My husband and I were in a hard place financially last year around Christmas time. The bills exceeded our income. I had been home for a year caring for our one-year-old daughter who suffered from a chronic skin condition. My husband was working, but it was not enough to supplement all of our expenses. We did not have much money and I felt a lot of shame around not being able to give our daughter a BIG first Christmas. But then I heard about the Five Gift Rule on the radio and it changed my whole perspective on gift giving. It also helped our family create a new Christmas tradition that doesn’t involve spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on gifts for our child.
As some of you know, I am in my fourth year of seminary at Northern Theological Seminary. I recently returned after dealing with severe emotional and psychological distress. I hit a very low point in my life triggered by a number of things: relational problems, my newborn’s diagnosis of chronic eczema, severe diet changes, adjusting to being a new mom, and traumatic thoughts resurfacing from my childhood. All of these things seemed to surface at once and it left me in a very low place for well over a year.
I noticed cars quickly slowing down in front of me. I put my foot to the brake and came to a complete stop. Soon after the pedestrians crossed the street, traffic picked up again. I was ready to continue on my route when all of a sudden, I heard a loud screeching noise coming from behind, followed by a big BOOM! I looked in my backseat to make sure my daughter was okay. She was. I pulled over, turned on my hazard lights, unbuckled my seatbelt, and rushed out of the car.
Good evening, mamas and friends!
Welcome to Part 2 of 13 Strategies for Moms Who Are In School. Today, I want to share the remaining six strategies with you in hopes that they will offer support for moms who are balancing school, family, marriage, and other responsibilities. Again, I want to reiterate that this is not a “Do More,” “Be Better,” or “Do Better” list. These are merely suggestions that may be helpful for moms who are in school.
I was driving home from class one evening and instantly burst into tears. Feelings of exhaustion, inadequacy, and doubt swept over me. Why had I chosen to go back to school? Is being married, having a full-time job, managing my personal blog, and chasing my two-year-old around not enough? Who do I think I am? Didn’t I just have a mental breakdown several months ago after returning to school, which lead to me having to take 4 quarters off? How will I do it? I don’t have the capacity. I am not smart enough. I do not have time. I am tired and I am only one week in. I cried and I cried and I cried.
Moments later, I received a very encouraging text from my pastor that stopped me right in the middle of my pity party.
We were at our friends’ house for dinner on a Monday night. Our friends are newlyweds, two weeks into marriage to be exact. We all gathered at the table and engulfed the aroma of the homemade tacos. We prayed over our dinner, fixed our plates, and started conversing about marriage and life. Laughter filled the room and the night was off to a great start. But then, my husband did something that triggered me. In response to being triggered, I said something in front of him and our friends that made the room stand still.
Just three short weeks ago when my husband returned to work full-time, I decided to make a plan- a meal plan, to be exact. When my husband was home, he would prepare most of our dinners during the week. My only job was to eat his home cooked meals and help with the dishes. I could do that. But now that our schedules have changed and I am the one home closest to dinner time, I am responsible for preparing most of our meals.
There’s just one problem- I do not like cooking, especially not in the summertime. I absolutely dread it. It’s too hot and I never desire to cook anything that I have in the fridge/cabinets. If I had my choice, I would seriously order tacos and pizza every night, but we all know that’s not healthy or realistic (chuckling). So I had to come up with a plan to motivate myself to cook.
I decided to start meal planning and I am quite surprised at the following benefits.
Good morning friends!
What a joy it is to sit and write to you all. I have missed you dearly. It has been an entire month since the last time I published on Courage From Within. I have had several followers reach out to check on me. Thank you for your continous love and support. I want you all to know that I am doing well. July was a really challening month for me. During the month of July, I experienced loss, wrestled deeply with the racial tension in our nation, doubted my ability to write and experienced a major transtion at home with my husband returning to work full-time (huge praise!).
I have learned that when challening situations or difficult transitions occur in my life, I tend to just STOP. I stop living and doing what I enjoy most; like writing, spending quality time with friends, and connecting deeply with people. I run and hide like a turtle tucked in it’s shell. But today, I chose to begin again! This is not just a commitment to start writing and publishing again, but a commitment to connect, to be present, to live out my dreams with freedom and passion, despite the blows life throws.
Good Morning Friends!
My dear friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl just a couple of weeks ago. She has quickly learned that there are things that make the new parent’s life easier and wants to share with all of you. This post was extremely enlightening for me and I hope that you will find it helpful as well. Read Anna’s post down below.
Trying to figure out what you need as a new parent can be a daunting task. Do I really need a wipes warmer? What is a “Boppy” and why does everyone keep saying I need one? Aren’t all these “baby essentials” posts and articles just trying to sell me stuff? (No you don’t, yes you do, and yes, they usually are). If you’re like me, you don’t want to waste money on things that don’t work, or that you don’t actually need. With that in mind, the following are items I’ve realized are very useful in making a new parent’s life easier:
Yesterday, we had the privilege of hearing Part 1 of Ashlie’s story about pain and loss. Today, she is sharing how her past experiences have taught her about the power of Christ.
Over the course of the next few years, as I ventured more and more out into the world, becoming a professional club-head and developing a seared conscious to my reckless lifestyle choices, I realized I was running from God. I was trying to run my own life. I finally was brought to a place where I had to make the choice to stop running and surrender to God. I did just that. I was tired of the way I was living life. I was tired of being broken. I was tired of trying to numb my pain with dysfunctional behavior. I was tired of giving myself to men with false hope of them reciprocating what I felt I needed. I was tired of ruining my life with bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, selfishness, pain, rejection and a host of other identity killers. I dedicated my life to Christ (for real) and have never looked back. God has saved, delivered, healed, and transformed me in ways that only He can!