Adults Say the Darndest Things: Pregnancy Edition

apples and belly

I don‚Äôt typically believe in waking a sleeping baby, but today was an exception to the rule. ūüôā I wanted to drive to the apple orchard and farmer‚Äôs market for some crisp apples and local produce. So, I woke Juder from his sweet slumber in the late afternoon, and we headed out.

We shopped for our goods and made our way toward the cash register. Jude was climbing out of the cart, and Zeke was begging for candy‚ÄĒ just a typical grocery experience with the boys. As I started placing my purchases on the counter, the cashier said, ‚Äúyou look tired‚ÄĚ, which I guess is just the state I operate in these days. Yipes.

Anyway, the lady proceeds to point to my belly and asks me if we know what gender the baby is. I say, ‚ÄúYes! We are having boy,‚ÄĚ with a smile on my face. She glances over at Zeke & Jude and musters out a bummed, ‚ÄúOhhhhhh. I‚Äôm sorry.‚ÄĚ

I think I gave her some weird look and waited a few seconds for the ‚ÄúJUST KIDDING!!!‚ÄĚ but there wasn‚Äôt one. She legit felt sorry for me that the blessing I was carrying is the same gender as my other two blessings.

So, even with a little feistiness in my spirit, I told her how excited we are to have another boy, and I thought it would be nice of me to give her a chance to redeem herself. I‚Äôm all about giving a sista some GRACE. But‚Ķ.she proceeds to tell me how great it was to raise her two daughters. Cleary, she thinks I am missing out big time! Anywhoo…I left the market with my two little boy blessings and got them snug in their car seats.

During the drive home, I couldn‚Äôt stop thinking about this woman‚Äôs response. I guess all I kept thinking was ‚Äúplease don‚Äôt refer to my blessing as a bummer.‚ÄĚ

What this woman doesn‚Äôt know is that Justin and I have miscarried two babies. The last miscarriage was right before we conceived the little one in my belly. From the beginning of my current pregnancy, I‚Äôve referred to this baby as my ‚Äėredeemer baby‚Äô. Due to my recent miscarriage, I was monitored closely during the beginning of this pregnancy. When I was five weeks along, my nurse told me told me that I was ‚Äėextremely likely to miscarry again‚Äô based on my bloodwork. Things kept progressing. At 14 weeks, we had a scare and thought we lost the baby. All appears well, and things keep progressing. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, our fertility journey has completely changed my perspective on all of this gender stuff. We are simply thankful to be pregnant AGAIN. I fully trust that God knows what He‚Äôs doing when He determines the gender of our children. (Aaaaand… apparently I am destined to be the QUEEN of this house! Wahooo!)

So, when my little dude kicks me during the day, I don’t wish he was anyone else but little one God is knitting in my womb. And when I see his face for the first time, there will be no other baby I’ll want to replace that little face with. I know that the minute we meet this little guy, he will have a perfect place in our family, making our family complete.

So, for my home girl back at the market‚Ķplease keep your ‚ÄúI‚Äôm sorry‚Äôs‚ÄĚ for my friends who have been struggling for years to get pregnant. Please keep them for my friends who have been through the ringer dealing with their children’s delicate¬†medical issues, and for my friends who have suffered the painful loss of a child. As for me, my blessing is not a bummer.

Xoxo,

Linds

Adults Say the Darndest Things: Pregnancy Edition

Church ain’t the Building

About a year ago, the hubs and I decided to join a church plant started by new (and amazing) friends, who recently moved to Columbus from Chicago.

We felt God priming our hearts for the transition, but none-the-less, change isn‚Äôt always easy. Saying ‚ÄúYES‚ÄĚ to God often takes some amount of sacrifice. From the outside, it may just look like Justin and I are spontaneous. Which if you know us, this is pretty true (especially in our early married days). Changing churches though, especially young kiddos, wasn‚Äôt just a split decision. The only way I can explain it is that it felt right, and we were excited.

