Rest…

I’m not good at resting. I didnt come to this realization until last night–while I’m at a retreat…a rest retreat. And the first night I got little to no rest….so much was running through my mind that I layed awake most of the night…

It has been like this for the past few months…rest has been nowhere in sight. Tragedies happen and without any notice, a new normal has to be established. A new normal that wasnt expected and honestly not even wanted.

And rest…well that becomes a word that was often said to me but I couldn’t personally grasp. How do you rest when life keeps moving even when you dont want too? How do you rest to care for your broken heart when those around you still need you? How do you rest when checking out, emotionally or physically, isnt an option???

I forced myself to rest….with the help of a friend. I went to Florida for the weekend and did nothing. I didnt check in too much on my family, laid in bed and looked at the ceiling, gazed at the ocean, cried, journaled, read and told God what I was feeling no matter what it was.

I left feeling lighter, like I had taken off a weighted vest for the first time in months. I pictured God taking the pieces of my heart and putting them back together again. I realized that rest, getting away from the norm, is essential for me. It cant be just a want. I Have to make it a NEED. Another friend of mine told me how she had scheduled rest times for the year. She sat down with her husband at the start of 2019 and put them on their calendars. Nothing big…just specific times for her to get away and recharge.

What if we, especially as moms and dads, became our own advocates for rest?!?!? What if we made rest and recouping time a priority and not just something that we really wished we could take the time out to do??

Rest. Make it a part of your life. Recoup and get away to ensure that your family is getting the very best of you…mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually…

You are worth it…rest well friends💜

The End of an Era…

Today was the end of an era…my baby making era. I did it…I made the ultimate decision…I had tubal ligation surgery today.

It was a bittersweet moment. I remember tears running down the sides of my face as I lay on the table, grasping my doctor’s hand. I’m done. I’m done feeling (physical life) growing on the inside of, I’m done living in awe of a person developing within me, I’m done giving birth to a person who I could literally see my love reflecting in their eyes.

Although this was a hard decision, it was what was best for not only me but our family. Having six kids isnt easy, its alot of work. Motherhood is something that I strive to do well, create bomb memories about, and also be all that I needed when I was younger.

Motherhood is my gift. It’s part of my calling. It’s something that keeps getting better…and the ending of my childbearing days is just the beginning of one of my life’s best journeys.

The Unexpected….

November 23, 2018 changed everything for me…my sister, Melissa Ann Askew, died. Unexpectedly…no warning. No signs. Nothing that I would have ever seen coming.

I have literally felt as if my heart is breaking inside my chest…unresponsive. life support. no brain activity. These are things I never thought I’d hear concerning my sister, Melissa.

Honestly, everything has been a blur. Nothing seems real. My sister, my childrens second mother-their Auntie, the person who knows me most outside of my husband, the person we have shared a home with for the last four years is gone…

I’ve cried. Screamed. Questioned God. Played the what if game. Laughed. Pinched myself. Wept uncontrollably. Prayed that Melissa’s life, passion and love would be in the forefront of my mind and not just how my sister died.

But I keep coming back to…hope and gratitude.

Hope in the fact that I will see my sister Melissa again. Hope in God never making mistakes. Hope that in time the shattered pieces of my heart will come together again.

Grateful that my sister Melissa was here on earth for 44 years and that I got to share 38 of them with her. Grateful that God saw fit to give me someone who loved my babies as much as I do. Grateful that my sister loved me to the moon and back. Grateful for the good memories, laughs and talks that can never be forgotten. Grateful for how I can now see the hand of God leading her in the last few months of her life. Grateful that my life will honor hers.

God thank you for my sister Melissa’s life. Thank you for her loving us and her loyalty. Thank you for her passion, nurturing spirit, beauty and strength. Thank you choosing me to be her little sister…Daddy God, please tell my sissy I love her and miss her so…

In Loving Memory of my Sister Melissa Ann Askew 4/3/74-11/23/18😇

Hard Things.

