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.

I noticed that I have a couple of new followers, so I invite you to say hello in the comments! Thanks for stopping by!