Category Archives: Motherhood

2019’s New Vision

Although I will not be jumping from any planes at this point of my life, I’m up for this challenge.

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In life, it’s important to discover and/or admit to any chains that bind and hold you back. To identify them is the first step. Then, it is necessary to take steps, little or large, in defeating them.
Every single step is a step closer to where you want to be. 
After my experience with postpartum anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, I learned a lot about what was holding me back from my full potential or even from living in the moment. That is when I began to make it a goal to break as many of these unnecessary chains as possible…
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…including my fear of public speaking.
In less than a year, I’ve come so far already! I was recently able to speak in front of a crowd of 250 students and adults without my involuntary shake, rosy cheeks, or profuse sweat coming to stop by. In fact, I even went off my script (What!?!! Unheard with over analyzing, over-worrying, over-planning Jen). I held it in my hand as only a guide and not verbatim. However, I still have more steps to take with this and some other chains to tackle.
But these are steps that without challenging fear I could never have taken…
Back in May 2018, I started to push myself to read at poetry events and readings, and while at the time there were very difficult, I did not realize until recently how much they helped with current projects and situations at work and life. The seeds that those readings planted.
Those steps back then, seemed like nothing… I was still drenched in sweat and shaking like a leaf as I walked away from those reading, doubting the purpose… but maybe we don’t always need to know the purpose… maybe it adds a value to our lives that will unfold … that will break free … that will make us more alive…
Sometimes it takes just one step …
… sometimes two …
… sometimes ten…
… sometimes just one more …
So how can we give up taking those steps each day when we don’t know what that next may bring. There may be just one more step needed to reach that dream or goal… so we must keep challenging ourselves … we must keep moving forward even after a stumble or two back… we must keep stepping.
Do you have a quote guiding you this year? If so, what is it? If not, join me in making a goal like this for yourself this year. It doesn’t mean you are sky diving or doing anything that puts your life at risk. It certainly does not mean you are looking up every possible cause of cancer on Google, and scaring yourself into isolation. (Been there, done that. Not fun… I do not recommend.)
Instead, it means to take those uncomfortable steps each day whatever they may be. And to be open to where it may take you for it may surprise you.
I plan to use it to press deeper into my goals … deeper into my faith …deeper in life. It’s kind of a paradox: as I plan to push myself past my comfort zone because I know it’ll bring me more peace …
and maybe in the meantime I’ll learn to dance over the mess.

 

The Name Change

The Art of a Messy House

In the midst of the mess, there is unprecedented beauty and nothing less. – Jen
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            When you ask someone to define beauty, most people will ponder for a bit before beginning to describe an emotion, individual, or quality that takes our breath away.  Not many people, would ineptly reply, “beauty is my messy house.”
That is where many of us are mistaken though.   Hear me out …
For myself, there was much of my life that I believed beauty radiated on the outside from what was beneath my layers.  But then again, that was also detrimental for most of my life. Because not only did I struggle with the reflection the mirror shined back at me, but I also agonized over the fact that the qualities that I wanted, I lacked.   Therefore, I labeled myself as beauty’s antagonist for more years than I would like to admit.  My own worst enemy …
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However, as the years continued to tick on and now fly on by, I realized how mistaken I was in every sense of the word.  I spent most of my life writing about these types of questions because my spoken words have had a way of failing me.  In other words, writing has always been much easier source of communicating for me. Although now, I’m getting better at both.
As an individual who battled with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, and depression at different points of my life, writing saved my life.   Let me rephrase that, God saved my life time and time again. In fact by giving me gifts of grace including my ability to write, I have gained a voice.
For like most, I have walked through more valleys in this lifetime so far to know that beauty is often where you least expect it.  For the beauty that lasts…the beauty that defines us … is the beauty that often our eyes fail to see at first. It is the radiance that often blinds us, coaxing or even forcing us to turn our heads before we can truly see beneath and passed it…
It.Is.Beautiful.
It is the vision without the lens.
It is what takes us deeper than aesthetic senses.
It is in the worst of days.
It is in the mistakes that try to devour our inner drive.
It is in the birth stories no one told you, or the ones that they should have never told you. (Until labor, those stories had me believing my son would come flying out…ha)
It is in the newborn book that never met your infant and wasted your tiny amount of mommy brain, taking a year to read.
It is in the maternity leave that left you in tears during it and then again when it ended.
It is in the discovery that your child is anaphylactic to dairy and allergic to everything else.
It is when doctors refer to your child as a sick child.
It is in the pregnancy that you never expected and barely survived.
It is in the kegel you were too depressed to even remember to try or even care about until you were housing dairy-free ice cream in bed. It is in thirty-five years plus of anxiety that no one could even begin to understand.
It is in the realization that your child may have OCD worse than you and it is up to you to break the cycle.
It is in all those moments that you realize that your beautifully cleaned and kept house you spent years building and maintaining really is maintaining you.
For it is not beautiful at all.
Instead, what you tried to avoid your entire life is in fact the truer essence of beauty. Beauty is not running away from or hiding our mess; instead it is embracing it.
For beauty is in the art of a messy house…
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and trust me… I am still working on perfecting ours…
but this is my journey to achieve just that:
The Art of a Messy House 
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