When Fear is Crippling

A video if you prefer to watch/listen than read

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 9.52.43 AMThis is what I see on my walk this morning.  It is almost a 2ft. copperhead, 10ft in front of me.  It has its head up and totally frozen.  We are both frozen, likely due to fear.  Seeing the copperhead stopped me dead in my tracks.  Thankfully not actually dead because it bit me;).  I am not moving.  I do not know what I should do.  Do I throw something near it to scare it away into the grass?  Do I just walk around it?  So I just stand there frozen.  About a minute later I see a neighbor is jogging barefoot right towards it.  I call out, “Sir, watch out there is a copperhead.”  He nonchalantly grabs a giant limb he found and starts to nudge it back into the forest.  No jumping or squealing with fear like I would be if I moved the snake out of the road.  Number one- I would have never done that.  I am too much of a giant chicken butt.

This dude had no fear.  After removing the snake he tells me, “I have already killed 5 this year (it is only august).  For the copperhead population there is usually only 1 per acre but many more this year.  There are fighting for territory.  They are going after the mice.  So if you have mice, deal with those.  Don’t bother the black snakes.  They eat the mice and fight off the copperheads.  None of the home remedies work to keep them out of your yard.  Just take care of the mice and be careful in the grass (leaves, pine needles etc.).  Just give them 4 or 5 feet, they will not normally strike at you.”

I am trying to walk a mile most mornings.  It is mostly for my soul.  I love the silence and solitude (why we need to press pause).  It is a time I can let go of things I am fretting over.  It is freeing to release these worries/fears in prayer.  On this walk I am talking a lot with God about my fears and my tendency to live in a place of fear (check out this book I have been reading about developing a conversational relationship with God, watch the 1st short video).  Over the past 2 years I feel like God has opened my eyes to see how much fear controls me.  Fear of others opinions, fear of the future, fear of death, fear of sickness, and the list goes on.  The past month the word freedom and fear keep coming to me.  I have so much more to share how God has been speaking so clearly to me on that.  I am realizing that God want me to walk in freedom and not fear.

So while on my walk I am praying about how I can go about walking in freedom and not fear.  I am feeling led to look up and highlight all the verses on fear in my Bible.  I once heard that there are over 200 commands of “Do not fear.”  Why does He tell us this so much in His word (the Bible) because he knows our human tendency to be paralyzed by fear.  So that is my first step in this freedom from fear journey.  I’ll share more as I learn more.🙂

Side note: My hubby is my hero.  I am so technology challenged.  He patiently took 15 minutes to walk me through how to get this picture from my phone to my blog.  It is amazing how he can see my computer screen while at work and also take control of it and do it all while being miles away. Mind blowing!

Awesome song for when my fear is crippling

I am my Own Worst Critic!!

I can be so hard on myself.

Like over the top, unfairly so.

While I am making my kids lunches I start to get frustrated with myself.  I am frustrated that I have not better planned for these lunches.  I am scrounging my cupboards and fridge trying to figure out what to send in the lunches.  Then that leads to frustration that I have not been able to better plan our breakfasts.  Every morning for a while now, kids ask “What’s for breakfast?”  I reply, “Whatever you can find.”  Then I get frustrated that our dinners have felt pretty similar.  “What’s for dinner?”  …. “Uh…. let me find something.”

I get frustrated that we eat the same meals each week.  Now after reflecting I see how silly this. My fridge and cupboards are full.  There are so many mamas world wide and millions here in these states that open an empty fridge and wonder how they will feed their kids.  But in the moment this morning, I am not thinking rational.  I am not living from a place of gratitude.

While making lunches I am focusing on holding the floodgates closed.  I gotta wait til they all get out the door then I will let the tears.  I don’t believe in hiding my emotions or tears from my family.  I don’t think that is healthy.  But this morning I rationalize that if these tears come now it will delay Jeremy taking the kids to school so I wear the mask.  I know totally not healthy or wise.  I am not thinking very wise at this point.

