For far too long I have been living life on auto pilot. I haven’t been feeling, experiencing, seeing, or being with what’s around me. I haven’t been present in my life. And worst of all I haven’t been growing. I’ve become stagnant. Stuck. Nowhere to go and no path in sight. I’ve been chained to this life and all that surrounds it. I’ve been on the bitterness express and I’ve been the conductor. No more. No more excuses. No more unhappy. No more next time. The time is now. The moment is now. If I want to laugh I’m going to laugh. If I want to give someone a hug, I’m going to give that hug. I want to become a person who actually enjoys living the life I lead. I have been given so many things I wished for since I was a little girl, and I want to make the most of this journey I have been blessed with. I want to have a smile on my face, and I want to share that smile with other and maybe make them smile too. I want to impact others. I want to uplift. I want to go with the flow, and let go of the overthinking. I want to experience. I don’t want to be afraid. I want to get messy. I want to be present. But most of all I want to feel. I want to be present. All the time. Always. I want to feel this life I have been given. The good, the happy, and everything in between. I want to feel my heart beating every single day and I want to be overflowing with thankfulness that it is. I want to feel grace, as well as give it. I want to feel worthy, and let someone else know how worthy they are. I want to feel loved and appreciated and let others know how much I love and appreciate them. I want to be me. I want to be the exact person I was meant to be and I don’t wanna be ashamed for it. I want to be present and feel this life. Every single damn day!
A few weeks ago I made a conscience effort to remove a certain phrase from my everyday language. A phrase I noticed I was saying way too often. A phrase that instantly changed my attitude. A phrase that came with darkness. A phrase that could turn my entire day upside down. That phrase is “I’m Sorry.”
The first reason I stopped saying this phrase was because I was saying it all.the.time. Some days it felt like I was saying it around the clock. It became my go-to, an almost automated response. It easily became second nature for these words to just roll off my tongue. The second and BIGGEST reason I stopped saying it was because I noticed, when I said it, whether I was truly guilty or not it brought this enormous weight of guilt upon me. A guilt that physically brought me down and broke me down.
If I am being perfectly honest I have been carrying around feelings of guilt for far too long-not just weeks or months, but I am talking YEARS! I can remember being very little, maybe 5 or 6, and feeling guilty. I don’t know why, I just did. Thinking back and reflecting on this new realization, I don’t know that I ever had feelings of being care-free, even as a young child. As the years went on the guilt grew-not purposely, or intentionally by any means-I think I just grew up in a family where guilt was normal. Something was always happening, there was always drama-combine that with the instability that occurred on an almost daily basis and that is the perfect concoction for a guilt filled childhood and adolescence. Not to mention the awkwardness of high school, the pressure of college, and then the reality of becoming a mom of not one, but 3 little boys certainly added to the guilty feelings.
Being on this latest path to working on and bettering me, and making sure that I am being taken care of includes not only my physical health but also my mental and emotional health I experience and feel on a daily/hourly/momentary basis. So for me, removing this simple, yet debilitating (to me) phrase has been crucial. It is part of a conscience and willful effort each and every day that I make to remove all things toxic from my life. If it doesn’t bring me happiness, if it doesn’t uplift me, or if it isn’t constructive than I need to reevaluate having it in my life-even for something as simple as a phrase! No longer saying “I’m sorry” has directly had an impact on lifting me up-mentally, emotionally, spiritually-in every way possible. It has been a game changer for the way I live and move through my daily life!
Don’t get me wrong-there are times when it is definitely necessary to apologize to others-especially when you are the one in the wrong. There’s something to be said for carefully and skillfully admitting when you are guilty and acknowledging your wrong doing. That is a completely different topic-for another day. That’s NOT what this blog post is about.
This blog post is about letting go of the guilt for the little things. The things and events that can’t be helped, or avoided, or rearranged, or planned for. The things that in all honestly can’t fixed by you in any way, shape, or form. That is the stuff I want us to stop apologizing for. The office is out of creamer? Stuck in traffic because of an accident and now you are going to be late? Your kid takes his water in a mismatched re-usable water bottle because you ran out of water bottles? Missing a sports practice because in all honesty if you had to add one more thing to your plate that day your brain would have exploded? You ran out of diapers or shampoo or toothpaste, or soap, or even worse-toilet paper? I know in our house there are 4 other sets of eyes and 4 other sets of hands using these same items that I do. I am not the only one who can acknowledge when we have used the last toilet paper roll, or the last squeeze of toothpaste and it is time to buy more. It’s the little things like these. The events and things that can’t be helped, or avoided, yet they still happen. Well guess what? It happens! it’s called life, and you don’t need to apologize for it! These little set-backs will continue to happen regardless if I take on the responsibility or carry the guilt for not keeping on top of the toilet paper roll count in our house! And that mismatched re-usable water bottle? It’s better for the environment than a plastic water bottle anyway-so good for you mom!
