The Comparison Crisis

baby touching woman s face
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

You are living in a state of crisis……the crisis of comparison. I am guilty of it and you are too. Comparing ourselves is a risky little gamble that we play into daily. You know what I am talking about. Your scrolling through your Instagram post just “to see what’s going on really quick”, well first of all, it’s never really quick and 30 minutes later you are comparing yourself to every other mother on the planet. But, you will do it again. Like when your dropping off your child’s Valentine’s Day treats at school and you become obsessed with the table of homemade treats that every other mom made and your holding the dreaded Public bakery pre-made cupcakes that were on sale. Your now comparing yourself to those other moms. Mom guilt starts to creep in and without even realizing it you have jumped over the edge, into the rabbit hole of self-pity. This continues until you see the next post that you compare yourself to and the whole ridiculous cycle begins again. It’s like a hamster wheel of hell and for some reason, us mamas just can’t figure out how to get off of the thing.

Whether we mean to or not, we DO compare ourselves. After scrolling Instagram and seeing that baby Bob that lives two houses down has learned to roll over and your baby who is the same age has not, doubt instantly creeps into your mind. “I am not doing something right”, “Why hasn’t my baby learned to roll over?”, “Is something wrong with my baby?”, “Am I a crappy mother?”. And if you just think I dramatized those reactions…. think again. Every mother I have talked to takes that leap of crazy questions. Why??? Because we live in a state of constant comparison. Even when we don’t mean to compare we do. Even innocent Facebook post can turn an already defeated momma down a spiral hole of what ifs? We try our best to not compare but every morning, Pinterest Pam is shoving her staged-organic Lemonade stand in our face. And oh yeah she makes it a point to tell you she donates every bit to charity.

Because of these constant showy platforms, we never think our parenting is good enough. We always think, “Well look at her kid posing for that picture so sweet. I must suck at disciplining my child because he would never do that”. What Instagram is not showing us is the ten minutes of pure screams, crocodile tears, and red face cheeks of the toddler who is screaming because all they want is the iPad and a cookie but oh NO we can’t do that because too much screen time and too much sugar is bad. And that makes you a bad mom.

Every. Single. Mother battles this and if you deny this…. you are lying. Here are just a few things we compare:

How well behaved or poorly behaved our children are. Our kid’s weights, heights, and how many teeth they have. Formula fed babies vs. breast fed babies. What we feed our kids. How we feed our kids. Disposable diapers. Cloth diapers. Pacifier use. Back or belly to sleep. Where our kids sleep. How long they sleep. Holiday treats for the class. Birthday parties. Monthly pictures. How well we upkeep a baby scrapbook. How our kids meet milestones. How clean our houses are? How often we wipe our baseboards. What kind of car we have. Our marriage. Our sex life. Our date nights.

Should I go on or do you get the picture?

These comparisons start to play themselves automatically in our head without our consent. If what we do is different than another mother we automatically think we are failing or falling short somehow. Instead of talking about it, moms just try to do more. We do more crafts for school, we buy nicer clothes for our kids, we stay up till midnight preparing a week worth of organic baby food just to feel we are worthy. But maybe that’s why some moms feel so alone, so defeated, and so tired. Because they are playing keeping up with the joneses but even the Joneses are lying because they are struggling too!

The sad thing is, moms don’t voice these concerns because society tells us that is weak. Society tells us to suck it up, work full time, be the perfect mother, work out daily, prepare a home cooked meal every night, and keep your husband happy. And if you fail at any of those things, your a crappy mother.

Well mamas, I am calling BS. It is time to take back what is rightfully ours. That is our sanity, our confidence, and our ability to be proud of the mother we are and the child we are raising. Be proud of the fact that you are a mother. We are doing the HARDEST job on the planet and we are trying so very hard at it. Raising children has not gotten any harder than when we were kids and children have not gotten worse, but the obnoxious in-your-face access to what everyone else is doing has and it has us spinning on the hamster wheel of comparison without us ever getting off. We are allowing society to drive us crazy and it has got to stop.

Here’s some big truth shedding on the dirty littles lies comparison is telling you. The truth is that your kids love you. They couldn’t do life without you. You are feeding them. Loving them. Nurturing them. Guiding them. They smile, they laugh, and they are growing. You have concocted the perfect routine for your baby that is tailored just for them. What you are doing is excellent. What you are doing is more than good enough….it’s GREAT.

If Jane down the street with the “perfect” Instagram feed, the “perfect” yoga body and the “perfect” husband wants to keep up her front of a “perfect” life she can. But I am throwing in my “perfect” towel and waving my flag of my motherhood style, which is what you see is what you get. If I want to post a picture of my backyard (that has not been cut in a week) with my little boy with Spaghettio’s on his face (and no they weren’t organic), with two big handfuls of dirt then I will. AND I will feel good about it, because that’s how we roll. Sorry, not sorry.

