Anxiety and self care

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.

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Homeschool partnership

As we are looking to homeschool next year, I have been looking for an option that will best serve our needs. I.am.so.excited. That I stumbled across School House Teacher.

As I learn more, and begin our homeschool journey, I can not wait to share our experience, tips, and tricks with you.

Stay tuned for more info as this school year closes, and next school year begins.

Groundhog Day

“Phil! Phil Conners, [is that you]?!”

Do you ever have days where you feel like Phil Conners, reliving Groundhog Day…over, and over, again?!

Some days…if I wake up hearing that.same.song.just.one.more.time. I may just let out the most epic, blood-curling scream, followed by a river….an overflow…of tears that would take years to unflood.

Most days, I see where God has brought me from. I see all that He has done for me. Peace washes over me, and I know to whom I belong.

And some days, I’m weary of the fight. I’m at my limit. I-just-can’t-do-it-anymore.

I’m the toddler throwing herself on the ground, screaming, rolling around, crying, screeching…and then, getting up and walking away like nothing ever happened.

Side note: I imagine my Heavenly Father, smiling, shaking His head, and saying: “My beloved, dear daughter…get up. This is not how we act. Get up and use your big girl words.”

And- you need to know…that all of those are o.k.

It’s part of the process, the journey…

Some days are a breeze.

Some days are hard as heck.

Some days are for uprooting the weeds in our heart…

And, some days are Groundhog Days….

But, even Phil Conners figured out how to get past living the same day over and over….

You and I can, too.

Don’t Give Up

Sometimes, going through our every day life…it seems like things are against us. We can’t get traction that leads to momentum. And so we give up.

Whatever that is for you….don’t give up.

Keep pressing on and in. With God, you will overcome.

In our weakness, He gives us strength.

Don’t give up. Seek God’s wisdom. Dig in. Press on.

Check out these Bible verses:

Philippians 4:13

2 Corinthians 12:9

Those things you overcome, can be how you shine light and hope for others.

Hold onto that!

Always remember, in the thick of it that you are loved more than you’ll ever know by someone who loves more and better than anyone on this earth ever could. He loves big, and all you have to do is come to Him!

Then, shout it on the mountain tops…just how good He is- give Him all the glory.

What.Just.Happened?

Do you ever have days, and think back….What. Just.Happened?

Today was one of those days.

It started off ok.

Got a little better after church…

And then, went downhill from there.

I don’t even know what happened, except my anxiety kept growing worse and worse.

Every light and sound was over stimulating.

I even missed the mark.

Today, at church, the pastor talked a lot about grace and mercy…and, as I have been laying here, in bed…I read my devotional on YouVerse…and guess what, you guessed it. Giving mercy was the topic of discussion.

I wish that I had read it first thing this morning, though.

Because, even though the anxiety would have been there…maybe, I would have caught on quicker….decompressed quicker, and been able to give my family the grace and mercy quicker.

I’m going to miss the mark. There will be days that my anxiety will go downhill quicker than I can realize, until after its already said and done.

I’ve apologized, and as soon as I realized what was happening…I started the process of calming myself down, and changing my response. That’s all I can do, today.

Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.

I can avoid as many triggers as I can. Use the tools in my toolbox….

And, we can all start over.

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.

Giving God Control

Giving God control is one of the hardest things to do.

By human nature…we all want to have control over our circumstances in life.

Add any kind of anxiety…and multiply that by ten.

When I have a situation that I am hoping will change…it usually doesn’t happen as quickly as I would like. So, I get impatient. I start grasping at everything, and try to control the situation. And…9x out of 10...I only make matters worse.

I....

*just end up making myself more anxious..leaving no space for peace.

*causing problems in my relationships…often times, unaware that I’ve even done so.

* put my promises on hold.

This week, I had a light bulb moment.

As I was going through devotionals in my you version bible app, and towards the end of the week, I gave up a few things.

I’m no expert on fasting. In fact..I’m quite the novice.

But, I felt led to give up these things for certain periods of time during the end of the week.

And just today, I gained some clarity on something I was seeking wisdom for.

But first, I had to give up control. And that was extremely hard to do.

You have to go through your own journey with giving God control…but, I love to forward resources that have helped me.

In the comments, I’ll leave links to the Bible devotionals that I went through this week. I’m not really tech savvy, so if I can’t get it to work…I’ll post the names of the devotionals and the authors..and hopefully that’ll make it easier.

They are really great. I hope you are blessed by them.

One Last Thing….

Ok, well maybe not the LAST LAST thing…

Walking through this “One Thing” series has been fun…and I continually find myself thinking of ways I implement it….

In writing this series, there was no way to get every single piece of advise, or every tip and trick I’ve used…

As we grow, so does our testimony…so, as more insight comes…so will the “One Thing” posts…

Until then….

It’s time to move onward!

One Thing: Budgeting/Finances

Background:

Finances. Eck. Not my favorite subject…people get weird when finances get brought up.

My finances have gone something like this…

(From the time I moved out of my parents house and into my own apartment)

Work 3 jobs, go to school, eat. sleep.repeat. Just like I didn’t make time to go through all of the stuff I had accumulated…I also didn’t make time and attention for my finances.

I struggled…just like every other person, starting out living on their own.

