The Best kind of Opposition

I have a confession to make: I work better under pressure. There I said it, and unfortunately it’s true. I just seem to turn out my best work when my back is against the wall and I’m up against an impossible deadline. As much as I try to change that habit, I just can’t seem to get rid of it completely. I really wish that I could say that I do some of my best work when I take the time to plan everything out and check and re-check everything, but that’s only half true.

For as long as I can remember I have always seem to attack things with more vigor and more passion if I was facing some type of opposition.  Having someone doubt my abilities ,or question whether or not I have what it takes to reach my goal really lights a match under me.

About three or four years ago I made a decision to get back into the shape that I was in, before I had my baby. I started going to this really challenging HIT, High Intensity, Training workout class and boy was it fun. Now, I don’t consider myself a very competitive person, but what I found out about myself is that with the proper amount of opposition I can become very competitive. There was  woman in my work out class who, for whatever reason, seem to always be in competition with me.  Our instructor would have us split up into two separate groups every class and we would be like teams playing against one another just for fun of course. I started to kind of pick up on this, but I thought that it was just me. However, during a race between our two teams I happened to beat her and she took it really hard and made some comments that confirmed my suspicions.

In her mind I was her opposition, I was the person that she chose to compete against. As you can imagine, I was a little shocked at first but then I decided to really pick it up and beat her. The funny thing is she made me work harder and I made her work harder.  What is my point you might ask sometimes having some opposition can cause you to work harder and do a better job. It’s like saying there is a, “healthy competition,” between you and someone else. I noticed that I was losing more weight, getting stronger and running much faster because I was trying to be better than my opposition.  When she upped her level of work, it caused me to raise the level of my effort. I don’t think for one second that she genuinely hated me or anything malicious, but I do think that she was motivated by my drive and hard work. The blessing is that because of us working hard to best each other, we both ended up benefiting.

For some people it might not be a similar situation, only with work or school. The truth is some of us just perform at a higher level when we have someone opposing us, pushing us to be better than we ever thought we could be. Would you say you perform better under pressure? Do you find that when you have some one coming against you that yo work harder, or are you your own competition?  Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!

Live and Learn

I’m a firm believer in learning from my mistakes. In fact, the older I get the more I realize that you can sometimes learn more from making a mistake, than you can from doing everything right. However, I admit that I have a hard time accepting the fact that my children need to make mistakes in order to better understand things as well. I want to protect them and keep them safe from harm, because I don’t want them to ever feel the pain that comes along  with some mistakes.

I heard someone giving a speech and of course she was taking the time to thank her parents. One thing that she did that made me really pay attention was, she thanked her parents for allowing her to make her own mistakes. Wow!! That grabbed me because I don’t know that I can say that about how I’m parenting my children. I asked myself point blank, “Am I allowing my children to make their own mistakes?” I feel that the answer is no, I am not.

This is a good time for all you experienced Momma’s out there can chime in and give me some advice. I worry so much I think, because I know that this is an evil world that we live in today. I think because of that, I let fear cause me to worry too much sometimes. When my kids ask me if they can go to the park with their friends or if they can walk over to another part of the neighborhood to play with some friends I always say no. It’s just a natural reaction for me to say no way. The problem is my kids aren’t little babies anymore, their growing up and pretty soon they’ll be pre-teens and teenagers. I honestly want my children to grow up healthy and happy. I have dreams of them graduating from high school and college. I can’t imagine how I’m going to get that point though.

I realize that if I don’t step back and let them learn somethings on their own, we may have some bumps in the road that could have been avoided. In my mind I know that making mistakes is a key component sometimes for significant growth, but in my heart I feel like I just can’t bear them being hurt. I don’t want them to go through what I did, to learn important lessons.

I would love it if you ladies would leave your words of wisdom in the comment section. Even if you have younger children leave your thoughts on this topic and let’s talk about it together.

Stuff Moms say at the Park

Good Day to you all! I’m writing this after coming in from the park and I just had to sit down and share about what a good time I had at the park with you ladies today. I took my youngest two to the park and when we got there it wasn’t too busy, but more people came and we all eventually started talking. Turns out almost all the Moms there had four or more kids, which is rare. As we were all talking some really funny stories were told and some lessons learned too.

