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Friday, January 30, 2015

Things are Looking Up

So this week, things are looking up.  We decided in December that we were going to agree and choose a church and just try to plug in.  No church that we have tried is perfect and we don't all 4 love everything that we've experienced.  However, we decided to just choose one and go for it.  We decided that we were going to join a small group.  We went to the kick off this week and sat in a group with about 5 other couples.  Out of those couples, 3 of us just moved within the last couple of years.  In fact, one of the other couples just moved this summer like we did.  The wife is a teacher, in our city.  How crazy.  I just couldn't help but feel like this was confirmation that these new friends would understand, empathize, and support us during the next year.  I'm excited to connect and build a community of friends here. Yeah!!

I also this last week saw a counselor. Our session was valuable.  Basically, she validated that I'm stressed and how stress can affect every area of life.  We also dealt with some self esteem issues and how I see others as more important than myself.  It was interesting to put some words to feelings that I've felt.  The counselor likened some of this to our relationship with Christ.  She said that people who have a healthy self image freely accept the grace and love that God offers.  People who struggle with self image feel like they have to work and earn God's love, grace, and mercy.  It was an enlightening time of self reflection.  I've seen counselors before and I didn't feel a great connection and there were times that were just plain awkward.  I may not go back to this particular counselor but I am going to go back.  I really enjoyed digging in and thinking about why I act/react to certain triggers.  I forgot how therapeutic talking to a counselor is. I also realized that I didn't really need that for myself when we were in Rowlett. I had these great girlfriends who really got me and helped me without paying for it. I probably owe them lots of copays....So, on the way home, I called my friend and told her about my experience.

That got me thinking....

I've been really blessed to have these fabulous girlfriends for the majority of my life.

 In college, I found my YoYo's and these girls have grown with me through marriage and motherhood, we've shared lots of really happy times and some really sad times as well.  They were my first roommates and we saw each other at our best and worst. We are all so different but those ladies have helped form  and shape me.

I was blessed to have some fabulous women in churches that we've gone to as well.  I'm thankful for their leadership and mentoring.  Our small group in North Carolina was amazing and I love those women and am so thankful for their influence on me as a young mother.  They definitely stepped in when we had Addy and were so helpful.  I learned a lot about cooking, canning, mothering, and how valuable friendship with women in other stages of life is.

As we moved to Texas, I was so terribly lonely as a young mom now of 2 babies.  I joined a meetup group online.  As I think about that now...I was desperate.  Thankfully, I met some fabulous women and ended up hitting it off with a few of them.  We formed our own little group and during those early years, before the kids turned 4, it was not uncommon to find me among these women and kiddos 2-3 days a week.  That was so life giving to me. We had our own support group.  As my kids reached pre-K years and I worked at their pre-K's 2 days a week, that group changed.  I kept in touch with those women but one in particular who will be a lifelong friend.  I can't imagine my life without her.

Then, through Catalyst, I met lots of other fabulous women.  One who challenged me to get out of my comfort zone for real, we ended up running 2 5K's together, one was the Warrior Dash.  She is so incredibly opposite of me in every way but man I love her.  She taught me so much about loving people, really truly loving them right where they are. There were definitely others as we journeyed our 7 years there.  I gleaned so much from so many different women.  It definitely got harder as I went back to work full time because I felt like my time was pulled in so many different directions. I missed so much impromptu lunches or late night Starbucks.

Although, I'm reflecting on the women, there were also so many great couples we've been able to hang out with. It's much harder as a couple to find that couple that you both really click with.  We found them.  They were the people that when we were all together, we were all mom and dad to each others kids...that sounds weird but everybody took care of everybody.  It wasn't weird, I don't think.  They were the ones we could be really honest with about our relationships in front of our spouse and could offer insight and advice and it was never offensive to the other spouse...again at least it wasn't to me.  

