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I’ll bet y’all thought I forgot about this months Family Focus, didn’t you?
Nah, it’s been mulling around in my head for a while now.
I just needed a little time, some quiet moments to myself.
The hubs has been gone pretty steady since February and though I was adamant that I wouldn’t revert to survival mode, I guess I kind of did. Grandma’s funeral was the breaking point. My time spent with her during those sweet final days were incredibly precious and I will never ever forget them. I can’t even begin to describe the love I had for that amazing lady by the night she took her last breath. Serving another teaches empathy and love more than any other lesson I can think of. No wonder the Lord asks us to mourn with those who mourn and lift up the feeble hands that hang down.
By the end I was just plumb wore out.
I didn’t have anything left to give.
I used to think that some day I would like to go back to school and become a nurse. I was going into nursing in college when my husband and I met. When we married I followed him to his school of choice and it didn’t have a nursing program. The only thing my credits would transfer to was a Health Ed degree, so that’s what I got, but I never loved it. It wasn’t what I wanted to do and I knew that the moment my big pregnant self stepped into a 9th grade health class to teach a lesson on baby development.
Over the years I have sort of pined for that degree that I never got.
Every baby born made me long to work in labor and delivery. I read books about midwives and even looked into becoming one myself. I just knew that I would have been good at it. That kind of service comes natural to me, like it’s part of who I am. And yet serving Grandma so intimately made me realize that I am where I am supposed to be. I get so emotionally invested in those I care for, which gives me a great bedside manner but takes every ounce of strength away from my body. I don’t know how to separate their pain from mine. It’s almost as if I feel it on a spiritual level that I can’t describe. All I know is, if I did that every single day there wouldn’t be any spark of me left.
There is only so much water in the well until the bucket comes up empty.
That proverbial bucket of mine has been bone dry and needing to be refilled.
I spent the last little while hiding away, reading books, studying scriptures and conference talks, cooking with my kids, re-kindling my love of journal writing, singing along to old CD’s at the top of my lungs, watching sappy movies, going for back road drives, taking muddy walks, working on my never-ending ship lap project, and listening to the spirit and the rain. I gave a lot of thought to my strengths and weaknesses, and what I needed to do to change. To become more of the person my heart wants to be.
And prayer, man oh man has there been a lot of that.
There are so many things I have wanted to share here but every time I have sat down at this computer, nothing would come out.
Maybe those lessons are just for me.
Over the last few months, one weakness has presented itself over and over again in the strangest ways. As I try to be a deliberate parent, I’m realizing that sometimes I have to focus on the needs of one child because, as a family unit, that one ultimately effects everyone. What I guess the Lord is telling me is, just as that goes for children the same can also be said for me as a parent. Because we are so intimately connected, what I do and what I need to learn impacts my family as well. As I focus on a quality in myself it will also plant the seed for it to grow and develop in my children. We hear the saying all the time “It’s not all about you!”, well sometimes my friends, I guess it is.
I woke up this morning and writing felt good.
So here I am, ready to take on a pretty scary weakness… this one is about me and it scares me to talk about it, but the Lord says it’s time.
To have confidence means you believe in yourself and others.
You trust completely.
I’m not sure why I’ve always struggled with confidence, but for as long as I can remember I have. I have the most loving and supportive family ever created, so it doesn’t stem from that. Maybe it’s the artsy fartsy in me or the tenderness, I’m not sure. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum but never been able to fully embrace the music. I’m a people pleaser. As a kid I did what ever I could to be good so my teachers would like me, so they’d think I was a good student. I wrote letters to my grandparents, made them cards, and was crushed if I ever felt they weren’t happy with me. I was constantly seeking approval whether it was from family members, peers, authority figures, or boys.
I’ve always had this need to be liked.
But not everyone is going to like us, right?
I know that and it makes absolute and total sense, but it still doesn’t register sometimes.
I have always envied people like my sister, husband, and my oldest daughter. They couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks of them, they just do their thing. I remember one time my sister saying “What? They don’t like me? Why would they not like me? I’m awesome!” not in a cocky way, but in a “I really like who I am and that’s too bad for them” kind of way. She is confident in herself and her abilities, and I love that about her. She trusts herself.
Trust, that’s a biggie, isn’t it?
I have so many abilities and talents. I’m a natural leader, have a kind heart, and an eye for detail. I have so much to give and yet I freak myself out. I get big dreams and set goals, then when someone else hems or haws in my general direction I quickly reel everything back in and go home to pout. I’m afraid to shine because my light might be too bright in someone else’s eyes… which is utter ridiculousness.
Over and over again, the lesson lately has been the same.
It’s time to trust myself.
It’s time to be confident.
This past Saturday my cousin, who knows nothing about what I’ve been thinking the last little bit, gave me a hug and whispered something in my ear that shocked me.
