Thursday, November 2, 2017

Of Learing to Rest

 
Can you believe it? My baby took two naps today without hesitation!
 
That is an outright miracle folks.
 
Typically he only wants to nap in the morning for maybe an hour and a half. And then if he takes an afternoon nap, he usually screams in protest for 15 minutes and then only sleeps for about 30 minutes.
 
But today he slept 2 hours in the morning and has been asleep now for an hour and a half. :D
 
Typically during naptime I try and get as much house work as I can done. And that is what I did this morning.
 
I thought about trying to get some more deeper cleaning done for the afternoon nap.
 
But do you want to know what I did instead?
 
I listened to my exhausted mind and body and rested.
 
I brewed a cup of decaf coffee, grabbed the monitor, my camera, and headed outside to my new favorite sitting spot.
 
 
And I just listened to the wind and the birds in the trees.
 
I looked at the leaves all changing colors and just breathed deeply of mental and physical rest.
 


And I am so thankful I did.
 
 
As a new mom, I find it very hard to rest most days. To just sit and recover from the stress of day to day life. I can never seem to shut my brain off on what needs to be accomplished.
 
But I need to from time to time.
 
We all do for that fact.
 
 
Rest is a very good thing.
 
"There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither."
Alan Cohen
 
How about you? Do you find it difficult to make time for rest? What simple act of rest restores your mind and body?
 
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
Angel

Monday, October 23, 2017

Not In A Competition With Anyone Else


 
So, Flynn actually slept pretty good last night. We got him to bed around 8:30 pm, and he slept soundly until 5:30 am.
 
When he awoke at 5:30, Justin brought him to me, I nursed him, Justin then changed him, and back to sleep he went until 8 am. 
 
Justin went ahead and got up to leave for work just a few minutes after Flynn was laid back down, and I decided to sprawl out and try to enjoy a big old empty bed. :D
 
Usually during the few hours before Flynn is up and ready for the day, I go back to sleep. But not today. For some reason all I could do was toss and turn about.
 
It was like as soon as I woke up, my brain went to thinking. Tossing and turning all manner of thoughts as I tossed and turned my body every which way to try and go back to sleep.
 
I started thinking about all the many things I wanted to accomplish today, and in the near future.
 
Like get my house spotless, lift weights, meal plan, grocery shop, try a new recipe, blog, read a book, research vlogging, finish painting our dining room chairs, and the list goes on and on.
 
I guess it all comes from how I feel as if I NEVER accomplish ANYTHING these days. At least anything that can be seen.
 
Because yes I get my house clean. But that usually is only seen for about 5 minutes...
 
And yes I cook and meal plan. But that has to be done every week.
 
Many of the things I do accomplish everyday, have no visible end products to show off.
 
So, I decided to get on up, and get my day going early.
 
I walked into my kitchen, started heating up my breakfast sausage, and my cup of cold brewed coffee. I then took my meal into the living room and sat down in in my favorite corner.
 
I grabbed my phone and went through my usual mindless morning scroll through Facebook and Instagram.
 
But one Instagram post stopped me dead in my tracks. It was a quote I needed to read today. 
 
"You need to ignore what everyone else is doing and achieving. Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live YOUR best life. You are not in a competition with anyone else; plan to outdo your past, not other people."
 

GOD put that post in my day to stop me from feeling sorry for myself, before I inevitably began to feel sorry for not being able to do all I wanted in a day.
 
This morning was one of only many moments I have of wanting to do so much more lately. To try and show others that I can do as much as them, if not more.
 
But I am not every one else. I cannot accomplish as much in a day as some.
 
And that is okay.
 
 
 
With a very high needs baby, and my overall lack of energy and strength from my health, I can not accomplish my over ambitious to do list everyday.
 
GOD is showing me that so long as I am doing my best, and not being lazy, what I do accomplish in a day is enough.
 
Even if that is only keeping me, my hubby, and my baby clean and healthy.
 
I am not in a competition with anyone.
 
I do not have to meet anybody's expectations.
 
My number one goal in this life I have been given is to seek and serve the LORD to the best of MY ability, with a joyful thankful heart.
 
