2019

Be Present

I realized something last night. I haven’t truly been present.

And when I say present, I mean in life and with our Heavenly Father.

I have been trying so hard to keep up with society. My life has been full of craziness, medical drama, standard drama, stress, anxiety, depression. I’m just one crazy hot mess.

But God knows this, so why am I trying so hard? I mean seriously? I’ve wasted the last 10 years wasting time and money, trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be, when I truly knew what I wanted.

Why do we focus so hard on what society expects from us instead of what God has planned for us already?

Last night at bible study, Hebrews 10:22 was brought up and it really hit me hard.

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed by pure water. 

Wow! Because I have been so focused on society and what they will expect of me in the future, I have not been present. My prayer life is not the best, and this S.O.A.P method is helping so much. I do it daily, for each bible study I am working on.

I am also going to be going back to work in the near future, which is something that I have been worrying about. I haven’t really ever worked, or been able to keep a job because of my medical conditions, but I am doing much better and have a great opportunity with vocational rehab to possibly put me into a different job or career path. I am just taking this day by day, and allowing God to guide me. Until then I am a stay at home mom, doing His work of housekeeping, which is a large job of its own and full on career if you ask me. I am also spending this time to really become present with God and in His Word.

Doing all of this is putting me in a place where I know where I want to be. Until then, I am going to enjoy this peaceful time, focusing on me and what God has planned instead of what I think I want for myself. I trust Him.ebf87-IMG_1980

 

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Change

Change is something that has been somewhat of a slow process for me. I used to be ashamed at admitting it, but it’s the truth. I have had the future planned in my head for so long, that I never truly thought that maybe God had a different plan for me. That maybe where I am right now is where He wants me to stay.

I was recently offered the opportunity to do vocational rehab due to me being disabled. I have been going stir crazy being stuck at home and thought I would be able to work with the help of vocational rehab. The only issue is that I would then be required to work and hold your standard schedule when that isn’t really a option for me, even at my healthiest, and that is just the fact of life.

I thought I would have a career, have a big house, you get the point. Well, that’s when the change happened. Then I started my Bible study in Philippians, and all the sudden I realized that I was actually the one who was making myself miserable. I was allowing the fact that my life didn’t go as planned in my mind to take my joy away from me. I honestly had no joy left. This has been affecting not only my menta health but my physical health. Im now on a journey of pure joy.

I have accepted life the way it is now, because clearly this is where God is wanting me to be. This is His current plan for me. I decided to go through a mass cleaning on my home since I’m the main person there. Wow did we have a lot of stuff we didn’t use or need. I minimalized like crazy and it feels amazing. With now having more space in our home, having it much cleaner and spacious, my stress levels have decreased. I do have an opportunity to work at home, but of course it takes a bit to start your own business, but I have plenty of time. For now, I will work the business while focusing on God, my family and the fact that I am exactly where God wants me to be.

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Consistent

I have had my fair share of New Year’s Resolutions and never succeeded with them. 2016-present I have been fighting chronic illness, and now I am going on a journey of healing and becoming myself again.

So today I am just going to share with you 3 goals that I am working on in January, my word of the year and a little history about me, which will all tie in at the end.

My health has been on the slumps, and honestly I have found through trial and error that it’s kind of all on me. Constant weight gain, hormonal imbalances, depression, anxiety, the list goes on. It’s easy to blame your poor health on something other than yourself when the so called medical specialists are throwing these diagnosis you have never heard before nor how to spell it, then giving you a prescription for something that is supposed to take care of it, and at least for me, they never have.  I have spent many years numb and not feeling any better with their so called treatment plan, until I took it into my own hands. Sure, its not easy and yes, you have to face the facts and take ownership about who and where you are and where you want to and who you want to be.

So I chose my word of the year to be consistent. I have always had a problem with consistency, if I’m being completely honest, I have plenty of people who would agree with me. I have seen myself in this repetitious behavior for many years, and it will and is already changing because I set my mind to it.

Now onto my goals.

1. Wake up early

I used to be a morning person, when I had to wake up every 4 hours to give my NICU kid her medicine or feed her or change her, or when I had to start my shift at 5am, but the last, I am not sure of the exact number but safe to say 6 years, I have been a night owl and morning lazy bones. In October my husband started this amazing new job, but it requires him to wake up at 5am and trust me when I say he was even less of a morning person than I am now, but we are working on that. Some days I just can’t get up right then, but I give myself a limit of until 6, then its off to my next goal.

