Daily Life And Purpose


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Can I be completely honest with you? I struggle most days to get out of bed. It’s no secret that my depression has a little to do with it, but I don’t think that is the only reason. On a daily basis it is easy for me to wonder what my purpose is. I am very blessed by the life that I have. I am married to a wonderful husband, we have 4 amazing kids, and I get the privilege to stay at home full-time. Even after all of that, I still struggle with purpose. I want to share a little of what Jesus has been teaching me through all of this.

Isn’t it exciting when you have something to look forward to? The anticipation of what is coming is one of my favorite things. Waiting can seem long, but then whatever it is I was waiting for is finally here! Then in a flash it is either gone, over, or the excitement wears off because I already have what I was waiting for. Instead of appreciating what I received or experienced, I usually am looking around to see what else I have to look forward to. The next big thing.

If it wasn’t clear enough, there is a pattern. I have been spending years living for the next big thing. It may not seem significant to others, but whatever I have been waiting for seems big to me. Whether it is something coming in the mail, an event, the end of something, or waiting for something to begin, I have been living for what happens next. In the middle of it all, I have been missing out. My daily life has been happening before me, and I am not participating. I am really good at zoning out with my phone, watching television, or anything else that keeps my attention until I receive my next buzz from what I am looking forward to. So much is happening around me. Missed opportunities because my focus has been on the wrong thing. Jesus is where my focus should be. From when I get up to when I go to sleep, I should be walking with him. Here is where life is.

It’s been painful. I am not good at being present in daily life. I am not good being still. But if I don’t break the cycle of always waiting for the next big thing, I am going to miss out on my own life. I don’t want to do that anymore.

When I am focused on Jesus, I am not always wondering what my purpose is, or looking for fulfillment. All of this rests in him. It might seem too good to be true, or too simple; but from my experience I have not found it elsewhere. I do have dreams and goals that I hope to accomplish, but my purpose is to live my daily life with Jesus.

I am not perfect at doing this, but I feel that each day I get better at it. Like with any other habit, the more you put it into practice, the more it becomes part of your life. He is what I have always been looking for.

I’m not sure where you are at, but I’d encourage you to start involving Jesus more in your every day life. Life is best lived with Jesus. Learn to be present in your daily life with him.

Your Words And Your Marriage


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Adam and I have been married for almost 15 years now. Although we still have much to learn, it has been long enough to learn some pretty important lessons along the way. We are in one of the sweetest seasons of our marriage. I thank God for the marriage we have, but it isn’t perfect. If there is one thing that I could share with you today, it is how important your words are. When you to speak to your spouse, about them to others, and to your children; how you talk will affect your marriage one way or another.

Adam and I were lucky enough to grow up in homes where our parents both have had good marriages. One of the best things we have seen is how they treat each other, and talk about one another. I know Adam would say that his parents have modeled what it looks like to speak kindly about each other, and to one another. And I can say the same thing about my parents. You can tell that there is mutual respect for each other in their marriages. One of my favorite things to hear is my mom say how great she thinks my dad is. Even what is unsaid can present a good picture of how a person feels about another.

In the first two years of our marriage is when I learned the most about how important my words were. While my husband was in graduate school, I had to work full-time. At one of my first jobs, I worked mainly with a bunch of other ladies. When there was down time, of course there would be talking, sometimes it wasn’t so nice. I can remember one subject that was discussed fairly often, and that was husbands. When this topic did come up, it seemed to be mostly complaining or putting their significant others down. I am usually a quiet person anyway, so I didn’t add much to the conversation to begin with, but I can just remember how hard it was to not join in on the husband bashing. Being newly married, I just couldn’t understand why they would want to talk this way about their spouses. I get it that no one is perfect, but I do know that our spouses do not deserve to be thrown under the bus by the most important person in their life. There is a time and a place to to air your frustrations, but I guarantee it isn’t with a group of people when your spouse is not there. So most of the time I just sat silent, not wanting to participate in the conversations.

