Featured post

Combating Anxiety

Anxiety feels like a silent monster attacking your thoughts. Telling you lies…lies that, for some reason, you are quick to believe. Lots of us struggle with anxiety and feel hopeless to deal with it.

I dealt with anxiety for many years as a military spouse and mommy. Being without my spouse for up to a year with multiple children was enough to drive me a little cuckoo. All the responsibility that goes along with being a mother had me so stressed and anxious that most days it was a chore to keep it all together.

The first thing you should do, when in the midst of an anxious day, is to control your thinking with positive affirmations. You’re hearing lies like, “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!” and, “ONCE AGAIN I MESSED EVERYTHING UP, ” and you need to combat those wrong thoughts by using right words. It helps to have something on hand either in an app on your phone or maybe in a notebook you keep in your purse. Have 3-5 positive affirmations that you can access easily to get rid of those ugly thoughts.

For more tips click to link to my private Facebook group

I know this might seem like a good option for the first step, but could you really focus on your deep breaths while your mind is screaming defeat? I don’t think so. Get rid of those thoughts and then you’re able to sit quietly for 2-3 minutes and just take a few breaths… this should help your heart rate slow down which will help you reach a state of calm

Remember the good things. This can be done many ways. Perhaps you sit and remember your favorite family memories by looking at a photo album. Maybe you scroll through your phone and laugh at a few memes that your friends have sent you. Or maybe you just look around you, in whatever room you’re in, with a mind of gratefulness for everything you’ve been blessed with. Whatever it is, it’s good… remember it to take away from the thought that one problem is an “everything” issue.

Follow me @GOD_LOVE_FAM

This step is optional because not everyone is comfortable with writing things in detail. For me it’s therapeutic to write out all of my negative thoughts and feelings. It releases it from my heart and I’m able to leave it there on the tablet or the paper. The actual situation may not be completely resolved, but having got it out is a huge stress reliever. I recommend trying it at least once.

Anxiety can be treated medically but it can also be treated right there in your own space with your own resources. You don’t have to let it beat you down every time it strikes. It sucks. I know, but you can win. I hope these tips help you.

I’m curious, what do you normally do when anxiety strikes? Have you tried anything to combat it? Has it helped? Let’s talk in the comments!

Featured post

You Need to Grow

Never stop learning. That’s the goal for 2020. If you ever get to the point where you feel like you’ve “arrived” beware because you are in danger of becoming stagnant and foolish. Whether you are 16 or 65 there will always be more. There will always be something new or someone who knows something you do not. It may be as small as how to plant and grow your favorite flower or something as major as how to cultivate healthy relationships. You might think an older person would already know that type of thing, but that’s not always the case.

The fact is, growth is essential for life. It helps you flourish. We aren’t flowers. We aren’t trees. We are vines, constantly moving and multiplying. If we decide we’re done learning our leaves will turn brown. People will begin using that old adage, “can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” when you’re around. I’ve met people like that; people so stuck in their ways they couldn’t take advice or accept help from anyone. They have no idea just how foolish they truly are. They probably thought I was the fool!

Hello October

What about the company you keep? Do you spend time with people who live like they’ve got it all together? Are they willing to take life one step at a time, or are they bent on having it all their way, when and how they want it? That’s another sign of foolishness that’s difficult to detect; mostly because we beautify it with pretty cliche’s. We allow cute quotes on Instagram and Pinterest to convince us we’ve got to live for self. Screw what everyone else thinks. Empower yourself to be what you want and let the world watch while you blossom. Sure, it sounds great in theory, but who’s smart enough to maintain a healthy balance between that and being sensitive to the people around you?

We have to grow. We have to keep a constant awareness of our need to bloom in all the right ways. Your right way will probably be totally different from mine, and that’s fine as long as we understand the boundaries and respect them with love.

Are you growing? Are you moving backward? Or are you standing still?

Featured post

It’s Not About Feelings

When it comes to loving someone, truly loving them, you have to ignore your feelings. I know that sounds crazy, especially since in a new relationship most of the “love” you feel is very feely. The butterflies every time you see them, that burst of emotion when you’re kissed on the neck before parting ways, holding hands, feeling his hands on your hips as he draws you in for a kiss; very feely stuff and I get that. I had the feely love before I got married 13 years ago. But let me tell you, after some time and a few children that feely stuff comes and goes. So, my advice to you, for love in the long run, is to get past the feelings.

Feelings don’t just say all the sweet and lovie dovie things, do they? I can recall a time or ten when my feelings for my husband made me angry or thought of him as inconsiderate. Sometimes our feelings tell us we need a break to figure things out. There are even couples that enjoy arguing and feel like that’s a good part of their relationship. Bottom line, feelings are unreliable. They are all over the place; here one second, gone the next. Let’s not let a long-term relationship be based on something so feeble. Let’s find out what love is really supposed to be.

