Fighting For My Mind

Thinking

It is easy to fall into a rut and it doesn’t help when you have lost all motivation to try and climb out of it. In my experience, that is when Satan moves. He begins to whisper in my ear and as much as I try not to listen, I hear it.

He has been whispering…

I’m not worth anything.

I’m unloved and I am unworthy.

And since his games are not new I recognized them, but I wasn’t able to stop them from running ramped.

Over and over I ran those words through my mind and they slowly began attaching themselves.

Does my husband really love me?  

Why does he love me? 

I’m not worthy of love.

Why does God care about me when all I do is screw up?

These thoughts weighed heavy on my heart and they boggled my mind so that I was unable to think of anything that brought joy or clarity. This has been a daily occurrence for weeks and some of the things that happen throughout my day have pushed me deeper into the hole.

The thoughts are still there, lingering in the back of my mind. As I write this I can feel them bubbling up and trying to flood my senses with the failures that have happened over the last few weeks.

But something is different this time — I have chosen to focus on facts and not assumptions.

I know that my God is always good. He loves me and accepts me regardless of my shortcomings.

“He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” – Ephesians 1:5 NIV

A child doesn’t need to earn their parents love, it is just there and God has freely given his love to all of us, it is just up to us to accept it.

I woke up this morning and a sense of understanding washed back all the thoughts that were swirling in my mind.

I am enough and I am His.  Just that one thought liberated me from all the burdens that I had clung to.

Satan is a master at planting thoughts in our minds to make us doubt and we are the masters at using those thoughts to hold us back from the everlasting love of our Abba Father.

You are loved and you are enough.

Always remember that!

❤ 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

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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.

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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

Live. Learn. Repeat.

Mother’s Day came and went, and while I had a “picture perfect” day envisioned in my mind… it is absolutely not what I got!

Instead of breakfast in bed, I made everyone breakfast (I don’t mind, cooking, but it would have been nice to have someone else do it for a change), instead of hugs and kisses from my son I got the teething tyrant (poor kid was screaming his head off almost all day).

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Typically, Mother’s Day is where the dad steps in and takes control hoping to keep the mom sane, but my husband was preparing for a business trip….so yea, out the window went that idea!

Around 6 p.m. after a constant 2 hours of screaming from my son, (which he never does, Normally he is pretty calm) I was about to lose it. Tears were forming in my eyes and my head was pounding.I just wanted to comfort my son, but nothing seemed to help.

I heard a small voice tell me to breathe and of course I kind of laughed, but I did it anyway.

I focused on my breathing and calmed myself down, and then I was able to calm my son. This is a lesson I have always struggled to learn and it is one I am sure I will have to relearn over and over!

It is important to get yourself in order before you can help others. If you aren’t right, how can you expect to make others better?

I get it, human nature runs ramped and everyone wants to fix every problem they can – as long as its someone else’s life and not their own.  Eventually you will have to look into the mirror and see all of your own issues and if anything, you should be able to fix your own problems!

But we fail!

We will always fail if we constantly try to do things that are out of our reach. It is only by the grace of God that we can be made new. When death knocks on your door and you meet Jesus face to face he isn’t going to ask you who else you fixed. He wants to know that you accepted him and have tried to live your life according to his word. Yes, he wants us to guide others to him, but he didn’t ask us to fix them! He is the only one who can change a person’s heart!

He doesn’t want to hear that you were so busy trying to fix everyone around you that your forgot to spend time with him, or even talk to him.

If you really want to help others it comes down to this:

Love them unconditionally for who they are and who God created them to be. Live your life according to God’s word; be his example to the world. 

I can’t fix every problem, and I will go insane if I continue to try. So I am going to take a step back, breathe, and make sure my life is right then and only then will I be able to assist others.

Now, here is a better picture of my son Tobias and I for Mother’s Day!

Only Mother's Day Photo I was able to get - without crying that is!
Only Mother’s Day Photo I was able to get – without crying that is!

Happy Tuesday!

