One Day at a Time

Hello Blogging world!!! I realize that I have been gone for months, but I can explain. I mentioned to you guys in one of my previous blog that I was making some big life changes and that I was a bit nervous about it, well I did it. I went back to school for Nursing. Cue the cheering and clapping. I have to admit it took me a long time to come to the point where I actually enrolled into school because I was afraid of doing anything that would keep me from taking care of my family.  I have so much to say about this that the wisest thing to do is to talk about it one section at a time.

First, allow me to tell you what made me want to go back to school for Nursing. I am by design a very compassionate person, and I tend to get very invested in the things that are near to my heart. The things that have shaped my life the most because they had the greatest influence on me personally.  As you know I have five children, and along my journey of getting pregnant and giving birth I have experienced many different types of Healthcare providers and facilities. I am by no means an expert but what I saw and experienced made me want to change what I perceived as inadequate. Now, as with everything, their were some great professionals who I encountered that showered me with human kindness and I truly appreciate them.

I began to offer advice to all my friends and family who were pregnant or in labor and in many cases it was helpful. I found that I loved offering comfort to other pregnant women, post-delivery new Mother’s and Breastfeeding Mother’s too. I felt like I could have a positive impact on another woman’s life by helping her to have a positive birthing experience. I think after a lot of prayer and many, many discussion’s with my husband, I found the right school for me and I started the process of enrollment.

It was really scary for me at first because I was not comfortable doing something so different. It was way outside of my comfort zone, but I felt like it was time for me to do something different.

Unfortunately, I still wrestle with Destination disease from time to time. Today that little bugger reared his ugly head today and I had to step back and have a little, “come to Jesus meeting,” with myself. I had some unexpected scheduling issues pop-up and it just overwhelmed me because I really didn’t want to change my schedule. I had already pre-registered for my classes back in October and I was feeling so comfortable with my nice and easy schedule. I literally had to just take a moment to talk to myself and God. I was so thrown off by my unexpected, but necessary, schedule change! I didn’t want to add a class to my work load, I was frustrated that MY plans had to change. I was upset that I wouldn’t be able to finish in time, and I mentioned this to my Guidance Counselor and she kindly asked me, “What’s the Hurry?”

Her very innocent question snatched me back from the future to the here and now. I was living too far ahead and that’s why I was feeling so much pressure. I had to remind myself that I have to live one day at a time and that I need to slow down. I talked myself off the ledge and then I released a huge sigh, it may seem small but it helped. I’m still getting used to the thought of more work, but I’m telling myself that All things are working together for my good and that I have to go through the process. You see, it’s my nature to want to jump straight to the end, but the best parts, are what happens to you in the middle. The part of the process that I always want to skip over are the most essential aspects of who I will be one day. If I don’t trust the process I won’t make it to the finish line.

I would love to hear you all’s feed back!

The Mountain Road

My oldest daughter recently turned ten and for her birthday she waned to go up to Lake Tahoe to celebrate. I thought it was a great idea, as a matter of fact, I made it my mission to convince my Husband to take us up there! You should have seen how excited I was about all the fun we would have.  I had everything all planned out. The whole family was looking forward to it, however there was one thing that I couldn’t plan for…the road up the mountain.

I grew up on the plains of Georgia, so I always wanted to see mountains, but it wasn’t until we moved out west that I actually got my chance. That’s when I found out that I’m prone to car sickness! That’s right, apparently curvy mountain roads above 5,000 feet make my stomach turn, and my ears pop relentlessly. I was fine as we began the climb up, but the higher up we went the more uncomfortable I became. I started having thoughts about turning around, or how I wish we would have gone skating instead. My husband was trying to get me to, “loosen up and enjoy the beauty around me,” but I was not able to do that! My oldest son, who also gets car sick, had forced himself into falling asleep.

I was anxious and uptight the whole two hour drive up to Tahoe! It was pretty rough for me, and there were plenty of times when I begged Hubby to please just turn around or knock me out! I was done, I wanted to quit and go home! Along the way there were some things too beautiful to pass up so we stopped at the observation areas and took a few pictures. We all hopped back in the car and continued up the mountain. Finally, we were only about twelve miles away and we saw more warning signs about falling rocks and curvy roads, and then I looked up and noticed this huge snow covered mountain that is so close that it looked like I could reach out and touch it! The kids were so excited and I made the mistake of looking over and out the passenger side window.  We were so high up that I immediately got dizzy, and I told my husband I was going to be sick. His response was, “Just take a deep breath and calm down.”

