Stop believing everything you think.

I had an ah-ha moment this weekend. Not just like, ‘hmmm…. interesting, but more like, ‘That’s me! I do that and I need to stop it, type of ah-ha moment.

They say good things come in three’s and that’s what happened with this message.

I’m often challenged and inspired by the messages at Life Church and this week was no exception. Here’s a short cliff-notes version of Sunday’s message from Pastor Patrick Herzog:

It’s unhealthy to make decisions based on thoughts and decisions that aren’t based on God’s truth. When we wake up in the morning the loudest voice is our feelings. When that feeling controls you, it takes little or no effort to think or act on your feelings. We need to make an effort to focus on the truth. Things can be up and down, but we have a God that is faithful. What he says or promises is more important than what I’m feeling or seeing. I need to remind myself:

When that feeling comes over you, it takes little or no effort to think or act on them. We need to make an effort to focus on the truth. Things can be up-and-down, but we have a God that is faithful. What he says or promises is more important than what I’m feeling or seeing. I need to remind myself:

‘I will not be controlled by the feelings in my soul, instead I will stand firm in the truth and live in his grace.’

Wait, what? I’m not supposed to believe my feelings? Obviously, I get that this isn’t rocket science. I’ve just never stopped to give it much thought. Like he said, it’s easy and takes little to no effort to simply believe your thoughts and act on them. It takes more effort to make a conscious decision to challenge those thoughts and focus on the truth. It’s a decision, a daily decision and a dedication to live a life of truth.

After sharing this with my husband, he said, “Yes! That’s why whenever I feel down’s I listen to You Say by Lauren Daigle. My thought was… say what? So he pulled the song up and we listened to it. It’s one of those songs that you just relate to. In a world where we are all yearning for more personal engagement, usually feel like we are never getting it right or doing enough, we need to remind ourselves of who we really are. We need to remind ourselves to make an effort to focus on the truth.

Now, if all of that didn’t already speak to me… during a meeting at work today, my colleague told me about a book called No Ego by Cy Wakeman. She started to share with me how this Reality Based Leadership speaker teaches others on becoming great by recapturing the emotional waste and upcycling it into results. Seriously… mind-blown. If you can’t tell, ah-ha moments really excite me. I don’t have moments like this often where something so simple, yet effective just really resonates with me. I couldn’t help myself, I immediately started telling her everything else I’d recently learned/heard about this exact thing. This was leadership based, not christian based, but both had to do with focusing on the truth and not allowing your emotions and temporary thoughts to make big decisions for you.

I get that this may not resonate with everyone that reads this, but if it helps even one of you, it was worth it. I found great peace in this and am committed to making a conscious effort to no longer believe everything I think, but rather to focus on what is real and what is the true. I’ll listen to the song mentioned above. I’ll read books, like Cy Wakemans… and I’ll continue to learn and grow so I too can live and be great.

My road to the lake. I’m always happy here.

Mothers Day: A moment to reflect on me.

A friend recently asked me this question — what makes you tick? 

I thought for a short time and felt challenged by this question. I knew answers. But I didn’t know THE answer. I know what makes me want to wake up in the morning. What makes me love my life. But what gives me my purpose and makes me want to grow? She presses on,

What do you really do for yourself?

Nothing I said would call off the dogs. She challenged me to dig deeper, to find a way to give to myself more than I do currently. It’s true – I don’t give to myself enough, whether it be the time to relax or the latitude to recognize i’m not perfect and I never will be.  I’m a doer. I’m a helper. I give my time to others freely and those contributions give me a sense of accomplishment and in a way, helps me (like most) feel needed in this big world.

What do you do for you that really makes you tick?

Crap… I’m good at a lot of things, (you might be thinking, damn she needs some humble pie, but I really am good at a lot of things and I recognize my talents) but, why oh why do I suck at taking care of myself? I really am awful at it. 

I need to lose weight, get more sleep and exercise… and I really need to care about needing those things more. My diet is rushed and I attempt healthy only some days. The others days sound a little like dire hunger overtaking great intent. I’ll do better…. I really do know better. 

Writing makes me tick. 

Yet, most days honestly, I feel way too exhausted to use my brain anymore after leaving work. If this sounds like an excuse, it is. But it’s also really true. Most people feel the urge to write or use their creativity most first thing in the morning, before any social media, emails or tiny humans have entered their day. I’ve read this advice from great writers, ahem, Elizabeth Gilbert, but still I don’t. I stay up late and watch mind-numbing television that does nil for my mental or physical health. Yet, it relaxes me to not have to think, do or care about anything for just a short time. I need that sometimes. I love TV and I don’t anticipate giving that up anytime soon, but if I cut back and go to bed early — maybe, just maybe that would give me the motivation to get up early and practice this morning creativity and writing. 

Writers often say, “I don’t know what I think until I write it.” That’s so true for me. Throughout the day when I find myself explaining things, sometimes one thought overtaking another, the thoughts are formulating quicker than I can literally communicate them. I know I need to slow down. I know I need to focus and sometimes quietly to myself I make a wish to write it instead. Yes, it takes more time, but it’s so much more methodical and peaceful. It’s not rushed or misunderstood… It’s just words as they should be, preferred to be.

