For the Love of Fraud

Have you ever been going through some self evaluation…late at night…and realizing you might actually be a fraud?

If so, then you are not alone. I don’t know what it is about late night (by late night I mean 8:30pm) after the chillrens have hit the hay and you sit in the quiet…thinking. The thoughts can snowball into a meltdown that seemingly can only be healed with Ben & Jerry’s, but alas! I am cutting back on sweets and therefore this meltdown is coming to the glowing screen.  So you’re welcome.

By day, I am a decently confident woman, wife, and mother. I know who I am and where my desires for life are going. Then the stillness of evening strikes and the darkness whispers all the doubts of my mind into being. The figments of my mind lurking about reminding me of my failures and areas I used to excel in slowly dwindling away the longer I am without a “job.” Being a stay at home mom can become mind numbing to the point where it seems as if your brain could no longer hold any type of educated information. Children and conversations about butts and boogers have replaced all sorts of genius.

Listen, I know my nighttime brain that begins picking itself apart is not truth. I don’t typically delve too far into the pit of self evaluation if I am not going to get any true insight from it. I don’t sit in silence too often. Am I afraid of the whispers I hear in the silence?

My brain is buzzing with exhaustion and I have no witty remarks to end this evening. If you made it to the end of this post, then Huzzah! Now have a good and restful, Eclipsed Earth Evening.


Ridiculous Jealousy

Listen. Any time I scroll through Instagram, Facebook, and especially Pinterest…I feel my insides melting.

I am a pretty confident person, in my body, my style and who I am in general. But man, going through those online outlets can be debilitating. Just to give you one example, the outfits. Sure, I enjoy looking cute and having decent hair but it is not happening. Maybe by Sunday morning I can wrangle a straightener through my hair and smudge some foundation on my face.

Most days that is not happening and don't even get me started on painted finger and toenails people! Jewelry? Who has the time. Belts? I'm sorry what are those…

Being a stay at home has aimed my wardrobe at comfort level. Working out the past three months and GAINING ten pounds has made wearing clothes even more fun. Sure it may be muscle but I still don't want to buy new clothes.

Then there are the backgrounds of these outfit portraits. What a laugh! Polished wood flooring, clean mirror, beautiful furniture in the background. I have a mirror, covered in fingerprints and dust. It is in my closet full of STUFF.

So getting down to business, I wanted to take a few shots of myself in my outfit today. And as you will see…I was photobombed.

So this real life. I currently have four different mirrors in my closet with a future purpose. Boxes of photos. Baskets of hats. Clothes on clothes. My toes are far from painted. Better yet, it was hot today so you can't see that I sweated in this outfit. Is sweated a word? Hhmmm

Lastly, my sisters enjoy pointing out when I am wearing "mom outfits." Uuuhh I am a mom and so are they? So I am not sure at what point in my motherhood that my outfits became mom outfits.

What is your favorite go to outfit? Am I crazy for thinking that what I see online is unrealistic? Is everyone only showing their best sides? I want to show all sides. Not just my best because quite frankly I have not found my best side yet.

Happy Hump Day!

So much to say…

These past six months have been a whirlwind. The beginning of my year was not a pretty one. The short rundown involves panick attacks, constant anxiety, a trip to the ER, bloodwork, doctor's visits etc. I was to the point in my life where something…SOMETHING had to change.  

So 2017 became the year I chose to BE INTENTIONAL. In many ways, I wasn't sure how that was going to look. I just knew that I wanted to be doing my life on purpose and not life running over me. 

I started going to Biblical counseling which started a snowball effect for the rest of my life. Learning about God's truth and applying it to my fears literally brightened up my life. God's grace was a refreshing rain on this dry body. Mentally I began to feel free again. Thank you Jesus. 

Second, my doctor informed me I have high cholesterol and needed to be working out multiple times a week. Say whhhaaaa?! I hate running. I joined a gym with childcare and started attending classes. No clue what I am doing in a gym so the classes have helped me start to learn what my body is actually capable of performing. It has been hard and emotional. I considered myself a strong person but four kids in five years with little no exercise does a number on the bod. 

C…while we are listing things in order. My husband and my kids. The time I have spent in the Bible and working on my physical health have spread into the areas of my family. My relationships with them are serious. I want full connections going on. Again. What does that look like? How does intentional play out in the day to day for us?

Family dinners many times in a week. Conversations flowing between us and the kids. Some evenings Russell and I just laugh so we don't cry at the table. Kids still whining about onions being on their fajitas or wanting a cup without a straw because "I AM BIG!" That is then spilled a over the table in mere seconds. Learning to keep our cool. Because after all…it is just spilled water. 

Setting down the phones, tablets, computers, shows, and simply just being together. This is so much easier said than done! For so long I have allowed tv to babysit my kids. I don't feel guilty about it. As I said, four kids in five years. Mind melting. But now we are at a place where our youngest is almost two and everyone doesn't have to be fed bottles and diapers changed. We are in a place where tv shows aren't needed as often to supply us time to get stuff done around the house or cook a meal or shower. Instead we listen to music and have dance parties. 

