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.
Happy Sunday! Sunday is my favorite day of the week. I feel like it’s still the weekend as well as the beginning of the week. To me it’s a day dedicated to family time. I just love Sunday. Most people think of church for Sunday and while it is true a lot of religions celebrate church on Sunday I feel like it shouldn’t be dedicated to just one day, at least not for me.
Over the years I have noticed that my mood is directly related to how I am feeling spiritually. I am referred to being spiritually fed. If I haven’t been taking time to be spiritually fed I just feel crummy. However, also in reverse of that, I tend to manage my days better when I am activity seeking God in my daily life. Knowing how to make my day smoother, you would think I would be 100% consistent with my spiritual walk but I am not. Like you, I am human and not perfect. I make an effort for sure but sometimes I allow the things going on in my life sort of take over and before I realize it I am having a bad mood.
It took a long time to realize that a deeper connection with God was what I needed and looking for. I grew up going to church and it meant something very special to me. I didn’t realize how important it was until I moved away for college and no longer had it though. I felt lost. I struggled to find a place over the next several years that gave me that same connection I once had. I was spiritually hungry. I moved around from church to church but none seemed to fit. And it wasn’t just the churches but the groups offered or the classes. I was sad to think I couldn’t have that anymore. I stopped going for a while because it was too exhausting to figure it out. Then I met one of my best friends and tried her church. That was the catalysis for finding my way back to the relationship I had once had with God. I started by getting back into listening to sermons online, and reading my bible and joined a study group. I was happier than I had been in a very long time. I had joy and I was being fed.
Worship music has played a big part in my life as well. I’ve grown up listening to the old hymns and I seem to still remember the words. I love listen to Christian metal and rock music too. Listening to worship music helps get my day moving in the right direction. I find something so powerful in music that allows me to release and really experience what I have going on in my life. The best part, it’s so easy to do.
Matthew 6:33 says “Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” This has been so true for me. I have had some tough things happen in my life but above all things I feel so blessed. I know my faith in God is what keeps me going. For me I know in order to feel grounded and have joy I need to feel spiritually full. I want to encourage you not only today but everyday to do something that brings you joy and helps you feel happy. Something that helps you connect in a positive way with the world around you. Do something that makes your heart and spirit feel full. Sunday’s are my favorite day of the week and I try to have a little Sunday in everyday.
Tonight I made homemade apple crisp. I have made apple crisp from mixes and homemade before but this time it was different. It was actually pretty tasty. ha! Cooking, as I’ve mentioned before, isn’t something I excel with. Baking especially although I’ve always wanted to be a good baker. When I was baking tonight I used some of the things I’ve been learning about cooking and paying more attention to what I was doing and it paid off.
I have noticed a pattern of tests in my life here recently. Well I don’t really like using the word test but maybe rather an assessment. To me test would be things happening in my life that I had to control over, something happening to me or marking the completion of something. These events I am talking about are both things happening to me and things I’ve brought on myself and I feel like they are far from over. Within the past few weeks, maybe month now, I have noticed that the areas in my life I am seeing myself grow are being played upon. They have included my marriage, being a mom, situations with friends, my family, and work. As I’ve noticed these things around me I have been able to assess my growth. Am I learning from the experiences I’ve had around me or do I keep making the same mistakes? I am learning so much about myself. Somethings have shown me how much I have improved and others have shown me the distance at which I still have to go. I have to say I feel so grateful when I see these things in front of me. I feel so blessed to see the ways in which God is working in my life. I have been able to see blessings in the ordinary and I feel I am becoming more and more grateful. This message is short today but hopefully you’ll be able to look at your own lives today and see how far you’ve come from where you started. Lets all keep striving forward and seeking candor.