And remember this mama—
NO comparison, no other mother, and no mom guilt in the world can take away the glory you are in your child’s eyes. To them, you hung the moon. To them, you will ALWAYS be ENOUGH!

The Dual Role: Mama & Nurse

Being a nurse and mama is hard work. Heck, being a mom is hard work. Shoutout to the SAHMs who are rockin’ it daily (you truly are super stars). For years I watched co-workers step into the mama and nurse dual role and watched them try to find the perfect balance. Then I stepped into that same role and understood the weight of their struggles a bit more. When you leave your child and then continue the caregiver role in your career….it can be draining. We, nurses, see a lot of stuff at work. We see heartbreak, we see tragedy, and we see pain. But we also see life, divine intervention, faith, and healing. Whether you work an 8, 12, or 16 hour shift or whether you work in the hospital, outpatient, clinic, or rehab center. Nursing is hard. Period. And leaving your kid to care for others can pull on your heartstrings and make you second guess if your doing the right thing. 

This is a little letter that I wrote my child, from a mama & nurse’s standpoint:


To my sweet child,

I wake up and sleepily make my way to your room. I am greeted with your happy little smile and giggle when you see me. Some days I am greeted with screams because you are just ready to eat. But either way I am alwayshappy to see you. I get you changed and fed and spend the next 30 minutes or so playing with you. In between peek-a-boos and chasing you around I cook you breakfast. It normally is an Eggo’s waffle that I pop into the oven. I always grimace because I feel like I could do better. Give you “real food” instead of the pre-packaged, frozen, Wal-mart special. But I can make it quickly and spend more time with your smiling face….so Eggo’s it is again. After getting you dressed, I throw on my scrubs. Sometimes you start to whine because you know that means mama is going to work.

But I keep trying to make you laugh and distract you from the impending school drop off. I hate the drop-off process even though I know you are totally fine when I leave.  We get to school and some days you cling to me with big crocodile tears. I feel a lump creep up in my throat but know I have to keep a brave face for you. I smile and promise that I will be back and contemplate the entire ride to work whether I really need to work or not.

A million thoughts cross my mind: Is he going to cry all day? Do I only need to work part time? Should I spend more time with my son?

These are usually always followed by a phone call to your dad who quickly reminds me that you are fine.

Some other days at school drop off you leave me with ease. You are eager to go see your teacher and play with all of your buddies and turn around and give me a beautiful smile as if your saying,I am fine mama, I’m a big boy. My heart is always so happy that you are content but then my mama brain starts worrying that you are “too” okay without me. My mom-guilt sets in again:Am I leaving him too much? Should I change shifts to spend more time with him? Should I cut back my hours?

These too are always followed by a quick phone call to dad. FYI your dad really is a saint (most days).

Either way drop off goes, whether it is easy or difficult, I always think about the fact that I leave you at daycare to be cared for by someone else while I go care for other people.  Some days I really focus on this fact and think about if I am doing the right thing. But the truth is my dear child, caring for people is part of who I am. I really would be lost if I didn’t get to wake up, wear scrubs, and care for someone.

By the time I pull into the hospital parking lot, I am rushing. I power walk to the unit and try to hide how winded I am as I wait in the line to clock in. My coffee is usually cold by this point, hair messy, but for some reason I feel right where I need to be. See, I miss you so much but part of me feels right at home when I am caring for others. And I do feel that one day, you will be proud of your mom for doing just this.

I begin to work: assessing patients, making small talk with them, administering medications, educating them on various disease processes, treating their pain, ordering their food, ensuring they have the care they need when they leave the hospital, and the list goes on and on. The business of mama’s job makes the day fly by.

At times, I am hit so hard by the mom guilt. I feel bad for wanting a career and to be a mama. Sometimes the world makes me feel like I have to choose one. But, I want you to know that that is a lie. It is possible to love your career and love your child.  And I honestly feel like working and being your mama has made me better at both aspects of my life. It forces me to balance things, it teaches me to multi-task, it brings out my best qualities, and allows me to be a role model for you.

Don’t get me wrong, when the alarm clock sings, most days all I want is to stay cuddled up by your side. But I am always glad I went to work even when it was a crappy day because I am setting an example for you….

By being a nurse I hope I am displaying what it means to be selfless and honest. I hope I am teaching you what it means to be disciplined. I hope that I am showing you what it means to be committed to being the hands and feet of Christ. I know that I give up being your caregiver most days but, God is using me to be a caregiver to others just when they need it most. So, please remember that every shift worked and every hour clocked in that I miss you with every ounce of my heart. But please also know that God has a unique path for you. Just as God has used mom as a nurse, he will also use you to shine your gifts for others. And oh my child how I want that for you so very much. I hope one day when you are in my shoes that you understand and that you too are out in the world doing what God has called you to do. I hope in the end you know that mama being a working nurse made the time together so much sweeter, the hugs tighter, and the bond stronger.

