My Path Part II: Dairy Queen

Then I had Everton.

I mentioned in my first post that there is something about having a baby that rocks your world.  Not just logistically speaking.  I mean something inside of you that was hidden has now been unleashed. A hidden destiny of sorts.

In your eyes, a new path.

I had alllllll intentions if returning to work after having Everton and I tried. I really did. But, my heart was home and for good reason.

Before my momma died she told me that she regretted not being home more.  She was making the big bucks but behind a chair 10-12 hours a day.  My time spent with her was while she ironed clothes at night–I laid under the board.  She told me (Jesus did too) that I needed to be a wife and mother.  My career would always be there but my baby would not.

It worked out where I could be home.  So, home I went.

I was trying my best to rock at this parent thing but let’s get real here…momming is hard.  Everything up until now I had been taught how to do.

This is how you teach.

This is how you do hair.

We had a baby and had no idea how to even change a diaper.  True story.  Now, they’ve sent me home with this little dude and expect me to keep it together.  Lord, Jesus imma need you for a minute.

Why was I doubting my ability as a mother?  The Bible tells us that children are a GIFT and REWARD.  Weeeellllll, what did I do to deserve all this?!  The Creator of the Universe saw fit to give me a present…to entrust me with a sweet innocent life.  Maybe He knows something I don’t?  We’ll go with it, Jesus–take the wheel.

(I’m not discounting my husband.  I’ll talk about him and all his fabulousness in another post–we’re momming it right now, remember?)

Here’s where the next turn in my journey comes in…who wants to guess what it’s about?!  If you said “breastfeeding” you are totally right!

Breastfeeding–another way satan crept in to cause me to doubt my God given ability.

(I was told by “people who should know” *eye roll* that my baby was using me as a pacifier, I shouldn’t let him nurse longer than fifteen minutes because he’s just burning calories after that, but I needed to supplement because I clearly was not producing enough and my milk lacked what he needed.)

We made it eight months.  Which was a far cry short of my twelve month goal.  Formula is expensive y’all!  I’m going to be real right here–I started breastfeeding not because “it was best” but because it was free.  And, I didn’t love it all the time.

I decided, after all of the lies that the enemy was speaking over that situation, I didn’t want another mother–who chose to breastfeed–to go through what I went through.  So, I became a Certified Lactation Counselor.

That’s where the Dairy Queen comes in.

As a CLC I cannot diagnose or prescribe.  I can, however, help women combat fear through giving evidence based advice and encouragement.  So, I tell ladies that they are “enough” from the comfort of my own home most often through text, calls, or messages.

There is a tremendous amount of adversity that comes against us women through the form of fear and discouragement because of comparison.  But, the fact is, y’all, if we are doing this the best way we know how we’re showing out!

Maybe you aren’t a stay-at-home breastfeeding mom.

Maybe you use glass bottle or maybe your bottles are plastic.

Maybe you feed your child continuously throughout the night with a feeding tube.

Maybe you cloth diaper or maybe you don’t.

Maybe you homeschool or maybe your kids attend a private school a hour away.

Maybe your house stays spotless or maybe it’s like mine with a mountain of clean clothes fit for kid climbing hiding in the bedroom.

Maybe you have a disease that prevents you from doing everything you want to do for your family and you feel guilty about it(stop).

Maybe you are “just tired”.

Maybe your house is full or maybe you are praying for another blessing.

Maybe you are furthering your education to pursue your dreams or maybe you’ve given up on dreaming (don’t).

Maybe your kids eat gluten free organic stuff or maybe everything you have in your house is full of Red 40.

Maybe you wear makeup to pump gas or maybe you never pump your own gas.

Maybe your husband is a big help or maybe he’s not and it’s hard for you.

Maybe your kids have never seen a television or maybe–juuuust maybe–that Peppa Pig marathon is how you keep yourself together.

Maybe you’re half way through your Pinterest craft to do list or maybe you deleted the Pinterest app because it makes you feel awful about hiding the crayons and Playdoh.

Can we agree that we are all unique and equally rocking this mom thing?!  Yes?  Ok then.

Please!  After reading this find a fellow momma and tell her what an awesome job she is doing.  Here, I’ll start–

 

Hey, girl!

I had you on my mind while writing this post.  I just wanted to say that you are doing an AMAZING job.  I know so very well how things can be overwhelming but the fact is that YOU WERE CREATED for this.  I’m praying for an extra measure of favor, grace, and goodness to be poured over your life today!  I’m also praying for healing wherever you need it and prosperity for you and your family. Oh, and sweet sleep and no whining…in Jesus name!