As the years have gone by, it has gotten a bit harder to keep my words in check. We disagree on things, kids are thrown in the mix, and the feelings aren’t always constant. But the thing that has helped me the most is being aware of the fact that no matter what, I need to respect my spouse. I believe that it shows my level of respect in the words I use. It has not been easy. I have failed at it, but I have learned. Honestly, I have not been able to do it on my own. It is with the help of Jesus that I can even do it. I have learned that I need to talk to the Lord first about my frustrations, and process them with him first. He helps me deal with my feelings that might otherwise come out in harmful words. Even for the sake of my kids, it has helped me to bring Jesus into it. When I am not so overwhelmed with feelings, I can be aware of the words that I am saying. But this is something that I have had to practice at.

Can I just tell you that even when it is hard, it is worth it? When you learn to be careful with your words, it makes such a difference. Your spouse will feel more loved and respected. If you have kids, they will feel more secure seeing the respect you have for each other. They will learn how important it is in a marriage. And think of the ways that you will make an impact on others by what you say or don’t say. If you are the only one in a group who is not bashing their spouse, they will notice, and wonder what is different about you. You might even provide encouragement for them to work harder at their relationship.

Just remember, it may not come naturally, but you get better at it over time. Ask Jesus to help you control your words. He is faithful to provide.

Don’t Go It Alone


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Awhile ago I had a moment where I felt like I was in a dark place, and had hit the bottom. I go through seasons where my depression can affect me a little more, and I can feel helpless. At my lowest all I could do was ask Jesus to help me. But honestly, I didn’t tell anyone about it.

Here’s why I share this:

I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, so please don’t take it as that. I’m doing well. I share this only because it’s human to go through times where we feel like we have hit bottom. These times should not make us feel guilt, isolation, and shame. It is something that needs to be dealt with. More people than we realize are going through dark places alone, and that’s not how it should be. We need to let Jesus and other people into these places to bring the light in.

It took me a couple days, and it was hard, but I admitted my low point to a friend. Then a couple weeks after, as sad as this sounds, I finally told my husband. One of the first things he told me was, “you can share this kind of thing with me when you’re struggling.” And that is how it should be! Don’t go through these things alone, even if it is the hardest thing you have to do, do it with someone you trust. Or seek out a counselor! You are so loved, you need a person to walk through this with you, whatever your darkest moment is.

I stand on the other side of my hard place telling you, you can get through it. Even if you are crawling, move forward somehow! Cry out to Jesus. He will help you. Let others in on your pain. There is healing in admitting it to others. Especially when you have any sort of negative or destructive thoughts. Speak it so it can be dealt with.

Finally, remember that Jesus is always with you. It has been such a comfort to me to know that I can talk to him whenever I need to. That he gives me strength when I need it, and will never fail me.

Don’t go it alone. Please. You are loved. Bring others in on your pain.

Dealing With Grief


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Grief has always been something that I have associated with losing a loved one. It is a new thing for me that it might have a place in my every day life, and that going through the process of grieving might actually lead to me being more healthy spiritually and emotionally. It is not a comfortable thing, and it requires you to deal with the hard stuff. You have to sit in it, realize the loss, and process it before Jesus. It requires me to feel, which is something I am not very good at.

I would call myself a stuffer. If I am feeling something uncomfortable, I don’t like to deal with it. Its  too hard. So what do I do? I ignore the fact that I am feeling what I am feeling, and I shove it deep  down inside and pretend that it isn’t there. Phrases like “I’m fine” are very common for me. But there is only so much of that you can do. Eventually it does come back up to the surface, and not in ways that I am usually proud of. I either blow up at my loved ones, or it comes out as an irrational reaction to something small. Neither of these reactions are good for the people involved, or for me. Feelings get hurt, and regret is what I feel after acting the way I did. I need a change. A healthier way of dealing with hurt or loss.

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and the general message coming across to me was to be an emotionally healthy person, we need to be able to process what we are feeling. If these feelings are left unresolved, it can lead to unhealthy relationships, and I believe being an unhealthy emotional person in daily life as well.