The early days of the church plant started out in our friend‚Äôs home. The kiddos would join us for worship, ‚Äė614 kids‚Äô church was in their basement, and everyone stayed for a delish church family lunch after the service. Oh, it was such a sweet way for our families to meet, grow, be in each other‚Äôs lives, and so much more. When our church moved into a building, none of that was lost, it was just amplified.¬† I started realizing how much thought, love, prep, care, time, and energy goes into making church ‚Äúhappen‚ÄĚ.

early 614 church

Getting a behind the scenes look at church planting has really given me so much appreciation for my friends and church family who truly have a heart for loving each other well, sharing Jesus, spending time with God, building each other up, letting others in, making a safe place for those who need it, caring for the kiddos, providing family for the lonely, tending to each other’s needs, and creating a community that puts God (love) first.

gables

Ultimately, I‚Äôve been so thankful for the simplicity of learning what really defines church. It‚Äôs certainly not the building, it‚Äôs not the programs, it‚Äôs not just being inspired by the pastor‚Äôs faith. Church is community. It‚Äôs being open and vulnerable enough to let people see the good, bad, and the really, really, hard. It‚Äôs a safe zone where we can ask questions, and take risks in sharing our faith. It‚Äôs inviting others to experience the love of God through people. It‚Äôs play dates and girls nights. It‚Äôs ‚Äėdudes only‚Äô camping trips. Church community is not just for ‚Äúchurched‚ÄĚ people. My wise friend, who also heads up our kid‚Äôs community, said the other day something along the lines of: We make it so difficult. In God‚Äôs eyes, it‚Äôs simple. We are all either a son or a daughter of God.

We were created by Him, and we belong to each other. So, I want to make it simple. You are loved and you are a child of the most High King. You were created for a purpose and created for community. If that’s something that you long for, but haven’t found, I’d just love for you to come and join us for 614 Church’s first birthday PAR-TAY! If community is something you already have, WOOT WOOT!

For the locals: We meet at Gables Elementary: 1680 Becket Ave, Columbus, Ohio

614 invite

Xoxo,

Lindsey

Church ain’t the Building

Sunday Blessings

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve already been blessed a handful of times. I’ve also seen a handful of tantrums already¬†today. ūüôā¬†Some days, I’ll just admit it,¬†the meltdowns overshadow the blessings. Today…I’m counting¬†those blessings¬†one by one!

BLESSING #1:¬†The hubby headed to church early this morning with both¬†boys. This means I was able¬†get ready by my lonesome¬†and fully¬†blow-dry my hair. I even took a¬†selfie for evidence.¬†Well, really, I tried¬†out a new Beautycounter lip¬†sheer color¬†and¬†LOVE it, so I took a pic. (Who¬†knew there were other colors out there for me besides pink?¬†ūüôā

selfie

BLESSING #2: On the way to church, I drove through Starbucks to get a small blond roast coffee and ice water. I pulled up to the window to find the gentleman in front of me paid for me! I typically don’t use the word ‘gentleman’…but dang…the title applies here!!!¬†I’ve never been the recipient of one of these ‘random acts of kindness’ gestures from a stranger, and it was just¬†SO kind and unexpected. The little blessing of complimentary coffee¬†definitely¬†made me smile.¬†Also, coffee tastes better when someone else buys. Don’t you think?¬†ūüôā

free coffee

BLESSING #3: Justin and I are truly blessed by the thoughtful and loving ways our church, 614 Church, involves and equips our little ones. Today, the little kiddos prayed for us before they went into their classrooms. Needless to say, it blessed me so! I mean, how cute are they?!?!?!

614 kids prayers

BLESSING # 4: Lately, when I walk into church, I just say to the greeters, “I’m with the band.” hahaha. I’m totally kidding (sort of). I do have a thing for the newest¬†djembe drummer. He’s never played on an official worship team. If you know the fella though, he can keep a beat. Anyway, it’s just really fun to see¬†my hubby¬†worship the Lord in this way! See him back there? ūüôā ūüôā

justin drums

BLESSING #5: I can’t remember if tantrum number five or blessings number five came first. Regardless, I just loved this one! I was sitting on the couch with Jude and Zeke before lunch. Jude stepped on my (pregnant) belly. Yikes!¬†Zeke leaned over and kissed my belly. I asked Zeke to pray for the baby. He¬†extended his hand to¬†cover my stomach, and this was his prayer¬†over the babe. “I pray Jude won’t step on you, and that you will have a shield over you. Amen.” Word, Zeke! (And yes, my eyes were open and I snapped a photo mid prayer!).