A few weeks ago during dinner my husband and I had a disagreement and after we put our son to be I retreaded into out bedroom and didn’t talk to him for the rest of the night. I was so mad and hurt by something he said that I didn’t and couldn’t talk to them without making it worse. So my solution was to not talk at all. I stayed in our room reading. The next morning when I woke up I had a feelings hangover. That yucky feeling of hurt and frustration that passed through a night of sleep and still seemed to be lingering the next day. I woke up as usual before anyone else in the house and did my morning run and made breakfast and lunches still feeling upset. I was thinking about the night before and replaying in my head what was said and how I felt Cory should have acted. Then I felt like God was saying “yeah but what about you?” Well what about me? I was the one who was upset and hurt by what Cory said but why exactly and did it really warrant that reaction? As I thought more about it and really tried to pick apart my feelings I realized I did have the right to be upset but I had over reacted a little. I am the type of person who needs a little time to gather my thoughts when I get upset because I have a tendency to make my initial reaction my official reaction. Once I can process how I feel about something then I am better able to express how and why I feel the way I do. So taking some time would have worked, just maybe not all night.
But why did I get so upset then? I realized it was not at what Cory said but what I think about myself. I have issues with self esteem, like most people. Mine vary from what they are about and when they bother me. Sometimes I can hear the same thing about myself from two different people and one will bother me and the other will not. I don’t like that really. The way I feel about myself shouldn’t be determined from what others say but sometimes I cannot help but let the opinions of others take over my own thoughts. I don’t think this means I am easily swayed or manipulated. What I do think it means though; I already had an underlying thought about myself and its being played upon by my own thoughts. Whether you believe in God or not I think everyone can agree that we have good and bad in the world. The bad thoughts can sometimes enter into your mind quickly and other times slowly creep in unnoticed. The bad thoughts are our enemy. Our enemy can talk about others in ways that make us feel bad or compare ourselves to others. That’s what I had been dealing with that day. Negative thoughts about myself, stressing about not being enough for work and my home life and I let it get the best of me. I took something that my loving husband said and let it ruin our evening.
The next morning when I was processing and meditating on how I felt I realized this and decided to tell myself the good stuff. I told myself what I know to be true about myself. This doesn’t mean that I am perfect, in fact I am far from it. I feel so embarrassed that I acted this way honestly. But I am not as bad as I allow myself to think sometimes. Our thoughts are something that we alone are responsible for protecting. This is something that no one else can control. It’s up to ourselves and ourselves alone. If you take garbage in (I am terrible at.. I am stupid because… I don’t like myself for.. I’ll never be…) you’ll get garbage out. I think this is so important for our everyday selves regarding how we think and feel about ourselves and others. Every time you have a negative thought about someone or yourself I encourage you to decipher where it came from. Is it a true statement or is it our enemy, our bad thoughts telling us these things? If you expect the worst of a person, that’s what you’ll see of them no matter what they do. The same thing goes when you’re thinking about yourself.
I think guarding our thoughts can be huge when it comes to happiness. I have met so many people over the year, especially working in the geriatric setting, who have been through some major life changes. What I have learned from these experiences is if you want to be happy you can be. That doesn’t mean you overlook all the bad things happening in your life. You see them and recognize them. But you also look for the good in your life, the beauty around you. Good thoughts in, good feelings out.
This week and especially this weekend I’ve witnessed a whole new stage my son is going through. The tantrums. And while he’s only 15 months he’s started this newest phase with gusto. He will be fine one second and the next is so upset he’s in the floor freaking out. I know it’s mostly because he’s flexing his independence and trying to do more, which I’m all for. I like how independent he is truthfully. And I also know it has something to do with how he’s wanting to communicate but hasn’t gotten that down fully. It’s hard when you want or need something and no one seems to understand.
I’ve found myself there many times before. Trying to communicate with someone but they just don’t seem to get me. My natural reaction differs depending on who I am dealing with. Those that I don’t know well I can keep my cool and deal with the miscommunication with little issues. But those that are closest to me can be a little harder. One night I was discussing with some friends these findings. I had to admit that my husband knows well how to push my buttons. I think when you’ve been with someone for a while it can be that way, sometimes intentionally and sometimes by accident.
But it’s not always his fault either. I sometimes set unrealistic expectations up for someone and then become upset when they aren’t fulfilling them. This is ALL my fault. If I have expectations that I haven’t shared with someone or they aren’t agreeable to them then I’m only setting myself up for disappointment. I feel like this was a major problem for me. I’ve gotten better at it but still struggle with it.
