Emotional Health, Faith, Mental Health

How was your day?

How was your day? 

This is a question that we are constantly asked, or are asking ourselves and others. 

Without even thinking, my response is usually either of the following:

My day has been great because I have done X, Y, and Z. 

Or

My day has been okay, but I didn’t get to do X or Y, and I really wanted to do Z but didn’t have time.

Which of these is a better day? How can we compare? On one end, it feels great when I am able to check things off my list. But on the other end, God did not create me to put tasks over relationships or measure my success by completed tasks. This may not be a struggle for some of you. Maybe checking items off of a list isn’t your thing, but I’ll bet that something is. Ask yourself what has made a “good day” good. 

If I am not cautious, I tend to measure my value based on what I’ve been able to accomplish that day or that month or even that year. I need to be reminded every morning that my value and identity are found in God alone. There is nothing that I can do or not do to take my identity away from me. I am a child of God! This is not a free pass to be lazy, but this is a golden ticket to REST, PEOPLE!! God definitely calls us to work hard. Wash those dishes for Jesus! Do the job at work that no one else wants to do, and do your best job for Jesus! You can turn anything into worship. At the same time, don’t feel guilty or like you’ve lost value if you let the laundry sit another day to spend time with a friend or play a game with your children. Find that balance. Take time for yourself and for relationships. Rest is just as important as work! God created everything in six days. Do you remember what he did on the seventh? 

A productive day shouldn’t be measured just by how much you get done. A productive day should be another day you’re alive and breathing. Even on the days where you feel like nothing got done, you had 24 hours to smile at a stranger. 24 hours to make a new friend. 24 hours to catch up with an old friend. 24 hours to fuel your body with delicious food. 24 hours to laugh at dad jokes. You were given 24 more hours of life, and that is a pretty successful day if you ask me.

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Emotional Health, Faith, Mental Health

Lowering my Expectations

I have not been writing as much as I had hoped to. I tend to set high expectations for myself, and when I fail to meet them, shut down. I was hoping to write one or two blogs a week. I have no idea where that number came from, but I enjoy writing, so it seemed like a low number. However, this plan was not taking into account my full time job, time with my husband, time to read/journal, time with friends, exercise, time to walk the dogs, do the laundry, clean the house, cook meals, eat meals, coach kickboxing, lead worship at church and practice guitar throughout the week, among other things I’m sure I have forgotten.

Nobody had set these expectations for myself, but myself. Nobody else was let down by the fact that I hadn’t written in a few weeks.

I realized that when things I enjoy become mandatory, they tend to lose their spark. I started a blog because I wanted that outlet: to be creative, to share, to process. But once it had deadlines and guidelines and all the other lines, it became unattractive.

I hope that you take the time to do things that you enjoy. Set no expectations or time limits. Stay disciplined, but not to the point that you begin to resent the activity. Set aside time to do the things you enjoy, and if you do them at that time, awesome, and if you don’t get to, don’t sweat it. Reschedule with yourself. Just be sure to not blow yourself off to spend your time on things, people, or activities that are not adding value to your life.

(Here is a silly picture of me on a hike. Again, lowering my expectations to have a perfect photo for every post. I hope it adds value to your life)

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Emotional Health, Faith, Fitness, Mental Health

Goodbye 2018

I believe that we should always be evaluating and pushing ourselves to grow, not just during the beginning of a year. However, that is where we find ourselves today – so there is no better time!

I am starting off 2019 with a new job! I am so excited to learn, grow, and get into a new routine, while making sure not to neglect parts of my old routine. Aside from my job, I am also blessed to have a husband, an amazing family, great friends, a car that runs, a home, two silly dogs, coach kickboxing, and lead worship at church (and who knows what will get added to that list in 2019!)

Some of my goals for 2019 include: getting better at guitar, spending more time in God’s word (I hope to read the entire Bible from start to finish), pushing myself to become a better wife, and creating more time in my schedule for physical activities. But, none of these will happen if I don’t plan for them to happen!

Set goals, create reminders in your phone, on your calendar, on your bathroom mirror, journal – do whatever you need to do to take accountability and get tangible results. Consistency is key! Creating more time in my schedule for physical activities looks like me setting my alarm and sticking to the plan. Even if that means waking up earlier, or clicking pause on a really good Netflix series; I will need to follow through! That is an easier goal to measure. What about being a better wife? Well, that depends. I plan to journal more to reflect on situations, my reactions, to think of my self less, and brainstorm creative ideas to make my hubby feel loved! Some days that may look like doing the dishes, or mowing the lawn, and some days it may look like picking up peanut butter M&M’s for him on my way home. Either way, I want to push myself to serve like Jesus!

Change is a necessary and beautiful thing. For some reason, we humans find the New Year easiest to set goals and make changes. Perhaps the change of the year causes us to finally slow down and reflect on the past 365 days and envision what we would like for the next 365 days.

I challenge all of you to set a few goals for 2019 and beyond. Where do you want to be? How will you get there? Be sure not to compare your year or your life to others. Set your own goals. Write them down. Speak them over your life. Start today and continue tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Don’t let failures or set backs stop you. Embrace the seasons as they come and go. Remind yourself that they will come and go. Work for what you want and be open to the plan God has for your life – even when it doesn’t make sense. How different would our lives look if we treated every new morning as if it were truly a fresh start?

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Emotional Health, Faith, Mental Health

Chronic case of the “yes”

I love staying busy. I have a very active lifestyle and I can’t seem to sit still for too long unless I get caught up in a good book! I also love to please people. I find myself saying “yes” to any and every opportunity. My hand quickly raises at the opportunity to volunteer or help where needed. Even at times when “yes” isn’t my initial thought, I say it anyways, as to not upset the person asking.

In the rare event that I don’t say “yes” I often have trouble deciding the why behind my own “no”. Am I saying “no” because I am already stretched too thin, or am I saying “no” because I am being selfish and lazy? At times, I am also afraid that if I say “no” to something or someone, I am not being obedient to God and His calling on my life. I understand that boundaries are healthy, but I also understand that the human heart is naturally selfish.

Saying “no” at times is healthy and necessary; May I be reminded that saying “yes” to something always means saying “no” to something else. Honestly, this post is a reminder more for myself than for anyone. A reminder to take the time for myself. If I go throughout the day saying yes to everything, scrambling around, but did not take the time to sit and be still in the presence of Jesus, then what is the point? Without that time with The Lord, how much are my words and actions truly reflecting His love? Yes, God wants us to be obedient, and yes that often means going out of our comfort zone and leaving our schedules up to Him. But the best part about all of it is He does not ask us to do it alone. We are not required to do everything (or anything for that matter) in our own strength! He wants to give us His strength. God wants to walk alongside me and you at all times – the good times, the bad times, the busy times, the quiet times, the silly times, the crazy times – and share those experiences with us. No matter what we choose to say “yes” to, may we daily choose to say “yes” to Jesus.

If you’re anything like me, you put entirely too much pressure on yourself. May this be a reminder for all of us (especially me) that the pressure is off! You are beloved because of who Jesus is, not because of the works you do or don’t do! Let us rest in that Truth today.

(Disclosure: I didn’t check the yes box on the image below to please Tyler. I was dying to check yes since the moment I met him)

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