Aside

Not a Mechanic

Never let what’s going on in your life or the excuses in your head, stop you from being the hands and feet of Christ.

On my way back from dropping Noah at “school” I was riding into the gas station on the last gallon of gas. You know the days when you don’t want to stop for gas because you’ll be late but if you don’t do it now then things are just going to get worse. I didn’t want to stop, I could make it to work after all, but I did anyways because I knew I should. When I pulled up to the farthest pump I noticed another woman opening the hood of her car. She didn’t look too confident and I thought I should ask if she needed help.

But then fear tried to come in. Fear said that I didn’t know anything about cars. How could I help? Fear said she won’t want help. Fear said I’m sure she’s got everything under control.

Too bad I’m learning how to not listen to fear anymore.

It’s hard and I know I’m going to be better for it, but learning how to step past the fear has been an up and down path of proud moments and disappointing defeats.  I know I’m farther than I was but I’m not where I want to be yet. And that’s ok.

So today when I felt God told me to ask her if she needed help, the fears that gave me excuses why not were overshadowed by my desire to go for it. I walked over and made the ask despite the fact that if there was something really wrong with her car I probably wouldn’t be able to help. Turns out she was really sweet and didn’t really need the help, but seemed grateful that I at least asked.

I don’t think it was help she needed though. I think that God wanted her to know that she is loved and that He sees her and that she’s not alone. When I finished pumping my gas I checked back over with her to see if things weer going ok and she was just finishing up. She had a smile on her face and so did I. Who knows how my one act of bravery today impacted her life but I know how it impacted mine.

– Jess 🙂

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The Thing I Forget Most Often

One of the things I learned early on is that when Mama is ready to go, the whole house moves faster. When I attend to myself first (and I’m talking hair, makeup, clean clothes) it’s SO much easier to get the rest of the house done with the same.

However, in other areas of my life I’m not so disciplined with putting myself first. I tend to work out everyone else’s schedule before my own, get everyone else’s laundry done, drive the family where they need to go, feed everyone first, and the list goes on. Please don’t read this as a “poor me” post. I like to do these things, I like that I’m on top of most things and I can get it done.

No, the thing that I forget most often in all of this is to take care of myself.

After many years I’ve realized that I need time to refuel myself too. When I don’t do this, I become bitter and resentful and generally not happy and all of that feeds into my depression. I’m not sure why taking care of myself is so low on the priority list for me, but it is. And while I don’t want to go to the other extreme and be demanding or high maintenance, I do want to develop a habit of taking care of myself.

For me, recharging could be reading a book, taking a shower, organizing the closet or even watching the new “Good Luck Charlie” episode. (Yes, I love that show!) I need to remember that recharging doesn’t have to be an all day thing, that it could be a few minutes here or something penciled in there.

Most of the time finding what it is that I need to recharge isn’t the issue, the real issue is letting myself take that time. The issue is reminding myself that I deserve the time to myself too. So often I think I get caught up in what I think I should be doing and thoughts like “how could I read my book when there are rooms to clean” that I don’t let myself take the time I need.

So yesterday morning I thought it would be nice to take a run. Not that I often run, but after a weekend of Bacon Caramel Truffles I think my body was craving some movement. It felt SO good. Not just to exercise, to breathe fresh air, and to be alone, but to see something I needed and go after it. That was the best recharge I could have given myself.

– Jess

 

Finding My Passion (Turns out I knew all along)

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but when I developed a plan to deal with my depression, the first thing I did was sign up for counseling. I’ve been through counseling before and it’s been wildly helpful and I love talking through stuff – seriously. Lol.  As it would turn out, I actually have two therapists which I love because they both bring so much to the table, and they come from different perspectives. 

In any case, after we spoke about a lot I was given homework, which I think is great! Even if I tend to not write it down and forget a few days later :-/ This week’s homework though is to  answer the question “What does passion look like to me?”. We’ve been talking about how I think I don’t know what I want, and how I think that I don’t know what my passion is but really deep down I most certainly do. And I have for some reason been telling myself that I don’t know, and that it’s not good enough. Thus the homework for this week. 

I came back from my appointment, and while taking a few minutes to myself got distracted and sucked into beautifully written posts about life and love and hurt and joy. This paragraph though, this changed everything. 

 

Your needs will not magically go away while your child is sick.  Fill them. Go on dates, even if it’s just a walk to the cafeteria for terrible coffee.  Forget about making things look like they’re okay.  They’re not.  Hunt for joy.  If you find it twinkling in the dark, dark night, it is meant to be found.  It is no mistake. Pick it up and take it with you.  You’re going to need it later.  Above all, accept every single scrap of kindness that is offered.  The web they weave will hold you when the bottom drops out and hard reality rushes up to meet you.  Memories of awkward hugs from strangers and mowed lawns and pans of lasagna will help.  I promise. – Momastery

 

I still remember the day that a woman from our church brought over meatloaf and mashed potatoes for our family when my youngest son Noah was born. I was a new mom with two stepchildren and beautiful newborn and two hours of sleep. I was delirious and feeling pretty much nothing at that point. But I remember how impact-full it was to know that someone whom I didn’t know very well (we had only been attending a couple of months) took time out to think of us, cook us a meal and then deliver it to us. I’m getting choked up just thinking about it. 

When I read that paragraph, I admitted to myself what I am passionate about. Helping others, making them feel loved and spreading kindness to strangers. 

That is what I’m passionate about. And it’s not glamorous and it’s not flashy and it’s not going to win me any prizes. But it will change the world and that’s what I’m here to do. And if I ever make it about wanting to be known – then I know I need to reset my heart. 

So perhaps tonight I’ll finally just rest in that. I’ll let myself know that I have found my passion, it was here all along and I will let myself dream. Dream about what is to come. Dream about what I could do. Dream about my dream. Dream about my passion. Dream about the wonder of God. 

And tomorrow I’ll find the courage to act those things out. To dare to be different. To live a life that changes the world, in my way, the way that I have been called to. 

Hope restored. Love abounds. Heart is full. It’s a good day!

– Jess