When we experience a loss in our lives, whether a relationship, job, we have moved, had a major life change, etc.; we need to grieve. Its okay to feel the feelings that come along with the experience. Not that we stay in this place forever, but we allow ourselves to process through all that comes with the loss. This can be such a hard thing to do especially if you are someone like me who doesn’t like being emotional, or doesn’t like to feel.

Grieving doesn’t have to be done alone. We can share how we are doing with those we are close to, but mainly learning to share it with Jesus is the best. Jesus is always there, and he can handle all that comes with our processing. He can handle all the ugly, emotions, anger, sadness, and hurt that comes with it. And when we are done sharing it with him, I believe that is when the healing can begin. It may take some time, but he can take those hurting places that we have and mend them. He can make our heart whole again, and cover it in his loving hands until it is completely healed. That means we are going to have to trust him during the process too. But I promise that it will be worth it in the end.

Don’t be afraid of the process of grieving. If you do it with Jesus, you can get through it to the other side and not get stuck.

When Your Appearance Gets In The Way


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One thing I have been thinking about lately is how do I value myself? To be more specific, how do I talk about myself? A habit I am guilty of is apologizing for how I look if I am not fully done up out in public, if I see someone I know. For some reason if I feel like the other person looks nicer than me, I feel like I should look better. Or more presentable. I don’t think I am the only one who struggles with this.

Why is my physical appearance such a big deal? Especially in front of others?

The truth is, there is no reason I should apologize for the way I look. Some places may require a certain dress code, but how I look was never meant to equal my value. There is nothing wrong with going out with no make-up on. I can be in public with sweats on, or go into a store after just being on a run. The real issue here is how I see myself.

I need to take inventory on where my worth is coming from, and be aware of how I speak about myself. Am I being kind when I talk about myself? Or putting myself down? And is my worth coming from who Jesus says I am? Or am I trying to achieve my worth in how I look?

Becoming aware of both of these issues will help me so much in the long run. I want to be free of things that will keep me from living the full life that Jesus has for me. What I am consumed by, is eventually what I spend my time on.

In this near year, I am praying for anyone else that needs to hear it. You are loved and cherished. Who you are is not a mistake. Even how you look is beautiful, whether you are done up or not. Become aware of how you treat yourself. You are more precious than you know.

When You Aren’t Your “Best Self” To Your Significant Other


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We’ve probably heard these verses before, right? These may even have been read at your wedding, or maybe you hope to have them read at your wedding one day. As lovely as these verses sound, it is often hard on a daily basis to live out what it says in 1 Corinthians. For some reason it can be the most important people in our lives who can get the worst parts of us. My husband and I can definitely name a time or two where we haven’t been our “best self” to each other.

For example, after a busy day when we are both worn out, probably isn’t going to be a time where we both are feeling like going the extra mile for the other. Plus combining 4 kids into the mixture only makes us that much more on edge. When you combine these factors, it almost creates the perfect storm for being unkind to one another. Words can be said, but taken wrong. Something might not be done up to expectations of the other. One wants to connect, the other wants to watch the news. Did we mention the kids that want your attention every single second? Especially in these moments, we need to call on Jesus to help us love. It seems impossible to do it on our own.

It’s not that we mean to, but especially being 2 imperfect people in a relationship(married, engaged, or dating) there are bound to be times when intentionally or not, we treat the other poorly.

How can we make sure that we are living out what it says in these verses, in relation to our significant other?

  1. Take inventory of how you are doing. Despite how I feel, how have I been treating my significant other lately? Go through each characteristic of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Have you been patient? Kind? Have you insisted on your own way lately? Or been irritable?

  2. How is your attitude toward your significant other most of the time? Regardless of the situation, do you always believe the best about them? Do you give them the benefit of the doubt?

  3. It can seem hard to love well all the time. When it does get difficult, pray and ask Jesus to help you. The nice thing is we don’t have to do it alone.