Of course we got to talking about our experiences while being pregnant, and wow were they all funny! One Mom described a spitting condition that she developed, only while being pregnant, that caused her to have to carry around a spit cup! I told of how I had terrible gas during pregnancy that caused me to burp and pas gas all the time! One Mom described how her cravings for ice cream from Disney Land made her go several times a month just to get her fix! All the while watching our children and saying things like, “We only go down the slide not up, You can share the toy, and please take turns going down the slide.”

The thing that I found the most comforting is that we each came from different backgrounds and had different life experiences, but we still had more in common than would have thought before we started talking to each other. It would have been easy to just ignore each other or pretend that we had it all together, but I’m so glad that didn’t happen. You don’t have to look very far in this world to find some negative report about any given topic. However, it’s always nice to find that this world is full of good people who are just like you. Hardworking, loving, moms and dads doing the best they can to raise their children to be positive contributing members of society one day.

We chatted for about an hour while our kids played and I’m glad that I had that I had that opportunity this morning. The words that we spoke to each other were meant to encourage and strengthen one another. None of us were being vocally judgmental and that made it feel even more laid back. Have you ever had a surprisingly awesome outing and you just had to tell somebody?

Let’s hear about it in the comments! we always share our negative encounters with rude people, let’s share the positive ones today!

Open House

I think that I mentioned before that I homeschooled my children until this 2016 school year. Three of my sweet little  ones started school this past August and they absolutely love it so much! They only have about two weeks of school left before summer break so things are slowly coming to an end at school. Tonight happen to be open house night and we got to go to each classroom and look at all our children’s work. It was really a fun time for the whole family. Our children were all so excited, even our upcoming Kindergardener!

The thing that we kept hearing from each and every adult that we spoke to, was how wonderful our children are. They went on and on about how well behaved they were, and what a privilege it was to have them in their classroom. We actually scheduled several playdates, and exchanged phone numbers with lots of Moms and Dads. It was an odd feeling really, people liked us because of our children. When we got home tonight my husband and I just kind of looked at eachother, like what’s going on here?

I have always felt that my children represent my husband and me, so I try to make sure they look nice and use good manners.  I just never really experienced people liking me because of my children. As a parent, I felt so proud of my children. More than that though, I felt like that must be how God feels when people see our light and they want to know Him. The bible says in Matthew5:16kjv “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  On my best days, I’ve had people come up to me and ask me if I was a Christian, or ask me questions about God. Until today though, I never really fully understood what that scripture meant.

I understand the joy of that scripture now, I get why Jesus said people will see or good works and glorify the father instead of the child. When people see my children(who are not always perfectly well behaved, dressed or mannered.) using good manners or showing respect to their teachers; they know that these children are only doing what they have been taught to do, or seen modeled by their parents. As adults and parents we understand that children do not come into this world pre-programed to use good manners, wash their face or brush their teeth!  We know that the real force behind good children are good parents. Being a good parent doesn’t mean that you always do everything right! It just means that we follow the model that God has modeled to us, his children.

Truth be told unlike God, I am not a perfect parent! I try my hardest to do every thing that I know to do, but I’m only human. However, when these people talk about my children they always end by saying that they think that I’m a good Mother. As much as I love getting compliments, and hearing how awesome I am I know that it’s really just Christ in me, the hope of glory. Just like they see the light in my children, their seeing my light shine. I am careful to give God the praise because all I’m doing is what he taught me, or modeled for me in His word. I’m so excited about their future and what God has in store for them. I want them to be successful and walk in their purpose, but I also want to keep them little.

When I look at my youngest and I see how much she has grown I get a little teary eyed. I remember when she was a few days old, and I was exhausted from labor and sleepless nights. I thought, “Oh my God I can’t wait until she sleeps through the night!”  Truth be told on really long, hard days I have thoughts like, “I can’t wait until nap time or bed time!” Hannah’s kindergarten classroom at her very first open house.

I feel all mushy today and I would love for yo guys to leave a comment about how your children make you proud. Let’s grab the tissues and cry together!

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

When you read the title what was the first thought that popped into your head?  What was the situation that you thought of immediately? I would like to suggest to you that whatever you thought of first, if you thought of something that is, that you should move on from that and get on with your life. Yes, I said it, move on from that failure, that mistake, or that disappointment! It could even be a past success story that yo still think about all the time. Now please know that I think we should celebrate our success and take time to appreciate what God has done for me, but I also know that if we stay in that moment whether it be good or bad, we can stifle our growth.

