Christian, Motherhood

The #1 Way to Get Out of a Mental Rut

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know that I haven’t been in the best headspace the last couple of days.  This is due to several reasons but ultimately boils down to one primary reason.

For the past month and a half, my husband and I have been on this spiritual rollercoaster. We packed up everything we owned and headed west towards California because we felt impressed to do so (we don’t feel like this action was wrong), but we got there we didn’t find or see any way for us to be able to stay and not live in our car with our infant son and corgi. From California, we headed back to Colorado to stay with some friends for a while and then we made our way back to Oklahoma (our home state).  This last month has been full of big decision making and a lot of uncertainty.

On top of life decisions, we just recently went to Washington D.C. to honor my grandpa’s service in the Vietnam war in a memorial for veterans who have died due to their service. My Papa died nearly two years ago and I’m realizing that I haven’t truly dealt with the grief and that trip brought many feelings up. I’ve been trying to find a time to feel those emotions, but motherhood proves to be an obstacle.

With life’s ups and downs, with emotions trying to come up and be felt, but being stuffed back down, I’ve started to think negatively. I began feeling a total loss of control over everything in my life. I feel as though I’m stuck in a pit and I’m suffocating by my own hand over my mouth. I’m unaware of the air that’s around me trying desperately to breathe life into my body. I’m so focused on working towards getting out of this pit, I don’t see the stairs behind me that reach to the top.

I know why I’ve been feeling so negative lately, other than just having a lot to deal with, it’s because I haven’t been spending a good, quality time with the Lord. I haven’t been doing my Morning M.E.W.S., I’ve been so depressed that it’s difficult to get out of bed until Navarone wakes up and needs me to come to him. It’s difficult to spend the time when Nav is sleeping to do anything other than veg out. It’s been difficult to have the energy to serve.

The number one reason I’ve been in this mental rut is that I haven’t gone to the stairs behind me, which is a metaphor for not going to Jesus for guidance. I’ve been neglecting the most important part of the day and just droning on. I’ve been too busy existing. You know, that’s not a good way to live – it’s not living, actually. Life deserves to be filled with joy. Now, that isn’t to negate what Jesus says about those who follow him suffering, on the contrary. Joy is a choice. It’s saying despite what my situation is I will choose joy. I will choose to go to the Fountain of Joy, the Foutain of Life, the Fountain of Truth; I will choose to go to Jesus and trust in His name and power.

I’m working on going back to that mindset. I’m working on getting through this tough time. I’m working on trusting the Lord to handle all areas of my life. The first step is acknowledging that it’s a daily choice to grow. I choose to grow.

 

Christian, Motherhood

Morning M.E.W.S.

The recipe to waking up fully aligned with the Holy Spirit and ready to get the work done. This is my personal morning routine, I do this before doing any sort of work. I’ll grab a cup of water, let the dog out and then get to work.

The Morning M.E.W.S., in my opinion, has helped my mental state tremendously. Let me give you a bit of my mental history before we get into the routine.

To say that I’ve always dealt with anxiety would be an extremely accurate statement, there have been many times that my mom would tell me she could feel my worry while in her womb. I remember being a small child and thinking of the worst possible outcomes for any situation and most of the time not being willing to try something out of the fear that something bad would happen. When I began driving I would constantly think about getting into a wreck. Teenage years were also when a fell into a deep depression, it was to the point of considering committing suicide and attempting a few times.

The depression consumed me. I didn’t talk with my parents about what I was feeling, so I mentally shutdown. I numbed myself out. I became an emotionally zombie. I hated feeling nothing, but I didn’t want to feel saddness and pain anymore so numb it was. This was when the Lord lead me to heavier music (underOath, As I Lay Dying, TDWP, etc.) and I credit this music to saving me from myself. It allowed me a voice and escape when I didn’t know what else to do. Slowly, I began to feel emotions again. I remember laughing for the first time in a long time and how joyful it felt.