I dont like hard things…especially when it comes to people and circumstances. We could all pretty much say that right???

Well, for me this is so true. Maybe bc I’m such a laid back, nonchalant (on the outside) person or maybe bc the thought of inconveniencing others makes me want to break out in a sweat.

Either way, “peopling” can be hard for me. Which is why this is so much for interesting…my job, well my purpose, centers around people!!! Young mothers, young women to be exact. And yall…this is no cake walk!!!

Emotions. Problems. Insecurities. Generational curses. Just not knowing how to handle some things. Lack of attention. Not knowing their worth.

All these things play a role. All these things are familiar. All these things cant go unaddressed for too long.

And again…its hard. Hard to know how to love others well enough so that when you correct them they dont break. Hard enough to nurture and not allow wrong behavior. Hard to give your all when it’s easier to shut down and back off. Hard to go through the muddy waters and not come out covered in filth.

Its hard but there is so much at stake. What I’m learning is that my purpose isn’t going to be lived out doing things that are easy. Being relational, “peopling”, loving others well are not and will never be easy tasks. But they are essential and needed more than anything else.

So for me I’ve decided to not go through the muddy waters trying to avoid the filfth… I’m going to go through, come out, rinse off and clean myself up, and go in again prepared to bring someone, something good, out with me💜

Boundaries…

So today I was listening to a podcast by Havilah Cunnington about boundaries. Yall …straight conviction!!!! I had been putting off setting a boundary, no longer doing something that was inconvenient, because I was afraid that this thing wouldn’t be done…

“It is no ones responbutlty to know what they are taking from you. You are the only one who will know what others are taking from you.”

So after hearing this a made the move to let the person know what I was doing was no longer convenient, so therefore I will no longer be doing it.

No is not a bad word!!!! It is so okay for me to not try to take on every single need that is presented to me… I cant. I’ve tried- its impossible and exhausting to try and do.

Having boundaries can be hard, especially when you have a heart to love and help people. By all means, when I can help I will, but I am no longer willing to exhaust myself and my family trying to do so.

Link to podcast:

https://castbox.fm/x/PrTb

Boundaries…

So today I was listening to a podcast by Havilah Cunnington about boundaries. Yall …straight conviction!!!! I had been putting off setting a boundary, no longer doing something that was inconvenient, because I was afraid that this thing wouldn’t be done…

“It is no ones responbutlty to know what they are taking from you. You are the only one who will know what others are taking from you.”

So after hearing this a made the move to let the person know what I was doing was no longer convenient, so therefore I will no longer be doing it.

No is not a bad word!!!! It is so okay for me to not try to take on every single need that is presented to me… I cant. I’ve tried- its impossible and exhausting to try and do.

Having boundaries can be hard, especially when you have a heart to love and help people. By all means, when I can help I will, but I am no longer willing to exhaust myself and my family trying to do so.

Link to podcast:

https://castbox.fm/x/PrTb

3 BTS Tips…

Alright Mamas it’s that time again…back to school!!!🗂🖊📝

As a mom of six (4 in school) here are my go-to’s for back to school:

1. Plan– I write everything down. St the beginning of the year, I transfer the school calendar to my planner.

2. Get Up Early– I get up at least 30 minutes before my children. This gives me time to prepare myself for the day

3. Get Dressed– listen…this one took me a minute!!! However I always feel more productive and if by chance I have to run after a bus or go into the school unexpectedly, I’m good

Bonus: Buy alllll the school supplies you want…just for you!!!!

Here’s to another successful school year!!! 🥂🍾🥂

The One Thing That I Forgot….

If I am being completely honest…this week has started out hard. Our washer broke (with a family of 8 that’s a no-no), fridge isn’t getting cold (uhhhh…I just went grocery shopping at Sams!!!) and things are just hard.

I’ve caught myself pondering on if I can do it. Be the mother that my children need, keep our home afloat as the fall rolls in (school and football), be the wife that my husband needs and do whatever it is God has called me to do….

