You know when you have those well-intentioned plans to be on top of everything and then those plans fall through because you are terrible at following through and being organized, but you really want to work on that and you try very hard, but then it falls through anyway.
Ugh, this is me this week. I had a beautiful plan all written out. Graphics made and ready to go. Time carved out to get things done and well... life.
So here I am writing to you on the 5th of January to tell you about my word for the year of 2023. Lol... it's a good thing I hope that you appreciate authenticity as much as I do because that is all you are going to get from me this year. Is real thoughts about real life. Let's talk about 2023.
The puppy (by puppy I mean the 70+ lb almost one year old golden retriever we have) woke me up at 5:30am this morning. Shortly after, Joe woke up and wanted to get up. I got him back to sleep and got Cooper outside. I sat down and did a little bit of the work I do as a virtual assistant and also cleaned some things up on my blog. I decided I would finally take a few minutes and map out some things I want to do for my blog and business in the first quarter of 2023. I know... we are two days away right. I feel like I'm winning because it is two days before and not two days after lol. I had a thought that before I started I wanted to write down the things that I am thankful for this year. There is no better way to start planning for something new then reflecting on the goodness of God before jumping in. It sets the mood for a positive brainstorming session. As I wrote my letter of thankfulness to God tears began to flow and emotions ran rampant. I have been so completely and utterly blessed. I want to share some of that letter to God with you.
It has been a very long time since I have felt the urge to write something passionately. I have had my little rants that I share because I see things and honestly feel like sharing, but last night I was a part of something that has left my very being filled with hope and wonder and it was all nothing but God. Honestly, I'm not sure how it impacts my future, but I will tell you that it has changed my perspective.
Being a parent is not an easy task. Everywhere you turn you have someone offering their opinion of how you should or should not be parenting. Increasingly in our present world there are two extreme sides to everything. Once one side takes a stance on a particular viewpoint on something, the other side takes the polarized opposite view of that standpoint. There is no balance. Just constant conflict. Why conflict you may ask? Because conflict gets you seen in today's world.
The most recent conflict that has come across my screens is the "I am/am not enough" battle. When parents constantly question themselves and everything they do for their children, we have an added stress of the secular world shouting out "you are more than enough... you don't need anyone else" and the christian world shouting out "you are not enough... you'll never be enough". It's confusing and frustrating and more than just a little bit deflating. You sit and you question yourself. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who should you believe? My answer...
When I was pregnant with my son I oftentimes had time to sit and reflect on the faithfulness of God. I had slowed down. I would sit and wait to feel him move. I would stop and rest. I would be still and revel in the moment of where God placed me.
I wrote the following words on this day six years ago during one of those moments of resting and reflecting:
I was sitting here waiting for baby Joseph to move for the morning. When he finally did I thanked him. Then I thanked God for giving him to me.
Eight years we have waited for this. Countless tests, procedures, a miscarriage, a surgery and month after month of disappointment.
God spoke to me last night as I read one of our nightly devotions to Joe. Ironically, my relationship with God has grown throughout the last several years and it is because of my son. So many interactions that I have with him and a majority of them bring me back to Jesus.
I used to think that God was a merciless God. Standing there with His gavel ready to send me to hell at the slightest slip. I struggled to forgive myself because I couldn't see Him forgiving me.
I also read and dig in to Scriptures with so much more understanding. We live in a culture of people who shout "Are you woke yet?" about what is going on in our world, but let me tell you that the one thing that I have woke up about is that Jesus loves me. He loves me so, so much and there is so much grace! And that the things that we worry about as people and as a culture are not the things that Jesus worries about. And that was what God spoke to me about last night.
I was talking to a friend yesterday about some changes I have been making in my life to be more productive and make my life less stressful. Really they are simple changes, but they are simple changes that have a huge impact. They are also changes that can be so menial and require changes to the way you think to get them done.
Let me tell you about some books that I have been reading to and listening to that have been helping me make a difference in how I think about making these changes in my life. Hopefully, you can read them to and get something that is helpful to you as well.
Please note, I have shared affiliate links below. If you click on them and purchase the item I may or may not receive a few pennies from Amazon.
I personally have had many cats in my life, but this one I shared here has been my all time favorite. He showed up on our porch one day. It was about a month after I had been fired from a job that I loved.
He stuck around, even with the dogs barking at him non stop from the window. A few days after he showed up I opened up the door to our house and that cat walked right in like he owned the place. It didn't matter that there were three dogs trying to roll him over in their eagerness to finally be able to sniff him out. It didn't matter that we had two other old lady cats hissing and snarling at him. He walked right for our guest bedroom, jumped up on the bed and laid down.
He has been ours ever since. He was with me through that year after being fired. When I would walk in the door after being gone he would be on the counter waiting for me. If I tried to walk past him he would put his paw out to try to grab at me as if to say "hey... umm... you don't know how to say hello?"
He was with me during our time of IVF. The times I cried myself to sleep because the rigorous schedule of medications, injections and miscommunications with my husband were too much. He was there to cuddle me after surgery for my ectopic pregnancy. He was with me during my pregnancy. Always near by to help ease my stresses and worries. Now he shows that same amount of love and adoration to Joe. This cat was made for our house.
So happy Cat Day Dexter! I hope you enjoy your day.
In the month of October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month. If you do not, already know I have had a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy that needed to be ended in order to save my life. There are so many things that people say and do during these very emotional times.
My friend and I host the Messy Bun Mama's Podcast. This month we created several episodes to share different perspectives of women who have had miscarriages and lost their babies in later trimesters. I am going to share these episodes with you. If you have gone through a miscarriage or late term loss, I hope that you find comfort that you are not alone. The way you feel, your emotions, the emptiness, frustration and yes, even the hate are all valid. We have been in your shoes and understand. If you have not ever had a miscarriage or late term loss, we ask you to listen to the hearts of these women as they talk about how they felt and how people helped (or did not) them move through their process of grief.
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