For years, I still felt and struggled with depression and anxiety, but it wasn’t as strong as it had been in years past. My mom took me to the doctor to talk with her about my mental state and I was proscribed some anti-depressant. This medicine took me back to feeling numb. I absoultely hated how it made me feel nothing, so I stopped taking it. It wasn’t until I started working in the food industry that my anxiety really took ahold of me. I remember my boss coming to me and offering a “less stressful” positon, but the root of my problems wasn’t the job. It was life.

Years later, I’m married and we’re expecting Navarone. Knowing that I struggled with depression and anxiety before child, I felt it necessary to start the conversation with my ob/gyn early. I needed to have answers on what to do if I start noticing those feelings come up. She would check in with me, as would Dakota (my husband), and she would offer medication, if I wanted to take it. With my previous experience being on that medication, I didn’t want to take anything. I’m also a pretty holistic healing kind of person. I’d rather try home remedies, food and teas, before over the counter medication.

Navarone arrived and I felt joy, but a disconnect. I felt so out of my body. When we got home, I tried getting back into my morning routine, but it was a struggle. For the first few months, I wasn’t able to really connect with G-d in the way that I had known. One Wednesday, Dakota and I are back in my hometown, and I go visit our old church. It was the second wendesday of the month, which means the men and women separate into their respective ministries. This woman comes up to me and offers to hold Navarone while I worship and pray. After awhile, she asks how everything is going. I tell her my struggle with finding time to be with G-d. She says, “sometimes there are seasons where we have to learn a different way to study. You might need to just listen to the word, or worship songs.”

Thus, we get to the Morning M.E.W.S., before I start I must say that I am not affiliated with the apps I’ll be mentioning. I’ve used them for years, previous to starting this morning routine and adore them. With that, lets get started on the best morning routine for the busy mama who needs time with the Lord (and anyone else).

M is for Meditation

Meditation is not just a Buddhist practice. Mediation is not from the devil and it’s not evil. Did you know that we are instucted to mediation on G-d’s word? Meditation is a way to focus on one thing, it’s practicing mindfulness. In this step, I use the Abide Meditation app and I’ll listen to the daily meditation for 10-15 minutes. Now, in all transparency, I pay for the yearly subscription and I have for a couple of years now, so I can’t recall if you can listen to the longer mediation with the free account, but I know you’ll have either 2-5 minutes on the daily meditation. That’s really a good start for getting into this routine.

If you don’t want to use the app mentioned, then I would recommend finding a playlist on YouTube or something else to help you get in the habit of meditation being specific to meditating on the word of G-d.

With meditation, do everything you can to remove distractions from the room and your mind. Focus on what the speaker is saying about that day’s verse and commit to hearing from the Lord. He will speak to you each day, if you take the time to listen.

After listening to the meditation, I will then go into whatever devotional I’ve been studying. Usually using one from the YouVersion Bible app, but I do have several physical books that I’ll go through. This is important for you to take the time to actively read the word. To go in and study.

Growth comes from discipline.

E is for Expression

Expression is vocalizing all the G-d calls over you. I believe heavily in the power of words. I believe in speaking life and death over someone, something or some situation, so I try my hardest to be careful about the words that I choose to speak out. With expression, I choose to speak out who I’m called to me and I take the time to remind myself of my true identity, which is found in Christ.

I will say, again out loud, who I am to Him. Here’s how mine goes, feel free to create one that suits you or use this until you get the groove of it.

I am a daughter of the Most High G-d. I am the Head and not the Tail. I am anointed with the Holy oil of Heaven. I am a warrior in the army of the Kingdom of Heaven. I am called. I am more than a conquorer, I am an overcomer.

Once I’ve said all these things, I’ll take the time I need to truly feel these. Some days it’s difficult to feel like a warrior or anoited, but I’ll ask for the Holy Spirit to help me feel the strength I need.

W is for Writing

Once I’ve studied and spoken over myself, I’ll write. I’ll write out whatever is on my heart and mind. If it’s insecurities and fear, I’ll write out all that I’m feeling and then I’ll rewrite the story. I’ll do the work to see the Truth of a situation.