zeke's prayer

He is a shied to all who come to Him for protection   -Proverbs 30:5

I’m sure there will be more to come today! Blessings that is.¬†And likely, some tantrums too. ūüôā

xoxo,

Linds

Sunday Blessings

Run Like a Kenyan


Each Wednesday, my mom takes the little¬†guys for the day. Up until last month, I was trekking to the office on Wednesdays, doing communications¬†consulting work. These days, I use Wednesdays to work on¬†my¬†new¬†Beautycounter consulting business, blog about my recent inspirations, and take 30 minutes to exercise. Wednesdays are¬†SUCH a gift to me! Who doesn’t love the gift of time?!?!?!

Today on my run trot, I was ever-so-slowly approaching one of my neighbors who was also out for a nice little jog. As I passed him, he yelled, “What are you‚ÄĒa Kenyan?” I nearly peed my pants. No one should ever crack jokes like that to a pregnant woman on a run. Lack of bladder control is FOR REAL! I wanted to respond with “Nope, I’m just a mom trying to stay sane and not pee my pants,” but I simply laughed and told him to have a great rest of his¬†run.

keynan

As I continued on,¬†I felt my stride get a little longer, and there was a little¬†identity shift simply because of a¬†compliment.¬†I started to think about how my perspective¬†of myself¬†is just¬†OFF sometimes. I was feeling suuuuuper slow today,¬†and I was¬†just glad to be outside exercising.¬†After¬†my¬†neighbor¬†compared my¬†10-minute-pace to a Kenyan, suddenly I felt a little faster! Clearly there was some humor in his comment, but it just makes me think about the power of perspective.¬†We often measure ourselves to these crazy standards that we’ll never meet, and wonder why we’re disappointed. We tend to give everyone else slack and compliments, but forget to return the favor to our self!

While it’s nice to get compliments and encouragement, we do¬†need to be careful that our identity isn’t determined by what other people think about us. I’m so thankful that we don’t have to¬†live in a reality where our¬†self worth¬†is measured on the number of “likes” our Facebook selfie gets.¬†Our identity¬†isn’t measured on the number of friends we have, how great our career is,¬†or even how much money we make. Our identity rests in the hands of our Father. The one who created us, loves us, and calls us beautiful.

Our identity was chosen before we even had a say in our own life goals and dreams. Whether we claim it or not, we are all¬†children of the most High King¬†who loves with a relentless kind of love. He’s the one¬†who gets to tell us what our identity is and you know what he says? “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

God created you and I¬†on purpose and¬†for a purpose. So here’s my prayer for you:

“…I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord‚Äôs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge‚ÄĒthat you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19.

You were made uniquely you, and you have gifts to share that the people around you need. I truly believe that being vulnerable is beautiful. Whatever God’s gifted you with, pursue it. Whatever helps you breath, do it.

xoxo,

Linds

Run Like a Kenyan

Taking a Leap!

Feel Healthy Girl friends,

Here’s a¬†personal update about our current life happenings and my latest business venture. ūüôā¬†This is how excited I am!!!!

In late July, right after we found out that we were pregnant with baby number three (we‚Äôre due in February), I learned that my communication consulting hours would be coming to an end. It‚Äôs been a great 2.5 years working with an incredible company, but I knew the position wouldn’t be available forever. The opportunity I had was an incredible blessing for our family, and I was determined to find another consulting position of some sort.

During my recent job search, I was praying for something that would align with my personal passion of empowering women with wellness inspiration through Feel Healthy Girl. My prayer was answered with Beauty Counter‚ÄĒ a company with the mission to get safe products in the hands of everyone. Yep,¬†I can get behind that mission!

