Spring. I can’t even believe spring is here! I have been waiting for spring, mostly because that means I get to get out more with Bernadette. Cold and flu season is winding down, the threat of RSV is demising for this year and that means we can emerge out of hibernation and start enjoying things we haven’t been able to enjoy the past few months.
In so many ways, the months have slowed time down. The days have passed slowly and the weeks have stretched. But in other ways, I can hardly believe March is coming to a close and April beginning.
I had big dreams at the start of this year. A year in which I wanted to transition from survive to thrive. I’ve been pondering this the past couple of days and it feels fitting to continue with this honesty and let you know exactly where I’m at with all of this.
I have to be honest. The moment I posted a new day I knew that I would be challenged in my daily life to move forward beyond survival to thriving. And I was anxious. Mostly because I knew exactly where my head was at when I wrote survival and at that moment I didn’t think it would be possible to move past those dark days and actually start living life in way where I was not just trying to get through the day.
I began implementing small changes. I have learned over this past year that when I have large changes that need to take place, I often won’t begin if it seems like I am at the base of Mt. Everest, attempting to climb it all in one day. I started seeing that if I could just make small changes and celebrate those small victories, I would begin to make progress without the overwhelming feeling I couldn’t even begin to take that first step because Mt. Everest is far too big to climb in one day.
I started really small. One of my first changes was getting my Bible open on a more regular basis. What this looks like practically for me in a season of raising 3 littles 5 and under is reading a verse or two here or there. Sometimes it looks like opening it up and reading until I find my mind wandering, or I find myself falling asleep, or my littles need me for something. Some days I celebrate the fact that I actually read a great chunk. Other days, it looks like staring at the words in front me and begging Jesus to carry me through that day. Other days it looks like reading a few verses out loud to my littles. Either way, I am realizing that it doesn’t always look like what I want it to look like. And that’s ok. Because I am in a season where nothing looks the way I want it to. And if I don’t start somewhere, I am defeated before I begin.
Another really small step has been waking up to an actual alarm clock. That’s right. No more phone at my bedside. In fact, there are nights I leave it on the kitchen counter. Please know this is purely a conviction of mine. It is an area I struggle in and a solution that I have found helpful for me. I know that what works for some doesn’t work for others and vise versa. For me, I found it really disturbing to wake up to my phone every morning. Plus, every night as I would set my alarm, I would have to take just one more look at all the social media which would in turn either keep me awake much longer than anticipated, make me start worrying about something I read, or feeling down on myself because I am none of those things I was seeing. Yes, we all know that social media is a very helpful tool. I, for one, have found it incredible helpful as a mom with a daughter with Down syndrome. But, I have also found it challenging me in areas of self focus and have also wondered if it has added to my feelings of frustration, loneliness, and playing deeper into my own insecurities that haunt me regularly. For me, the best option was not even allowing it to be a temptation at night or when I wake up. My new alarm clock //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=tristapark-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B0093162RM&asins=B0093162RM&linkId=2a3eef705f49ce663415667db0573628&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066C0&bg_color=FFFFFF
has a great feature to rise with the sun as the light begins to glow before the actual alarm goes off. Once it does, I wake up to the birds chirping and a sunrise on my alarm clock. I immediately grab my 100 days to Brave devotional by Annie F. Downs
and start my day redirecting my focus to things above instead of social media matters. Again, social media in and of itself is not entirely a bad thing, but I can see how it can be a hinderance in my own life.
A couple of really great starts. So how do I feel about those changes? Thankful! And honestly more hopeful than I feel like I have been in awhile. I recognize that I have a lot of things I am at just the beginning of processing through. And that’s hard. It’s not an easy road to talk through all the trauma, put it all out on the table and then go to sleep at night. But these are all the first baby steps in getting closer to mountain. Yes, maybe it will take me longer to move into the space where I feel like I am thriving but what I don’t want to miss right now is the idea that I have seen more hope in the past couple of months. More smiles, more laughter, more moving into a space of enjoyment.
Of course I have had the hardest of days since I wrote a new day. The important thing is that for me, those were some of the first steps I needed to take in order to begin moving from survive to thrive. It has to start somewhere.
As my heart begins to heal more and more this year, I know that God is just at the very beginning of this work He is doing in my heart. Showing me the importance of knowing that He is ALWAYS on the throne. That He sees me, He knows me, and He hears me.