Thankfully I did mange to calm down and not throw-up all over the front seat. When I finally lifted my head we were there. We had finally made it to Tahoe and it was the most beautiful place that I had ever been. Honestly it was breathtakingly gorgeous. I loved the mountains, the strong scent of pine in the air, and the water was so clear and blue! I feel like the sky was bluer than what I’m use to and the scenery, OMG!! I have never in my life seen so many log cabins and Chalet’s in one place. The trees were all so tall and the people all seem so happy and care free. We went to the lake and had the best time ever, and all I cold think about was how glad I was that we didn’t quit and turn around!

I instantly realized that the trip was worth all the trouble. I felt like I was getting a sneak peek of what heaven must be like. That’s when it dawned on me, hard roads can sometimes lead us to the most beautiful places. In life we all have seasons where we feel like we’re on the back side of the mountain,  or journeying through the valley. It’s in those tough times I believe that God is creating in us a clean heart and renewing a right spirit with in us. We need those mountains to climb and those hard roads that make us want to quit, turn around and give up. These are the times when our character is developed and created. Those challenging roads are critical to shaping what kind of people we will become.

I know you all are probably very tired of hearing me say how important adversity is to personal growth and spiritual development. After the fact when I realized that I didn’t die, I could admit that I was scared and that my fear of falling off a cliff, ruined the beautiful drive up the mountain for me.  I’m no expert in car sickness, but the root of my car issues seem to be based on high elevations and curvy roads! Knowing that about myself brought up the question, “how many times have I quit half way up the mountain?” How many times did I get so close to breaking through and seeing the splendid beauty of what was on the other side of my struggle. I truly wonder how many things I could have accomplished if I hadn’t let my fears stop me.

I feel like looking back the mountain road is what God uses to turn us into more than conquerors. It’s what He uses to build our muscles and to teach us how to fight the good fight of faith. Tonight as I write this post, I’m so thankful for every mountain and every trial. I’m so grateful that I serve a God who has shown me over and over again that He is everything that I need.

Have you been up the mountain lately? Let me hear about it in the comments!

Moving Madness

We’re moving! I don’t know if I have ever been busier than I am right now. I have so many things to do that my to-do-list have checklist’s!! I am currently taking a much needed break from packing things up and sorting things that I don’t need so that I can squeeze in a quick post. Even though we will have professional movers come in and pack us up, I have learned to be proactive about packing and to take a very hands on approach in making sure my things get where they need to be all in one piece.

A lesson that I seem to learn every time I move is that I always have more things to do than I thought! I apologize for my absence and my infrequent new post, but it will probably get worse before it gets better. It will get better though. We hit the road for the east coast in less than thirty days!! A part of me is excited about the start of a brand new journey and part of me is ready to be done with it. I love spending time with my family, but eight to ten hours a day in an SUV, no matter how large, is not necessarily my first choice.

We’re all trying to stay positive about it, but I really didn’t know that I would miss this place as much as I will. When we first got here the novelty of a new and exciting city wore off almost immediately, but as the days turned to years this place really grew on us. We made friends, started new endeavors, realized some dreams, and before we knew it, we really fell for our foster city. All too soon though, we got our orders and just like that it was time to get ready to start all over again.

Honestly, I love the Military lifestyle. It has afforded me so many opportunities that I may have never had otherwise. I feel so honored to love a man who has chosen to serve not only his family, but his country as well. I hope that my sons grow up to be like him and I pray that my daughters will choose men who remind me of him.  However, the older our children get the more we think of how beneficial it would be to each of them if we stop all the moving and put down roots.

We, like many other couples, often dream of buying a house and finally taking our share of the elusive, “American Dream.” I’m growing thoughtful now so I would like to pose a question to whoever maybe reading this; What do you dream about and why haven’t yo done it yet?” I would really love to hear from all the Military Mommas out there, don’t be afraid to share how yo feel.

Thanks for stopping by, I can’t wait to read your comments!

“Be curious, not judgmental.” Walt Whitman

Have you ever wondered what happen to your old friends? Well thankfully someone created a social network that allows you to reconnect with ALL your old buddies! That same website happens to be very popular, so popular that I might be the very last person on earth to finally join! The great thing is I got to reconnect with a lot of my old buddies, and I really like that about social media.

I found that social media has really awakened my curiosity and I have been scrolling through pages of pictures and in some cases I’ve caught myself being a little judgey.