My friend Shelly (the same friend who hooked me up with my recent communication & marketing consulting opportunity) introduced me to this incredibly safe, non-toxic, high-performing skin care and cosmetic line ‚ÄĒBeauty Counter. Shelly is the ultimate health advocate and consumer, so with her stamp of approval, I was immediately interested. She put me in touch with her friend, I tried as many products I could get my hands on, fell in love with the products and the mission, and determined it was my next step both professionally and personally. I am now a consultant and educator for Beauty Counter, advocating for safe beauty and skin care products in an unregulated personal care industry. In fact, did you know that the United States hasn‚Äôt passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938? Yikes! We all know there are millions of gorgeous and high-performing self-care products on the market, but the question is‚ÄĒ are they actually SAFE for consumers?

The purpose of this email is to introduce you to Beauty Counter, and the amazing options available for SAFE and gorgeous skin care for your entire family. If you are interested in swapping your current beauty products for amazing products with the strictest ingredient regulations on the market, let’s chat! You can also check out the products on my website here.

In the meantime, because knowledge is power, let me introduce you to a mobile application called Skin Deep¬†created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It‚Äôs been eye-opening for me! Download the app on your smart phone, type in your cosmetics products, and see how they are rated in terms of safety. I was blown away when I first did this. Even some of my ‚Äúorganic‚ÄĚ products came back with unfavorable ratings. All of the Beauty Counter products rank 0-2, which falls in the safe category. Zero being the least toxic, and 10 being the most toxic. Let me know what you learn!

I’m so excited about this new opportunity, and look forward to sharing more with you in the near future!

xoxo,

Linds

Taking a Leap!

Motivated by Love, Not by Fear

I read this AWESOME quote today from Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, who specializes in the mind-brain connection. My close¬†friend, Ashley, Introduced me to¬†Dr. Leaf- a vessel of truth who interconnects God’s spirit-filled¬†word with science. (Follow her on Instagram!)

Every type of emotion has one of two roots- love or fear. They cannot coexist. – Dr. Caroline Leaf

This very quote made me think about why I am so passionate about living the healthiest life I can. My journey started in 2006 when I had a major health scare. I was diagnosed with melanoma after having a very suspicious mole removed. I was 23-years-old with skin cancer.¬†The diagnosis I received¬†shook me to the core, and reminded me that I was not¬†invincible. I was super fortunate to have one surgery, and it the cancer was taken care of. The physical disease was out, but an extremely unhealthy (dare I say “diseased”)mindset started taking over my previously happy-go-lucky self.¬†As a coping mechanism, I took up¬†habits to try to control my situation. I became extremely anxious, super health conscious, drinking 3 cups of green tea for the antioxidents, daily smoothies,¬†etc.¬† All of¬†my new ‘healthy’ practices weren’t bad, but my¬†motivation wasn’t rooted in striving for optimal health, rather I was bound by fear. Fear of disease, and even more crippling, I had a life-gripping¬†fear of dying. Unfortunatly, that fear was totally¬†robbing me from truly living.

Fast forward a few years when I found a lump in my breast. I was 26-years-old, and I was terrified. Here we go, all over again. A biopsy revealed the lump was benign (so thankful), and the physician who diagnosed it told me there could be a link between my birth control pills (hormones) and the benign tumor. Again, my world was rocked and I was scared. I was left wondering how my young body was so sensitive and susceptible to disease.

A¬†year or so¬†later when we¬†were ready to try for a¬†baby, I had¬†already convinced myself that my body was “broken” before we even tried to conceive. (I could have really benefited¬†from staying in counseling a¬†LOT longer!)¬†Nonetheless,¬†conceiving wasn’t an easy feat for us. Our “trying” process was more than trying. I was defeated. I felt like I was living in this broken body avoiding this and that, telling my husband to stop using his laptop computer on his lap because it would lower his “you know what” count, etc. Anything I was able to control, I would try to. The reality was: I¬†WAS COMPLETELY¬†OUT OF CONTROL.

It wasn’t until my first miscarriage in 2010 that I surrendered it all. The miscarriage was horrible, yes, but it was also my wake-up call. I had changed my diet, my lifestyle, etc., and¬†we still¬†miscarried a little baby. While I FIRMLY believe that all of those positive¬†lifestyle changes I made improved my quality of life in multiple ways, I realized that throughout our baby-making process, I was¬†captivated by fear.