Love is supposed to be unconditional. That word, unconditional, it’s self-explanatory isn’t it? No conditions. There is no, “I love you if,” or, ” I love you when,” it is simply, “I love you.”

My husband doesn’t always make me happy but that is no excuse for me to stop loving him. He doesn’t do everything the way I prefer but that is no excuse for me to stop loving him. We don’t always agree on how things should be handled in our family life but still…we choose to love. That’s how you get past the feeling and over into the unconditional side of things, by choosing. Decide that you are going to love this person even if your feelings tell you not to.

 

20170115_114111

family vacation in Garmisch, Germany

Here are a few tips to help you choose love each day:

  • Don’t create a standard that your loved one must meet in order for you to accept them.
    • It’s super difficult to love someone if it’s based on rules you created
  • Let yourself be angry, upset, or sad with that person while remembering that those emotions do not negate your love for them. You are allowed to have feelings, you just shouldn’t let those feelings dictate your love.
  • Forgive. Some of us are holding on to things that we should have gotten over years ago and it’s time to forgive. I know it sucks, but the forgiveness may be the closure you need for yourself to begin to love again.
  • Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and find out what God says love is supposed to look like.

I must warn those of you who’ll read 1 Corinthians 13, it’s a pretty tall order to fill. The love God designed is a lot more lenient and caring than any of us would like to be, even in marriage. It may be difficult but it’s worth it.

Maybe right now you’re in the emotional, ooey-gooey, butterflies love stage of your relationship and that’s totally fine. We’ve all been there. What I want you to remember is that this stage is temporary, and though it is fun, there is so much beyond that. Love, real love will take your relationship to an entirely new level. If you’ll purposely work on mastering the God-designed model of love, you’ll see your relationship soar to new heights.

Featured post

More Than Just Mommy

There was a time when I wouldn’t allow myself to be more than a mother. I thought that if I took on anything else I would be doing a disservice to my children. After all, their father is in the army and we all know how much time he spends working…they didn’t need two parents that didn’t have time for them. The results of this lifestyle were borderline catastrophic. I fell into deep depression. I lost my friends one by one. And my relationship with my husband was under water. All because I took this one aspect of my life…and made it my everything.Untitled design

Today I find myself in the position of fighting for my time. I’ve learned to embrace that there are other things I can do, and I desperately want to do them, but I’ve got a handful of other things (and little people) at home that need tending to almost constantly. And with a recent upheaval of all I own (moving from Germany to Texas) this struggle has grown exponentially. Today I know what I want to pursue, I simply struggle with how.

Recently I’d heard a message from Terri Copeland Pearsons about how she knew how to prioritize her life even though she was a traveling speaker. God helped her divide her time so that she was able to be there for her children when they needed her, and she was able to fulfill her other duties without neglecting her family. This was eye-opening to me, because before hearing this I hadn’t deemed it possible to have that type of wisdom…to have balance.

Mom Quote

Have you ever had this overwhelming desire to be and do more than just be a mommy, but failed to execute because your little one’s still needed you? And you still wanted to be needed by them? I’d always had this fear of being insignificant. In reality, allowing children to learn independence in certain areas of life is commendable, but many moms -like me- refuse to allow that process to run its course. We want to spoon-feed life to our children bit by bit.

To be more than just mommy we have to let go. Let go of fears of being insignificant to our children; mostly because they haven’t got very many expectations for us in the first place. We have to look away from other mothers who appear to have everything perfect and under control. We have to stop comparing ourselves to them; its unhealthy and fruitless. Lastly, we have to get up and take action. We’ve got to actually do something! Everything seems impossible until it’s done.

 

Featured post

Mili-Wives & Cheating

I’ve been a military spouse going on 10 years and man have I heard some stories! Rumors, gossip, whatever you call it, spouses are cheating on each other and it’s tearing families apart.  Your soldier works A LOT. And when they’re not working they are being called at all hours of the night, getting a bazillion work texts and, very likely, dreaming about work! They are out on deployments, missions and field activities and it gets lonely.

I also get that flirting makes one feel good about one’s self…especially if that one is a mama who normally feels pretty boring and frumpy. Every once in a while you wanna know that you still got it, right? I’ve had those moments where a man (in passing) would flirt and I’d think to myself, “Okay, so the mom jeans aren’t as lame as I thought they were.” It’s totally normal to enjoy having someone flirt with you, and perhaps, a one-time passer-by giving you a little attention is harmless. Perhaps.

But what if it’s an ongoing thing? What if it’s someone you see every single day and you are flirting with them? That is where I see a potential for cheating.