I’m tired. Frustrated. Feeling Unproductive. Angry. Feeling as if I’m doing things in vain. Just Down. Unappreciated.

Is this how I’m supposed to be feeling going into my 38th year? It’s an unsure place to be in when I’m so used to having it all together…at least by appearance…but lately, yeah I have zero time or effort to put into trying to look as if I’m good and I’m not. No, I’m not walking around upset and disheveled but there is this part of me that’s like “bump it, you feel what you feel, it is what it is”.

But the one thing that I had forgotten within all of this is that I was made for this!!! Is this adoption process going to be easy? No. Is it easy dealing with an energetic, curious toddler who can destroy a room in 5.2 seconds? Nope. However, I do know that God placed him in our lives to love and care for. Is it ideal havin to be out of the house at 640am to pick up another child and get him and my daughter to school by 730am? Nah son, but the way the situation unfolded itself let’s me know God put me in the path of his mother to be a help for a time.

I can sit here and complain about all the things that I have to do and all that needs to be done or I can just do it and be thankful that God put me in position to be His “go-to” woman.

Things will slow down, seasons will shift but right now….its go time!!!!!

Congrats On The Seemingly Small Wins….

Sometimes I am so quick to look over the “small wins” in everyday life. I don’t take the time to say “hey, good job on that” whether its to myself or another mama…

It is so easy for me to dismiss the seemingly little things that get done throughout my day that contribute to our home running better, my body feeling better or even cause me to be more efficient at my job.

So dear mama friends, I hope you take the time to congratulate not only yourself, but other mamas, on making it another day, loving on your babies, being a bomb wife/partner, crossing off tasks on your to-list….you’re worth it and you definitely deserve it!!!!👏🏾👏🏾

Real Life In the Mommy Hood…

If I’m being completely honest I haven’t been the most content mother for the past few weeks.

New schedules, lots to do, feeling unappreciated, and as if I am always missing or forgetting something had taken over my thoughts constantly. No matter how on it I was, I always felt like there was something missing-something that I was either forgetting or not doing correctly.

And please dont even include the added stress of being a foster parent to an actively inquisitive toddler whose birth parents I’m currently not on the best terms with.

Or thinking about how can I best help the young moms that I work with that have so many hard things going on in life.

Or just the reality that I am a wife and mother to six children…SIX!!!!

Laundry. Meals. Upkeep of our home. Schedules. Appointments. Work. Transporting to and from. Finding a babysitter.

I took on alllll of these things witb such a tight grip that I was starting to feel slighty anxious and just down…like nothing that I did was right and somehow or another there was going to be a a let down in my day. The only way that I can describe it was that I just wasn’t happy…not so sad that I couldnt get up in the morning and there were good parts of my day. But the type of sad that is bubbling right underneath the surface that showed itself when work was done. This sadness was put on display for my husband and children. A sadness that had penetrated so deep that the discontent was visible, palpable. My children would ask me if I was upset with them and I’d tell them no but they didn’t believe me…heck I didn’t believe me. My husband would ask me what was wrong and I would tell him I was fine but he could sense the shift in our home.

My family would be on edge and I was feeling like I was looking down a black hole of all the things that we undone.

But yesterday it hit me…I haven’t been good at putting me first. Yes, this is so hard for me (like so many other moms) for me to do. If I dont make myself a priority, others will follow suite. I have to be able to do the things that help me to recharge. I have to be able to create moments of peace while I have so many things going on.

I HAVE TO DO IT!!!!

And sometimes for me it isnt about spas and all of the typical things that come to mind when you think of self-care…its just taking the time to stock up on and take vitamins/supplements, walking/working out, or even taking a day off from my typical moomy duties.

So, I’m learning. Learning to listen to my body to resist burnout. Learning to take the time to recharge. Learning to say no when needed…. I want to not only live but thrive in this place called the Mommyhood.