rest and why it's good for the soul

rest1 I'm not very good at taking breaks. I'm what one might call an "overachiever". I mean come on, I had 3 babies in under three years. That's just showing off! #winkyface But seriously, I really have a hard time stopping. I am involved in a lot of things and so it's easy for me to keep my mind spinning at full speed and never slow down.

My friend Nathalie told me the other day I remind her of an energizer bunny, and while this is funny, it can be a bit scary too. I never thought I would become a "work-a-holic", but I have found myself becoming a little energizer bunny. I've actually had the thought at bedtime "hmmm, I could drink a cup of coffee and stay up working and just sleep a couple of hours". BUT NO. That's bad!

Rest is SO important not only physically, but mentally. It's important to take some time to flip the switch in the "off" position and just not think about check lists and emails and the mountain of orders in your inbox.

Last week we took a little Spring Break trip to our family's lake house. It was such a great week of relaxation and just being together as a family. But work-a-holic me just couldn't turn off the brain. Although I got a TON of work done and that is fun, I've noticed that it's hard for me to flip the switch. I promised myself I would take the day off on Saturday and not work. As we sat at the kitchen table Saturday morning and my husband was checking his March Madness bracket and the girls were eating breakfast, I starting feeling that heavy overwhelming feeling like I SHOULD be checking my email and working on 12 different projects and doing ALL OF THE THINGS!!! I had to snap myself out of it and remind my energizer brain that I have to slow down. I have to take time to rest.

After my slight breakdown, and flipping my brain to the off position, I had an incredible day with my family. Taking naps, watching movies, eating ice cream at bed time. The things that a vacation and a time of rest are made of!

I came back from vacation feeling very refreshed and relaxed. I'm still learning how to balance it all, and honestly I'm not sure if I will ever figure that out. I wish there was a formula of how to best manage everything, but I think that's just something I have to work on every day.

rest2 rest3 rest4 rest5 rest6

Are you taking time for rest in the midst of it all? How do you find ways to turn off your brain and allow your body and mind to relax?

a new season is coming

Last week I realized I was being a total debbie downer. After a few "are you doing ok" text messages and "I'm worried about you" conversations, I realized I was letting the dark side sink in. It had been a HARD few months. Literally on new years eve, a horrible round of sickness crept up on us. For nearly 3 months someone has been sick. We've had stomach flus, RSV, sinus infections and more. You name it, we've probably had it in the past 3 months. With the endless winter and endless sickness, I let it get to me. I had just weaned off of all of my anxiety/depression medication after battling postpartum anxiety & depression and I thought I was well on my way to being "normal" again. Whatever normal means?

It's so easy to get stuck in a rut in those seasons. I find myself climbing in bed at night and just wanting to cry because I have to "do it all over again tomorrow". I can't tell you how many times that thought crosses my mind. In this season of raising multiple little ones, it's all very redundant. It can become mundane. It's easy to let 1pm become the highlight of my day when I get to crash on the couch for an hour (if I'm lucky and everyone naps!).

I'm making the choice to look up. To place my hope in Christ on those days that get overwhelming and too much. To place our health in His hands and pray that spring comes soon. A literal and theoretical one. I need refreshment, newness and good old sunshine.

We got a glimpse of Spring yesterday and got to dip our toes in the water, and let our skin feel the sting of the sunshine. It was a beautiful and perfect reminder of His promises and that a new season is coming.

IMG_3072

So, tell me. How are YOU? How is your heart in the season of winter? Are you allowing yourself to sink in that pit of "I can't do it again tomorrow" or are you waking up refreshed and overjoyed that you get to experience a new day?

Spring is coming friends.

overcoming my weakness

IMG_2879

I sank into my favorite "alone spot". A little corner booth at one of my favorite restaurants where there is bottomless sweet tea. For me, creativity and sweet tea pretty much go hand-in-hand. It had been a beast of a week. I honestly didn't even know what day of the week it was, much less was I really sure what month we were in. My heart ached, my body ached. I cried out to God, why-oh-why does life hurt so bad? Why is the world so harsh? Why does motherhood and being a women make me ache to my core?

