Christian · Faith · God · Happiness · Life · Religion · Thoughts · Words

The Alarm Clock

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I used to wake up every morning to the alarm on my iPhone and glimpse through my alerts, which then instantly took me to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Sitting in my warm, just slept in bed, before my feet had even hit the floor, there I was scrolling online, immeshed in other people’s lives and already comparing my own. One friend woke early to fix all four of her children a made from scratch pancake breakfast complete with homemade orange juice. Another friend was celebrating an anniversary and spoke about how amazing her husband was above a picture of the two dozen roses he had given her along with a beautiful, gold heart necklace, it’s diamonds glistening back at me. Feeling less than, before my day had even began, I would crawl out of bed, by now feeling defeated. Should I have gotten up earlier and slaved away in the kitchen making homemade pancakes and orange juice too? Was she a better mom than I was? My husband had never gotten me two dozen roses before. Was my marriage even solid? These are the thoughts that played through my mind while I sauntered downstairs to pour myself some coffee and pour a bowl of cereal for my own hungry child.

Galatians 6:4-5 tells us “Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.” Spoken truth right there. Afterall, God made us each different from one another, so how can we compare ourselves to anyone else. We have our own set of blessings, talents, gifts and circumstances. When we stop seeing the things we have been given in our own lives and look instead with envy to what others have, we impair our spirit and our soul. We are not being who God made us to be.

I decided to part ways with my phone (not completely of course) and dragged out my husbands old alarm clock from the 1990’s. I plugged it in, placed it on my nightstand and watched as my kids stared in awe at this dinosaur from long ago. (they asked me if it was from the 1970’s). I set the dial to a christian radio station so that the first thing I heard upon waking was joyful music. I wanted to free myself from the pull of my phone first thing in the morning, where comparison lurked. I wanted to wake up to a new day full of hope and a lot less despair. I wanted to take a breath and be present before I dove into the online world of perfection and comparison. I wanted to stop feeling robbed and instead feel poured into. That old alarm clock did the trick, innocently singing out to me that it was time to wake up and start my day. Nothing else.

As I’ve been waking up without my phone, I’ve found that I also have been using it less throughout the day. Where I would constantly be checking it from morning until night, I now guilelessly seek it out only a few times a day. In doing so I have, in a sense, seperated myself from one world and immersed myself in another. One that is more real and even a little messy at times. I feel so much nearer to God than I ever have.

I start my day with an old alarm clock, a cup of coffee and His word. No distractions, no outside noise, only stillness. He reminds me each morning that I am enough. I don’t need to look for validation online. I don’t need to cook homemade pancakes or be given two dozen roses to know that I am loved. The stolen kisses from my husband and how he gets the coffee ready for me to brew each morning, the big bear hugs from my kids and the excitement on their faces when they see me as they step off the bus and everything else in between is enough. (Even bowls of cereal). I am enough. My life is immeasurably enough.

You are enough to friend.

You are enough every single day.

You are enough even when the world says you aren’t.

God says you are enough and His is the only opinion that genuinely matters.

When you choose to walk away from distractions and put your phone down, you see what matters, you see what is real.

When you stop envying what others have and wishing that it was yours, you find contentment and peace.

When you stop wasting your time eyeing other people’s lives, you start finding the beauty in your own.

Know deep within you’re being that you are absolutely, unequivocally enough.

Keep in mind the words above from Galatians, write them down and place them somewhere you will see them each time comparison sneaks up on you and tries to steal your joy.  Remind yourself of who you are and how unique you were made to be, and if it helps, do like I did,

get an alarm clock.

 

 

Christian · Faith · God · Life · Prayer · Religion · Thoughts · Words

Press Pause

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I have started to press pause in the early morning hours. 

I wake up to see my two older boys off to school, then while my little one sleeps and the house is immaculately quiet, I press pause on my day and I meet with God. 

While sipping my mug of caramel colored coffee these are the defining moments that lay the foundation for my day. 

When we start off preceding any other obligations we have, with God, we free up space within our soul to be able to do more. 

By giving our worries, concerns, frustrations and anxieties to Him we make room for what is important. 

By letting go of what is holding us down, we rise.

Pressing pause gives me a moment to breathe, to step away from the pressures of everyday life.

Pressing pause lets me reflect on who I am and who God made me to be. 

In pressing pause I become more. 

It’s refreshing to spend these silent moments alone with Him, just being. 

No masks, no pretending, no falsehoods….it’s just me being raw and real. 

In the early morning hours, before the budding of a new day begins, I meet with God.

I press pause before I press play. 