I know you ladies might not be guilty of looking at pictures of people and thinking, “Oh My Gosh, so-and-so is so_______ now!  It’s only natural to notice that someone has changed in some way since high school, but it’s when I find myself making assumptions or giggling in condemnation about the condition of someone else’s life, that I feel the chastisement of the scripture, Matt.7;1-3 “Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considers not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

I don’t know about you but those verses are heavy in my ears! How easy is it for us to look at someone else and mentally, or even verbally pick them apart? We judge other Mothers on how they look, how they parent, how their kids look, if they yell too much or not enough. We judge other women on how quickly they lose the baby weight, or how put together she looks during morning drop off at school.

We judge other Christians on how well they know the scriptures or how they dress, is her skirt long enough? Is her top cut too low, because we all know how much God hates it when we show cleavage and make all the men lust! (Sarcastic eye roll.)  By show of hands how many times have you been guilty of one of these things?   You can’t see me, but I’m shaking my head up and down sayin, “um-hum, I thought so.”

News Flash!!! We all do it, whether it’s out loud or in our minds, we all are guilty of being judgmental every now and then. I can’t say that curiosity always leads to being judgey, but I can tell you that if we are not careful we can quickly go from being curious about something to being judgmental. What I’ve learned is that we never want to be judged negatively for our transgressions, but we as a people have to constantly be reminded that we need to show some grace and mercy. We can have so much mercy and understanding when we sin, but we can’t even buy some grace when someone trespasses against us.

I think it’s totally human to forget that we ourselves are flawed, and that we needed a savior and a redeemer too. I asked myself how can I judge someone else when I’m a hot mess on any given day? The answer is simple, it’s easier to point out what’s wrong with someone else’s life than to change what’s broken in my own life. I think in many ways we try to make ourselves feel better by tearing down those whom we feel are better off than we are. I read a quote that said, “Hurting people, hurt people.” Wow, I could not agree more! For some reason people who are hurt or disappointed with their own lives tend to be harsh critics of others.

While that quote may not be true of every person who’s hurting and broken, it does seem like if you really dig deep enough into what is really the root of mean-spirited, malicious, gossip, or hateful, judgmental words, it’s a misguided attempt to deflect the pain and trauma that they feel in their own life. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen other mothers at the park and because of my own short comings or insecurities, felt like I was less than and in my heart, not out loud, I found some small thing to criticize them about.

Before you judge me picture this, have you ever been in line at the store and overheard a conversation between a mother and her child that made you cringe? Have you ever heard something that made you want to turn around and give your unsolicited advice? How about when you’re at the park and you see a child having a tantrum and thought that if you were that child’s mother you would handle the whole situation better? You know, because you’re the best mother in the world and there is no way that your child would ever do that to you. (Insert dramatic look coupled with a over-the -top eye roll.)

As women we have to be very careful that we don’t attack one another over our differences. We must try to make a conscious effort to celebrate our differences, no matter if it’s our parenting styles or lifestyle choices. We really are stronger together because a house divided against itself can not stand. One of my very best friends has a deeply set belief that yelling at children is very damaging to their self-esteem.  I on the other hand am a yeller!! I never try to yell mean things at my kids and tear them down, but I do yell, so whenever I go around here I feel self conscious and loud. I always start to have these crazy thoughts that start out at Insecure road and travel all the way over to Whose kids are better drive.

I fond that what would happen is I would convince myself that because our parenting styles were different that one of us was a better mother than the other. At several different times, I would try to act is if I had stopped yelling and become like her. This would confuse my children because they knew the real me and would always tell the truth whenever I tried to pretend that I was a sweet talking, non-yelling, whispering Mommy! I’ll let you just imagine how that scenario went down! My kids would look at me like they were staring at a stranger!! I would be sweetly talking to them through gritted teeth, and rubbing their arm! All while on the inside a scream was bubbling up inside my chest and rumbling around like a caged tiger! Worst of all, they would literally ignore every attempt that I would make to get their attention so that we could leave the park or playground, where ever we happen to be.  It got to the point where I could not  pretend to be her because both my children and I needed me to be Torre.

I could no longer suppress who I was and be her friend at the same time, I had to embrace who God called me to be so that my family could get what they needed from me. I realized that because I was afraid of being judged in a negative way by her, I was completely ignoring the fact that I was made by God, the Creator of the universe, for His pleasure! If God made me in His image to please Him, then how could I bring him pleasure if I wasn’t being me?