Next, I’ll write in my prayer jounal. I always start my morning prayers with thanksgiving. I thank G-d for another day, breath in my lungs and so on. Then I’ll express what I’ve been writing about to Him. All my fears, my insecurities and frustrations. I’m completely honest with how I’m feeling and what I’m needing from Him. I believe that He will honor that honesty and transparency. Truthfully, I feel a weight lifted off of me when I’m honest with Him about everything, even if it’s me being upset and angry with a situation. I always end with asking for His wisdom about the situation.

S is for Serving

Now that I’ve discipled myself and done the work to put my spirit in alignment with the Holy Spirit, I’m ready to do the most important and necessary part of the morning. I ready my mind, heart, spirit and body to be of service to those around me. I ask for the words and actions to speak and do for that day, then I simply do the work. For me, that’s writing on my blog, posting on Instagram and allowing my experiences and insight to help others. This also means that I do what’s necessary to take care of Navarone and Dakota, my husband.

That’s the Morning M.E.W.S., I promise if you do this every morning for a month, you’ll start to feel joy and peace. I won’t promise you that you will never struggle mentally again, if you don’t Praise G-d. If you do still struggle, praise G-d even still. I still have days where I battle mentally, but those days are fewer and fewer the longer I do this practice. Their duration is not nearly as long and the control depression and anxiety has over me has significantly weakened.

Christian, Motherhood, The Great Move

Breathe Life Into It

This past Sunday, Dakota and I went down to pray for direction. As you know G-d has asked for a bit of blind faith from us lately, with moving to California, then not finding a place and now living a vagabond lifestyle. We’ve just been searching for some clarity on what our next steps, so when it was time for prayer in the service, we went down to pray. The couple that prayed with us are like a another set of parents for us. Before praying, the man said that the day before he was reading Ezekiel and the scripture of the valley of dry bones. He pointed out that there was different layers of prophecy Ezekiel had to speak out before the bones came to life. He had to command the bones to rejoin, then he had to command the wind to breathe life into the bones.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been working at making the work I’ve been doing profitable. I’ve been grinding my butt off reading, studying, investing and trying to make this blog, coaching, influencer work into income. There are a few reasons for this goal. The first is the calling. I hear a calling to help bring peace and joy into lives, for awhile I had the broad idea of women, but I’ve come to realize that my heart is for mamas, specifically new mamas struggling mentally with motherhood. This is a struggle I have, so if I can help other mamas deal with it and learn to not let it control them that’s what I’ll do. The second reason is to provide for my little family. Dakota and I have always struggled financially in our marriage. We’ve always busted our butts trying to make ends meet and get to the goal of stability. Now, we’ve always been taken care of (G-d is so good to us) and we’ve got a good safety net for family, but I don’t want to depend on my family as much as we do.

I feel a sense of responsibility to take care of our family on our own. I desire to be able to let Dakota live out his dreams of music and cooking, while I work on my dream of writing, public speaking and coaching. I desire for us to live our the purpose and calling that has been placed on us, but life has been throwing hurdles at us.

Back to work I’ve been doing, this morning when I woke up I heard “breathe life into it.” Now, I’ve been asking for wisdom on what that means because I thought I was doing that – rejoining bones and breathing life into my work. But have I? I’ve been so focused on trying to do everything myself. I’ve been trying REALLY hard to control all of this business when I don’t know it all. I’ve tried to learn, enrolled in a few classes, struggled and I’m still left with a pile of bones.

So, I’m thinking the answer is to let go. You know, I have friends who have degrees in the areas that I am so lost in. Why have I not reached out to them for help? Why don’t I get a team behind me that helps lift me up, but I in turn can help lift up myself? I’m trying so hard to work towards the joy and abundance promised me through the work that brings me the most joy and clarity, why keep it all to myself?

Maybe that’s the missing link. I need to allow life to be brought into this business and ministry. I need to allow it to be the community I see it being. I need to work with and collaborate. We are not meant to do this alone, so why continue struggling to do it alone?

