Self-care

Self-care: Don’t forget your hat

Isaiah 66:13 – As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you

Do you ever have a day where you just feel depleted? You’ve given everything you got and you just can’t give anymore. Yesterday was one of those days. If I could’ve just locked myself in my room, curled up in a ball and cried, I would have.

All three of my children are recovering from strep throat, my daughter is crying because she didn’t get the lead role in her school play, my middle child is having a meltdown about screen time, my husband is stressed about finances, and my youngest son has taken up bug eating for the day. Meanwhile I’m trying to help with homework, prepare dinner, clean the house, and find a quiet place in my house so I  can continue writing.

For whatever reason, I’m always able to go in my bag of uplifting quotes or funny jokes and lift up my family’s spirits in a time of personal crisis. My quotes and jokes ensure everyone is happy, feeling good, and restored to their harmonious selves. I just don’t know why I couldn’t do that for myself yesterday.

As a mother, I feel it’s very easy to put on my many hats throughout the day and forget to put on the most important hat, self-care.  I had to take a minute, to look in the mirror, and ask myself, when was the last day I had a ME day. Why is it I feel so guilty about spending money or time on myself?

I hear this same story too often in our society when it comes to women never getting enough time in the day for self.

So on this day, I send a hug, smile, and message to every woman. Whether you are a mother, a caregiver, or a single woman in this world trying to make a difference: remember, you are strong and powerful, an overcomer, beautiful inside and out, and God has a plan for you!

Dear God,

I want to say thank You for making me into the woman I am today. Allowing me to be a mother to my children and a wife to my husband. You keep me safe in Your arms when I feel I don’t have enough energy to continue. Please give me the discipline to practice self-care.  Please continue to give me the strength to persevere through life’s obstacles.

Amen

Be Lead by the Holy Ghost

Roman 8:5 (ESV) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

As I have matured in my spiritual journey I have experienced the fullness of the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.  The power of God directing my path and learning to be led by the Holy Ghost has allowed me to really walk by faith and not by sight.

In the beginning it was hard, because that meant I had to totally surrender. Talk about a hard thing to do! It took me far too long to surrender. This meant I would not be in control. When I allowed my flesh to lead, I found myself being more reactive then active. Yes, I was leading and in control so I thought.  It was as if my life was a continual roller coaster.  I wasn’t in control by any measure.  I could sense something was coming. I could feel it, sometimes see it, and almost instantly I began to develop my plan.  With me leading it usually ended with more than I could bear.  My anxiety level would be high and I would be stressed out to the max.

I finally reached a point when I said there has to be a better way. I began to pray. I began to confess my sins. I cried out to my heavenly Father.  I waited. I listened. I heard that still, soothing voice say, “I will lead you.”  Not only has it led me, it has kept me.  In this life I have learned that unless I really turn to God for answers there can be no peace for me. I wish I could make everyone understand the power of the Holy Ghost. Once you are in relationship with God and the Holy Ghost speaks – there are a multitude of hallelujah’s, blessing’s and favor. Yes, I have learned to lean on God and let Him direct my path in life.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19 KJV

Dear God,

You are so glorious, awesome and kind.  Please Lord continue to be ever present in my life. As I go through the week, I ask that the Holy Ghost would continue to speak to me and direct my path. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost!

Amen

 

“If I Knew Then What I Know Now”

Psalm 37:30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just. (NIV)

How often have you found yourself saying, “If I knew then what I know now?”  I can’t tell you the number of times that has been said.  I heard my mom and others in my family who are now older and wiser say it and now it is a part of my repertoire.

I remember talking to a drug addict and hearing him say, “If I knew that one last hit would send me into a world of addiction.”  I hear young women and men saying, “If I only knew that night of pleasure would send me into a world of hurt and pain.” I hear from married couples, “If I only knew that our marriage would end in divorce” or “If I would have known he/she would pass away before we even began to grow old together.”  There are so many if I’s. “If I only knew that I would end up as a single parent.”  The phrase is attached to so much of what happens in life. What does it all mean?

