This summer has been hard.
I was so proud of myself the first third of this year–even though we had moved in with my parents due to financial reasons, I was being active in my goals for the year. I was positive, happy, relieved, and in a good place. Then, around the end of April, all that started to fall apart.
True, many things happened: Justin lost his job, my sister got engaged and was planning a quick wedding, my mom’s health deteriorated, my dad was switching jobs, I got pregnant, I started having terrible migraines on top of morning sickness…
I will be honest: I gave up. I gave up on trying. I gave up on my attitude. I gave up on enduring. I gave up on my appearance. I gave up on being present with Rhys. I gave up on being active. I gave up on being an intentional disciple of Christ.
I spent a lot of time on the couch, listlessly surfing the net, trying to pass Rhys off on Justin or members of my family or having him sit in front of the TV, and napping a lot. And complaining a lot–one of Justin’s biggest pet peeves.
I am truly embarrassed of my behavior, attitude, and reaction to these trials. I had completely forgotten (or disregarded?) my mission plan for the year of 2016:
Be intentional, Have contentment, and Bloom where you are planted.
None of that was happening. I wasn’t living life intentionally, I definitely wasn’t content in my position, and I wasn’t trying to bloom in our situation. I was always looking to the future. When would we have a job? When would we have a place to call our own? When will I feel better and have more energy and motivation? When will I be a better Mormon? When will blogging be fun again? When will Rhys stop watching so much TV?
The problem was, I wasn’t being active. I wasn’t searching for a solution. I was expecting things to fall into my lap.
Thankfully, Heavenly Father was looking out for us the whole time. We had been able to save up a bit not paying rent for the first half of this year. He gave Justin a wonderful opportunity (and it’s really true what they say in the job industry–it’s all about who you know) with a job that would provide a lot of opportunities for rising as well as doing what Justin loves. We were able to find a nice apartment within our means close to stores, malls, church, restaurants, and Justin’s job.
This move has been the perfect time for me to step back, re-evaluate myself and my mission for this year, and hit reset.
Moving two weeks ago was difficult–Justin and his brother drove the truck from Utah to Texas, Rhys and I flew out the last day, and we spent 12 hours (most of it sleeping) with Justin before dropping him off at the airport. He’s been doing training out of state the past 5 weeks, and still has 2 more to go. I had to unpack myself–pregnant, with a 2 year old, in a new state, without friends or family. Most days went well–my Type A and anxiety motivated me to get the house to a liveable standard. Some days were very hard–I felt so trapped and lonely and had a bad case of the green monster seeing others’ apartments and living situations. (Be forewarned–this is our living quarters for now…unpacked but not necessarily set up. It’s real and it’s raw. No photoshop. Also, those are NOT beer bottles–they are root beer and birch beer. Justin collects them.)
However, throughout all of that, I made sure to be more intentional about my and Rhys’s life:
Every morning, whenever Rhys woke up, we would cuddle in my bed while he drank a bottle. He knows that I do scripture reading in the morning, so if I don’t start, he crawls over me to the bedstand, grabs my scriptures and my devotional book and puts them on my lap. Starting each morning studying the Word of Christ really helped (even if sometimes it was hard to concentrate over Rhys watching Disney Jr on my phone).
I made sure to have breakfast with Rhys at the table–not the TV–every morning. We both would get dressed (even if “doing my hair” meant wearing a headband and a ponytail). I even made a point to brush Rhys’s teeth.
Cleaning up messes as they were made and adhering to Gretchen Rubin’s rule of “if it takes less than 3 minutes, do it”. Yes, we watched a lot of TV as I unpacked, but I also made sure to turn it off every now and then and play with Rhys. We’ve explored our new town, going to the mall to play on the playground almost every day. We’ve walked around our apartment complex getting fresh air. I’ve napped when Rhys has napped, and felt refreshed afterwards.
We make dinner together, and dance to music while we do it. Dinner is at the table while Facetiming either my mom or Justin. Then, we swim in the pool. After Rhys goes to bed, I have some more FaceTime with Justin and make a point to read at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
Numerous times throughout the day, I try very hard to keep Christ in my mind–all He’s given me, all the Grace I’ve had, all the gifts I can be thankful for, all the peace I have in my life. When I’ve felt very down the past two weeks, I’ve knelt down and poured my heart out to Him, even if Rhys is climbing over me trying to figure out what I’m doing. And, it has helped tremendously. Probably the most important thing. He has blessed me with Rhys. Rhys has taken such good care of me only as a two-year old can. When I was having a panic attack and crying my eyes out, he brought me his special blanket and popped a pacy in my mouth. When he’s seen me sad and downtrodden, he’s given me many kisses on the lips and hugs. His smiles and cuddles and laughs lift my soul. He wants so badly to help with the chores around the apartment. I could go on. Christ has shown Himself helping me through my son.
It started raining the other day while Rhys and I were on our way to Chick-fil-A for dinner. Hard, Texas rain. With lightening. I loved it. I was so excited for it. And, it brought immense happiness and peace to my heart. I thanked Heavenly Father right then and there silently. Then, I thought to myself, I should have a teaching moment with Rhys. I told him that Jesus gave us the rain and we like rain. I told him to say “Thank you Jesus for the rain.” And, in his gibberish, he did. That was a great night.
So, here I am, in the middle of the year, re-evaluating and hitting reset, just like Danica of Danikan Skywalker is.
This is the start-over that I need. With Christ at the front of my mind, and my son being my main priority, and the determination to be a supportive wife, I feel that I can keep up with my mission statement for this year.
Ever day is a new day. It is never too late to start again. It is never to late to set reset. You can do it and so can I.