May 15, 2023


Without Warning

The ebbs and flow of life go through different seasons. The seasons change you in ways you may not have wanted or may not have seen coming. They arrive sometimes without choice, without warning, and we ultimately decide if we survive or thrive through them. 

I think that transitions are hard for anyone. Even if it's a chosen transition, we still find ourselves in the middle of moving parts, trying to figure out how to put them all together. We worry if this part connected to this part will make the best match. Or could this part work better with this part over here. 

Personally, my brain goes into over drive when a change or a transition is looming. One day, I'm rocking through things and making plans, then the next, I'm worried about all of the unknowns. Did I make the right choice? Is this really where He was leading me? Did I listen well enough? 

Those questions (and so many more) are more than normal. They are our brains way of trying to protect us. To guard us. It feels the shift and wants to make sure that our senses are heightened and we are prepared to move forward. 

A few things to remember when you find yourself in seasons or change or unknown that have helped me.

The unknowns won't last forever. 

Although it feels like it in the midst, the unknowns are not here to stay my friend. They feel uncomfortable because they are. Our brain tends to like structure, knowing what is to come. But as you slowly work towards stability and understanding, those unknowns fall into place. 

The choice you make on how you move forward is the right one. 

No matter the choice, it's the right one. You may have to adapt and makes changes after the fact, but the choice was put on your heart for a reason. You chose yes or no for a reason. Stand firm in the reason you have arrived in that decision and don't let time, others, or circumstances take that determination away. 

It's not a failure if it doesn't work. It's a lesson. 

You took the chance. At the time, that decision was the best for you. If it doesn't work, let the lessons learned guide you in what is next. Failure is only failure if you don't learn anything from it. If you let it consume you. Learn the lesson, stand up, dust yourself off, and go after whatever is next. 

It could be the beginning of something truly beautiful. 

Among the unknowns, something beautiful is waiting for you. A new found freedom, a rekindled love of something you have missed doing, or simply lessons learned that you needed guidance on. We may not get to decide when our seasons change, but only we get to choose how we respond to them. 

January 30, 2022

This Is The Way | Bible Study

Often times, I find myself worried about choosing the right or wrong path at the fork in the road or find myself wondering which open door I should walk through. I am the person who will wrestle with both sides of any argument, making pros and cons for each side of the choice, often times over-thinking what might happen, making up scenarios, and then ultimately hesitating making a decision either way. Recently, I've found myself sitting on a decision and have been searching for peace in which way I am trying to go. 

As I was laying in bed the other night, I found myself reading a chapter in my bible study by Lysa Terkeurst. This verse was the focus of the chapter and it was exactly what I needed to read. No matter which path we choose or which door we open, that is exactly the choice we should make. There are no right or wrong choices when God is the focus of each of your decisions. We must simply walk the path or enter the door with the knowledge and faith that God is with us to help us learn the lessons or appreciate the goodness that comes from the path we choose. 

This realization brought me so much peace. As a planner, I often think I must wait for His sign or the perfect situation to arise before I make a decision. This verse reminds me that He simply is asking us to trust that He is there, no matter where we go. 

There are great things ahead and I am looking forward to walking in it. 
April 1, 2020

Life Lessons from Adilynn

When I look at Adilynn, I can't help but imagine all that is in store for her. She seems to grow and learn so much each and every day that each morning she wakes up this totally new person who has precious new tricks to practice and show-off. I envy this about her, as I tend to wake up thinking of all the things that happened yesterday, last week, last month, where she wakes up and is just happy to be ready for another day (as long as mommy gets her milk and muffins for her immediately). I was looking at this photo of the two of us and started thinking about all that she has taught me over the past 20 months and just had to write it all out for the world (me) to read. 

Failure isn't permanent.

Let's face it, if we had to learn to walk like babies do, after a few times of falling down, we might just resort ourselves to the fact that we just weren't meant to walk. Babies don't understand the complexity that is walking and how much it will impact their life, yet they push through the falls, the aggravation, the frustration to keep trying until they get it. Oh how I wish I had that kind of tenacity. To know that even when failure presents itself that it's not the end all. In fact, it's just part of the stepping stone to being a master in whatever I am working on. 

If we just listen, we can learn so much. 

Adilynn copies things that I say, even when I wish she wouldn't. I will find her sitting near me, seeming as though she's not paying attention and then she will either jibber jabber in response to me or repeat words back that I had just said. When I'm talking to her, especially when I say "Adi, listen to mommy" she gives me her undivided attention, looks me in my eyes and just listens. Sometimes, most of the time, people just need us to listen. They don't need our own stories, our opinion, or even thoughts on what they should do. They just need to talk it out with someone who will listen. 