These suggestions are just a starting point, but I believe it can help us get on the right track to treating the special person in our lives how they should be treated. It is going to take some effort, but your relationship is worth fighting for!

Jesus, I thank you for the relationship that we have with our special someone. Although we care for them so much, it can be hard to love well. Teach us how to. Help us realize how special they are, and to not take them for granted. We are grateful for each gift you give us. Amen.

Depression: My Story


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Just yesterday I Iearned of the death of a pastor, who took his own life. Obviously it is heartbreaking when any life is lost, but when someone takes their own life it makes it much more painful. It can be hard to understand how one can get to that point, unless you struggle with similar things. Depression and anxiety are nothing to mess around with. It impacts your life to the point of not wanting to get out of bed, or even function. For me, it has been something that I have had to learn how to deal with.

I’m not sure when it all started. I can remember times in college that I struggled with anxiety to the point of making myself feel sick, or getting heartburn. I started following Jesus when I was a freshman in college, but even then it was still present.

Fast forward to having my first child. It was a huge life change in itself, but I remember I struggled with so many emotions. I knew I loved my child, but it didn’t feel like it. I struggled to like him most days. I called my doctor’s office and told them how I was feeling. They made sure I wasn’t going to harm myself or the baby in any way, and prescribed me an anti-depressant. The truth is, I never took it. I couldn’t get myself to do it. I thought it was somehow admitting that I was crazy.

After my first round of post-partum depression, I began to realize it wasn’t just something I struggled with after having kids, but it had been part of my life even earlier. I tried my best to be a good mom, but it was hard to do that with this sense of hopelessness, and not really knowing what was wrong.

When I was pregnant with my 3rd child, I was so fed up that I knew I needed to do something. I was in a class one night with a bunch of other pregnant ladies, and we were listening to a psychologist tell us about what to expect emotionally after having a baby. Raising my hand to ask a question, I wanted to know about anti-depressants. She gave me an explanation about how they work, and how they might help me. I didn’t want to let how I felt control me anymore. I talked to my doctor, and started taking them as soon as I could. I wanted to take care of myself and my emotional rollercoaster so I could parent well. I am so thankful that I did.

Medication can’t fix everything, but I finally felt like I was at a level playing field. Not that my depression completely went away, but I could function on a normal level.

For a long time, I didn’t want to share or admit what I was going on with me. I felt ashamed, and I didn’t want to show my weaknesses. I was afraid of what others might think. Was I a bad Christian? But over time, Jesus began to do a work in me. He began to show me that it was okay that I struggled with depression, and that he loved me unconditionally. I began to understand that I could be real with Jesus, and tell him how I was doing. And that I was not alone, there were others who went through the same thing. Jesus is bigger than my depression, and it doesn’t define me, he does. Medication definitely doesn’t replace Jesus, but it has helped me rise above how I feel and cling even tighter to him. He has met me in some of my darkest times, and given me the strength to get through it. I’ve grown closer to Jesus because I have had to rely on him, and not how I am feeling. I would have never gotten to where I am without him.

I do have times that I still struggle with my depression. It might be something that is with me for the rest of my life. I have mornings that I wake up, and don’t want to get out of bed. My thoughts sometimes might take me places I don’t want to go. I may feel sad and feel like crying, and not even know why. There are times when I don’t want to feel, because feeling anything seems like it will be too painful. But through it all, I have had to learn to cling to Jesus. He is my reason for living, and for everything. He is worth it.

I wanted to share my story because there might be someone that needs to hear it. You are not the only one who struggles. Please don’t try to do it alone. Share with someone else. See a counselor. Cry out to Jesus and ask him to help you. Your life is worth so much more than you even know.