I recently decided, as you might remember, to move on from some things that I had been holding on to so tightly. It was just so traumatic for me that I didn’t get what I been praying for that I just felt absolutely lost and hopeless. I didn’t know what to look forward to, or how to proceed next. I felt like if I don’t have this to hold on to the who am I? To be super honest I had a bit of a withdrawal. For a little while it was a real struggle for me to actually come to terms with the thought that I would have to dream a new dream, find a new path to travel. In a lot of ways it’s like a break up with someone you deeply love. You have to allow yourself to grieve for a little bit, but then you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off, and get back out there.

At some point you have to start surrounding yourself with people who love you and wan to see you do well. You need the support of your friends and family, because yo need wise council to help you see that there is life after a break up with your dream. I always hear people say, “You just have to find a new dream,” or “I’m sure there’s something else you like.” Unfortunately, that can be very difficult to do without someone there to cheer you on and push you when you stop to have a pity party.

I’ve been spending a lot more time praying and turning to God. I realize now just how easy it is to worship the creation, instead of the Creator. It’s so easy to allow what we want to be come the object of our desire. We focus on it more than anything, think about it all the time, and pretty soon it’s not even about doing the will of God anymore it’s about having exactly what we want.

It eventually got to the point where I wasn’t even after God anymore. I believe I had stumbled, and I was just trying to do everything within my power to make what  I was praying for happen. It’s funny how we start to think that God needs our help. It’s actually laughable that we would try to help God.  What I’ve learned is that we never need to help God. If we have to help God perform His promises in our lives then He wouldn’t be God. I also had to come to terms with the hard truth that maybe it was time for me to find a new dream, a new goal. I had to open myself up to dreaming a new dream, and believeing that I could find something else to hope for again.

I know that it can be really hard to move on from something that you’ve spent so much time praying for or working towards, but sometimes in life we have to accept that something is just not going to happen. However, I have found that there can be an upside to letting go of something. We can find out what we really love or what we’re not t focused on, but that we excel at or do extremely well. If I had never decide to let go of my old dream I would have never wrote my first book, which is currently in the process of being published.  I don’t know that my book will be everything that I want it to be, but I’m hopeful and I believe that it will. I had to open up my heart again to the possibility of failing, or not achieving my goals again and I’m so glad I did. I had to move on to something else, and I decided to have a positive outlook about my future. Even if everything doesn’t turn out the way that I want, I’m not putting my trust in a job, or a book selling well. No, I have decided to put my trust in God and Him alone!

I want to hear how you guys deal with moving on from things that never happen for you, in your professional life or your personal life? How long did you grieve for what could have been? Was it hard for you to admit that you might not never get what yo were praying for? Finally, I really want to know if you were angry at God when you realized that you weren’t going to get what you thought God wanted for you to have?

The Blow out Diaper

As you  know I have a baby still in diapers and I’m sure every mom looks forward to the day when your child is no longer in them!  Now, if when she gets older she may or may not care that I discussed her dirty diapers on the internet, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!  My sweet little lady is a very regular girl. When she eats, it’s not a very long wait for a diaper change. However, for a whole two days she went without a single dirty diaper. At first I didn’t think it was a big deal because I thought she would just go later on in the day, but as the day turned into night I actally started checking to see if she had finally done her dirty business.  Each time I checked, there was nothing there. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with her, no fever, she was playing happily. Then the next day, and still no dirty diaper. My little girl was making me nervous, I thought that I might have to take her to see the doctor.

Then just before we took her upstairs to put her in bed we smelt something stinky! I took her to my bathroom because I had a sneaking suspicion that this was going to be  BLOW OUT! I was right, it was so dirty that the only thing left for me to do was to clean her off and then give her a bath! Obviously she slept very well that night. Isn’t it funny how our lives are sometimes like those blow out diapers. Everything is fine and then all of a sudden we have a blow out and all the nasty, stinky, dirty things that have been clogging us up and weighing us down come charging out!

I know potty talk is not a comfortable, but her diaper just made me think of all the times in my life that I had a blow out in my personal lives. I tend to suppress my feelings, or try to run away from things that make me upset. I don’t know why, but I always seem to hide how I feel when something is bothering me. The really bad part is I tend to completely lose it over the most insignificant things. I don’t actually know that there  is a dignified way to have a crazy breakdown and ugly cry, but I can say that I always feel co much better afterwards.