Simple things you can do to cope with loneliness

Giving decent people the benefit of the doubt, I’d like to believe that most people do not begin flirting with the intention of cheating. BUT these things happen and so I’ve got a few suggestions to help you cope with the loneliness that inevitably comes with being a military spouse.

  1. Keep the lines of communication open
    • I know. I know. This is the number one piece of advice you will hear from EVERY marriage counselor in the world. From the beginning days of my marriage, 13 years ago, the one thing I was told over and over was that I should communicate with my husband. It frustrated me because they never ONCE explained that its important for me to find out HOW my husband best communicates. So let me be the one to tell you, before you go on a talking spree, trying to force your spouse into deep conversations, find out how your loved one communicates. For instance, perhaps your husband (like every man on earth) isn’t very verbal, you could try writing him a letter.
      • However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. -Ephesians 5:33

    • In this letter you want to avoid any accusatory language, and try your best not to look back at past issues that you’re still upset about. Just be in that moment and write something that expresses your heart. I’ve personally tried this approach on multiple occasions and it worked like magic.
  2. Hold on to the romance like your marriage depends on it
    • It does. Your marriage very likely depends on it. As soon as the romance dies there’s a chance one of you will look for it with someone else. I’ll never understand why but instead of coming together to work things out, most couples simply choose to place the blame and find love in someone else. As a military spouse it’s so easy to become distant from your soldier. They’re never around. They miss amazing family milestones. They are preoccupied with work even when they’re home and it drives you crazy. I get it.
      • May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.                         – Proverbs 5:18,19

    • The answer is not to draw away from your spouse, it’s to draw closer. Write a love note and leave it in their pocket. Buy them a “just because” gift. Make them their favorite dessert after work. Run them a bath. If you have to literally plan a day to have sex then PLAN IT. If, after a while, you notice they’re not reciprocating then fine, step up and say something directly. But give it time. Military life is NOT easy. Not on you and not on your soldier either.
    • Create your happy and share it with someone you love
  3. I want you to know that this, my final tip, is the most important tip of them all. LOVE YOURSELF.
    • Seriously, read that line again and again…and again. When your spouse is distant you may start to feel unattractive. This is especially true if you’re a mother. Everyone tells you to take time for yourself but, who’s got the time? House needs cleaning, multiple kids have sports practice and after school clubs, gotta have dinner done on time, help the kids with homework and who knows what else…time for myself? How?!
    •  It’s so important to love yourself. Say positive affirmations in the mirror. Find a scripture or 3 in the Bible about who God says you are, and say them to yourself out loud every day. Treat yourself to something you enjoy when you’ve got the time, and DON’T guilt yourself into thinking you don’t deserve it. You’ll clean the house when it’s time, but you need time to love you.

Here are a few scriptures to get you started on those positive affirmations:

A wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies. She brings her husband good, not harm all the days of her life – Proverbs 31:11,12

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come – Proverbs 31:25

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised – Proverbs 31:30

Put your hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment 

 1 Timothy 6:17b

 

 

 

Relationships Change

Have you ever felt like you were outgrowing someone you love? Like your lives were going in opposite directions? With time, we are all either maturing and finding our passions and interests or we’re stagnant. Whatever the case, it can sometimes feel like the people around you aren’t keeping up. So what can you do?

First, it helps to keep in mind that change is a good thing. Nothing is meant to remain the same forever. We are not inanimate objects. We are going to change and so will our relationships and, while it does sometimes feel undesirable, it really is a good thing. You shouldn’t let yourself be tempted to love someone less just because things have changed…because you’ve contributed to that change just as they have. It doesn’t have to be all bad.

Changing your perspective will do you a world of good. Try and see things through someone else’s eyes. Ask them how all of this makes them feel. You may be surprised at how a healthy level of understanding brings you closer. Keeping a one-track-mind about things presents the illusion that things are only as you see them and that is false. So, try understanding before jumping to any conclusions.

As my children grow older I’m learning to find new ways to connect with them. Their interests continue to change and so I have to keep pace and relate to them in a way that energizes each of them specifically. It’s that way in other relationships as well. As our friends learn new things and gain new experiences we’ve got to learn how to connect with them on different levels. This particular task is challenging, but if you’re willing to stay the course your relationship will simply evolve instead of ending.

It goes without saying that some people will come and go in your life. Not everyone is meant to stay, and that’s alright, isn’t it? Of course there are the toxic relationships that we literally run from, but there may be a few normal relationships that will end organically. No hard feelings or hostility; you just know when it’s time and you move on. Don’t spend any energy clinging to temporary people. It will only end badly.