Love Always, Your Mama



A reflection on your 1st year

Everything about this first year was a challenge because I was learning how to mother you. I was learning how to meet your needs. I was learning how to balance being your mother, your daddy’s wife, an employee at my job, and student. But one thing is for sure, loving you was never challenging. Loving you was the most natural, simplistic, instinctive thing that has ever come over me. From the first sight of you, I was indescribably attached.  My heart bursts with love and pride for you.

Our first days together are a blur. From feeding, to changing, to burping, to sleeping… the time became like a foggy window. Minute by minute and day by day we bonded. We cuddled and we figured it out together. I honestly cannot believe it has been a whole 365 days. You changed our lives forevermore.

At times I was discouraged. I questioned if I was doing this whole motherhood thing right. Were you getting enough milk during breastfeeding? When you were crying were you in pain? Questions like these circled my mind all day.

Other times we shined, together. We successfully maneuvered our day. From diaper changes to feeds to naps, we were in perfect rhythm. Every need effortlessly met.

But, I was still in awe that God would entrust such a perfect, beautiful, healthy baby to your daddy and I.  We wanted to make sure that we did this parenting thing just right. But, that’s the thing…..there is not a “right” or “perfect” way to parent. It is custom and tailored to each as their own. You, my precious, boy not only taught us that but, so, so much more.

You taught me how to practice patience at 3 AM when you were screaming. All I wanted to do was sleep but, I woke, changed you, fed you, and there was this silent understanding of peace. The tiredness was felt but, God provided for me and taught me how to care for you even when I was weak. Even exhausted, the very sight of you changed, fed, and now sleeping peacefully on my chest brought me joy. I knew I needed to go back to sleep, after all, I was advised 100 times over, “sleep when the baby sleeps” but I would find myself sitting there, rocking you and watching the angelic site of you in peace.

You taught me about how happiness is truly in the small things. You were given a mountain of toys (which we are appreciative of) but you would find joy in the most simplistic of things like mama making a funny face or watching your puppy dog chase her toy. Your joy brought tears to my eyes and still does now.

You taught me to “go with the flow”. You quickly taught me early on there is no such thing as a true schedule in baby world. At times I resisted but ultimately you taught me to loosen up and enjoy the present moment.

You taught me about faith and trust. You trusted me every step. You knew I would provide for you no matter what. You reminded me to have that same trust in God. That no matter what was going on, to trust. You brought me closer to God and reminded me how faithful our Heavenly Father is.

Thank you for changing your daddy and I from the inside out. We don’t view the world as we did before. So, on this first birthday we celebrate you my sweet child. We celebrate the love, laughter, snuggles, and joy you brought to this earth.

We love you today and forevermore 💙

When your not treated kind…

When your not treated kind by someone. It’s hard. It’s really hard.

It’s so hard to not act out in the flesh with a heated word or witty come back but instead to let God intervene on your behalf.

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s been a boss, a friend, a co-worker, or a loved one. Someone has mistreated you and sadly…is going to mistreat you again. They will misplace their insecurities onto you. They will tear you down, to build themselves up. They may say horrible things to you, lie about you, question your character, belittle you, or even ignore you completely.

You feel yourself shutting down, you feel upset, you feel powerless, and you want an apology. I encourage you to stop. Stop now.

The feelings of self doubt, sadness, fear, embarrassment….those are not of the Lord. God echoed to me, that he did not create me to cringe down behind hurt but to shine brighter in the face of adversity. God reminded me that In that moment of hurt, he would reward me double for my trouble…..IF I clinged to him, IF I danced in that storm, IF I believed, truly believed that he would handle the situation.

I encourage you today, to not allow someone to dictate your happiness, your livelihood, your emotions. You are the daughter/son of a KING that will provide for you leaps and bounds further than what you “think” you need or “think” you have to tolerate.

Those people may have earthly authority but God reigns far beyond that. No one can steal the joy God puts into your heart, no one can make you feel insecure without your authority, and no one can tear down what God created….which is you.

One of the most beautiful and sought after gifts in the world are diamonds. Diamonds just do not grow peacefully. Diamonds are made unique, beautiful, and shiny under immense pressure. God is using you and watching how you react when you are placed under pressures from others who may not treat you kind. Hang in there, Just like that diamond, God has a bright shiny future for you, to reward you for the pressure in which you have endured.

Omit the skip button

I was driving home from work already in a bad mood. It was one of those days where you did 100 things but felt as if you had nothing to show for it. I hated feeling as if I hadn’t accomplished anything in a day so I had already compiled a to-do list a mile long that I wanted to accomplish once I got home. This would be in addition to trying to fit in quality time with my family, pay bills, cook dinner, do laundry, and then get myself prepared for the next day. I could forgot having time to relax, I was already booked solid for tonight, I would have to pencil that in for another day.

