Focus word … step 1

Why would you want to choose a “word” for the whole year? If you’re like me you get excited about something and your mind spins out of control. Your thoughts are similar to a racket ball on a fresh court pinging off of each wall while you stand in the middle trying to determine where exactly the thought is and what’s next and what does it all mean. I only know that because the one and only time I played racketball was exactly like that. I hit the ball once and stood there for 20 minutes hearing the ball hit the wall but totally unsure of where it might be and when I would ever be able to touch it again.

When your thoughts are doing that it is difficult to focus. You get ideas great ideas but because you have no reference point you don’t know what to do with them and so they bounce from wall to wall until they eventually peter out out and they are forgotten and to me there is nothing worse than a forgotten idea. What if that was the million dollar idea and you just wasted it? Not cool… not cool at all!  

Focus is good. So how many years in a row have you told yourself things are going to be different this year? How many resolutions have you made and broken? How many goals have you set and not reached? If you’re like me probably far too many. I was always setting myself up for failure until I came across the idea of having a word for the year. I can’t remember exactly where I saw it and honestly I was so overwhelmed at the thought of picking just one word for the entire year but I knew it would help me … so I set out to figure out how to get one. I needed to find a word that would encompass all that I wanted to become, all I wanted to accomplish, and all I needed to be. 

Yesterday morning on my facebook live I talked a little about the first step to finding your focus word is reflecting. Think about the last year. Where have you been emotionally, physically, professionally and personally.What path of renewal does God have you on? Breakdown the areas of your life

Professional: employee, supervisor, confidant, what is God doing in those areas. What is He showing you? What is He teaching you? Personal: Mom, wife, evolving woman, friend, daughter, friend finances. What is He doing there? Make a list. Write whatever comes to mind. If He gives it to you more than once, write it more than once. It should definitely take you more than one sitting. Carry a notebook around with you or keep it all on a note in your phone. However you choose to do it, make it easy. Make the list and when you think you’ve covered it all pray for more revelation. 

THIS IS STEP 1! Trust that God is at work and let nothing he brings to your remembrance go to waste. 

Expect another live in a couple days with lesson 2. 

Marrying Superman Does Not Make You Lois Lane

I married Superman. Well in my eyes he was Superman, come to find out he was an imposter. We met when my car broke down one morning before work and he came along and saved my day. Having car trouble has ALWAYS been my most despised issue and he just fixed it without the blink on an eye. It turned out to be a simple fix but he went to extraordinary measures to make sure I got to work on time and then set up a time to finish that evening.

Over the next few weeks he shared about the many damsels in distress (friends and previous relationships) he had rescued and I swooned because only a really good guy would spend so much time rescuing others. Only a really good guy would be so selfless. Only a really great guy …

I painted a picture in my mind based on his own words and the explanation of the situations he had single handedly turned around all out of the goodness of his heart and just like that I married him. I mean come on he had once married a woman to help her keep her child and detoxed her to get her off drugs. He had been a pivotal part of helping a woman “long time friend” receive the treatments she needed for breast cancer. He had rescued countless women with car issues and money issues and boyfriend issues. He was a “great guy” I just knew he was a blessing to me and I often referred to him as “my Superman.” It wasn’t so much that I was in great need of rescuing. I’d been single so long I really just wanted to know someone had me back when I needed them. Turns out that unlike the real Superman it was more about picking and choosing The Who and why and when he wanted to rescue me. I think in the end I was the wrong kind of damsel in distress. I couldn’t be fooled, I couldn’t be controlled and I figured it all out way too quickly. It wasn’t long before he became the villain in that particular chapter It wasn’t long before he started to be a major trigger to anxiety and panic attacks within me that he refused to acknowledge any part of. It wasn’t long before he began using my resources to play Superman to other women. It wasn’t long before I realized this was some really horribly mixed up comic book and where he once had me thinking I was Lois Lane I was now realizing I was nothing more than a means to the end of making him look good to those who would feed his egocentric narcissistic personality. It wasn’t long before I figured out I’d been played. Despite what I knew, I did my damndest to abide by the commitment i made, you know the love you forever one people usually vow to during a wedding ceremony but what I Came to realize is he was kryptonite to my very being. He sucked my emotions dry, my finances dry and had I continued he would have sucked my life dry.