For you, if you’re struggling with something that you’ve been really working on, I advise reading Ezekiel 37. Read it and step back to take a different look at the situation, do you have just a pile of bones? Do you need to breathe life into the situation? Do you need to ask for help? It’s not weak to ask for help. It’s not a sign of stupidity to acknowledge that you don’t know something. It’s acceptable to ask someone who knows more than you to work alongside you. Life isn’t meant to be lived alone. Allow yourself the freedom and liberty of collaborating with someone.

Christian, Motherhood

The loneliness of a Mother

Motherhood. A truly powerful state of being, yet with all its power can feel like you’re on the loneliest island. What’s worse is the loneliness creeps in, slowly soaking away until you’ve isolated yourself and allow it to cover you like invasive vines. This feeling crept in a few weeks after having my son, at the time my husband and I lived about an hour away from friends and family. It was difficult adjusting to taking care of a child while recovering from having a c-section. I spent most of my days alone in the house. I didn’t see anyone. I didn’t talk to or message anyone. It was just me and the baby. I was having to learn how to take care of this little bean while also trying to take care of myself – I felt like a failure. I felt like I shouldn’t be a mom. I felt like I didn’t belong.

I felt like I was a fraud. I didn’t know how to be a mom, yet whenever I was around people they would tell me how good of a mother I was since I didn’t believe it I felt I was deceiving them.

How could I be a good mother? Me?

I felt out of place. It was like I no longer had control or a say over my body. I was just floating around. Not the good floating where you’re on cloud nine and nothing is going to bring you down. It was like I wasn’t even alive anymore and my spirit was floating towards the ceiling of the house.

I felt so alone. I know in the physical I wasn’t alone. My husband would help with Nav, as much as he could, when he got home from work. My family members and friends would have been willing to help had I asked for it. But I didn’t ask. I didn’t even know how to ask for help. I thought if I asked then that would solidify the thoughts I was having of being a bad mom, of not being legitimate, of not being qualified or worthy of being a mama.

Loneliness is something that I wish I had warned about and that I wish I was more aware of when my friends were having babies. I didn’t realize until experiencing it myself, the depth of feeling alone. I never want another mother to feel alone.

If I’ve completely transparent, I still feel lonely at times. I still feel isolated and unworthy of being Navarone’s mom. I still struggle with trying to put on the mask of having it all figured out. I know I don’t have it all figured out, but I also know that it’s okay and acceptable to not have it all figured out.

If you’re struggling with loneliness, you’re not alone. I’m here with you and many other mothers are too. We’re in this together. Reach out to those around you or send me a message on Instagram or email me. I’m there for you.

Christian, Motherhood, The Great Move

We made it out to California, now what?

A little over a week ago, we left the comfort of my hometown to do what we felt G-d calling us to do – move to California. We left Friday, May 3 heading towards Grand Junction, CO to stay with our friends for a couple of nights, then off to California Sunday, May 5.

We had barely any money left and absolutely no idea what we were going to do or go when we got there. Yet, we went and trusted that it would work out.

Sunday through Wednesday were the most difficult days of my life. They tested me to a point of desperation. We ran out of money by the time we got to California and we were looking at having to sleep in our car. We didn’t know what to do. It seemed that as soon as we drove into California, the Spirit left us. We didn’t have any direction. We felt lost.

That first night, we spent our last bit of money on one night in a hotel room. Funny enough, we were upset with G-d for bringing us to California and then leaving us. What’s funny is, the original hotel room we were going to stay in wasn’t good. It was one of those cheap motels that you don’t sleep well at because the mattress stinks, but also because the doors face outside and it doesn’t feel safe. When that place didn’t pan out, I thought, “so the car it is, great. Thanks, G-d.”

With a turn of events, we ended up staying the night in a much better, safer hotel. We were able to sleep soundly because the mattress was uber comfy and the hotel was secure. We still had no idea what we were doing out in California though, even more, how we were going to stay. Dakota went to the few job interviews he had, which don’t seem to have produced any fruit, but most of the time we were there was spent in the car. We tried to explore but didn’t really know where to go. It was getting close to the end of the day and we didn’t have any money for a hotel room, no one we had reached out to for a place to stay had replied back. We ended up going to a homeless shelter that has a back to work program. We were desperate, but we didn’t feel shame for going and asking for help.

