Spring is Here!

Hello friends!

Did I mention I had the flu in February and life has been a revolving door since?

Well, I did and it has and here we are at the end of March and I’m catching my breath and dreaming of summer! I suppose mid-way through summer I will be wishing for school again, but not at this moment. I am ready for long evenings, slow mornings and some FUN. I’m ready for pool days, cook outs with friends and a vacation. There is something about Spring though, that I don’t want to miss. I don’t want to long for the next season at the beginning of this one.

I know a lot of people who hate thunderstorms with severity. I love a good thunderstorm. Friday evening’s storm was a great way to kick off spring, for me. The rain nourished the grass, (made it a lot easier for nick to work on our new fence haha), helped me clean out the flower beds, and calmed the air. The rain settled all the dirt that blew around a week or so ago. There is a freshness that doesn’t come without a good thunderstorm. Spring has its way of awakening us to beauty, getting us to come alive from the winter’s hibernation. Spring is a season of beginnings, newness, life and color. I find it so exciting.

I think Sundays in spring are particularly delightful. Church, lunch with the family, a nap, yard work, a trip to the park with the girls and then a picnic on the patio. Yes please!

(everyone is fed, bathed, read to, prayed with and tucked in as well as asleep, PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW) Everyone loves the tired that comes with outdoor play, or at least we do. ❤

See, I had this whole plan for Heart Month. I had all of these posts planned, some fun ideas and I wanted to use the month to really get into a pattern of writing more often .I struggle with thinking any of this is relevant to anyone, so I tend to hold back or not write as often as I would like, for fear of it just being a waste to everyone. I have figured out that if I just write because I have something on my heart, if I’m learning something or if God has really placed something in my lap to share, then I do, and in that, someone always responds. Being sick in February halted me from singing for over a month, put a huge damper on some health goals I have, threw me for a loop hormonally since I realized some medication I was on was giving me a rash. (TMI right??)  I guess what I’m trying to say is, not every month or season turns out the way we plan. Can I get an amen?! I had high hopes, big plans and was so ready for an amazing month of February and it tanked. So March has been the month of recovery and regrouping.

Giving myself a lot of grace, finding some books and tools that have really inspired me, stayed in touch with my best friend and my sister (both live 12+ hours away so communication is work), quality time with my folks, carved out time with Nick (even if it is a quick dinner before band rehearsal), regular counseling sessions, an incredible Bible Study (in which I have been so excited to open every day, thanks Erin), and so on… I am coming back around. Sometimes we just aren’t our best and that is ok.

One might think counseling is a bit much after just being sick for a week or so…well, see here’s the deal. For the last 6 years I have been walking the earth as a bereaved mother (so we are called). It is not a club I asked to be in or one I wish anyone to be in with me, but, none the less, here we are. So for 6 years I have found lots of ways to navigate, cope, even heal in many ways. I have been so blessed by a great church family, deep rooted faith since childhood, friends, family and others who graciously love me and support my family. I have done lots of studies and read books, I have poured myself in ministry for 5 of the 6 years and volunteered for many years on top of that, which has been a huge part of my story. All of this to say, I have had an amazing support system. I know many don’t. Through the last year or so I have noticed a lot more of a struggle with anger, anxiety and tension. I would find myself blowing up extremely often. It alarmed me when I had a full blown anxiety attack the weekend of the flu extravaganza. Ana was sick alongside me, she was coughing so much she was throwing up, I still felt awful,  Nick was trying to keep everyone afloat and I lost it. I laid in my bathroom floor and just lost it. I say this cautiously because I am not necessarily proud of this moment, but what it did for me was to push me to finally contact a counselor and start going. I will tell you, the first session was hard, but at the same time, the most relief I have felt in years. I have talked with pastors, friends, people who are on staff at churches, other bereaved mothers, etc. I had not felt so heard or validated, ever. I wasn’t told any of the cliche’s. I didn’t feel like I was wasting someone’s time or that I sounded like a broken record. I was just accepted and listened to and frankly, loved. Listening is loving. I’m slowly learning. This is not to say that ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS were not helpful. That isn’t true. Everything and everyone has been a huge blessing and a big part of my healing and life since Noah’s death. What counseling has been this last month, for me, has been a breath of fresh air, a beautiful change of scenery, self care at its core, and mentally a soft place to land. I’m very thankful.

Spring brings with it the promise of newness. New life springs up, new energy and new outlooks. Our lives have seasons as well. Sometimes they start with coming out of hibernation and opening a new season of vulnerability. Counseling isn’t a cure all. It is simply a way to process, find support and get tools to help us walk this life. There are many ways to find support such as a life group or Bible study, a ministry team or speaking with your pastor. There is just something extremely different about the time I have sat with my counselor and the weight that is lifted when I leave is immeasurable. Spring can happen, for your mind and soul, in the middle of winter.

Whenever you decide to come alive to a fresh season, it is available. That is the beauty of grace.

So, find encouragement today! If this is the permission you need to find relief, take it! If you need a reminder that it doesn’t matter how many years it has been since the loss of someone in your life, a traumatic event or life change took place, you can find a new season, healing, help, relief, and support.

 

Romans 12:1-3 “Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Transformation takes work, time and a renewal of the mind. For me, renewal of the mind has meant finding new ways to process, think and examine my life. Renewal isn’t an easy process. Perhaps we will always be in a season of renewal, if we are truly letting God do his work in us.

Deeper, Simplify, Intentional, Commit, Wellness, Discipline, and Renewal..2013-2019..6 years of words, six years of waiting for eternity..each year will be another chapter in the story, each word another theme that God uses to bring myself back to him no matter how far I stray.

Happy Spring, friends! May God bless you in every way, only has He can, for His purposes! May you find grace and love, peace and healing, renewal and transformation, this season. Allow God to bring you a new season! Don’t do it alone! Here for any of you!

Shaina

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