Love without Expectations

The fact of the matter is that Adi doesn't care if I knocked out my to do list at work, that I failed in my reaction to a tough situation, or that I didn't go for a run that day. She loves me regardless. She has no expectations for me to be this perfect human-being for her. She just cares that at the end of the day, I walk into that daycare, grab her into my arms and smother her in kisses. She cares that I read her her favorite book at least 5 times a night and that I sing her to sleep every. single. night because she loves me so much. She doesn't love the school counselor me, the wife me, or the friend me. She doesn't care about my failures that I tend to focus on. Instead, she just loves that I'm her momma and that I love her. 

Who cares. 

That should probably have a question mark after it but really....who cares. Why does it matter if you make mistakes? If your opinion isn't the popular opinion? If you aren't the best version of yourself every day? To be honest, babies could care less about any of those things. And ultimately, we (me) as adults need to remember this. All too often, I find myself thinking that people actually care about what I am doing. It's human nature to think that our little lives are bigger than they really are. But in the grand scheme of things, the choices that I make every day should benefit myself and the way that I hope that the man upstairs sees me. 

I could go on and on, but I'll end there for now. I needed to slow down and remind myself of all that is around me to learn and grow from in the heart of that sweet baby girl who fell asleep to my awful singing and loves me anyways. 
April 30, 2019

Slow to Speak

I was listening to a local radio station the other day and the hosts began to talk about the verse "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" James 1: 19. Although my first thoughts about this verse are to ensure that we are conversing with people in a respectful way and taking time to choose our words correctly, it also made me think about how I approach my part of a conversation with people. 

I've always prided myself on being a good listener. I mean, as a counselor (even if I am just a school counselor) that's pretty much my job. Listen to the worries, the fears, the excitement, the stories... I feel as though I listen all day long. Yet as time has passed, I have learned that I'm not good at really listening. I find myself preparing for what I'm going to say, how I can relate to what the person is telling me, or my mind has wandered to other things that I need to do or accomplish.  

As I was self-reflecting on my listening skills, I thought about the saying "We have 2 and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak". People don't always need to know that you have trudged through the same waters, or what your opinions are about the topic they are discussing. Sometimes, they just need to speak those words out loud, get them off of their heart, or share them with someone who will stop what they are doing, give them their attention, and listen. 

This hit home with me as a partner, friend, family member, mother, and counselor to young students. If I am spending all the time doing the talking, then I am missing out on what is being said or needing to be said from the other half of the conversation. I think as humans, we want to be able to make a connection with people, and we do that by sharing our own personal experiences but the more I've thought about, the more I see that sometimes the connection is made just by being the listening ear. 

In traveling along new paths lately, I feel like I have come to learn a lot about myself. There are moments when I am proud of new skills that I have learned, ways that I have grown, or things that I have learned about myself that I didn't know already. But with that, comes things that I wish I did better, was better at, or could accomplish in a better way.  Being a better listener, being slow to speak, is definitely an area that is a work in progress for me. 

Do you find yourself speaking more than you listen? 

March 15, 2019

Carousel Ride | Life Thoughts

Adi and I went to the carnival during the local fair last weekend. I love that she is getting to an age where she enjoys things more and more although #momfail. I let her wear these cute new moccasins I had purchased for her before she was even born and all she wanted to do was walk around through the dirt in them. But that's besides the point.

What ride is the one ride that kids of any ages, young and old, can ride? You guessed it. The carousel. Adilynn has an adventurous little spirit. She loves to try new things and can be very independent when she sets her mind to it. I had no doubt in my mind that she would love riding around and around on one of the horses as it went up and down. I could just picture her little tooth-filled grin as she smiled her way through the whole ride.
At least that's what I lead myself to believe it was going to be like. We stepped up onto the carousel, followed our friends until they found the animal they wanted to ride and then I put her on the pretty horse nearby. I just knew, as the ride started, that she was going to squeal with delight. Wrong. As it started to move, she hated it. I mean full on panic set in on her face and I could see her shaking trying to figure out what was happening. She wanted absolutely no part of any of it. So I spent the whole ride standing between moving animals, holding my sweet girl who glared at the animals as they went up and down beside us.
So what gives? She had her momma right there beside her, she loves to be adventurous, and she smiles her biggest smiles when she's riding different toys of hers. Everything was set for success yet she hated every minute of it.

As I was sitting in bed last night, I started thinking about how her reaction to the ride is like our reaction to new situations. We can prepare for them, be excited about them, feel in our hearts that it's the best situation ever, yet some how it doesn't always meet our expectations. Or, in some cases, we absolutely hate it. I had so many preconceived notions in my head about how our ride would go that I didn't think twice about her possibly hating it. I know that is a fault of mine. I see clearly one side of something and don't always take the time to get a feel for the other side.

As our carousel ride ended, I could see the relief on Adi's face as we walked away from it. I know that feeling of relief. It's like surviving your first day as a brand new teacher, that awkward moment when you walk into a room and don't know anyone but you finally spot your best friend, or when you go for something not really sure if it's the right next step and all the pieces fall into place. Relief. Thankful you tried, thankful it's over, and more hopeful than ever that the next time you try, it won't be quite as bad. Here's to our next carousel ride sweet girl.