…quiet the noise

… in the event you were wondering, these people are not just two years old, but two and a half.
a whole half.
I’ve been a mama for 30 months… and, sometimes it’s still doesn’t seem like it’s fully sunk in yet. 

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Life is noisy.

With kids or without kids, with a spouse or without one, life is loud, chaotic and hard. We have so many things fighting for our focus. So many people vying for our attention. We are constantly distracted. Constantly pulled away. Forever engaged in a never ending battle of deciphering what’s important and what’s priority.

I am the teacher that can’t take a lot of noise…. makes for a really difficult day for everybody.  Tapping, running pencils over spiral notebook bindings, all of it drives me crazy. I literally cannot focus in a noisy environment. I don’t typically watch TV.. I don’t even have cable… but even when I did, I could go all day without turning it on. Unless there was a specific show I wanted to watch on at that moment, why is it on? NOISE! YUCK. vomit. Just turn it off. I can’t deal.

Unless there’s background music.

In quiet or chaos, background music somehow helps my brain balance the irritations and the focusing effect it has on me. It helps my mind to focus on something else besides what is actually causing me to be unloving, impatient, and on edge.  My students already know that there’s going to be music playing and they quickly learn the songs. It’s so sweet to hear them sing along (they have no  idea that they’re worshipping!) as they get to know the music on my Pandora stations. But, let me clarify what I mean when I say “noise”. We aren’t talking party noise or baby shower noise, not even chit chat before church noise….. Not the structured class activity noise or even the playing outside nose. I mean the bickering, the fussing, the I’m-not-listening-to-you-because-I’m-so-engrossed-in-my-noise kinda noise…. Not the girlfriends at dinner clinking glasses, laughing, and catching up noise. I mean the tearing down, the comparing, the trying to fit, the feeling unloved, the negative, the unloving, the judgmental, the unsupportive, the lies…

the noise cousins sun

The noise that I have allowed to overtake my Savior’s quiet voice. The noise that kept me burdened and feeling like walls were closing in on me. The noise that kept me from believing in myself, from seeing me for who I really was. The noise that kept me from doing what I love and “feeling like”doing much of anything else. The noise that kept me on this hamster wheel trying to be enough, do enough, be more than enough, special enough, and whatever else enough that would allow (or force or make or justify) me to be accepted, loved, pursued, wanted, cherished… all of that. It was noise and the noise was suffocating me. I couldn’t breathe or move freely. I couldn’t focus.

That soft, barely there background music is my peace and steadies me …. very much like the Lord in this crazy, hard world. When we are bridled with so much fear, hurt, rejection, and brokenness that the darkness of the night is the only place we sense enough safety to truly feel, when we are caring less and less for people but are going out of our way to do more to out do and hurt them, when we’re ignore their pain and choose not to care, when we need “something” but have no idea what that is….. we have a focusing problem. We’re distracted. There is too much noise. Just like outward noise can distract us and cause us to make mistakes and go off course; allowing the wrong things settle into our hearts and minds, it’s what is repeated over and over again. It’s what we eventually believe is important, it’s what we eventually accept as our own identities and put on as our very own qualities that can very well led us down the wrong path.

Unless we have background music.

...He will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will quiet you with his love.
he will rejoice over you with singing…
Zephaniah 3:17

When we are rooted and build our thoughts, minds, beliefs, and lives on something solid, on what will never crack, change, or weaken, we can withstand the noise. We can have something keeping us focused in the midst of the enemy telling us lies about who we are, people being their <intentionally & unintentionally> meanest selves, and our own minds struggling to believe the best when it may be constantly fed the worst. That solid ground makes it a lot easier for the junk to roll right past us. It’s easier to drown out the lies when you constantly have the truth resounding in your mind

The truth is
you can do it.
you are capable.
you can learn how.
you are worthy.
you are enough.
you are smart.
you will do it.
AND….
You are strong enough, patient enough, enduring enough, and brave enough to wait it out until
the Lord brings all of your needs + efforts + sacrifices + opportunity together at the same time
to create the right time.


rhy 30mths

Even in all of the busyness, doing, traveling, working, driving, and mom’ing so hard….. we get lost. We get lost in expectation, in isolation, in fear, in discontent, in frustration, in weariness and we feel alone. Our glorious imaginations (combined with tricks of the enemy) create so many elaborate scenarios that cause us to feel deep rejection when there is none… deep failure when success is on it’s way…. we feel guilt for doing what we know is right (anyone ever try discipling the cutest 2 year olds ever?) … yet struggle with believing who God created us to be and who he promises He to be to us. (He is good, he is good to us, he plans good things for us! and is with us when struggles and hard times come!)

It’s like the Lord is saying,
“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, my sweet girl.
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, my son.
Can you hear how loved you are?
Do you see how pleased I am with you?
Allow me to celebrate you, simply because I created you & am delighted in you.
Do you know how much I love you?
Do you know how much I value you?
shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….
Listen to me. Focus on me.”

