Finding My Way Back to Joy

 
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You know I’ve been going down a road of self-discovery over the last month. I’ve been trying to share about my journey in the hopes that it shows you God’s goodness even in suffering. If you need a refresher, check out my highlights.

Since moving to our new house in August, it’s as if a veil has been lifted from my eyes. I recently read a quote that has captured pretty much what I’ve been going through lately: “The truth will set you free. But not until it’s finished with you.” - Dallas Foster Wallace

Um. Yep. 

For the last two years, I’ve been suffering with postpartum depression in so many different ways. It’s manifested itself in sadness, exhaustion, anger, frustration, lack of faith, lack of intimacy, lack of trust, and on and on. The depression came in waves because once I started to feel better, I found out I was pregnant again, and then had that baby, and entered into depression again. I was extremely lonely in our small town, but didn’t realize it. 

I lost interest in things that made me joyful. Stopped having fun. Focused so much on being the perfect wife, perfect mom, and running a perfect business. Yet continued to fail over and over and over again. I would get up every day running full-steam ahead, trying to be busy and good and happy, without really feeling that way. A mess.

It wasn’t until our move that I realized how absolutely lonely and sad I truly was. I was isolated in our small town. No friends to see during the week. Far from family. A new wife, in a new city, with babies, and a completely distorted belief system. It was the perfect storm.

I hit rock bottom when we moved because the veil was lifting. I realized that I had been lonely as friends started popping over and I saw my family more. I then began to read some amazing books that really opened my eyes. For so long I thought marriage and motherhood were the beginning of my struggles, but really my struggles began so much earlier. In college, my faith began to take root but I also internalized a lot of wrong beliefs that drove so many of my decisions as I grew. I took that belief system into marriage and into motherhood, and after two babies in two years, my world began to crumble. 

And now here we are.

I’m processing and working through all of this online because I want to show you all that God is good even in suffering. I want to talk through the thoughts I have and share what I’m experiencing because I know that many of you are right where I am. And I’m so tired of us all feeling alone. Because we aren’t.

You’re going to see a lot more of my writing. I used to write all the time, and I haven’t in so long. It will be unfiltered. It will be raw and real. And I’m excited and hopeful for how this will help heal me and bring me back to a place of joy in my life.

Thanks for joining me. 


 

Fall Diffuser Blends

 

Is fall not the best time of year?! I am actually obsessed with it. Hot weather is just not my jam, so the minute it starts getting cooler outside, I can feel happiness just flooding my body! And if you didn’t know, football is a HUGE deal in our family. We love college sports, and football is a family tradition in our house. I used to work for my beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats so this time of year gets me all kinds of excited!

If you’ve been around for any sort of time, you know we don’t use candles in our home. I KNOW. It’s crazy! But we don’t. And I can’t tell you the difference it’s made in our health. We don’t get headaches anymore. And our allergies have died down. Weird, right? So how do we make our home smell amazing? Especially during the fall?

Enter in a DIFFUSER. Or five. Because that’s how many we have in our home. Oops…

Maybe you’re like us and don’t have candles either? If so, it can be hard when you’re missing those yummy fall smells from candles. But never fear! We’ve got some to share with you today that will have your home smelling like Apple Pie in no time!

Orchard Stroll
- 5 drops Bergamot⁣
- 4 drops Orange⁣
- 2 drops Idaho Balsam Fir⁣
- 2 drops Cedarwood⁣

Autumn In The Air
- 5 drops Christmas Spirit⁣
- 2 drops Clove⁣
- 2 drops Lemon

Fall Leaves
- 4 drops Patchouli⁣
- 4 drops Clove⁣
- 4 drops Orange

Pumpkin Spice
- 4 drops Orange⁣
- 2 drops Nutmeg⁣
- 2 drops Cinnamon Bark⁣
- 1 drop Clove⁣

Oatmeal Cream Pie
- 5 drops Nutmeg⁣
- 4 drops Stress Away⁣
- 3 drops Cinnamon Bark⁣
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang⁣

If you don’t have your oils yet, what are you waiting for? Fall is the BEST time to use oils because of all the yuck that goes around and with kiddos back in school. Grab your oil starter kit here and let’s get you set up!

 

Stay in Your Lane

 

I’m going to admit something that is really hard for me. My usual reaction to failure or let down is to hide it and stuff it and pretend it doesn’t bother me, so the fact that I’m sharing a failure here is a big deal for me. For several months, I was prompted to reach out to a particular person on Instagram about doing the Young Living business with me. I loved everything she stood for and thought her platform was the perfect match with Plant + Prune.

But every time I went to message her, I stopped. I couldn’t find the courage to press send. When you’re in network marketing, there is so much fear tied to daily decisions you make for your business. What will they think? Will they see my heart? Do they view my business as legitimate? All the fears. Usually I can push past them and do things even though I’m terrified, but there are certain conversations and certain people I have a hard time with. My fear of their perception of me holds me back from reaching out and being bold in my questions or vision.

So, I let those promptings go by. I ignored them and made assumptions about what her response would be, and I moved on.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I saw her posting briefly about Young Living oils that I knew I had made a huge mistake. She ended up signing up with someone else. And I lost my chance to work with her as business partners.

And to be honest? I’ve been crushed since. Feeling sorry for myself and like I don’t have much to offer people since SHE didn’t decide to join with me.

But God’s been doing a work in me. And He’s showing me that the way I feel about this “failure” goes a lot deeper than this circumstance. I struggle with attaching my worth and value to other people’s approval and acceptance of me. I am only good if they say I’m good. I’m only accepted if they accept me. This “failure” in my business has brought to light just how much I depend on others approval of me in order for me to be happy with myself. It’s awful and NOT how God intended for His people to live.

Not only has God revealed this insecurity and dependency on others approval of me, but He’s showing me just how dangerous this is when tied with my tendency to pretend that failure or being let down doesn’t hurt me. Do you see the sick cycle of this? I do things to make people approve of me, and then when they don’t, I pretend it doesn’t hurt me. So, I go ‘round and ‘round seeking their approval and being crushed when I don’t get it, but HIDING it. For so long I’ve thought that showing my disappointment or hurt feelings would show them just how much I cared. And if people knew how much I cared, then they would see my weakness and failure.

It’s confusing and hard to articulate, but this is where I am.

How does this fit into the title of this post? I’ll tell you.

There is one tell-tell sign of when I am prone to seek others approval for my self-worth, and that’s when I’m not in my own lane. When I’m outside of where God wants me to be, I begin to compare myself to other people. When I’m outside of the lane God created just for me, I don’t see my gifts as gifts. I begin to think that who I am and what I can do is not enough to be successful, loved, or accepted. I begin to look at other people and think I have to do what they’re doing in order to be good enough. The moment I start stepping outside of my lane, I begin to give too much power to people over my mind and heart, and I stop giving the power to God.

So my question for you today is what is your lane? What is the place that God created for you? What brings you joy? What things do you like to do? What brings you peace? What excites you? Whatever those things, that is your lane. Your niche. If you’re running a business, STAY IN YOUR NICHE. Put those blinders on and stop looking to the left and right. Stop stepping outside of your lane. When you do, you’ll notice yourself comparing more. You’ll start making assumptions about other people’s work. You’ll start believing that what she is doing is what you’re supposed to be doing.

But when you’re in your lane? You’ll thrive. You’ll shine. And you won’t look for others approval to feel worthy of the calling on your life.

Stay in your lane, girl. You’ll be happy you did.