So, I sat there in traffic and started calculating how I would accomplish all of this in my mind as if I was putting several pieces of a puzzle together to make the chaotic picture that is currently my life. In a effort to drown out my busy mind I turned on my iPod. I listened to a few beats of one song but for no good reason would skip to the next. I was never quite satisfied with any song I came across. That’s an ok song I thought, but I could find something better, faster, more upbeat. Yeah this next song will make me feel better. But with each song that came on I found the same discontentment. This continued until I found myself in my driveway.

When my feet hit the floor of my living room it was like I had entered a race. I quickly picked up my baby and started hastily on my to-do list one handed. I began performing chores, tidying up, and half-heartedly answering my husbands attempt at a conversation with me, even though he could tell my mind was elsewhere. The baby became fussy so I knew it was time for our nightly walk. Crap! I hadn’t penciled that in either, I thought to myself as I shuffled around tasks in my head. As we began our stroll I again turned on my iPod. It was a “okay” song so I listened into the first chorus. I quickly dug my iPhone out of the stroller and hit the skip button, but nothing happened. The song continued to play. I hit it again, nothing. This irritated me and I stopped walking and actually looked at my phone. With force I began to tap the skip button repeatedly but the song continued to play in all of its glory.

I stopped. As I looked down at my sweet content baby, kicking his feet and gazing out into the world- wide eyed with the background noise of the song playing loudly, happily, and upbeat I realized something. I sat there like a scolded dog with its tail between its legs. I hear ya God, loud and clear I thought with a smile on my face.

He was telling me stop.

Stop trying to skip over this song.

Stop trying to skip over this season of life.

Stop trying to skip into bigger and better, faster, and quicker.

Stop trying to skip over the challenges, the grind, the hardships, just stop.

Listen to this song, listen to what I’m trying to teach you in this season of life, you may actually enjoy it.

I so often make the mistake of thinking that I will be happy when I get where I am going. But is this ever true? It’s never proven accurate for me. So, in that simple moment I was reminded on my walk that the secret to being happy is to be happy now, not later, because later may never come. I smiled because God has a simple yet powerful way to make an impact on us. So me and my baby listened to that song and then I listened to where I was in my life. I may not have checked off all of my “to-do” list for the day but I was present with my baby, present with my husband, and presently truly happy. I’m trying to omit the skip button in my life, trying to enjoy the song God is playing for me, listen to the lyrics, and be present. It is in God’s presence, his song, his timing that happiness takes place. So next time you have the urge to skip, refrain, and see what God has in store.

This day is not about me…

To the one who made me a mama.
You’ve saved me in more than one way.
You changed my life for the better.
My life is not as simple as it was before nor is it as easy. But, you have given me fresh perspective.

I do not look the same as I did before. My eyes appear a bit more tired. My clothes are not brand new. My hair is never perfectly fixed and there are gray strands taking root where brown ones laid before. I don’t remember what it’s like to have a care free night out with friends or have 2 hours of alone time. But I do know that I wouldn’t trade the life we share now for anything.

I find myself getting impatient because you refuse to nap or catch myself feeling like a failure for not being able to keep a clean house or get somewhere on time. But, I am gently reminded of what is important when I look in your sweet, innocent eyes. I am reminded to take a breath, to smile and, To be present.

You’ve reminded me of what is important in life. You’ve taught me to slow down. You’ve given me a better outlook. You’ve shown me how to love, how to be selfless, and how to care.

For you will only be this little once. The nights of which you will only want me to rock you to sleep are numbered. Your hand tightly intertwined into mine will only take place for a short while longer. So we stay in this place, in this chair, rocking in pure peace. The chaos from my dirty house and long to do list can wait. The worries, fears, and anxieties of the world melt away when you are in my arms.

Today I am supposed to be celebrated but it is you sweet child who I celebrate today. The love I have for you is indescribable. It is because of you that I am a mother and it is because of you I have been changed for the better.

Christmas card MESS into Christmas card SUCCESS

I just finished my large serving of our Thanksgiving feast and like clock-work my body knows it is time for Christmas decorating. After I pull my large collection of holiday totes from the attic, I pour myself a glass of wine and relish in my sea of Christmas decor. All the sparkling red, green, and gold ornaments shining back at me, my happy hefty little Santa’s smiling, patiently awaiting placement, and my matching stockings ready to line my mantle. Ahhhh, simply bliss. I strategically plan out where each and every one of my beloved decorations will be placed. I mean, who agrees that decorating your home for Christmas is an art form, right? This process takes time and creativity. I always save our family Christmas card that I create each year and I adore looking at each card from the previous years and watching how our family grows and changes but, have never been satisfied with finding a way to display them in my home. Every year when I get to my box of holiday cards, after I admire them, I get frustrated when I cannot figure out a way to display them to my liking….so I move on to the next box. NOT this year, I finally came up with a solution to my Christmas card chaos…..a holiday scrapbook. After a quick trip to my second home, Hobby Lobby, I had all the essentials to the perfect Christmas craft. I used our family Christmas card to create each page of my scrapbook and now every year is captured and displayed in a shiny little book on my coffee table. This holiday treat is now visible for all your family and friends to enjoy. Below I outline how I turned my Christmas card mess into Christmas card success! Happy crafting!



