Fight Fear

Hi, folks! I am FINALLY feeling human again after battling some sort of mutant ninja cold from hades. Bleh! It swept through my entire household with a vengeance. Thankfully, it wasn’t the flu (yes, we were tested), or anything that required major medical intervention, but it certainly caused mondo interruptions to my schedule! I’m still hacking up my lungs, and dragging pathetically along. There isn’t time to be sick when there are so many things to get done. Speaking of time, and things to get done, holy guacamole, batman: the holidays are coming! How in the world did that happen?

When I was a kid, all of the adults that I knew would say that time speeds up as you age. I am starting to think that they had a point. This has been one of the fastest years ever! There were some dark moments, and trying situations, but they are mostly distant memories now. Time kept moving, life kept going, and here we are in the last months of the year. How did I grow, succeed, or fail this year? What are the lessons that I want to take into the new year?

I think that I will spend time reflecting, as I do every year, and perhaps I will share a few posts on “what I learned in 2013.” For now, I think that the biggest lesson that I can share is one that radically changed my life, and one that I continue to learn. Fear & faith are both fuel, but only one of them can get you where you want to go in peace. Who said or wrote that uber brilliant statement? Well, I did. Yep. & I know it to be true because I live it.

What do I mean? You can desire something, but fear how to get there. It may require change. You can fear the change, and fret over it for months or years. The change, or desired success, may still happen, but you’ll be a wreck by the time it does. What’s the point of lost sleep, and fretful thoughts? Do we ever have uncertainty or need a helping hand? Yes, definitely. Does it make sense to hold ourselves back while we contemplate all of the what-if’s? No way! I think that we all need to learn how to get out of our own way, and start pursuing what we want. I believe in hope and hard work, not hype, so I am not suggesting something that is impossible. If we want success, we have to work for it. While we are working for it, why not enjoy it?

Life has many twisting, turning paths, and they feed into other paths, with even more twists, turns, obstacles, and surprises attached to them. We cannot predict our futures, but we can plan and work for better. I think that so many moms related to my thoughts on breaking out of our comfort zones because we all know what it is like to get trapped under the weights of others’ expectations, and our own fears. When we push back against fear, we allow ourselves the freedom to learn and grow into better situations. Life isn’t easy, and is rarely ever fair, but it shouldn’t be ruled by fear. We will make mistakes, get bruised, disappointed, and the like, but all of those items are pieces of the journey. I promise you that when we keep our faith, and kick out fear, that things will work out.

I look forward to sharing stories from my life with you, and I hope that you will find your faith to fight against your fears.

Until next time,
xoxoxo

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BREAK OUT: The Truth About Do-Overs

I am not certain if any of my fellow blogger friends experience this, but I frequently create posts that I simply cannot release until they are “ready.” I have a ton of them. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I would post something in their places, but there times when I just lack the capacity to hit PUBLISH. This post took several tries until I felt that it was done

A friend recently shared her frustrations over giving so much time to a day job, and having very little time left over for her family. I remember feeling this way – – as though I had somehow sold myself to the lowest bidder. I began to share my story with her, and she burst into tears. She said that no one had ever taken the time to really tell the truth like this. Facade worked when we were in our 20’s, but real life rolls around when you become a woman of a certain age. Stuff gets real, and you have to be able to tell yourself and others the truth. The truth helps all of us find freedom. Here is my truth.

I started off with so many goals and beliefs, but ended up selecting my initial graduate school focus based upon what others expected of me. Then, just as it does for everyone, life happened. Things were thrown in my path, and my educational and career pursuits changed. Eventually, I found myself in a new town, with new people, and new industries to consider. It could have been a do-over IF I bothered to step outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t. I accepted what seemed to be a safe option. It wasn’t, and I spent several more years pouring out my life, and wasting my energy and creativity, in an environment that did not appreciate, or adequately compensate me.

Was my misery the company’s fault, or my own? Why didn’t I leave? The short, and easy answers are a)very much my own, and b) fear. I knew better. I knew that I could do and be better, but I feared stepping out. Why? I accepted an underachieving, lack of supervisory¬†support, stressing over stupidity environment as a better proposition than the uncertainty of possible success. That sounds so stupid, doesn’t it? How many of us are guilty of similar choices? Do you remain in horrific relationships just because you fear never finding anyone else? Have you dumbed down your resume or accomplishments, and settled for a safe position? Bigger and better are normally far outside of our comfort zones. What does that mean? If we want better, we have to move!

It has been almost 1 full year since I worked full-time in the corporate cubicle jungle, and I do not miss it at all. I’d love to tell you that I immediately walked into a room, completed and sold my books, and earned millions from traveling the globe with worship & writing conferences. Nope, that didn’t happen…yet… ūüôā Something even greater happened: I became the wife and mom that I always wanted to be. I am no longer too exhausted, stressed, or distracted to engage fully with my family. I have the freedom to be present wherever and whenever I am needed, and that gives me more satisfaction than I could ever express.

I realize that not many families have the option to explore working from home, and I respect that different families have to make various choices. This isn’t a judgement post. Moms work. ALL¬†Moms work. I get that, and won’t join the stay home vs work outside debate. This is just a glimpse of my journey along the path to a do-over. I hope that you will not allow fear, or the words and expectations of others to shape your views or choices for yourself. You don’t have to fall prey to what society says that you have to be. You can be exactly who and what you decide to be. So, if you have taken a few wrong turns, or fallen off the wagon 1 or 1 million times, make today the start of your do-over.

I believe in you. You deserve to be happy, and to pursue the life of your dreams. Kick fear out, and let faith in. Break out of the walls of complacency, and go for it. If I can do it, I know that you can do it! I’m cheering for you!

