Don’t Lose Your Joy

It’s inevitable that when you are content and happy with how life is going there is a curve ball thrown. Not only is it coming toward you — it’s coming to bowl you over. Just know, it’s ok to fall, but you have a choice of getting back up.

Throughout my pregnancy, things have been going extremely well other than once again dealing with gestational diabetes. My lovely baby is growing properly, I haven’t gained too much weight and everything is on track.

My curveball is that I may not be able to deliver my baby the way I intended with a VBAC, but there is also the possibility that I could. This is all due to the uncertainty of my gestational diabetes and the risks that come with prolonging my pregnancy. Unlike other moms who can wait until the baby is ready, that puts me and the baby at a great risk of complications.

1280x1280

Talk about playing with a hormonal pregnant women’s emotions!

I’ve been working on being more present in life and to stop focusing on things I cannot control, this has gone a long way, I think, with my family and the amount of stress I have taken off of them because I have taken it off myself.

I have been enjoying all the small moments of each day, every laugh, every tickle fight and all the tantrums and stubbornness that teaches me that I am raising a strong-willed and caring toddler.

This strategy of slowing down has done so much for my anxiety as well and now I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. However, today’s doctors’ appointment almost ruined my mindset.

Not stressing out the future has been oddly freeing and I have embraced it these last few weeks. When I heard that there could be complications with my pregnancy after just hearing that I was doing so well, I felt the panic rise in my chest. It almost took root in my mind and I could feel the virus of stress wanting to take over.

Thankfully, this morning I remember hearing God say to me “be anxious for nothing, and pray about everything.”

1280x1280-2.jpg

One of my goals this week was to find joy in every moment and his words I took as a reinforcement of that goal.

It is so true that Satan and life try to steal our joy. I have been so happy these last few weeks and that was a moment that could have destroyed it all, but I won’t let it.

I cannot control the future.

I cannot dictate when this baby will be born.

I cannot make my desires a reality.

But I can control who I give power to. 

Everything is better in God’s hands and as I come to terms with reality I am more comforted by His ability to be my protector, my healer, my Abba Father than I was this morning.

My faith in His ability will not wavier.

I will rejoice in the Lord always.

Image-1.jpg

Find joy in every moment and cling to the promises of God. Do not let anything steal your joy!

❤ Sarah

Learning a Life Lesson

I’m human. That means I’m not perfect, nor do I want to be.

Emotions get the better of me, just like they do for everyone.

Anger is normal and feeling grumpy is normal. These emotions every human struggles with.

It’s important to me that I teach my son about his emotions, so that he knows its normal and that he can discover how to control them as he learns and grows.

Both of us had a lesson to learn this morning and I thought it was a good story to share. So, here it goes.

Tobias woke up extremely grumpy this morning, which is unlike him. I checked to make sure he wasn’t running a fever and everything else check out. He was just grumpy. Before we left the house, I told him, “Its okay to be grumpy, just don’t let that affect how you treat others.”

He glared at me and pouted out his little lips.

As we began our journey to work and daycare he increasingly got worse and let his grumpiness turn into actions. He began to treat me poorly and say things that I was shocked to hear from my normally sweet toddler.

I lost it – just like normal humans do. Even more so since I was in a hurry to get to work.

In a matter of a minute, I found myself being equally as mean, while also trying to correct behavior. (Momma fail: I do my best to not have double standards, but again- I’m human.)

Slowly, his face scrunched up and his lips curled back as he began to cry. More from me yelling then the words I was speaking.

 I stewed in my anger and then heard the Lord whisper, you have a choice here.

Glancing down at my clock I saw that I could still make it to work on time if I just kept driving, but one look back at my son and my choice was made.

Quickly, I found the nearest parking lot to pull into safely and I parked my car. Took a few deep breathes before I unlocked the doors, and walked back to my son.

His tears were staining his face and soon I couldn’t stop my own. I pulled him into a hug and told him I was sorry for yelling and that I didn’t mean to make him cry.

We talked about how we can be grumpy and be upset, but it was not right for us to treat others unkindly – a lesson we both needed to remember!

Alway be kind

His arms clung to my neck as he wiped his eyes and nose across my shirt.

“I sorry, momma,” he said.

“I’m sorry too,” I replied.

Pulling back from his embrace, his eyes still red from crying, I wiped away the remaining tears and just held my little boy.

“Watch mama,” I said as I moved my hands across my face to wipe at my own eyes. “I’m wiping off my anger and moving forward.”

He watched me intently and I could feel his spirits lifting.

“I wipe away my grumpy,” he said as he mimicked my actions.

He hugged me once more and then gave me a big kiss. I closed his door and began to walk back to my seat. I could feel the Lord still pulling at my heart and using the lesson to grow my character along with my sons.

We sat in silence for the rest of the car ride. I glanced back at him often and he just simply smiled, letting those cute dimples of his show.