Bless you!

Xx

Jessica

 

“I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.”

Psalms 120:1 NLT

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My Path: Part I

 

Do you ever wonder if The Lord’s plans for your life *really* are better than your own?  His word tells us that He indeed has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11) and it’s basically way more awesome that anything our human minds can come up with (Isaiah 55:8).  I ain’t gon’ lie though I had my doubts.  And, I’m happy to say I have been proven wrong time and time again.  #wontHedoit

I’ve had everything mapped out since I was five.

I can remember my first day of Kindergarten.  We practiced our letters with our fingers in chocolate pudding–y’all know that would be memorable for me–and the teacher adhered apple shaped numbers with sticky tack on the corresponding August day.  It was love at first sight.  I needed that in my life.  Yes, sticky tack…it’s amazing stuff.

Thus began my obsession with teaching and fun supplies.

Fast forward about eighteen years, (I’m not exactly sure because it’s too late/early to do math) I’m headed home from UNCW via I40 west with the realization that I hate school and I don’t want to be “stuck in a classroom” for the rest of my life.

I came home to Bill with my new plan. Hair.  He was like, “Whaaaaattttttt?!?!”.  Being a teacher was so safe for us.  You go to work, you get to impact little lives, you get paid the same thing every month, you get retirement, it was steady, it was a great ideaaaa.  I knew all about that.  I had worked in the school system as an assistant before leaving to further my education.

I started cosmetology school a few weeks later.

I thought that was my niche.  A second generation stylist, I grew up in a beauty shop.  I learned at a very young age that if you don’t add warm back into blonde before going darker you’ll end up green.  Oh, and Sun-In is the devil.  These epic truths propelled me forward.

Years later I’m working in a local salon building a clientele for myself.  I loved my job and loved my clients.  I had found a way to mix socializing, coloring, and making money.  There was just something so strange about my profession.

I remember Momma joking about being an advice giver of sorts but I had no idea.  It seems like there’s something kinda magical about the spinny chair.  When people sat down their whole life story spilled out.  They were lost, broken, abandoned…the list goes on.

I was hurting for them.

I was also hurting for me.

Things were “fine” I had been lacking true joy though.  I was missing having faith.  I was missing not having to worry about things that I shouldn’t worry about.  I almost cannot explain it with words.  Basically, I had a craving for God that nothing else could fix and I wasn’t able to recognize it at the time.

I had to do something!  I had to help these women!  (Like that burden lies on me LOL) I couldn’t, in good conscious, help them devise a plan to burn their husbands clothes in the yard…even though it may have been warranted…and possibly fun.  These ladies needed something rational and sound.  So, off to Christian counseling school I go.

At this point in my life my relationship with The Lord was pretty much non-existent.  I had experienced Him before but was offended with God because my dag on plans hadn’t worked out.  <insert epic three year old fit topped off with some major whining in the form of rebellious sin aka my early twenties> Naturally I decided on my own free will–don’t y’all love that stuff–to run my life the way I wanted because I could.  Lot’s of my’s and I’s there.  My husband and I were doing our own thing…you know…living it up…being decent people.

In my first semester I signed up for two required religion courses at Liberty online.  They forced me to read the Bible and learn about Christian apologetics *gasp*.  I’ll tell you what changed my life…having to write in a discussion board about “this past Sunday’s sermon” when I hadn’t heard one.  I literally wrote some mess like “I don’t go to church because <insert something dumb like people don’t like me or I’m a big baby and still have my panties in a wad about some stupid mess> so I looked up a Joyce Meyer sermon and she said xyz.”  It makes me laugh just thinking about it.  If y’all know Joyce you know she ain’t the person to go to if you’re offended.

The very last video we watched for class was from our professor who was a Muslim convert.  He said, “It’s about YOU and God not the person in the next row…do it for you.”

Here we go, Jesus, me and you.

Me. And. You.

That changed my life.  God tricking me into getting in His Word changed my life. Talk about convincing, convicting, converting power!  I went to church the next Sunday and haven’t looked back since.

I withdrew from classes because I learned you don’t need a counseling degree to hear from the Holy Spirit and point people to Jesus.  When dealing with others issues it’s not about our opinion of the situation it’s about what God says.

The Lord blessed my socks off and back on again in that season.  My favorite part was discovering the sheer beauty of The Lord (pun intended), being invested in my clients, and praying with them before they left my shop.  Lives were impacted and people were changed.  It was fab.

