Health and Wellness Self-care Stress Relief

A Time to Rest

Workout. Take kids to school. Shower. Chiropractor. Target. Laundry. Email. Social media connections. Work stuff.

Sound familiar?

I took a break from working on my computer today to go water my flowers and realized that it is absolutely GORGEOUS outside…and I was missing it! This was my chance to rest, read a book, and enjoy the quiet, but I was too busy focused on what needed to be done.

It’s so easy to get caught up on all the things we have to do, that we forget to take the time to stop and enjoy the moment.

So, yes, this is a short blog post. Why? Because I’m going to go enjoy the beautiful weather and take some time for myself.

Finding rest is just as important as checking things off your to-do list.

How can you incorporate rest into your day?

Family Self-care

Great Expectations

We’ve all been there — felt the weight of disappointment from unmet expectations…whether our feelings or those put upon us.

As a recovering perfectionist, this is a struggle for me. I struggled for years with trying to be perfect (and I see this in my daughter now), but with counseling and wise words from others, I have come a long way from the girl I was growing up and in college. I remind myself often that the world isn’t perfect this side of heaven and only Jesus was perfect here on earth. I’m learning to show myself grace.

I have also felt the weight of letting others down. Even though I have gotten better at trying to be perfect, there are still times where I see others get frustrated because I didn’t meet their expectations — whether it be that their expectations are unreachable…or that they just expect me to do better than they would have done.

Recently, I realized how many large expectations I put on others. If people don’t respond or behave the way I would do it, then it must be wrong, right? 😜

I shared in a previous post about how I struggle with friendships and being vulnerable. I feel like I’m always reaching out to people to connect (and feeling bad when it’s been awhile), yet people rarely reach out to me. This past year, I spent less time with some friends, so I mentally moved them closer to the acquaintance side.

In a conversation with one of these friends the other day, I realized how much I still cared for her and valued her. She was more than just an acquaintance, she was my friend, but I had put expectations on that friendship. I realized that what was holding back our friendship was unmet expectations and nothing else.

I am a constant work in progress when it comes to perfectionism and great expectations…both with others and myself. I still struggle with seeing my flaws, but now I have strategies to help change my mindset and focus on the positive and/or see where I can learn or grow.

How about you? Do you put high expectations on others, only to end up disappointed and frustrated? Are you searching for perfectionism in others? How can you show more grace to yourself and those around you?

Family Parenting

A Mother’s Love

My mom is incredible. She is generous of her time, loves to serve, and puts others first. She has been present throughout my life — always there when I need her. Here are a few stories reflect the personal sacrifices she made to show me she loved me.

✨My senior year of high school, my mom got up every morning to make me lunch and say good-bye. I told her she could sleep and I could take care of it, but she wanted to do it for me. She wanted to always see me off to school. As a mom, I now know exactly how she feels and I know I’ll be the same way.

✨I went to college close to home and my mom made a big deal about creating my own distance. She knew the value of getting the full college experience and didn’t want me to blend college and home together. In fact, I hardly heard from her the first few weeks and had to remind her that a lot of my friends talked to their parents almost every day on the phone…she didn’t need to keep that much distance! 😉 I’m sure it was hard for her to stay away (my dad used to drive by my dorm room every day on his way to work!), but knew it was important for my growth into adulthood.

✨For Grad School, I headed to North Carolina. My mom was so excited and encouraged me to go. At the time, I didn’t think she would miss me…but then I realized that she was pushing me away, because otherwise I wouldn’t go. She couldn’t show me that she would miss me, etc. because she wanted to make it easier for me to leave. She hid her feelings of sadness, so I would continue to thrive. I can still remember when she dropped me off at the airport once when I came to visit and she couldn’t hold back the tears that time. It was the first time I saw her cry and knew that she usually was able to wait until I was out of sight before she let the tears flow. She didn’t want me to see them.

Time and again, my mom has been there — from watching my children, to helping me decorate my house, to letting me use her car when mine was in the shop. She has been the best role model as a woman of God, a wife, a friend, and a mother. Not only do I take after her physically, but she has taught me how to serve others and my family with love and faith.

Over the past few years, my mom’s memory has started to go and she has become more reserved. But to me, she will always be the life of the party with a laugh that you can hear clear across the room, the person working behind the scenes to make sure everything goes well, an amazing Bible study teacher, and the best mom and Grammy ever. I pray that the one thing she never forgets is how loved she is. I love you, mom!

Faith Family

Choose Kindness

A few years ago, while working as a fitness coach, I received a scathing review from a member. She wrote it on lined paper, didn’t sign her name, and gave it to the front desk one morning. The sales associate read it, called one of the owners, then showed it to me when I arrived for work a couple of hours later.

As I read it, I felt humiliated and defeated as this person lit into me, degrading me and saying I shouldn’t be there…all because of one class where I misread the template and made a mistake.

Because the note was for the owner and not written to me (just about me), it was scanned and then left at the front desk…where everyone who worked there could read it. I was determined not to let it bother me and to learn from it, but honestly, I felt crushed and defeated.

Never once did this member talk to me while I worked there. She could have nicely approached me during the workout or after it. She didn’t know me, my heart, what my day was like, etc. but felt she had the place to criticize and demolish me.

In the Fall/Winter of 2019, my son joined a travel soccer team. He was the new player on a team that had been together for a few years. During one of their indoor games, a teammate was called for a bad throw-in. The parents around me (who I was just getting to know) were trying to figure out what happened since it was at the far part of the field. I joined the conversation and said what he did incorrectly on that throw. Then we continued to watch them win the game.

That evening, I received a nasty email from the player’s mom berating and demeaning me because I said there was something wrong with her son’s throw-in. I was mortified and thought that everyone must hate me and would it effect my son. To make things even worse, she included the coach in the email. I kindly apologized and explained that I wasn’t criticizing her son, just talking about why the ref said it was an illegal throw-in, etc.

Never once did she ever acknowledge me or say ‘hi’ to me at any practice or game. While the other parents got to know me, she ignored me. She could have talked to me after the game. She didn’t need to copy the coach on the email. She knew nothing about me, my kid, my heart, etc. but she felt it was okay to crush me and make me feel small.

Here’s the thing about both of these stories (and I’m sure you have your own to add): we all make mistakes and are misunderstood. I don’t mind constructive criticism because that is how I grow as a person, but there is never a reason to verbally abuse and demean another person. As Jesus said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” (John 8:7)

Who of us hasn’t said something they wish they could take back? Who of us hasn’t hurt someone unexpectedly? Who of us hasn’t something taken the wrong way by someone else?

How about instead of lashing out we choose kindness. Realize that you are no better than that person and show forgiveness and grace. Is there a place to call someone out when something is wrong? Of course. But how you do it makes all the difference. Don’t be a jerk. Be kind.