I bet I’m not the only one who feels good after I let everything that I have bottled up and try to suppress. The truth is sometimes it’s easier for me to deny that I’m feeling something, than to express how I really feel. As good as it may feel to finally, get it all out.” I do realize that there is a better way to communicate how I’m feeling or when I’m overwhelmed.

I would love to know if you ladies ever have a blow out type of situation, where everything just explodes and you have to clean up the mess afterwards? Do you guys have any tips on how to handle emotions, so that we don’t allow things to fester? I really would love your feed back!  I want to mention that I’m testing out the idea of only posting twice a week. I post three times a week normally, but I’m considering doing video post on Wednesday to replace my written blog post. I haven’t made any final discussions just yet so let me know if you guys think you might like to see a video discussion post once or twice a month.

Me Time vs. Alone Time

Moms all over the world are talking about having Me Time and Alone Time, but what does this really mean?  I want to talk about that in today’s blog because I feel like there is a huge difference between the two. Being alone doesn’t always equal Me Time ladies. Sometimes being alone is just that, you are by yourself. However, you’re not spending any actual quality time building yourself up, or loving on yourself. In my opinion, Me Time is when you actually take time out of your busy schedule to do things for yourself.  Whether that’s working out, getting your hair done or spending time with God you should be focused on doing things that will create positive change in your life . The key is you focus on building yourself up, making your self better, or taking a time out so that you can recharge yourself.

We as Mom’s do so much for everyone else that it can seem almost impossible to make time specifically for ourselves. I have a good friend who works out everyday, and she told me for her that time is sacred to her. She uses that time to get centered and focus on things that she wants to accomplish, goals that she has set for her day, week, or month. She also told me something that I actually found to be very true. She said that she uses that time to talk to God, so not only is she taking care of her natural body but she is taking care of her spiritual body as well.

Now, that’s not to say that we don’t need to have time alone! That would be a crazy thing to say. Alone time is also a key component to maintaining your sanity and for resting. I sometimes feel like my days are just so long that I need time to myself where no one is calling my name, or giggling in the background. I will even ride in the car sometimes without the radio playing.  Why, you may ask? I just need peace and quiet. It makes me feel better when I can just collect my thoughts and focus on getting things done without my sweet children driving me crazy!

I just want to challenge you to reexamine the quality of the time you spend alone. Is it really time where you are focusing on yourself and building you up, or are you simply getting some much needed quiet time? Hopefully this question won’t cause you to much distress, but I think we have to make sure we’re not cheating ourselves when it comes to how you spend your Me Time.

I would love to hear how you ladies spend your Me Time? I have to be honest and say that I don’t get enough Me Time. I have been getting more Alone Time than Me Time, but all that is going to change for me soon.  Okay share your stories in the comments friends!

Happy Mother’s Day

This Friday I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a traditional post. Instead I have a question for you ladies. I would like for you all to share a memory that yo have of your mother. It can be from childhood or adulthood. It can be your fondest memory or something that opened your eyes to what life was really like. Let’s honor our Mother’s with this post. I’ll share one first.

I remember that my Mother always loved music, whether she was singing or listening music was a staple in our house. I actually feel like I have a sound track to my life because of it. Now that my mother is no longer here with me, I can go and play a certain song and I feel like I travel back in time. I feel like certain songs cause me to be with her again.

I can honestly say I never knew how important she was until she wasn’t there anymore. I miss her so much now that I’m a mother myself.

Okay, now it’s your turn to share a memory. Let me hear it in the comment section!

We all have a Choice

Today, I woke up late, and I left my jump drive at the FedEx store, and my baby has had three outfit changes today, due to blowout diapers! I’m waiting on something really important to come in the mail and as you might have guessed it’s not here yet! I have been having one of those days that just make me feel like I’m losing when I should be winning. It just so happened that my little sister called me not long after I walked through the door from picking up my children from school. As you might have guessed my sister and I are not just sisters, we’re best friends. It’s the best term I can use to describe our relationship, she is truly the friend that I grew up with who knows all about me and still loves me.

We started talking and of course she could hear in my vice that I was irritated and frustrated about something. However, as we began to talk it came out that I was actually worried about one thing and it was spilling over into everything else. isn’t it funny how we allow the little foxes to spoil the vines? Once it came out what I was truly irritated about I immediately felt silly for allowing that little thing to bother me all day.

My sister, in her infinite wisdom, listen to me complain and then she said to me, “You just have to chose to be happy no matter what because you do have a choice you know.” I thought wow, she’s right I can choose to be happy instead of frustrated. We talked about it a little more and it all made sense to me. Not only did it make sense to me it  inspired me to want to do it right away. Why spend another second being upset about things that are only temporary or beyond my control?