~Sarah

100 Steps to Go…

I feel like I have written so many blogs, but yet none of them have been posted! That is honestly because I cannot bring myself to press the “publish” button. A lot of things have been happening, both good and bad. I will admit that in my eyes it has been a lot of bad – which in turn, has taken its toll on me. With that being said, I have come up with some new ways to fight back the negativity in my life and that is by creating some new personal goals. I must be honest, I am not going to share all of them here, but I do want to share 4 that I think everyone could benefit from.

Goal #1: Fellowship with God

It seems that when life gets busy the first thing that takes a hit is my time with God. My devotions get cut short, or I rush my prayers. My focus is not all there. Not only is spending time with God one of my goals, it is my personal challenge to take time to spend with him. I am positive that if I can slow down and spend time with God the rest will all fall into place. This isn’t just a time commitment; it is also a state of mind. Focus and patience will be tested, I am sure.

Goal #2:  Learn to love myself

Quite a few people have asked me if I feel more confident with my body after the birth of my son. I will admit that I heard a lot of women admitting that after labor they feel so much better about their body and their shape. However, this is not the case with me. Let’s be honest, the birth of a child can help shape your view of your body but ultimately, it is a mind-set change. My mind-set has not yet changed, but I want it too! I am determined to love myself just the way I am. With this goal I have also challenged myself to wear less makeup and with that I have changed around how I care for my skin. I feel that it is important for me to take extra time in the morning and at night to care for myself. This does seem to be helping me appreciate who I am. IMG_2292 Side Note: I have a few sticky notes currently on my mirror with uplifting words and scriptures to help keep me focused on God!

Goal #3: Change my eating habits

Now, first off let me start by saying that I do not hate my body. However, I do tend to worry about my weight due to family history of disease and also because I do want to be healthy. I used to be very athletic, and somewhere in college that changed. I was still active by my body began to change and I never fully accepted that (This is why Goal #2 is so important). I have now come to terms with how and why my body has changed since the birth of my son (I don’t love it, but I do understand). I want to be healthy for me and for my family. So I have started to track what I am eating and doing a weekly meal prep to make sure I am getting all the right stuff! 10426196_10100703724103531_6973640644195868287_n IMG_2259

The hard part will be to stop drinking soda…that will take some time I am sure of it.

Goal #4: Make time to pursue writing

Everyone has dreams, and when your dreams seem to be on standby then we become dissatisfied with life. At least I do. I have had dreams of becoming a writer for so long and let me be clear, I do not need to be a New York Times Bestseller, but I would love to be published a little more. I have had a few stories accepted for publication, but I would love to get more. One of my Lifetime Goals is to get a novel published in the traditional manor (not self-publishing). Those are some of my personal goals. I believe these goals will help me to be a better me! journal

I will admit though, when I am feeling down all I need to do is look at my sweet Tobias and everything is instantly better! As soon as a smile come across his face my heart melts and all my petty problems melt away!

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What are some of the goals you have? Please share in the comment section below!

Happy Friday!

Challenges

Update on Tobias

Tobias has been sick constantly, and we have been in and out of the doctor’s office and hospital since he has been born. It feels never-ending sometimes.

About a week ago Tobias was admitted into the hospital for an abscess that formed on his neck. Originally it was just a swollen lymph node.

The abscess got so large that my son couldn’t turn his head without being in pain. So surgery was needed to drain the abscess.

Passed out in the hospital crib.
Passed out in the hospital crib.

In an adult, it would be call a minor surgery, but for a 3 month old (4 months now) it is a pretty big deal since they have to put him under.

Tobias did great and healed quickly, but I was a mess. I couldn’t believe that he had to be hospitalized so young.

Tobias after his surgery. He is one tough little guy.
Tobias after his surgery. He is one tough little guy.

Of course there was more going on that we didn’t know. He became resistant to the antibiotics, and there was a mess of doctors and surgeons calling telling us what we needed to do.

The calls lasted for a full week, each time it was a different doctor – talk about a headache. 

Poor kid was on three antibiotics before we got the right one in his system.

Personal Revelation

Life is full of challenges, and problem solving has become a great skill of mine, but throughout this whole process I saw a part of me that I wish didn’t exist.

Selfishness.

Now yes, I care about my son and his well-being, but I couldn’t help thinking about all the bad things that seem to keep happening to me and my family lately.

