A #changeofheart

pexels-photo-568027.jpegHello, friends.

This place of creativity, writing and sharing can be a lovely addition to my life and it can be a thing that I add to my “things I’m failing at” list. In other words, it has been too long since I communicated with you all…

Do you ever feel like that about all of the things in your life?

Brutal honesty here?
Lately, I’ve felt as though I am roughing it or down right failing at most things in my life.
In no particular order…
mothering
health
my job
my ministry
focusing
routine keeping
my housekeeping skills
got behind in my Bible reading
not communicating well to any of my friends(the ones I have, probably because I can’t communicate well, I’m guessing)
did I say mothering?
because of all the above mentioned items, I then feel as though I am not wife-ing very well either because he gets the brunt of it all. He tends to carry me through the ugly parts of when I am strung out, disorganized, overwhelmed and struggling.

So, basically, I’m a hot mess with tons of ideas and goals and desires and not one ounce of “get er done”….or more accurately, I cannot even keep the basics in order, so how could I attempt to work towards bigger things. How can I think about my big goals, if I can’t even keep a meal plan together or not snap at my kids once a day (or more, because truth)… my mind wanders, I get frustrated too easily, no patience, low energy, feeling heavy hearted and heavy laden. My brain is in a fog and even though I have things I want to work at and move towards, they seem too far away to try anymore…is God even there and are the things I’m wading through even worth the fight?

Question is: how do we pull ourselves out from this mess? Is there anything worth gleaning from the mess? Do we give up and just live in the mess?

Well, from past experience: There are plenty of things worth learning and living in the mess is possible, but not a great idea. And how do we pull ourselves out of it??

……

You tell me.

I do have some ideas/thoughts on the matter though. As I said, “from experience” means that this has happened before. It happens more often than I wish to admit, but isn’t it freeing to know that someone else gets it? Does it help to have someone reaching their hand down into the pit of the craziness and say, “come on up, you can’t stay down in that forever..”

Here are some things I have to remind myself of when sitting in the middle of the mess…

