Coffee and Pearls S01E30

Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls Podcast:

Scroll down to read it as a blog post!

I’m back!  Sorry for falling off the face of the internet there.  I’ll explain in a little bit.  Today I’m going to be talking about how to get up and dust yourself off when you’ve crashed and burned and how to get back to a simpler life when you’ve let the outside world command too much of your time.  Then I’ll be announcing the upcoming dates of my new book launch and my 8 week online program Catholic Mom Challenge!

My business got a little crazy there folks.  We ran out of posts, which is 50% of our business.  Our supplier just didn’t ship them for four weeks.  It was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever gone through.  I was working all day, every day.  My phone was ringing 30 times per day so I was constantly being interrupted.  I stopped blogging and podcasting.  I gained 15 pounds in three months when I had expressly decided that I was going to lose 15 pounds in those same three months.  

I was falling deeper and deeper into anxiety/depression land.  I felt like I was letting everyone around me down, especially myself.  I felt like I had compromised all the things that were important to my like my health, my homeschooling, my parenting and even in some ways my marriage as my whole life got swallowed up by this business that I didn’t even really want.

It’s a very long story and one that I detail more in my book.  Don’t worry, the ending is happy and bright and as always, God is good.  Most importantly, I came out of it having learned some great lessons about how to REALLY trust in God when you’re in the middle of a storm and how, in the end, we really don’t have control over our own lives.  

I feel like it was a reforming that God needed to do with my heart and my faith and I came out the other end stronger and yet softer at the same time.  I wanted to share a few of the lessons I learned but I’ll be sharing many

Five Ways To Get Back Up And Simplify Your Life

  1. Go To Confession  
    I know, I know, I talk about confession all the time but there’s a good reason for that.  If you’re steeped in darkness and you’re feeling awful about yourself, this is the best way to become white again.  Go to confession and confess all your failures.  Talk about all the balls you dropped, all the people you let down (including yourself) and all the yucky feelings you have.

    Does being over committed and letting people down count as a sin?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I doubt that it does but hating yourself and wallowing in anxiety and sadness is not living a life with Christ.  It shows a lack of trust in Him and probably a poor prayer life.  Regardless, I think saying all your yuckiness out loud and asking a priest to forgive you, might just be what you need to forgive yourself.

    Come out of that box feeling clean, washed and covered in white light.  Let it be a new beginning.  Go and sin no more.  You’ve drawn a line in the sand and walked over it.  It’s time to move on and make better choices.

  2. Get Out Your Red Pen
    If you don’t have some red pens in your house, go get them.  I adore red pens.  They make me feel powerful.  They have finality to them that gives me courage.  I happen to really enjoy these ones. Make a quick list of all your responsibilities and then try to get rid of ⅓ of your list.  Be honest with yourself, do your kids really need to go to camp?  Do you really need to make dinner from scratch every night or could you batch cook some things?  

    Are you really growing and moving more toward sainthood with the activities you’ve signed up for? What things are you doing because your pride is on the line?  

    Let’s be honest, we get confused sometimes.  We think we know what we’re doing and that we’re in control and then all of a sudden we’re running around like crazy ladies and we’ve let the things that really matter, the important things that quietly sit in the background, to get pummeled by the loud, urgent things of the world. We thought we were being nice and making good choices but in the end, we were sacrificing things that mattered.

    Get out that red pen and cross some things off.  Make some phone calls and give out some apologies.  It’s time for you to focus on your relationship with God and your family.  Everything else can wait.  I mean it.  Living a high stress, high anxiety life is not sustainable and it’s not what God wants for you.
  3. Don’t Be A Cow
    Did you know the word ruminate comes from cows?  Yeah, when cows eat their food, they chomp down on some tasty, tasty grass, swallow it and then later, they throw it up, chew on it some more and swallow it again.  They have four stomachs so they can keep throwing up and chewing on grass.  Gross.  This process is called ruminating and it’s what you’re doing by chewing on your negative thoughts and churning over all the possible scenarios of your future in your mind.