After our successful pregnancy and birth of our first son is¬†when I¬†found the passion to become a certified holistic health coach. I want to empower women to be their best self. Instead of scaring people into a healthy lifestyle, I want to hold their hands and walk them¬†into freedom. I don’t want people to be motivated by fear like I was, rather remain¬†rooted in love. Love for their body, for their unique calling, and most importantly, loved by their Maker.

I know there is much I cannot control, but I want to set myself and my family up for our best shot at a healthy and happy life. That is my mission. That is anthem. Where love abides, fear must flee.

Today, I also practice thanking God for my health and I declare health over my body, rather than believing I am coming from a place of lack. Thank you Jesus!

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we‚Äôre free of worry on Judgment Day‚ÄĒour standing in the world is identical with Christ‚Äôs. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life‚ÄĒfear of death, fear of judgment‚ÄĒis one not yet fully formed in love. [1 John 4: 17-18, MSG]

My mission for Feel Healthy Girl is that you will feel empowered, inspired, and believe that you are fully known and loved by the creator. Just. As. You. Are.

xoxoxo,

Linds

Motivated by Love, Not by Fear

Let Them be Heard

Pregnancy and parenting have been the most pivotal and refining experiences of my life. Pregnancy requires utter dependence on faith. Aside from avoiding certain foods/drinks and prenatal care, growing and sustaining life is largely out of our control.

Then there is¬†parenting. It’s the most privileged, yet trying gift I’ve ever received. Like most moms, I try my best to give our kids fun experiences within our means. Other times, I am selfish, and plan our agenda according to what’s needed, or maybe even what I think would be fun.

rocks parkmoor

Take yesterday for example. I was meeting a friend at the rec center to work out and the kiddos went into the kids area, the Sprout Room, to play. Zeke wasn’t thrilled at first, but I knew when I came back for him, he wouldn’t want to leave. I was right.¬†After¬†the rec center, we did a quick run to Trader Joe’s. In the car Zeke said, “Mom, we like never get to play outside.” (yikes…wonder who he gets the word ‘like’ from?)

I thought to myself, what is this kid talking about? I¬†thought to about the past few days. On Sunday, we were at Easton playing in the fountains. On Monday, we went to throw rocks in the creek and then while it was raining, we were playing with one of his best buddies. He responds back, “I just want to go home and play with you and my dry land toys.”

A whhhhhhaaaaaa?¬†His comment made¬†me crack up laughing, but also made me think. I run from thing to thing with the kids. Even when the “things” are FUN, could it be that sometimes, playing at home outside¬†with his mommy and *dry land toys* trumps everything else?

Anyway…later on in the day after Jude napped, we were headed out in the swagger wagon to¬†play with¬†another friend¬†(which happens to be a fun mommy date for me too!). We were pulling out of the driveway and St. Mimi, a.k.a. My mom, swings by for her weekly drop-off of random things. One of the items¬†was a GIANT¬†ART JAR¬†for the Z-man.

photo

Zeke couldn’t wait to get his hands on these crafts and deemed them “Everything I’ve ever wished for” last night. That cute little¬†phrase made me wish that I was the one that bought that for him because he loved it so much. My mom, who knows and loves the kids so much, is able to step back and access my child’s needs because she’s not with them 24/7. I don’t want to admit it, but sometimes she can do this better than I can.

When you are in the thick of parenting, and all of the beautiful messy things it entails,¬†it’s¬†easy to get distracted¬†by busyness and everyday tasks. I realized yesterday, that really I’m filling our day with “stuff” sometimes, just to feel like we’re making memories. My little boys have unique and specific love tanks that need to be filled, and as their mommy, I want to do my best to mother them in a way they need to be mothered. Father, help me!

The bottom line is, when Zeke expressed his love for his dry land toys and crafts, it wasn’t anything new. I just feel like I could really hear him yesterday. I know he loves being busy, but there is a side of him who just wants to play and create at home‚ÄĒwith me.¬†I PRAY I can put down the dishes sooner today to let him do just that.