That my friends is what we should all put at the top of our daily to do lists. :)
 
 
 
Do you ever feel like you are trying to compete with others in life? Or do you get discouraged when you feel you cannot keep up with your own expectations and goals? How is GOD showing you slow down and focus on HIM and what gifts HE has given you? 
 
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
Angel

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Quick Way to Blend Creativity Into Your Walk With GOD

Two things that I have struggled with doing since becoming a mom is regular devotions and being creative.
 
I keep making excuse after excuse for not doing devotions. Mainly how I do not have an overabundance of mental energy with a new baby.
 
And as for not doing anything very creative, it can be pretty hard to find time for anything past keeping me, my husband, and the tiny human alive. ;)
 
Which is not a good thing. I NEED my time in the Word to stay focused on my LORD. And I NEED time to do something creative to keep my sanity in check.
 
Or at least somewhat in check... :D
 
I recently came up with a quick idea to help with both needs. Journaling one verse a day.
 
 

I am making it my goal to try and write down one verse of scripture in a journal daily. Or as often as my terrible mom brain allows me to remember...
 
Following my morning workout, I lay Flynn down for his morning nap, wait until he is actually asleep and done protesting very loudly,and grab my journal, pens, phone, and Bible. I then find a comfy corner, usually the couch or on the floor by the front door, and settle in for a wee bit.
 
 
I have the "Bible by Tecarta" app on my phone. And everyday it has a new verse to read. I open the app on my phone, get the verse reference and then find it in my paper Bible.
 

 
I read the verse, and often times the entire chapter of that passage. Then I choose what color pens I want to use that day, and write down the featured verse, and doodle a little bit on the page.



 
And then I am done. Simple, easy peasy way to get in a wee bit of creativity, and much needed time with my LORD. :)
 
What are some simple quick ways you find to spend with the LORD? How about a creative outlet? Do you a favorite go to for that?
 
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
Angel


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Interrupting Anxiety With Gratitude


Confession time folks.

I struggle with anxiety.

You know. Fear. Worry. Not trusting in GOD's goodness as I should. Mentally draining, turbulent emotions at any given moment.

Yes. I struggle with it every single day.

But I came across this quote recently. It is a very simple one. But oh so powerful.

"Interrupt anxiety with gratitude"

Instead of giving into the anxiety that has clouded my day way too often lately, I am going to interrupt it, and show gratitude.

Gratitude for a baby that took 2 separate 2 hour naps. Cause that is a downright miracle...


Gratitude for seeing how excited and happy my baby is when daddy comes home from work.


 Gratitude for being able to wear my baby in a sling. He had hated it for awhile there, but now gets excited about being snuggled in it.

Gratitude for a new kitchen rug. I am loving the soft squishy feel under my feet while washing dishes.

Gratitude for postpartum hair loss, despite how I dislike it. Because I know it could be so much worse (hello slick bald chemo head two years ago). And it is a reminder of a dream come true. I had a baby ya'll.


I feel gratitude for time spent with all my babies.




 And I feel so grateful to have been able to spend a little time and energy last week setting up a wee bit of fall d├ęcor outdoors.





 

Yes. There is so much to be grateful for and to feel calm and peaceful about.

Do you struggle with anxiety? What are some ways you deal with it? Are you feeling grateful for any simple things today?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
Angel

P.S. The "Revive Our Hearts" blog posted about how to deal with panic attacks and anxiety recently. I highly encourage you to read it, if this is an area in which you struggle as well.

Monday, September 18, 2017

How To Encourage New Parents


My husband and I were at church recently. I was sitting in our usual spot, with Flynn in my lap and Justin standing right behind the pew. We were just talking a little bit before Justin needed to get his saxophone out to play for the song service. Another member walked over to where we were and said, "Let me look at this wide eyed guy", referring to Flynn, and then said to Justin, in a joking manner "I am not going to talk to you, you don't matter anymore, its all about the baby".

It was a harmless joke really. But, I got to thinking about it.

That "joke" is kind of true.

People no longer ask how we (my husband and I) are doing, or even say hello to us at times. I mean, I genuinely cannot remember the last time some one said hello to me, or asked about how Justin and I are doing first. Flynn is always talked to first. They always say hello, and ask him how he is doing.

Never mind the fact he is 7 months old and cannot utter a word. And I am the one standing there holding him...

