Anxiety, Bible, Depression, Discouraged, Grief, Journey, Life, pain, Stress, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

Our Broken Spirits Are Healed

Today’s reminder is a simple one!

Are you feeling alone? Are you feeling overwhelmed?

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This reminder is to encourage you to know, despite how you may feel, God is with you. He is saving you from all you are feeling.

Turn your eyes towards Him and allow Him to heal your heart.

Lastly, no matter how you may be feeling, you are never alone!

Anxiety, Bible, Bondage, Challenge, Comfort, Courage, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Rawness, Real, Strength, Stress, Trials, Weariness

What Do You Have In Your Boxes

Psalm 9_9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Journaling Thoughts

Choosing Which Box to Open

I must just sit down and take some time to decompress from the stress of life. I feel like I am trapped on a hamster wheel and I cannot get off. I know everyone has problems, we are all human, but how we handle them is completely different.

Box of WorriesI for one, compartmentalized my stress and worries. I have so many issues and concerns that worry me that I have found if I place them all into their own individual boxes then I can open them as I need worry about them.

As for my boxes, they look a little like this…

  • One for finances.
  • One for my daughters’ medical issues.
  • One for my husband’s medical issues.
  • One for my blog.
  • One for my business.
  • One for staying on top of managing my home and family.
  • One for trying to be a good wife.
  • One for trying to be a good mom.
  • One for trying to be a good daughter.
  • One for trying to be a good friend.

And the list can go on and on and on.

Unfortunately, for me, I can have all my boxes opened at one time and have all the contents, or in this case worries and concerns, laying all over the floor in a big heaping mess.

In the “picture perfect” world, I would only open one box at a time, but not me. I am that “raw” and “real” mess and I am exposing myself to you today with the hopes of encouraging you to know, if you too are like me, you are not alone.

I am not, by any means, saying this is healthy, as I know it is not, but what I am saying is that it is real and there are others who live in this messiness, we call life.

By living this way, it is impossible to give all this the focus it needs to be done efficiently and therefore it feels like everything in my world is either getting ahead of me or I am constantly in a state of it all falling apart.

I juggle all of this and because I do, nothing on this list gets my undivided attention and as a result, makes me feel stressed out, inadequate, and frustrated.

Do you have a set of boxes similar to mine and find yourself feeling the same way?

Psalm 9_9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.My friend, if you do, I am going to share with you what God shared with me this morning.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in the times of trouble.” Psalms 9:9-10 

We can use this verse as a means of strength when we are weak, as a source of courage when we are scared, and a source of comfort when we are lonely. 

When life has us knocked down like I described above, He is always there to guide us back to a time of stability and normalcy and strengthens us from our time of fragility. He is always there, even in the middle of our biggest messes, when we choose to open all our boxes at one time and then we feel overwhelmed and frightened by what awaits us.

My friend, God is our source of strength even in our darkest and weakest of times. If you have wandered away from Him and feel like you have strayed so far that He has forgotten you, I am here to remind you, you have not. He knows you and remembers you. He wants to be your comforter and your source of strength. He wants you to know you are loved unconditionally.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (1)Remember the familiar bible verse that so many of us learned when we were children or new Christians,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

He loves us all unconditionally. He loves us no matter how messy our lives are. He loves us despite how many boxes we may have or how many we may have open at one time.

There is one thing that remains consistent as I write this blog post and it is this; God keeps reminding me that no matter how many boxes I may have opened or how many boxes I may have dumped all over the floor at one time, He is reminding me that it can all be picked back up (similar to our children doing clean up and putting all their toys away) and that once it is all picked up and placed back in the box, the cover can be closed and we do not have to see the mess any longer.

My Friend, as I close out this post, it is my desire through exposing the rawness of my life, that you are encouraged by knowing no matter what you are going through, God is still by your side. He is there comforting us as we open our boxes and wants us to turn to Him while we navigate our way through the boxes.

Be encouraged and know that no matter how dark and messy life may seem, there is always a hope to cling to and that hope is our Savior who is “ALWAYS” by our side. We are never alone no matter how lonely you may feel.

Peace and comfort my friend as you finish reading this. It is my desire if you struggle with the same messiness I struggle with, that God can use my ugly revelation today to encourage you to know you are not alone and that above everything else to know God is and will always be by your side.

 

Christmas, Discouraged, HL&E Designs, Holiday, Home, Humor, Image, Inspiration, Journey, Laughter, Life, Motivation, Stress

The Black Hole of Christmas

Finding Christmas Humor 
@Home Life & Encouragement

Finding Christmas Humor Amongst the Caos

I just had to close out my day with a little Christmas humor. This “Black Hole of Christmas”, my loving daughter named it, is what my future Christmas projects will look like eventually for my business @HL&E Designs. 