The problem with the program (there were a few, but the main one), was that we had to come back for an interview meaning we still didn’t have a place to stay. With the program, we would have had to turn over our electronics and not have any visitors or be able to leave for the first 30 days. This broke me. It meant that I wasn’t going to be able to join my family in honoring my grandpa in Washington D.C. next month. I went to the bathroom and broke down. Literally fell to the floor, weeping. I didn’t want to be there anymore. I wanted to go home. If this is where and what G-d had planned, I didn’t want it anymore.

My grandma called right as we left the building. Bless my grandma. I love her dearly and thank G-d for her continuously. She offered insight and sent money for us (technology, wow). Now, we’re staying with our friends back in Colorado for a bit. We’re not sure how long we’ll stay here, but we know that eventually, we will be moving to California. Eventually, we will be where we see G-d sending us, but there’s a pit stop to make before. We’re not entirely sure what He’s up to right now, but we fully trust His plan and timing. We know better than to not trust Him.

Was California everything we thought it would be? No, but we did have all our prayers answered. We did find a place to live (just the town and not an apartment), we did find out how willing we were to stay in California (we looked at homeless shelters), we did keep going. We may be in the wilderness right now, but that’s okay. We may be in the three-month adjustment period after giving birth, but that’s fine. All it means is that we’re still striving. We have a little more work to do and a little more to learn before the big event. It’s the small obediences that are important. If you can do the small, you can do the big. Although California was D I F F I C U L T and T E S T I N G it was a blessing. We saw YHWH work. We saw our future. We saw an opportunity.

This is not the end.

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Christian, Motherhood, The Great Move

We’re Going on an Adventure!

One of my favorite series of movies and books are the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. There is so much goodness in each and I just love everything about them. My absolute favorite part is when a young Bilbo Baggins decides to follow Gandalf. He grabs what he can and busts out the door, running through the Shire shouting “IM GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!”

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I love this scene so much. It really sparks me to go out and do.

My favorite movie is Ben Stiller’s rendition of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Does this movie get me jazzed up. The cinematography,  the directing, editing, literally every piece of it is G E N I U S. Here’s the point, life is in the now, not the what if or could be. It’s now.

We’re going on an adventure!

Dakota and I are moving from small-town Oklahoma to California. We’re moving this Friday, actually. Now, this wasn’t our original plan. Our plan started out as “within the year [2019] we’ll move.” Then it was, “by the end of August.” And then, “after we get back from our trip to D.C. [which is mid-June].” And then, “by the end of May.”

Then we felt a heavy, deep pressing to “just go.”

What does that even mean? We aren’t prepared to “just go.” How do we drop everything, pack up and go? Is it just that simple?

Yes.

In the short days since we’ve felt the burden to just pack up and go, doors have opened in ways we couldn’t have possibly imagined. Opportunities are popping up.

Since we’ve told our friends and family, there has been a blanket of peace and assurance.

Now, I have to give you a brief history of our relationship. We’ve had quite a few “just go”(s) along the way. They’ve all seemed reckless and hasty to the physical eye and in a practical sense, and they all haven’t started out as easy-peasy. We’ve faced some real struggles financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. At the beginning of our marriage, we moved an hour and 30 minutes away from where I was attending university and working. We had zero money and no food; however, we were never hungry and provision was always made for our bills to be paid. In four short months, we learned a lot about depending on G-d for our needs and were able to see Him work miracles. Food would literally show up at our doorstep. Even though the time seemed bleak and made me wonder if we heard correctly, I wouldn’t give up the struggle and the lessons learned. After living there, we broke the lease and moved back to my home town.

We lived there for a couple of years until I finished college and then for a year after, then we heard the call again, “just go.” Back to OKC, we went to a different location this time with different lessons to learn. This was the most bittersweet time for our family. My grandpa ended up battling cancer, he then died (got the ultimate healing is how I like to say it), and while we struggled with his death, I found out I was pregnant with our son.

A month after Navarone was born, we moved again. A way was made for us to go back to my hometown. We’ve been here for eight months. We’ll be moving when Nav hits the nine-month mark. I believe there is something to that timing.