Once we got to his daycare I grabbed his hand to lead him into the building and he smiled brightly up at me. “I love you, momma,” he said and squeezed my legs into the tightest hug he could manage.

I lowered my pregnant body down to him and squeezed him back. A tear dripped down my cheek

“I love you more,” I said. “Do you still feel grumpy?”

“Yes,” he said, “but I will be kind.” He smiled up at me and gave me one last kiss before he ran towards his friends.

I was late for work, but the Lord was right, I had a choice and I chose to take my time to teach my son. (He is more important!)

We are all human. We all make mistakes, but we also have a choice.

I want to choose to always be kinder than I feel, and I hope to teach this lesson to Tobias and my other child, earlier than I learned.

To me, it is important to remember to teach our children that is ok to be grumpy, angry, sad and happy; but regardless of how we are feeling, we must always treat each other with kindness.

Every lesson I teach is also a lesson for myself. Each lesson helps me to Discover My own Heart.

❤ Sarah

Personal Chaos

It seems as though everyone around me has found their balance in life, but for some reason, I feel like I’m about to topple over. Yet, I have given myself no choice, I must push through these emotions.

Since my last post, I have lost my grandfather and my husband has lost a great uncle that he was very close too.

Loss is a part of life, yes, but when it happens in waves over a family it takes longer for loved ones to grieve – since well, there are more things to grieve. It’s more difficult to process when it is around the holidays.

That is one segment of how life has been going.

Pregnancy has been a struggle thus far as well. I have officially hit the six-month mark, and once again have been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. The struggles have been similar to my first pregnancy and I am dreading the bill that comes with all the extra ultrasounds and the doctor’s fees. Money is always a sore topic especially when you are doing all you can to save for a new baby and all of the expenses that come with it.

Then there is all the planning.

Tobias is thrilled to be a big brother, but I haven’t had a moment to focus on getting the nursery set up or even plan a baby shower. Yes, I know a lot of people are against having a baby shower for their second child, but in all honesty, I believe all babies deserve to be celebrated. After all, it isn’t about the presents. It’s about your excitement to have a beautiful new baby enter our world!

My teeter-totter has been swaying so much over all of my emotions that I am finding it hard to regain my footing. This is only the personal side of my story — there is a whole other aspect of my life that I do my best not to think about while blogging — work.

I love my job, but recently we have undergone some major changes so I also feel unbalanced at work as well. I have always wanted to control the uncontrollable, but I finally think I am at that point in my life when I should just say “heck with it,” and let the world continue to spin around the sun in a vast galaxy that couldn’t care less about my struggles to find balance.

Feeling unbalanced isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it gives us the chance to step back and really evaluate how we would like to move forward from this point.

After all, we can’t change the past we can only change what is happening right in front of us at this moment. Then, in turn, affect our futures.

Yes, I am struggling, that’s just life.

I am going to take this unbalanced season of my life and use it to shape the here and now. Finding my focus and putting everything I have into it. I may be swimming in a sea of doubt and uncertainty, but at least I’m not drowning yet.

There is always something to be thankful for.

❤ Sarah

One Day At A Time

Kids are great, but sometimes you can feel your sanity slipping away. For me, this is especially true when I should be asleep. Every parent can relate, I’m sure!

There is always something to be thankful for.

Last night was one of those nights where all my patience vanished.

Poor Tobias, I know he was tired, but he just couldn’t fall asleep. I tried everything: Rocking, walking with him, letting him cry it out etc.—nothing worked!

Just when I thought things were calming down he would wake back up. You know what I mean, right? You finally find that comfortable position and it’s like they know! As soon as I relaxed–BAM the crying started!

Now typically we would let him fall back asleep on his own, but he was keeping our neighbors awake (the downside to living in an apartment).

I lost my mind last night and parent guilt took over (and yes it truly is a thing).

“What if he is sick?” 

“What if he is teething?” 

“You can’t even calm your own child.”

All these things ran through my head along with…

“I just want sleep.”

“Oh my gosh child, just calm down.” 

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” 

Tobias and I ended up on the couch around 4 am this morning, and finally he fell asleep. Soon after my alarm went off so that I could get everything ready for the day. I had no motivation to move. That is when I looked over at my sleeping, almost two-year-old and whispered “I am indeed blessed.” 

God made children cute for a reason people! So that when you are at your wits end they will do something that you can’t help but smile at. It’s like magic! You can have all your anger built up and then WHAM there is that cute smile and a hug and kiss. Melts my heart.

Parents you know what I am talking about!

Last night it was seeing him finally fall asleep and just knowing that I was entrusted with this strong-willed toddler for a reason. I was chosen to be his mother. And even thought I was sleep deprived I was still on duty.

Psalms 127:3-4 (NIV) “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” 

The old cliché is true, we do have to take it one day at a time and even one moment at a time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 With each movement my heart grows a little bigger and my life is a little brighter.

Sarah

 

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

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

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