2. Self Care

Now when I think of self-care, my mind instantly goes to thinking of counting your spoons and knowing when to lay in bed until the flare passes. That is not what I am talking about. When I say self care, I mean wake up, drink water, get the cardio moving and take a shower. This morning I took a shower first then cardio, which was not good thinking on my part, but at least its done! I’ve also been doing this amazing study with the book called Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I just started and it’s already helped me in more ways than I can count. My husband even bought me this huge 26oz water bottle and with the app on my phone, I never forget to drink the correct amount of water. Cardio. Me and cardio have not been friends, but standard yoga is not my thing. It’s amazing what you can find on YouTube. I found a 20 minute cardio workout, even though I made it half way, but I showed up and did what my body could take. Tomorrow is a new day.

3. Read the Bible in a Year

Yup, I haven’t done this exactly, even though I have read the books on their own. I am a Bible hoarder, but I have found that I am loving the NLT version, which I don’t have a printed version just yet (shh, don’t tell my husband im looking for one) so I’ve been using the YouVersion app on my phone. I found a chronological year long bible plan, so its different then you standard front to back reading. I have the reminders set so it won’t stop until I do my plan. There’s even more studies and devotionals to choose from for women, men, youth and kids, and its free!
What do these three goals of mine all have in common? Being consistent. I don’t force myself to set resolutions for a whole year, instead, with my Happy Planner in hand, I plan and realistically set my goals based on my schedule, and even schedule out down time, me time, date nights, you name it.

If you’re looking for a great planner, I have a video on IGTV sharing mine.

Maybe you’re like me, not sure where to start, and I am here to tell you to not overthink it. One step forward a day is progress. That is being a super mom.

Blessings,

Shanell

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With God, All Things are Possible

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With God, all things are possible. It says in Mark 10:27, which states “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men, it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” I have found this to be true.

My husband started working for the first time in over a year since taking time off to take care of me during my surgeries and my medical needs. Because of this, I have been off of my blog and happy to be back. Even though I have procedures in the future, I know it was time for him to go back, and I must rely on myself through Jesus Christ, but life got busy, and I did not put God first. I tried to push my way through life without prayer and my daily devotionals, and even allowed some negativity from the world impact me.

It is so very important to trust in Jesus in everything, not just a couple of things. It is black or white, no grey. I have remembered a verse since I was a young child, John 3:16 that says for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Now, that is true overflowing love. Just to know that God would send His only Son, and Jesus, knowing what was to come, spread God’s truth and love to everyone, not just believers. We are loved by an all powering and loving God.

So with the New Year, many things are changing and I am very happy to share them with you.

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With God, all things are possible.

Psalms 18:2 NKJV The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

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Simplicity

Oh how I miss the days where life was simple. Even though our lives are more simple than others, I strive to cut it back even more, but the question is how. I have been thinking about this subject for weeks and have finally decided to put it down in writing. Now, this isn’t perfectly written by any means, mainly because its a very sprawled out subject, but it’s the main point that I want to urge everyone to think about.

I strongly feel as though society has pushed this unrealistic expectation that we need the best of everything, and everything must be ran by technology. Um, no. It’s so much more difficult now, and we wonder why everyone is so stressed all the time (including myself). You can’t watch television without commercials bombarding you and your family about how you need an item, or if you have a bigger and better house or car, you’ll be happier. It’s all a lie.

Small and Simple Home Living


I have lived in my 2008 Fleetwood Single Wide mobile home since 2009, and I am the only owner. We live in a small park, at a dead end and only have 7 other people around us. It is just below 1,000sq.ft. and has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. When I bought this home, I was married to my ex-husband and we only had 1 small child. The plan was to live here and move into something larger no later than 5 years. Oh, how life changes. 

8 years later and I am still here and my family has changed and grown. My husband Patrick and I, and our 2 girls, Ayda and Ashley have made it work, but sometimes it’s hard. Small spaces get messy real quick, especially with 2 girls, a dog, cat and guinea pig (not to mention the husband). I easily get overwhelmed and it takes me weeks to get caught up again. That’s why I have finally found a plan that I truly think will work: 1 room a day with a 10 minute pick up session before bed. Here is what my days will look like.

Monday: Kitchen
Tuesday: Bathrooms
Wednesday: Living Room
Thursday: Kids Bedrooms
Friday: Master Bedroom
Saturday: Organize
Sunday: The Sabbath and day of rest

Of course there will still need to be washing dishes, laundry, and little tasks, but having one room to do your deep cleaning a day will make it so much more manageable. Plus, the girls have been very great at keeping their rooms and bathroom clean so that helps a ton. So there’s what will help keep my tiny space clean and organized. Now to home improvement.

We have planned out what we will be doing to update our home. Since we have been here so long and its very inexpensive, we have decided and devoted to keep the home and ultimately buy property and move it there. Little things make the most out of a home, like decor and painting. 2 years ago we pulled up all the carpet and placed down hardwood and its beautiful! This spring we will be repairing nicks in walls and redoing all the trim. I am so excited! I LOVE home improvement, well the end result anyway. We will also be building a new deck in the back yard and a mudroom up front (That can be taken off when moved.