Step 1: Assemble the goods


For this Christmas creation, you will need a scrapbook, festive scrapbook paper, embellishments, scissors, glue, and last but, not least your favorite glass of wine.

-I used an 8×8 scrapbook and have found this to be the perfect size to house my Christmas cards. Get festive when choosing your scrapbook. There are tons of options to choose from but, since my house is covered in various shades or red and green for the holidays, I chose a bright red scrapbook.

-Next, you will need holiday themed scrapbook paper. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find 8×8 sized paper so I purchased 8.5×11 and cut it down to 8×8. After doing so, I then had extra paper scraps that I used within my book to decorate. Again, get festive. There are hundreds of holiday themed paper choices. Use a different theme for each page such as, Santa’s, Reindeers, Snowmen, etc.

– Next you will need, embellishments. That’s right ladies, accessorize it up. Throw some stickers into your shopping cart. I chose anything with a sparkle to make my pages pop. I also ensured I got letters and numbers in order to spell our name and each year out in my book.

Step 2: Assemble your book

Organize your cards by year, starting with your first Christmas card. For each card make a page and make sure you label the year on it. Decorate the page to your liking. Repeat the process for each card and then place in chronological order in your book. Now, add to your living room and each year you can look and appreciate the growth of your family!

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An Open Letter to the Brand New Momma


I couldn’t have been more excited to go on maternity leave. It was going to be that long-awaited vacation I had been working for. I dreamed of the days of lying around in my flannel PJ’s and rocking my adorable newborn, all while sipping on that XL Starbuck’s coffee I had been missing for nine months. I looked forward to twelve full weeks of “getting my life in order”. I created to-do lists in my head and imagined doing all of this with my little baby sleeping peacefully in the bassinet beside me. I planned on having a flawless delivery, a quick two-night stay in the hospital, a perfect obligatory Facebook “Going Home Picture” and heading back to my cozy home with my perfect little baby. Wrong. None of the above happened and motherhood wasn’t anything like I expected it to be, and I have learned that is OK to admit. I cringe at the fact that I once criticized a mother or once uttered the words, “When I’m a mom I will never do this or do that….”. The fact is in motherhood, you do what needs to be done to provide for that baby and you do so despite the stadium of critics that comes with being a mom. Motherhood is not one size fits all, its personalized and it comes organically. I began to truly enjoy motherhood when I began to listen to my instincts and care for my baby how I thought was best, not the peanut gallery of opinions from others. The following is a letter to all new moms, it’s raw, it’s real, and it’s something I wish I would have known going in…..

Dear Momma,

I see your tired, still recovering from labor, body making yet another pot of coffee to get you through the night. I want you to know that I understand what you’re going through, the good, the bad, and the things we don’t want to admit because people will think you are a “bad mom”. The truth is that motherhood is not easy, it is not always pretty, and it is not anything like the movies or your Instagram friends make it out to be. Your challenged daily, unlike any challenge you have ever undertaken, ever. You’re working harder at this than anything you have ever worked toward in your life. And you are loving harder and more than you ever thought could be possible. I understand and want you to know you’re not alone. I want to encourage you by sharing that nothing that is of value comes on a silver platter and motherhood is no exception. The transition into motherhood has shot you into new dimensions of life, like a bullet from a gun. It starts with the pain of delivery, then the elation of seeing your baby for the first time, then the reality of caring for another human, and then the flood of emotions that hits you after. All this happens so fast you barely have time to process what is happening and life does not slow down either. This transition has taken you from a woman who has lived to care for herself into learning how to give all of yourself to someone else on a daily basis. The job description of motherhood should read something like, watching your heart outside your body, because when that little one cries, so will you. When they hurt, you hurt. When they smile, you smile. Nothing in the world will ever prepare you for that monumental change in your life. On the tough days I have found myself wishing this phase away. Wishing away the sleepless nights, the crying, the endless guessing what does my baby need? Sometimes on those days I dream of just having one minute to myself. But, I am quickly reminded that this too shall pass, and it will pass more quickly than we think. Remember this, never again will you ever be needed so deeply as you are now. Embrace that. On those days, you cannot achieve getting out of your pajamas or brushing your hair, remember all that you have achieved. You are helping that tiny little person grow. With every pound gained, every smile flashed, and every milestone met, you can enjoy the fact that YOU helped achieve that.  God gives us mothers insight into just how much he loves us. The enormous love, attachment, and protection you have for your child is simply a fragment of how God loves and cares for us, let that sink in. That kind of love is a gift, a gift given to you by God. Cling to that on those tough days.