Don’t give up. This world needs you. Get help. Tell someone. You are not alone. ❤️

“We’re Fine”

The other day I was out with my kids, and while we were driving to our destination, a scream came out of one of them like something painful had happened. Like usual, my response to the outburst was “what’s wrong?” My child explained what had happened, and not even really thinking about it I replied, “you’re fine.” I actually use this phrase a lot more than I realize. Sympathy is not one of my strongest qualities, and I have definitely had to work at it. With those words coming out of my mouth, it’s typically to reassure my kids that they are okay. After I had dealt with the situation, a thought came into my mind that maybe those words weren’t the best to use all the time. They really did seem harmless, but what if by using those words, I was doing more damage than good? When you hear something enough times, you can start to believe it eventually. I can’t tell you how many times I have said those exact same words to myself while in a painful situation. With this all of a sudden being brought to my attention, it is something I have had to process before Jesus. I don’t want to say “I’m fine” when I actually am not.

There is nothing wrong with not being okay. Things won’t always be perfect, and life will get hard. This isn’t easy for me to admit. Usually when things go wrong, my feelings get shoved down inside, and I don’t deal with them at all. All of these feelings don’t just stay inside, eventually they do come out. Not in a way that I am proud of, but when things get to be too much, the feelings all come out at once like I am an erupting volcano. Someone tends to get hurt with my outburst, leaving both of us in a bad spot. I have had to learn the hard way that I need to deal with my feelings when it happens, not ignore them.

Jesus has begun to show me that he can handle my feelings, and it is okay, not to be okay. I can tell him first how I am feeling, so I can get it out. This is when I can process it before him, and start to heal. Doing this has begun to help me deal with my pain in a healthier way. It is definitely a work in progress. I have told myself “I am fine” for so long, that things I have not dealt with from my past tend to bubble up to the surface. But instead of pushing it back down again, I am learning to take it before Jesus, ask him what I can learn from this, and be healed.

For my kids, I want them to know that it is okay to process hurts, and it is not a bad thing. I have been telling them “you’re fine” for awhile now, that I have had to become aware of when I say it, and correct it. They can be hurt, and it is not a bad thing. I just want them to know how to deal with it when they are.

Jesus can handle all of my feelings and emotions. He can take what I bring to him, and use it for good. Processing our hurts before him can also point out areas that we can grow in. And we can rest in his unchanging love, knowing that he can take our hurts, heal us, and use them for something good.

I’m not sure if anyone else is dealing with this, but I just want to encourage you not to hide when you aren’t doing okay. It does not help. Not admitting it only hurts us in the long run. We don’t have to go and share our feelings with everyone. Sharing recklessly or with bad motives only causes more pain to others and yourself. But it is okay to tell a close friend you might not be alright. Especially admitting it to Jesus. There is power when we tell him how we are doing. It gives him the opportunity to intervene. Don’t fall for the lie that you are somehow stronger if you don’t admit how you are actually doing.

Share how you are REALLY doing with Jesus.

Lord, teach us how to process things before you, and help us trust our hurts in your loving hands. Amen.

The Blessing You Might Not Realize As A Mom


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Being a mom is hard. It can take everything out of you. You love them one minute, and the next you want to pull your hair out. Beautiful and exhausting all at once.

Motherhood has been one of best things for me, but in a way you might not realize. It has been the thing that has caused me to grow in my relationship with Jesus the most.

Becoming a mom for the first time was a huge shock to my system. No one could really prepare me for it, I just had to find my way.

Growth in my relationship with Jesus didn’t happen automatically. I struggled for years trying to be a mom on my own strength. I tried to read the Bible, pray, and go to a small group like I normally would. But I needed more than this.

I’m not sure when exactly I started, but at some point I tried to start doing daily life with Jesus. It has not been perfect, but I have been learning to live more intentionally remembering that Jesus is with me always. Whether talking out loud to him, or praying in my head, I make him part of my day. I tell him my frustrations with my kids, I ask him to help me, and I ask for wisdom when I don’t know what to do. Again, I am not a perfect mom, but I can definitely tell you that Jesus has NEVER let me down.

Jesus gives me the strength I need for parenting. He is there with me to celebrate in the best moments, and he is with me in my worst moments as a mom. He sees it all, and still loves me. I can go to him and tell him my frustrations, worries, and when I am angry. Jesus cares for my kids even more than I can imagine. He has helped me to learn to control my reactions and emotions, and see past my kids acting out, to know what is really going on. He is sufficient for me being a mom.

