I’ve been grappling with this season of my life lately. Not so much the facts and circumstances, but rather the mistakes I continue to make as I get my bearings in this new normal. I see doors opening before me that I never could have imagined, opportunities to grow and claim a better life for my family just within my grasp…I am immeasurably blessed despite the challenges of the past year. Or maybe better said…because of the challenges of the past year. I am excited, hopeful, relieved, grateful.
And yet I still find myself making so many mistakes, stumbling through the chaos and failing to let God heal me, again and again. As I see God’s path before me, and I know myself to be my own worst enemy, I went to church this week with a guilty heart, wondering how I could get back on track. What would it take for me to finally let “it” go? And as God is known to do, He had the answer prepped and ready for me in the voice of Dr. Gary Roberts, who spoke on how to fulfill your calling at Vineyard Community Church. The main theme of his message? How to fulfill your calling isn’t grounded in perfection or what YOU can do. How to fulfill your calling is grounded in not giving up, showing up every day, and allowing God to get us in “the zone” as only He can.
Here are a few key points that really stood out to me this week.
- “In fulfilling our calling, we will pay a price, but we gain infinitely more than we lose.” The pain of the past year has been overwhelming at times, but I see now that it was in my best interest. I might not be able to see what I will gain yet, but I know it will be so much better than what I lost.
- “Our calling is irrevocable, and we are invincible in achieving it as long as we are making an honest effort.” God has placed a calling on my life. That can’t be taken away from me, even when I am my own stumbling block. His purpose for me is IRREVOCABLE. That feels really good.
- “My brokenness is part of my ministry. Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.” Every mistake, every hurt, every tear. Every part of this journey I’m on is purposed so that I can serve others in true fulfillment of my calling. It’s not my perfection that serves others. It is my imperfection and God working through my mistakes to fulfill His purpose for me and for others.
- “Your calling is not about you.” Yup. Time to put my ego aside. How to fulfill my calling is intimately wrapped up in this truth. This isn’t about popularity, notoriety, professional success or winning some sort of race. This is about the will of God and helping others in His name.
- “God alone, the audience of one, determines our success.” I don’t have to worry about how other people perceive my efforts, what they think, what judgements they may make, what hurt they may cast. My only focus in fulfilling my calling is to seek His favor and follow His will. As Dr. Roberts said, God is the best boss you will ever have. He is patient, He loves you, He wants the best for you, He will never fire you, He seeks to use your mistakes for good. If I keep my eyes on Him, everything else will fall into place.
- “God loves you and is proud of you, even in the midst of your greatest defeat. Don’t quit. He sees the end, even where you do not.” He knew each and every mistake I would make, every stumbling block I would throw in my own way as I try to figure out how to fulfill my calling. And yet, my calling is still IRREVOCABLE. He purposed me, even knowing my weakness. Don’t quit.
When I think about pursuing my passion to bless women and challenge them to embrace their own beauty, claim their own lives, dream big and aim high, I see how the past year of my life has been a pivotal game-changer when it comes to fulfilling my calling. I’m no longer the gal who “can do it all” without breaking a sweat. I’ve become human. My brokenness has opened a door to trust, faith, loyalty and love. I see how God is using my past to set me apart for my future. I know I am in His will, discovering my purpose and fulfilling my calling, even on my worst days. Those bad days are what make me real. Those bad days are what make you believe that you can do this. That you are beautiful. That you are worthy. We’re battling the same demons together, walking side by side through this season of life. Don’t quit. Don’t quit. Don’t quit. Your calling is IRREVOCABLE. Don’t quit.
How to Avoid the Epic Meltdown: Understanding Your Child’s Cues
Duh, duh, duh….the dreaded meltdown. With one kid, this can bring the strongest mommy to her knees. With multiples, well…the word “epic” takes on a completely new meaning. In the worst possible way.
Moral of the story? A little organization and forethought can go a long way. Considering WHY my kids were throwing tantrums and then exploring what I could do to prevent them before they started has saved me a million tears. Like I said, it’s not a perfect system. But every little bit helps.
How to Speak the Right Language: Understanding Your Child’s Cues
Every day I pick up my children from day care to hear “They are such great kids! They had a blast today and are some of the best listeners we’ve ever had. They’re so well-behaved!” Yay, Mama win! And then we go home and they act like total demon-infested, hell-raising psychos and won’t listen to a word I say. Weekends can be brutal and I sometimes find myself praising Jesus that I decided to keep working and not stay-at-home.
sweet kids from day care?
Best Thing I Ever Did: I went to pick the kids up one day and they were enjoying themselves, so I decided to just sit and watch for a bit and let them play. Funny thing happened. I started listening to how the day care teachers communicated with my children and how they responded. And the light bulb went off. I don’t know how to speak the language my kids understand.
I started listening harder. And then I came back the next day and did it again. Now, every time I drop off or pick up, I listen. How are they talking to my kids? What are they saying? How are the kids responding? And then I mimick it at home.
Major win!!! My kids are starting to see an extension of their daily routine back into the home and it’s making sense. I say certain words they’re used to hearing and like magic, they listen. Not every time (which I suspect also happens at day care), but the majority of time. Major improvement. We are starting to speak the same language.
Sometimes I forget (or refuse to admit) that I am not my children’s primary care provider. For those of us that work outside the home, most often our kids spend the majority of their time somewhere other than with us. Sometimes, being reminded of that hurts. A lot. But truth is, they develop routines, cues and references that we’re not familiar with. We need to learn the language they are used to hearing every day so that we can communicate our needs in a way they understand. I need to speak my children’s language.
Phrase Adjustments that Worked for Me:
- “Walk away please” instead of “No!” or “Don’t Touch!”
- “Are you using your listening ears?” instead of “Listen to me!”
- “I’m going to go to work for awhile, but Mommies always come back!” instead of “Say bye to Mommy. I have to go to work.”
11 Alternatives to Self Harm: Emily Speaks
If you’re just connecting with the Emily Speaks series, be sure to check out her first post, Cyber Bullying and Self-Harm, to catch up. Today, Emily will be sharing 11 alternatives to self harm to help those hurting to make healthier choices to cope with emotional struggles.
I know it can be hard not to self-harm if you’re being bullied, but you need to try to think of other ways to deal with the pain. Cutting leaves angry scars on your body. You should try to deal with your hurt in other ways. Here are 11 good examples that will hopefully help you out a little bit.
1. Try talking to somebody about what’s going on so that you can get it out of your system.
2. Go outside where nobody is around and just scream as loud as you can for as long as you want.
3. Take a rubber band and keep it on your wrist so whenever you feel like cutting you can just take that rubber band and snap it on your wrist (softly – not to where it harms you).
4. Get an old teddy bear or stuffed animal that you don’t want and take your anger out on that.
5. Go on a jog or go out and ride your bike or long board or whatever you have and just ride around to calm yourself down.
6. Go hang out with your friend(s) and get your mind off things that would make you want to cut or do anything else to harm yourself.
7. Sleep it out and take a long nap and see how you’re feeling when you wake up.
8. Go hang out with your family and just relax.
9. Listen to some music.
10. Read a book.
11. Get an art journal and draw out your feelings. You can paint, draw pictures, even just scribble hard.
These are some of the ways that I stop myself from cutting, because I do still think about it when things get rough. When that happens, I try to do these instead and it helps. It does! You need to do anything that would take your mind off of any bad thoughts you are having and make you want to hurt yourself. This might not be the best list of ideas, but if you take a chance and try them out, they might end up working for you. You’re not only helping yourself, but you’re helping everyone else around you by making a better choice to not self-harm.