Like most people I’ve been reflecting today on what 2017 has meant to me and what I am looking for in 2018. In the past I would try to set goals for the upcoming year and in recent years I would pick a focus word. For 2017 I didn’t do that exactly but one was picked for me, change. This year I saw so much change in my life in every aspect. My relationship with family members, my husband and son, my career, friends, and my relationships with God.
Some people do not like change and I have to admit it scares me at times. I’ve become comfortable with the familiar and I think that becomes even more true the older I get. When things are going well change can be scary because that means they could become bad with everything turned upside down. That’s what freaks me out about change. What I am learning though is with faith in God change doesn’t have to be as scary. We still may worry and cry but we shouldn’t be fearful. If we believe God knows what is best for us then we have to trust in His will. I think this is when change becomes growth and I feel I have grown spiritually so much more than I expected this year. I am so thankful for where God has brought me and where He intends on taking me. It’s a little scary but not like it was.
Because of all this, because I see that I cannot know what the future holds for me I am not looking for what 2018 means for me but rather what I feel God is saying about 2018 for me. I feel a pull towards the word ‘others’. I don’t know why or what it will mean but I’m sure I’ll find out. Thank you God for such an amazing year of blessings.
As some you may already know, I started a new job a few months back. This has genuinely been the most difficult transition I’ve ever dealt with. It’s not the job itself that’s so hard, it’s how it’s challenged every part of my life. I NEVER expected that. Most of the major, no wait all of the major changes in my life have come with a warning and some prep time before actually happening. I truly believe this was a move from God because everything happened so unified and unflawed.
Something I struggle with self confidence and self doubt. So many of us struggle with this. For one or even many reasons we feel like we aren’t good enough. Maybe someone made us feel that way or we just took this on naturally ourselves. When I started this new job I had some self doubt just as most people do. Gradually though we begin to feel like we’re getting a better handle on things. This time though I felt like I was doing worse and not getting any better. I felt like I was drowning at times.This was beginning to bleed into other parts of my life. I was beginning to think that I was a bad mom and wife. That of course affected what type of mom and wife I was actually being. I’m sure you’ve been there, you start thinking about something and it just can spiral into who knows where. Our mind is a powerful thing. Even if anyone tires to tell me how well I am doing I don’t take compliments well because I don’t believe them.
This time however, I started to consider not the reassurance from others that I was being good or doing well but from what I feel like God says about me. This has been a major element in my life right now. I feel like I am working towards seeing myself through Gods eyes rather than others or even myself.So often I want others to see me how I see me but when they don’t it hurts. I would become defensive or I wouldn’t understand why I couldn’t act a certain way to please people. The problem I was running into was hinging my happiness on others around me. If someone seemed pleased with me then I was pleased with me but if someone was upset with me about something then I was upset with me about it as well. It didn’t matter if it was true or not. I was giving my power of happiness away. This doesn’t dismiss the fact that I am wrong a times or that I can lose my cool. I think it’s importance to feel what another persons is feeling so you may empathies or sympathies with them. This make for better communication and understanding one another.
Seeking and accepting myself the way God sees me has changed my perspective a lot for my own happiness. Rather than allowing another persons emotions or thoughts to rule my mood I decided to be owner of my own mood and joy. I am a people please and I believe as a wife and mother it is my role to set the tone for my family. So what does that say about my family if I am thinking bad about myself. I need to think about myself like I would want my husband to think about our family. I need to think about myself how I want my son to think about himself and others. So when it comes to my self esteem and self confidence I am still struggling, I think I always will. I know I am not perfect and never ever will be but I know God made me how He wanted me, how He sees me. Now when I begin to feel the self doubt creep in I remind myself Whose I am.
And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Galatians 3:29
Hello friend. I hope this week has found you well. Since my last post about being spiritually fed, I was able to reset my direction and be more intentional with listening to sermons. One of the themes that stood out to me is patience.
