My response to the Women’s March 2017

I was unable to participate in the Women’s March in Peoria Saturday, January 21, 2017. I was still feeling under the weather and didn’t quite grasp the entire concept of what the march was supposed to be about. If it was for the empowerment of women and to promote unity in our country — I was all for that. But as I scanned the photos and posts from several of my Facebook friends I wasn’t sure what the point of it was at all….so many negative messages! It wasn’t empowering to me at all. 
Then I came across a photo meme that really disturbed me above all. At first it looks pleasant and positive…. but then I thought about why it bothered me so much! This was the image. 

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s an absolutely BEAUTIFUL picture of a GORGEOUS little girl! It’s the words above that bother me so much…. right down to the core! “Women are Perfect.” Talk about pressure?! It almost bothered me more than some of the unethical Donald Trump comments. (This was from a male friend’s Facebook post BTW). 
Many women I know already feel inadequate and like they need to be perfect all the time. We see what the world sees as the “perfect woman” from a very small age. My 4 year old daughter Lucy sees Disney Princesses as the perfect woman. Not only from their perfect (impossible to get) bodies, but they have the right clothes, the right prince, and they are kind to all (all of the time)! They can sing, dance, and have it all together by the end of their happily ever after. During our awkward teen years — women see the models and celebrities as the perfect women. Then even into our adulthood I have people that I see as perfect and I want to be perfect like them. This is an illusion of course because NO ONE IS PERFECT! But the journey to become perfect feels never-ending…..
When Chad and I were struggling with infertility I put on a happy face most of the time but I was a mess inside. All of Chad’s tests came back normal while the problem was with my hormone levels being EXTREMELY low. I felt like I had failed as a woman. I was supposed to be able to bear children and now it wasn’t happening. 
From not liking the image in the mirror to seeing how perfect “so and so” can cook to how patient and “together” that mom is on the playground. Nothing rattles these women… so what’s wrong with me?! As a great author and friend of mine, Jill Savage says, “We have the perfection infection.” We strive to be perfect even though it is never attainable. The world puts this stigma on being perfect so we put on an act trying to be perfect and beat ourselves up on the inside when we don’t achieve our goals of perfection. Talk about feeling like a failure….
But the good news is this! God doesn’t care about perfect! In fact He is the ONLY ONE who is perfect. He loves us through our imperfections and continues to tell us that we are beautiful to Him! If we were perfect then we would have no need for Him. But because we aren’t perfect we need to rely on Him in our lives. To look through his eyes and see the beauty that we are! Only when we ask Him into our lives and reach our heavenly goal will we be made perfect in His image through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ! 


Overwhelmed…..but learning to cope!

We all get overwhelmed from time to time. No matter how cool, calm, and collected we may appear there are moments when we feel like our world around us is collapsing. Sometimes there are so many items on our plate and we just can’t take one more thing! Sometimes I literally feel the walls of my house slowly moving inward about to squish me (think Indiana Jones type booby traps). 

I have always been a person who sometimes lets my “overwhelmed self” get the better of me! If you know me personally and are reading this I bet you just laughed out loud while nodding! Sometimes I just snap and feel completely out of control. If you ever want to see one of these moments just stop by in January — the birthday month!

Because both my son and my daughter were born in January we have a lot of birthday parties in January. Jack was born on January 20, 2012 and we adopted him just 3 days later. Not quite a year later January 4, 2013 Lucy Sue was born on my 30th birthday! So we have 3 out of the 4 of us celebrating our birthdays all within the same month. Birthday parties weren’t as big of a deal until this year when both kids have their own friends and we aren’t just celebrating with family members. Now we had to have kid parties as well as the family party. And because they are a boy and a girl their friend parties are separate. Jack didn’t really want a Beauty and the Beast tea party with his sister. LOL So he will have a Lion Guard party instead. 

This January has been an experiment in dealing with my Overwhelmed Self. Lucy’s birthday party was the first Saturday of the month. Her adorable friends came dressed in their favorite princess outfits (save for one of her friends who wanted to come in her Creature Power suit – to each their own). These little ladies were so excited to see the table decorated to the nines with candles and roses galore…. just like Belle would like it! We played Pin the Kiss on the Frog, Princess Bingo, and had a princess dance party/sing a long! It was a magical time for all of the little princesses! But for the King and the Queen (aka Chad and I)  it was a different story. 2 hours before the party the Queen of OCD became her overwhelmed self and started to lose it. Some of the treats she was preparing weren’t all turning out quite right, the house hadn’t been vacuumed yet, and things weren’t going according to her carefully laid plans! So she let the King (Chad) know just how frustrated she was… mostly unloading everything on him! But by the time the guests arrived all was back to “normal.”

The Beauty and the Beast Tea Party

The Birthday Princess!

Princess playing games

All in all it was a good day!

Later that evening the Queen Emily apologized to King Chad. I was so disappointed I had let my overwhelmed self take control. After all I had just finished being a part of the book launch team for 

Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. 

Click to buy on Amazon

The book had been revolutionary to me and had literally rocked my world! I had already put so many things from the book into practice. This was a definite test… and I had failed. A common theme throughout the book is pre-deciding how you will react to things. This can happen in many ways. I hadn’t taken the time to decide how I would react when the mini bunt cakes stuck in the pan therefore ruining their perfect shape. I didn’t pre-decide my reaction when I was running behind schedule. I just didn’t think ahead to the “what happens when things go wrong?” 

So I decided that the next party (the combined birthday family party) would be different! I pre-decided my attitude would remain calm because after all this was a celebration!!! God definitely put this pre-decision to the test. The Thursday before our Saturday party Jack came down with a fever. He was feeling “less than” in many ways, coughing throughout the night, and was just plain miserable. Friday before the party I joined him with body aches, sore throat, and feeling awful. Early on Saturday morning I stuck to my pre-decided plan. Instead of “freaking out” like I normally do when life throws me curve balls I calmly decided we would leave it up to family members to come if they still wanted to or stay home if they didn’t want to be around this cold that had hit our household. Some stayed home and some stayed. I had purchased the cake and veggie tray earlier that day and decided to just make a simple chex mix that didn’t take a lot of effort. I pre-decided that if the house wasn’t in perfect condition it was ok. I disinfected door knobs, counters, and the bathrooms but that was it! No vacuuming, polishing, or tidying up beyond just a basic pickup. Chad was in disbelief! He had never seen his “pre-party crazed wife” acting so calm. It was a great party and all of us enjoyed it regardless of being under the weather. 

Combined family party —- A complete success! (with no overwhelmed self looming)

As we go into this New Year I encourage you to figure out how to tame your “Overwhelmed Self.” How do you eliminate some of the things that overwhelm you? How do you pre-decide your reaction to the curve balls of life? I would highly recommend the purchase of this book by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory!  Click this link to purchase: Overwhelmed:How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity The strategies and situations are applicable immediately… not just over time! It is a great tool to help you on your journey of restoring your sanity!