Have you ever asked God to change your life, but not really known how or why? Well, I have some advice for you… don’t ask it if you don’t mean it!!
4 months ago I spent about an hour touring a court-ordered residential facility for teens. It was only an hour, but I knew that my life was changed forever. This wasn’t the rough and rigid juvenile hall we’ve all seen on TV. Confidence, respect, and smiles filled the sweet faces of my resident tour guides. There are no bars here. No cells. No barbed wire. Instead, the AMIkids halls are filled with counselors, educators, mentors... family.
Writing this is my therapy from the last week, so apologizing in advance if it comes off in rambles. Hurricane Irma hit Florida and it hit it hard y’all. We are on the west coast in central Florida in Tampa, and for about a week, we were feeling impending doom headed our way in one way or another. Here is my account of the events and how my momxiety took over for a hot minute.
Irma was predicted to hit the opposite coast of Florida, but knowing it’s size and living here my whole life, I know things can change last minute and they did. A few days ago, the spaghetti models (I don’t want to eat spaghetti for a long, long time FYI) swapped coasts and it was predicted to make land fall in the Florida Keys and then continue up to Naples or Fort Meyers. Tampa was still within the cone as a possibility for landfall, but mostly looked like we would get the eye over us as a category three as it traveled up the coast.
Last we talked, I was chatting about my future plans and how I had absolutely no idea what was ahead. Slowly but surely, things have started to come together(bless!), but today I wanted to talk about standing on your own two feet. For anyone, the first real leap “out of the nest” can be tough. Leaving mom and dad, friends and family, to venture out onto your own is not always the easiest, but it must be done. For me, I’m moving a few states away from my mom and dad to Texas! However, I also know that it can be equally as hard taking that first jump even if it is right around the corner from wherever you call home.
I’ve always known I was shy. But I never thought I was an INTROVERT too. And no, they are not the same thing, not exactly. But some tendencies could appear similar and that's why people think that they are one in the same. According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of shy is being disposed to avoid a person or thing for fear of negative judgement. In my case, I almost dread social gatherings, not because I’m antisocial, or harmful to organized society (another word people throw around loosely, but that’s a post for another day), but because I’m terrified of “acting a fool” and of how others will think of me. I’m already my own worst critic, but then I shutter to think about what others think of me.
Ok, I’m over a little exaggerating here, but it’s how I really feel. The psychological definition of introvert is a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts. This means that you’d prefer, and actually flourish being by yourself or doing solitary activities. Left to your own devises, so to speak. As an introvert, you may feel drained when you are around a group of people an may need frequent breaks. Does this sound like you too?
Have you ever met someone in life that just clicked with your soul? It was like God strategically placed them in your path to run into and bond with! Not only do you two click but you have similar goals…life goals, spiritual goals, career goals, relationship goals. It just works and it is beautiful. I have had a few of those people.
Have you ever met someone in life that just clicked with your soul and you just thanked God in that moment only to be asking God later as to why they went away? Why they left your life? Why did he take what brought you joy? I have also had a few of those people.
Allow me to tell you more about myself (for those who don’t know me. Haha!). I’m Jennifer, and I’m married to my absolute best friend ever. I have two sweet kiddos, my 5-year-old daughter, and my 1-year-old son who are literally the most exhausting and amazing little people ever. I’m a working-mommy turned stay-at-home-mommy. I absolutely love spending time with my family. I do photography. I love being involved in my church. And guess what – I used to be 336 pounds.
As a woman there is a different definition of strong that comes with our gender. It is not strength of physicality but more emotional and mental strength that is tested beyond measure. I, myself, have been through some pretty painful moments that emotionally I thought were physically going to destroy me; however, my mental strength proved me wrong. If I am being honest, it was my faith that held me together because in my flesh I was at the end. It is only by faith I am held together.
In my previous post, “Living Without Her Plans,” I wrote about how at one point in my life, I swore I had it all figured out. Just a little recap – I literally thought I knew, down to the nitty gritty, what was ahead of me in this funny thing we call life.
Story ruined: that all changed.
Maybe it wasn’t ruined though. Maybe if I stuck to MY plans, my life wouldn’t have been all that great after all. It took me a minute to realize I needed to calm down and just give it to the big man upstairs. Lets face it y’all – He knows what He’s doing.
Mother's Day will be here in a few days--for some it is a day to count their blessings as they look at the miracle of their children and it brings joy...others, it brings sorrow as they wait to be held by the arms of their mother again or are waiting for their arms to be filled with a sweet bundle. I have been on both sides of this coin and wanted to take a moment to encourage each. You are all a treasure and sometimes, we just need reminding.
to the mother with small children,
Oh sweet mama, I promise you will sleep again...maybe...well, sometimes. Did you ever think it possible that your precious little one looking up at you with the utmost deep well of newborn baby eyes would also send a tidal wave through your life? But as Jenn said the other day in Riding The Waves Of Motherhood, this time is so short and when our kids spill their second cup of juice at breakfast time, we have to choose do we go under in the current or just hop in the boat and go along with the tide.
Being a mommy is sugar and spice and everything nice! It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. The most challenging, the most stressful, the most tear-jerking, and most definitely the most rollercoaster’ish. I know that’s not a word, but it was the most fitting adjective I could think of. Anybody with small (or not so small) children can totally understand the craziness of a tantrum, meltdown, or completely overwhelming wave of emotion. Ah, yes. The overwhelming (and often hard-to-anticipate) waves that we experience in mommy world.
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