For those of you who feel insignificant…

I have been in hiding. I felt that what I was writing had no value, to myself or anyone else, so I stopped. But what I have realized since my last post is that I gained the most out of it when I was writing. So I am going to write, and if no one reads it, I will be doing this just for me, but I am hoping someone will be able to say “me too!”

Before I had kids, I either worked two jobs or worked one job while doing school. I was busy, but I was thriving. I loved life and felt like what I did made an impact. My days on the ambulance were some of the hardest days during that time, but I knew that what I spent my time doing affected someone. On someone’s worst day, I was able to be there to support them and their family. That was amazing! However, once I got pregnant, I left the field, for obvious reasons. I worked at a preschool for a while, but had to stop that when I got put on bedrest with kiddo #2. I never went back to work, but dove into school full time while having littles at home. I had been working on a degree off and on for many years, but for various reasons, I always stopped. So I figured this was the perfect time to do school. It was just for me and would give me something to fill up some time other than the kiddos.

Well, I finished my degree in December, and now I am back to being “just mommy.” Don’t get me wrong, Motherhood is so very important, but it is not about us. It requires so much time and energy, but everything is focused on the kids. I have slowly been losing myself since having kids, but I think school kept me distracted enough that I didn’t notice. Once school ended and my kids became slightly more independent, I realized that I have lost who I am.

That brings us up to today. Today, I am lost. I feel a deep tug to be doing something else, but I do not know what that something is. My kids are all home for the summer, so it seems like a bad time to start something new. Yet, the nagging is not going away. I feel like I am called for something more, but I am not sure what that something more is. Do I go back to work? Do I volunteer somewhere? Do I further my education again? It feels inappropriate to just pick something and hope it is the right choice, but I am not feeling called to do something specific. Even the things that I was dreaming of doing before don’t feel right now. I want to do something that matters, but I feel like there is more.

Mommying is hard, and it can be very lonely. I am weighing if I am just lonely, and that is what is feeding this feeling, but I honestly do not believe so. I long to feel significant, but at the present time, I feel very insignificant. While I am waiting, I am focusing on what I know to be true and resting in the comfort that only He can provide. Today, I am meditating on Isaiah 40:31.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Will you pray with me that either the path is made clear or I can find resolution to this feeling? Have you ever felt like this? Talk to me and let me know that I am not alone.



I fell off the wagon…

I fell off the wagon, and am having a hard time getting motivated to get back on. I was able to escape from our life a bit this weekend for a conference, and there are several things I have learned that having nothing at all to do with EMS (which my conference is about). I am sure not everything that I will share will resonate with you, but I hope some of it will. Let me know if you are on the struggle bus with me, please?

Here is what I have learned, in no particular order.

  1. I am lazy. Let’s be honest, it is so much easier to put on a movie in my sweats than it is to turn on a workout. I really do not want to be this way, but I seem to always sink back into those old habits.
  2. If I really want to be more motivated to workout, I need to make it happen. Just saying I want that to change will not do anything, but I can continually take steps in the right direction to turn into the person I want to be.
  3. This change will not happen overnight. Somedays, I can celebrate the fact that I have lost weight and have been amazing about my workouts. Other days, I need to celebrate the fact that I had one less soda than I did the day before. Even small steps in the right direction count.
  4. I need to not give up when I fail. Now hear me out on this one. It seems like common sense to not quit, but there is so much more to this than it initially appears. I expect perfection, and if I do not do my diet or exercises perfectly, they are considered a failure. The truth is, that is not how this works. In order for this to be a sustainable life style change, I need to be able to have a piece of Halloween candy. Do I need to sit down with the bag and have a handful of candy? No. But if I never allow myself some of those treats, I will never succeed.
  5. Guilt. What an ugly word! But this weekend, I realized that I feel guilty for taking care of myself. I feel like I should be taking care of the kids, or the house, or the husband, or, or, or. And you know what? These things are not mutually exclusive. I can take care of everything and everyone that I need to, but still take care of myself as well. Hopefully, taking care of myself will result in me being a better wife, mother, housekeeper, etc.
  6. And lastly, after a weekend away, I realized that I am so incredibly blessed to be able to stay home with my kiddos. I needed a break so badly, but I did not know what to do with myself without them around. I am blessed with a hardworking husband who makes it possible for me to not work. Someday, I will go back to work, but until then, I get to be the one to load my kids on the bus in the morning and snuggle my Maddie girl while we watch a princess movie.

So what does all of this mean going forward? I am going to celebrate the little changes and not give up when I do not stick to my diet or exercise plan 100%. Even one workout is better than if I had not done it at all! I am also going to focus on truth and make the decision to ignore the lies that we too often believe as moms. What I do does matter, and I do not need to lose who I am because I am a mom. So I will be working on myself for a little bit, and probably trying a few different things so that I have a hobby outside of studying for school. (Any suggestions on what to try?)