I have to admit that accepting the fact that while she had made an admirable choice that had set her free from yelling, that same choice had put me in chains. Am I telling you to go out and yell at your kids instead of reply with a soft answer, no I am not. However, I want you to look at the bigger point that I’m trying to make and that is to be who God called you to be and enjoy that without putting others in chains or feeling inferior because you’re different.  I certainly hope that my friend wasn’t too disappointed once she saw that I just couldn’t help myself.  Fortunately, she’s been my friend for over 16 years, so by this point she loves me in spite of my yelling!

Romans 14:8 talks about living for the Lord and dying for the Lord.  I would actually recommend that you read and study this whole chapter because it really talks about how we should not judge each other any more(Rom.14:13). I challenge you to make a real effort to be curious, but not judgmental. I urge you to embrace who you are even if you have qualities that you don’t necessarily like because that’s what makes you who you are.

Have a great week and please feel free to leave a comment for me letting me know what you thought about when you read this post.

Where Does The Time Go

Today I went with my son on his final field trip in elementary school!! Where has the time gone? I miss him being a little guy, running around playing and the cute little way he use to talk. I mean right now he still acts like an innocent child, but he looks older and he’s almost taller than me! Then there’s the fact that he’s going to middle school!

I can hardly believe that he’s only going to be in middle school for three short years! I feel like now my husband and I are on this downhill slide into our first child leaving the nest! I know I’m jumping the gun a little bit here, but I can’t help it, my mind just zooms to the college drop off scene. Ekk! At one point I thought time was moving so slowly, and I was wishing for the day that he would be the age that he is now!

As I road back on the luxury coach ( a big fancy bus with stairs, TV’s and bathrooms.) I watched My son from a distance, I wasn’t allowed to sit with him, laughing and talking with his friends and I started to miss him. I know it sounds silly since I was watching him like a creeper from two rows over. Even though he was a few feet away, the fact that he didn’t need to be close to me to be comfortable really resonated with my heart. Of course I’m glad that he’s becoming more independent and mature, but I realize that this is just the beginning of many more trips and outings where he won’t want me to sit with him, or hold his hand. (I have to pause and grab a tissue now.)  What really hit me is that he’s becoming a young man, and everything that we do together, every memory that we create is seasoning his life. I’m going to influence the man that he becomes. Thinking of all the ways that my parents impacted my life and help shape the woman that I am, I asked myself am I doing a good job?

What parent doesn’t want to know that their doing it right? We all need to hear that we’re doing a good job and that we’re helping our children and not hurting them, but I think it’s more complicated than a simple you’re right or wrong. The more I think about it, the more I think it’s a lot like baking a cake, you just have to wait and see. We’re not going to know everything all at once and sometimes things are going to surprise us, and we’re not going to know how to fix every problem. That’s why I have a secret weapon, prayer!

Looking at him today and watching how well behaved he was and how respectful and responsible he was made me so proud to be his momma, but it also made me feel like I need to savor these moments more. If anyone comes up with a time machine, let me know!

I hope you ladies are being sure to cherish the time that you have with your little ones, and if your children are in a different phase of life I hope you still treasure the time that you spend with your kids.

Have a great weekend everyone!

How Bad Do You Want It

My topic is the question that you have to ask yourself, before you can really achieve your goals. How bad do you want it? It doesn’t matter what, “it” is either. The truth is that you are going to have to give up something in order to obtain what you really want. If it means enough to you then you will gladly give up things that you love, or enjoy so that you can have something that you want more than anything in the world.

I always use the example of losing weight because it’s a clear depiction of what one must do to get what they want. Give up poor eating habits and add healthy food choices plus exercise and you will see a positive change in your health and your dress size.

However, recently I was just reading through the post on my timeline and there was a question being posed by someone who I recently started following. Her question was really simple, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” The funniest thing happen to me, my mind went completely blank! The first thing I thought was, “Oh in five years my children will be this age and Hubby will be at this point in his career.” Unfortunately, I could not think of one thing for myself. I had no idea what I even wanted for myself. Everything that I could think of was centered around my husband and my children and nothing about me.

Last week I wrote a post, The Insignificant Momma, about how I have developed this terrible habit of putting myself dead last, and this is in some ways a side affect of feeling insignificant. I was really struggling to think of some things that I wanted to see myself accomplish. Because this issue was really bothering me, I asked my Hubby what his five year plan was, and immediately he named like ten things that he would like to have accomplished.

