Get Up and Do Something (Even if You Feel Inadequate)

Do you ever feel that you are failing? That you aren’t enough? I know I do, and I get these kinds of thoughts often as a person who suffers from anxiety. But I don’t think living in fear is God’s plan for me or anyone else. Remember the man by the pool?

John 5:8 Then Jesus told him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

Let’s reflect on this for a moment. Jesus was talking to the man by the pool, who would see all the other people getting water in the pool, and he was paralyzed by his thoughts and beliefs about who he was. Jesus saw him wallowing in his pity and told him to get up!

We all have lies we believe about ourselves that come from the devil himself. They may sound like:

  • I’m not pretty enough
  • I’m not naturally (insert virtue here)
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not enough
  • I’m not capable
  • I don’t have anything to give
  • I don’t have time
  • I’m too fat
  • I’m too thin
  • My kids aren’t well behaved enough
  • I’m not doing enough for my kids
  • I should work outside the home
  • I should be a stay-at-home mom
  • I should certain life milestones done by now
  • Too many people are already doing it
  • No one is interested in this
  • I’m not pretty enough
  • I need to wait until (…)
  • I don’t have the right tools yet.

Some of us need to hear this message, some of us don’t. Some of us are Marthas, some of us are Marys. And at different times we need different things. But I think we can both agree that if you have been venting about the same thing for years and years, and you can change it, but you are afraid, it’s time to “get up”! We need not be capable, only willing, Remember Mary’s fiat?

Image result for mary's fiat

I certainly have all of these limiting thoughts going through my head from time to time, especially when I’M TIRED. I put off creating this blog for some time because I was waiting for the perfect circumstances to arrive. I was believing the lie of “you can’t blog until you have 2 + hours a day of completely uninterrupted time and have a regular baby sitter in place”. I was comparing myself to other moms online who had regular childcare, and while that would be great, it isn’t possible in my current circumstance. Thankfully, I found a mom who inspired me to write when my kids were asleep, and another mom who would just write for 15 minutes at a time. From these two women’s separate circumstances, I was able to tailor my writing to a schedule that works for my life. It doesn’t matter that my life doesn’t look like someone else’s.

You see what I want to tell you is you can do it. You can get up. You can change your life. You can’t change everything but the good Lord has given you many gifts and talents, and please don’t bury them in the ground. And when you don’t use them, you must know that you are not only short-changing yourself, but also those closest to you. For example, Jennifer Fulwiler said that she dedicated her first book to her grandfather, who died shortly thereafter. Had she not got up, and got writing, she would have denied her grandfather that beautiful gift.

So specifically, what can you do?

Before you give up completely that you can ever be happy with you life, try to get the basics in, then see how you feel. Then you can REALLY determine if certain things are unchangeable. Do things like:

  • Pray
  • Go to confession
  • Seek spiritual direction
  • Read spiritual books
  • Read the Bible
  • Watch spiritual videos
  • Sleep
  • Eat properly and regularly
  • Attend to any anger issues you may have
  • See a friend regularly for coffee, set a recurring date
  • Take time for your personal interests even if it’s 10-15 minutes
  • Practice gratitude

These things will all help you get in touch with who God created you to be, and see your life in a different way. You will gain the clarity you need to start changing what needs changing. You will realize you might have everything you need to do what you need to do, you just need to do it. So get up, please. Stop saying I can’t, and say with God, I can.

So get up, please. Stop saying I can’t, and say with God, I can.

I think we can all be such perfectionists about the call to use our time, talents, and treasure to build up the kingdom of God. We get an all or nothing mentality. So, we do nothing. We waste away staring our phones,the TV, or computer.

I just had a revelation though.

What if we just did SOMETHING. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to discover what exact talent you should be using, just do something. And keep doing somethings. And do as many somethings as you can. Maybe you will discover your blue flame, maybe you won’t, or maybe your blue flame is a bunch of little somethings. Like Saint Therese. But please, do something!


Overcome Resentment Toward Your Husband

Ever since I read, “The Surrendered Wife“, I’ve been very in tune to what I see around me. And you know what I see? So many of us women resent our husbands, and ACCEPT that that’s the way things are (especially after children). And you know what? I get it! Because I am human too. But I also have hope that it isn’t the way things have to be.


Disclaimer: This post is intended for women in relationships that have the everyday kind of frustrations. It is NOT intended for women in relationships with someone who is abusive, struggling with an active addiction, mental illness, or some other severe problem. Obviously, learning some new relationship skills would not be enough to improve the relationship and outside help would be necessary.

But first, a story and a video

Picture this, my husband gets from work, I’m busy making dinner. We get dinner on the table and I see the kids need to wash their hands, so I take it upon myself to get them to do it even though I am DONE. But, I think of my husband and how tired he must be so I do it. And I keep going.