As I let the events of the week hit me and sink in, it had me weeping. Sitting there, crying into my sweet tea with people giving me the weird side-eye. I was reminded that I'm not alone. I wasn't the first person to cry out to God in my pain. Opening to Psalm 130, I was encouraged by someone else who had sat crying into their sweet tea thousands of years ago, feeling the heaviness that I felt.

1 From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for your help.
2 Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.
3 Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
4 But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.
5 I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
6 I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from every kind of sin.
What incredible peace we can find in these words. His redemption OVERFLOWS. We have HOPE in him. When all else seems to fall apart around us, only he can bring redemption and forgiveness. I sat listening to a favorite worship song from Kim Walker-Smith and the words were like the sugar in my tea. So sweet, so necessary.
ig
I am counting on Him today, are you? 
**Linking up with SheReadsTruth today**

ditching the quiet time

You've heard the term "quiet time", right? Of course you have. That term has been rubbing me the wrong way for a while now. Now, don't get me wrong, hear me out ok? I struggle with feeling like we are modernizing our God, and putting rules on a relationship. Why are we putting our relationship with God in a box when He made us in His image? Our God does not live in a box.

quiettime

I'm a rule follower, super type A. I like things in order and I love a good schedule. So, I struggle with guilt when things don't go as planned, or I don't accomplish things they way I feel I should. When it comes to a "quiet time", I really battle with it being another check off my list.

When I became a mom, everything looked different for me. Schedules went out the window. Plans failed. Everything centered around this tiny little human that couldn't even wipe their own rear end. But it made me understand the beauty of a true relationship with God.

God is in everything we do. You can praise Him in the dishes, and each tiny sock you fold. You can rejoice in Him through the timeouts and the wild trips to the grocery store. He's not surprised by how busy you are or by how difficult your job as a mother is. He created you, this whole motherhood thing was His idea.

Maybe you get an hour every morning to sip your coffee and read your bible (I'm going to pretend to not be jealous). Or, maybe you are lucky to read one scripture scribbled on the chalkboard in your kitchen while your kids throw cheerios at each other. I've always wanted to be one of those "wake before my kids" kind of mom, but I'm just not.

I don't sit still very well. I'm a mom of 3 very small children. My coffee mocks me as it sits on my counter each morning and gets colder by the minute. A "quiet time"  is something of the past. There's no such thing as quiet in my home.

Yesterday during nap time I had the opportunity to tune in to the Barna Frames live seminar and got to listen to one of my favorites, Bob Goff, speak. He said something meant in humor, but completely resonated with me.

"I can't have a quiet time, I make coffee nervous" - bob goff

God created Bob Goff knowing he was wild and spunky and couldn't sit still. He created me knowing I would raise tiny humans super close in age. He knows the ins and outs of every wild and crazy moment of our lives. It's time to take "have a quiet time" off that to do list, and live every moment fully walking with Christ in this beautifully chaotic life that is anything but quiet.

bold: vision

keystoboldvision

It's so easy to jump on the "one word" train and then completely forget what your word is a few months into the year. Last year I chose the word "Thrive" and man oh man, did God ever use that word. I will never forget how 2013 rocked me in so many ways. I decided to focus on a different area of my life each month for my word this year.

My word this year is BOLD. There are so many areas of my life I want to be more bold in and I'm excited to see how God uses me as I break free of some bondage and be bold in my calling as a wife, mother, friend, writer and so much more.

For January, I am focusing on a BOLD: VISION. To look at the year ahead with a more open mind and heart. To have open hands for what God has in store for me. The scripture that God brought to me is Isaiah 55. At first I pulled just a few key verses, but really I need the entire chapter. Take a minute to read it with me?

isaiah55

I want to walk boldly into my vision for this year. To allow my vision to be completely in tune with what God's plan is for me. To boldly approach the throne with confidence in my journey.

Are you starting out your year with a bold vision?