When You Lose Yourself


It’s easy to Lose things….Keys….wallet…….sanity. But you might be thinking Mary I always know where I am! As a kid it was a favorite thing for my family to pile into the car on a sunny Sunday afternoon in hopes to get “lost” in our own community. We lived in rural Pennsylvania where once upon a time cows outnumbered people and backroads were a plenty. We even had “special roads” that were only open during the spring, summer and fall. sometimes only summer depending on the weather.

We would always find some new and exciting road that led us to somewhere we already knew BUT it might be a little terrifying in the process. We knew of some hidden roads too. Roads that you only saw when you were on top of them.

It was fun to go on these adventures. There was an adventure to this sad old church. It hadn’t seen a congregation in decades. The cemetary itself was of the thin headstones from long ago. the plots of ground were sunken in where the wooden boxes had deteriorated and turned into mulch. It seemed as though my ad had no idea where he was going at first ut we quickly realized this was a purposeful trip. My dad wanted us to see something specific.

But Let’s Be Honest with Ourselves

As much fun as it is to get “LOST” like that as a kid- getting Lost is a horrible feeling. It’s one thing that both my brothers and I learned about in scouts. it’s a three fold process- 1). How not to get lost and 2). How to stay alive if you get lost. and 3). how to get unlost (yep I just coined that word).

Getting Lost without being LOST

Sometimes we can get lost without physically being lost. This means losing sight of our purpose which is 2 parts, 1) Loving God with all of our Heart Soul, mind and Strength andStrength and 2) Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself (Luke 10:27) I see Christians do this all the time. They compromise their beliefs for a moment of…..you can fill in the blanks. Before long they loose themselves and they start buying a lie that this is now who they are or that they can’t ever get back or that God couldn’t possibly love or forgive them. They also believe that they have to get back on their own (also a lie).

But It’s not just limited to our own personal Choices

The root of this problem are the lies we choose to believe. This is also the case when we may not have made the choices but the choices were made for us. Abuse, illness, an accident, some form of trauma, losing someone close to you, financial problems, mental illness and the list can go on and on and on. We might Geel like this is just how it’s going to be. We lose sight in Who God really is. We can take on the Victim mentality or feel like we are unlovable, unworthy, a failure…You get the picture.

Losing myself

Part of the enemies plan is to distract people from what they are called to do. When we take our eyes off of that we start believing lies. Lies that destroy so much. The enemy wants to keep us from our purpose.

Ever since I was a little girl I could be found writing all sorts of things. Long before Kindergarten I knew my letters. I have a very young memory of my mom in the bathroom getting ready for the day and I was sitting outside the closed door saying “mommy how do you spell……Mom………and my mom would patiently spell out the word. I would write it down. and then I would move on to the next word. I also remember as a middle school student learning that my cousin had this paper to write and I wanted so desperately to have a paper to write too. In high school I found a whole new love that I knew nothing about. Creative writing. I would get lost in my English papers. My favorite was in 9th grade. I had to write to a historical figure and tell them about some modern technology without using words that they couldn’t understand. The possibilities were endless andI was giddy with all the ideas rolling through my head. Clearly I had a bent for writing it was my happy place (it still is). It’s just part of who God created me to be.

The journey Continues

In College is when I hit a wall and gained understanding of who I was. Technical papers were the death of me. I was so frustrated. Now I know that some of those papers I could have changed a bit and gave them more of a creative twist (Kinda like that tabernacle drawing and our Old Testament timelines -I know Dr. S. “Charles Shultz had nothing to worry about”) Let’s just say the prof was less than impressed with our sheep angels complete with wings hovering over the altar- actually I’m pretty sure he enjoyed them.

It was during this time that I learned hat I need to write to clear my brain and that release wasn’t found in papers for class. Creative writing was a release for me The first two years f college I had lost myself actually I had been lost for a while but it became glaringly obvious. It was because I had bought into two lies.

