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!

 

No One Tells You About The Fog

 

No one tells you about The Fog. No one warns you of the clouds. No one digs really deep down into that darkness. Probably because it’s a scary place to be. Or maybe because they’re still in The Fog themselves. Some probably think no one else has been in The Fog or will be in The Fog like them so silent they stay. Whatever the reason… no one tells you about The Fog.

The Fog is heavy. It’s thick and suffocating. It’s absolutely everywhere you look. It’s in the eyes of your newborn. In the touch of your husband. It’s in the grocery aisle. The car ride. It’s in the voice of your toddler. And in the reflection in the mirror. The Fog is everywhere. It weighs on every bone in your body like a brace - holding you up and holding you back at the same time.

What you used to love doesn’t really light you up anymore. The Fog makes it difficult. Your laugh might still be there but it’s muffled. The Fog does that to you. Maybe you get some relief when you sleep, but you’re met with exhaust as soon as your eyes open to the baby’s midnight cry. 

“It’s sleep deprivation,” they say.
“You’re just adjusting.”
“Take a shower, you’ll feel better then.”
“Go on a date, that’ll fix it.”

And you nod your head. “Yeah, I’m just sleep deprived. I just need a date with my husband. Then I’ll feel more like me.”

So you get a full night’s sleep. And maybe go to dinner with him. You even start to shower every day. 

But The Fog is still there.

You briefly mention to your friend about The Fog, fumbling with how to explain it. And she acknowledges it but doesn’t ask any questions. You think maybe you’re the only one. So you don’t mention it again. Except your friend is shocked, because she thought she was the only one too. You both look awkwardly at the babies between you and silently vow to never mention it again.

The Fog. That’s what it does. It clouds your vision. It hides your need for vulnerability and convinces you that inside The Fog is better than out. “Don’t tell anyone about me,” says The Fog. “Don’t talk about how you feel inside The Fog, because then you might realize others are here too.” The Fog wants you isolated because that’s how it thrives. That’s how it wins.

But Light starts to break through. Maybe through a song. Or a message. Or a friend who notices you’ve changed. Maybe it’s the way your toddler hugs your legs one day that catches you off guard. Or the way your husband brushes up next to you. Somehow The Fog was a little thin in one of those moments, and you saw Light. You saw something else besides The Fog and it was beautiful. It was so beautiful you couldn’t stop looking for it. For a brief moment, The Fog doesn’t seem that enticing. It doesn’t seem like where you want to be. So you start looking for the Light wherever you can find it. 

You start to see it in your baby’s grin.
You see it in your toddler’s giggle.
You notice it pouring in through your living room.
You see it in the changing leaves.

Suddenly you start to see Light everywhere. And it’s such a beautiful sight. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t stop seeing it. The Fog is starting to lift and it’s like you’ve just regained sight after being blind for so long. You start to laugh and hug and smile and enjoy and get excited again.

It’s been so long.

You get together with your friend again, and things seem different. The space between you isn’t so far apart as it was before. You see the Light coming back to her eyes. And she sees it in yours. And you realize that maybe she was in The Fog too. Maybe for a long time. You grab her hand and say, “I’m glad you’re back.” And she looks at you with tears in her eyes and says, “I’ve missed you.”

You think to yourself, “I’ve missed me too.”