You Are More

Friday, February 5, 2016

When You Don't Understand God's Plans

Have you ever gone through a season in life where you questioned if God really had your best interest in mind? Seasons that are hard and leave us constantly feeling like we have to catch our breath can cause us to question what God is thinking. It's a natural response, you don't have to feel bad about it. No one likes to face hard things. In the midst of hard days, it can be really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But think about hard seasons, the ones that seem to drag on. How much harder are those?

I've gone through seasons in my life where through tear stained faces I've wondered why God would ask me to walk through this. I've cried my share of tears and felt my share of hopelessness. I've suffered heartbreak that I wished God would have spared me from. I have suffered hurt that I wish God would have made disappear. I've questioned God and His plans more than I care to admit. I've even found myself saying I didn't care what the purpose was, I just wanted it to end!

"Jesus Replied, you don't understand what I am doing, but someday you will." (John 13:7)

For every season I sat through and questioned God, I've looked back and realized He had a plan all along. I have looked back and realized that I am a better person because of those tear filled seasons. I couldn't see it then, all I could see was my brokenness and hurt, but when I look back now I realize how much of those experience contributes to who I am today.

Not only have the hard seasons shaped me into who I am today, they have developed my relationship with Christ. It's in those moments where my face is stained with tears that I have reached out to Him in my brokenness and felt His peace. It is in those seasons where my faith was stretched and my dependence on Him and His word was taken to a new level.

I didn't understand right then, but I understand now.

There will be more seasons that I don't understand, I am sure of it. But there is one thing I am certain of and that is Christ's love for me. God loves me and He has my best interest at heart, and it's when I don't understand what He is doing that I hold on to that.

I don't know if you're walking through heartache and feeling like God is so far away. Maybe your questioning why he would allow certain things to take place in your life and doubting his plan for you. Take encouragement in Jesus' words. Although you may not understand today, you may not understand tomorrow, one day you will. One day you will see what He was doing in your life. God's plans are always greater than our own, take comfort in that today friends.

Have you seen this to be true in your own life? How have you seen God work despite the times you have questioned His purpose in your life?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tips For When Your Toddler Starts Fighting Bedtime

You've always had a little one who loved bedtime and went to bed without a fight. All those hours of sleep training paid off and you could rest easy when it was time to call it a night. Then one day everything changed and that sweet little dreamer turned into the bedtime monster. What in the world happened?

Well, let's take a minute to think about it. Your toddler is all about PLAY! When do they slow down? A toddler's day is full of discovering, playing, imagining, and much more. Bedtime puts all of that to a stop. Bedtime means the end of play.

So here are some tips to help you let your toddler down easy and make bedtime a breeze again.

1. Give a Warning.  When bed time is getting close, give your toddler a warning. Whenever it's getting close to bedtime I give him a couple warnings. About an hour before bedtime I give him a snack and let him know it's going to be time for bed soon. Then about ten minutes before we start our bedtime routine I let him know that it's almost time to stop playing for the night. Make sure they hear you so they can start preparing for the end of the day.

2. Bedtime Routine. A lot of times we slack on this as they get older, but it's still so important. It helps them ease into bedtime and relax from the day. It doesn't have to be elaborate. We always read a Bible Story together as a family, usually from the Kids Bible App. Then we pray together. Next Jase brushes his teeth and gets his jammies on. Hugs and kisses and it's time to call it a night. It's super simple but it helps him wind down and signal bedtime. It's one last special thing that he can do before going to bed.

3. Make sure they get plenty of play time. A sure way to make your toddler go to bed easier is to wear them out! Make sure they spend a lot of time playing and burning off energy before bed instead of watching shows on TV. The more active they are, the more tired they'll be when bed time comes. It's a great time to spend some time as a family and make memories.

Do you have any tips to add? What do you do when your little one fights bedtime?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

5 Ways to Show Your Husband Love

With a toddler running beneath my feet and an infant begging for my attention at all times of the day, it can be really easy to let my husband slip into the background. While it is true that young children can monopolize a lot of your time, and it is only for a season, it is also important to be intentional about your marriage. We understand that we won't have as much time as we did before kids, but we also understand that we will probably have more time as the kids grow. It's just a short season, but we want to do what we can to remind each other how much we love each other.

Here are five simple things you can do each day to show your husband love.

Greet him with a kiss when he gets home, and then give him time to settle. 

It can be so easy to want to throw the baby at your husband the minute he walks in the door, and I will admit there are times I have done this. Usually if he walks in when I am at my breaking point. But for the most part, I do my best to greet him with a kiss, ask him how he is doing, and give him time to take off his shoes, put away his keys, and get comfortable. Even just five to ten minutes to breathe is so helpful.