I will not go into detail because well… it’s the Internet and I am smarter than that! 🙂

The point is I wasn’t letting God be exalted in my life. I was more focused on my own feelings and emotions than on God and what he desires.

It may not seem like that big of a deal to some, but to me discovering this really stopped me in my tracks.

Giving It To God

This process doesn’t happen over night, but it is important that each day I speak aloud, “God, I give it all to you. Your will be done Father.”

Luke 9:23 “Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.’”

I truly believe there is power when we speak it out. Just like there is power when we pray scripture.

Every time I pray this I feel the burden being lifted off, and I can see clearly.

This isn’t a process that can be stopped after one day. We as humans are selfish in nature and I know it can be hard to remove the focus from ourselves, especially when society rewards those who are self-seeking and those who work for their own gain.

However, the reward we receive from God is much greater.

He is my joy and my blessing!
He is my joy and my blessing!

Personal Growth

Being challenged isn’t a bad thing. Accepting to get through the challenge breeds good character and forces you to grow as an individual. And I don’t know about you, but I aways want be growing!

I will leave you with some of my favorite quotes that I hope inspire you as much as they inspire me.

C.S. Lewis Eric Bates Seneca Steve Maraboli

Photo quotes from Goodreads

How do you overcome challenges in your life? I am always looking for new ways to view various situations. Please share in the comments below.

~Sarah

Becoming an Adult – Age is Just a Number

Peter De Vries has one of my favorite quotes about marriage and becoming an adult, “The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.” If you think about this, it is scary true! Just because you are over a certain age doesn’t make you an adult.

I always have thought that I was mature, but in all reality I was just selfish (Yes, I am admitting it). Having a child is a great equalizer. It doesn’t matter what job you had before becoming a parent or how much money you make, you are now mommy and daddy. Through parenthood you have now been bonded to other parents and congratulations – you are in the club. But surprise – there are no quick fixes and all the advice in the world cannot prepare you for those sleepless nights and all the heart wrenching cries you hear escape the mouth of your child.

Yes, you may attend important meetings and have coffee delivered to you by an intern and feel that you are important, but now you are the most important person in the world; you are a parent and you mean everything to that child!

It is time to put down the mocha and pick up a package of diapers; skip that “important” meeting and watch your child take his/her first steps. Life is now, more than ever, about sacrifice.Sleepy head

I will gladly sacrifice my own comfort so that my son can finally get some good quality sleep, even if it is on my chest or in my arms. Yes, I will complain later that I am tired, hungry and haven’t showered yet today, but as soon as he smiles up at me it is all worth it and believe me, he cries A LOT!

I was not an adult when I graduated from college. I wasn’t even full an adult when I got married, but I did become an adult the day I brought my son home from the hospital. My life became about sacrifice and never ending love.

We were given the perfect example of adulthood in the Bible. God gave up His Son and His Son gave up His life so that we could choose to have everlasting life through Him. Now I don’t want to get all preachy, but honestly I never saw it that way until I became a parent. Giving yourself over to another takes a lot of trust and patience. You are no longer your own, now you have a “little” person to look after.
So far the hardest thing for me has been discovering my son’s personality and coming to terms with the fact that my idea of parenthood is not what he has in mind. I have lost numerous hours in a day thinking I was a bad mother because I couldn’t figure out what he wanted, now I know that I have to slow down and look at things from his perspective. He is a person and already he has his likes and dislikes I just had to figure them out.

For example, every time I gave my son a bath he screamed his head off and I couldn’t figure out why. I thought for sure he would love bath time. After going through the different scenarios, I learned that it isn’t the water he hates, but rather the cold plastic tub we put in him for the bath. Eliminate the tub = enjoying bath time ☺

Fist Smile
Fist Smile

I am not perfect though, and my poor husband has watched me break down on a number of occasions, but with practice and patience we are starting to see our son’s personality form. Discovering my son’s personality helps me discover who I am more and more. This journey is one that is never-ending and even through the tough parts I am thrilled at the chance to discover my heart.

If you are a parent please share what surprised you about your child’s personalities in the comment section below. Also don’t forget to subscribe for more updates about the chaos of being a new parent and the journey of Discovering My Heart!