Although I can’t say I was surprised, I was a little disappointed that I could not do the same thing. I seem to only think of myself as a Stay-at-Home Mom and therefore, I have placed all these limits and restrictions on who I can be and where I can go in life. You all can see this that it’s a lot easier for me to say that I’m putting myself than it is for me to actually do!  Anyway, after I told him my five year goals, which are pretty lofty goals by the way, he stopped what he was doing and looked me right in the eyes and said, “Well how bad do you want it?”

I was kind of taken aback at first because I wasn’t expecting that question. I kind of thought he would give me his usual, “I believe you can do it Honey.” Instead he challenged me to actually be serious about my future.  Funny thing is that I really have no answer for how badly I want any of those things. While I would like to accomplish at least one of them, I can’t say that I want anything so badly that I’m willing to make a sacrifice to have it.

That is where my topic came from. Is there anything in your life that you want so badly that you’re willing to make uncomfortable choices just to have it? Are you willing to lose sleep, sacrifice your weekends and miss important family events just so you can reach your goals? If the answer to any of those things is no, then you don’t really want it. I had to get real with myself and honestly ask myself what was holding me back? The only thing that I can think of is fear. Fear is what typically keeps me from pursuing things, an extremely strange fear that I will succeed at something other than being a good wife and mother.

I had a good long talk with myself and I came to the conclusion that I need to get out of my comfort zone and do something that scares me. I think that it would for be good for me to challenge myself again, to really learn how to live my life again. Intellectually, I know that I have to prioritize my own happiness, but when it comes to actually doing it, I struggle with feeling guilty. Mommy Guilt is real people! I don’t want to be the woman whose children leave home and she just crumbles because she doesn’t know how to live without mothering her children.

Some of my goals were to write and publish two more books, have one of my books turned into a movie, be in the best shape of my life and to possibly go back to school as well as teaching in the classroom. Of course I’m afraid that I might fail at something and I’m a little bit terrified that I might succeed and that my success will take me away from my family, but I want to try more than I want to wait and see.

I don’t know why I struggle with that, but it seems to just keep coming up time and again! So, I really want to hear from you ladies! I love getting your feedback, and I think you ladies give some really good advice. Have you ever had to ask yourself, “How bad do you want it?” If you have had to sit your self down and have a come to Jesus meeting with yourself, how did you overcome that?

Mommy’s Mental Health

“Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I don’t know who came up with that phrase, but it sounds about right to me! Often times it is the Woman, Wife, or Mother who sets the atmosphere in the family and in the home. If we as women, have very strong negative reactions to everything, and we respond with negativity then our home can become a very hostile and tense environment that restricts the flow of joy. However, if we respond to our family with love and kindness, positivity and grace, that same home will be a place filled with joy and happiness.

Our attitude about our life and our unique set of circumstances can in fact determine the whole altitude of our family. You guys know that I have five children, so while I am not an mental health expert, I do know a little something about feeling overwhelmed and stressed out! On top of just being a momma to five, I’m also a military wife and that comes along with a whole other set of stressors. I sometimes feel like I have too many balls in the air to keep up with and I’m sure at times, you do as well.

I genuinely feel like I have the hardest job in the world some days, and on other days I cry tears of joy because I feel so privileged to be blessed enough to have this opportunity to be at home with my children. I remember when I first talked to someone about the whole, “mental health thing,” we were living in North Carolina and about three different, women whose husbands were deployed, had snapped and took the life of their children. I remember talking with other Mothers who were strangers to me, except that our husbands were both deployed and we each had young children. We talked about how sad it was, and questioned how a mother could ever get to that point, we even talked about where one might go to seek help if they too, felt on the verge of hurting someone.

And yet, there was still this really judgmental, critical tone to our whole conversation. Looking back, knowing more about life and the trials that it can bring and the struggles that we all face, sometimes completely alone, I can clearly see why a woman would be afraid to seek help for feeling like the inadequate mother.  Ladies, if I knew then what I know now, I would have said that we are all learning how to mother our children. I would have lovingly confessed to that group of playground mothers, with their fancy hair and make-up, their designer strollers and diaper bags, that not one of us is left untouched by depression and bad days.