Until next time,
xoxoxo

#Mamavation Monday: Mind over Matter

Monday

Well, Happy Monday, everyone!  I am so thankful to be able to reach out to all of you, and I hope that you had a lovely week!

Things have been over the top goofy in Just Jeanae Land. ¬†I was fighting bronchitis last week (cue Sweet Brown “aint nobody got time for that!”), and I truly was not in the mood for sickness. ¬†I simply didn’t have time. Thankfully, the wonders of prayer, rest, and meds have me back to my normal self.

The weight/fitness/non scale victory update:

The scale isn’t moving. I remember when that statement made me quite angry, ¬†but these days, I am smiling. ¬†I have maintained my weight-loss since the Mamavation Mom Campaign, and I continue to push myself in the gym. ¬†Notice – – I didn’t say that I enjoy the torture; I just realize that I have to do it if I want to stay on the road to fit, fine, & fierce (ha!).

singing

Getting your Mind Right

I am feeling stronger and better than I ever have, and that is because I learned a valuable secret.  I am only as strong, capable, smart, successful, etc as I allow myself to be.  Proverbs 23 tells that we are exactly the person we see in our hearts. A few people may not believe in the Bible, but I do, and I will quote it in my blog.  I saw myself healthier, stronger, fitter than ever before. I continued to see myself that way, in my heart and mind, until I could actually see the results of my hard work with my eyes.

If you tell yourself that you cannot, you can count on it that you won’t. ¬†If you tell yourself that you are unworthy, eventually no will ever believe that you are. Romans 4 gives a great clue: SPEAK. ¬†Continue to say what you believe until you see what you believe. Don’t allow anything to cause you to waiver.

A facebook friend recently made an analogy of roller coasters to people who cannot seem to remain steady in their moods. ¬†Unexpected dips and turns on a roller coaster can be entertaining; constant ups and downs with a person’s personality will never be seen as amusing. ¬†It takes consistency to reach our fitness, family, financial, and life goals. ¬†We cannot give 100% when the trainer is in the room, and slack off the rest of the time. ¬†We are wasting valuable time that could be spent living a fulfilled life.

It is an old adage, but it bears repeating: if you control your mind, you can control your life.

My journey to my fittest self was not without surprises, frustration, or even tragedy, but the assurance of my ultimate victory was found in what I allowed into my head. ¬†Failure was not an option. The word can’t was simply not allowed. In fact, to this day, if anyone mutters the word can’t in the presence of my crazy trainer Lisa, it is automatic grounds for burpee penance. (and I HATE burpees!) I neither listened to, nor surrounded myself with, people who complained, whined, or spoke negatively. I only accepted and spoke of what was possible.

Drama was designed for the stage. Twists and turns are best for story plots and amusement park rides. Master your mind, control your emotions, and you will master your fitness goals, and control your eating habits.  Is it easy? Nope. Is anything worth attaining ever handed out on a free silver platter? No. Can you do it? If I can, anyone can.

I hope that you will discover your strength, master your mind, and find your healthiest, fittest self.

Until next time,

xoxoxoxo

#Mamavation Monday – Revised for Real Life

My original post was taken down. It was only right to do so. I discussed scale victories and trivial restaurant annoyances… My heart is with the Mamavation finalists. I know how hard they’ve worked, and how eager they are to hear the final results. I also talked about plans for my week …¬†None of those mattered after hearing of the cowardly attack in Boston today.

I applaud the First Responders and volunteers. I celebrate  the runners, and cherish my friends who participated. I pray for everyone affected.

Tonight I weep, and hold my loved ones tighter.

Tomorrow I will wipe my tears, lace my shoes, and run.

 

Until next time,

XOXOXO

Borrowed Wings

My family and friends have experienced several tragic events, in close succession, over the past few months.  In most cases I have been able to bounce back, and not have a residue of grief. In other words, I experienced sadness, but quickly allowed my life to move on. Last week, this simply was not possible.  I received a phone call that shook me to my core, and instantly brought me to my knees.  A dear friend was rushing to a trauma hospital with a precious 1 year old baby girl.  The series of events that followed were all a blur, happened far too quickly, and resulted in burying a 1 year old. A ONE YEAR OLD!!!! I still cannot process it.

My life, schedule, demands, expectations, and obligations did not stop. My heart was broken, and my eyes overflowed, but life cruelly, or mercifully, pressed forward. There were moments when I was certain that I could not take another step, or manage to support my grieving friends. That was when I discovered the strength which came from the prayers and love of those around me.

I cannot find words to adequately thank them because the English language is far too limited. My faith never faltered, but my heart and strength were completely spent. I survived the darkest week of my life thanks to the love and prayers of 2 of the most courageous, loving, and hysterically funny women that I’ve ever met. I am so proud to call them my sisters, and honored to share my journey them. (Joanna & Rebecca, I love and appreciate you dearly!)

If you ever face hardship, and cannot find your own strength, I pray that you are blessed to know the love of friends. It can be difficult to open up your life to new relationships, especially if you have been burned too many times, or extended yourself to the wrong ones. But when you take the chance to allow your heart to welcome genuine friends, those who will love you through your weakness, correct you when you’re wrong, cheer you on when you succeed, and hold you up when you’re in need, then you will know what it is like to soar on the borrowed wings of earth’s angels. I pray that you find love and friendship, not just when life is trying, but for your everyday existence.  Everyone in the world should know what it is like to soar on angels’ wings, and to be upheld by the super heroic strength of friends. Life is simply sweeter with true friends.