The Two Major Lies

First was this lie that I needed to fit someone else mold SO I became a social butterfly. Yes I had friends in high school but it was different. It was the type of peer group I was in. What did they expect of me? I loved my peer group in College. They were great friends and I am still friends with many of them today. I became a master morpher- all things to all people. I slept a lot. I suffered from horrible headaches. It was just BAD. It was the first time I could explore the many possibilities of ministries too and I threw myself into everything. I tried to do it all and everything came crashing down. I was exhausted. I had no idea who I really was. I just knew that what I was being told is to be successful you had to be outgoing….do lots of things…..be good at lots of things…be around lots of people…..be this…be that……fake it until you make it. Now this wasn’t necessarily the school that said this. Tor my friends. But one group you said this is the ideal and another said that is is ideal and before long You don’t know what to think and you have the extremely unattainable checklist.

Secondly there’s that whole boyfriend thing- which is basically the something as above. And when those voices start in and you let them have control you get distracted from your purpose. And it’s easy to fall in love with idea of being in love.

The Influences I let have my ear were the problem

Between these two things I lost the sense of who I really was- I settled for what everyone else told me to do. Now I am not going to sit here and pretend that I knew who I was or what I was called to do going into college . I mean I thought I did , but I didn’t. I knew I was called into full time ministry and I knew I was supposed to go to the school I was at- and that my friends is all I knew about myself going into college. I had no real talents to speak of .

Understanding my true identity

I think one of the things lacking within the church at least where I was as a teen was fully understanding my identity in Christ and I saw the same thing in other people at college. Matter of fact it wasn’t something really taught at Bible College either. I think it’s the case of everyone thinking everyone else is teaching it. It can be talked about all day long but it needs to be taught. And what we end up with is the Devotions dilemma all over again. We use terminology without explaining what it means. So hundreds of kids hear about the concept of “doing devotions” but in the end have No idea what that looks like. And we can all sit at snow camp hearing about our “identity in Christ and how we should be rooted in that” but until we are actually taught what exactly that is – we go through life grasping at straws. And the two of those problems put together is recipe for disaster.

Finding myself

In college I firmly believed that my identity was in my serving NOT the act of serving but the actual specific ministry I served in. I didn’t know then -that this too was a lie because ministries come and go. I know that we are created to serve God and make him famous. But man when I had to leave that first ministry that I had grown to love so much I was devastated. Then I jumped into a bunch of different ministries that were NOT what I was called to do and I struggled. It’s like a rebound relationship really. (This is repeated later on in ministry on a much bigger scale.)


There have been times over the last 20 years that I haven’t struggled with knowing who I was. I was actively practicing the truths I had learned. It wasn’t easy but what I would later find out is this time was was a preparation for something that nearly killed us as a family. But because I had been applying those truths I was better equipped to trust God. I couldn’t trust anyone else. And as Much as hubby and I were on the same team it shook and tested our team. We too had to trust each other on a whole new level.

A Book that Changed Everything

A number of years later I read a quote that has stuck with me. It was by Renee Swope in her Book A Confident Heart. The quote at the beginning of the book basically says that when you go through something traumatic or a big change we need to take the time to pause and really strive to gain a new understanding of how this has Changed us and who we have now become. This was exactly what my damaged and hurting heart needed to hear. Because I had endured something horrific and horribly damaging and now had no idea how I fit into things: my ministry, my parenting,, society in general. So as I read her book something deep within my soul began to shift like never before and I gained this new thing called God-fidence.

I know that some of my friends think that I coined this term but I didn’t. It’s basically taking my eyes off myself and my own strength and knowing that God ihas got this and that he’s going to use this for his powerful purpose. Ad that meant that I had to be willing to use this horrible thing for his glory. When I did that God opened a whole new ministry- actually two. And I stepped through those doors and things began to happen.

Then the Enemy Stepped In. (AGAIN)

Whenever you take big steps in faith the enemy takes notice. And when he did, he used my biggest weakness…PEOPLE PLEASING. During this time I had stepped out in faith and done some things that were bigger than any ting I had ever done before The first one was something I have always loved to do- public speaking. Yep I am weird like that. God was preparing me to step out in His confidence NOT my own…I did and what ensued was me losing myself to the negativity. The second was being a part of a large conference (as in on the planning team) and the third was to work at a Crisis pregnancy center)

A Misplaced Trust

I had been pushed by people for a number of years to do speak and I was no way ready but through my study of confidence and then influence I knew it was time. I also had been convicted that I needed to speak truth when leading and I became unpopular very quickly. I struggled with this because I was told I needed to be more bold and then when I was it back fired. It’s amazing how quickly people can turn on you. And I let myself be silenced and I began the process all over again. I had to look deep within myself and ask the hard questions. I felt like a complete and utter failure. This was quite the process this go around and it came down to 3 things.