One day at a time. This is my prayer: Let them be little. Let them be heard. Help me be present. AMEN.

xoxo,

Linds

Let Them be Heard

Running into a Promise!

Running has always been¬†therapeutic for me both physically and emotionally. It’s where I get inspired with new ideas, dreams, and hopes. It¬†also happens to be the thing that helps most with my stomach issues.¬†For these reasons, I typically prefer to run by myself. It’s in the sweet, quiet moments that I am able to recharge.

Gulliver-63

My husband¬†supports his high-maintenance wife and my ‘need’ for running so much that on Father’s Day,¬†June¬†21,¬†Justin was getting the kids ready for church while I was on a run (thanks, babe).¬† While I was on the trail, I thanked God for J¬†‚ÄĒ the¬†bomb.com daddy to our two boys. It was in the same moment that I felt overcome with a little bit of sadness. A month earlier, we had an early¬†miscarriage. My immediate thought was, “I am so thankful for my boys, but¬†I¬†was really hoping for¬†three littles in our family.”¬†A few tears streamed down my face,¬†and I kept running.

Less than a minute later, I looked down the bike path and I saw a doe. As I got closer, I realized that she was¬†nursing three little baby deer¬†right on the bike bath. All of the sudden, in my spirit, I felt like this was a promise. The¬†THREE we were yearning for….I felt confident¬†in that moment, the desire for another child would come forth.

Fast forward to church that morning…my friend, Amanda, felt inclined to share something God put on her heart.¬†In front of our¬†small,¬†yet¬†entire church fam,¬†Amanda said God gave her a picture of a backwards number THREE. She asked God about it and got clarity that it was indeed the number¬†THREE ‚ÄĒ and it was a symbol of¬†a promise for someone. When she said these words, I¬†grabbed Justin’s hand really tight, and¬†pretty much burst into tears!!!

Ok, so without going into all the crazy details… it ends up that I was already pregnant on Father’s Day. I had no idea.

Since we recently went through a miscarriage, my doctor started monitoring me very closely with blood work. Unfortunately, my¬†numbers weren’t looking great, and I was told there was an “extremely high risk for another miscarriage.”

I told all of this to my counselor and she reminded me that¬†the encounter¬†God gave me¬†with baby deer. She told me to hold on to that promise. I knew she was right, but¬†I felt so¬†scared because I¬†know the¬†reality of losing a pregnancy all too well. I wanted to remain¬†hopeful.¬†So through all¬†a few weeks of blood work, and¬†the waiting & seeing, I held on sooooo tight to what I believed was a¬†promise from God. I had every reason to doubt, but He gave me peace that surpassed my understanding,¬†because that’s what He does for us. {Philippians 4:7}

deer picture

There is more to the story, and several more deer sightings that have lifted my spirits and brought me joy.¬†The pic above was taken mid- bike ride with my hubby. ūüôā¬†When we saw the three baby deer again¬†I screamed, “Babe! Take a picture! Take a picture!!!!”

The bottom line is, there are a lot of things in this life that we can’t control, and I’m slowly¬†learning¬†to accept that truth.¬†I’m a very slow learner in this arena, so thank you,¬†Lord, for your grace.¬†I am also learning that when God gives you a word that lifts your spirit and shifts the atmosphere of your heart, hold on tight to that truth¬†and don’t let go!

p.s. The pregnancy is progressing, and our family is expecting our third little babe in February.:) Zeke¬†is hoping for a baby¬†girl and wants to name her ‘Little Cutie’.

Gulliver-55

xoxo,

Linds

Running into a Promise!

It’s Ok to Not be Ok!

Hey sisters!

Just a little something on my heart for anyone struggling with…you know…life right now. I just want to encourage you that you are not alone, and this is just a season. Sometimes we are coasting along, and other times we are barely making it through. You know what I think? It’s ok to not be ok.

Capture

We don’t always have to be strong and¬†put a happy face on when our inner self is¬†feeling weighed down and heavy. Just please, my friend, don’t¬†go through these seasons¬†alone.