Out of the blue, Connie repeated the same message that the Lord has been smacking me over the head with for the past few months. To allow myself to shine, and to keep being who I am no matter what because the world needs more of me and what I have to give. I’m not sure why she said it, but her words were exactly what I needed at the very moment I needed it.
I love this blurry photo of me shooting down the zipline at my grandparents’ cabin.
That zipline makes me happy. It was constructed by my dad, grandpa, and brothers and I have complete trust in them to keep me safe. I love the wind whipping past my face and the momentary dissipation of gravity. It’s like flying. It’s funny, I’m strapped into a harness and yet feel total freedom. I know the limitations and still soar.
But, do you know what I love the most about this pic?
The exhilarated face of my little girl in the lower right corner.
That beautiful creature running along beside me loves me unconditionally, warts and all. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about her mother, she only knows that I’m her mama and she is proud of me. She’s watching me. She wants to be like me. Wow, that’s a lot of pressure! My influence as her mama is huge right now. How can I help her become the amazing woman God created her to be. What do I wish her to know? What will my life teach her about womanhood? What do I want as her mother?
I want her to shine.
I think the Lord is telling me that in order to teach her that, I have to learn myself.
So let’s begin…
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Now back to the post…
Brene Brown | The Power of Vulnerability
In this fabulous talk by Brene Brown she shares about the power of vulnerability. What does vulnerability have to do with confidence? I guess because in order to be confident you also need to be vulnerable. Deep down each of us longs to believe we are worthy of love and belonging. Like Brene says, being vulnerable is the birthplace of joy, belonging, love, and creativity. It allows us to live whole heartedly so we can have the courage to tell the story of who we really are. It allows us to let ourselves be seen, love with our whole heart, and know that we are enough. We can live confidently when we understand our worth and realize that our worth doesn’t correlate with our imperfections.
Lizzie Velasquez | How Do YOU Define Yourself
In this TED talk, Lizzie Velasquez asks the question, “What defines me?”
Lizzie shares her life experience in learning that she is in the driver seat of her own life and talks about using negativity to light your fire not put it out.
I have a history of letting others define me and then believing their definitions.
But Lizzie reminds me that “My life is in MY hands.”
My Life and Kids | Tips for Raising Confident Kids
Entreprenuer | 10 Ways to Become a More Confident Person
Life Hack | Confidence
Project Inspired | 20 Quotes You Need to Read if You’re Battling Insecurity
Total Beauty | It All Adds Up
*As always, please go to the printable creator’s site to print printables.
Don’t forget to leave a comment to say thank you while you are there!
Seeds of Faith | She Confidently Trusts the Lord Psalms 112:7
This printable from Seeds of Faith is only $5.00 to download and is so incredibly beautiful!
The Creative Girl | Be Confident Printable
Make Beliefs Printables | 5 Things that I Like about Myself
Make Beliefs Printables | Bold and Brave
Raising Lemons | Where Does Confidence Come From
Amazon | Anne of Green Gables
Always and forever, my favorite book.
The Chaos and the Clutter | Books for Kids about Liking Who They Are
Amazon | Pippi Longstocking
Amazon | These is My Words
I just finished this one and couldn’t put it down!
If you mamas out there are looking for the story of a woman who exhibits confidence even in times of trial, this one’s for you. I felt so inspired by Sarah’s bravery and grit. It touched my heart deeply.
Amazon | The Sound of Music
Remember when Maria sings the confidence song on her way to her new home with the Von Trapps?
Amazon | Wizard of Oz
The Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and Dorothy all have to learn about confidence and believing in yourself in this beautiful story. It’s been one of my oldest daughter’s favorites since she was tiny, seems so fitting for her… She could melt any witch that crossed her path.
Amazon | Wild Hearts Can’t be Broken
I don’t know if my kids have seen this one yet, but they need to! I loved the story of Sonora and Lightning growing up. Next family movie night? I think so!
Rollerball Make & Take Workshop | Mood Series Embrace Confidence
Yoga with Adriene | Third Chakra Yoga- Show Your Gold
Yoga is a great way to relax, get centered, and build confidence.
Adriene, one of my favorite yogis, goes through a “yellow chakra” focused practice in this video. The Yellow or Solar Plexus Chakra is associated with warrior energy, self esteem, and transformation. You can read more about what yellow represents HERE. It may be kind of out there for some of you, but pretty interesting too!
Health Central | 10 Confidence Boosters That Work
If I’m going to raise confident kids, I need to be confident myself.
It’s not an easy thing to learn, and it won’t come over night, but with a little trust in the Lord and myself I know it will happen.
Wish me luck!
Find the month’s Pinterest board HERE.
If you have any other ideas or activities to build and teach confidence, please feel free to share in the comments below!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories, and suggestions.