I sit here typing this into my iPhone notes with one arm around my newborn and the other hastily typing to get all of these thoughts down because I want you to know you’re not alone. In a few hours, I will be making the 1,000th pot of coffee while I tirelessly put together another bottle and I’ll smile because I am reminded in this crazy little thing called motherhood just how small I am and how big my God is. Nothing that I have ever done has earned me the privilege to receive this precious little baby but, God gave him to me. One day when I no longer am needed to feed, change, bath, or clothe this baby I know that a little piece of me will be gone with it. I will look back and be proud of the love that was given, the sacrifices made, and the lessons learned and so will you.

So, momma relax because the job of motherhood, while the most difficult, is the most rewarding. Becoming a mother is like being a part of an elite group of women who have the ability to do any task one-handed while successfully comforting a screaming baby in the other. You were placed here by God to be the source of constant support to this little human, that is pretty amazing. So, with each breath they take, relax and take one too. What you are doing is truly amazing, and it’s truly a privilege. So, rock that spit up running off your shoulder, bask in the fact that you haven’t showered in two days, and take pride that you have the ability to hold your bladder for hours because you are now a new kind of tough. Mom tough.

Sincerely from,

A momma like you

Attend your own funeral, Change your life

Have you ever thought about what your funeral would look like? Like who would come to mourn the end of your earthly life, the things they would have to say about how you lived, and how you made them feel. Because now  all that is if left of your human life is what you have left behind.  Would you be proud of your obituary or would you wish it read something else? This morbid and difficult question forces us to truly think about what we want to do in this human life. Is what we are worried about at this very moment important? Are we utilizing our God given talents? Are we happy? Coming to face with these questions can bring you out of the“rut in life” and put you back on the road to where God called you to be.

This is a topic I think about a lot and many wonder why I have been so stuck on this question. But, it is only when we think about death that we can truly think about life. When my best friend passed away suddenly in a car crash at age 24 I recognized that I am not here in this world forever I am merely passing through. It made me realize that if I am not using my life to be God’s vessel, then I have not yet truly lived. It was revealed in those dark hours that true happiness comes in the form of giving away of my gifts not, sitting back and just expecting & waiting on happiness to find me. God brought a question to my mind that day as I sat in the pew of my friend’s funeral, “What are you doing in this life? And what in this life will you leave behind to all of these people?” I thought about it and realized it sure isn’t my career, my home, my clothes, or my money. I had worked my entire life to achieve what I thought was the epitome of happiness. I went to school, worked hard in my career, bought things such as cars and a home, and yet day in and day out I was frantically searching for a purpose. The day of my friend’s funeral I recognized purpose in life comes from surrendering ourselves to God and actually letting him mold us into the person he created, not who we created. We might have created a “life” but, if it is not lined up with God’s life for us, then we will never really understand our purpose and be able to leave the legacy he intends for us to.

Legacy is defined as a thing passed down by a predecessor. The obvious things we pass down from generation to generation are possessions such as estates, jewelry, and wealth. But, if you think back in history and wonder about what was passed down I think of some very influential people and their legacy they left. First Jesus, his legacy is that he taught people about the saving grace of God and inspired people to live for God and in that promise will be brought to eternal life. His legacy is hope. Martin Luther King Jr. battled an entire country against racial inequality without raising one fist. His legacy is peaceSusan B. Anthony is remembered for inspiring women to fight for their equality, she gave women hope in a hopeless time. Her legacy is courage.  Helen Keller, who was not remembered by the limitations of her handicaps but, how she overcame and excelled in life despite those limitations. Her legacy is determination. These people have been physically gone from this world for a great length of time, and most of them have few if any physical possessions left. So why do we remember them? We remember them because of how they made people feel and how they inspired people to live. They made people of their time question the way they were living and challenged them to be better. That’s what my best friend did, he challenged me to be better. That is the life I want to live. Maya Angelou sums it up perfectly when she said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Your legacy is your reminder to the world that you made a difference in the lives of others, and through your legacy whether it is hope, courage, determination, or kindness will leave this world in a better shape than it was before you got here. The cold hard truth is that your funeral could be next, what will your legacy say about you?


