Reaching Out

This week I wrote two entire posts about how things are changing and I’m choosing happiness and do you know what happens?

Five minutes into my 2-year old refusing to sleep I break down into a heaping mess of sadness.

Yes I was sick and running on like 4 hours of sleep and that always makes me very overwhelmed to begin with. But I just had nothing left to discipline or anything. It was bad. Like my husband almost came home kinda bad. Like don’t tell anyone about this because I’m super embarrassed kind of bad. I don’t even like writing that. But it’s where I was at and I bet someone out there has been there too.

That was how things were almost every day when I first had Noah. Everything was SO overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do and I was so sleep deprived that I couldn’t figure it out or find the strength to do it anyways. But back then I wasn’t able to tell anyone. For whatever reason I kept all of that inside and the doubts and sadness and shame filled my head and my heart.

Maybe that’s why my meltdown yesterday was so scary. Maybe it reminded me of those first few months when everyone was looking at me to help the crying baby and I had NO IDEA what to do. And so I hid. I hid my insecurities my emotions my weaknesses everything. It wasn’t just all that I was feeling that broke me it was what I was keeping hidden that did.

Yesterday even though I didn’t know it I was choosing to reach out and to not keep it hidden when I texted my husband. And that made all the difference. Seemingly out of no where I was at my breaking point and I didn’t know what to do and the one thing that helped was reaching out. And it took me about 30 minutes and some hugs from Noah to remind me that those things my brain was telling me weren’t true.

In that moment I had to then choose to listen to the good. I AM a good mom. My kid will sometimes just not sleep – despite my best efforts and arsenal of nap time tricks. This stage will NOT last forever.

Today I am telling myself that it’s ok that I slipped up yesterday. It’s ok that I broke down. It’s going to happen. What is important is that I got back up. It’s important that I reached out. And it’s important that I changed my thinking and went on with my day and was a ton better for it.

And maybe you are in that hole and you don’t even know what it means to change your thinking or it’s unthinkable to reach out to someone today that’s ok too. I understand. Hang on. You’ll get there too. 🙂

– Jess


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


Tears Fall

I try to hold the tears back and yet the harder I try, the faster they come.

My face is red, I’m holding my breath, trying to think happy thoughts and I say to  God – I don’t know what to say right now. I want to talk to you about this but I don’t know what to say to you right now.

My mind is blank but my heart is racing and there are so many thoughts going through my head that I believe that everything has just stopped, that the synapses have stopped firing.

I open the door and try to hide my face from my friend. I don’t want her to see me crying…again. And when I think I’ve got myself under control I look up and I see the love in her eyes and I just lose it.

I tell her it’s been a rough morning. I don’t want to “gossip”. But she understands and she doesn’t need to know any more. She begins to speak and her words fill my soul.

It’s amazing how someone can speak to you and you know that it’s coming from God. You can just hear Him talking and if you’ve never experienced it before I probably sound a little crazy when I say this, but it’s true. Standing there in the kitchen in my tears, in my hurt, in my brokenness God spoke to me.

When I got honest with Him, when I went to Him first, He spoke to me. And it wasn’t in the way I was expecting. Thirty minutes earlier I sat in the bedroom expecting a heavenly voice to fall upon me when I called and I would know what to do, but that didn’t come. So I got up and went with my day and I cried out to God again and He answered. God is good!

Here I was in a situation where I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen and I feel hurt and lost and confused and out of control and the feelings are just overwhelming. And He reminds me that God gave us feelings and they aren’t a bad thing. He wants us to feel because feeling teaches you, feeling heals you, feeling changes things.

And then He reminded me that He works all things for good and instead of looking at this like it’s a bad thing (and believe me things look pretty bad right now) I should be expectantly waiting to see what God does with this situation. How is He going to use this to prove the enemy wrong?! How is He going to use this for good?! How is He going to use this be a blessing to others?! Gosh I could go on and on and on but I was reminded of this. We can feel hurt, and feel sad and feel angry but that’s all that it is. God is in control. He knew this was going to happen, He knew that this would be a turning point, He knows what He is doing and He WILL turn it all for good. I may not know what that is yet but I do know that some day at some point this will turn to good. This will turn around. God will prevail and not only will this hurt be taken away but those tears will be reconciled to an abundance of smiles and love.

God is Good. Don’t give up. When everything seems to be against you when your world seems like it’s falling apart – yes it will hurt, yes you will be sad but I promise you that doesn’t mean you’ve lost your faith. It’s ok to tell God how you feel – He wants to hear from you and He wants to change that! Keep your faith in Him and He will work all things for good!

Thirty two tissues later I’m still crying but for a completely different reason – because I can feel God’s love and I’m in awe of how He is working in my life. I’m in awe of the amazing people He’s placed in my path.  And I’m in awe of how good He is! If this is love, I don’t want to feel anything else.