And it is not just us. I have noticed it with other new parents in my circle. And society as a whole.

New dads and moms don't really get any attention or interaction. Or maybe not as much as before they became parents.

And I cannot blame people for being eager to interact with a new baby, or young children. I mean, they are precious, adorable, and so sweetly innocent. Just BEGGING to be oooed... and ahhhed... over.

Especially mine. I am pretty sure he is the cutest baby ever created... ;)


But, babies, while precious and adorable require A LOT of work and even more sacrifice. And guess who is doing all that work and sacrifice?

Daddy and mommy.



Babies and children the majority of the time are well taken care of. Even when their health is compromised, they have the best of care coming from daddy and mommy.

In the form of not sleeping to feed and change said baby. Walking them hours on end to help the colicky one sleep. Comforting them when they feel bad or scared. Going through the constant mental toll of realizing you have been put in charge of a human soul, straight from the LORD Himself.

Kind of a scary fact to think about at times...

If any body needs to be asked how they are doing, or ooohed and ahhhed over. Its parents all over this world.

This job ain't easy. Yes, it is soooo... blessed. But with great blessing comes an even greater responsibility.



A responsibility that require enormous sacrifice and dying to one self EVERY SECOND OF THE DAY. (a responsibility I prayed for and am so beyond blessed and thankful to have)


If there is one piece of advice I could give to anyone (talking to myself here too...) on how to encourage new parents, it would be to genuinely ask how THEY are doing BEFORE the baby.

Maybe even offer a wee bit of praise or a tiny word of encouragement for only sleeping 4 hours last night.

But then don't be surprised if they fall over dead with shock, or stammer or blankly stare at you in their sleep deprived, mentally drained state. :D 

 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13
 
 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing
1 Thessalonians 5:11
 
As a new parent, what has someone done to encourage you? Or even if you are not a parent, what has been the best form of simple encouragement to come on some of your hardest days?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
Angel

Friday, September 15, 2017

Celebrating the End of One Chapter, and the Beginning of Another

Flynn's "Why on earth are we taking selfies at 7am" face...

On this day two year ago, I completed 3 cycles of BEP chemo for a stage 1a, grade 3 immature teratoma (ovarian cancer).

Words can never convey how happy I was to be done with that chapter of my life. I had been through almost 3 months of the worst nausea, fatigue, and fear of the future you can imagine.

So of course, a celebration was in order for getting through it, right?

I remember that last day, and the same chemo nurse who had been there to administer the drugs to me that terrifying first day, asking me and Justin how we were going to celebrate.

Up to that point we had not talked of celebrating. We were in survival mode. As I knew I would still be sick for quite a while after that last day.

But I began to think about it. And after the nurse walked away, a place popped into my head. Bryson City, NC. The same town and cabin we had stayed at during our honey moon 2 years prior.

I told Justin about it, and said, I wanna go back.

And he said we would.

It took us almost 2 years later. And to be honest, it was a complete surprise when Justin came to me in July this year and asked if I wanted to know what my birthday present was. And then proceeded to tell me we were FINALLY going back to Bryson City. To stay in that little cabin called Acorn Bend.


And what a beautiful stay it was...



I could not help but think of how much has changed and how much has happened in our lives since that stay in April of 2013.


 The week we started our marriage.



We had gone through SOOO... much in those four years. Adjusting to marriage, a cancer battle, problems with depression, having a baby, and just LIFE.


Fontana Dam

Fontana Lake


It was the perfect way to not only celebrate the end of one chapter, but to rejoice in the beginning of another.


 








"May I never forget the good things HE has done for me."
Psalm 103:2
 

Have there been any exciting celebrations of the LORD's good work in your life? Whether they be a big bowl of ice cream or maybe a trip?
 
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
Angel

Saturday, September 2, 2017

My Rainbow After A Storm


For those of you that may be new this blog, two years ago this past June, after "trying" for over a year to become pregnant, I walked into a doctors office for a routine exam, and came out after being told I may have cancer.

Two weeks after that appointment, I had an operation done that confirmed I did have ovarian cancer, and one of my ovaries was removed, and 3 cycles of high dose BEP chemo was started immediately.

Praise the LORD, the cancer was found very early, and removed during the surgery. Chemo was administered to ensure the cells would not regrow back, as they tend to do in the type of cancer (grade 3 immature teratoma) I had.

