Overwhelming and Overflowing..

Sometimes life is overwhelming.

Sometimes life is overflowing.

Such little differences in the word, I mean, they could almost be interchangeable. In order to overflow, it has to overwhelm.. but I think the emphasis has more to do with which action is the focus.

Lately, I have felt like life is overwhelming. As if, I am trying as hard as I can every day to keep up, tread water, make an impact… whatever it is, but despite my best efforts there is no overcoming it all.

I want my life to be overflowing. So that, no matter what I do or how hard I try, it is from the abundance of grace I have that is spilling out all over the place. Going before me and following after me.

Not long ago, I went to the doctor because I was fairly confident there was something wrong with me. I was perpetually fatigued, yet I had insomnia. I never felt good, like there was just something off. My throat hurt all the time, and I was tense, as in my muscles couldn’t completely let go. Then, one night while taking a hot bath, I had a full-blown anxiety attack. I couldn’t get my heart rate to come down, I was struggling breathing.. and all while candles were lit, soft music played, and I attempted to sooth my aching muscles in hot water.

Surely something was wrong.

I went through a few tests and some blood work to find out that I am in fact surprisingly healthy. So much so, that my doctor was quite pleased with my workout routine, my eating habits, the supplements I take, how much water I drink daily… Literally everything was perfect.

So what the heck?

Tension.

All of my symptoms now pointed to tension, which was a possibility even before he ran the blood work, but he wanted to make sure no chemicals were interfering.

Now what?

I’m the picture of healthy at 30.

I spent some time trying to figure out what else I could do to make it better… How do I make MORE time? I was already burning the candle from both ends in my attempt to fit everything in.

Jesus time.

I deduced I have been woefully negligent in carving out space for my Jesus time. As in, the I will sit here, and we will spend quality time together, talking, listening, learning.. being together. Like you would a best friend. Yet somehow I had forgotten to do this… for months on end… much longer if I’m being entirely honest.

So, slowly, I am beginning to force myself, regardless of the time of day or night to spend some quality time with my Savior, with my Abba. I need Him more than I need the bombardment of distractions I encounter every day.

And, little by little, the throat feels better, the percentage on my sleep app is inching upwards, and I realized that the action has changed. I am beginning to no longer drown in the overwhelming and instead, I am inching towards living in the overflow.

Jobs, Cars, and Struggles…

To the many many people who have inquired asking how I am and for updates on my life, job situation, and the car accident, thank you, you are awesome!

I figure it is time for a full update.

First, the job situation. Not much to update really, I am still applying, and still getting a slow trickle of rejection letters. Currently, I have sent out 175+ applications to 16 regions around the country, with an additional 4 around the world, and have received 29 rejection letters. I have gotten a couple inquiries for more information, but nothing really beyond that. — Applying for jobs is the definition of testing your ability to handle rejection and continue on anyway.

Four Dogs

Job hunting with four friends.

Currently, I am living with my aunt and uncle who are awesome and created space for me and the pups… AND make me coffee regularly. The only bummer in this situation is that, it is cold outside, which prevents using their pool. I am happy to report that, while the pups had a pretty rough initial transition, (as in the usually Mr. Be-my-friend transformed into Mr. Grumpypants and didn’t like their three dogs at all) he is currently in the fenced in back yard with their dogs running around and playing. I would say he has finally settled into no longer being an “only child” pups and enjoys the company and exercise!

Monday, I was in a car accident that was not my fault (no actually it really Car Accidentwasn’t). Thankfully, I was going under the speed limit, and had just the reaction time to swerve out of my lane just enough to prevent a full head on collision. The airbags deployed, and aside from being intensely sore for a couple of days, I was completely fine, and the other guy and his son were not even sore! But, my car is less than ok, although it too probably could have been way worse. And, in this whole situation, my one piece of solid comfort was that instead of just taking the pups with me like I typically do, I had uncharacteristically decided to leave him at home, and swing back by to pick him up before heading to my brother and sister-in-law’s house.
To help give an idea of the situation with my car that many have asked about, insurance is going to give me $1,000. In order to even do the bare minimum to get it on the road again, I need an additional $1,000. But, if I want to put the airbag system back in once more, I need another $1,800 on top of that. So, to get the car back to where it was before the accident, after insurance, I need $2,800. And, due to my lack of employment for a couple of months, I literally do not have the money… So, I have no idea how it will all work out, but in the mean time I have been using my brother and sister-in-law’s car (super thankful shout out to them!).

To say that this last week was crappy and difficult would be a laughable understatement. Seriously. In full disclosure, this whole last week I have felt somewhat forgotten by God, alone, frustrated, and just plain hurting. I honestly can say that while I am currently feeling more emotionally stable, and certainly like God is taking care of me through people, I still am struggling with the situations I find myself in.

