Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Moving from Surviving to Thriving in Motherhood

Living in a state of survival was never my plan for motherhood. I saw myself being fun and laughing with my children. I saw myself baking cookies for bake sales and volunteering in my children's classrooms. I envisioned being at home when my children came home and being there for them to tell me about their day.

I never saw myself waking up in the mornings and barely being able to get out of bed. I never saw myself feeling like I was drowning every single day and not able to even think about what the next step was going to be. The idea of being sad every single day never entered my mind and I truly didn't even know that was a thing.

Walking through survival mode wasn't anything that I ever envisioned or wanted. I fought it and truly tried to "feel normal". I've walked through survival mode for some time. I mentioned it to my husband as two years and he corrected me and said more like five years. I was a little shocked at his statement but I figured he might know better than anyone else.

In March I was reading a book about Corrie Ten Boom and saw a quote that truly spoke to me.

Then literally two days later I was writing my scriptures for the day and 2 Corinthians 1:4 was what I needed to read to show me there was a plan for my pain.

At this point I had been on antidepressants for 2 years and had been walking through PPD. I was truly at a low point and didn't feel like I could make it another day.

However I grabbed hold of this verse and quote and believed it to be true for me. It gave me the confidence and the pep talk that I needed to make it another day.

I wrote the verse and quote on my mirror and read it daily, sometimes several times. I used these two things to encourage myself whenever I needed it.

I wanted to thrive in my motherhood not just survive until bed time. I wanted to live the life that Jesus came to give me, an abundant life (John 10:10). Thriving is living in the abundant life God wants for you.

I've always taught my children that you can do anything you want to do. This means if you really want to do it, you will make it happen. I had to find my want. It wasn't easy but I made a decision to stop my morning self analysis of how did I feel that day. I had to live the life that I'd been teaching to my children.

I made the decision to thrive.
It wasn't easy. To do this I had to overcome the voices telling me that I couldn't do it. The voices telling me that this is all motherhood was. The voices telling me that the people writing these books about thriving through motherhood were just paying it lip service. I had to take captive my thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5) and stop listening to the voices that were keeping me down.

I changed my focus.
I read a quote "when things change on the inside, things will change around you". Up until this point I was focusing on what was going wrong. I was focusing on what I wanted to change so that I could feel normal. I was focusing on the things that I can't control instead of focusing on what I can control. I can control my attitude, I can control my reactions, I can control my thoughts (this one was tough without medication hence why I'm still on it). Changing my focus allowed me to find joy in the little things. It allowed me to see that things didn't literally change around me, but how I saw them truly did. I started seeing the glass half full.

I took it one day at a time. 
The first day after I made the decision was hard but I liked "feeling normal" again. However a bad day happened and that sent me back on a spiral and set me back. After a nap or a good night's sleep I usually felt better and resolved to do it again. I didn't let one day of failure own me. 

I made a perspective change.
Everyday I would wake up and do my morning devotions and then begin to tackle my day. As the daily things would happen I started to tell myself that it was just a moment of the day not a bad day. I told myself that a bad day didn't made a bad life. I changed my perspective and started counting my blessings and thinking on good things (Philippians 4:8).

I started using a planner.
This happened by happenstance. I have never had a daily planner, but survival mode had me completely in a brain fog and didn't allow me to think straight. I bought it on a whim that maybe it would help me to stop missing appointments. In my planner I wrote down what what I was doing on a daily basis (appointments or places I needed to be). I also wrote down my daily to do list (I limited it to 3 things). Using it daily for the past 7 months has helped me to have a better focus and has helped me to remember appointments that I kept forgetting about. I also truly enjoyed decorating it weekly and seeing the prettiness of it everyday. It has helped me to move from survival mode to thriving mode. 

I tapped into my natural gifting for others.
This truly started my path towards feeling better. My gifting is helps and my love language is acts of service. I usually would be the first one to set up the meal train or at least the first to volunteer to cook. I was having trouble coming up with meals for my family and the thought of putting together a meal for someone else was too much. I wanted to serve others but I just couldn't find the energy. I prayed for God to give me the energy to help others. He showed me that serving others didn't have to be a physical thing it could be an emotional act as well. I asked him to show me who needed a word of encouragement. As a person would come to my mind I would text them and say hi and tell them I was thinking about them. I never would have thought that helping others would help me like it did.

I'm still on my medication but I can tell that I'm feeling better. Moving from surviving to thriving all began with a decision. I still have trying days that I have to take control of my thoughts but I can see that the days of thriving are becoming more than the days of survival. 

If you are currently in survival mode and would like a prayer partner I'd be honored if you contact me at stephanie.rovira@gmail.com. (This will not subscribe you to the blog).

Live the life God created you to live a life of abundance!

Be blessed!

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