I give hugs and kisses as they head out the door.  That was a close one, I barely was able to keep that mask on.  Once I hear the truck drive away I give myself permission to let it out.  The tears stem from the negative junk I had been thinking on.  I had been dwelling on lies, absurdities. Things like:

  • Why can’t I get organized?
  • Why can’t I provide clean underwear for my family? (seriously laundry is constant;)
  • Shouldn’t I be able to keep my sink clear of dirty dishes?
  • Why is my desk covered in a million post its?
  • Why can’t I style my new haircut cute like my hairdresser?
  • I am disappointing my husband and my kids

That last lie was so absurd that it helped me to snap out of it.  Here is some of my inner dialogue ( I talk to myself a lot, I live in my head especially since I am a uber reflective introvert): “kimi, that is crazy.  There is no way Jeremy and your kids would say they are disappointed. They do not feel let down.”

I come downstairs and find a timely text from a special friend and mentor.  Her text reads, “Good morning, “Lovely Lady”, may this day bring you the sweet peace of Jesus as you delight in his presence.”  This is a reminder that I need to take these tears and lies to God so that I can focus on his words and truth towards me.  I know my soul needs to sit and be still and focus on his love and truth.

So I sit and listen to my Pandora Bethel Music Station.  Praise music is such an amazing balm to a hurting heart/soul.  I close my eyes and meditate on the lyrics.   There is one point where the lyrics bring  tons of tears- “your love so deep is washing over me”-Sinking Deep by Young and Free.  God loves me.  My worth is not in being a great housekeeper or cook.  He is not disappointed in me.

I know I need to be still longer so I listen to a few more songs to help me flip my perspective and not be consumed by these negative lies. There are some amazing lyrics that speak straight to my heart from How Can it Be? by Lauren Daigle.  “I’ve been hiding.  Afraid I’ve let you down…. But in Your eyes there’s only grace now…. You gave your life to give me mine.  You say that I am free.”

Just last night (like seriously less than 12 hours ago) I just journaled (How I find life from journaling) on this verse- “So Christ has truly set you free.  Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”  In my journal I wrote, “My soul feels free and unencumbered.  Jesus frees me.  To follow Jesus is freedom.  Freedom from guilt, freedom from worry, freedom from living in fear of what others think of me, freedom from racism.  So much freedom if I embrace it.  I can often chose to live in chains and bondage.  I can live in the bondage to guilt the eats away at me.”

The negative thoughts I was dwelling on was not freedom.  Those lies are not from Jesus and he does not want me to live in those chains.  He has set me free.  Free from lies I want to believe about myself.  More on the freedom Jesus offers in my next post.

Choosing to Rest

This is an older post that I forgot to post.  But it is perfect because I teach on taking a day off this Sunday at Story Church.
We were snowed in this week with only like 4 inches of snow.  I don’t know how many actual inches we received this week but it is nothing compared to our Northern friends.

School was cancelled for 3 days.  It was an unexpected gift.

We played lots of games.

The girls were busy constructing doll furniture out of popsicle sticks and hot glue.  Impressive.

book shelf (she cut all these with gardening sheers)

 

 

refrigerator with ice tray and ice

 

sink

 

dresser complete with clothes paid of felt

 

toy box

 

 

tv, recliner and sofa

We started 2 puzzles, the huge kind with 1000 pieces.

We spent hours sledding.

I spent almost zero time on my computer, emails, etc.

We read lots of books.  Jeremy is reading The Bourne Ultimatum, I finished The Irresistible Revolution: living as an ordinary radical, I started When Helping Hurts, Jeremy reads lots of Narnia and  The Jesus Storybook Bible to the kids.

We pretty much stayed in our jammies (pajamas) for days.  Who needs a shower?😉

All this rest on these snow days made me think of the practice of honoring Sabbath.  Out of all the ten commandments there is only one that starts with “remember.”  We are told by God to remember the Sabbath.  God wanted to give us a day off each week.  We are told to remember because it is all too easy to forget.  post on sabbathYou Need This!- another post on rest

… just let me send one more email

… hold on, I can play in a minute after I finish this load of laundry

… I just need to check if I have any messages on Facebook (because we can’t make people wait a whole 24 hours to get a response!)