We all like to think of ourselves as being better off than someone else, or more grounded with a tighter grip on reality, but the truth is we could all be just one minute away from a soul shaking, life altering situation that could change us forever. Our minds are so fragile, and while I can not speak for anyone else, I can tell you that I have cried many days and some nights too, because I felt like I might break under the weight of the life that I have chosen.

I would be trying to cover up my own ugly truth if I failed to acknowledge that I have rough seasons just like everyone else.  I’m saying all of that to say this, if you ever start to feel like you are the only one going through the terrible two’s, or like you’re the only mother with a child who is struggling in school, or perhaps you feel like you’re not a good keeper of the home, you are not alone.  I would encourage you to reach out to someone who can help you, or at least point you in the right direction to get the help that you need. You are not less than because you’re having trouble dealing with stress or the pressures of this life. You are simply human. In our own strength we can do very little.

I don’t know where I would be if it had not been for the Lord who was on my side. I would have been lost, I could have been dead, or worse I could have been in Hell lifting up my eyes, forever separated from the one true God. My connection to God has been my rock, whenever I feel weary. In addition to my relationship with God, I also have some awesome and amazing women in my life that are only a phone call away. I can reach out to them and feel confident that they’re going to give me some sound, and wise counsel.

I think that the hardest part of admitting that we need help or that we’re struggling in a really bad way is that we’re afraid of what, “people,” will say about us. Friends, don’t allow the potential voices of criticism stop you from getting what you need to help you heal or be restored. I have found out the hard way that those people that I am so afraid of can not save me, or deliver me from trouble. The only one who can do that is the Lord above. I find comfort in talking to my trusted friends, going to Mommy support groups at my local church, or even by calling my family members who can tell me about how I was as a child. Sometimes my perspective is just skewed because I’m not looking at my child through the eyes of grace.

If any of you reading this article feel like you need to talk to someone about your own mental health I encourage you to call Mental Health America 1-800-969-6642. I also would direct you to www.womenshealth.gov where you can find the number that I listed above, as well as several other phone number that might help you get in touch with the right people who can help you overcome whatever battles you might be fighting.

Have a Blessed week and I hope yo reach back and help someone who might not be where you are right now. Help someone else get over the hump this week!

“Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I don’t know who came up with that phrase, but it sounds about right to me! Often times it is the Woman, Wife, or Mother who sets the atmosphere in the family and in the home. If we as women, have very strong negative reactions to everything, and we respond with negativity then our home can become a very hostile and tense environment that restricts the flow of joy. However, if we respond to our family with love and kindness, positivity and grace, that same home will be a place filled with joy and happiness.

Our attitude about our life and our unique set of circumstances can in fact determine the whole altitude of our family. You guys know that I have five children, so while I am not an mental health expert, I do know a little something about feeling overwhelmed and stressed out! On top of just being a momma to five, I’m also a military wife and that comes along with a whole other set of stressors. I sometimes feel like I have too many balls in the air to keep up with and I’m sure at times, you do as well.

I genuinely feel like I have the hardest job in the world some days, and on other days I cry tears of joy because I feel so privileged to be blessed enough to have this opportunity to be at home with my children. I remember when I first talked to someone about the whole, “mental health thing,” we were living in North Carolina and about three different, women whose husbands were deployed, had snapped and took the life of their children. I remember talking with other Mothers who were strangers to me, except that our husbands were both deployed and we each had young children. We talked about how sad it was, and questioned how a mother could ever get to that point, we even talked about where one might go to seek help if they too, felt on the verge of hurting someone.

And yet, there was still this really judgmental, critical tone to our whole conversation. Looking back, knowing more about life and the trials that it can bring and the struggles that we all face, sometimes completely alone, I can clearly see why a woman would be afraid to seek help for feeling like the inadequate mother.  Ladies, if I knew then what I know now, I would have said that we are all learning how to mother our children. I would have lovingly confessed to that group of playground mothers, with their fancy hair and make-up, their designer strollers and diaper bags, that not one of us is left untouched by depression and bad days.

We all like to think of ourselves as being better off than someone else, or more grounded with a tighter grip on reality, but the truth is we could all be just one minute away from a soul shaking, life altering situation that could change us forever. Our minds are so fragile, and while I can not speak for anyone else, I can tell you that I have cried many days and some nights too, because I felt like I might break under the weight of the life that I have chosen.