Praying as a family. This is one we are still working on and it hasn't come as easily. We pray over meals but have also added in family prayers at bedtime or in the van. When the kids are cranky, we take a few minutes and each pray. It can usually put a calming effect on the kids and lessen a headache for moi. Does this always go as I wish? Heck no. But we are showing our kids that they can talk to Jesus anytime they want about whatever they want. 

I have written a lot and my brain is starting to fizzle on the words. 2017 in my and my family's year of living intentionally. BE INTENTIONAL. I made this choice to get myself out of the pit I was living in. I in no way could perform this duty on my own. God's grace has been more than sufficient for my needs. Friends and family have prayed for me for months and continue to do so. God has brought me to a place of not being so broken. It feels great! It is HARD! It is BEAUTIFUL! 

I am loving my life and trying to live it more fully. I am still struggle with anxiety and self doubt and all the things but guess what? It does run me. These things don't rule me. I speak God's truth over them and they continue to fade. 

I hope you read this and feel encouraged. We can all live intentionally. I can't stress how hard it is, but let's be real, life is hard anyway but how we live it out makes a huge difference. Be intentional today and tomorrow and next month. Take it for a test run. 

I could keep going but at this point it feels like rambling. I leave you with some of the resources I have been using this year:

Never Say No by the Foremans is a parenting book we have been reading. So far a great read and I recommend it to parents. We are only about halfway through and have gleaned a lot. 

The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. A great Bible study for women. Check it out if you haven't heard of it.  

Here as in Heaven by Elevation Worship. Simple Gospel by United Pursuit. Because music feeds our souls and putting in peace helps output peace. 

Kinetix Gym. Going to a gym  has made a huge difference for me. Accountability. Time away from kids. Getting in shape and I feel so much better. Ask anyone. I hate physical stuff but it has changed me. Go to some gym and get your body moving!

Biblical counseling. After a train wreck experience with an anti depressant, I decided that medicine was not the way for me. Going to counseling twice a month has also changed me. It isn't regular counseling but instead using God's word to shed light on the issues in my life and learning God's truth. 

James 1

James 1 is packed with some gooood stuff. What I  reading and thinking on today:

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:19-27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What have you been reading in the Word lately?

The Cycle

Since becoming a parent, the life cycle has revealed itself in so many ways. I spend most days in a circle. Performing the same routines over and over, day in and day out. 

I typically like routine, but some routines become…annoying. Picking up for instance. I have not in five years gotten used to it. The constant back and forth of toys, clothes, shoes etc. It is the most continuous portion of my life. 

I change out toys, I purge toys, I minimize clothing and shoes, yet the stuff still remains. I am pretty obsessive about having my living area cleaned up each evening before I go to bed. I have the kids help many days but some days when it has been hectic, I leave them out of it and don’t myself. Much faster not training someone else to do it. Talk about sloth mode! 

My living area has looked like this for over 24 hours now. This is not typical and is a testament to 1) how busy I have been and 2) how tired I am. My kitchen counter is a constant mess, but the living room floor being visible is my zen. 

My MIL is grabbing some new containers for me and I am going to be testing out a new toy idea. Thanks to my sister’s SIL. Putting the majority of the toys in bins and placing them in the garage, creating a “library” of toys. You must clean up one box of toys before getting another one out. 

Hopefully I can pull all of this together over the weekend and see how it goes next week! I have high aims, like I said, here’s hoping. 

Do you have goals for spring cleaning? Or spring purging? I thoroughly enjoy going through my house and getting rid of items. 

Here is to a happy weekend! If you live in the Florida panhandle, go check out the Word of South Festival at Cascades Park. Three days of literature & music! Should be very cool!

Quiet Moments

Yesterday morning we took our son to a local surgery center to have tubes put in and adenoids taken out. Having your child go under anesthesia is a nerve wracking experience. He came through just fine and spent the afternoon sleeping. 

This was on our way home. Side note: He used to call R2D2 beebooboop. Adorable. 

My mother in law brought my other two kiddos home and they were ready for naps. My youngest though tries to act as if he doesn’t truly need a nap. On these types of days, I will lay next to him and watch Parks & Rec or Frasier, whichever old show I am in to at the moment. Currently it is Parks & Rec…he lays and watches with me until he falls asleep. Typically halfway through the show even though Frasier actually put him to sleep faster than others.  

It isn’t often anymore that three kids sleep at once, so my quiet moments are usually in the evening. By that time, I am as useless as road kill and don’t get much done. Let alone sitting and reflecting on my life. 

I didn’t use my time yesterday to reflect much or even try to maintain the mountain of laundry. Instead, I sat and laughed at the jokes of Parks & Rec whilst eating my way through the snacks in my house. Some days, that is what we need. To sit and do nothing. Hashtag relax 

What do you do in your quiet time? Do you let your 18 month old watch a dumb show with you? 

The Switch

I go from being a frumpy stay at home mom to a decently dressed citizen. (Don’t mind my closet, it is organized but small.) 