  1. This will pass. This mess won’t last forever. The craziness, the mess all over the house, the crazy schedule, the 2 yr old’s tantrums (although, Lord knows we think they are going to graduate high school throwing a grand fit), the 7 yr olds CONSTANT STREAM OF TALKING AND QUESTIONS, (which by the way I will miss, I know I will), the month’s menses (because Lord knows that has a lot to do with our crazy, I see you husbands out there nodding), health and wellness is an EVERY DAY JOURNEY that if you’ struggle with it, you will always need to be aware and probably struggle in it. (struggle doesn’t have to be considered bad, either, I mean it in terms of, just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it is not worth it) Make sense? All of that to say, not everything will always be this hard. Things aren’t always a mess. Seasons, people. This too, shall pass.
  2. New mercies. I tend to think that that statement gets overused and less understood every time I use it. “oh, thank goodness for new mercies” and then I go complain and whine under my breath about the situation I just exclaimed new mercies about… *face palm* But, it is the truth. Our God is a God of grace and we don’t get it right all the time. He is gentle to love us through our wandering. We must extend love-heart-hand-romantic.jpggrace to ourselves and others. Mercy is something I don’t always understand, but the older I get, the more life I experience and the more I learn in parenting, the more I am so very thankful for it.
  3. Small steps. What small thing can I change? You don’t have to change everything overnight. I have crashed and burned when I think I need to eat better, exercise, be a better mom, get more sleep, take my vitamins, have a clean home, be caught up on all reading, projects,etc… in one day… instant fail. We can’t change every single thing overnight. A great podcast I listened to recently is from The Lazy Genius Collective. She is so good about simplifying some really great stuff. Her theory is being a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t. I love that. Check her out on Itunes Podcasts… her website has all the links. I really enjoyed the latest one about morning routines. Such wisdom and great advice for anyone struggling with any routine, (she’s going through more through the month), but just start somewhere. Start with a small step daily and then grow from there. We can’t change everything in one day. We just cannot. We are not meant for that. Just start.
  4. Get alone. I know that there are people in my world who might disagree with me on this, because they are more extrovert than introvert. But, in my world, I have to get alone for a long enough amount of time to clear my head, not even listen to music or podcasts (as much as I enjoy them), just silence. I need “white space” so to speak as I figure things out. Prayer, quiet and clean slate. I can hear my thoughts, hear my needs and really get to the bottom of issues that are maybe the whole reason for the rest of the struggles. In years past I would have gone to every friend or person I could to “unload” or “process” my issues, trying to figure out what to do and “vent to them about it all. Those days are behind me, and I still have some trusted people in my life that help navigate and walk through seasons of crazy and struggle. But, I have found just finding some (making time for) some true quiet and alone time can really do the trick.
  5. Make prayer a priority. This is the one I still have to work on. It goes hand in hand with the previous point, but it is so vital to our health in every season. Make it a practice, find ways to incorporate it into every aspect of your life. I find that journaling my prayers is helpful in my focusing, but in the car or shower or other places I find myself I can use it to pray as well. It doesn’t have to be a process or big deal. Communicate with the Father. It makes all the difference.
  6. Eat Right. Ok, so this is where the blog post starts to preach straight to me. I will pexels-photo-406152.jpegalways be on a journey of health and wellness as this is a big struggle for me. So I know how to say this makes a difference and not actually do it. I know what it is like to feel amazing and how it feels to be sluggish and depressed in a cloud of sugar and “comfort food”. Eating healthy has so many more benefits than just a weight issue. Currently reading It Starts With Food, by Melissa Hartwig and it really does break down the science of eating clean/whole foods and why our bodies crave it and need it. Along with how our bodies are affected by all the junk. This is a constant battle and learning place for me. So know you are not alone. Writing it, being transparent about it and letting others know is helping me to refocus and gain a grip again!
  7. Get Rest. I know I know. I’m saying all the things you already know, but don’t think are possible in your life. I get it. I have had to put my phone across the room at night so I don’t scroll or play games before sleep. I have had to really push myself to remember that sleep is so very important. I know with littles, because I have a couple, that sleep can be something we don’t get to experience much of. In time, it just happens again, but I’m finding that it’s hard for me to get sleep when I am trying to enjoy alone time as well…the only time I can, which is when they are asleep. haha. It’s a crazy cycle. Sleep really is healing and I know if we can get in a routine of getting more of it, we will all benefit.
  8. Tack habits/consult a physician. This one can get tricky, but I am finding that tracking habits/month to month, tracking symptoms, triggers and other components of struggle, depression, cycles of crazy, meltdowns, etc can be so helpful in finding common occurrences or reasons for such issues and then it is easier to approach your doctor or therapist and figure out some treatments. Not all crazy cycles need physician attention, but some may. You’ll most likely know and probably push the notion away, but let me tell you, reaching out to professionals for some help is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. Finding that support can be the grace you’ve been praying for.pexels-photo-583846.jpeg
  9. Write down all the things. For me, this helps. When I write stuff out I get it out of my head. When I write it all down, I can start to filter through the important and the not so important. I can write down goals, needs, feelings, frustrations and thanksgiving as well. Don’t be afraid to have messy, scratchy lists, scribbles and random paragraphs of nonsense. Just let it all out. That journal or spiral notebook is a safe place. No matter the content, it is best to get it out, instead of keeping it in.

I could keep going. I really could. There are so many things I have found that help me in this and I want to share them all. For now, I’ll leave with one more things to make it an even 10.

10. Be Honest. Sometimes I even fool myself thinking that I can just keep going, that nothing is wrong and that it will all just magically get better. When I am honest with myself and Nick, as well as co-workers, even my children, I find freedom. I find support. I find lots of grace and love. Honesty is the fertile ground for freedom. There doesn’t have to be shame and in Christ there is no condemnation. We can be honest, broken and real and find grace, mercy and freedom. If we cannot find it in ourselves to just be honest about our struggles, our strengths, our failures and our successes, then we will just constantly be alone, hiding behind masks and pretending its all ok when we may actually be dying inside. Reach out, be honest and when others reach to you , extend grace and be a soft place to land. Let’s not assume people know we are struggling either. Don’t assume they know and don’t accuse them of not caring if you haven’t said anything. *side note*sunglasses-woman-girl-faceless.jpg

Hot mess, crazy weeks *sometimes months* happen and we don’t have to let them ruin us. We can use them as an opportunity to grow, to learn more about ourselves, each other and just how much God wants to guide us through it all. He wants to love us through our every struggle and every battle.

Romans 5:3-5 
“but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This HOPE will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Romans 12:2 
“do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.”

Ephesians 1:18
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of HIS strength.” 

He wants to show us the heart. His heart. He wants to change our heart.

To heal it, to teach it, to mold and shape it. The seasons when we feel most vulnerable are so often the exact times he is wanting us to pay better attention, to focus in on him and his heart for us. He is for us. His heart is for us. A healthy heart allows all the other systems in the body to function properly; emotionally and physically.

There is so much more to #findingtheheart than just seeing pretty hearts all over. Finding the heart is a daily exercise in seeing His heart and letting His heart heal our own. I hope you join me on this journey.pexels-photo-424517.jpeg

In Him,

Shaina

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