Serious thank you to the people who have been awesome this last week and weathered through my crazy with me! One reminding me that the birds are still being fed, therefore I need to re-focus and fall back on my knowledge that God is in control and still loves me… And, is in-fact taking care of the situation no matter how I feel. Another reminded me that I am loved, and my feelings on the matter do not change how much I am loved. And, still one other reminded me that while this entire situation sucks, and sometimes it feels like “enough is enough”, the reality is that I know it will all be good on the other side, and… I would willingly choose to do it all over again if it touches one person… In the moment, I begrudgingly agreed, even though I actually do know I would in a heartbeat. While at times, I have felt as though my feelings of hurt and frustration (quite a bit of which were aimed at God) have been dismissed by some, they have had a good point; focusing on just the crappy things makes life worse, not better.

Last week, I sat in my room after receiving the information that insurance was in-fact not going to cover the damages, and I cried.
For the first time in months, I cried over a life I lost.
I cried over losing my job, my church, my home, my community, and my car.
I cried because up until this point, I had known and felt beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was going to take care of things.. I still knew without a doubt, but no longer had the peace that had been carrying me so far.
I cried because my life feels empty and without purpose.
I cried because I have bills coming soon that I do not have any idea how I will be able to pay for them.
I cried because I felt alone, and although I have an amazingly loving and supportive group of friends and family who have stepped in, no one is or can actually go through this with me.
I cried because I know I am in the wilderness, and it sucks.
I cried because I have to walk through this, and no amount of anything I can do will change my situation.
I cried because I am not strong enough nor do I know how to do this.
I cried because I do not see how God is working and moving or how He will fix this, and He has been particularly quiet lately.
I cried because I hurt.

I cried because I know that all of this could really be so much worse, but that doesn’t change how much it actually just hurts now.

I know that soon, things will be different, the night will be over and the sun will rise giving me a perfectly clear view of what and why God worked everything out the way He has.
I know that soon, I will be stressing about something else entirely, and before I know it, I will be joking about how overly dramatic I was in this situation.
I know that God’s mercies are new every morning, and I am so very thankful that He does not base anything off of me and my ridiculousness.
I know that I am being made stronger and my faith will grow tremendously because of this period of life.
I know that I am blessed, and will feel undeservingly blessed on the other side for how all of this played out.
I know all of these things because my God is good, but He also never promised life wouldn’t suck sometimes.

So, truly, thank you so very much to those who have reached out, prayed, laughed and cried with me. I appreciate the patience and love during all of this, and I am blessed because of you… even when my ugly and crazy shows.

Charm and Beauty…

This month I am focusing my blog posts on Our Perspective of Ourselves. This may be one of my favorite topics because I love taking time to gain perspective on situations. I am constantly telling friends about things going on, then asking for their view on the story or situation I just told them. Wisdom from others is something I never take for granted, no matter how hard to hear and absorb it may be in the moment.

Lately, I have been thinking about a blog post I read not long ago, (and of course I cannot find it again to save my life, otherwise I would give her full credit for these thoughts!) and in it, she mentioned that far too much of her focus in terms of relationships with guys would fall under:
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vainBut a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

Ouch.

After I sat there for a moment and thought about it, I sadly need to confess that there in lies the majority of my insecurities. Charm and beauty.

I am surrounded by these amazing, charming, and beautiful in every way women.. Many of whom are wonderful (or best) friends of mine, and I often think, “I’m not even close to as beautiful as them…”

Then, I was surprised to read this: “…I have never been nor will I ever be the prettiest girl in the room…” Who wrote this? Jada Pinkett Smith on her Facebook account on May 15th. I was astounded that a woman who I actually think is incredibly beautiful had this perspective. But then, I was blown away because she went on to explain how she met a woman who was 80, and who’s kindness, laughter, and wisdom made the woman intoxicating. Her challenge and reason for the post was to encourage others to be intoxicating, and not focus on beauty. I realized, it is not a “Christian” thing to desire charm and beauty, but to then also realize how invaluable wisdom, kindness… and fearing the Lord is (for anyone, but in a woman especially).

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vainBut a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

I wish I could say that my focus tends to stay on fearing the Lord, but more often than not, in the morning and throughout the day, my thoughts return to charm and beauty.

I am not a fan of this portion of me and my focus, nor do I intend on letting it remain this way.

My goal this month, and my prayers are for God to shift my heart. To move me each day further and further away from focusing on charm and beauty, and instead focusing more and more on fearing Him, and exploring what that actually means.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vainBut a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)