Hind sight is something we all can attest to. As people say, hindsight is 20/20. This thing called life is about living. It is about what we decide to sometimes knowingly and sometimes not so knowingly do.  Life is filled with choices.  I say this and firmly believe that every choice we make God already knows about it. He also knew that those personal choices would be apart of our life’s journey. It is in “going through” that we have a testimony. It is when we have to call on “Our Father who art in heaven”.  Life – don’t forget that this storm will not last forever. The mistakes, thoughtlessness, last word, action, behaving badly all are a part of our being human and being frail.  We in and of ourselves are not equipped to handle the storms of life without having our hands in the hands of our heavenly Father.

Dear God,

Thank you for being so amazing and allowing me to go through the things that I have been through so that I can be a stronger person in faith and be a living testimony of what God can do in your life.  Please allow me not to beat myself up on things that I did not know then that I know now. Please allow that phrase to be my tool and my fuel to press forward.

AMEN

 

What A Friend I Have in Jesus

Proverbs 27:9 (NIV)   Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.

As I talk to my children about friendship and what it means to be a friend. I think about what my grandfather and mother use to tell me “if you have one good friend in this life time you are doing good.”  I think about the friendships that I have and how each one holds a special place in my heart.  

I often see my children – as young as they are – trying to find and make lifelong friends. I see the smiles on their faces and the lightheartedness shown as they talk about them or interact with them.  Those emotions rise again but in a very different way when something occurs.  There is sadness when the person they considered their best friend either has to move away or as they grow older they grow apart. 

Often I see my daughter trying to emulate her relationships with friends to be like mine. Of course, we talk about it and I encourage her to think about what a friend is. And what it means to have a close friend. I realize the one thing she doesn’t understand is my closest friend is Jesus Christ. I have said that but does she really understand?

With Jesus you can laugh until your stomach hurts or cry loudly and uncontrollably when you are sad. With Jesus Christ you can tell him all your burdens. He will not judge you nor leave you.  He will show you continued grace and mercy even when you have shown your many flaws. He’s that kind of friend.

I must continue to tell my children all these things and more about what a friend we have in Jesus. I have to let them know I’m intentional about my relationship with Christ – just like I’m intentional with my other relationships. I go to Him in prayer. I check in with Him throughout the day. I take time to talk with Him and to listen. I don’t take His love for me for granted. 

Jesus Christ is the best friend I have ever had.  Just as you have to be intentional with the friends that you gather here on this Earth.  I make sure that I take time to be with Him every single day – it’s intentional!

Dear God,

Thank you for always being a magnificent friend. You continue to show me what it means to be a good friend with Your love and kindness. I pray that as I go through this week that Your light shines in all of my friendships.

Amen

Just Like an Automoblie

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

When I started this post three weeks ago, we were having a winter storm. My spirit, my soul and my body felt weary. I couldn’t tell if it was due to the weather that I was driving through or if I was sensing something that was about to happen.  I thought it might mean I would recover from the hives that had been plaguing my body for over a week. But I knew one thing for sure, I could not do this battle by myself. 

As I was driving, my emotions began to come over me.  I began to feel as though I was going to tear up.  In that moment a song popped into my heart and my mind.  I felt as if my grandfather was sitting right there singing the song to me. This song is titled “Christian Automobile.” Growing up I would hear my family sing this song every time we got together.  My grandfather sang this song every opportunity he got.  Whether we were at one of his friends’ houses, a family gathering or church; people would ask him to sing this song.

It wasn’t until this very day that the words became clear and I fully understood its true meaning.  The lyrics of the song talk about every child is running to Jesus just like an automobile.  It goes on to say, “prayer is your driver’s license, faith is your steering wheel.”  It is a clear illustration of how you have to go up the hills of life even though it’s rough and your soul is getting weary.

It is a wonderful illustration of a car that may not be the newest or most expensive but it is serving its purpose.  It lets me know that just like a car chugging along, I will get through.  How will this happen? I will check in with God through prayer.  I have faith that He will come through.  God is always by our side.  With Him as the head of your life we will get through this journey.  