I would be trying to cover up my own ugly truth if I failed to acknowledge that I have rough seasons just like everyone else.  I’m saying all of that to say this, if you ever start to feel like you are the only one going through the terrible two’s, or like you’re the only mother with a child who is struggling in school, or perhaps you feel like you’re not a good keeper of the home, you are not alone.  I would encourage you to reach out to someone who can help you, or at least point you in the right direction to get the help that you need. You are not less than because you’re having trouble dealing with stress or the pressures of this life. You are simply human. In our own strength we can do very little.

I don’t know where I would be if it had not been for the Lord who was on my side. I would have been lost, I could have been dead, or worse I could have been in Hell lifting up my eyes, forever separated from the one true God. My connection to God has been my rock, whenever I feel weary. In addition to my relationship with God, I also have some awesome and amazing women in my life that are only a phone call away. I can reach out to them and feel confident that they’re going to give me some sound, and wise counsel.

I think that the hardest part of admitting that we need help or that we’re struggling in a really bad way is that we’re afraid of what, “people,” will say about us. Friends, don’t allow the potential voices of criticism stop you from getting what you need to help you heal or be restored. I have found out the hard way that those people that I am so afraid of can not save me, or deliver me from trouble. The only one who can do that is the Lord above. I find comfort in talking to my trusted friends, going to Mommy support groups at my local church, or even by calling my family members who can tell me about how I was as a child. Sometimes my perspective is just skewed because I’m not looking at my child through the eyes of grace.

If any of you reading this article feel like you need to talk to someone about your own mental health I encourage you to call Mental Health America 1-800-969-6642. I also would direct you to www.womenshealth.gov where you can find the number that I listed above, as well as several other phone number that might help you get in touch with the right people who can help you overcome whatever battles you might be fighting.

Have a Blessed week and I hope yo reach back and help someone who might not be where you are right now. Help someone else get over the hump this week!

The Insignificant Momma

Even though I am an adult and I know that what I do is important and necessary, I still struggle with the feeling insignificant. I don’t know I this is normal or stay-at-home mom’s, women or mothers in general. I think I get so locked in to the daily grind of cooking cleaning, laundry, and picking up children running them to and fro, that I just start to lose my self importance in the act of caring or my family.

It’s funny because I can’t tell you when it started or at one point I decided to throw myself off the family schedule so that I could give that to someone more important, it just happened. I think as I had more children and more and more of my time was required to care for them I just stopped thinking about myself. I recently went to the nail salon for the first time in like eight years!! I know what have I been doing with my life? Well I was having babies, breastfeeding, potty training, surviving deployments, PCSing, and repeat!

I was building the foundation of my family and a strong foundation is critical to any marriage. I threw myself into my role as a wife and a mother wholeheartedly. The best way to sum up what I’m trying to say is with the words of Viola Davis’s character in the movie she says that her husbands personality is so big that he filled up the whole house and then she went on to say something like. “that was my first mistake, I should have made him leave some room for me.”

Wow!!! Those words hit my like a ton of  bricks! In my desire to be a perfect wife and a perfect mother I gave myself up totally and completely to the point that I had let no more room in my life to care for myself. It left me with a void that I ignored and the more that I ignored myself the more insignificant I became to myself.

For example, if I was shopping and I had something in the shopping cart for myself, the kids and Hubby, and I thought whoa, this shopping trip is getting to expensive, I would never put back what I had in the cart for them, I would easily pick myself as the one to eliminate. I learned somewhere along the way that the mark of a great mother is one who puts her self last. I seem to think that a great mother is constantly sacrificing herself and her own happiness for her family. It pains me to admit that I saw my very own mother do this and I admire her so much that I have patterned my parenting style after her example. The thing that I always try to say to myself whenever I catch myself eliminating myself is, “your mother died at 42 because she never made herself enough of a priority.”

Now that’s not a completely accurate statement, but it is partially true. The doctor’s said that she had been suffering with what was later diagnosed as Colon Cancer for at least ten years. Whenever people asked her why she hadn’t gone to the doctor sooner, she would laugh and say,”I was too busy taking care of my girls.” I love my mother so much, but it scares me to think that I could be just like her in that way.  I realize that I’m not okay with being unimportant anymore. I want to be relevant, and I need to make time to pursue things other than my daily Momma grind. I have come to realize that I need hobbies and girl time, work out classes and coffee dates, even though I hate coffee! I need other interest in my life that make me feel important.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post, and I hope that I inspired you to go and do something that makes you smile or even laugh.