Sadly the “Supermans” in life are rarely into rescuing others for the sake of the person they are rescuing. Instead, rescuing others is their claim to fame. It’s one more success story they can tell others about. It’s something to hold over someone’s head and it feeds the ego of boys. Don’t believe everything your told, Superman lies and hides in his cape. He is cunning and convincing and while some days it’s hard to believe you are your own super hero, a modern day Wonder Woman and so capable of rescuing yourself!

Sara Beth

Put your BIG GIRL Panties on!

I screamed at my son today….

Then we both fell to the floor and cried. There are so many things about being a mom of three that I told myself wouldn’t happen. Guess what…we are always wrong, don’t ever tell God how things are going to work out. Today, my middle child, after throwing multiple tantrums and making a trail of messes, decided to go play in the laundry room. He mixed all the dirty laundry with some of my clean clothes I hadn’t folded yet. 

I LOST IT. 

But why? It’s just laundry. I swore I’d always be mindful about taking my anger out on my kids. 

Today, I screwed that up. 

Why you may ask? Because I’m struggling. Postpartum is a mother. I’ve never struggled with my emotions like this before. As a mom you want to have it together. Especially as a stay at home mom. Our husbands are out earning a living to keep us where we are. We want a clean house, food on the table when he comes home, and also time alone with him because the only conversation we have had today was talking to your 4 year old about the episode of paw patrol that he loves. We forget that in order to take care of them, we have to take care of ourselves too. Our mental health plays a huge part in that. 

Earlier, I mentioned how I had said all these things that weren’t going to happen when I became a mother. I said I was always going to have time for my husband. Wrong. 

I also said I wouldn’t get stretch marks and hate my body. Wrong.

I told myself I would always keep a clean house. Wrong.

I thought I’d always have some time to make myself look good before going anywhere. Wrong. 

I also thought that I had escaped postpartum. When I had my first two, I didn’t struggle like this. The first couple of weeks I was a little emotional but I got through it. This has felt like I’m fighting an uphill battle. The thing is, I know I’m surrounded by people that would listen to me, my mind just tells me otherwise. All I can think about is how badly I want to sit in a room and scream at the top of my lungs, maybe even punch a few things. Even writing that out sounds so crazy to me. If you know me, you know I’m not that kind of person, but at this moment in my life any kind of escape from reality would feel refreshing. 

But here is where we beat ourselves up ladies: we are constantly told we aren’t supposed to feel that way. Well, it’s not a good thing to feel that way but it’s not reality to say we’ve all been here in one way or another. “We wanted to be moms”, so feeling overwhelmed is our own fault. I wanted to be a mom, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we also don’t get an instruction manual on how to do it all while feeling like it’s all too much. 

Depression sends us into a spiral of constant worry. 

Am I showing all of my children enough love? Am I going to have enough time to take a shower today? Or, my husband is probably getting tired of ordering food. Then you’re stuck because while all of these thoughts seem small, the anxiety they bring is not. But, we continue to let it build because we need to have it together. 

Well, I’m here to tell you I don’t have anything together. I’m at a season in my life where I have to talk myself into getting up. I look around and all I see is chaos, even if that’s not really the case. There is constant chaos in my head and I’m just trying to make sense of it. I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want attention on myself, I just want understanding. I don’t know if any of you have gone or are going though what I am right now. If you are, I wanted to write this to tell you to keep going. If there is one thing I’m sure of, it’s that I’m trying. I’m trying everyday when I get up to be the best I can, despite how I’m feeling in my head. It honestly took a lot for me to write all of this out, but I feel a little better now that I did. 

I hope it speaks to someone else. Keep pushing mamas, you’re worth it.

I get knocked down … but I get up again!