It’s not the end! You knew that, right? I get it, letting go is difficult and some wounds take a really long time to heal, but no worries. You’ve let go of others and look at you now, you’re killing it! You will get through this even if you decide to part ways with that friend or boyfriend. It’s not the end for you.

Let yourself be great. It’s ok to keep moving forward. Keep growing. Don’t let anyone convince you you’re selfish just because you refuse to allow them to hold you back. You are made for greatness.

Keeping the right perspective throughout this process will help you make good choices and you’ll avoid the pitfalls of the “It’s all about me” mentality. So go ahead. You got this. Embrace change with open arms.

Dear God,

Dear God,

I need your help with how I handle change. I know change is inevitable. I’m going to experience change no matter how much I dread it. My family will grow and change as my children get older and my marriage will evolve as we move further into life together as a whole. Things are going to change, and there is nothing I can do about it except allow myself to adapt.

My problem is that I desperately want to avoid change. My brain automatically recognizes change as a flaw in the system and sends out an alert to the rest of my body, throwing me into complete panic. *CAUTION! CHANGE APPROACHING* begins flashing in my head and I cannot, will not deal. Before I know it, my blood pressure has shot up, my heart is racing at the speed of light, and I’ve already lived through 17 different scenarios, in my mind where everything goes terribly wrong. Nervous breakdown. Failure to compute. Emergency exit to your left (I wish!).

 

20190608_123939_0000

This is where you step in, Lord. Okay, okay you’re there the entire time, undoubtedly shaking your head, waiting patiently for me to get off of the floor and stop having a childish tantrum. God, if you were even slightly human, I’m sure you’d say something like, “Here she goes again,” and then roll your eyes. Thank heaven you aren’t that way.

After some time passes -could be one day, could be ten- but finally I awaken from my “drunken stupor” and remember how much you love me. I remind myself that, even though some changes really do suck, I have a heavenly Father helping me to work through it all. I’ll admit, as a wife and mother of 4 I sometimes feel alone when going through changes. I feel needed but not supported, until I remember God that you strengthen me when I’m weak, you provide for all of my needs and you are close to the brokenhearted.

 

20190608_124633_0000-1

I know I know, I don’t really need to be brokenhearted during a change, but military life tends to have that effect on you. Still, whether it’s the military once again pulling me and my family away from every single thing we’ve grown to know and enjoy, or it’s me trying to force my way back into being a working mom, or even dealing with the fact that my sweet little boys are becoming a lot more self-sufficient, you have my back, and my front…and my everything. I am immensely thankful for an loving God who “does not change like shifting shadows.” That’s pretty awesome, because you know how much I hate change.

Wives-What it Means to “Submit”

I don’t think submission to a husband is easy but I also don’t think it’s wrong. There are a few synonyms to the word submit that I found quite entertaining:

  • endure
  • tolerate
  • humor

Endure your husband’s behavior because (hopefully) you know he’s not doing anything out of selfish ambition. Any good husband genuinely has his family’s best interest at heart. Whether or not his choices are always right we don’t know, but you can at least testify to good intentions.

Tolerate the fact that God has put this in the bible because clearly we weren’t gonna do this all on our own. If it makes you feel any better, he also had to tell people not to murder.

Lastly, humor him. Don’t make him feel like his ideas or methods aren’t correct because they aren’t what you’re used to. Your way isn’t the only way and it’s not always the right way either.

Sometimes I think about how I “submit” to my husband. This is a staggered occurrence that is done normally in response to him behaving in a way I find acceptable, and in those moments in between submission, I am simply living. I am a loving, kind, challenging and sometimes an argumentative wife.

But submit is such an ugly word, isn’t it? You look at it and you think, “Submit? Me? To…HIM?!” At the moment the idea of being submissive is annoying to me. However, the scripture is specific about who the submission is directed to.

Let’s take a look:

GOD, LOVE & FAMILY (1)

 

This scripture is almost instructing us to inspect the way we submit to the Lord. If our submission to our spouse is supposed to match that of the way we submit to our heavenly Father, then perhaps that relationship- the one between heavenly Father and daughter-is the one we need to evaluate.

When I think of how I submit to God, I think of a parental relationship that doesn’t quite match the one I had with my parents as a child. As a child, I obeyed out of fear and I rebelled out of resentment. With God, I obey because of what he’s done for me, and because it seems an (almost) appropriate response to his unconditional love for me. It stands to reason that how you view God in your life is directly related to how you will respond to his words, either in obedience or the opposite.

Regardless of the circumstances, it’ll be a lot easier for your husband to love you as Christ loved the church if he’s got a wife that is willing to compliment his efforts instead of thwarting them, and it’ll be a lot easier for you to submit when you take comfort in the love of a husband who loves you like Christ loves the church.

In other words, wives submit to your husband as to the Lord.