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I wonder what would happen to our self-talk, to our mindsets, to our friendships and our families when we listened more to who the Lord says we did the noise of the world. If we allowed ourselves to be calmed by the voice and peace of the Lord rather than running around like a crazy person chasing down our fleeting feelings with temporary fixes. When we begin speaking life into others because of the life inside of us rather than using our words to respond with hurt or worse, not respond at all.

hello brokenness.

Wonder how much more fulfilled and confident we would be if we looked to the Lord and enjoyed listening intently on his rejoicing and singing over us… if we worshipped, prayed, and read a bit more and allowed the Truth to dictate how we felt and how we saw ourselves. How much more equipped and joyful would we be when the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy our children & their futures, our marriages and friendships, our hopes and dreams, our own self esteem and views of ourselves. I believe they could stand more of a chance……. and, if they don’t. When things are broken and people go astray, we would still be left laying, kneeling, standing on The Rock. Even if we’re crying (really bawling… let’s be honest. If we cry, it’s a bawl.), left alone, feeling empty, and at what we believe is the end of our rope.

Can we quiet the noise?  Sometimes. Not always. Can we shift our focus so that the chaos isn’t as loud? Absolutely. Noise is inevitable. There has been, will, and forever be an endless list of things and people craving our attention and competing for our love. BUT, when we are rooted in the one love that will never end, that will never push us to the side, or hurt us, it is so much easier to drown out the bad and hear the good and see what’s possible.

My prayer for you…. especially us single mamas…. is that we won’t get lost in the noise. That we won’t lose hope or forget how valuable and loved we are. That we will allow our hearts to be captured by the Lord and filled to overflowing with his peace and joy. That we allow the Lord to quiet our fears, sadness, negative thinking, disappointments and worry with his love. I pray that our background noise keeps us focused and able to be wholly who the Lord called us to be in this crazy, dark world. That we allow ourselves to hope and dream big… give those dreams to the most creative Maker of the universe then give him room to gives us the desires of our hearts.

Your mind feasts on what it focuses on (Lysa TerKurst) so focus on the those things that bring joy, happiness, a positive outlook, Godly perspective, and comfort…. those things that are right, noble, true, lovely, admirable, and excellent…..

focus and feast on the goodness of the Lord.

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… create it 

If you follow me on Insta, you may have seen this post already, if you haven’t, here you are…

” I have done a lot of CREATING over the past year. I didn’t waste time “looking” for myself, I didn’t search for happiness in things, people, or activities.

What I did do is CREATE belief in myself, & belief in who I COULD be based on who God FORMED me to be. I set goals goals based on dreams that settled in my heart back when I was a little girl. I created a positive mindset, I created a perspective on all things that said “This event will not define me. I will be more than ‘okay’. I AM AND WILL BE AMAZING, I WILL THRIVE, I WILL ACHIEVE, I WILL BE HAPPY!” in spite of what comes my way!
I’m in charge of how I feel and how I view my circumstances. I make the choice of whether or not I will have a good day, if I will be frustrated or angry, if I will CHOOSE to refill my cup rather than deal with it being half full. If I choose to wallow or stand boldly!
Life is all about choice and creating what you want to see, experience, & how things will go for you.

I’ve been there. In the dark, not knowing if things will ever be okay, but I promise you that it can be….. if you CHOOSE & WORK for it to be! I hope that if you’re struggling with ANYTHING in life, that you BELIEVE that hurt, pain, disappointment, & fear do NOT have to last always. That you can be filled with the hope, bravery, belief, & faith to be and do better!! I believe in you!! #plexusbelieve”

I wrote this at our Plexus convention after taking a pic in front of this banner. Because, it’s perfect.. is it not? #yes 

I’m learning to create what I wish to find… in myself, my relationships, my work, my conversation. I’m learning that being still (sometimes for a while) is a part of the creative process. I’m learning to be who I needed to others. 

The girls have mainly been with their dad for the past few weeks and I’m missing my girls deep. So I’m scrolling through pictures on Insta and in every picture I’m smiling. Even in the pictures I specifically remember having the worst day or previous night, when I felt at my absolute lowest, there was a smile. As my thumb passed over the pictures, pulling up older and older photos, a thought flashed through my mind….. I wonder if I’m the me I needed three years ago……and the only answer I can come up with is that that woman who dealt and endured and fought and cried and pressed and shouted and tried and failed (and succeeded) was exactly who she needed to be then. And, I believe that girl is cheering this one on.  

I’m a believer in creating what you can’t find, creating what you need and want. I’m a believer in counseling and personal growth and becoming so that you are prepared to deal with what comes around the corner – both in and through the moment. I believe in questions and understanding, kindness and love, in second and third chances and yet standing your ground. 

I believe in creating a life you love and choosing who & what will bring you closer to your happy. I believe in making it your own. 

Also, that things truly come in time. But the come faster when your living in peace, joy, love, & harmony. That loves causes all things to grow well. Plants, relationships, kids, self esteem, & self worth……. everything grows better when it’s happy. Food is even tastier & your performance at work is better when you’re happy. 

