untitled-identity crisis.

The last few weeks I feel like I’ve been having an identity crisis. Am I being a good mom? Who am I as an artist? Am I being the best wife that I can be? Where am I in relation to my community? I think that since finishing school there’s been the constant question from others, “so what are you going to do now?” I don’t know, I’m still figuring that out and taking it day by day. I have passions that are pulling me in all directions and I don’t know where to go. I’ve had family emergencies that brought me back and forth to California, inevitably leading to the passing of my grandpa from his medical complications. I’m unsure where I want to take my business and I simply haven’t given myself enough time to sit down and really think about what I want. 

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The stresses from the last few weeks, especially from being away from home more than being home have been driving me crazy. I like things to be neat and I hate clutter. I haven’t had time to clean and don’t even remember the last time I scrubbed down our shower. I often find myself measuring my worth of being a good wife against my abilities to keep a clean house. While sewing something for my grandpas funeral I turned on the Risen Motherhood podcast series to play in the background. I soon found myself playing my fourth episode, soaking in all the wisdom that I could from those wonderful women. As Jasper gets older, I find myself thinking about how Grafton and I are being examples for Godly parents. Are we teaching him to be a caring person, someone who wants to be a part of their community? Are we teaching him biblical lessons that he’ll hold dear to? One episode I was listening to gave me encouragement to start small, reading stories that are easy to digest and general rather than reading some obscure Bible passage his little mind can’t comprehend just yet. It also made me think about my own relationship with God and the church.

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In Boise we were super involved in our little church, Grafton did worship and I worked in children’s ministry in the nursery. I loved being connected to the people in our church. These relationships weren’t formed because everyone was the same age as me, had the same interests, or even similar personalities. I connected with my church body because we all had the desire to serve God and love on our community. Moving to Spokane, I lost that. I became so focused on school and found it difficult to find a good group of friends that I liked spending time with. The last few weeks of my university studies made being connected even more difficult, we have a small group that meets “every” week, but even that has dwindled from being so busy. I’ve been so discouraged that I can’t set aside a half an hour a day to study the Bible or do a devotional, but I’ve come to realize that a daily half-focused time in prayer is way less important than one or two times per week of fully devoting myself and meditating.

Actually looking into my heart and listening to a few Risen Motherhood podcasts made me realize that all my other relationships and heart issues are a direct reflection of my empty relationship and pursuit of God. It’s not that I don’t love God or desire a relationship, I’ve just put it on the back burner because I’ve put a higher importance on everything else. I believe in spiritual warfare, and have this sense that I’ve been attacked. School, something that is a good thing, became the cause of high amounts of stress for me. This stressed my relationship with my husband and gave me a short temper with Jasper and not being able to get things done around the house.  All of this stress has taken a heavy toll on my body. I think most women can relate to holding stress in their muscles, particularly their backs. I started having severe back spasms, feeling tired almost always on top of constant headaches, poor appetite (both nonexistent as well as an overactive appetite).

While acknowledging my triggers for stress I am also trying to find better ways to cope as well as preventative measures to take. I’m hoping to better my diet and make healthier choices. We do eat pretty healthy, but I’d like to be more conscious of my food intake. Gut health is the jumping off point for so many other things, from mental health to overall wellness. My acupuncturist also suggested that I eat more fermented foods or drink kombucha to aid my gut in wellness. In addition to food choices, I also use essential oils daily. I use products for cleaning that I either make myself or buy that are clean and free from harmful chemicals. I’m in the process of cleaning out my beauty products from toxic materials to pure ones that actually help my body. I’m looking forward to promoting the health of myself and my family in any way that I can, and using essential oils has been the easiest part so far. If you’re interested in learning how you can incorporate essential oils into your own life you can email me or find me on instagram. 

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I’m not expecting change overnight because I have acknowledged the issues. But it is making me conscious of what I want to do to better myself. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the women’s study I’ve done a few times and being part of a community of women that encourage, challenge, and support me to grow in my relationship with God.