I did not shower. I slathered on some make up, repositioned the hair tie, and slid into some new clothes. Added earrings. (That I love. My husband gave them to me and now I want a set in every color.)

Being a mom is tough. Looking like a mom is rough. There is a fresh feeling of dressing in clothes that make me feel good. Even when I haven’t showered in 24 hours! (Don’t worry. I eventually bathed.) 

What do you do as a parent that makes you feel good? Turns you into a human again. 

True Life

I always aim to be honest. Even in social media, I don’t pretend my life into a wonderful Pinterest picture. I am not interested in creating a fake appearance that everyone can look at. Instead, I am being real. 

In my effort to be real and honest with myself, I created an Instagram account for what I eat. I did not mean for it to become some public thing and yet Instragam has a way of sharing your news with people. Now my eating habits are being followed by 23 people. 

As I began to get followers, my first instinct was to hide some of the stuff I have been eating. Why? Because I rarely eat fruits or vegetables. RARELY. It is something I have struggled with for years and it has come to a head this year. My health isn’t exactly great and I have high cholesterol. So I need changes. Desperately. 

Anyway, having followers on my Instagram account has made me start second guessing my food choices which is initially why I made a food account. I read a study about people who took pictures of their food were more likely to eat less. (Don’t ask me to find this study because that is too much work.)

The good. The bad. The ugly. I think as a person I try to keep it out in the open. I like to think that people enjoy good refreshing honesty. You know what? Being honest with yourself is the first step in living it out in the social media world. 

Telling myself the truth. The cold hard truth is one of the hardest things I do. 

These are the rambling thoughts of a mother as she stuffs her face with tacos. Happy Taco Tuesday!

Yes my face is always that red and my hand is always that white. It’s an Irish thing? 

I Am Thirty

Yesterday I rung in my 30th year and what better way to do that than with a stomach bug? I have four kids and a husband. The stomach started earlier in the week for us and worked its way through one by one until yesterday when it hit my husband and myself…on my 30th birthday. 

I will spare you the details, just know, it wasn’t pretty. Never have I wanted a birthday to pass so quickly. 

This is life with four kids five and under am I right? Nothing is sacred or special anymore. It is filled with gross. They are blessed with cuteness or else I might be mad about my day being taken from me. 

Getting real, this is honestly not a surprising way for my birthday to come. Last year I began deciding that I was going to make some serious life changes. Self improvement type things within my own person. My 30th year was going to be a year of change and boy am I getting it. 

I started the year with what some may consider a mental break down. A collision of stress and anxiety topped with a few health issues. These health issues have continued and finally coming to head with the stomach bug. The mental side has been on a healing path due to some much needed counseling. Thank Jesus for those people! 

It has been a very up and down few months to start my year. It has felt discouraging at points but overall I feel as if this is encouraging. My plans for change will not be thwarted by set backs. I will press on. I will get back up on my feet and keep striving for what I want out of this year. 

The good, the bad, the ugly, the glorious, the beautiful…my path is constantly going in a new direction and my person is changing with each turn. I don’t ever want to stop changing and becoming the woman God has called me to be. 

Are you in a tough place? Seeing the light is hard in the darkness, but with Christ the light is always there. Are you dealing with unbelief? Check out Mark 9 when you get a minute, especially around verse 23…a father asking Jesus to heal his son. Jesus but it will happen if a person believes it will happen. My favorite line right now is what is next from the Father. “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Come on Jesus! We can ask him anything…even to help us overcome our unbelief in HIM! Thank God for how awesome he is. Loving us in such a way where he can and will restore our belief in who he is. 

So today, take a breather and raise your eyes to heaven and remind your heart to believe. Ask for your heavenly fathers help to believe. 

A Slave to Fear

When God wants to speak to you, it may not be in the conventional way of saying words into your ears. He speaks through many avenues. Over the past few years, I have dealt with the darkness that anxiety brings. It has been a hilly road and I have no doubt that it will continue to be so. 

Over the past week my anxiety levels have been running at high speed, chasing me into physical ailments and shoving me into the walls of my mind. If you have ever experienced these feelings, then you know. If you haven’t…then you can’t possibly understand. 

I become paralyzed by fear. Irrational fear. I can not even pinpoint one fear, I have them all. In the past few days, God has clearly spoken to me through the avenues of worship, His word and confirmed them by lovely, godly women in my life. 

No Longer Slaves by Bethel

1 John 4:18-19

I have been a slave to fear but the Bible tells me that perfect love casts out all fear. Therefore, I am no longer a slave to fear.

How powerful is that image? A slave. Someone bound to someone else or in this case something else. When I am living in fear, I am not living in the pure love that God has so freely given me. 

As I said, I don’t doubt that anxiety will completely leave me today and maybe not tomorrow. Why? Because I live in the world and as long as I am here, there will be trials. The trials make me stronger and bring glory to my Father. He is a good, good Father. 

I hope that you have found some encouragement in my words. If you struggle with anxiety and feel completely alone…well my dear friends know this…you are absolutely not alone!