And going.

And going.

After dinner the kids need a bath, and they need to brush their teeth, and read a story…and meanwhile my husband is relaxing, looking at his phone and I feel angry towards him even though I am trying to be a “good wife”.

Sound familiar?

I think many of us women worry so much about what other people are feeling and thinking, when we should first and foremost be tuned in to our own feelings. It is not selfish, it is practical so we can keep on loving at our best. We can only run on empty for so long before we blow up. It’s wonderful if your husband just knows to take over with the kids automatically, but if he doesn’t don’t let that be your excuse to keep things the way they are. You can’t hold your husband accountable for your emotional state. You are the master of your own happiness. When you do everything, you send the message to your husband that you don’t need his help, and he listens.

“You can’t hold your husband accountable for your emotional state. You are the master of your own happiness.”

The ways she behaves in this video I can so relate to. When she tells her kids to clean up their toys, then to go play with them, and then to clean them up again. And oh man, when her husband asked her for a glass of iced tea. Ha! It’s a long video, but even if you just listen to it while you are working on something else, it is worth it.

After surrendering

Imagine this scenario, your husband gets home from work and you had a long hard day. You warmly greet him and tell him that you are going to take a break in the bedroom. You come out refreshed, you have dinner, and when your kids ask things at the dinner table you defer them to your husband, so you can just STOP TALKING. I know it’s hard, because it means you will have to trust your husband’s leadership. There is a time and place to disagree, but if it’s over how many bites of broccoli and chicken Timmy has to eat before he leaves the table, I think you can let your husband take this one and it won’t jeopardize all the “enlightened parenting” you have done.

After dinner, you go take a shower and wash your face. You come out to find the dishes are done. You decide you are not up to giving the kids a bath, so you say “I can’t”, and retreat to your bedroom. Your husband does the whole bedtime routine, without you nagging him, and only calls on you to come kiss them goodnight. You are delighted and you receive his help graciously. Your husband strengthens his bond with the children, feels respected, and gets to have the honor of pleasing you.

“You are delighted and you receive his help graciously. “

So, are you a resentful wife or a surrendered wife?

Have you ever found yourself:

  • Irritated towards your husband and you don’t know why
  • Less attracted to your husband
  • Annoyed about all the little things, like forgetting to put his socks in the hamper
  • Frustrated at his lack of ambition
  • Lonely because he’d rather watch T.V. or stare at his phone than be with you
  • Angry with his lack of support with the kids
  • Wishing he’d help out more around the house
  • Feeling like you have to keep going and going like the energizer bunny because your husband won’t do it.
  • You don’t extend any grace when he is sick or tired. It’s as if you think he “has no right”

Practical ways to transition from resentment to intimacy

Here are some practical ideas for you to regain intimacy with your husband. I turn to them again and again

  • Acceptance. Accept reality. Accept that your husband may never put his underwear in the hamper consistently, even though he knows it bothers you. We are all human, and have bad habits and we can all be careless at times. I know I can be!
  • When you flip out about something small your husband is doing that normally wouldn’t bother you, this is usually a red herring that you need some self care. Go take a nap, a shower, call a friend. If whatever it is is still bothering you after that, then address it when you are in the right state of mind.
  • I don’t know exactly who this quote is from, I think it is Saint Paul, but let  “Seek to outdo one another in generosity” be your mantra. If you have this mindset you won’t be so worried about what your husband is or is not doing, anyway. Also, check this out.
  • Keep your eyes on your page. No peaking at his page! Reflect on your own shortcomings and try to improve. Reflect on your husbands strengths more than you ruminate on his weaknesses. Accentuate the positive.
  • Practice gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal. Thank your husband for all the little things he does.
  • Say “I can’t”when you are too tired or overwhelmed to do something. Practice vulnerability.
  • Practice personal responsibility – he’s not responsible for your happiness, you are.

For more ideas, I highly recommend reading either The Surrendered Wife, or the Empowered Wife. Both are written by the same author. I prefer the Surrendered Wife because it has more specific scenarios. The Empowered Wife is like the updated version.

Even though you may nag your husband at times, become resentful, or disrespectful, you CAN make progress toward being the kind of wife you want to be. Even though your husband may be more distant than he used to be, you CAN restore the intimacy you once shared. Thank God, there’s hope!

How to Save a Soul

As people of faith, we can feel compelled to help people change – to save them, to convert them. The way we usual go about this is, we argue, try to convince, preach, coerce, nag, worry, etc.

But let me ask you something.

How’s that working out for you?

I think it my be time to try something new, you know, like LOVING them. Loving them because God loves them. Not because of their good behavior or something they did for you. Loving them unconditionally.