The Greatest Playlist for the Worst Days

After a grueling day at the office do you ever just get in your car and want to crawl into the fetal position? I know I do. Each day seems to be getting longer and the workload has no end in sight. That lengthy monotonous drive home seems to just add to your frustration of the day. You can’t dodge a bad day, they are inevitable. But, you can dodge the negative attitude. Sometimes the best therapy comes via your car speakers because music is healing. Studies show it can help ease depression and bring peace to people suffering from long term illnesses. So, I put together a list of songs that are not only game changers in the music world but, also a game changer to your crappy day.

img_0644 1. Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer

Now this is the real deal. Who remembers losing that oh so important little league softball tournament. You practiced in the hot summer sun for WEEKS! You get down to the last inning and you lose. You get the crummy second place trophy while you watch the other team get their bright shiny medals. Sure, you still got your free Kamikaze soft drink mix at the concession stand but, let’s face it, your pride was pretty hurt. The second you got in the car and started pouting, your dad turned and said, “Keep your head up, practice hard, and get em’ next year.” While that is an elementary example really the same rule applies to life. Even though we like to act like we live a perfect life, our life is full of wins and losses. Some days we feel like we will never make it off the losing team but, the important thing is to keep your head up. I really like the line in this song that says, “The glow that the sun gives right around sunset helps me realize this is just a journey, drop your worries, you are gonna turn out fine.” Andy Grammer was right in saying that life is just a journey. It’s not dependent on that one bad day because your journey extends way beyond that. The root of your bad day could be financial, relational, physical, emotional, or spiritual but, know that this is a singular day. You will never have another day exactly like this. You will have more difficult days but, how you respond to this one will give you ammunition to attack that next bad day with tenacity and positivity. Keep your head up, don’t let this bad day define you. Redefine how you react. And remember, “Gotta keep you head up, oh and you can let your hair down, eh.”

2. Roar by Katy Perry

Now we are talking ladies! Belting out a little KP at the top of your lungs can definitely turn a frown upside down. Not only does this track hold an upbeat tempo that you can’t help to groove to, it holds a powerful message of strength. If you’ve ever watched the music video it starts out with Katy coming out of a wrecked airplane. She’s distressed, scared, and lost in the jungle. As the song progresses you see her find her strength in the midst of her adverse situation. What Katy brought to life via song was the strength we all have in ourselves. You see, we only find out what we are made of during the hardest times in our lives. The song “Roar” puts a fun spin on that very thing. Instead of masking in self-pity, RISE UP, and find that strength inside of you. Life puts us in situations that try to take us down. What we seem to forget sometimes is that God has given us the tools right here within us to overcome it, we simply have to dig in. This verse sums it up by saying, “I guess that I forgot I had a choice, I let you push me past the breaking point, I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.” How true is that? Sometimes we get so used to being SICK & TIRED in life, we stop trying. Keep listening, “You held me down but, I got up (HEY!) already brushing off the dust, you hear my voice, you hear that sound, like thunder, gonna shake your ground.” Now, take ahold of that bad day. Imagine yourself standing up off the ground, shaking the dirt of a bad day, week, or year off of you and let your ROAR out. It’s within you, just channel into it. Go ahead sing it, you will feel better, “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, cause I am the champion, and you’re gonna hear me ROAR!”

3. Shake it off by Taylor Swift

Dancing Time!!! Whether you like T.Swift or not, you can’t help to sing every word while shaking it off to this mega hit. I like this song’s message for many reasons. First being that this was one of the first tracks she released on her controversial album, 1989. While the album was super popular she did receive negative feedback for releasing a pop album when critics said she clearly was supposed to be a country artist. The song “Shake it Off” pretty much summed up what she thought about that. Many of us feel like Taylor in that we are labeled to a little particular box that we better not dare break outside of. Take Taylor’s advice, shake it off. So your boss is a jerk, your love life is non-existent, and your pretty sure your light bill is getting cut off this month, listen to this next line, “But I keep cruising can’t stop, won’t stop moving It’s like I got this music in my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright.” We can’t just stop and obsess over a bad day. We can’t carry around the weight of negative words said to us, you’ve got to shake it off. If you don’t let go, your negative baggage starts becoming who you are instead of something you experienced. This song sums up what we clearly need to be in life, which is to be, resilient. T.S. goes on to sing, “I never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet, and that’s what they don’t see, that’s what they don’t see”. I can’t sit here and say life is always roses because the thing is, life sucks sometimes. But, listening to this song reminds me of my call to be resilient, and when life deals you some bad baggage, just shake it off. Cue the anthem, “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake,s hake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off.”

