New Hobby

Life can be stressful.

That being said, it is important to try and have a hobby. Mine was writing short stories and any other form of creative writing, but it takes me a while before I get into the groove of writing. And with my rambunctious toddler, I can typically only dedicate 30 min or so to free writing.

We all know that its the last 5 minutes of free writing when you finally start getting into the real story. So I have sought out other hobbies to relax me and I believe I have finally found one. I will get back to writing soon though, but it is nice to have options.

What is this new hobby? I thought you would never ask. It’s painting! 

Unlike most children who get to enjoy art classes in school, I never really got into it. I attribute most of this to going to a private school who was limited on their art teacher choices, and the fact that I suck at drawing.

Oh well, I have discovered it now, and man does it feel great!

I am still extremely new to painting with acrylics, and  just completed my fourth painting, thanks to the use of Youtube tutorials. 🙂

I know I still have a lot to learn, but that is why I am so excited about this new hobby. I will be sure to post new images when I have them.

Here is my progress thus far (from oldest to newest):

first
This is my first painting ever! I had a canvas laying around and just used some craft paint. I know its not any good, but it is what gave me my desire!
second
Second painting. Went to a Paint Nite with some girlfriends and came back with this beauty. I know its not perfect, but I am still really proud of what I created with barely any knowledge.
third
Third Painting using a tutorial from Youtube by The Art Sharpa. Painting is titled Girl in the Rain. Tutorial is linked below.
fourth
Fourth painting also from a tutorial from The Art Sharpa for the Aurora Borealis. Tutorial linked below.

 

This is what I have been doing to keep my stress levels down. What do you do to handle stress?

Happy Tuesday!

 

❤ Sarah

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Off My Game

There are days when things just happen to take me by surprise and then there are days that just throw off my whole world, or so it seems.

When times are tough I tend to live a very structured day. It helps me stay centered and allows me to feel as though I won’t float away. Then something happens and it derails me.

In my mind the train has come off the tracks and about to go over the edge. Some structure and planning is what helps me know it will all be okay.

Some people can just shake off plans changing, others can just adjust and most of the time I can too, but not this time.

My plans were to rely on someone and then they changed. I don’t tend to rely on many people so this really does stop me in my tracks. It makes me feel isolated or rather like I don’t matter enough. The feelings of broken promises and abandonment run ramped through me and I can’t stop all the thoughts that pour into my mind.

As a child, I was lied too quite a bit. It was never on purpose of course, but I didn’t learn that until I was older, but the impact all these broken promises and lies made on me is still evident in my everyday life.

I want to rely on others, but when it isn’t a constant I tend to feel as if I am the failure.

My struggle is deeper than it appears. I have become so use to only relying on myself that I forget to rely on God and I forget to open up about how I feel to my family. This leads to more struggles, more anger and more pain —all from one change in my plans.

Yes, I know to some this may seem crazy, and it isn’t always like this — honest. It just so happens that the season of life I am in with my family is a hard one and so the “small things” end up being the tear that just keeps widening, exposing all the other sensitive areas in my life.

Being aware of my issues is what helps me discover the real reasons as to why I react to things the way I do. It allows me to learn and grown into the woman that I know I am called to be.

After all, you can’t get to where you’re going, unless you know where you have been.

 

3 Ways I Conquer Fear

Fear is normal.

Fear is scary.

I will not let fear control me. As a planner, I try to control way too much. I plan my day, I plan my husband’s day, and of course I plan Tobias’ day. However, the day never goes as planned, and then all of a sudden I become fearful of the unknown.

My fear is what initially drove me to plan.

For the past few years I have been working on just going with the flow and letting things happen organically. Of course, I have failed on many occasions, but being more conscious of my desire to plan has helped.

Personal I find planning fun, but I also find it to be restricting. At work it is great and it is an asset. At home, it is just a distraction. Here are a few things that have helped me let go of my desire to plan while at home.

Find A Focus

BalanceWhen I focus on God and my family I tend to put aside my desire to plan the day. I will occasionally state, “I am not in control. My purpose is to worship and bring glory to God.” This helps me stay centered and to remember that there is a bigger plan at work and I don’t need to plan for God. He has everything under control. One way I do this is through daily meditation on the word and prayer.

If you are someone who is fearful of prayer I would recommend that you start just by reading the word and turning that into a pray. A good place to start is Psalm 91.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV

Eliminate Distractions

Distraction.jpgThere are so many things that can derail us from enjoying the day. Lets just start with technology. Yes, it is a great tool and I am all for social media and mind-numbing entertainment, but these things can keep us from really enjoying what life has to offer. I am not perfect and I don’t do this as much as I should, but if I am set on spending time with my family and enjoying all the fun moments, I will make sure to ignore my e-mails, stay off Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so that I can immerse myself into my family and our adventures.

The same can be done with other distractions. Situations may arise that set the tone for the day. Someone woke up angry, frustrated, or just not feeling well. We all have had those days when we receive a call with some not so great news or a situation arises that really throws us of our game; it can be hard to put it all behind us. However, once it is out of the way you will be amazed at how great you feel. For me, I need to say things out loud so that I become more “self-aware,” so I will say something like, “I will not let this ruin my good day,” or “It is in the past and I can’t change the past, I can only change how this affects me.”

Remember You Are Not Alone

Support.jpg

Lack of planning can turn into fear for me rather quickly and it is important that when I become fearful I address it immediately. I do this through talking with God and confiding in my husband. I express my fear and through admitting it, I know I can conquer it.