… just a minute,  I can read you that book after I finish the dishes

…  I just need to finish up this last thing

“What would it look like if just you and your family remembered?  What would happen if the Lord whispered, “Begin, sweet Sabbath”- and you listened?”- from a favorite book, 24/6 : a prescription for a healthier, happier life

We take 24 hours off every friday 5:00pm-Saturday 5:00pm.  Cell phones off.  Emails ignored. Lots of yummy food.  Lots of play.  Couch time cuddled up watching a movie with popcorn.  Ice cream.  Naps.   Reading.   Enjoying nature (but not tomorrow- it is painfully cold).

Rest

Refreshment

Renewal

It is like God gives us a snow day every week with the gift of Sabbath.

Will you accept the sweet gift?

Why Do I Rush My Kids so Much?

This is advice I try to give myself.  It has taken me over a decade of being a mom to figure this out.

I used to be in such a rush. I often was running late not because of them but because I was a poor planner.  True, I was so busy putting out fires but if I just started getting us all ready earlier or even prepped the night before, there would have been less mornings where I made my kids cry with yelling and rushing.

Life is precious but it is hard to notice that we are busy rushing.  I once read 6 ways to be a more joyful mom and one of the tips was to stop rushing your kids.

I think how many times I stressed my poor kids out with my frantic pace.  What if I just stopped, took a deep breath and moved forward with as much grace and love and possible?

I have been learning as an adult to take moments to be still and be deep, like a recess,mini retreat for my soul.  As I slow down my own heart and pace then I go take more time with my kids. What’s the big rush anyway?

I love the posts written by blogger and author of Hands Free Mama.  Here is a wonderful post on the topic.  Reading her post inspired me to write mine.

Crazy Adventures with College Roommate

I had an amazing roomie in college.  She is a fun,crazy, silly, life of the party kind of person.  She had great wisdom and counsel for me. She encouraged me to grow.  She is also a nut! (in the most loving way).  I just loved her ability to laugh and bring laughter to a situation.  We had so much fun together.  We were constantly playing pranks on one another.  We had a list of 201 Ways to Annoy or Bother your Roommate and we regularly used them to make the other laugh.  I am certain we added many to that original list.  Her in her post, forkandbeans.com she reminded me of some of the silly things we did.  I was cracking up just rereading them.  P.S.  – I am pretty sure Cara, you peed your pants more than I did.😉  Bless you for putting up with my gassy self for 3 years!!!  Remember the time your cute print of Starry Night from Ikea fell on your head while you were sleeping.  mmm…Good times.  Now I am inspired to think of more of our crazy stories and write them down before I forget more.

What I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed(Trying to :)

My house on most days, all flat surfaces covered in stuff.  Big mess.

So I say Lord, where do I start?

That question answers it, I start with prayer and God.  A prayer asking for divine strength.

Then I turn on some praise music, crank it up, sing loud.  For a moment I want to meet with God and let the yelling kids fade to the background.🙂  The songs that come on have lyrics like:

– “there I find you in the mystery of oceans deep. My faith will stand.” from one of fav songs ever
Oceans by Hillsong
– “deliver me from all the madness.  You’re the one to pull me through.”
Deliver Me by David Crowder remix

1. Roll with it.  Embrace it and be able to laugh about it.  The alternative is to cry about it, which is totally ok if I need that release in the moment.  But then blow the boogers and laugh that:

  •  I am still in my pjs
  •  haven’t showered in days
  •  haven’t brushed my teeth yet
  •  have a disturbing amount on orange mold growing
  • a common question when hubby comes home, “hmmm….what’s that smell?” Likely answers:stinky pee filled pullup in the trash, the moldy orange that I have not noticed for days maybe weeks, etc
  • there is a good chance the house will still look like this tomorrow and the next 2 years or 2 decades while kids are at home
  • I have also forgot to put on deodorant this morning
  • I can’t get rid of the pee smell in the bathroom(thanks to a toddler boy:)
  • my 4 yearold asked, “Why do you wear that(a fav hoodie) everyday?”
  • my 4 year old asked me while getting ready for my doctor appointment, “Is it church today?” Because that is usually when I actually get dressed, do my hair and wear makeup.🙂  It is my chance to get dolled up and do something out of the ordinary.