4. Hall of fame  by The Script featuring

One word, Inspiration. This song is the ideal song for when your bad day consists of some form of defeat. The first few lyrics caught my attention by saying, “Yeah, You could be the greatest, You can be the best, You can be the King Kong banging on your chest”. Sometimes we need to hear that. We could be the best at our jobs, relationships, or goals. What’s stopping us from being great, is usually ourselves. We live by our feelings instead of our reality. If we don’t feel great then we don’t put effort into achieving great things, we settle. The song continues singing words of encouragement and explaining that becoming great does not depend on our luck but, instead our dedication. Hmm, interesting. Who feels that their goals have been on back burner because we don’t “feel” we are worth being great? I’ll raise my hand to the fact I’ve been there. We don’t feel like we will ever be worthy of an honor especially one that would get us inducted into the the hall of fame? Guess what, on your crappiest days, know this: You were meant to be great. We are not meant to settle being less than what God created us to be. This is one of those songs that you listen to on a crappy day and use it to fuel your fire again. Whatever your dream is, whether it is big or small, don’t wait for it. Start working for it. Great things happen when you get out there and work for it. Now blare it, “And the world’s gonna know your name,’Cause you burn with the brightest flame, And the world’s gonna know your name, And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame”.

5. Firework by Katy Perry

Miss Katy Perry makes the list again. Firework is THE anthem for you when you’re feeling unimportant, lost, or uninspired. Sometimes there are days when you feel like your dreams are dumb, you feel like nothing you do is appreciated, or you feel that you’re not good enough. These lyrics relate to those days saying, “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again, do you ever feel so paper thin, like a house of cards, one blow from caving in, do you ever feel already buried deep, six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing.” Some days I listen to those lyrics and think Katy pulled them straight from my mind. Just wandering through life, not fully understanding what you are supposed to be doing with it OR knowing your purpose but, being fearful of failure or ridicule. Listen to this next line, “Do you know that there’s still a chance for you, cause there’s a spark in you, you just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine, just own the night, like the fourth of July.” Here’s the thing, we all know that there is more to life than waking up, autopilot driving to work, mundanely performing tasks, and going to bed to do it all over. We know that. But, in those days where are hope tank is on empty, we’ve got to know we are built to be better. Do not continue to go through life hiding your flame because your afraid. Sing those lyrics loud, “Cause baby you’re a firework, Come and show ’em what you’re worth, Make ’em go oh, oh, oh! As you shoot across the sky-y-y.” The thing is, there is something inside of each of us that we are supposed to be lighting this dark world with. Sometimes we are scared to ignite that purpose God placed within us but, don’t be. You were made to do this! Turn that volume up, and let your light shine!

6. Cant stop the feeling! By Justin Timberlake

The beat alone is worth smiling for, add in a little JT, and your day already is getting better. Justin Timberlake delivered us a huge hit that you literally CAN’T STOP moving too. I love this song because from the lyrics to the music video is filled with positivity. In the first few lines it says, “I got that sunshine in my pocket, Got that good soul in my feet.” Drop the mic Justin, we know what to do next. Let yourself, let loose. Sometimes the cure for a bad day is letting yourself dance it out in the front seat of your car, raging like a idiot, hoping the car stopped next to you doesn’t film you and put you on youtube. The next few lines go, “Ooh, it’s something magical, It’s in the air, it’s in my blood, it’s rushing on, I don’t need no reason, don’t need control,I fly so high, no ceiling, when I’m in my zone.” Hate to break it to you but, a good mood starts with YOU. Like Justin says, its in the air and its in my blood. In order to live a happy positive life we’ve got to truly become happy. Happy starts within. That concept is something I still struggle with from time to time but, when we figure out our happiness is within our power, our lives change for the better. Let the good vibes settle into your attitude, turning your crappy into happy. Crank this baby up and feel the weight of today sail away.

7. Love on the Line by Hillsong worship

Goose bump time. This is what your bad day really needs, some quality time with JC. The root of a bay day begins with the pressure of thinking WE have to have it all figured out instead of giving our anxieties, fears, and hardships to God. We allow the weight of the world to crush us down until we are so physically and mentally fatigued, we just give in to the temptations of the world and develop a negative outlook. In order to really let go of a bad day we have to spiritually give it to God. Listen to this lyric as it reads, “With arms held high, Lord I give my life, Knowing I’m found in Christ, In Your love forever……With all I am, In Your grace I stand, The greatest of all romance, Love of God, My Savior.”  Take the hardship of today and raise it up to God. While this playlist can help bring you a “happy” on a hard day it will not be your solution, God is. There is a very particular reason we are expericing the hardship we are today. Our life is a process, we are being crafted by our father for a much greater purpose. God is watching our response. How are we doing? The song goes on to say, “To the One who has rescued my soul, To the One who has welcomed me home, To the One who is Saviour of all, I sing forever.” You will be rescued from the blues of today, if you chose to give it to God. He wants to rescue you, let him. As you continue to walk ahead in life there are hundreds of more difficult days to tackle, there are hundreds of negative people we will have to deal with, and there will be hundreds of times in life that the world tells you that you are not good enough. This song reminds you that you are rescued, redeemed, and risen by Christ himself. You have a purpose, now go out and use it!