Sometimes you have to create the happy you’re looking for. Create what you need. Carve out the time to revive your soul, lay down your burdens, get a little salt water in or out of your system (tears, sweat, or the sea) & make yourself happy and overwhelm yourself in joy. 

  1. If the privately broken girl was not drowned in the ‘come hell or high water’ or the ‘come what may’, you can make it, too. Because you’re strong. I believe that if I am happy & better than I’ve ever been, and at peace after complete brokenness, there’s more than the slightest chance you will be, too. The happiness and joy begins when you choose to move on from what happened and grow. You are growing and there’s something so much greater for you to do past this. This doesn’t define you. It’s a part of you, but it’s not who you are. 

Everything won’t always be perfect. There will be days you feel disconnected and nights you cry yourself to sleep. There will be some hard and dark moments, but in those times you have to fight for yourself. Your own voice has to be louder, more calm, more steady, more convicting, & sure than the noise. That voice that tells you that you can, that you’re good enough, that you’re strong enough, ready enough, & committed enough to keep going. 
Because you are. 

{note to self}

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… i found happiness 

Some will tell you to aim for joy because happiness depends on what is happening. That you should want to be joyful first, and if you happen to be happy- that’s a bonus. 

They’ll say that in order to be happy, something has to be happening. As if there aren’t people in this world who have a heck of a lot happening but aren’t happy. 

For a good 5 years (maybe?! I quit counting) life was HARD. My response varied between bawling some days and a zombie others, but most days were hemmed together with a The Lord-kept-me kinda grace so I was somehow able to smile (a lot) even though my days were really painful. I’d beg the Lord for peace and joy through sobs and tears and heartache type hard. Hard because my heart was aching and broken for so many reasons…. infertility, failed adoptions, failing/failed marriage……. it was an endless spiraling downward. Too many this-is-not-happening-where-is-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel situations back to back to back. 

Yet, I got through. I learned to have joy in the middle of chaos. A sliver of hope at first; bursts of sweet moments sprinkled here and there that allow you a bit of calm and genuine enjoyment in spite of what is going on around you. That sprinkle of joy eventually drenched me. There was s peace that allowed me to be fully present instead of in a fog. I fought for that awareness. 

The day I realized I had joy, I praised God & cried. It wasn’t something that had to be begged for anymore. It was just there.

But, is that enough? Should I be satisfied with “joy in spite of” when I believe that Christ came so that I may have abundant life? When I believe that the Lord gives me the desires of my heart and is a GOOD, GOOD father? If  I believe that the Lord made me an overcomer and gives me HIS strength, and has a plan for my life that is for my good and his glory……… should I settle for just joy?

Why shouldn’t I and couldn’t I shoot for happiness, too? UNDERSTANDING that the Lord also said that we were going to have trouble in life, understanding that my happiness isn’t the Lord’s number one priority…………. I’m thankful that the Lord gives me a lot to be happy for. 

Now, I’m in a really incredible spot. A sweet spot. A make-this-last-forever (and ever) spot. The spot where joy met peace then ran into happiness. The trifecta of life. There are moments that make me aware, yet again, of where I am and it makes me happy on top of happy to be in this place at this moment. 

I love where I am, where my kids are, and where we are as a family. They make me happy. Their smiles, singing, laughter, playing, & sleepy faces in the morning make me beam with joy and pride. 

Watching my little sister experience life and accomplish so many amazing things makes me happy!I mean how cute is she?!

Helping others improve their health and live more comfortable, enjoyable lives is fun to me. It fills my cup and makes me happy…. even on the hardest of days. 
I’m not sure if I ever really thought about or planned what life would look like post divorce. A lot more peaceful, yes. A lot less chaos & hurt – yes. But, the leading a household and doing the daily caretaking for the kids part I don’t think I really thought through, but the Lord has been so faithful and so good. 
I can truly say that I am content with life as it is. I am pleased with and grateful for where I am right now.  I am happy, my babies are happy…. Life is good. 

Am I overwhelmed with mom-ing? Yes. Daily. I never get a full 5-6 hours of sleep. My apartment is in a ‘real-life’ state at all times. You’re not welcome unless you’re totally okay and nonjudgmental about toys in every room, laundry on the couch, and Frozen on repeat. That’s just our life right now and I’m okay with it. I enjoy it. I can’t do everything everyday but I can do the important stuff daily. Hear that, mamas. Especially the single parenting ones. You can’t do the job of 2 people in every area every day.  Especially when your babies are young. Do the best you can and leave the rest for tomorrow. I promise  you they won’t need therapy because toys weren’t picked up every night. Everyone survives; I promise. 

If my happiness solely depended on what happening, things would be hard because everything changes. My happiness stands on a joy rooted in my faith. There is always a reason to be happy and joyful; the only thing that will motivate us to search for that joy and happiness is our faith that is overflowing with hope. 

Yes, sometimes things will go very wrong, but I promise that you can and will get through it. There is another side, there is life “after”……… you’ve just got to prepare yourself to endure and rely fully on the Lord. The trifecta will come. 

Matthew 11:28-30 

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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