happy new year! how's everyone doing? we're recovering from the holidays over here in palisade. this year i tried to make it easier on myself. i let my oldest son, gunny, wrap most of the presents, which was a win-win because no matter how many strips of scotch tape and how many mismatched pieces of wrapping paper he used, the recipient could only say, "ooo how cute!" and no one could say another damn thing about it! or my pillsbury sugar cookies that i pulled out of the refrigerator because really, WHO has the time? some of you did. some of you posted pictures of amazing snowflake sugar cookies that you decorated with your kids. i could barely get the frosting in the kitchen aid and the sprinkles on before i fell over with exhaustion.
i have had some anxiety flares over the last month, so i've done the things that i know are healing for me, gone to my tribe, gotten the fears out into the light, checked my self-talk.
here's what i've found: i have struggled with these things for years. and there were many years, especially when the anxiety was very acute, that i would be so mean to myself. i would be full of shame for feeling the way that i was and feeling as lost as i did. there were years i emotionally bullied myself —listening to and accepting the lies.
certainly, i still fight those playground bully voices. but my inner landscape has become a much safer place over the last year. i can sit with myself on days when i'm struggling when before i just wanted to escape into iphone land, or to target, or to anything that would distract me even a little bit from how threatened i felt about what was going on inside.
these days, my self-talk sounds a lot more like this:
baby girl (i heard Jesus call me that one night), you are tired, huh? you have a 5-month-old, a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old and you are hardly and barely keeping up. but you are getting up and showing up even on days like this. when your OCD and anxiety feel out of control and the thoughts keep spinning over and over.
you are okay, honey. you are safe and you are strong. you are most certainly loved.
we will get through this.
now go get a latte.
not everyday, but much more often, there are green trees and peonies growing in my inner landscape instead of starkness and angry dogs baring their teeth and telling me i better run for it. i am endlessly thankful for that. It's only a work Jesus could have done in me.
i wrote on instagram a few weeks ago about how this time last year, i was in the throes of morning sickness, hardly able to function. OCD was out of control and it was not very pretty. but this year...a new season. right when we think things will never ever change and we will be hurting or struggling or hoping forever, then the season changes. hank is here now and that baby looks at me in a way that melts me. i just snuggle my face in his and he snuggles back with his baby noises and heavenly smell. he looks at me so assuredly and with such confidence. when he's crying, i pull him up to my chest and he takes a deep breath and calms right down. I haven't been able to stop thinking about how i want to trust Jesus like hank trusts me. unreservedly and unabashedly, because he KNOWS i delight in him, and that I adore him and that i am for him.
i ask myself when i look at hank... what if i believed that Jesus loved me THAT much. that He adored me with THAT kind of fierceness. that he was THAT kind. little by little, sisters, i'm starting to believe that. and more and more peonies are sprouting up inside my heart.
the Christmas season is beautiful, but it also brings up a lot of rawness. there's stress, and family relationships to navigate, and trying to hide the huge flap of belly that hangs over your pants after three kids. and then, just like that, the calendar turns, and it's a new year and a new season with new graces awaiting.
so, i just want to say i am FOR you. He is FOR YOU. try and be kind to your tender self. try and catch the toxic voices and ask for even a smidge of grace for yourself. there is much more there than we could ever imagine.
Rickelle takes joy in the simple things in life and can often be found pointing out things of beauty–both big and small. As a licensed Therapist, she enjoys helping others find truth and breakthrough. However, Rickelle's main loves are Jesus and her family. She and her husband, Caleb, have two adventuresome boys. Rickelle also delights in conversation and time spent over coffee with treasured friends.