The past few weeks of working on me have truly been eye opening.
I know this is just the beginning of my journey, but I am already seeing a happier, lighter, healthier, calmer side to myself that I don’t think I have ever seen.
I love this experience and walk of life I am on right now.
I want to be the best that I can be for my children, for my husband, for all of those friends and family that we love so much.
I want to live life with a purpose. I want to be intentional in all that I do.
During one of our late night talks this week my husband reminded me of a time in our lives when we didn’t know what our future held. It’s funny how once we actually make it through life happenings we file them away in our “never remember or bring up this moment again” file….Rewind to 5 years ago when I left my job of close to 5 years to embark on a completely different//new//uncharted possible career. I was going from a late night bartending gig to a desk job. I was going from sharing a place of employment with my husband for the past 5 years to being completely on my own.
Completely different routine. Completely different location. Completely different people. Completely different flow. Completely different pay scale.
We were scared. We were nervous. We were unsure. All of those earthly feelings nearly paralyzed me from taking the leap.
I remember not knowing what the future held. I was unsure that this was a good choice for us and our little family, but I was completely trustworthy of our God. I knew He held us. I could feel this was the right move for our family. I knew if I ever wanted a semi- normal (weekends and holidays off) routine this was my move and this was the time to make it.
The past few months and life-moments have left my faith shaky. And I don’t like it one bit. I’m in a place of in between. I know who God is, and I know who I serve, but I don’t always rest assured in that fact. I have a terrible tendency to want to fix everything on my own. I am a controller by nature. A first born gal who can do it all. A fixer. A leader. I want to plan things and ways according to me and my schedule. I want things to play out to serve and humble me. I want everything to fall into the place I want it to fall into. Anyone else?
This all comes about because once again my husband and I find ourselves in a place of the unknown. We don’t have answers to questions we want answered. We don’t know what our next move is. We don’t know what the future holds for us.
It’s certainly not easy and I have to make a conscience effort, but I am telling myself every.single.moment of every.single.day he’ll be there.
A constant necessary, tangible reminder.
Erica hold onto Him.
Give it all over to Him.
Stay steadfast in your faith.
You are a daughter of Him and His kingdom.
Run to Him.
He is there for you.
His love never fails.
It never gives up.
It is SO easy to let the fear win. It is so easy to give in. To give up. Well you know what world? This girl isn’t giving up//backing down //or giving in. This is just another battle. Another fight. A fight that I’m feeling fully capable of winning with a little help from Him. I’m a fighter. An overcomer. I’m ready to hold steady to my faith, plant my feet, and let the storm roll through.
Don’t give into the fear.
Give into your faith and Jesus.
He’s got you. He’s got this.
We just returned from what is probably my favorite weekend of the entire summer… our family camping weekend. We gather up most of our family on my husbands side, we head to our favorite campground, and we enjoy the entire weekend with eachother! This year there was close to 30 of us and we enjoyed potato sack races, volleyball, hayrides, silly stories, and lots of smores! Yummy!! And let me tell you what… My husbands family is a family that KNOWS how to have fun. With them the party never stops- and I absolutely love it!
For me time spent with family is the most important and most rewarding time for my children- and ME! I knew from a very young age family was an incredibly important thing to me.
A family who spends time together. A family who is silly together. A family who laughs together. A family who above all else loves eachother really, really well.
I remember my childhood very, very clearly and I remember all the years spent as a little girl in a less than normal childhood wishing, hoping, and praying for something more for my children. For something different. For substance. For something real and genuine. It’s happening. It’s here. This is my life. And I feel so incredibly lucky that I get to live this with these people!! People who care, and laugh, and hug, and tell and show one another that they love them and will do anything for one another. People who put the needs of others above themselves.
And I am so gosh darn thankful that my children will never know a childhood like mine. I am so thankful that my children have amazing relationships with their aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins! I am so thankful that my children’s lives have more love and affection than they know what to do with and that makes my heart overflow with pure joy! As one of my FAVORITE IG’ers says #mycupberunningover
I am in a season of needing to take care of myself. And that is okay. It doesn’t mean I’ve failed. It doesn’t mean I’m useless. It doesn’t mean I get an “F” in motherhood. It does mean that I am exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. I need to reset. To recharge. To rest. I need to restore my body and make it whole. And when I do I will be able to come back stronger than before.