When my husband and I got married…it is by the grace of God that every need was met.

And, as we continued on in our marriage…we did ok.

For a couple of years.

Then, as I started working part-time and eventually stayed home for a year…our financial situation has slowly grown into a giant needing to be slayed.

But, if you rewind a year or two…you will see that I had prayed for this…

And looking back now….I just laugh…and shake my head…because that’s all you can do. I literally asked for this giant.

A couple of years ago, as I was pursing a Network Marketing business…you would hear stories about how people were in this financial situation. They were hurting financially, and when they made the jump into Network Marketing…they needed a God miracle.

And one night…I remember praying to God. “Break my finances, God….and put me in a place where I need you. Break my finances and put our situation back together, help us start over from ground zero.”

I knew that I have never really been in that place of need and hurt. So, I never really jumped in like they did…because they had been in a different place than I had.

I also knew that, we honestly hadn’t been faithful with the little things. We hadn’t been faithful with the little bit we had been given, and if we couldn’t do that…how could we be trusted with the big blessings? If we weren’t faithful with the little, then when the big blessings came…it still wouldn’t be enough.

So, I wanted to be able to be trusted with the big, so that we could help others.

The Bible says: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. “ Luke 16:17

As I have mentioned before…I dream BIG. There is no small dream that crosses my mind.

And so, in that moment, I knew that I never really needed to depend on God in our finances in such a way that I had to worry in any way that it really hurt. I never needed to take a leap of faith, because I always leaned back on what was given in the natural.

Up until that point, we struggled, but we were comfortable- and God did always provide in some way or another, just when we needed it.

Over the last 2-3 years, God has shown us so much. We have learned so much.

And now, we are in a position where we are making the changes to set us up for long-term success.

And, waiting on God to slay this giant, once and for all.

Because, with prayer, action, and the Holy Spirit…God will have all the glory when this giant is slayed.

This is another one of those growth areas….

But, here is what we have done, so far…One Thing at a Time.

* A couple of years ago, my husband started working an extra part-time, work-from-home job so that I could stay home with our youngest when she was born.

* I went back to work for a year.

* We sold our house and downsized to Tiny Living. (There are other reasons for this, but that story is for another time.)

* I have started working jobs that can be on our time, flexible, and still contribute to household income. While also allowing for space to write, volunteer, and many others things that I love.

* Get rid of all monthly subscriptions or monthly bills that are not necessary and get back down to just the basics.

* Partner with referral and affiliate opportunities that come up- and I have to believe in their companies and products. I’m a big believer in multiple streams of income, and residual income. So, any chance I can take on that, and not have to invest a ton of money. I’m down. Again, as long as I love the product and company. What I love about these, is that they still take time to build. You have to put in hard work for reward…just like anything else. Anything worthwhile, takes time to build. And, as I do the hard work, the residual effect will take place in the long run. And if I do the hard work now, I don’t give up…the residual benefit will pay out later.

* I bought a budget wallet. If you want to know more about that-look up Dave Ramsey. Then look up a budget wallet on Amazon. Boom and done.

*Pray and allow God to do His thing. I literally asked to be in this position…(someone remind me next time to make sure I know what I’m asking for) and when He does…give the glory to God. (Again…I’m still learning how to do just that)

*Give faithfully- there’s a time and place for giving a God gift. A gift that is outside of what you can see there is room for. An outside of your comfort, I don’t see how God will make this work, but I’m going to do it, because He told me to gift. And then, there’s giving faithfully and consistently within your means. I’ve got the riskier one down-that one was hard. Now, it’s time to learn the latter. Equally hard, but in a different way.

There’s no way we could have taken all of this on at one time. We made changes slowly, over time.

If you find yourself walking along side me in this season, and you’re overwhelmed…

Remember…just one thing. Look up. Take a breath….seek God. And focus in on one thing you can change right now. Let God do the rest.

Creating Habits

I’ve mentioned that creating habits takes time, and it may not be years until you see the fruit….

Here is one example.

I spent 2 weeks correcting my son. Gently telling him not to point with his finger. It can be considered rude. “Mom, I’m not trying to”. He would get so upset and cry. His frustration broke my heart.

“I know, bud” I’d tell him. “I’m not mad”.

“But, we want to be respectful to the people here and their culture…and pointing is rude.”

We would go over how you gesture with your hand open.

For months, when we got back home, he would point. That’s fine. We are back home…no big deal.

Then, one day…I noticed him pointing to something with an open hand.

Years later..

I find my son, excitedly, open gesture pointing to something he wants to talk to us about or show us.

It warms my heart that he remembers the culture, the conversations we had, and he took that piece with him, on his own time.

Here’s another example:

In the fall of 2017, my husband and I attended discipleship school. We graduated in December, and weeks later our daughter was born.

Almost immediately, we fell out of all the intentionality we had been learning.

And I was angry about that for quite some time. “God, why would you have us go through that…just for us to go right back to our old habits”.

Breaking old habits takes time…and it takes time to see the fruit of new habits and things learned.

Now, I can see in our lives the fruit of that intense time of intentionality with God and community” It took 2 years, though.

So whatever habit you are working to create…just remember it takes time. You likely won’t see the fruit of it today…