One thing led to another and we moved from topic to another until we each had to get off the phone and go be wives and mothers respectively. Nevertheless, he words about having to chose to be happy no matter what the circumstances kept ringing in my ears. I want to have that, I want joy that is so accessible to me that I can make the decision that no matter how my day. Then it dawned on me that in the presence of the Lord is the fullness of joy.(pssalms16:11) I started thinking about scriptures that made me feel happy and that lifted my spirits when I was feeling down.

I opened my mouth and just started thanking God for all the many blessings He’s given me and I started to feel better. When I focus on all the good things, all the blessings and the incredible opportunities that God has given me and my family it’s impossible for me to feel like I’m having a bad day.

My sister helped me to see that whatever you focus on is what you magnify. Spending all day choosing to magnify the problems instead of the problem solver only make me conscious of my issues and not the fact that even when I’m having a bad day I still have more than enough to be thankful for today.

I’m sure you guys have days like me where you only want to complain about how nothing is going your way? Those days seem to come in groups don’t they, sometimes you’ll have a whole week that just seems to be awful, but then you have good days when yo feel on top of the world. How do you guys handle the ups and the downs of life? What are your favorite scriptures to speak in tough times and hard days? Let me know in the comments!

Remember the Times

I would definitely consider myself a sentimental person! I absolutely love looking back at pictures and old home videos of the good old days. Although I should warn you, I am one of those people who thinks that the decade that I was a teenager was the best one ever.(whew, now that I got that out the way.)  I have such good memories from childhood, adolescence and coming of age in the late 90s. Of course it wasn’t all good times, but I think the overall tone of my life growing up was very positive.

I was looking back at some pictures of when I was first married and pregnant with my children and I could not believe the things that I thought about myself at the time those pictures were taken. I remember thinking that my situation would never change, or that I would always be dealing with whatever issue I thought was so important. The funny thing is now, I can laugh about those test and trials that had me feeling defeated or under siege. I can smile about how heartbroken I was because the boy that I was crushing on, totally shot me down. I’m actually  grateful that my first serious boyfriend broke my heart, because if he hadn’t I would have never gotten to know my husband.

We hear it all the time,” everything happens for a reason.”  I would like to submit to you that the reason is directly linked to the will of God! He has a plan for our lives and nothing happens to us by accident. I bet if you look back on some of the worst times of your life, some times when you felt the greatest pain, that you can smile now because out of that trial you came out stronger.

It’s because of our memories that we can get through tough situations we face in life. when we remember just how much God has already done for us, we began to draw strength from our knowledge that we’ve lived through worse. When things feel too hard for me and I start to feel like I can’t handle another test, I just remember that test build testimonies. You don’t need me to tell you that God will never put more on you than you can bare, but please let me tell you that anyway. God made us more than conquerors through Christ!  We can do all things through Christ, even the hard things, even the things that make us feel like we might die.

When we’re in the fight, struggling to keep the faith even when things feel like they might not turn out right for us, remember the good times. Think on the things that are of a good report and bring joy. Remember to remember all the many ways God brought you out before and caused you to triumph over the enemy. No matter what the situation is or what you’re up against if God has delivered you before he can do it again! Every now and again we need to be reminded of how faithful God is to his people. We need to be reminded that God not only love us but that he is holding us in the palm of his hands. He knows how many hairs he we have on our head, this does not sound like a God who doesn’t plan well does it? There are no surprise battles with God, things aren’t popping up on him, because he didn’t think of the tiniest details. We can rest assured that God will never leave us or forsake us, we’re all the apple of his eye.  Every cry and every prayer that we make to Him with a broken and contrite heart will be answered and he will draw closer to us because of it.(psalm34:18)

I just want to encourage whoever may be reading this to remember the good times. Remember all the ways that God delivered you and brought you out when you didn’t see a way at all. Think back on how awesome God is and how well He knows what you’re going through. Don’t allow fear or uncertainty creep in and whisper things to your mind that will cause you to doubt if God is listening to your prayers. God is listening and He knows all about your situation. God has not forsaken you, He trust you to overcome this test, with flying colors.

Finally, rest well tonight my friends. God’s got everything under control. One day we’re going to look back at these things and smile at how God did exceedingly and abundantly above all we ever thought He could.