    Another way to say ruminate is to “chew the cud.”  I caught myself doing this all the time in these last few months.  The more my life was up in the air, the more mental calories I was spending thinking and worrying about all the possible outcomes of my future.  I was stressing over things that literally hadn’t even happened yet.  And doing this, drains us of our willpower, depletes our energy and draws us away from God.

    I finally said, enough is enough! Instead of worrying and being convinced I could come up with just the magic combination of puzzle pieces to bring peace to my life, I just gave up and gave it all to Jesus.  

    Lay your worries at the foot of the cross.  Tell him you’re worried but you trust him and you want nothing more than his will to be done.  Then let it go.
  4. Don’t Lie To Yourself – Are You Really Praying Enough?
    When I need Jesus the most tends to also be the time I’m with him the least.  It’s like I’m so busy and crazy and worried that I forget to talk to him.  Instead of spending real, uninterrupted time with him, I send up urgent PLEASE HELP ME LORDs and then I go about the hustle and bustle of my life.  Inevitably I find myself without peace and wondering why my life is out of control.  

    The answer is always, and I mean always, that I’m not praying enough.  I’m not carving out protected time for Jesus.  I’m not making him a priority.  I’m not giving him focused prayers that are filled with love.  It’s okay to make exacerbated please to our Lord but if we don’t take the time to praise him too, we start to feel the imbalance of our relationship.  Whether we realize it on a conscious level or not, we know we’re acting selfish and treating God like a vending machine.  

    True love is about sacrifice.  True love is about service.  We must love him with our hearts and our time instead of giving him the paltry leftovers.  We must praise him in the morning that we are alive.  We must praise him in the afternoon no matter what naptime craziness has happened.  And we must praise him the evening for taking us through the day.

    Just like in marriage, I find that when I feel the most unloved and unsatisfied, it’s usually because I’m being too self-centered and I’m not loving the lord or my husband with my time and my actions.
  5. Finds Real Ways To Recharge (Not the fake ones)
    I’m the queen at picking bad things to do in my downtime.  I know that social media, checking my phone, watching netflix and playing fast games jacks me up.  All those things feel good because release dopamines in your system.  It’s like getting a little fix every time you do it.  Your body craves these little pings and so you think about them, you’re excited about them, you know they’re going to feel good.

    But guess what, it doesn’t help you relax.  None of those activities helps your brain recover.  None of those activities helps you recharge.  That’s why you can spend naptime Facebooking and watching Netflix and then when you’re done, you don’t feel rested at all.  Your eyes will feel a little sore, you’re more grumpy and you don’t feel ready to tackle the afternoon witching hour with your children.

    Real ways to relax include reading, spending time outside, light exercise, stretching, praying, breathing deeply and doing something that relaxes you.  Some people find knitting or gardening relaxing.  Some people enjoy coloring or cooking.  I happen to actually find laundry quiet and soothing.  You know what helps put you in that quiet place where it’s like ocean waves are lapping in the background.  Do those things and not the fake things I listed above.  It will make a huge difference in your ability to recharge and have energy later in the day.

I hope some or all of those points are helpful to you.  If you have any questions or if you want to share your own personal story with me, shoot me and email and I’m happy to just listen, to pray for you or to give you advice if you have a specific question and if I feel I have a good answer.  

In other news, I’m so excited to finally announce the launch date for my new book!  Catholic Mom Challenge will be out September 18th.  That will also be the week my 8 week Catholic Mom Challenge online program starts.  More details to come about both.  In the meantime, please pray for me as I gear up for this big new chapter in my life.  

Stay tuned to help vote on the book cover design, to sign up for some fun giveaways I’m hosting and to attend a live webinar I’m giving to explain about the book and the online challenge program!

Lastly, I’m excited to announce that I’m going to be driving to Portland for the Catholic Women Rejoice conference.  I would love to meet you if you’re going so shoot me an email or ping me on Facebook and let’s plan to meet up!