I give myself over to God wholeheartedly and for the rest of my day, I can feel Him, right by my side, carrying me through.

Press pause. 

Give yourself a moment.

Watch how everything changes.

 

Faith · Happiness · Life · love · Poetry · Self confidence · Starting over · Thoughts · Words

Made New

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Everyday you are made new.

Fresh starts.

New possibilities.

Growth.

Change.

Beginnings.

Endings.

Everyday is an opportunity to be born again.

To say yes to what you need to and no to what you don’t.

You will never be the person you were yesterday nor the one you will be tomorrow.

Twenty-four hours can set you on a totally different course.

Wake up and rise.

Be present on purpose.

Watch the sun rise and set.

Look for the good.

Everyday hold grace, forgiveness, honesty and joy close by.

Take a chance to live the life you so desperately want.

Because one day you’ll run out of every days.

Beauty · Body love · body positivity · Faith · God · Happiness · Life · love · Mom life · Poetry · Religion · Self-love · Words

Beautiful mama

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Beautiful mama, stop comparing yourself to that woman on Instagram, your friend who seems to have the perfect everything, your neighbors who just bought that new something or other. 

You are you and they are not.

Theodore Roosevelt once famously said that” Comparison is the the thief of joy” and no truer words have ever been spoken.

When we compare ourselves we fail ourselves.

Here’s why, there’s no one else, in this entire universe, who is you.

You are rare. 

A lone creation. 

God created you, beautiful mama, in his image and in his eyes you are flawless.

You’re not supposed to be an image of someone else.

He wants you to embrace your entire being and find true joy in the life he has given you.

He wants your body to tell a story of adventures, mistakes, babies, love, triumph, contentment, hurt.

You were never meant to remain small so He gave you the entire world as your playground.

Take up space.

Fill a room with your laughter.

Wear your bathing suit to the pool and jump in with your kids.

Do big and small things with great intention.

Dare yourself to be unafraid.

To let go of expections. 

To remember, 

you are perfect exactly as you are.

A stunning piece of art created by the king himself.

 

 

Photo credit:

Creator:praetorianphoto
Credit:Getty Images
Copyright:praetorianphoto

 

Faith · grief · Life · loss · love · Relationships · Starting over · Words

What Remains

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I wake to the sound of birds chirping, the suns light washing over everything. The first thing I see when I roll over is the framed picture of us.

A small oak frame that holds the memory of a moment once alive but now only a snapshot.

The way you are looking at me, your smile as wide as it ever was, reaching ear to ear. The look of love so evident.

We had the kind of love that some people never even know exists. I didn’t even know it existed until I met you. Oh it was magical.

Staring at that picture, I have proof that it existed. You were once real. You were once here, a living, breathing man that stole my heart on a cold November day.

I sit all the way up and plant my feet on the floor, taking hold of the frame as I do every morning.

I feel the wood, the softness of it between my fingers. I stare at who I used to be. I hardly recognize that woman anymore.

When you left, you took most of me too. You were my heart, my soul, my other half. It felt like, at times, you were even the air I breathed.

I try to hold back my saddness but a single tear flows down my cheek and I can’t help but feel my heart breaking all over again. I still need you. I don’t think I can do this without you.

I take a few minutes to compose myself and rise, setting the frame back in it’s resting place.

A new day is here, I cannot force the night to stay no matter how much I beg. The sun always rises and forces me to wake.

Like yesterday, and the day before that, I will try to get through these hours of daylight. I have to live, for you, for me, for us. I know that is what you would want because while you were here, you lived life to the fullest and thought of each new day as an adventure.

You taught me how to stop being only alive. You showed me how to open each new day as a gift. You did not waste a single second of an hour. Maybe somehow you knew that you had a short life, or maybe you just knew how precious life was.

You were truly magic and you made life magical.

I am not sure I can do this today, lie you to rest and say goodbye. I always hated goodbyes but knowing this one is so permenant, that I will never see that smile again or hear your voice…how can I ever say goodbye?

In a few hours I will be glancing at your face, touching you for the last time. You will become a memory of what once was. A man that once existed and was the love of my life.

I will wear black and I will mourn you but I won’t let go. Not yet, maybe not ever.

Then I will return to a life without you and learn all over again how to be alone. Knowing that without you, my life, forever changed, can never be whole again.

You are irreplaceable. 

Even though you are gone, our love will remain through me, and this child that grows inside me. A part of you that will live on, a part of us that will forever be ours.

Living, breathing proof of our love and what we created.