Today, I will focus on this truth. I am a daughter of the King, and that makes me worth so much more than I am able to see!


Mustard Seed Faith

We have a big meeting with the school tomorrow to determine if Parker will qualify for services and what it will look like if he does. But for some reason, I am uneasy heading into this meeting. I am not sure if it is because it is unfamiliar territory or just because this feels significant, but I have a pit in my stomach that I just cannot shake. I only want what is best for Parker, but in this case, I have nothing to determine what that is other than my gut. I am hoping that the necessary path will be made clear, but if it is not, I have faith that God knows what Parker needs, even when I do not.

Matthew 17:20 tells us that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. It is no coincidence that a mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds. All we need is just a little bit of faith, but so many times, that is a significant amount of faith compared to what we have. I know that God is in control of this situation, and I have faith that He will do what is needed, but do I have enough faith? If I had enough faith, would I still be anxious? Would that pit in my stomach still be there? Are these all indications that I do not have enough faith?

mustard-seed-faith-by-criLord, help me to have mustard seed faith and to trust that you want what is best for Parker even more than I do. Even though this is scary, I want what you want in this situation. Help us to glorify you in the process and press into you. You are our comforter and the Prince of Peace. Comfort us in this time. In Jesus name.

The last month…

So funny… The last post was about emotions and expectations. Know what I have spent the last month doing? Letting my emotions control me! So I will be very honest in this post and then ask you for a favor. Are you ready?

As you all know, I have been on a journey to increase my health and lose some weight. I have been eating better and exercising more. I was doing so well, and then life got in the way. My son received a diagnosis that changes things a little for our family. It is not life threatening at all, but the way that we have been operating will need to change a little bit. In order to understand why this has shaken me so significantly, let me fill in the back story. When I was pregnant with Parker, I went in for my 20 week ultrasound and was told that I would hear back from the doctor if there were any concerns. We were told he was a boy, but that was about all that we knew. Not even 24 hours later, I received a call from my doctor saying there were some concerning finds and I needed to call the high risk obstetrics office to schedule a fancier ultrasound. But I was warned that it may take a little while to get in (since we are Kaiser and everything takes a while). So I called the number that was given to me and the receptionist said they had been waiting to hear from me. Definitely not a good sign. We were squeezed in for the ultrasound a few days later, and when the technician went to get the radiologist, he came back in the genetic counselor. Also not a good sign.

At 22 weeks pregnant, my perfect son was diagnosed with Dandy Walker. They talked us through what it could look like and what this meant for him and my pregnancy. The statistics were something no parent wants to hear, but we knew that God was in control. When my water broke, I began shaking and I could not stop giggling. I was so nervous that I did not know what to do with myself. Labor was amazingly easy and fast (45 minutes) and Parker was born crying. I have never been so relieved to hear a baby cry in my life. All of the resuscitation teams that were in the room began to clear out, and we started to get settled. About 2 hours after he was born, they came to take him to do a MRI of his brain. A few hours after that, my OB, who happened to be the one on call that day, came into our recovery room and sat at the foot of my bed. She told me that she was considering it a medical miracle, because there was no indication of any abnormalities at all! He had his normal, routine well child check ups, but there was no reason to assume he was not a healthy, happy kid.

Fast forward 4 years… Parker is a happy, healthy, energetic boy with tremors. They did not seem to influence anything, until he went to school and he had difficulty writing. I made an appointment with his pediatrician and the recommended, because of his history, that we follow up with neurology. I called neurology in August and they told us that they were not making appointments until winter for kids to be seen in the spring. I was unwilling to wait that long, unless it was absolutely necessary. Our pediatrician recommended OT in the mean time and advised that I call back and ask to be put on the wait list for any cancellations. Well, I got a call on a Thursday afternoon saying there was an opening on that Friday. I did not care that I would have all 3 kids with me for a 2 hour appointment and that it was right in the middle of nap time. I took it. This is when we received the diagnosis and we discussed what this meant for our situation. Parker does not seem to have cognitive delays, and they do not expect that to occur if it hasn’t begun. But he will always have motor deficits and the area of his brain that is affected could influence emotions as well. So we are trying to figure out what this means from here on out. There is so much to it, I have only hit the tip of the iceberg! Why did this shake me like it did? Whenever this is a lifelong diagnosis, it requires time to let the information sink in. My son will be fine, but as the doctor said he will never play professional sports and may always be clumsy.

So what now? During this time of processing, I have allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted, not exercise like I was, and honestly, I never felt guilty about it. Until now. Just because there has been this change in life, that does not mean I can let myself go. In fact, I need to be the best version of myself for my children. That means I am back to eating healthy and exercising regularly, so that I can be the type of mom that my kiddos need.