And I am now cancer free.

To be told you have cancer is devastating. It is made out to be the worst thing that can happen to you in this society. Although I could think of much worse things to go through... ;)

But the most devastating thing for me was hearing how my chance of becoming a mommy was lessened.

I wanted for so long to become a mommy. It was something I prayed for daily.


And here I was being told I might not ever get that chance.

But...

Our GOD is greater. And HE had a much bigger plan.

Because statistics do not affect HIM in HIS work.
 
 
Seven months after the completion of my chemotherapy, I felt GOD's leading to take a pregnancy test.

And it was only by HIS leading that I did that day. I had given up ever taking one again for fear of disappointment.

And I will never forget that moment in time. Where two little pink lines showed up. On not one. Not two. But three tests.

I couldn't be too careful, could I? :D

Our GOD is great, and ever to be praised!
 

HE answered my prayer, in HIS perfect timing.

HE brought a rainbow after a VERY LONG, DIFFICULT storm.

And although this rainbow is a challenge to see some days...
 

 It is always there reminding me of the LORD's mercy and grace, and HIS great power.

 
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. "
1 Peter 5:10

What rainbow after a storm has the LORD brought you? What has that rainbow taught you about the LORD?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
Angel

Sunday, August 27, 2017

So Hard and Scary, But Much More Blessed


Right now I am sitting in my favorite comfy chair in my living room. I have a tall cup of hot coffee beside me, and I hear my hubby keeping our wee one occupied in the other end of the house.

So, long time no blog. I have not intended on taking such a long break in blogging. For I dearly love this little corner of the world, and had every intention of coming back to blogging regularly after things had settled down from our little Flynn's arrival.

But, truth be told, things have not settled down much since his arrival. In fact life has been more busy and unpredictable than ever. That's motherhood though.

Motherhood:
The busiest, scariest hood you will EVER walk through.
But one of the most blessed, sacred places you will ever get to visit.

Before you become a mother, you have so many dreams of what your days will look like. Or at least I did.

I pictured a mostly quiet little baby, sometimes fussy, but ready and eager to be worn in my sling all day, and me feeling blissfully happy all the time.

I envisioned me being able to keep my house spotless and all parts of my life well organized.

Yes, I knew it would be hard and not perfect all the time. But the kind of hard this has been, I could never picture.

I could not picture postpartum depression clouding the first 5 months, and it still haunting me.



I could not picture a baby with serious food allergies that have caused him to spend 90 percent (no exaggeration whatsoever) of his awake hours fussing and screaming from the discomfort of head to toe breakouts.


And with that me having to give up any form of wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, sesame seeds, almonds, and even my beloved peanut butter so I can continue to nurse him.


The past five months been a time of sacrificing and growing and learning and letting go of ALL my high expectations. It has been a time of adapting to all of the hard parts.

Including having to restart this post who knows how many times because my wee babe is not very content to chill on his own. ;)

And humility. Boy does your pride get knocked to the ground as a new mom...

Every idea of life with a baby I had, has had to be thrown out the window and into the wind. :)

And that has been hard for me. Especially since I tend to be the kind to hold tightly to my "dreams" and tend to become saddened when they do not turn out as I so longed for.

It has been a season of rearranging my priorities and hopes. And learning to cope better when it does get hard.


And I can finally say that the past few weeks have been better for me in that area.

Do I have a happy, joyful attitude when I look at that mountain of needed to be folded laundry that has been marinating on my couch for 4 days?

Ummm... Not quite always...

Am I to the point I can easily not get frustrated when I do have to stop trying to clean or blog or sew or attempt any sort of a creative endeavor after the billionth time my baby has woke up earlier than I hoped?

Not exactly.

Can I be calm when he has woke up EVERY hour from 12 am on.

You can ask my husband about that one... ;)

I do not know that I will ever come to the point of complete peace and calm with any of those all the time.

But I am learning more to lean on the LORD during those times I get so frustrated and tired. And accept that great grace HE bestows on us during our bad times.



Yes, it is sooo... hard and scary this motherhood thing.


But it is sooo... much more blessed.






And I can praise the LORD for that fact.

What has surprised you the most about motherhood?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
Angel