Okay so that got longer than I anticipated.  I'm thankful for all of the relationships that I've had and I look forward to developing those here. I know they will happen because I know we will intentionally live life with others.  That's who we've turned out to be.  I say those awkward things and ask those awkward questions that at times, maybe I shouldn't.  I/we are vulnerable and we share the things that can either get us rejected or cause others to open up and be okay with being vulnerable too.  I long for those deep relationships to develop and unfold. I long for community.  I long for friends who get me.  I have to remember that those things take time.  I guess my encouragement would be for those of you that are content to stay in your bubble....break out.  Your new BFF may be right in front of you.  People need you and you need them.  This life was not meant to live alone, selfishly...yep I said it...selfishly.  Share who you are with others, share your time, your energy, your emotions and if you live life with people long enough, they will drain you and they will take what you give BUT...they will give as well.  Life is sweeter when shared!!

Have a great weekend!!  

SIDENOTE:  As I'm sitting here thinking, more of my fabulous life friends are coming to mind...please don't be offended if I didn't specifically mention our relationship. I am thankful for you for the impact you've had on my life.  I was not trying to highlight people and leave others out...these were the just ones that I mentioned, I could write a book.  I am so grateful for all of you!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy New Year...only 18 days late

I keep telling myself that I need to blog more frequently, that it's therapeutic for me to get my thoughts out, that I want to update my friends and family about our life.  And then....I do nothing.  I get busy and distracted and I just don't do anything.
So, thus Jan. 18 being my first time blogging since the new year.

So, here are some updates:

Our oldest turned 10 this week.  For some reason, this birthday was quite hard for me.  I can't believe that she has hit that milestone.  She is such an independent, compassionate, and sassy child.  She is a mini me and I cannot deny that at all.  I am so fortunate to have her as a child.  She teaches me every day to enjoy being creative, to dance and sing frequently, to give to others and give people the benefit of the doubt,  and to enjoy being outside.  I am so proud of her and can't wait to see how God uses her to build His kingdom.

This transition continues to be a challenge that I am trying to learn from.  This is such a weird spot to be in.  I know that Levi needed a change and being near my parents was the best case scenario.  I am loving that part of it.  Having my mom come with me to the kids practices, getting to meet my parents for lunch or shopping, having last minute dinners with them, and them watching our kids has been AMAZING.  I'm not sure I could go back to not having that.  That being said, we were so accustomed to our life in Dallas. I had a great job and loved my coworkers, I had my best friends within minutes, I loved our church and the people there.  So, to not have all that greatness, has been really hard.   I feel like a broken record to keep harping on that and I'm ready for things to be easier.  Things are falling into place.  We have found a church and are going to plug into a small group here in the next few weeks.  Once we get settled and in a grove, I'm going to audition to be a vocalist.  I miss leading worship a lot.  The kids are really enjoying the church and I think we all feel good with our decision.  Levi has a more consistent schedule and is enjoying what he's doing.  He is "picking" with great success and finding that fulfilling.  You can read about it here.  I'm not sure if this will be a long term or short term endeavor.  I miss hearing Levi preach and teach.  He is so gifted in that area and I miss hearing him terribly.  Work is good, definitely making more friends there and feeling like I'm fitting in well.

This new year, instead of making resolutions, I thought about things I want to do better.  I hate resolutions because I feel like such a failure when I break them.

I want to be healthier.  I've gained about 15 pounds in the last 6 months, beginning with our move.  We ate out while our house was being fixed.  Then, we had dinner with so many fabulous friends before leaving Dallas.  Then, once we moved, I just wasn't disciplined at all.  I'm still not if I'm completely honest.  I have got to see my weight as a health issue and not as a pride/vanity/I want to be a size 2 issue.  I need to get active and make better food choices.  I'm also trying to drink more water.

I'm also going to focus on my spiritual health as well.  I think we do a disservice telling people, you don't have to read your Bible and pray every day to be a Christ follower, even though that's true.  If we don't do that, we're missing out on knowing who God is and how to live life to the fullest.  It's about a relationship but if I'm not talking to and wanting to know more, it's not a relationship.  It's not about reading and praying for this much time every day, it's about desiring to be in relationship with Christ and then doing what it takes to maintain that relationship.

I want to enjoy life.  This summer, my neighbor and I got tattoos...I know shocking right?!   I've wanted one for a while but wasn't sure I could do it.  Well, I did it,   My tattoo means to embrace life.  I want to do that better as a parent and be less concerned with my kids being perfect, my house being perfect, and more concerned with my kids and my husband being happy and content when they're around me.

I think that about wraps it up.   You are caught up with my life.   Hopefully, I'll blog sooner than later.