I sat down tonight to pull some thoughts together and this is what they looked like when I came back to them. 

This is also what happens when you run out of day to finish pulling your thoughts together. You are left with this never ending black hole. 

For anyone who feels as behind as me this Christmas season, I hope this helps to break up some of the stress, anxiety, and exhaustion and replaces it with a moment of laughter. 

We will pull this off, Friends. I can not guarantee that we will be sane still, but I can promise, Christmas will come and go just like it does every year, whether we are ready for it or not.

Tomorrow is a new day, Friends. We can only accomplish all that our twenty-four hours will allow. Go to bed, forget about the never-ending to-do list, and rest tonight. Tomorrow will bring a new day to work on more.

Anxiety, Brave Art of Motherhood, Broken, Burn out, Discouraged, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Rawness, Stress, Trials

Changes Are Powerful

Revealing All Sides of Them

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

I am popping in to say I am still here. Last week ended up crazy busy because Kiddo stayed well enough for me to in fact paint the inside of my house while my husband was gone. I am so happy I did because I have a “real” confession to make, my house was filthy.

When I began to tear it apart to get into the crevasses and corners you do not see on a regular basis, I began to see stuff that made me cringe. It truly broke my heart because Kiddo is highly allergic to this kind of dust. It makes me wonder how much our own home was contributing to her sickness?

Well, it is clean, updated, and fresh again. As we were making these changes we were both excited because we like change. Change breathes life into whatever it is you are changing. It to us is not a bad thing because we love it, however, to my husband he was not impressed when he came home to my freshness and change.

He hates change, but I was to be able to paint and make over rooms in my house in the past. I suspected he was not happy this time though because when he came home from being away his silence was deafening. I was not able to get everything I wanted to be done because he was not gone long enough, so he did not see what I have envisioned yet. I was not able to get the trim painted or put up the special signs I am going to make. At this point, I have decided to wait on painting the trim as I think this will truly be too much change. He needs to sit on these changes for a while.

I have an immense “raw and real” confession to make, this rejection hurt me to my core. I do everything I do to keep our home running efficiently while both he and my daughter spend more time sick than they do well. I run them to their countless doctor appointments so I can stay on top of their health issues and so for me to do this because it made me feel good was beyond disheartening.

I got extremely upset Saturday night and had a complete meltdown. I was yelling and screaming (not my finest moment or one I am proud of), but it was because I was tired of hiding my hurt and exhaustion any longer. I was tired of hiding behind my mask that says it is okay you hurt me again. Unfortunately, I crushed my sweet daughter in my rant because it started with her and I arguing with each other over my not willing to go to Washington DC for Veteran’s Day, but that was not even what had me upset. I was upset with her dad and his stubbornness to see these changes were important to me and that I needed this for me to find my happy place again. She didn’t know this. She only saw my emotions boiling out of control to the point they erupted like an out of control volcano.

I told you this to share my deepest and real feelings which I hide from behind my mask, the mask that says I have it all together when in full disclosure, I have nothing together. As my husband told me the other night in my fit of anger and yes rage at one point, I have become psychotic and I need help. This is only his perspective. I, however, stand on the truth of my own emotions. Unstable is the least of my problems. I am however over-worked, over-burdened from carrying the load for both of us for so long. I am exhausted both mentally and physically and depressed for the lifestyle we are living in now and will continue to live for him to be happy here. What he does not realize, understand or see, is that if I was as unstable as he believes me to be, I could not continue to carry the unbearably heavy load I carry to ensure he has a happy life while he struggles with the burdens of dealing with his own PTSD.

I am not sure how it has happened but since 2012 I have tap danced around my husband’s war triggered PTSD and anger. I have walked on cartons worth of eggshells to keep him happy. We stopped doing things we enjoyed as a family. We stopped attending events that were crowded because that was an anxiety trigger for him. Now both my Kiddo and I have found (as of this weekend that crowds make us both nervous and uncomfortable). I knew change upsets him so I make few “big” changes so he will not get upset, but my friends as I have found years later, giving in to all of this is not healthy for you as an individual. Your attempt to help them all the time is actually enabling what will become bad behavior and behavior that can, in turn, cost you everything. Everything meaning your happiness, your identity, and your life. 

Be careful how much of you, you give away to others. I have done some serious soul-searching over the past couple of days as I was on a personal quest to make changes within myself to find “me” to be truly happy again. Now I find myself at a crossroads because if my husband hates change to the point of me writing my deepest and rawest heart out here, then I have a much bigger problem of making changes within my own heart. He is not going to like the personal changes I make within myself because he will feel the effects of some of those changes.