I’ve made a new goal for myself. Do one thing for myself each day. It can be something as small as treating myself to an iced coffee, or as big as making a life change and sticking to it.
If you follow me on Facebook Mom in the Middle or on Instagram Mom_inthemiddle then you know I have recently taken up Yoga! This was a big step for me… In fact it was Huge! You can read about my first experience ever with Yoga here. To say it has been amazing would be an understatement.
I realize that in these moments I take for me I need to be intentional. With Yoga I try to sign up ( in advance) for atleast 2, sometimes 3, classes per week. I need to be intentional about carving out and setting aside time for me. And I can’t feel guilty about it. If I don’t take care of me then I can take care of the rest of my people. I love my people and they deserve the best of me, not a tired, worn out, over worked grumpy version of me!
Today, as a blogger, I had the opportunity to go get a massage- what a treat! That was intentional time that I took for me today and it was glorious! I picked up the phone, I cleared my schedule, arranged childcare, booked the appointment, and I showed up. All intentional.
The other thing I’ve realized is the more often I take time for me the more I am okay with it. The more often I work on me the more comfortable I become with it. I’m not gonna lie…at first it’s weird and awkward and no matter how hard I tried I felt out of place. It wasn’t easy. I felt out of place without a child clinging to me, it felt unnatural without constantly having to do something for someone else-it felt wrong to put myself first so much so that experiencing peace and calm felt unnatural.
The past two weeks have been eye opening. I had allowed myself to get to such a dark place of self neglect that I literally had to claw and fight my way out.
My journey isn’t over. I’m not sure it ever will be and I’m okay with that. For now I am taking time to work on me.
Illness has hit our family.
Knock you to your knees, take away your breath, illness.
My world has been rocked to its core.
Life will never be the same. For me. For them. For any of us.
Not after an experience like this.
To see people you only knew to be strong show weakness, changes you.
To see those you love hurting, and in pain, changes you.
To see someone you only ever knew as invincible not being that way, changes you.
To see someone who did all the taking care of now the one being taken care of, changes you.
To see someone who did all of the providing now being provided for, changes you.
So if you’ve been wondering where I have been…
I have been in the muck of it all.
I have been trying to sort out the why’s, the wheres, and that what if’s.
I’ve been taking the good with the bad, and the bad with the really, really bad.
I’ve been going through my day to day life with tear filled eyes.
Eyes welled up with hot tears.
And the tears. Oh the tears.
They just come.
Whether I want them to, or not.
How ironic that it takes such a serious circumstance to make you really appreciate your loved ones.
We go through our lives expecting everyone to be here with us tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
Sometimes that doesn’t happen.
Sometimes we get less time with those who really mean something to us, less time than we could have ever imagined.
And its not fair. Not one single bit of it.
What do you do then?
I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing…
I’ve been praying.
I’ve been asking for prayers.
I’ve been hugging those I love a little tighter.
I’ve been making dinners.
I’ve been having long talks.
I’ve been saying I Love You a lot more these days.
I’ve been taking the time to reflect on my life, and the time that I’ve been lucky and blessed enough to spend with these incredible people.
I’ve been sharing with others, things I never thought I would be able to share.
I’ve opened up a piece of my life I haven’t opened up for 30 years.
I’ve let the tiniest bit of light shine on some of the darkest parts of my life.
I’ve been telling myself, “The Lord’s will be done.”
And oh how I hope and pray that His will is to give me just the tiniest bit more time with those I love.
But for now only time will tell.
Time and testing.
Clear scans, clear testing.
One mountain at a time, one battle at a time.
When one battle is won, onto the next, and the next, and the next.
We will fight, and we will battle for as long as it takes.
If there is one thing I know about my family…
We are fighters. We are strong. We are not going to lie down and succumb.
We will fight. We are overcomer’s. We stay in the fight until the final round.
And that is what we are going to do
Life has been crazy.
I feel like I start the majority of my posts that way-but the truth is life is CRAZY-with 3 kids (and all boys) there is really no other way to describe it.
I cannot believe Christmas is almost here…I feel like I am FINALLY just recovering from Back to school-anyone else?
Time is flying by, and I certainly cannot get a handle on it.