The three things that really changed my perspective

  • First I had to be in God’s Word- and not just for knowledge. had to be reading and searching for understanding- that which changes my heart- not just swells my brain.
  • Second I needed toast my friends to critique what I was writing and saying. Because I was blamed for being a certain way I had to allow people into my life who would keep me accountable for what I was saying. Even now as I write this I know there are two women and my husband who are going to read this and be honest with m. if Ive gone too far or if I’ve come across in an ungodly way. Considering all that had happened this was extremely hard because I had some misplaced trust before.
  • Third- after I had done the hard work of one and two I had a choice to make- Change the way I looked at y writing. I mean I kinda had this perspective before but It HAD to become more solidified if I was going to continue to write- I had to set aside the critics and not let them have power over me……and in that I have to ask myself two questions
    • Why am I writing this?
    • Does this fit into my purpose? (Hebrews 10:24)

And here we are Day 45

I once read that raising kids is a cycle. You keep teaching them the same lessons over and over again but in new and deepening lessons. Isn’t that the truth but the same is true in our lives. We just keep learning the same lessons over and over again in new and deepening lessons. It gets harder and so we need to keep practicing that God-fidence.

We all lose ourselves from time to time. We all go through stuff and it’s painful. In November We are going to dive into “Our Identity In Christ.” I have a mini-series of posts already in place. It is born out of years of learning this. I have definitely not arrived in any way on this Journey. I hit some major moments where this has been a mile marker in my life but each and everyday there is a need to practice practice practice. I am still working through many aspects of this journey. I know there are plenty of people who will tell you (and me ) they have arrived BUT that is a lie.
And as a friend so aptly put it this morning….we are truly never alone. God is always with us…He will never leave us or forsake us! It’s important for us to remind ourselves of the truths we know ….hmmm didn’t I JUST write a post about that!

A Spark of Joy

One of my favorite things is when talking with an elderly person and they share what new thing they have recently learned about God! It shows me that they are being authentic. They are willing to be honest that they haven’t arrived yet. And that is the greatest testimony of all!!

How about you? Did you ever “lose” Yourself? What changed?

Thank you so much for Joining me on Day 45 of Choosing Courage- My 100 Day writing project! You Can check out the previous posts here.

When I picked Intentional….


I Expected something different to happen when I chose the word intentional for the year. I think I nailed down my word for 2021 way back in September or October of 2020.

I knew somethings needed to change in how I was approaching life…..not that it was bad but I had lost myself (more on that on Wednesday next week) and with it had went my purpose. I still clung to it but it was hard to see. Something else had gotten in the way…SURVIVAL.

It’s hard to be intentional and in Survival Mode all at the same time

When we hit survival mode we are doing sometimes the bare minimum. We are kicking our legs in the proverbial swimming pool of life trying to stay afloat. Being intentional is rooted in a very strong sense of purpose. I knew what my purpose was I just Couldn’t seem to connect the dots. I was just on auto pilot all the time.

Now some of this feeling or sense of auto-pilot and exhaustion was most certainly linked to the ticking time bomb that was very quickly growing in my belly. And when it had reached it’s full capacity and needed to be dealt with I had chosen to be very intentional with Christmas. I laid out all these really cool plans and we intentionally built in family time and serving another family. BUT……that isn’t what my focus ended up being. God used that medical emergency to teach me another form of intentionality. REST and FOCUS.

Intentional REST and FOCUS

Intentional rest was going to become the necessity over the next 9 months because the medical journey was really only beginning. Rest was going to be required and I was going to need to learn to listen to my body. I couldn’t just fly into auto-pilot and do all he things now. My iron levels plummeted. I needed to be able to have a new intentional focus.