During the first few months after I had returned home I heard a sermon from a guest speaker.  He talked about getting where God wants you to be and the stepping stones it may take.  At this point I felt validated to be where I was.  I had prayed for God to light my path (Psalm 119:105) and He did!  Yayyy!  This went to this…that went here and there…and now I’m here.  I like what you did there, Jesus.

I thought I was going to stay at least for a little bit. Then, I had Everton.

I’m going to stop here with Part I.

 

I had a problem with *seeming* wishy washy about what I wanted to do<fear of man post soon to come>.  But, the fact is that God created me for a special purpose and I believe He has placed many–maaaannnnnyyyyyyy–desires in my heart…and yours too.

Where you are today is not where you have been or where you will be.  My path game is strong.  I’m in a weird season right now but it’s cool…to everything, right?

“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 NLT

“Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.” Psalms 37:3-5 NLT

Commit. Trust. Delight. Then, believe He’s gonna do it!

I found some nuggets in Psalm 139 too–check ’em out!

Finally.

It’s been…………..an exciting few weeks.  Our youngest will be two months old tomorrow and what a ride it is as a mom of three.  I’m still finding my place…finding myself…and trying my best to find some Jesus every day.  I’m hoping that by starting this blog I will be able to mesh each discovery into something that will speak to others like myself.

I haven’t always been a stay at home mom.  I started my career as a hairstylist, following in my mother’s footsteps, seven years ago.  I loved it!  I found a way to combine several things that I liked—making money, making women feel beautiful, and socializing.  Each client became a friend.  Each day was something new and most of the time exciting.  It had its own quirks, that’s for sure, but I loved it.

Everton, our first, was born in September of 2012.  I had all intentions of returning to work after the societal imposed twelve week break also known as “maternity leave” but things changed.

Dramatically.

Y’all know what I’m talking about.

The moment that baby exits your body you are a new person with a new mission.  I tried balancing work and baby but it wasn’t happening.  I wanted to be with my baby…I needed to be with my baby.

The Lord had been working on me about this for a while but I required more convincing.  You know the world values women more if they stay outside of the home.  The world tells us that busting our butts to make a dollar is more important than time spent with our children.  The world tells us that you are supposed to “do it all”.  My husband and I had both been praying about this and received confirmation.  I was stressed to the max attempting to balance this new life and my clientele had dwindled.  It was not financially feasible for me to work outside of the home.  So, here I go into unchartered territory and unbelievably unsure of myself and my ability to mother—full time.

I’ve been on the front lines for exactly four years now.  We’ve even added two more arrows to our quiver and I am actively finding my place here.  By definition the “front line” is formed by the most advanced tactical combat units.  It’s an area of potential, or active, conflict and struggle.  A person on the front line is the most advanced, visible, and responsible position on the field or in an activity.  You can form your own analogy about how this parallels to motherhood—we’re on the forefront, ladies, in every battle regarding our home.  If there is something I have learned in the last four years, it is how to fight.  To fight for my marriage, to fight for my children, to fight for my family, and to fight for myself.  Ironically, it didn’t involve coming to blows physically.

Don’t act surprised, y’all.

I’ll just be real here and tell you I am farrrrr from a theologian.  Obvi.  But, I’ve still managed to grasp a few key concepts.

The Bible tells us that even though we are human we don’t wage war as humans do.  We use God’s mighty weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-4) If you are a born again believer of Christ, you have access to these weapons through the shed blood our Lord Jesus. God has given us authority–these are words in red, mommas—and power over the enemy (Luke 10:19).  If we’re going to be placed on the front lines, it’s nice to be shown what our battle plan is doncha’ think?  Again, we have the power, through Jesus living in us, to overcome daily trials.  Now, that’s not saying that I haven’t stood there—frozen–watching as he advanced on my territory.  Let me just tell you it only takes one “good time” for you to get mad at it.  REALLY mad at it.  You’ll find out pretty quick like who you are created to be <daughter of The King> in a situation like that.  Then, you’ll for sure respond: Not today, satan.  Not today.

Here’s what I do: I see what The Word says about it.   I get that in my spirit.  I. Don’t. Let. It. Go.  I reckon I’m just stubborn enough to believe what God says is still true and I’ve chosen to use that to my advantage.

I want to encourage you, my sister beside me, today.  I know there’s a situation that you are facing right now that you think is hopeless.  Somehow the enemy has convinced you that “this is just the way it’s going to be”.  That’s a lie, babe.  Find out what God says about it and then scream it in the devil’s face.  You have every single resource in Heaven made available to you time to start using them.