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. 


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. 

The Good Ole Days

My father is a wise man. I enjoy hearing his opinions and taking in whatever wisdom he offers. Do I always agree with him? Of course not, but that doesn’t change the way I think about him. He is a father of four kids and a grandfather to eight going on nine kiddos, five and under. Let’s say the man has had some life experience. 

I, like my father, have four children. The days run me over like a MAC truck ramming over a soda can. Many days it is difficult to see the future due to the giant mountain standing right in front of me. The mountains change daily. Spilled blueberry smoothie all over the carpet, poop under your fingernail (insert gagging), or maybe my child’s attitude is appalling. During one of those moments of pure frustration, my dad leans over and says, “just remember…these are the good ole days.” 

In the moment I want to slap his words away from myself. Heck. To. The. No. Sir. Good ole days. Psh. Finally we are home and all children are in their beds sound asleep. I assess the damage of the day and sit down instead of cleaning. I go through photos on my phone and begin to recall the sweet moments from the days. Simple acts of love from my daughter reaching for my hand and holding it. My son making goofy faces to make me laugh or trying to distract my eyes from the mischief he was causing. My oldest girl telling endless made up knock knock jokes and laughing at her jokes that make no sense. 

My children bring me pure, unadaltered joy. They send rage coursing through my entire body. Their kisses on my cheek are overwhelmingly sweet and sticky with snot all at the same time. Their love for me is forgiving and full of grace. 

Being a parent is the hardest and most gratifying life decision I have ever made. I would not change these moments for anything because it is true…I am living in the good ole days.