That focus was learning out to think beyond the anxiety that was becoming my new normal. At first we thought it was just related to the medical trauma that had happened but as the doctor delved deeper into blood work we started noticing that my iron levels never reached a “normal level”. Now back in December I had learned this intentional focus on a whole new level. Pain and Fear.


Pain was now a new part of my life and I am not talking about ouch a sprained my toe. It was a new level of pain…..pain that surpassed labor…..surpassed the never ending pain of a gallbladder issue and left me pretty close to the edge of insanity. I kept telling hubby at least for the labor you have a break (sometimes) between contractions. This was intense constant and really the narcotics didn’t touch it.

I really had to practice focusing on the truths I know about God and his promises. It was the only way I could make it through and it was going to be the only way I could handle the fears that would bombard me in the coming months.


The fears would race through my head as my heart began racing….and the anxiety kicked in. Faster and faster my heart would feel like it was in a race but I was laying flat on my back. My mind would take off trying to outrun my heart. Irrational fears would join the race and my body felt out of control. Something had to change and fast.

I began to learn about iron deficiency and anemia. I was making intentional choices about what I was putting into my body. I have become an unintentional expert in what foods were rich in iron. I have made some of the craziest things to eat/ drink but nothing was working. In the midst of all of that I learned something very powerful. one of the side effects of iron deficiency is AXIETY and heart racing.

Knowing this made a powerful impact on the sometimes hourly struggles I was now having. I could be even more intentional in the thoughts when they started spinning out of control!

Letting Go intentionally

If you read yesterday’s post we all struggle with letting Go. And I came face to face with letting Go in March. As we made our final decision to leave hubby’s ministry position of 12 years, I had to make a very intentional choice of letting go. I could have held on tightly to some of the things I had to let go of. But I learned a long time ago told hold things with an open hand. It’s way worse if God has to pry our fingers open and remove whatever we are holding onto.

I have watched people hold onto things and not let go as they exited ministry. It hurt so many people. And the ministry and I knew I had to be intentional about leaving. It was hard very hard. But in the end there was a sense of closure for both us and the people we were letting Go of!.

Other Intenionalities

Along the way I have also had to be intentional in so many other ways.


  • prayer- praying for hard things. It might mean seeing hurtful things happen but if it helps people to get back in a right relationship with Jesus
  • purpose-keeping my eye on what I am called and gifted to do rather than just filing in gaps .
  • gratitude
  • attention
  • boundaries
  • fun
  • writing/blogging
  • reading
  • family time
  • listening
  • planning
  • balance
  • no’s
  • yes’

So what I thought would turn out to be a year of choosing intentional time morphed into intentional everything.

How about you? Have you made a choice to be more intentional in a certain area only to be taken on a journey of intentionality..

I’m so glad that you joined me for day 41 of Choosing Courage 100 day blogging project. If you are just joining in you can check out the first post here. And if you have missed any of the other posts you can check them out here.

One book that has helped greatly in having Intentional thoughts is Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen You can Check her out here

2021 Joy Dare- Day 39


Good morning friends! When I stumbled upon this Dare back in December I was going through a time of real struggle when I was seriously having trouble being grateful. I found myself being grateful for the same thing over and over again. Coffee…..coffee…coffee…sunshine (not that there was much in December here in upstate New York) and a few other things. I’m not saying that it’s bad to be grateful for the same things over and over again, but sometimes we have tunnel vision and we lose sight of all the other blessings God has given to us. And then I “just happened” to stumble upon this Dare while scrolling through Pinterest. I had already read Ann Voskamp’s Book One Thousand gifts so I was intrigued. I checked out all the images and I was certain this is what I needed When I chose this challenge for this year I had no idea what the rest of the year held BUT God did!

Are you willing…..

So I want to ask you are you willing To take this Dare? The great thing is- you don’t have to commit to the full year! You can just start with one month AND you can start Any time! It really is so simple and it changes your perspective! I Dare you to take this challenge~

Day 17- 3 Gifts Ugly Beautiful

  1. gloomy gray skies-so sad yet intriguing
  2. broken lives changed by Jesus- amazing
  3. Dying fields- turning brown- yet there is a beautiful fall aesthetic

Day 18- A Gift fixed, folded, freckled

  1. fixed-Hubby putting LED light fixtures in my craft room
  2. folded- clothes that are folded in the Cedar Chest for the future
  3. freckled-Kiddo’s #4’s freckled face!