Friends, we’re going on an adventure. I feel the birth pains. The fear and excitement. Peace and nervousness. The Spirit is about to drop and if we don’t go, we will miss it.

To you I want to say, hear the call. Go. G-d wants to do big and grand things through you. Let Him. It might be terrifying, like jumping off the high-dive for the first time, but the joy and peace will kick in.

We’re just going. Packing up what we can fit in the car and what we need.

WE’RE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE! Out of the ‘sha, we go.

 

Christian, Motherhood

Of Wilderness

OverProject (2)Lately, I’ve had Heaven time compared to Earth time on my mind. I’ve been thinking the massive time difference between the two and how it relates or enhances the meaning of certain bible verses, namely 2 Peter 3:9.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish,but that all should reach repentance.

We often (myself included) question G-d and His timing. We question if we’re truly hearing His voice and instruction. We question His correctness in calling us to do something. We question His goodness when things don’t happen the way or when we want them to happen. We start to question His existence even. We wonder if He has any care for us and our lives and think, “how could He? He’s so large and we’re small. Why would He care?”

Let me be extremely transparent and vulnerable with you, I am fighting doubt. It is a battle that at times feels like I’m suffocating from and am losing. I know, that is my spirit knows the Truth. My spirit believes the words I’ve heard from G-d, the words He’s spoken to me directly and those He’s spoken to me through someone else and His word. I believe that my dreams and visions will come to fruition, but the doubt sets in. This doubt is rooted in my mind and body taking a bit to catch up with the Truth my spirit knows.

You see, my spirit (as is the truth with yours) is able to meet up with Heaven’s time and the flesh (body and mind) run along with Earth time. This means that while my spirit sees, but flesh can lag behind a bit. It’s during this time where doubt sets in because the fight of spirit and flesh is going on within me. I’ve come to realize that this is the wilderness.

What do I mean by the wilderness?

If you look at the Holy Bible, you see that there are a great numbers of people who G-d called into the wilderness. He spoke to them. Strengthened them in body, mind and spirit. I see the wilderness as this current state I’m in. Where I’m waiting for my body and mind to match up to my spirit. This is the point where I hear Jesus asking, “do you trust me? Keep walking.”

The wilderness shows how hungry you are for Jesus and His will. Are you willing to keep walking even when all you see is desolate and empty? Do you trust Him and His leading? Do you believe that He’s taking you to the City of Light? If not, why continue to go after what you feel He’s put on your heart? If not, why bother getting mad at Him? He didn’t stop you from pursuing His best. You did that. You decided that the wilderness was too much, too hard, too difficult.

If I can offer you one bit of advice that you heed, it’s to keep walking. Keep taking steps forward. I know that it feels like you’re never going to get to the Promise Land. Keep in mind that Heaven works at a quicker pace than Earth. He is not slow to keep His promises, even though it feels like He’s taking an eternity. The day has only just begun. Stay the course. Finish the race. See the Light. Fight through the wilderness and you will taste the good, sweet fruit of the Promise Land.

Christian, Motherhood

What Are You Afraid of?

Yesterday, I was working with a client and we were discussing what she wasn’t happy with about her life. After a few questions, we got to the heart of her issues (at least what I think the heart is) which are her fears.

The fear of failure. The fear of others. The insecurity of being enough.

These are all fears that I know well. I have fought these fears.

I still fight these fears. Every time I put something out on the internet, I fight these negative thoughts and feelings. I fight believing in myself and my abilities. I fight if G-d has truly called me or spoken to me.

I know you fight these too. Here’s the rub, letting fear win will keep you from His blessings. He is love. He is perfect love and perfect love drives out fear. Where fear is, He is not. Where He is, fear is not.

Rest in knowing.

He has called you.

He calls you.

He proclaims good over you.

He wants to bless you.

Are you going to let fear win or are you going to punch it in its nonexistent face and do the thing. You are on this earth for a reason. You have a purpose. You are not a meaningless sack walking around. See yourself with the beauty and reason He sees in you.

Answer the call. Live in love. Fight the fear.

You got this.

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