When life looks bleak

Many of you know that mid-September and October were difficult for our family. We were told we needed to move in one month, but we were having a difficult time finding another place to live. Things kept falling through, while my anxiety started to rise through the roof.

Moving was a serious roller coaster. I remember readers commenting about how everything would work out; how there was beauty and happiness in store. But honestly, at the time I wasn’t seeing the glimmer; I wasn’t seeing the break in my stormy skies. All I saw was bleak and grey.

When life looks

But, now I sit here and am writing from the other side–the break in the clouds. I’m writing as we are one week away from moving into the house we originally wanted–the house we were hoping all along to get into. I’m awestruck.

It all worked out. The clouds broke. The sun glimmers now.

Sometimes it really doesn’t seem like things will work out or there is happiness ahead. When people say it will work out their words almost seem cliché, detached, or fake. At least that is how I felt. Do they really understand? Do they see the storm clouds in my sky and how ominous they look?

But, if this experience has taught me something, it is that the clouds really do break and the sun really does shine again. There are greater things in store for us than we can imagine being possible. Maybe the sun doesn’t shine in the exact way we imagined, but it does shine. It shines bright. All because there is a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of us–who is guiding our path through this sometimes bleak, grey life.

Two months ago, I didn’t think I would be where I am today, painting our house and preparing to move in. But, here it is and my skies are bright.

“God is in your corner. Everything will work for our good.”

Jeffrey R. Holland

You can vote once per day!

You can vote once per day!

Stopping the comparisons: Just more experienced

The other day my boy, Parker, helped me bake in the kitchen for the first time. I’ve tried to get him involved before, but until yesterday he just didn’t understand. Having him help yesterday was fulfilling; one of those mommy moments I have quietly day dreamed about for quite a while. Son helping make cookies, stirring, tasting the dough

As I watched his small, chubby hands latch onto the spoon and start to slowly mix, my mind was flooded with memories of baking with my own mom. I would frequently step up onto a stool, put on my flowery apron, and be her right hand girl.

However just as frequently as I tried to help, I undoubtedly became discouraged. I remember looking at my finished product, then to hers, and back to mine. The disappointment was poignant. Why was Mom always so much better than me? As soon as I expressed my frustration, she would reply without missing a beat:

“I’m not better than you; I’m just more experienced.”

Me as a little girl learning to bake.

Me as a little girl learning to bake.

It made sense; it made me feel better. She had been baking for years and I was just a girl. It was silly for me to believe I could be perfect at something I’d practiced very little at. Her comment gave me hope.

Now as I’m a bigger girl, how often do I look at others, especially moms, and think–“She has it all together; she is so much better at being a mom.” A LOT. I do that a lot. But, is that accurate? Instead, I should think to myself, “She has three kids, she’s changed hundreds more diapers, she’s balanced housework with utter exhaustion way more than me. She may not be better; just more experienced.

Simple as that. No comparisons, no guilt, no discouragement.

In the end, we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. All those people we may be comparing ourselves to each day may just have more experience.

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” – Jon Acuff

How have you learned to stop yourself from comparing yourself to others? What is a saying that has helped you throughout your life?

Fight against gravity

A couple days ago I read a post by Three Boys and a Mom called “Fit Mom Friday“. In it she shared her journey of fitness and completely inspired me to refocus my goal on health, not just a great body. It seems I continually need to be reminded of this.

Since reading her post, I have started exercising more, because I’ve realized I don’t have to be an all-star athlete to do something beneficial for my body. I may look crazy and pathetic as I exercise, but it’s a whole lot better than quitting before I even start.

Yesterday, I tried PiYo for the second time. It is a workout series by Beach Body slightly similar to pilates and yoga. We (me and the four insanely fit people on my TV–are they even real??) did “Hardcore on the Floor.” As we were nearing the end of the workout in yet another precarious position, the fitness instructor said something that made me think.

If you feel like you’re always about to fall over,
You’re doing it right.
You are in the sweet spot of working the hardest,
because you are working against gravity–
Fight against the gravity!

A flexed arm muscle Isn’t that true for life? Just as a muscle can’t get stronger until it has resistance; just as our muscles have to tear before they can be stronger–so it is with us. Many times the good things we crave to do or the person we know we have the potential to become are preceded by doing downright, hard things–we sweat, we try again, we fall over, we give up momentarily, we try again. We give it our best and in the end, we’re stronger than when we started.

It is in the hard times that our soul gains strength.

So today I’m going to fight against gravity. I’m going to recommit to the good habits I want in my life, because I want the results of a better me.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”- English Proverb

How do you stay motivated to reach your goals? What are some of the goals that you are working toward in life right now? OR do you have an exercise program that you love? I would love to hear your thoughts!

You can be a champion

As a new blogger, I’ve been thinking a lot about… blogging. I’ve also been thinking about all my blog currently is and all I hope it to be. Currently they aren’t matching up and it can be discouraging.

To be quite honest, I have big dreams. Some that I am almost too afraid to admit. I feel sheepish even writing it down, but I do it in hopes that someone will not feel alone in their dreams.

I have dreams of being an influential person in the world. Dreams of having content on my blog that encourages and uplifts. Dreams of initiating helpful conversations on the internet. Dreams of friendships that support one another from states away.

It is hard when those dreams feel so out of reach and far away. It is difficult when I feel completely insignificant. There is this nagging voice in the back of my head, that says I have nothing to offer a world with 152 million blogs. But I keep pushing the voice away, because I read your blogs and they uplift me. Each individual voice adds something unique and teaches me something; something only you could teach me. And I’m grateful for that.

As I was listening to music today while cleaning the house, the song “Hall of Fame” by The Script came on. I love that song. I was listening to the lyrics when I realized how powerful the words were. The theme of the song is this–YOU can be a champion. You can conquer the challenges ahead. You have to give your dreams a fighting chance, because you’ll never know if you don’t give it a good try.

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.”-Gena Showalter

You can be a champion

My boy, Parker, who inspires me to keep trying.

So whatever it is that you dream about, keep at it. You’ll never know if you might be great, unless you give it a good chance. A creative mom, a talented cook, an inspirational blogger, a supportive sister, the greatest exercise guru–whatever it is! We are much more powerful and equal to the task than we realize.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?… As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” —Marianne Williamson

What are your dreams? How do you stay motivated to do what you love?