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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

Fighting For My Mind

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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

Mistakes

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)

I’m not perfect and honestly, no one is.

Go ahead you can admit it too!

Mistakes will happen and handling them can be a challenge.

I recently made a huge communication no-no by missing a  spelling error on a publication.

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To some, this may not seem like a big deal, but when it’s your boss sending out the documents and catching all the flak for the errors – it can feel like the whole world is crashing down on you in that moment.

I corrected the errors and sent out the correct documents, but that didn’t stop the crushing feelings that I had.

I failed.

The truth though is that my failure can be put behind me. Mistakes happen, they will always happen.

They happen at work, they happen in marriage, heck they even happen when we are trying to be a good parent.

It isn’t the mistake that defines us; it’s how we choose to overcome them.

I was raised to take responsibility for my mistakes. So I apologize for the mistake, I correct the mistake and I do my best to get my emotions in check, which is sometimes the hardest part – no one likes failing.

Really want I want to say is it’s totally fine to mess up, it’s a natural part of life. If we were all perfect we would be boring and we wouldn’t grow.

❤ Sarah

Small Victories

Tobias is one of the pickiest eaters I have ever met, and I have met a lot!

Maybe it is because I never let him eat from my plate, or maybe that is just who he is. Either way, I find it to be extremely irritating.

I hear the same advice all the time, “he will eat when he is hungry.”

Yes, I know, but the trick is getting him something he will actually eat when he is hungry!

I have tried switching up meats for him to try, but that never seems to go well. Once he ate a chicken nugget and I was so thrilled I literally jumped up and down.

I looked like an idiot, but I didn’t care.

Guess what! He hasn’t eaten one since then. Of course, he will dip it in the ketchup and lick the ketchup off of the chicken, but he won’t bite into the chicken.

Toddlers!

Need I say more?

We go through the same routine every night when its time for dinner. He runs over to his chair, sits himself down and inspects his plate. Then he will point to each thing given to him and waits for me to tell him what they are.

I have never given him pork, simply because we don’t eat it often in our house, but this night was different and I served him a pork cutlet.

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So he started with his favorite item on the plate; ketchup.

Tobias points at it smiling and I say “that’s ketchup.”

He giggles and moves on.

He always points to the other items that aren’t meat first.I explain what each is as he smiles, but still nothing has gone into his mouth yet.

Finally he gets to the pork. The smile is gone from his face. He points at it and looks up at me.

“That’s pork.”

Now I seem to have gotten his attention. He is now really watching me. He inspects it further and then points again. And again I tell him its pork.

What does he do? He picks it up, smells it and then dips it in the ketchup.

I’m thinking well he we go again, another meal my child won’t eat.

Then it happens, the pork made it into this mouth, and it was the first thing he finished!

He consumed three servings of food that night!

The one thing I put on his plate that I thought he would eat, he ignored. Sorry sweet potatoes.

It isn’t much, but it is a small victory. After two months of him wanting nothing to do with the meals I prepared, he finally ate something!

His stomach was so full that you could see it popping out of his shirt!

Current Score: Tobias: 2,599 —Mom: 1

I’ll still take it!

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.

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

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