The Gift of Peace

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I know the struggle of this time of year. I know how hard it is to fight that struggle. And there are many different reasons for struggle. The weather changes. It’s colder. More darkness than sunlight. Sometimes that’s true not just in the literal sense, but in the emotional sense. There is more food. More tasty things to eat and indulge in. There is also more stress. “What will I buy for that person?” or “what material possession in the world is going to make them happy?”. So much shopping. So much time and money spent looking for things that will make our loved ones’ faces light up when they see it.Then we are so determined to get that gift for someone that we’ll go to great lengths to get a good deal on it. Fight over it. Demand it. All because our wallets are already broken.
What have we turned this time of the year into? The things that should matter the most are the reasons for the season. If you are a believer in the Bible, it solely exists to celebrate the birth of our Savior. And as a result, it brings us all together. Unites us. Or it should anyways. It is suppsosed to be extra time to spend with those we love. There is nothing wrong with sharing gifts or eating good food. But it is where our hearts and our actions were in line with how we got that gift. Or why we ate that food.
Did you buy that gift because you didn’t want that person to not feel special? Did you yell and scream to get that price because you can’t afford to pay for it?
Did you eat so much food because you’re stressed and it gives you comfort? Did you indulge in your meals because it was what seemed most appealing?
I’m not here to give a guilt trip. And I’m not here just to wake you alone up. We all need our eyes opened. We need to be reminded of who we are. And why we do what we do. Observe the true heart behind our actions.
This goes for depression. This goes for anxiety. This goes for self esteem. Weight issues. An empty wallet.
Don’t wait for the Holidays to be over to make changes in what you know will help you become YOU. Become a happier you. Someone with a sense of peace somewhere inside of you. You and you alone have the power over your mind and where it goes.
Let everything you do be done with a sense of peace. Don’t worry about what others think. Go with your heart, not your brain. God speaks through our hearts because that is where He lives should we accept Him.
Do you want to lose weight or get healthier because you know that you will feel better? And that the road there will make you stronger. Don’t wait. Change your habits now. NOW. Not after the Holidays. Not with the new year. The time is NOW. Let those you spend time with during this time of year sense the gift of peace that you receive.
Do you want to work through depression? Anxiety? Your entire mental health. Make changes NOW. Whether you are affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or just have dealt with this your whole life, it is NOT something you HAVE to accept and live with. It is something that you can accept as a battle you WILL win and learn to conquer every single time it attacks. Don’t wait for spring to come. Don’t wait for death, and along those lines, please do not make death come before its time. Make changes now so you also can provide a gift of peace.
Whatever situation you are in in which you know you need to change, most of all, know that you are NOT alone. You are NEVER alone. Reach out for support. Find someone you know will help you. Find someone you can go down this road with.
God knows that I am one who struggles. Who IS for sure struggling. If you’re willing, let me help you. Let’s walk beside each other. Let’s win the gift of peace that God’s grace allows us.
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Something to Hold You Off

Hey to all my followers! I just wanted you to know that I have not abandoned my blog :). I have had a lot on my mind to blog about and have just been typing up different posts and adding as things come to mind and the inspiration comes. My kids don’t let me sit down very often to just keep typing and typing hahaha.

So, to keep you occupied, I will do some short posts, too.

Exciting things are happening in life. A good portion of the team I’m under with Herbalife have started an #absforchristmas challenge. It is done through a private group on Facebook, and anyone in the country (even some outside the country) can join in. There is a registration fee, and with that fee participants get a sample of Herbalife as well as daily workouts, weekly meal plans, and nutrition coaching all posted on the group. The most amazing part is all of the participation in it! Everyone involved can post in the group. Anything from a a selfie or picture of their meal to just a motivational quote. There has already been so much support and motivation through everyone in the group. It’s awesome. Even helping me to strive for my goals, which is to get stronger and build muscle now. Gettin’ them gains!!

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Registration ends the end of the day Saturday, 11/21/15, so get with me if you’re interested!

Dealing with SAD has been difficult. Very difficult. But keeping my mind in a positive state and remembering to breathe has usually been the first steps to success in fighting this. I WILL get through this, with God by my side the whole way. He has my back. And this challenge we’re doing is helping me look forward.

So encouraging words for the day? Do NOT give up. When you fall, just get right back up and even keep going.

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Have a fantastic day!

 

 

I am who I am. That’s all I can be.

Let’s start fresh. I haven’t been very regular on here for a while, and things have changed a lot these past few months and then some. You can get to know me more as I get to know myself better day by day.

So let’s start with who I am and what I can tell you about myself.

I am a wife.

 I have been married to my husband for 8+ years, known him for 10 years. I was 20 when we got married. We’ve had plenty of days of stupidity, but we have also had plenty of days of harmony. We go through OH SO MANY ups and downs, but he remains my best friend. My life partner. Some days I want to punch him in the face. Other days I just don’t want to leave his side. All in all, my love remains strong for him.

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I am a mom.