And just like that the wind gets knocked out of the sails, your feet get knocked out from under you. Just like that you drop completely out. So we started the blog in March. I worked hard to prepare content a month at a time and for 2 months it worked. I had my schedule and was disciplined and ready to go …. and then the art fair. Life happened ya’ll. Real everyday, in your face, I need this mom, get this done, you have no time to write kind of life. Some days I’m just off balance. I get off kilter and it is way to easy for the unexpected of the everyday life to knock me down. But I got news, as good as I am at getting knocked down I am even better at getting up again. So, I’m up and going. The blog is by no means abandoned. I’m working on some new things. I’m exploring vlogging a little as well as working on getting some more contributors. So, all that said, expect a full come back in the next couple of weeks. I’m fine tuning the focus.

Can’t we all just get along?

  • By Susan James
Our Little Professor Bowie

Well ladies, today i’m about to get real about some things. I promise I won’t be vague about it either, so lets get to it. Lately I have began to notice some things that really piss me off as a parent. We all know that being a parent is HARD. Every age comes with its own frustrations. As parents we talk about how hard of a time our kids can give us but what we never seem to talk about is how we give each other a hard time. I’m not talking about spouses either. I’m talking about the parent who is silently judging the mom at the check out while her child is screaming because he missed his nap that day. I’m talking about the parents whose favorite phrase is “oh, my child would NEVER act like that”. I’m talking about the the parent whispering to their spouse, “that child needs a good spanking” or “ gosh, she’s having another one” or the grandparent telling their kids “ well you know this is how I did it with you”. I have two boys myself, my oldest is four and youngest is almost one and a half. I am also pregnant with our third, which was a huge surprise but is also what caused me to really start thinking about how I looked at other parents. The night I found out we would be welcoming #3 and told my husband, I felt like I had a weight in my stomach. I wasn’t excited, which in return made me feel guilty. It’s not that I would not love this baby but all I could think about was what everyone else was going to think. All I could think about was the judgement that I felt was about to come. I’m sure you’re thinking, “ Why would anyone judge you?” Well, last year my husband and I struggled hard. We got through it and are better now because of it but unfortunately that’s not how everyone will see it. My older sister had also found out she was pregnant about six weeks prior. So all I could think was everyone is going to think I did this for attention. It sounds crazy, I know but really there are people like that out there. Lastly, all I could think was will this baby be accepted. I’ll explain my reason for this thought. My oldest son was recently referred to a behavioral specialist, it was hard for me to grasp but I know it will help him. We began to realize around his third birthday that there were just some things he did differently. He has a lot of trouble handling his emotions, which can result in meltdowns. I know they say to ignore judgement but it’s hard as a mom. I remember all the looks and the passive aggressive comments. He is a lot to handle sometimes but when YOU see a meltdown, I see a cry for help. I am all for discipline, I want my kids to know wrong from right and use their manners just like anyone else. What I am tired of, is the judgment from other parents. Why do we have to judge each other? Whether you’re a grandparent, brother or sister, or even just a friend. Why are we so quick to judge but lack support? Why is it so hard to encourage each other? The truth is, that mom in the check out that you are giving the dirty looks, she knows exactly what your thinking and is wishing she was invisible in that moment. That child you said “ just needs a good spanking”, there may be more to the story than you realize. I guess when you break it down our kids won’t always be accepted by everyone. So here is my advice mamas and believe me when I say I am still learning to do these things myself.

1. STOP GIVING A DA** ABOUT WHAT OTHER PARENTS THINK! 2. Love the absolute mess out of your child! And 3. When you get those dirty looks or hear the comments, don’t let it affect you.

The truth is NO ONE will love your child the way you do. So steer them in the right direction and show them how to not be “judgy.” Lastly, stop judging other parents and maybe ask them if they need a hand instead. I mean hell, they would probably just appreciate a smile and maybe a little silent prayer for their day to get better. I say all of this to say, we CAN do better. Whether its being a better parent, friend, grandparent, sister or brother. We can be each other’s support, we just have to start reaching out and helping each other! Rock on mamas!

by: Susan James

New Beginnings

And there it was …The new beginnings of all beginnings two thousand years ago began with my saviors physical end. That is only his end here in the physical. Because just days later he would rise having paid the price for my sin. Having paid the price for my every poor decision. Having paid the price for the Grace only He and His Father could extend to me. I could not be more grateful.