 

 

    

Faith · Happiness · Life · love · Relationships · Self confidence · Self-love · Words

Read this book now!

I just love Brené Brown, and this book, The Gifts of Imperfection, is a must read for everyone.

I’ve been highlighting so many words of wisdom in this book and this right here really spoke to me 💕 It is how I would describe myself to a tee. I am constantly searching for worthiness in others opinions of me and in society in general. I have this idea about how I should be and so I tuck away parts of me when I’m around others and give them the pieces of me I think they want to see because if they really saw who I am they would run. So in a way I am performing, perfecting, pleasing and proving all the time and let me tell you….it is exhausting. I stand outside of my story almost daily and distance myself from who I am while trying to figure out who I want to be. Life is tough but it’s even tougher when you don’t love yourself or feel like you belong. I’m ready to stand in the middle of my story and embrace it…even the messy and ugly parts because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have this story to tell. This book is encouraging me to fully begin to understand myself and to find my worth inside of me, not from the world. Because I want to make the best of this life I’ve been given and not cheat myself out of all I am and all I can become.

Faith · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Self-love · Starting over · Words

Turns in the road

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I often wonder where I went wrong.

What road did I miss turning down and why didn’t I see it?

Was I too busy searching instead of looking?

Was my head down when it should have been up?

I can’t seem to pin point the exact moment things started to unravel.

Is there even one exact moment?

Maybe it happened over years and years of choices and decisions?

And this unraveling was slow.

Maybe I missed many turns because I just wanted to go straight and keep to the comfort of my familiarity?

I’m not quite sure where it all became this messy,

but I see it now and it’s too late.

Time cannot be rewound,

Words cannot be swallowed as if they were never spoken.

I have reached this destination and I can only go forward and see where it takes me,

And this time, keep my eyes out for those turns.

boy mom · Faith · Life · love · Mom life · Parenting · Relationships · Starting over · Words

Our Children

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We raise our children to find their wings and fly.

Our home is their nest for the making of the person they will become.

It is their foundation on which everything else is built.

We give them love and encouragement.

We establish in them faith and forgiveness.

We let them fall and watch them rise.

And in the process, as they go from toddler to teenager,

as they start to gain independence and taste freedom,

we find ourselves having to let go a little of them each day,

until one day we open our doors and watch them soar into the world.

It may seem far off or it might be just around the corner,

but the day will come.

You will watch as the person you made, the person you grew,

spreads their wings in this great big world,

and leaves home to find themselves.

Faith · God · Happiness · Life · Religion · Words

Matthew 6:34

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One of my favorite bible verses is Matthew 6:34 which states “ Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I actually have this written down and placed on my refrigerator, a magnet holding it securely in place. A daily reminder to not let worry tug at my soul and take up space in my day.

The thing is, even though the note has been hanging on my refrigerator door and I do read it, albeit not daily as I had planned, worry still seems to float around in my mind and at times overwhelm me.

I want so badly to listen to these words of wisdom that have been graciously handed down and truly disable all worries I have about the here and now. But the question is how? How can you stop worrying about tomorrow?

Matthew sure had it right when he said that “each day has enough trouble of its own”. Don’t we all face daily struggles and challenges? Each day bringing with it something new, whether a small worry or a big one?

Then it occurred me, the most important words of this verse, to me, are “for tomorrow will worry about itself”. It is a stark reminder that tomorrow isn’t promised to any one of us so why spend precious minutes worrying about it? Tomorrow will be different from today in many ways and who knows what will unfold then. 

 I believe Matthew is telling us to live for the now. To be present and alive. To put aside the worries we have for the future and do what we can with today. To not let worry linger in the forefront of our minds and let minutes and hours of this day go by, wasted.

You see worry robs us of presence. Worry steals our joy. Worry is a thief. 

This beautiful verse serves as a reminder that God wants us to enjoy today and be fully conscious in everything we do. He doesn’t want worry to paralyze us so much so, that we hold our breaths as we wait for things to fall apart. He didn’t create us to spend our time in a constant state of stress, waiting and wondering. He created us to fully experience His earth. To see, feel, touch and smell the world around us and bathe in its beauty. 

I don’t want to worry away this time I have today with my husband and my kids, my worry taking me away from them. I don’t want to take advantage of a single moment by poisoning it with anguish. I want to take Matthew’s advice to heart and tuck worry aside, at least starting with the small worries I hold on to. I want to tuck it into the folds of my inner being where it will always be with me.  

Like the magnet that holds my handwritten note to the refrigerator door, I want these words to stay hung up in my heart, where they will stay, permanently etched.