Work Hard Work

It’s been a long time since I was a little kid, and even longer since I tried to pull a fast one on my parents.  Unfortunately, I did try to sneak a few things past my parents once or twice. (Wink, wink!) As you know I have three boys and two girls and my middle son is my payback!! This little cutie is only in the first grade, but he never seems to tire of trying to sneak things past me.

I recently followed my God given motherly intuition about something that I felt was odd, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. It’s a very long story, but to make it shorter I will say it basically boils down to him leaving out some key parts of the truth to me about his school work and I found out everything after some mom investigation skills. Okay, I called the teacher and got his little brother to spill the beans!

Anyway as I was talking to his teacher we came to the conclusion that Daniel, my middle son, wants to do a better job with his school work, but he hasn’t made the correlation yet between hard work and success. Thankfully, he’s seven so he still has time to figure these things out, but it made me think about myself.

When do we actually grasp the concept of hard work paying off? How old were you when you made the connection that if you worked hard for something or to learn something that it would get you to where you wanted to go in life? I think for me it happened kinda late, I was a junior in high school and my Mom had just died and I felt like I had been abandon, like I had no home. All of a sudden going to college and paying for it, became a huge priority for me. Sadly, prior to that college was definitely an option, but I had no real sense of urgency about applying to different schools. I was just so focused on having fun that I wasn’t thinking of having a future.

I think that what bothers me the most about my son goofing off is that I don’t want him to be like me. I want all of my children to be better than I was. I think of all the things that caused me pain or all the times I made mistakes, and I want my children to avoid the landmines that I stepped on.  I hope that I’m a living example of a hard working human being. I want them to look at my husband and me and strive to be better than us.

What’s your concept of hard work paying off? I want to hear when you decided to work hard for something that you really wanted and it paid off for you.

A Quote To Live By

“I can really lose momentum when I start focusing on how much instead of how well.” Karen Harmon.

I heard this quote by Karen Harmon on Christine Caine’s Instagram page and I immediately grabbed a hold to it! I am that person who tends to measure myself by the numbers, what I mean by that is if a lot of people come out to support me I think I did well. If not a lot of people come out to support me then I tend to see myself as a failure.

In some cases it’s how much weight did I lose that measures my success or how much money I have in my bank account or how many hours of sleep I got that decide if I have a good day or a bad day. When I heard Karen Harmon say that we need to focus on how well instead of how much, it was like I heard angels singing.  What if instead of focusing on how many people, how much money, or how many hours, I focused on how well I slept, or how well the people who did come out showed me love and support? I know for a fact that I would be a much happier person.

I do think on some level this is just another way of saying focus on the positive or be grateful for what we do have, but I love the way she said it! When I really think about it, there have been so many times when I did not allow myself to enjoy certain moments in my life because I was too focused on how much or how many to even see how well something was going.

For example at my book launch party I was expecting about 15 to 20 ladies to come. I was so excited, I got a great venue and I picked out the right outfit, my hair was perfect, my makeup looked great, but only two people came! At first I was crushed, but then I decided that my family of seven plus two more was all I needed and we had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. Those two ladies were my example of how well and not how much.

There is an example in the bible where God demonstrates the concept of how well and not how much, and it’s brilliant. Now honestly, there are several examples of God using a little to accomplish a lot, but I’m only going to talk about one today.

To briefly summarize the book of Judges chapter seven, we’re probably all familiar with the story, but God tells Gideon that he has too many men. He told him that he needs to make his army smaller so that when he wins everyone will know that God did it and not them.  I’m sure we all remember how God fought for them and confounded the enemy. And yet, the focus was not on how many men, but how well our God loved his people.

How many times have we stopped to think about the many times that God has used a little to deliver us from so much? Perhaps we can each think back to a time when God used a seemingly small thing to lift our spirits or let us know that he was with us, and protecting us?

Let’s always remember that we don’t need a lot to be relevant or successful. God doesn’t need us to have a large bank account or a huge army to be victorious. I will often say to my children and my husband whenever we start to feel inadequate or inferior , gain is not Godliness. That means that the abundance of earthly/worldly treasures does not mean that God is with me and not with a person who has less than me. The thing about storing up our treasures in earthly things is that in a moment, those things can be gone.

I understand more and more that if I continue to equate my value to home much, I will have no value at all. It’s not about how much I have, but how well. How well I am loved, how well I am living every day of the year instead of how many days I call a good day. It’s about how well I live every minute of every hour of each day that God gives me.

I leave you with this thought; you may have many long days, but the years will be short. Always remember to live them well.

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