Just be a good friend.

What are the characteristics of a good friend? They can be found here:

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

You see that it doesn’t say “love is patient when so and so takes my advice” or “love keeps no record of wrongs except when it doesn’t feel up to it” etc.

The Catholic Church has some excellent, concrete things we can do to be Jesus to others:

I want to zero in on “admonish sinners”, because that doesn’t sound very nice, does it? Well that is because part of being a good friend is willing the best for another and may sometimes involve uncomfortable confrontation.

19 Ways to Have a Successful Marriage

why-love-is-a-good-drug-for-mind-and-body-ftr

True love isn’t something you “fall in to” it is something you do, day in, day out , through sickness and in health. A marriage succeeds because of love – caring more for the other’s happiness. (This, however, doesn’t mean you don’t talk about your feelings. This is also of utmost importance.) It isn’t because either spouse is perfect, it’s because both have the desire to do the work. Over the years I have collected words of wisdom on marriage from various sources, and they have helped guide me in times of uncertainty:

  1. Never go to bed on your anger.
  2. It’s not about 50/50 or who gives more. It’s about both of you giving as much as you can.
  3. Accept that marriage is sacrifice.
  4. Love without expecting in return.
  5. Surprise each other.
  6. Give gifts to each other for no reason, even if its small.
  7. Be each other’s number one fan.
  8. Answer the question “Who are you nicest to?” if its not your spouse, something’s wrong.
  9. Ask yourself every day “what have I done for my marriage today?”
  10. Set healthy boundaries in your marriage.
  11. Put God first, then each other.
  12. Energize yourselves so you can energize each other.
  13. If you are hurt, upset, say so – in a non-accusatory way. Don’t try to have peace at any price – you will end up resenting your spouse. We all have feelings and we all hurt those we love because we are imperfect beings.
  14. Love is a cycle – Romance – Disillusionment – Choose to Love – True Joy
  15. Seek to outdo each other in generosity.
  16. Seek first to understand.
  17. Make time for each other (even when you have kids!)
  18. Try replacing your name with Love and ask yourself if the same message applies! “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.”-1 Corinthians 13
  19. And I also always remember the lyrics to the Amy Grant song, “House of Love”-when something this strong gets a hold on you the odds are ninety-nine to one its got a hold on him too…”11646f10c2cd639d160e551079a25e66

I’m In Love

So guys , I’m in love with this guy. He’s super sweet and he hugs me and kisses me and says he loves me but he also :

  1. Kicks me
  2. Bites me
  3. Runs away from me
  4. Spills his water on purpose
  5. Yells at me
  6. Usually doesn’t listen to me
  7. Throws things at me
  8. Doesn’t appreciate the food I make for him
  9. Doesn’t have a job
  10. Needs help going to the bathroom
  11. Wakes me up in the middle of the night.
  12. Embarrasses me in public
  13. Begs me for sweets and everything he sees at the store
  14. Always says no

Okay, okay. You must think I’m crazy to be in this relationship or you just have figured out I’m talking about my son. Lol

Guys when you feel mad at your kids remember, parenting is super hard and if your child was an adult you would have discontinued contact a long time ago due to their disrespectful behavior! So give yourself the grace to be human and don’t beat yourself up when you feel mad.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Society tells you it’s good to be popular, rich, famous, go to prestigious universities and receive high honors and accolades, have highly successful careers , etc.

But really? Does all this matter in the grand scheme of things? Not according to the dying. Here are their top 10 regrets:

What if we lived our lives with these things in mind? What if we prioritized relationships , service to others, self care, love and honesty above what other people may think of us? What if we stopped killing ourselves making money to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t even like? What if we didn’t live afraid?

To live this way is highly controversial. You will be judged for it. People will think you are a loser, stupid, lazy, not trying hard enough. You will get teased and laughed at. You will be humiliated. You will be cast out and ignored and ridiculed. But you know who has experienced all of that pain and completely understands?

Jesus.

So have your wealth. Have your fame. Have your approval. Have your excesses and riches and stuff and achievements. What will a life of living intentionally look like for you? I will be living my life lavished by the blessings of peace in my home, peace in my relationships, I will make my fortune in quiet moments before everyone wakes up, meaningful conversations , love letters, holding chubby little hands and bedtime stories, the pride of providing a clean and safe home for my family, providing good food to eat , long walks, books read, hours writing, time creating, time to be. Time to love, time to spend, time to waste. Time to stop and have gratitude. Time to be surrounded by the people who really love me and really care. And I will bask in the magic of laughter and kisses and tiny hugs , and rejoice in the magnificence of spills and messes to clean up because thank God I have a family.