Let him do something he loves. 

Does your husband love to watch sports or maybe go to the gym? What can you do this week to give him some time to do something he loves? Chad loves to watch NASCAR, and while it's not my favorite, giving him a chance to watch a race while I work on the blog or watch a movie on my iPad speaks volumes. Gives him time to unwind doing something he loves.

Give him undivided attention. 

It's amazing what ten minutes on the couch talking without your phone, without the TV, and the kids occupied can do for a marriage. Just ten minutes a day where you focus on each other and download from the day can bring you closer.

Make his favorite meal and bring him his favorite drink.

If you don't do the cooking, at least plan one of his favorite meals one night. Men love food. Isn't it true that it's the way to a man's heart? So I have heard anyways.

Plan a date. 

Sometimes planning a date can be very stressful on your husband, or maybe they've ran out of ideas. Sometime being the one to plan a night out, or even a night in, can show my husband some love. Takes the pressure of him and makes sure he can enjoy a night I planned! Plus, it's fun to switch things up!

What about you? Do you have some tips on how to show your spouse love in the midst of a busy schedule?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Postpartum Anxiety: When You Feel Like You've Lost Yourself

Just stop being anxious. You need to trust God a little more. You need to have a little more faith. Just don't think about it. Just pray about it more

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard one of the statements above. I know people want to help, and they want to say the right thing, but those are the most unhelpful things you can say to someone walking through Postpartum Anxiety. Anxiety can be controlled by your thoughts up to a point, but then there is something past that point where anxiety is just really hard to control.

Sometimes there are triggers and sometimes it just comes out of no where. But you can be certain of one thing, going through Postpartum Anxiety can quickly make you feel like you've lost yourself.

Being around people invigorates me. My best alone time has always been spent going to the mall where I am surrounded by people. I love parties. I love crowds. I love being surrounded by friends and strangers. I look forward to time with people because it refreshes who I am. But anxiety has made that part of me disappear. I now find myself having panic attacks before going to a party. I find myself feeling anxious when I am around too many people. I couldn't even leave my house without having to breathe through anxious feelings.

The person I had become was a stranger to me. I felt like I lost myself in the midst of this awful struggle.

But there is one thing I hold onto in the midst of this confusing place; it won't be this way forever. Though there are nights that I cry into my husband's arms and wish I knew who this person was. Though there are nights that I spend battling racing thoughts and doing all I can to distract my mind. Though there are nights where I feel like a stranger in my own body. It won't last forever. I will overcome this and I will become stronger. It may take a few may take a year, but I will get through this.

So will you. If you're here because you feel like you don't know who you are anymore. If you feel like the person you are now is a stranger to the person you know yourself to be. You are not alone. I understand where you're at. I understand how you feel. But just remember you are stronger than you think. You have the strength you need to get through this, and you will.

We will. One day at a time.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Elyse {10 Months}

Ten months, how in the world can I be typing those words? What an incredible ten months it has been. It never gets old watching a baby grow right before your eyes. Seeing them learn to crawl, learn to talk, learn to play, it's just such an incredible journey to be a part of.

We have STILL been battling sickness this month, so that hasn't been fun. But aside from that little girl is on the move. She is mostly crawling on her hands and knees now. Occasionally she will determine that she can get somewhere much faster if she army crawls and takes off. She is very brave. She takes off down the hallway all on her own and if you aren't quick she'll find herself something to get into. She is pulling to standing and thinks it's the funniest thing ever. She's not tried to cruise along anything yet though.

Her smile is contagious. This little girl probably has the most adorable grin I have ever seen and her eyes sparkle every time she smiles. It's a real heart throb. She LOVES to dance. Turn on some music and she starts dancing away. Hopefully that means there will be some dance classes in her future.

I do think I might have a picky eater on my hands, so that is going to be fun. What I have gotten her to eat has been little, and she also seems to be a mood eater. One day she likes something, the next she doesn't. I am really hoping the more I keep trying the more she will grow out of it. I hope...

I cannot believe I am already making first birthday plans for little miss, the last ten months have flown by!

Little Miss,

You bring so much joy in our life and watching you grow has been so much fun. It always amazes me seeing you discover the world before you. You are way more brave than I anticipated with how attached to mama you are, I have to watch you close! You adore your big brother and are really holding your own with him. We have enjoyed lots of snuggles this month since you haven't been feeling well and, although exhausting, I have soaked up every second. It won't be long before you're running around and I can't get you to sit still. I am SO excited to plan your first birthday in a couple months, but also wish time would slow down. If only I could have it both ways. Just slow down a little, okay?

Until next month,