Day 19- 3 gifts In Conversation

  1. Conversations with my prayer team this week
  2. Conversations with our future Bible study leader
  3. Hubby had a very encouraging conversation with a friend in ministry

Day 20- 3 gifts in Salvation

  1. Grace
  2. Hope
  3. Peace

Day 21- 3 gifts in information

  1. Books
  2. Podcasts
  3. Conferences

Day 22- 3 Gifts rattling, receding, redeemed

  1. Rattled- my emotions this week as I have continually come face to face with some hard realities and broken relationships (not mine but ones of close friends-it’s hard to watch)
  2. Receding- a falling away- it hurts to see. it’s painful to watch
  3. redeemed- Countless stories that I can name right now where God took brokenness and turned them into something beautiful. He redeemed those moments for His Glory

Day 23-  3 gifts in silence

  1. early mornings
  2. Outside devotions
  3. spare moments stolen away in my craft room

I’m so glad you came by for the Joy Dare this week and I’m praying You all have a fabulous week full of gratitude and Joy!

And how about You what have you found joy in this week?

For more Joy Dare posts click here and for more Choosing Courage Posts click here.

To Check out The Joy Dare and One Thousand Gifts  by Ann Voskamp click here.

My Greatest Joy- Day 38


Good morning all! So quick question. Can you guess what my greatest Joy is? This is one of those blog post ideas that I had once upon a time and I wrote down this great idea (a title) and no other details! UGH! Yes I have learned from my mistake But each week as I read through my post idea list this one almost taunts me. Coming out of a season where I had to be super intentional about my gratitude and having to REALLY hone in my sights to what brings me true joy- I struggled to remember what laid behind this blog post. That is until this Sunday.

So what makes something the “GREATEST”

When I think of “the greatest”. I think about the absolute best And coming out of the Olympic season we heard the term GOAT. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why on earth it was a compliment to be called a GOAT…..that is I finally put two and two together and realized it stood for “Greatest Of All Time”. AHA but as the Olympics continued on we began to see that GOATs weren’t perfect. They might be considered the Best in the world (at that time) but it didn’t mean they were perfect.

Since Sunday and realizing and remembering what my greatest joy is I kept coming back to this word perfect. Greatest does not equal perfect. Jesus is my perfect joy- I get so much joy from Him….and that is where my greatest joy stems from.

I took a step forward

But not like you might be thinking. I was in the middle of praising Jesus and all of a sudden a thought came to mind. So I took a tiny step forward and glanced down our row of chairs. And what I saw and heard struck the deepest sense of joy I have felt in a long time. And all I had to do is LOOK. I didn’t have t do anything. I didn’t need to get anything. I just needed to pay attention. And then in that moment my reason for putting that post title came flooding back….

What I saw…and heard

Looking to my left and right I saw 4 kids who were worshipping Jesus in their own way…without any reservation. They weren’t being judged they were in their own spaces one on one lifting the name of their Savior in song You could tell it was personal. AND THAT brought me my greatest joy and made me praise Jesus all the more.

And as that welled up in my soul, thoughts came flooding back- of a teenager asking me (very sheepishly) if I could read the Bible with her. Or another teenager asking if I would go forward with her at a youth conference. Seeing tears flow down her faces she prayed which in turn made me ugly cry because I had been praying for this girl for oh so long.

To see a group of 17 teenagers- boys and girls embrace and love each other like I have never seen any other group of humans ever do. Such different backgrounds….such different experiences….such different economic backgrounds…encourage each other lift each other up…and just care. Yes they had their moments of disagreement but that was rare.

To watch on any given Sunday morning a herd of children run up to new kids and invite them to “come play with us in the gym”. To swallow up the new ones, it wasn’t an exclusive club for these kids. They wanted to include everyone because they themselves had been included.

Teens who would share their deepest burdens of their hearts because they felt safe.

