increasing in June. I’m thankful that it’s giving me a source to process, and a reservoir to draw from.

Self-care is sooo important, y’all. And so is community!!

Family Encouragement and Edification

A lot of things that we do in our family have resulted, because of some sort of tension. There’s a problem that isn’t working anymore, and so we’ve had to come up with a new solution.

One week, my boys were constantly fighting…saying not nice things to each other, and would not apologize and forgive each other.

One tip I had read about was how this one family edifies each other. They go around in a circle, and they say something nice about each person.

So, that’s what we did one day.

The boys were fighting, extra that day.

So, I stopped them. Walked them through the problem. Had them apologize and work on forgiving each other.

Then, I said: “Ok, ya’ll are going to look at each other. Hold hands. And, ya’ll are going to say 3 things nice to each other. (And then I gave examples).

So, my youngest son went first. Did his thing, and was waiting for his brother.

And then it was my oldest son’s turn.

He absolutely would not say even one thing nice. He cried. He threw a fit. And he would not say anything.

So, I had my youngest go play, while I had a talk with my oldest.

“Get a piece of paper out. We are going to sit here, and you are going to think of 10 nice things to say about your brother.”

“I don’t want to. Other families don’t do this. I’m too big for this.”

“No sir. You are not. Other families do this. People do this at their jobs, and you are going to think of nice things to say about your brother.”

So, I pulled up a list of characteristics.

And we went through several. I would say “What about ______ is your brother _____?”

“Yes”

Give me an example of a time when he was _____.

1-10.

And we finally got them. Then, I had his brother come back. They sat back down, held hands, again, and he read his list off to his brother.

The next day, we went around the table at supper. We all took time to say something nice, or that we noticed about each other that day.

We did that for a week, or so, until the atmosphere in our house changed.

Now, we don’t always do it every night. But, we still do it. And they love it.

Family Encouragement and Edification has become a special part of our days.

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.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 2

Day 2: Family

Today, we are spending time with family. I’m so thankful for this weekend to make memories, and for traditions with family.

Will you join me on this journey of 30 Days of Thanksgiving?

Jump in at anytime. You can catch up all in one post, journal, or telling someone what you’re thankful at anytime.

#30daysofthanksgiving