How has this all helped me grow?

It has created an intimacy with Jesus that I did not know before becoming a mom. I never knew how much I was going to need him. He sees past all my shortcomings as a mom, and loves me anyway.

The loneliness that comes with being a mom is no joke. It can feel like you are so alone in this season of life. But it’s not true. Jesus is with me. I can talk to him whenever I want to, about anything. He has given me the courage to step out and invest in friendships as well.

He watches over my family and hears my prayers. It’s normal to want to protect my kids, but I’m not always there to do that. But Jesus is. I have prayed many times asking for specific things for my kids. He is faithful every time, in his way.

Through every season of motherhood, he has been my constant source. He supplies what I need. He gives me wisdom. He helps me love my kids. Jesus is helping me raise them in my imperfect way by filling in the gaps where I lack. I look back now, and there is no way I could do this without him.

So to encourage all you moms out there, you can draw closer to Jesus too. It does take discipline to remember he is with us during the day. And I know it is hard to even think about adding something else to your plate, but it is so worth it. Just start little by little. One of the simplest things I have learned to do when I am at my witts end with my kids is just pray, “Jesus, help me.”

Motherhood has stretched and grown me in more ways than I even know. But I am so thankful it has forced me to lean on Jesus. I don’t know where I would be today without him. He is my everything. ❤️

#Momfessions: A Mother’s Day Confessional


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Happy early Mother’s Day! Being a mom myself, I am sure I am not the only one who would say how hard it can be. I think sometimes we just need a place to come clean, and be real. So I just wanted to get a couple things off of my chest about how I really feel about what comes with being a mom. (Hopefully you know I am joking with some of this. 😋)

1. I say “shut up” to my kids under my breath sometimes, even when I have told them not to use those words. Sometimes I just can’t handle the crazy!

2. Most of the time I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants with this parenting stuff.

3. I’m probably not what you would call a  “comforting” mom. I honestly have to work at it. Usually I just want to tell my kids to get up and brush it off, and you’ll be fine.

4. It can be so hard not to compare myself to other moms. Especially with social media. I see others who seem like they are doing things so much better than me. Why can’t I be like that?

5. I’m not gonna lie, I yell. I usually forget when I am in public, and look like the crazy frazzled mom I really am. Clearly my patience needs work.

6. My kids have worn me down over the years. Things I would have sworn I would never do as a mom, I probably totally do now. The more kids you have, the more tired you get.

7. I am a control freak. There are instances where my husband doesn’t help me with the kids, and it is probably because of my own doing.  I know how to do it the way I want it, and of course no one does it better than me.

8. I love to know what is going on with my kids, but sometimes I just don’t want to listen. Especially when it is a topic I have no interest in what-so-ever. Usually I just ride it out, but I could go without knowing more about Minecraft.

9. I swear my kids say “mom” every 2 seconds. Pretty sure they don’t need to. Somehow it’s never “dad” even when I am in the shower or bathroom.

10. I hate crafts. I have never been good at art. I don’t try to be either. Coloring or playdough is about as much as we do. Although we do have sidewalk chalk and water colors around here too.

11. I love my kids, but I am not a fan of baking with them. I love to cook/bake, and I prefer to do it myself. My patience level to teach them is sometimes not there. I’d rather just do it myself and get it done.

12. I’d love to say I have thick skin when my kids say unkind things to me, but I have to admit it does hurt my feelings sometimes. It can feel like such an unappreciated role as a mom. And I do want to know they are thankful for the things I do.

With all this being said, good and bad, I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything. My kids are the best job I have ever had. I can’t imagine life without them. They push me to my limit, but they have helped me grow in so many ways.

Jesus, thank you for all moms and mom figures out there. Give us wisdom on how to do our roles well. Thank you that you never leave us alone in this, and show us the blessing we have raising our kids. Amen.

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