Women who were honest about where they were at- tears shed as they shared their broken places.

And then I remembered – my Greatest Joy WAS perfect every single time-

Changed Lives- It didn’t matter how it happened or how messy it was. When people were honest with themselves and really let Jesus change them- there is nothing better (except for seeing them all in heaven someday.)

BUT My greatest Joy is also linked to my greatest sorrow

This was a harsh reality for me Monday and I am not going to lie all of the emotions that flooded my soul was rough. I was angry I was sad I was disappointed. I was crushed.

I’m not going to tell you what happened but I will give you a breakdown…..

  • selfishness (putting oneself before others)
  • mistreatment of others
  • a limiting of grace to someone else (the idea that You only deserve this much …………because of………….)
  • Rejection
  • judging

The list could go on. There was this realization that people aren’t willing to change.. They know what is right and wrong. They can even verbalize it BUT they are unwilling to let that change them. Their hearts are hard. They think they are entitled, They make an exclusive club and they limit God’s grab for certain people. THAT is my greatest sorrow because that isn’t what God teaches in his word.

Jesus says “Love your Neighbor as yourself”

We ask “who is our neighbor?” looking for a specific easy to love group of people -mostly the ones just like us.

Jesus answers EVERYONE.

We don’t get to pick and choose who get’s love, grace and mercy. But we tend to think that we get to be that judge. We don’t. we are commanded to (to quote NIKE) -“JUST DO IT”

And at the end of the day

My realization was this

  • I’m glad Jesus doesn’t treat us like this.
  • that I am called to be like Jesus so I need to treat people like Jesus treats me
  • It’s not my job to withhold grace mercy and love- it’s my job to lavishly give it out- just like those kids. who didn’t see backgrounds, color, economic standing , or anything else for that matter
  • I need to die to self and put others before myself
  • I need to not just take in the information from God’s word I need to apply it . And Not just bits and pieces that make me comfortable
  • It’s not about what is easy for me. It’s not about my time, my money, my strength. It’s about serving Jesus with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength- REALLY my whole life- not holding anything back. It’s not about Convenience. (It wasn’t easy or convenient for Jesus to die on the cross)

All of this from a bunch of teenagers and a bunch of kids. Oh how we have lost sight of what is most important. I promise you if you can learn these lessons from children you too will experience the greatest Joy because it’s not MY greatest Joy- It’s Jesus’!!!!!

Thanks for joining me for Day 38 of my Choosing Courage 100 day blogging project. If you are new here you can check out this blog post that explains it all. 

And if you have fallen behind or missed some posts you can check it out here

Change: Week 5 Update


Good morning! And I can ACTUALLY say that! I have and am in the process of making some big changes around here. As much as I have loved this writing project for 100 days I have hated every minute of the schedule I was keeping! I have been thinking and praying a lot about how to change the cycle I was in but nothing came to be until yesterday.

And then I remembered something……

Let’s Go Back in time (Cue Time machine sounds and funky music)

See the girl over there sitting in the old brown restaurant style booth. She’s had a busy afternoon and evening and now she was settling in to focus on her schoolwork- She’s a college student. She has a lot of trouble focusing She always has. She has so many things bouncing around in her brain.

But recently she made a discovery. She discovered that if she spent 30 minutes writing creatively then she could focus really well. And right now she is the only person in the room (that’s why it’s her favorite spot) but if she hurries she can get the creative writing in before the mad rush of people come into the student center for snacks and social time. So she put her head down and began scrawling down the new idea that had been bouncing around in that brain of hers all day.

Something Magic

With Each passing word that flowed out the end of her writing utensil her brain became alive and focused and driven. She had focus like she has never had before. Words came quickly and she almost never had to stop, erase or rethink the wording.

And then she was done. She would pack away her writing piece never to return to it again. And then the truly magical thing happened- She pulled out her schoolwork and she began working At some point the quietness turned into a murmur and then to a dull roar. There was chaos going on around her but that didn’t matter Her brain was calmed and she could focus on anything now. The time came fore her to close her books and she headed back to her dorm room. She changed, climbed into bed and laid there wondering why on earth she couldn’t fall asleep. Her brain was fully alive and functioning, not in the haze it had been that afternoon.

