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.

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!

Anxiety and self care

*Repost: I wanted to re-share some posts that I’ve previously written. Mainly, because, before change come healing and working on yourself.

Wow. When I wrote this…it was back around Thanksgiving. I remember this one-two week period, distinctively. It was the moment I realized that I really and truly have to shut down, all of the things, so that I may feel all the feels and sort through all of the thoughts. Now that we are 3 months into Corona time, with all of the things that are currently going on in our world. I’ve realized that there are some amazing people out there who don’t know that what they are going through is ok. What you are feeling is ok. You are not alone. If you are someone who lacks the support you need, I’m working on creating a resources page. If your situation is urgent, I implore you…find and seek help in your local community. In the meantime, I hope this reflection of what I wrote back in November is helpful and brings you hope.

Anxiety and Self-care:

Over these last couple of weeks, I felt myself winding up…anxiety wise. I couldn’t figure out what was going on…but I felt like I needed to slow down. So, I did.

I allowed myself to not go full steam ahead.

I allowed myself to slow down and tune in.

If I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t. In fact, I slowed down to pretty much only my 30 Days of Thankfulness that I was 100% committed to.

I slowed down on house work—to what needed immediate attention…

You know, I have talked about my “5 Daily Things” I started making progress towards, after hearing John Maxwell speak this summer…and for 2 weeks…I didn’t focus on those at all.

And that’s fine. I needed to slow down and figure out what was triggering me.

It took a couple of weeks, and one good night of crying…but I finally figured it out and got all of that anxiety tension released.

I love this article about anxiety and self-care.

We really need to make ourselves, and listening to our bodies a priority.

When we are taking care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others.

There is room and grace for survival mode.

There is room and grace for missing out on taking care of ourselves. It happens.

But, once we cue in…we can slow down to figure out what’s going on. And what we need to do.

Check out the article. Tell me what you think. I’ve tried all of these tips and agree.

It’s funny, because I used to hate yoga for exercise. It felt slow and awkward. But last year, I tried it for a season and loved it. It was just what I needed..and I’ve been missing it, since I gave it up last summer.

When you think about self care, don’t be surprised if something you used to hate or would never think about doing for you turns into a something you like.

If something crosses your mind to try…try it.

If you’re a mama-or someone who needs self care, but doesn’t have a budget to spend on yourself…don’t worry.

When I started my self-care journey I had to get creative, because we didn’t have the budget for me to go get massages, pedicures, and the like every week.

I’ll share resources on some budget friendly and simple ways to find self-care. As well as, things that are self-care that you may not have thought about. I certainly didn’t.

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.

Photo of the Day

We saw this guy and a couple of his buddies on our way back home today! I made my husband stop so I could get some pics.

Years ago, I would have just saw them and wish that I had remembered to snap a pic.

For me, this is part of what living in the moment looks like. Seeing something I like, and stopping right then to capture and observe it.

I really enjoy photography. I really enjoy nature. I really enjoy capturing wildlife in photos!

There was a time when I didn’t have the energy, the capacity, and the motivation for things I love and enjoy.

So, here is a little piece of beauty on this Sunday evening!

I hope you enjoy it. I hope you find the beauty in the world around you. I hope that you do the things you enjoy!

And, if you’re not there, yet! Here is your rainbow 🌈! Your hope that one day, you’ll enjoy the things you love, once again!

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!

What’s Even the Point?

What’s even the point?

I find myself thinking this on a daily basis.

I’ve poured myself- given all that I can: mentally, physically, emotionally…I’m sure the list goes on..into a lot of aspects of my life over the years.

And, it currently feels like some of it was for nothing.

Don’t get me wrong- there have been a lot of positives, and a lot of growth.

And I probably need to do a journal to process through things…but I still can’t get the thought out of my head: What’s the point?

What was the point of x,y,z circumstance if x,y,z door was closed, or x, y, z growth didn’t happen. You get the picture.

Honestly, the only answer I have right now is that there is a season for everything. I may never know the reason why I’m feeling this way currently. Or maybe, I’m feeling this way and I just need to get out of my own head.

I also know that, if I’m feeling this way- there is probably somebody else out there feeling this way too.

I’ve always been a big believer in sharing what I have gone through, or am currently going through so others know they aren’t alone.

I know that things may seem hopeless or frustrating. But know, that you.are.not.alone.

In case this is just an: I need to get out of my own head moment. . . Here’s what I plan to do-

*Journal

*Talk about it- sometimes just talking through it helps me to process in a different way. And getting it off my chest helps me to let it go.

* Write to share (here)

*Pray about it and seek God

Feel free to join me! Or ask a friend, therapist/counselor/ professional or google and find your own ways to work through it!!

It’s all about creating your toolbox of resources!

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.