Our youngest turned 4. FOUR!
How did that happen?
Our boys are now officially 4, 6, and 8…
We’ve celebrated birthdays, Thanksgiving, attended a wedding (which our big 4 year old was in), and have really been spending A LOT of time together as a family.
Hubby got that promotion at work he had been busting his back for and while I am so, so thankful and thrilled I must admit it is a little bit scary.
While it finally feels like we are “real” adults with two “real” incomes and that is what we have been working so incredibly hard for these past few years-I must admit this new lifestyle comes with its own challenges.
I posted a few weeks ago about meal planning and putting our family on a budget.
Its been great. Don’t get me wrong-its been very, very hard and challenging, but great all at the same time.
And if there’s one thing I am always up for-its a challenge!
Our family’s lifestyle has been completely changed. Like turned upside down, shaken, and then turned right side up again.
I like to think of myself as more of a “modern day” housewife where I prefer my house to be cleaned for me, and my meals to be ordered for me, or at the very least picked up by me.
Our new lifestyle means I now do the cooking and cleaning-every.single.night
Its funny because all of those years my husband and I spent bartending we really had a disposable income-and didn’t even know it!
One where if we needed extra cash we just picked up an extra shift.
Or sometimes we had a really, really busy night at work-one that would allow us to make up for a slower night and then some.
Now we have one set income coming in and going out and that is it. No extras.
So, to say it is taking some getting used to is definitely a good way to put it.
Its great, it really is and trust me it comes with A LOT more stability than the ebbs and flows that come along with being a bartender-not to mention the great benefits we now have thanks to his promotion.
We are still getting our feet wet, and trying out different budgets to see what works best for our family.
Some days are great and out of this world, and some days I am thankful that tomorrow means a new day and a fresh start.
What has been going on in your life lately?
And just like that I knew I would be okay.
This past summer and the last few weeks have been and continue to be one big ole’ blur.
Change upon change has been happening up in herr!!…and no-that is not a typo!
I have never done well with change, like ever!
In fact I stay away from it every chance I get!
Today I came across this verse and suddenly I knew that this crazy, spinning, ever changing world my family and I have been living in is all for something.
One day it will stop spinning.
Until then, He has us.
The verse is:
Behold; I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and in the desert…
the people whom I formed for myself that they may declare my praise.
These words spoke to me more than any other words have in weeks.
They are life changing.
I finally realized the reason why I feel like I keep hitting a brick wall….
because I am fighting a force greater than me.
Our God is an amazing God, and he created this path that my family and I are on.
All these changes and difficulties we are facing he already knew about!
He laid them before us, to make us stronger, and better.
He will make a way for us to get through this wilderness.
Which some days it can very well seem like we are trekking through an overgrown, unlit, desolate path.
I’m realizing that in those days, and moments, I really need to dig deep, and KNOW that He already has us.
He knows the path he has set before us.
When I am feeling withdrawn, without, and “woe is me” I know he will get me through the desert I am in.
He will provide, OH will He provide.
He has shown that time and time again.
Change is a good thing!
It has taken me almost 30 years to know, realize, and understand that.
While I don’t necessary like it, and I’m not welcoming it with open arms by any means, I am getting more and more used to it because I know without a doubt He’s got us!
Why does it always seem that when life can’t possibly get any crazier, it does?
I guess that’s just how things go-especially these days!
‘Dad in the Middle’ aka my hubby has begun his rigorous training for his new position at his company leaving me home with 3 littles 5 nights a week.
That’s five days of breakfast, packing lunches,bus and preschool drop off as well as pick up, dinners, homework, after school activities, and the dreaded HOMEWORK all by my lonesome!
The good new is we are 1 week down, and only 7 more to go.
Then his schedule should go back to being somewhat normal.
I have been trying to fill my time with my boys with as many activities to keep them busy, and hopefuly somewhat exhausted at the end of the day-it makes for an easier bed time and quieter night time for me!
So we have been spending A LOT of time outside!
Thankfully the weather has been gorgeous here.
This past weekend was over 80 degrees!
In fact, it was nice enough for the boys to get on their bikes, and my oldest even learned to ride his bike with NO TRAINING WHEELS!
Boy oh boy did my momma heart nearly explode when that happened…he has been wanting it for so long and finally conquered his fear and did it.
I think as momma’s there is no greater feeling than seeing our little ones push past their fears to achieve their goals.
Enjoy a few pictures from our weekend and if you are interested I was featured this week over at Life Without Pink as a #boymom!