So the favor I want to ask of you… Will you help keep me accountable? Do you live by me and want to go for walks? Have you not heard from me in a few days and need to just check in? Do you have a healthy recipe you found that I might like? I need your help to keep me on track and do life with me. When I get overwhelmed, I try to go into hiding. Don’t let me do it! Want to join me on this journey again? Tomorrow is day 1 (again)!

Emotions and Expectations

So I had to order new jeans in a smaller size because my old ones were too big. That should be exciting, so why was I feeling depressed about this?

I have been working hard to gain control of my health and focus on diet and fitness to do so. I tried the supplement thing, and let’s be honest, I suck at remembering to take pills. So I am determined to succeed by sheer will power. I started in the middle of July, so it has been a month and a half. I have changed what I eat, and adapted recipes that I love to make them healthier. I have worked out more often than I have skipped, but I have still skipped a few workouts in there. I cannot tell you how much better I feel, just by making these two changes. So why do I feel like this?

Expectations. It is a bad word lately, because I realize in many things that I set unrealistic expectations. My weight loss journey is no different. I was hoping that for me to lose the weight that I was hoping to (75ish pounds) that I could diet and exercise for a few months and it will all fall off. Now I know that is not how weight loss works, but that does not mean I changed my expectations based on this knowledge. It took me several years to put on all this weight, it will also take me a while to get it all off. That is not a change that will happen in the 6 weeks or so that I have been at it. It will take much longer than that. And in order to not gain it all back, these changes need to be lifestyle changes and not just short term changes that will end when I hit my goal. I know that. But I expect more of myself. They say that comparison is the thief of joy. Well the same can be said of expectations. If nothing I do is ever going to be good enough, will I ever be able to be content with where I am at? It is important to dream and have goals, but it is also important to be happy in the present and the progress that has been made, no matter how slow I may feel that is.

A big step in combating this feeling of discouragement is acknowledging what I feel and why I feel that way. I know my expectations and my emotions are not in line with the truth of the situation, but my feelings still need to be acknowledged. I do not need to focus on them, but I need to acknowledge them so I can move on. My emotions do not control me, and I will not let them. Just because I feel one way, that does not mean it is based on truth. When these feelings come at me, I choose to focus on the truth.


21 Days Down

Just a quick update. I finished all 21 days and did not quit. I lost 11lbs and some inches, but what I gained is worth so much more than that. I gained a determination that I was unaware I had. I gained will power to fight the urges to eat junk. I gained a freedom from my pervious caffeine addiction. I feel so much better in my own skin, and my energy is better than it has been. So what’s next for me? I will keep going. I can say no to the junk and yes to the exercise. I can say no to soda and yes to water. I will not believe the lies any longer. I can do this. I am doing this!

End of week 2

I am learning some things about myself as I am on this journey to health and wellness. I have learned that the healthy eating will not be the hard part, but the exercise is. Let’s face it, it would be much easier to just sit on the couch and watch TV than it would be to workout and sweat like crazy in my already hot house. But you know what else I have learned about that? I can talk myself out of just laying around and get up and do something. Just because my head says one thing, that does not mean it is the way it has to be. As women, in particular, our mind lies to us often. We are not too fat, or too ugly, or too old, or not good enough. Ladies, these are a lie! All of them. We need to not let these thoughts define us, or we will miss out on living our life because we constantly feel inadequate.

I took my kids to the pool last week for a play date with some mommies. I debated all morning if I was going to go in my swim suit or not because I was too fat and no one wanted to see that. Reluctantly, I put my swim suit on in case something happened and I needed to go after one of my three kids who did not swim, threw my coverup over me, and we left. I happened to beat everyone to the pool, but Maddie would not go in without me going with her. So I took a deep breath, took my cover up off and went in the pool with her. Once I was in the water, I had forgotten about all these insecurities and I was able to play with my kids and have fun. The other moms showed up with their kids and I started to get nervous. Now, these are ladies I know very well and I know they would never say “Wow. Look at how fat you are,” but my mind was convinced something of the sort was going to be said. It was not. Nothing even close to that was said. One commented on how cute my suit was, and the other one commented on how I was a good mom for getting in to play with my kids. And in that pool, something significant happened. I realized that I did not care if someone else thought I was too big to be in my swim suit, because I was working on improving myself. My kids will not remember the mom who looked horrible in a swim suit, but they will remember that time that I went swimming and caught them at the bottom of the slide in the pool.

Ladies, do not believe the lies! Do not let them define you. If you have an area that you are not happy with, work on it and hold your head high. If you do not have friends that will build you up, find new friends! Come be part of my tribe, because I have some pretty phenomenal friends. And most importantly, remember that we are deeply loved by the creator of the entire world and that is enough for us. Always.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Psalm 139:13-15