I don’t know about you but I would rather be laughing then crying.

2. Flip your perspective

  • For each thing I complain about, flip it and find something to be thankful for and to praise God for.  True my house is a mess but thank you God that I have a home, many moms cannot say that
  • True my kids are bickering but most the time they are sweet to each other
  • True I have moldy produce but thank you God that I have the means to buy healthy for my family
  • True I haven’t showered but thank you God that I have plumbing and clean water when I get to it
  • True my house will constantly be messy but I have the opportunity to be home with my kids
3.  Take a play breaks.  My kids are always asking me to play and I likely respond, “Just let me finish….” But to be honest it is not going to get all finished.  I bounce all day long from task to task.  I am sweaty right now from 15 minutes on the trampoline.  I told them I will bounce them for 15 minutes then I need to go get some things done.
I want to read more to my kids.  BONUS: I get to actually sit with my feet up while doing that. 2 for 1.
3.   Journal how your feeling.  That is all this blog is, my personal journal but I make it public so others may be encouraged by it.  I have a gratitude journal that helps.  I just try to list something that I am thankful for on that very day.   Journaling your feelings with questions like:
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What am I sad about?
  • What am I angry about?
  • What are you enjoying?
  • What are you surprised by?
  • What disgusts you?
These are all from the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality workbook.  AMAZING book and workbook
4.  Get 15 mintues of solitude and silence today.  Maybe during naptime for one, put a cartoon on for the older and sit outside and meet with Jesus.  I remember reading Dallas Willard say that he believed the discipline of silence and solitude to be the most important of all the Christian disciplines.  I have to agree.  Search silence/solitude on my blog for more info
4.  Reach out and encourage someone else
Chances are if you are feeling overwhelmed as a mom(or overwhelmed in any other role) there is another person in your similar shoes who could use an encouraging text or email letting them know they are not alone.  It is also a good reminder to myself that I am not alone

Books that help when feeling overwhelmed as a mom:

Desperate
Dad is Fat
Supermom vs Super Mom
Unglued

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Down and Catch Your Breath

Sometimes I feel like I am going at such a crazy speed that it is hard just to relax.

I am now starting to recognize when my speed of life is getting too crazy.

I can often feel it in my limbs.  I feel the stress building there.  My head may start to hurt.  My thoughts seem to be going crazy like a hamster on a wheel.  I began to feel myself rushed and also rushing others, usually my kids.

I am trying when I notice this to stop, pause and take a few deep breaths.  I don’t want to rush through life.  When I rush I get cranky.  I often feel grumpy and then cause others to start feeling that way.

My kids respond to me.  What mood am I setting in our home?  Is it is a frantic, frazzled mood?  Or a calm, peaceful, “let’s just roll with it” mood?

My calendar starts to get too crazy when I notice that I am not making time for the things that restore my soul.  Am I so busy that I haven’t exercised in forever?  When was the last time I read for enjoyment?  When was my last date with hubby?  Am I getting enough sleep?  When was my last day off?

God knew we would have trouble stopping work and resting.  He actually commanded the Israelites (as us too) to take a day off (one of the 10 commandments- you know the Charlton Heston old movie😉.  One of the definitions of Sabbath (fancy word for day off) is “to catch one’s breath”.  This commandment like all the others was not to restrict us but for our benefit.  Like not murdering, it’s good for us not to do that because prison and revenge don’t benefit us.  It is meant to refresh us.

We tend to find our value and worth in what we accomplish so he commanded us to take a day off.  Find our worth in being children of God and loved by him.  It is a day to refreshed, replenished, rejuvenated, restored and many re- words🙂

When do you each week take a 24 hour period to unplug, ditch the to do list and enjoy life?

post on how I enjoy Sabbath

Another post on how our family enjoys this