I just fed my boys lunch. We went to three different parks this morning after I gave them each of them a hair cut. They all somewhat tolerated it. But the middle one screamed a lot all morning. It often brought me back to that question – what makes you tick?

I can tell you what doesn’t make me tick and that is that blood curdling cry coming out of my little boy. No pedicure, massage, candle-lit bath or time at the lake can regrow the death of those brain cells after those screams. Only this… maybe. The chance to spill out the words that have been dancing around my head since I’ve last chosen to take the time to really write. Words tripping over each other like an annoyed mom trying to simply walk across the kitchen, ahem, me. 

I want to be a better mom. One that doesn’t get frustrated with my kids so much, but I can’t be that. I’m just not that person. I get frustrated and I sometimes even raise my voice so they might actually listen to understand that I am indeed serious about them wearing clothes while they eat, sleep, you name it, function in the real world. I have to be okay with who I am as a mom, wife, employee, friend… because this is me. I can try to be better and make better decision and somedays I might even succeed at that, but some days I’m not going to and that’s okay too. 

Creativity and freedom of expression… makes me tick.

Some say creativity is a curse. Some says it’s a gift. It’s freaking both. The gift of creativity helps me out in life, often. It’s helped my career, my family, personal relationships, but it’s also demanded my time in all of those same places. It’s created more work for me when my body says, rest. It’s created complications in projects that are intended to be quite simple. It’s the need for better, for something different than the average that shrieks inside me. Why can’t I just do ordinary and be fine with that? Because I just can’t… and when I am okay with it, I’m really very tired. I need to rest and take some much-needed me time.  

But let’s be real, sometimes that isn’t realistic. Sometimes life goes on despite the need for some rejuvenation. And sometimes, I really suck at stopping and giving myself that time, even when I can. Because slowing down, stopping even, means getting behind. It means work, chores, time away from people I care about, it all builds up… and I can’t stand feeling behind. It feels unsafe, uncertain and unsatisfying. 

But the reward of rest and renewed creativity comes with a cost and it’s worth investing in. It makes me feel inspired, increases my self-worth, confidence and hope. 

It’s Mothers Day. I plan to spend the day with my tiny humans and my mom. Tomorrow, I give myself permission to just not accomplish anything, but let’s be real, I’m not sure I’ll take it. I’m just not built that way.

But here’s to trying. Happy Mothers day, friends!

If you’re a fur baby momma, that counts. Take the day off. My dog is the cutest dog on the planet. I’m convinced. He recently learned to high-five. Duncan Dairy Host is an epic dude.

xoxo

Kerri

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Our parental identity.

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Coloring dads face with sidewalk chalk. Why not?

This fathers day I’d like to reflect for a moment on a message that genuinely changed my perspective and approach for parenting.

The overall message spoke about our insecurities as parents:

We are consumed with what others think of us as parents.

So often, as parents, we are so busy rushing our kids to practice, games, and school events just for slight opportunity at an athletic scholarship or so our kids will be ‘happy.’

The message challenged listeners with the following questions:

  • What are we willing to invest in their spiritual life that contributes to their overall happiness into adulthood?
  • Is our approach contributing to a life filled with grace and hope?
  • What drives my belief as a parent?
  • Why have I been given children?
  • How do I make decisions regarding my children?
  • Who and what brings your children fulfillment and purpose?
  • Do you make them look good so you look good?
  • Are you the envy of your community, but in agony in your home?

Instead of constantly defending our insecurities, we instead need to defend our identity as parents with a movable pliable approach.

Instead of making excuses for our children, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Is this really happening? Do I need to change my approach? What can I do? Can this person teach me something so I can become a better parent?

When we parent out of insecurity, we pass that insecurity on to our kids. If we teach our children to live in grace with hope and purpose, we pass that on instead.

Nothing else matters. Not what kind of shoes they have or how many theme parks they’ve visited. They are happy and satisfied when you give them your time and are surrounded by grace and love.

To learn more about this message, visit:  “Whose Kids Are These Anyways?”

My identity as a parent?

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Color my face too, daddy!

This message meant a lot to me as a busy working mom of three little boys. Some might be offended by it. I get it. Parenting is a personal thing and we all want to be great at it. That feeling of being judged as a parent, or even worse the lack of communication where you’re just wondering what someone else is thinking of the oatmeal in your hair or the 3 little boys in your cart chanting songs as you check out in the grocery store. The truth is, we are all doing the best we can.

Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. More difficult than college, more difficult than being married, more challenging that any job I’ve ever had. But I do know that seeking a grace filled life makes my job as a parent 100% more enjoyable and meaningful. I’m not perfect, but I’m also not alone in this world. I have the grace and support I need all around me and together with my husband, I’m teaching my little boys to be compassionate people and who focus on what really matters in life.

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So hears to the dads out there (and moms) who need a little encouragement, a little high-five, a little ‘Go ‘team-parents! You’ve got this.’ You are not alone. If you seek the truth and teach your children to do the same, the insecurities that keep you questioning your identity as a parent and keep you from finding joy in your everyday life will soon fall away.

I don’t know about you, but I love the freedom found in parenting by the standards that we believe are most important and not what our culture or the media tells us should be. I can’t keep up with all of that. I won’t even try to. Instead, I’m going to enjoy our little boys and focus on what really matters.

xoxo

Kerri


1MinnesotaMom@gmail.com

 

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