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. 

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!