I often find when I confess my fear that I am not alone, my husband may be dealing with a similar fear or anxiety and together we are able to approach God and find His peace over the situation.

Like I said earlier, I am not perfect and I still fail. Fear is real, but fear can be conquered.

Don’t let fear control you and your life.

Enjoy all the moments that come into your life and remember that each moment leads to you discovering your heart.

Like my Dad always says, “It is what it is!”

 

❤ Sarah

The Start of the New Year!

Since I get to enjoy the day off work for the new year, my little man is making sure I get to experience everything to the fullest. 

That means all his crazy mood swings, messes and general crazy! 

I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Happy New Year everyone! 

  

Stress

My heart is stressed and I am battling fears.

Everyone has fears. Everyone deals with anxiety and stress, but for some reason I feel like we ignore these emotions in conversation.

I have been told to “suck it up,” or even better — I just don’t talk about them and I keep it bottled up inside.

As time passes I have learned that I am able to handle more and more stress and I use to think this was a good thing. I thought it meant I was maturing or becoming more of an adult, and then I gained clarity.

Yes, stress is a part of everyday life, but if you constantly allow the stress to build and never learn how to handle it properly, eventually you will snap.

Just like a rubber band most of us can stretch pretty far, but the further and further you pull the band from itself its integrity is compromised. It will snap back and cause pain and sometime it will break into multiple pieces that can never be put back together.

RubberBand

My nature is to plan. I always have a list of things to do and it is always prioritized. However there are times that list haunts me. If a task is left unchecked I can feel the weight of it on my mind, it causes me stress and I seek freedom. This is not the only reason that I stress, but it is one that is easily managed. If I can just conquer this, than maybe I can focus on another area. (Oops the planner in me just came out again 😛 )

Rubber bands may break, but they can also snap back into their original shape. I find this to be true in my life as well. I don’t want to go to the point of breaking, but sometimes I do need to be stretched. I need to be tested and I need to be pliable.

If I want to be free I must let go of stress and anxiety. I must snap back into place.

Easier said that done — that’s for sure. However, scripture is a tool through this battle and if used, I will be free.

Our stress and fears maybe different, but God is constant.

Here are three verses I keep repeating over and over and they have given me hope and instilled new faith into my heart.

Verses.jpg

Through my struggles I am going to read scripture and remember that I am a child of the King.

My heart and prayers go out to anyone battling stress. Know that you are not alone and you will never walk alone.

Love,

Sarah

Change is Inevitable

Change

John C. Maxwell had it right — change will happen, but it is what you take from the change that causes growth. If you take nothing, you learn nothing.

It is as simple as that.

Life is changing for our little family. In fact, it hasn’t stopped changing. I will be the first to admit that change scares me and I will also admit that I am working on it.

If you aren’t moving forward what are you doing? You can’t sit still — you either move forward or you move back. I choose to move forward.

For some it is easy to focus on all of the negatives in our pasts and watch as hope gets smaller and smaller in our lives, but all that does is cause our outlook on life to change.  I know it is hard to look past the negative, but in life it is necessary. If we don’t, then we lose all hope and joy.

Adjustments have been made in our lives that we never once thought would happen. I am a full-time working mommy and Robert has embraced his role as a stay-at-home daddy.

Our little man is now 1-year old and it feels like just yesterday I was struggling with my pregnancy and {confusing} journey into motherhood. There isn’t a day that goes by that I think about the journey I have taken. There were more negatives than I would like to remember, a bunch of anger, tons of tears, and still some fear that it may all happen yet again.

Yet, I am choosing to grow from all of this. Robert is choosing to grow, and Tobias, well he is just growing — and fast!

Changes take time — I mentioned this before, but soon I will be starting a new blog/website that will be a lot of fun.  You will be able to get multiply points of view from our whole family and come along on our journey with us. I don’t know when the site will be ready, but until then I promise to keep writing. A promise more for myself than anything.

Much Love,

Sarah

Celebrate Life

Yesterday was a celebration of life. Not only did my family celebrate the 1st birthday for my son Tobias, we celebrated the goodness of God. We praised Him for his gift of life and for his mighty hand over us.

My husband and I welcome Tobias into this world at 5:09 am after a 36-hour long labor (my labor and delivery story). He was a healthy baby and to us, pure perfections. We couldn’t believe that God had picked us to be this child’s parents.

After almost losing my life the same day my son was born, I have chosen to cherish every moment of life with a fiery reverence. Having a child does change you — but it is how you choose to change that makes us who we are.

Photo taken by Coco Captures
Photo taken by Coco Captures
There are still issues that arise where I can’t control my tongue, emotions and I throw some serious attitude; but now I can honestly say that I have grown in patience, love, wisdom and a deeper understanding of life. I will admit, I am still working on it all! I don’t think I will every stop working on myself.

If you asked me 6 months ago how things were going, chances are I would break down in tears (Truth Time). There is still a chance of that happening today, but the emotions behind the tears are extremely different. My struggles with postpartum depression have also guided me toward the woman I have become, but there is no hiding that it was a dark time in my life and my families.

Finding joy in the little things and clinging to it, that is what has helped. Every day I find one, if not more, things to be joyful about. Through this God has been able to work in me, building our bond and opening up my heart once again.

Celebrate life today and find your joy in the little things. Remember that the only one who can steal your joy is you — it is ultimately your choice.

Tobias
Tobias dressed as Batman at the park for Halloween.

Much love,

Sarah