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!

Homeschool is what you make it

A few months ago, I felt like I was grieving the end of our homeschooling era. But, to be honest. . .homeschooling started way before we actually started traveling and bought curriculum. And it’ll keep going whether my kids are in public, private, or homeschool.

I’ve learned that homeschooling can be a heart posture. It’s those moments that pop-up out of no where. The teachable moments. The trips that involve learning. The vacations with the history lessons. The practicing reading night after night. The life lessons every day. All the silly games your kids make up to practice the math they see in every day life.

Wherever you are in your journey with schooling your children, remember that it starts with where you are right now.

Take those moments, and see where they go! They can be pretty magical!

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.

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.