Many would say I’ve only been a mom for 3 1/2 years, but that isn’t accurate. I’ve been a mom since the day I conceived my first baby spring of 2009. I had four babies born into heaven from 2009-2011. Finally, in May of 2012, I had a baby girl born into my arms. Almost exactly 2 years later, I had a baby boy born into my arms. Then, earlier in 2015, I had one more baby born into heaven. So when you think about it, all together I have 7 children (crazy thought haha), but I’ve only had the pleasure of actually raising 2. God decided to raise the other 5 for me <3, along with the help of my 2 grandmas I like to think. But there has been no greater experience than raising my girl and boy. They are my treasure, and I hope they grow up knowing that. They are two incredibly wonderful, unique, and goofy individuals.

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I am a MILITARY wife/mom. 

Bam. That makes me special, right? lol No. I’m no greater or more qualified in life than any other woman. We all have individual struggles that others may not understand. But let me tell you what some of those are when you are affiliated with the military, at least in my personal experience.

Finances are still a struggle for us, too. We are not rolling in dough. Far from it. Especially when you deal with a system that makes it hard to promote.

Babysitters? Pretty much non existent unless you are rolling in dough or live close to family by some miracle. I find myself most of the time exchange babysitting or paying a friend for the occasional date night or appointment.

Speaking of date nights- marriage. It’s probably made 10 times harder than it was before, and at the same time, about 10 times stronger. The deployments, the long hours, the weekend and 24 hour shifts…it’s hard to not have hubby/daddy/wifey/mommy around no matter how long of a time he/she’s gone. It can put a strain on things from stress and being overworked. At the same time, the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is so very true. Sadly, we don’t always know what we have until it’s gone. You learn to appreciate even just their presence.

Traveling, moving, seeing the world, blah blah blah- This can be a curse and a blessing. I HATE packing to move. I HATE having to meet new people and build new support and community. I HATE it. But at the same time, I love seeing the places we’ve seen. Experiencing the environments we’ve been in. And as far as meeting new people, I hate that I have to, but you really REALLY have to if you want to survive in the military world. I have met so many incredible people throughout our military life that I will NEVER forget. Sometimes we might lose touch because of moving, getting out, or just plain being busy, etc., but every single person has remained in my heart.

The kids? It’s hard to say with how young my kids are how they are affected. But when daddy has been gone, even at their age, there has been a difference in their behavior. I believe it’s because they sense everything we feel. So it is a struggle to keep a stable home when a parent is gone. When routines have to be rearranged.

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I am a Bible follower.

You can call me Christian, a believer, whatever. The point is, I follow Christ. I follow the Bible. It is the rock on which I stand. It is what defines all that I am describing to you about myself. It is the reason I live and the reason I AM alive. I would be literally nothing. Dust. Ashes. Nothing…without my faith. Jesus died for my sins that I might have a chance to spend life after death in heaven with him and our Father. He placed me here to share that with others so that they might know about the same chance.

No, I don’t go to church EVERY Sunday. I don’t stick to my devotions and prayer time like I should. Why? Because I’m human. I struggle. I sin. But I know that as long as I confess and hold tight to Him, He’ll keep welcoming me back into His arms when I fall. Over and over again.

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I am a musician. 

How many of you knew that one of my greatest passions is music? Most of all, singing and writing songs. I’ve been focusing on my singing since I was 11 years old. I even started as a voice major in college. Originally I wanted to be a famous pop star lol (what little girl doesn’t?). My dreams have changed over the years as God has made my calling more clear, but I do know that somehow the stage is still part of that calling. Whether it’s simply helping with praise and worship at a church or performing and entire concert of my own, my heart and my passion comes out when I am on stage. God speaks through me there.

I am a complete weirdo. 

And I’m proud of it. I have a wide ranged sense of humor. I have sarcasm, I’m beyond a goof, and I love making incredibly stupid faces. I’m really good at it. My laugh is obnoxious. Back in my school days and at past jobs, I was known for my laugh lol. My humor is part of what defines me as an individual. Some might see it as immature. Some might see it as complete psychotic behavior. But those who know me love me for it.

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I am a sufferer of chronic anxiety and depression.

Whoa, speaking of complete weirdo, right? Wrong. Oooooo, ouch. It is NOT uncommon. At all. Sadly, it’s more common than any of us realize. Mental health is no joke. Yet it is so misunderstood and looked down on, even by those who go through it. I have dealt with it my ENTIRE LIFE. It runs in my family. We’re a bunch of crazies (and you know you love us) ;). Seriously, though. It is nothing to mess around with or to ignore. It is not something that you just fluff off and not ask for help.

The anxiety? That’s the worst part for me. EVERYTHING POSSIBLE is an easy worry for me. What people think about me. What deadly illness I might have. The worst possible thing that could kill me 5 minutes from now. The worst possible thing that could happen to someone I love 2 seconds from now. What I’m going to wear to that event on Saturday (really is something I’m thinking about right now lol). Who I have to interact with in the next 24 hours. BLAH BLAH BLAH. You name it, I’ve probably freaked out and stressed about it. And if it gets bad enough, I get a random anxiety or panic attack where my heart races and it’s difficult to breathe. Fortunately I’ve dealt with attacks enough that I for the most part know the techniques to get them under control. But the thoughts are still there. My mind races with every possible thought every second of every day.