Another way I’m trying to work on communication is by observing how others communicate with me. I’m learning over the years that in order to understand someone you have to really listen to what they are saying and then remember it. Sometimes I am hearing but not listening to what someone is saying. I cannot discuss an issue with someone if I don’t know what they’ve said or how they feel. How many bad situations and hurt feelings could have been avoiding if I would have just listened a little more.
I found myself so many times this weekend saying “no” or some version of that. There was a lot of redirecting involved as well. I’d like to say it was effective every time but that wouldn’t be exactly true. I know my son is young and this is just a stage. I’m just trying to enjoy it really because he’s growing up so fast. One day before I know it he’ll be old enough to talk to me. I’ll be back in this same situation where we aren’t understanding each other and I hope to use theses skills I’m learning today to be a better mom then.
Last week marked the beginning of my new job! I have worked in a rehab center as a physical therapist assistant for the past eight years and I have switched to home health. Working at the rehab center was my first job after college. I was so blessed to begin working there right after graduation. I loved it there. The staff, therapy team, and the patients were amazing. I was able to learn so much working there both professionally and personally. However, I had been contemplating switching for a little while. I felt a pull to change. I did not want to because I was comfortable where I was.
I had become almost too comfortable. There isn’t anything wrong with being comfortable in our current season, but I do believe that we can allow ourselves stay too long in our current seasons. I think this can be from either not know what to do next, not wanting to do what’s next, or not realizing it’s time to move on. I was in the situation of comfort and not wanting to move on. I was scared to step out of my comfort zone and do something I was afraid of. Many things were telling me it was time to move on and I just did not wanting to listen. Finally I realized if I wanted my plans to ever come through for my family I would need to make the change. I was terrified. I was leaving something that made sense and was easy. I was pretty happy where I was too. So many people change what they are doing because it makes them unhappy and that makes sense. But what about changing jobs, relationships, and big life decisions that aren’t fully making sense? You just feel it’s the right thing to do. That’s when I believe you have to step out in faith and go for it.
I can’t do it. I used to be so upset by this statement. I like thinking I have everything under control. It made me feel so bad about myself and discouraged about my current situation if I don’t. In the past I didn’t always understand how I was going to deal emotionally with changes in relationships, or how I would financially be able to make it, or how overwhelmed I was with things going on around me. These were different situations and issues that would creep into my life and cause me to become fearful of making bad choices and not being able to handle what was going on. I couldn’t make what wasn’t working work. Then one day I read Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘ Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.’ And there it was, my help. I wasn’t supposed to deal with everything on my own. This is something that made me feel so much better. I realized that if something felt too much for me to deal with it was because it was too much for me to deal with. I believe that God allows us to go through situations sometimes that makes us give up control and allow Him to take over and trust Him fully. I truly try to do this all the time with everything I do now.
The day came when I was supposed to start my new job. I had already been praying A LOT! My nerves had showed up some but overall I wasn’t feeling too nervous about the big day. Until I put my uniform on and was about to leave my house for work. I began to think ‘what are you doing, you can’t do this. How did you honestly think you would be able to make this happen.’ The whole car ride to my new office I keep thinking this and was getting more and more nervous. And then I thought ‘yeah I can’t do this, but God can’. I’m not lying when I say this, I started to feel relief. My nerves didn’t completely go away but I was left with more feelings of excitement actually. I’m still experiencing moments of fear with my new job. And I know that there are more moments to come with work and my personal life as well. But I just remember that I have help.
I would also like to add that I believe God gives us people and situations in our lives that are there to help us through tough times. You never know what His help may arrive as. You may be expecting and praying for one thing and something else shows up. In the words of Garth Brooks ‘some of God greatest gifts are unanswered prays’. (I’m internally giggling for referencing a Garth Brooks song on here.) I like to tell myself to get out of my own way and open myself up to possibilities that I maybe didn’t want to originally consider. This has been the case so many times for me and most of the time it’s the things I didn’t want to consider that have been the wisest decisions. So the next time you find yourself struggling with something don’t go it alone, seek your Help.