As I said I had no idea what was going to take place, but over these past three weeks I have been really sick with my MS.  I have not been doing well. My ex-husband decided to come back and take me through a rigorous ordeal involving our children. I began to feel overwhelmed. I questioned all that God had laid out before me. But with this song running strongly through my blood and through my heart and with prayer and meditation I was able to get through the journey.

Dear God,

My gracious heavenly Father, I just want to lift Your name up in praise!  Thank You for continually carrying me.  You are there when I feel like the world is heavier than what I can bear. Thank You for Your continuous coverage over me and my family.  As I go through this week, if it is Your will, allow me to share my testimony of how You brought me through. If it had not been for the Lord by my side where would I be?

Amen

The Great Masquerade of Life

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

 Do you have a mask that you wear? Or do you have a variety of masks that you don depending on who, what or where? I know that I have worn a number of masks. I always have wanted to believe that I show up in my full authentic, transparent, Christian, spiritual, loving and funny self. Quite often that is true. Yet, I realize there is a season when that really happens.

However, as you go through life it seems like you meet people that wear so many different faces. You see them in one place and they are one way. You see them somewhere else and you don’t even recognize who they are. You may say, “Hum, I thought I knew them, I guess I don’t.” In the moment I didn’t stop to think are they having an off day. The truth is at times you may have found yourself behaving in some of the same ways.  Ever been in that spot? 

When you apply for a job do you show your true self? Or, when you see somebody you’re interested in do you show “All of Who You Are”? I don’t understand why we always hide behind a mask. Is it because we are ashamed of the person that we truly are on the inside? Or, is it that it is easier putting on a face to be accepted or at least show what you think is your best self? 

I finally have reached a point in my life that I no longer am willing to hide who I truly am. I am a strong woman that walks proudly. I stand in and believe in my faith. I am a woman that wears her heart on her sleeve. I’m a woman that cries. I’m a mother. I’m a wife. I’m a survivor. I’m a Child of God. 

What if we hid behind the mask of being a true Christian?  What if we wore a mask of being a bold and proud Christian? What would that look like?

Dear God,

Thank you for always giving me the desire to be more like you.  You continue to show me so much grace each and every day. I pray Lord God that you surround my being with your everlasting love. That I too will show and be an example of your love. And in doing so, people can bear witness of the love you have given me.

Amen

 

Do We Know Our Work?

 

Jeremiah 29:11(NKJV) 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

The other night I was driving home with my daughter Maya and we were having our typical mother daughter conversation. She asked her twenty plus questions in under a minute. I am always amazed at her thought process, analogies and thirst to learn so much.

As I tried to keep up with Maya and give her the best response I could in the moments I had to respond.  I sat so pleased and grateful that our relationship allowed her to feel comfortable asking me questions and sharing her thoughts and ideas. After a bit she stopped asking questions and it was quiet for at least five minutes.

Then right when I began to get comfortable with a moment of silence, Maya looked at me and said, “Mommy sometimes when I am silent I  am just thinking  about will I be able to  finish the work that I want to do here on earth before I die.” My mind began to race and as I tried to come up with an answer. She hit me with another question, “Will I finish my work up in heaven?”

Both questions shook my soul. I responded, “I believe God will allow you to complete your work here on earth before you die. Your job in heaven might be something that we can’t even put into words here on earth.”  Since then I have marveled at her commitment to her work at such a young age. Wow! May God show her favor!

Maya’s questions reminded me that tomorrow is never promised. Also, that I, and the rest of us who are His children, should consider this – “with the days we are given here on earth, are we living out God’s will for our life and if so are we working towards it?”

Dear God,

Thank You for putting people in my life that continue to make think about what I am doing. Especially my daughter Maya, a precious gift You have given me. You are so amazing in all that You do. I ask that You give me the strength to stand strong in my faith and that my work here on earth is pleasing in Your sight.

Amen