So this is the question I am left with … do I continue my journey of self-discovery at the cost of everything, that meaning my marriage of almost 25 years and my family? How much is my need for change worth to me?  

Please forgive me as this post is deeply personal and I am writing from my rawest moment this morning. I am at this moment of pondering this simple quote written by Rachel Marie Martin in her book, The Brave Art of Motherhood,

“Be brave,” says my spirit. 

“Wait,” says fear.

“Have courage,” says my soul. 

“Not yet,” says worry.

“Dare,” says my heart. 

– Rachel Marie Martin 

The Brave Art of Motherhood

Where does this journey take me? Where does God want me to be in five years? How do I regain stability in my life again? All of these are questions I have and still need answers to. As I continue to find my way in life, I will continue to write about them as it is my deepest desire that if my heartache can help someone else to know they are not battling their own battles alone, then all of this pain will be worth it in the end.

 

 

 

Anxiety, Bondage, Burn out, Challenge, encouragement, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Goals, Hope, Journey, Life, Motivation, Strength, Stress, Weariness

Do Not Allow Stress To Consume You, Regain It By Planning

Encouragement Today

design-42

Today’s Encouragement is to remind you to let go of the pressures you are carrying and allow yourself to just live with the freedom God intended for us to live.

He never intended for us to be held captive by society’s standards, our busyness, or by our own sense of perfectionism.

Today’s Encouragement is for you to step away from things that harbor stress in your life, thus allowing yourself to have a sense of peace, and not anxiety, about the things you have to do. If there is something stressful you do not have to do, then do not do it today. Put that activity on your planner for tomorrow, this way it gets done, but do not allow it to rob you of your peace today.

Your personal challenge is to look at your planner (if you use one) and look at the week to come. Identify what needs to be done and what can be moved to another day or week, because this will allow you the ability to decompress from the stress you harbor daily.

If you are a busy parent who works all day at a stressful job and you leave work to run your kids to multiple activities nightly, please know it is okay and healthy to tell your children the word no. Your child does not need to run every night of the week from activity to activity. If they wish to live that life, they can do so when they are older and able to run themselves. It is also okay as a parent, to have your children make choices in their activities. Limit them to how many activities they are doing in a season or how many they are attending in a week. Even as adults we need to do this. Life is not about how busy we make ourselves, it is about living life while enjoying it.

Parents, do not get me wrong, I totally believe extra-curricular activities are important for children, but more so for the older ones than the younger ones. The younger ones need more stability and routine in their lives besides constantly running from the time they get up to the time they go to bed.

I believe the little ones need a nightly routine of going home from school or daycare, having supper, doing their homework if they are school age, some play time with their own toys, and a relaxing quiet time routine as well. The quiet time could include a bath, story time, mommy and daddy snuggle time and a routine bedtime. Their bodies need to know what time it is and they only form this through a structured life.

To my single followers who do not have a family or children, it is still important for you to have a structure and routine in your life. This will allow you to regain control over your life and bring the stability and peace back in it as well. If you do not have a planner, consider purchasing one. Your life will become more stable if you better plan your daily activities.

If you are a college student and the pressures of work, classes, and life are getting ahead of you, break out your planner and gain control over it again. Put your work schedule into your planner. Do not fall into the trap of knowing it is something you do every day. You need a visual accountability of your time and by putting your work schedule and all of your extra activities, such as get-togethers, church activities, whatever you have to do, into your planner, you will free your mind of everything you are trying to remember.  Lastly, add your class schedule, homework, and project deadlines to this as well. The ability to visually see everything on your planner will help you to free up stress from your life because you are no longer trying to remember everything your planner will show you.

An important key to successfully de-stressing your life is living a life that is structured, slower, and well planned. Living a life that is unplanned and on the spur of the moment only allows the stress to creep in and run it for you.

My friend, one of my goals I have planned for myself is something I have always wanted to do and that is to create a planner that assists in planning your life. Store bought planners are wonderful and have met my needs for many years, but I find they do not always meet the needs I have. I have always wanted to create pretty, but useful planners for myself as well as others. When I am able to do this, I will be sure to make it available to you as well.

If you have any ideas that you would find useful in a planner, please be sure to leave a comment below and I will incorporate those ideas into my plan as well. My objective is to meet the planning needs of everyone. I have experienced the life of a sick child and how a planner for that would be helpful. I have experienced the needs of a homeschooler and a busy wife and mom. Now I am finding with a sick family a different planner to keep up with them would be helpful. How about you? What do you experience in life and struggle to find planners to meet your needs?

Lastly, remember… Do not allow stress to consume your life, take control over it by better planning.