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The depression is a result of my anxiety. Hard to explain why. It’s a long story. But it’s real. The depression is something else. It can come out of nowhere even if I was feeling super happy earlier that day. Just suddenly BAM. The world is ending and should be ending. All you want to do is curl up in a ball in a dark corner where no one can see you and just cry away that pit in your stomach. What do you do instead, especially if you’re me? You feed your kids the milk and cereal they’re whining for. You wipe poopy butts. You go grocery shopping. You go to work. You clean the house. You put a happy face on because sulking around showing the world how you REALLY feel is just going to have an effect on the whole world. Sometimes, like I have in the past, we never let ourselves go. We bottle it up. Act like it’s all ok. Until we break down in front of everyone because it’s out of control. With true depression, sometimes that break down comes from nowhere. You’ll be going about your life chatting with the people you come across throughout the day when suddenly, you get in your car and lose it. Sometimes a social life can be exhausting for us.

On that note, I am an introverted extrovert.

 I am not a snob. But I’m also not really shy. I’ve realized that some might see me as hard to approach. Hard to read. I don’t really pay attention to what my facial expression might actually say haha (need to work on that). My whole life I have tended to be reserved and shy. This is in relation to low self esteem, which is in relation to my anxiety. Afraid I’m just going to look like I’m an idiot. At the same time, though, I’m not afraid to talk to complete strangers. I will randomly strike up a conversation with somebody I’m standing in line with at the grocery store. Sometimes they act kind of reserved themselves, so then I just back off lol. But let me tell you, don’t be afraid to approach me and talk to me unless you’re not ready to talk deep. You start talking to me, and I will chat away typically. Let’s talk about life and something inspirational and deep. I could talk forever with people. It’s small talk that I’m a little awkward with lol. And on the topic of social life being exhausting, I also have many times when I would rather not be around people. Just me and peace and quiet. Maybe a book, a movie, a computer to type on, etc.

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I am a health and fitness enthusiast. 

Say what? No way. I’m sure no one knew that (sarcasm, if you didn’t catch). This has been a more recently discovered PASSION. Interest? I’ve been highly interested in it for over 5 years. My passion for it came clear more recently. When my life was changed by it. I thought I was healthy before with the way I ate and how I kept a workout routine. I’d lost weight before. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. I was trying, I give myself that. But I was also lying.

When I had my miscarriage earlier this year, something snapped in me. I had been at a stand still weight after having my son for MONTHS. Then I got pregnant again. I was determined to take better care of myself than I had with other pregnancies. Then I lost the baby. I knew what I needed to do. I still needed to take better care of myself. I had made a mental decision to be myself again. I ended up getting better. I got a new me, the me that I was meant to be.

It started with getting reconnected with an old friend who had found out she miscarried the same day I found out I did. She eventually, with her husband, got me going on Herbalife. The shakes tasted so much better than any protein shake I’d ever had. But it was more than that. With their help, I developed a healthy lifestyle. They gave me guidance in what to eat and when to eat along with my Herbalife products. Almost right away, I started noticing a difference just in the way I felt. I had more energy. I felt happy. Feeling the way I did is what kept me going. I eventually got down a little past my goal weight, which was my pre-pregnancy weight. I felt better than I ever did in my life, even more than when I’d lost weight before. Because I was doing it in a healthy way.

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As a result, after trying out direct sales company after direct sales company, I found my fit (no pun intended). I’ve always wanted a way to help others who have felt the way I have. Nutrition and fitness had become my therapy and my God send. I wanted to encourage others into the same kind of life. To push others to extremes they never thought they could go. Because it IS possible when you put your mind to it. So yeah. That is why I now sell Herbalife.

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There’s more to it, though. This path with Herbalife has led me to realize I want a deep understanding of the way this works. So I’m now seriously pursuing becoming a certified personal trainer with a focus on fitness. Just trying to find the right “fit” as far as where I’m getting my education.

This has become another large part of my calling. As I’ve been helping others on this path, it has been so rewarding to me. It touches me just to hear that I have inspired others and that they can see how happy I am. Don’t care about how “good” I might look. I care that I shine a light.

All of this about who I am comes down to the reason I wrote this post. I still struggle. *GASP* Yep. It’s true. I’m not perfect, remember? This time of year is especially hard as we end daylight savings time. I get Seasonal Affective Disorder, also know as SAD. That it’s known as SAD is ironic because it basically is just that either you get depression if you didn’t have it already, or the depression you already deal with just gets multiplied by 10,000. I’ve usually been the latter. And this year, it’s threatening to hit me HARD. But I’m not letting it. I am a new person now. I’ve fought too FREAKING hard to get to where I am now.

So I’m here now to come back to sharing my struggles. My “puddle” of “pickles.” Which also end up leading to my victories. My triumphs.

So come. Join me in my journey :).