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!

Dear America

Today, I was watching the news, and the anchor was covering a clip where passengers on planes are more unruly now, than over a span of 4 years from 2016-2019.

The flight attendants are taking self-defense classes, because the people of America can’t get their feelings in check.

Side note: Don’t get me wrong- I know I’ve had my fair share of grumpy moments with strangers. We are all human, and are going to make mistakes.

Customers are completely rude to workers in restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, etc.

Employers don’t treat their employees with respect. They put themselves and money, before the needs of the people earning them that money.

But, America. . . it’s time for us to wake up. When are we going to see what’s right in front of our faces? When are we going to say “Enough! It’s time to come together!”

I know I don’t have all the answers, here. . .

But, We have a lot of work to do!

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.

Perfection

Tonight, my husband and I were talking. We had just gotten back from having supper with my sister and her family, the kids were playing in their room, and we were just chatting on the sofa.

We were talking about the delicious meal my hubby had just made, and I was encouraging him to do something with his skills. Be a chef? Make how-to cooking videos on YouTube? Idk! Something!

And, the conversation took a turn, “I want to make sure I have some good recipes before I did anything like that!” Referring to the YouTube videos. “I mean, I don’t want to do something where ya make the sauce, and just pour in the noodles”. He looked at me, and laughed.

Now, if you know anything about me. . .this story has probably come up at least once:

When my husband and I were dating, in high school, we had a celebration coming up. I can’t remember if it was a 2nd anniversary, a birthday, Valentines, or what. I do remember; however, that I wanted to make him his favorite meal. Fettuccine Alfredo. I was making the alfredo sauce from scratch. And.it.had.to.be.perfect.

Now, up until this time, I think the only thing I’d made for myself was ramen noodles. No following recipes. Nothing. Let’s keep in mind, also, that I was probably 17 or 18, at the time.

So, I go to make his favorite meal. I don’t remember the exact recipe, but I do remember what it stated after making the sauce: add noodles.

Y’all! I took the noodles, straight outta the box- and dumped them in the sauce. And.they.would.not.cook. I did not realize, at the time, that first I needed to cook the noodles in boiling water BEFORE I added the noodles to the sauce.

I lost it. I cried. I was so upset.

We had to go back to the store, and I had to get all the things to make the whole meal, again.

And that’s me in a nutshell. I get this big idea in my head, it has to go perfectly, and when it doesn’t I get really down on myself. I feel like a failure. All the things.

Tonight, I laughed about that story and my husband’s reference to a YouTube video coming out like that it experience. It’s funny. I shake my head and laugh at the memory.

Over the years, I’ve had to lower my expectations. I’ve had to learn how to: just keep it simple and not over do it, to laugh and not take life so seriously, and most importantly to let go of the idea of perfection.

So, going into this Holiday Season- this year of all years. Imagine my 17 year old self making fettuccine Alfredo by putting raw noodles in the sauce. Laugh a little, and remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect. Keep it simple. Make some fun memories.

Resource: Podcast

I’ve taken more time than I wanted to start sharing resources. . .But, I’ve wanted to make sure and listen to, read, and research before sharing.

Because podcasts are sooo easy to listen to, this is where I’ve started!!

Some time ago, I asked some friends for some recommendations on resources to share for anxiety, depression, and motherhood.

And they shared some real gems.

These are the two I’ve started listening to:

Untangle:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/untangle/id1073460738?i=1000360413196

This podcast is a great resource, when it comes to mental health. The episodes in this podcast talk about the science of meditation and the benefits it has on our bodies.

Natal:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/natal/id1508013775?i=1000479392069

This podcast tells stories of black women and their experiences of pregnancy. It is super informative. I’ve learned so much.

What I love about these two podcasts, are that they share stories.

I firmly believe that sharing our stories not only brings us healing, it brings hope and healing to others who are experiencing things we have walked through.

I hope that you will enjoy these podcasts.

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.