8.01.2016

Just 10 Seconds

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is probably one of my favorite shows. I don't know what it is about the ridiculous humor, but I can't get enough of it.

In one of the episodes, Kimmy is trying to encourage the woman she nannies for and says "You can do anything for 10 seconds." (Then flashback to Kimmy being held captive in a bunker, spinning a wheel for no reason and repeatedly counting to 10.)

Currently, my life revolves around 3 hour segments. So I find myself jokingly wondering what I can do for just 3 hours. "Ok, Brighton just fed, so I have about 3 hours to do something fun until she feeds again." It's pretty insane how quickly the days fly by and how I find myself already half way through maternity leave and shedding tears at the thought of it.

Motherhood is crazy. Straight up crazy town. We got blessed with an incredible baby. She sleeps. She's not fussy unless she's gassy or hungry (I mean, who isn't). She smiles at us. 99% of the time it's heaven. Of course there is the 1%. Where she keeps throwing up on me and keeps soiling burp rag after burp rag and outfit after outfit. Or blows out of her diaper. All of this when we don't have laundry in our 1-bedroom apartment. I know we should always be grateful, because it could always be worse. But I know if we are all honest with each other, it's very easy to get discouraged when things aren't going as planned. When you can't get that extra bedroom just yet. Or you have to bring your laundry to a laundromat. Or maybe our careers aren't where we thought they would be. Or our relationships.



At 28-years-old I know I don't have anything figured out, the least of these being motherhood. But I feel like among the many lessons parenthood will teach you, it's about being present and grateful. Because I really can't operate outside of 3 hours at a time. So, like Kimmy Schmidt, I find myself saying, "You can do anything for 3 hours".

When working through my anxiety, my counselor once told me to ask myself, "what do I know right now?" Instead of allowing myself to think too far ahead, or to create all these improbable scenarios and outcomes in my head, I have to stop and ask myself, "what do I know right now?" I know that today, everything is fine. In this moment, my baby is calm. In this moment, she is healthy. In this moment [insert truth here]. I have a tendency to think so far ahead into the unknown future that when I can't see how all our dreams and plans will come true, I just end up discouraged and angry and without hope. Recently, I was reading through this She Reads Truth devo and found hope to counteract my bad attitude that day.

The writer said,

"Here’s the difference between Paul and me (as if there’s only one): I believe God has good plans for me, but I assume His plans fall within the boundary lines of my own. In other words, God’s good plans for me are His expert version of my first draft. Paul knew better.....Paul knew this, too. He knew Scripture is true—not in part, but in whole. He knew the gospel of Jesus is true—not in part, but in whole. Paul knew God is sovereign and good—not sometimes, but all the time. Not within the boundaries we give Him, but through all of history and time and space. Our hope does not die when our hands are chained or when life seems at a standstill. Our God is sure and faithful."




Even when life seems at a standstill, I can trust that God has plans for me beyond my wildest dreams. I can remind myself to take life moment my moment, or just 3 hours at a time, to soak in the blessings that exist today. 

5.10.2016

The Beauty of Baby Brain

Today I discovered that I've been using the incorrect due date for most of my pregnancy. Talk about a let down. Just when I thought I had 5 weeks left until my due date, I discover I have 6. And when you are in the last "home stretch" of your pregnancy, that is the kind of news that will make you cry. Or maybe it was just me.

Over the last few weeks, I have had an overwhelming need to slow down and quiet down. It's not that my calendar has been incredibly full, it's that I have kept my mind full and occupied at all times. As someone who has dealt with anxiety for many years, quieting my mind is not only difficult, but would almost encourage the anxiety to surface. I have always kept "noise" on around me. Music in the car. Podcasts while I workout. Netflix on in the background at home. Netflix on, even while I'm reading. There was a day a few weeks ago where I felt like I might lose my mind. So many thoughts, to-dos, fears, frustrations and things to look forward to were swirling in my head (as usual), but add on the intensified emotions of pregnancy and I just thought I might go crazy.

I was getting ready to go on my daily walk around our lovely neighborhood and realized my headphones were missing and immediately considered not going on my walk because having a podcast to listen to makes the time go by faster. A small voice told me to just go and enjoy a quiet walk. By the time I got back home I was amazed at how much I noticed. The sounds I heard, the things I saw. I take the same walk each day, and it was like a completely different neighborhood. Because I was present.



One thing I love about the Lord is that He is all about the details. There have been so many moments that are seemingly insignificant, but help me feel (or see) His love. Throughout this pregnancy, it has been so evident to me that He is in the details, because HOW ELSE could this miracle happen?! Honestly, the fact that not only does my body create a HUMAN without me doing anything (other than taking prenatal vitamins and not eating sushi...ok and a few other things), but it also creates an entirely new organ to sustain that human's life. Hello. This is amazing. My hips hurt, she's kicking my organs and I can't get out of bed without rolling over like a beached whale, but seriously. Still amazing.

He is down to the details, even this thing called "baby brain". I always associated it with forgetfulness, which is of course very true, but I realized that as soon as I got pregnant, many of the fears and anxieties I used to have took their place on a far away shelf because my mind had no room for them. (Shout out to therapy!) I had to realize that what was happening in my body was in almost every way, out of my control. As time went on, I had to force myself to let go of things in my schedule that were making me too busy because I mentally could not operate at the capacity I did before. As someone who likes to be productive and maximize every minute of the day, I have learned to see it as God's way of nudging me to ENJOY this pregnancy. Enjoy the fact that you need to take naps now. It's good for you and the baby. Enjoy the fact that you have your evenings free, so you can spend time reading and cooking (which you love doing).

Last week, our staff blessed all the Mom's with a little gift bag, which included the book "Breaking Busy" by Alli Worthington. Incredible timing (God's details!) that I would get this book to read. Just three chapters in and it's a refreshing reminder that I need to be more intentional about being busy with PURPOSE and not just wearing myself out, especially during this time of preparing for a newborn.

Alli says, "Finding your passions that lead to your purpose may feel difficult at times, but remember this: God's not keeping it a secret from you. He's waiting for you to stop striving and set everything aside that is keeping you busy and distracted, then turn your attention to him." In a season where there has been a tremendous amount of change in a short of amount of time, this is something I needed to hear. So far this year, Jon and I have been preparing to no longer be two, but three. We've had a few of our close friends move and we've found a new home for our growing family and then lost that home forcing us to prepare our 1-bedroom for a baby. We've also been navigating what it looks like for Jon to get some incredible work opportunities (and to hope that this will lead to a full-time opportunity). It's a lot. To say 2016 has been an emotional roller coaster would be an understatement. Through ALL of this, I've been trying to figure out what God has for me: what my purpose is and what to do next. And ultimately, because of this "baby brain" of mine, I've been nearly forced to slow down and not worry. Yes, I have days where my emotions take over and I freak out about how we are going to pay for things and where we are going to live and how it's all going to work out. But I have felt that peace that surpasses all understanding more than I can remember and I'm pretty confident I have baby brain (and of course the Lord) to thank!



So let me encourage you. Whatever season you may find yourself in (and whether you have baby brain or not), slow down. Make space for quiet. Be intentional about the things you are making yourself busy with and focus on the things that will fill your soul, not just your calendar.