*cue time machine sounds and funky music* with a brief stop at yesterday.

Is that that the same girl?

The time machine comes t a screeching halt in front of a blue house and hey is that the same girl sitting out from with her journal in front of her.? The posture is the same. Hunched over her work. Her hair is the same color just shorter and she looks older. But she is just as busy scribbling away. She stops. She looks up. She is thinking about something. The girl in the booth didn’t do that. A smile spreads across her face. She picks up a strange flat box sitting next to her. Her fingers fly across the screen. Oh wait the front door open a teenager comes out, he’s holing a soccer ball, and he starts talking to her…He calls her MOM. She answers his question and he goes back inside. Wow a lot has changed for that college student sitting in that booth from so long ago.

She goes back to scribbling furiously. She stops picks up her head and smiles. It’s almost as if she remembered something. She picks up that flat shiny box again and turns it on . She looks startled. She pushes the chair away from the table gets her stuff together and heads inside. I guess it is time for me to head back to today. I climb back in my time machine and I look back as the front door closes behind her and I smile.

*cue Time Machine Sounds and Funky music*

An AHA moment and a Change

As I sit here this morning typing furiously on my laptop, I smile because I know exactly what that girl was going through…both that one from 20 years ago AND the one from yesterday. Because I am that girl. And I have been frustrated as of late. Yesterday when I was scribbling in that journal- my prayer time to be exact- I was asking God to help me figure out this writing schedule problem. It’s kinda been a vicious cycle over the last five weeks. And just like the girl from 20 years ago I will write my brains out before bed and then go upstairs and read I will be tired but my brain has been snapped back to life and I will lay there contemplating everything from what needs to be done tomorrow to….who knows what else. Then I wake up in the morning and I’m sluggish and unfocused. I have to fight my way through my devotions because my brain is not focused. Then the kids wake up and the demands of the day start.

By the time the kids go to bed at night I flop down in the chair with my laptop and I begin to write. And the cycle starts all over again.

But that me from yesterday had an aha! moment . She remembered the girl from 20 years ago. AND she was writing to another person online who was sharing how she handled her priorities and focused on each one. Her strategy struck a deep chord with me.

Overwhelmed and frustrated

I know as moms (and humans in general) we all tend to feel like this. We have so much to do and keep track of. We have so many priorities to focus on Our kids, our husband, our home, our physical health our friends, church, our relationship with Jesus, perhaps an outside job whether it be at home or out of the home…..and the list goes on and on. and we all feel the need to be balanced and yet we can’t stop the mad cycle.

So as I sent a few DM’s back and forth with Crystal Paine (The Money Saving Mom) about how she handles her priorities the thought of 21 year old me came flooding back as well. About how writing has always cleared my brain and helped me to focus and get stuff done. And then this question resonated deep in my heart WHAT IF I WROTE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING? HMMMM.

The Change

There are 3 things that are going to change over the rest of this week-

  1. Writing will happen first thing in the morning. This might change after the 100 Days of blogging project is over. It may look a little different just in it might not be blogging everyday, but there will be some form of “writing” being done.
  2. I am going to set up a habit tracker of the must do things that NEED to get done every single day. These will be based on my six priorities.
  3. Then each day I will pick out which two priorities I will focus on for that day. I need to learn exactly what “Time blocking” is -that will help the focused time for each day.

I love what Crystal said yesterday in her Instagram Stories. “I only have two hands, so I only pick two priorities to focus on everyday”. She says that when she does this it means that she will visit all of her priorities in focused time at least once a week (obviously it might be more). But then you don’t have to stress over neglecting something.

Wow what a relief from the pressure I have been putting on myself for a very long time.

I know this isn’t the typical weekly update but it is the major thing that has been a frustration for a while and now I have this overwhelming sense of Freedom.

Have you struggled with these thoughts and feelings before? It cycles through for me and I would love to hear your thoughts and strategies in the comments below!

Thanks for joining me for Day 37 of my Choosing Courage 100 day blogging project. If you are new here you can check out this blog post that explains it all.

And if you have fallen behind or missed some posts you can check it out here