Personal Simplicity

I really wasn’t sure how to name this section of my post because it includes so many different things, from technology to wants verses needs. 
A huge issue in our household was technology. Lets be honest, we have all had a time in our lives where we get sucked into our games, phones and computers. Obviously working at home I can’t get away from it since my business is ran on technology, but I have come to realization that I need to cut back. Also, YouTube Kids is not always child appropriate. If you have been following me, you know my oldest has anxiety along with behavior issues. We noticed the behavior was out of control, took their tablets completely away and have seen a huge improvement. We even asked Ayda if she was learning this behavior from YouTube and she said yes. Well, problem solved. 
So why did all the sudden we decided that we need to have everything little thing on some form of technological tool? Here is what I have done to cut back for our family and it has been much more peaceful since
-We have been pushing ourselves to read more. Seems like the only thing anyone reads anymore is Facebook and links that people share. I will admit that I read from a Kindle, but that’s all that I use it for. I personally love to read self-help type of books. I get sucked it so easily!
-We play more games and do more family activities. Baking cookies, playing twister, reading stories together, movie nights and painting rocks. 
-I have a planner instead of using the calendar app on my phone. Yes, I still have certain things on their like workout classes and important meetings or appointments just because I get a notification, but other than that, EVERYTHING is in my planner; chores, business tasks, meetings, chores, literally everything. 
Now, I would like to tell you we do have cable television, but we can go days without watching it. 
So what is my point? Here it is: Can you live without certain things? Do you really need it, or is it just a want? If so, try for a week and I guarantee you will feel a sense of freedom, especially if you replace them with more productive tasks. On Facebook to much? Learn how to crochet and make a blanket? Maybe read a book or paint. I strongly believe that we all should re-evaluate our lives and see where we can cut back (not just financially) to help ourselves strive the best we can. It is crazy how cutting back on anything helps us emotionally and even financially, and therefore we are able to put our time and money towards what matters. Simplicity is key! I promise. I have cut back and want to cut back more. I am becoming a minimalist and am okay with it. You never know what you may be missing with the ones you love, just because of materialistic things.
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Thank You Jesus

Hey everyone. I know it has been a while since I posted (more like a year), but I am back and excited for what is to come. Life is never easy. I have gone through my fair share in the last year, and I just had to step back and refocus and set my eyes upon the Lord truly and completely. The world is a hard place, and I thought I had it all figured out, and I never really did. I allowed Satan to pull me away from Jesus for a while, but thankfully Jesus is always there when you steer back onto the righteous path. 

So here I am, starting over again because I am far from perfect and that is exactly why I need a savior. I am determined to keep my eyes fixed upon the Lord, and to follow His Word and His will.

Thank you Jesus for the love you give me, and the love You have always had for me.

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Better, But Not “Better”

I am currently writing this from my phone while laying in bed in horrible pain from a flare from my Interstitial Cystitis.

I haven’t written much since May when I started back in college. What I haven’t shared with you is my husband went back to work and my kids are done with school for the summer. So my life has changed in its entirety and for the better, but that still doesn’t mean it’s been easy.

My health is better but not better. I am not sure how to say it any other way to be honest. My fibromyalgia has been better, but my bladder has gone in the opposite direction to where I have no other choice than to call up my gynecologist and reschedule the hydrodistention that I canceled earlier this month. I honestly thought I wouldn’t need it since it has been months since my bladder has gone in a flare. My back has been better until this past week when my kids were home and hubby was work, I was chasing around kids, dogs, standing and cooking, you know, all the standard stay at home mom stuff, and yet get my school work and photos edited.

Now I don’t mean to have this sound like I am complaining because I am not. I’m honestly very happy with my life and thankful God has given me these opportunities. I am overjoyed that I can do all this and have the opportunity to be with my children and go back to college for my dream. The hardest part is doing all this with chronic illnesses, and it’s even harder to find those who truly understand and can relate.

Chronic illnesses will never go away, so it’s up to me to change my outlook of them. I have no other choice because my husband is no real help staying home and caring for me. I was the one who told him he should go back to work because I’m not going to get any better unless I am having to take care of myself. The past 8 months of him being able to stay home and the past two years of him taking time off had been nice, but I never go better, and just became worse. That’s when my prayers turned into asking God what I needed to do, and that’s when I was answered with “Just live life”.

So here I am, living life. I am a domestic engineer; mother and wife, a student, photographer and Christian. I’m also a chronic illness warrior. My mindset has changed thanks to our Heavenly Father showing me the way.

So that’s what I mean when I say that I am better but not better. Mentally and physically I am, even though my conditions require consistent care and upkeep. Even though there will be days of flares where I will be down, even when I will be procedures. My mindset has gone from depressed to living life no matter what.

How are you looking life and your situations that God has handed to you? God made us this way and He is all knowing. We don’t understand but He does, so just go on and live freely!