Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Exhaustion

Those of you who know me well know that I work at a flower shop.  And there are two words that bring fear into any floral designer's eyes:  Valentine's Day.  In my pre-flower shop days, Valentine's Day was a holiday filled with love and romance and flowers & chocolate  Now, it brings exhaustion.  Both physical and mental.  One thing remains: the chocolate (used as the sole means of self-medicating in order to cope with the chaos).  I worked 4 straight days last week...a total of  49.5 hrs.  And I have officially decided that I very much dislike Vday.  I'm pooped!  I feel like I could take a nap at any given moment and am lacking the motivation to do anything productive. 

This morning I awoke to more snow.  And the text telling me my kiddos would be spending the day with me because school is cancelled.  I am trying to take it slow today so I don't overdo it (the older I get I am finding that my body needs a bit more time to recover from stressful & tiring situations it gets itself into!) so I hopped in my comfy "God-chair" and grabbed my laptop and earbuds and got caught up on the past two sermons at church that I missed due to, you guessed it, SNOW.  And boy am I glad I did.  It was just what I needed to hear.  You see, I have had a few situations arise in my life recently that have caused me a good amount of stress and fear.  I will spare you the details but I have found myself not able to sleep at times because my mind is full of worry. 

As I have recognized this worry, fear, and stress in my life, God is teaching me a powerful lesson.  I see it all around me.  In the book I am reading.  In the sermons at church.  In my online Bible study.  There are times when I feel as if God is miles away from me, but this time I feel like He is right by my side, taking my hand, and leading me in His will for my life in these situations.  I still don't know how each situation will resolve itself, but I have peace.  Trust me, I didn't always.  When these situations arise, my emotions can become out of control and I can think thoughts that are unlovely.  But I am learning that my emotions have to be under control in order to be open to seeing God's plan.  I cannot let these negative thoughts and emotions control me.  Sometimes I get upset and I don't even know why.  But when pray and ask God to reveal it to me, He shows me...and it can be very enlightening!  It reveals my desire to control the situation in order to receive the outcome I WANT...not necessarily the outcome HE is planning.  One thing I have learned through this all, is that trying to control things is also exhausting...sometimes even more exhausting than working 49.5 hrs in 4 days!  When my mind is overcome with worry and emotion, it wears me out physically.  And when I am worn out physically, it makes it even harder to control my emotions.  So the cycle continues, but the one who is truly suffering is ME.  I have learned that when I immediately hand over these situations to God, He fills me with His peace that passes all understanding.  I am able to calm down, allow God to work in and through the situation, and I am able to trust Him fully to work it out on my behalf. (well, this part I am still working on...) And when I do this, I start to feel the exhaustion decrease, my hope increase and I feel 100 lbs lighter as God lifts the weight of my burdens off of my shoulders and places them onto His.  Allow Him to do the same for you!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Penny For My Thoughts

I will be honest...I don't have a plan for this post.  I just feel the need to write down some of my thoughts, I guess.  Life has been busy and I don't feel like I have had much time to unwind my mind!  When I write it's like it takes those thoughts out of my head and frees up some space in there (not that there's a lot of extra space!  lol)

 
So bear with me as I share what's been swirling around in my noggin, ok?

1.  Weight Loss.  It's inspiring.  It's motivating.  It's oh-so-frustrating at times.  I made a goal at the beginning of the year to reach 150 lbs by the middle of June.  I wrote my weight goal each week on my planner so I would have a guideline to follow to help me know if I was on track.  The first few weeks I was ahead of schedule as it was great. But now I am a few pounds behind schedule and I am starting to panic.  Granted I know I am more than the number on that scale.  But I am feeling like this is going to be another failed attempt at reaching 150.  This has literally been my goal FOR YEARS.  I lived most of my 20's wanting to lose weight, and I'm mid-way through my 30's with the same stinking goal.  I feel pathetic.  And with all the weight loss gimmicks out there it's hard to know what is TRUE knowledge.  I am trying hard to follow the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating.  I believe in it and it worked for me when I started implementing the plan last fall....I lost 6 lbs fairly quickly.  But now I feel stuck...mainly because I keep going off-plan and it's starting to show on the scale.  I see tons of pictures on the THM Facebook group where people are totally transformed in their physique and I am so inspired.  They found how to put the plan to work for them to achieve results.  I haven't gotten there yet.  I keep thinking back to when I lost the 6 lbs and what I did differently than I am doing now...and I honestly don't know.  I wasn't even doing the plan full-time then.  So frustrating.  So I will keep plugging away and doing what I can with my eating and exercise and hope for the best. 

2.  Church.  I truly LOVE my church.  I mean that with all of my heart.  The people are loving and accepting.  The pastors are amazing and extremely helpful. I want to go each time the doors are open and take advantage (in a good way) of everything it has to offer in the way of classes, activities, etc.  For the first time in a long time I want to grow spiritually and I feel like I know how to do it.  If you aren't in love with your church, I urge to pray and ask God to show you where he would have you to go where you can grow!

3.  Motherhood.  It's tiring!  And I often find myself feeling like a failure when I listen to the way my children talk to one another and fight.  I feel clueless as to how to handle these situations because obviously my current way of handling them isn't working.  There have been numerous snow days in January for my kids which means we have spent more time at home together than normal.  Some days are great and everyone plays together well.  Others, well, not so good.  I am trying (despite feeling completely tired and spent most of the time) to spend a bit more one-on-one time with them, to see my children through God's eyes and recognize the gifts and qualities He has placed within them, to say "I love you" more and to tuck them in when I feel as if I don't have the energy to walk up the stairs to their rooms.  I am noticing how much is caught by them than taught, so I need to be reminded to set a good example for my children in the way I interact with others and with God. 

4.  Marriage.  I miss my hubby.  His current shift at work is really wearing on me.  I am so thankful for his job, but his shift literally allows about 2-3 hrs here at home each day (not counting time spent sleeping).  We desperately need a date night.  We just need some time to connect and not feel the demands of life weighing on our shoulders.  Mental note:  call your mother to ask if she can watch the kids this weekend!

5.  My small group. We had our first meeting a couple of weeks ago.  Those 8 women will be the ladies I share my life with for the next 12 months.  My joys, my sorrows, my shortcomings, my prayer requests.  I am so thankful for them!  We all hit it off at the first meeting pretty well and I could already see the bonds of trust starting to form between us.  It is so refreshing to be amongst a group of women who will not judge you and will love you in spite of yourself and all your flaws.  I am so excited for what God is going to do in this group!

6.  God.  I can feel a stirring in me.  A stirring to know God more.  To recognize His voice.  Heck, just to stop and actually listen for His voice when life is busy and demands are swirling around me.  I want to be totally dependent on Him.  I want to rest in the fact that He has it all under control.  I want to live the life He has for me to live and reach my full potential.  I want to live intentionally, not constantly swayed to and fro by my to-do list and life's demands.  And I want others to see Him in the way I live my life....in my actions, my words, my attitudes, my outlook.   

Whew...I think my brain is all emptied out....for now.  I feel better!  :)