I hate to admit this but I have a short temper sometimes. This is one of the faults I am working on. I have noticed a direct relation between my little patience and my quick temper. I never recognized it before but I had the realization that if I am not exhibiting patience then I become more upset with little things happening around me. Then I started thinking more about how I could be more patience. So far what I’ve come up with is expect interruptions and use forethought. Since becoming a mom I’ve learned being prepared is my best strategy. I figured out if I started prepping for the next morning the night before, my morning wouldn’t be as hectic. If I knew I wanted to leave the house as soon as my son was up from his nap I should pack the car before he wakes up to make it an easier exit.
I never thought about applying these techniques when thinking about my emotions. As I thought about this concept I thought “well isn’t dealing with interruptions just another way of multitasking?” Which I believe it is. To me the difference between multitasking and dealing with interruptions is this; multitasking is orchestrating multiple things around you and interruptions are when things are happing to you. So I allowed interruptions around me to happened to me rather than me being an active part in the process. I was so focused on moving forward with my plan that I would become frustrated and stuck if something seemed to interrupt me. One of my favorite sermons to go along with this is by Holly Furtick called “The Gift of Interruption” . In that she tells the story of the good Samaritan and how he allowed an interruption in his day and was able to help out his fellow man. It makes me think about how many times I may be able to positively impact someone else day, maybe even my own, if I allow for interruptions.
This brings me to my next point, forethought. No matter how much planning I do I know that things will not go 100% my way and that interruptions will occur. For me though this is where things get a little tricky. I feel like there is a difference because forethought and worrying. To me worry is when you repeatedly think about something in a negative way and forethought is thinking about something in a constructive way. So by utilizing forethought I am able to equip myself with different responses to interruptions. Forethought is just a fancy word for preparation and that for me has become a vital part in dealing with interruptions. Shifting my perspective from dealing with interruptions verses preparing for different situations can help my mood be in the better frame of mind.
I am learning very slowly how to build my patience. Some days I feel like I am taking steps back though. I feel guilty or even defeated on those days. I wonder why I’m not getting it together. Those days are hard. I am learning to work through this and I feel like am learning each day. Holly says we women are the thermostats for our family meaning we set the tone for how the rest of the family is feeling. I believe this is true and I want to set a realistic prospect of a joyful family. I am going to continue to strive for patience.
It has been such a great week though. The weather has been amazing, not very hot or cold. Work was pretty easy and I was able to hang out with my boys every evening. It was one of those weeks were the time passed slow with fun and relaxation. I feel like I could feel my blessings all around me. Sometimes I can feel so full of love from others around me. My husband and son especially. I am so thankful to have them. I lost my dad last year. It was a hard time for us all of course. One thing I realized is I wanted to be in my current moments more and try to have less distractions during certain parts of my day.
One thing I am doing is to be phone free for a while, especially when my son is awake. I will take pictures or record a video of him but otherwise I try to leave my phone down. It is a bother to me to be out seeing so many people not paying attention to the stuff going on around them or the people they are with. I think we all miss so many opportunities to interact with each other, get to know each other and connect because we are too busy with whats going on online. I think the more I am on my phones the more I crave to be on my phones. And wasn’t social media made to be social with others. Not judging or comparing myself to others. Lets try to keep social media a happy, positive place. Where we can share what we have going on in our lives.
Another thing I am guilty of doing is multitasking a little too much when it would benefit me more to enjoy family time. I like to be active and doing many things at once. I am a productive person. But sometimes I can be over productive and not enjoy whats happening in front of me. I find myself getting stressed out when I feel I have some much to do and not enough time to do it. But when I stop and think about it most of the time all that stress is unrealistic expectations I’ve placed on myself that aren’t necessary. I am not giving up multitasking and I am not saying anyone should. What I am trying to do is set aside some special task-free time with my family or friends. I am trying to sit and listen to what everyone is talking about, be engaged with those around me.
Being in the moment more has been a wonderful change for me. I have found that I am more relaxed, making meaningful memory’s and connections, and share in more laughs. I know that you have a lot of responsibility and being completely offline is unrealistic. I also know that creating that perfect distraction free time is hard to do everyday. But I would like to challenge you this week to evaluate how often are you allowing yourself to be in the moment? How much distraction free time are you creating for yourself and others and is there some room for improvement? If you can make some time for being in the moment I urge you to do so. Life moves so fast as we already know, lets not allow the moments pass us by just as swiftly.