I personally believe that everyone on this earth should be seeing a counselor on a regular basis. I’m super lucky to have a bestie who is a counselor, but I decided that¬†I wore out my welcome with 10:30 p.m. personal phone calls for guidance.¬†About four months ago, I¬†knew I needed¬†help with my anxiety. Before I turned to my¬†doctor for medication (I had tried everything else), I decided I would see a professional counselor on a frequent basis. Not just any counselor, but one who loves Jesus. I hit the jackpot with Vicky!

The first few sessions with Vicky were hard. It was ugly. I was struggling majorly with anxious thoughts, rooted in a health scare I had years ago. I wanted healthy thoughts, I wanted to be joyful. I wanted to be present. I just couldn’t by myself. I just didn’t feel ok. In fact, I felt really out of control. I remember asking her if I was crazy a hundred times. Her response was something like, “You have textbook anxiety. We are going to get to the root,¬†so that you can live in freedom.” I believed her.

So many beautiful moments happened on the couch in the office of my counselor-turned-friend. I would pretty much start crying when I entered the room. She let me. She let me talk and talk and talk and talk until our hour ran out and so did my tears.

Two weeks later, I would repeat.¬† Anyway- last night we were chatting and at the end of our conversation, I realized that’s just what it was….a conversation. No tears. Less anxiety. She told me that we could stretch out our next meeting time and meet in a month. Progress!

I firmly believe that what is stored up in us must come out! Just like sweating on a run is a sweet release of toxins stored up in our body, talking about emotions is a healthy emotional cleansing for our mind and soul.

I believe my experience has been so rich because my counselor knows Jesus and speaks awesome truth over me. Before I left each time, she prayed and contended on my behalf. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea…but girl…I would sip on that tea every day if I could!

If you aren’t ok, it’s ok! Please though, talk with someone who is objective. Someone who will let you open the floodgates of tears so that you can enter the road of freedom, joy, peace, and wholeness.

You got this, girl!

xoxo,

Linds

It’s Ok to Not be Ok!

Along for the Ride

Today my little¬†dude¬†was down for the count with pink eye and just not acting like¬†himself.¬†When I¬†was cooking dinner he was laying next to me…on the floor. ūüė¶

jude floor

Having sick little ones is the pits, but in our house, it does bring on the snuggles. And we LOVE the snuggles.

me and jude sleeping

After dinner, which the dude hardly touched his plate, I noticed the sun came up after a pretty¬†rainy day. I wanted to cheer him up so I asked him if he wanted to ride the bike with mommy. He immediately went to the door, said “shoesies” (shoes), and wanted to go outside.

I put our helmets on, strapped him in my bike and off we went through our hilly neighborhood. Man, it’s tough climbing uphill on a bike with a hefty little fella on the back! We made it to the top, turned around and I¬†looked forward to cruising downhill. We were going pretty fast, when I felt little hands grab my¬†love handles¬†sides. After another turn I felt him let go, only holding on to a piece of my shirt.

We made it back home, turned around in my court, and went for round two. This time, the climb was still just as hard (for me), but no little hands reached for me on the way down. He already knew what to expect. He trusted the course, trusted his leader. He trusts his mommy.

jude and me bike

Our little ride reminded me of my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Sometimes in the climbs uphill or in¬†the scary/thrilling adventures into unknown places, we cling on to Him. He keeps us safe. As we navigate life’s twists and turns, we can trust that our Creator prepared us for the path He’s leading us on.¬†We¬†MUST know the touch of our Creator, or we’re going to forget that we were, in fact, designed for this journey. We need to know what if feels like to sit in the palm of His hand when things are calm, so that we can rest in it when things are not. We need to know the touch of His hand, so that we can feel it through the layers of false self-protection. And we need to trust that He will lead us, guide us, take us into places of peace and rest because He ALWAYS goes before us.

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I want to grab ahold of my Heavenly Father the way Jude does me. I want to know His touch the way my little boy knows mine.

Oh, I’m just along for the ride. The beautiful ride.

xoxo,

Linds

Along for the Ride