5 Prayers For An Anxious Heart

Anxiety and being a mother go hand in hand, in my opinion. I have struggled with anxiety most of my life and it only just recently got harder to deal with. During my pregnancy with the twins I got over-worried really easily, often feeling alone because no one around me knew what I was going through. It was really hard, even when the boys were born. Everyone just kind of looked at me like, “I don’t know how to help you.” And when you realize that you’re alone, fear and panic can set in really fast.

One of the most important things I can say to a mother that feels that way, is that you aren’t alone. Your guardian angel is right there with you. Pray to God, and let go of those worries.

I was shopping the other day with my family and came across the book Prayers for an Anxious Heart. I grabbed it and read it immediately after I came home, and I wanted to share a few of the prayers with you. Some of them mean so much to me, because it almost completely describes the worries in my heart and my mind on a daily basis. Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t begin to put into words what I’m going through. The beautiful prayers in this book truly help me put things back into perspective. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I smile. But all of the time, I feel better.

This book can be found here, Prayers for an Anxious Heart. If you’re an anxious heart, I encourage you to read this book, or simply read these prayers. Realize that you don’t have to cope with your struggles alone.

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Uphold my steps in Your paths,

that my footsteps may not slip.

Psalm 17:5 NKJV

Dear Lord, I believe You are always aware of me. You know where I am right now, and You have a plan for my future. I want to trust You and be confident that everything is designed to make me more and more like You as I walk through each day. But sometimes it seems as though I’m totally on my own. It feels like I’m facing a mountain I have to climb, with nothing to hold on to. All I see is a steep mass with no way to get to the top.

Show me the path I’m to take, Lord. I trust You to guide me and make a way. When there are boulders along the route, please teach me how to use them as stepping stones. If I run into slippery places, give me solid footing. When the path twists and turns and I’m not sure which direction to go, I yearn for assurance that You are before me to direct my steps.

It’s easy to make my own decisions, only to realize I’ve gotten into something I can’t handle. Remind me always to depend on You to show me every step I should take. Then I can know, even when things are difficult, that You will take me to my destination. Give me grace to believe how much You care about every part of my life. Amen.

 

 

 

 

forgiveness

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, 

and abundant in lovingkindness to

all who call upon You.

Psalm 86:5 NASB

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your everlasting love, forgiveness, and mercy. Wrapped in your comforting arms, no anxious or bitter thoughts can take us captive. Yet sometimes we wrestle against Your embrace. Rather than give up our anger and resentment, we choose to wallow in our own discontent. We seek comfort in the familiar burden of impunity and smugly point accusing fingers at those who have hurt us.

Your Word tells us to surrender the wrath and malice we hold against our enemies. Offering love and forgiveness to them that You have given to us will deliver us from the anguish that bitterness so readily brings. The struggle is a hard battle to win.

You mercifully remind us to view those who have wronged us through Your eyes- the same eyes through which You looked upon our own sinfulness. They strive against human failings as much as we do. Then we concede the truth: prayer and forgiveness are the keys to unlock the prison of our enraged hearts.

You, Lord, are always ready to forgive, having loved us with an everlasting love. Help us follow Your divine example. Let us bring into captivity every thought in obedience to Christ. Yes, Lord, our forgiving heart set us rest in the comfort of Your embrace once again.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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fear

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you,

for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 NASB

Lord, I have no reason to fear, because You are with me. You are ever present by my side to guide and protect me. The things in this world that make me afraid are not more powerful than You and are not out of Your control.

I need not look anxiously around me for help from somewhere else, because You are my God. Keep me from setting up other things in my life as gods. Nothing and no one else besides You is able to give me the peace, endurance, and power I need to face the day ahead. Instead of looking around me and focusing on the things that overwhelm me, may I set my gaze firmly and unwaveringly on You.

Thank You for this wonderful reminder that You will strengthen and help me. I ask You, the Almighty God, for that strength and help right now as I face the days and weeks ahead.

Help me rest securely in the knowledge that I am firmly placed in Your hands.

I truly have no reason to fear with You by my side, as my God, strengthening, helping, and holding me in Your hands. Amen.

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calm

“The LORD will fight for you, and you only have to be silent.”

Exodus 14:14 ESV

In this day and age when action is so heavily stressed, it is hard for me to wrap my head around the thought of not acting. Lord, this is truly a command You give in times of struggle? Waiting on Your will and timing is one of the hardest tasks.

I must remember Your might and power. You create the very atoms of the ground I tread, and I confess that many times I stop around creating chaos when all I seek is order. Lord, the thought of ceasing my plans and obeying Your will frightens me. When You call me to reach outside myself and forgive or trust, it tears me from my selfish pride, rids me of embittered desires, and cleanses the channels of my heart. I must trust that the most strenuous and arduous tasks You grant me will bear the most fruit and draw me closer to You. To know that the God of the universe fights for me, an undeserving sinner, leaves me astounded.

Lord, thank You for fighting my battles inside my heart and outside of myself. Change my heart, Lord; help me obey Your command and trust in Your plan. Let Your spirit prompt me to keep silent and listen for Your instruction. Lord, grant me the courage to release these fears into Your care and stand firm in the fact that You will fight for me. Amen.

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down

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10 NIV

Oh, heavenly Father, what a wonderful gift it is to have Your love embedded so deep in my heart. Nothing is more powerful than the love You have for me. It overcomes all hardship and transgression. Your love fills me up with forgiveness. It washes my heart clean of sin. And when I am downtrodden and weary, it is Your love that refreshes me and gives me strength to carry on.

I find such peace in Your love, a remarkable peace truly beyond my understanding. When I am troubled, I know that You are there in my heart. I listen and I hear You whisper to me gently, almost like a lullaby, “Be still, My child. I am here, and I love you.”

You are always here waiting for me in my heart, ready to help me, to comfort and to love me.

And joy! There is such joy in knowing that Your love is eternal. You are with me wherever I go and whatever I do. Nothing can separate me from Your love- nothing at all. In the worst of times, You draw me near to You. You hold me close and love me with a love so pure that there is no mistake that it comes from You.

Oh, thank You, God. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for being there, down in my heart. Amen.

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How I Stop My Colds In Their Tracks!

colds, natural, healthy, options, medicine, stop, healthy

colds, natural, healthy, options, medicine, stop, healthy

My life is extremely busy. From one moment to the next, I have about 300,000 things on my to-do list. The one thing that can pull my day to a screeching halt is… a cold. All of my life, every time I ever got a cold, it would make me so miserable I couldn’t do anything. For weeks.

It would go through phases. I would get the achy, dry throat. Stopped up nose. Head fog. Watery eyes. Sneezing. Body aches. Headaches. Chills. Then it would last for days and days. Then I would get the gunky throat and the gross cough. Then after that I would get sometimes a constant, barky, dry cough. Sometimes it’d get so bad I’d lose my voice for days.
Sounds more like the flu, doesn’t it?
But its really my personal normal symptoms for the common cold for me. I often get sinusitis too. I finally got fed up with it after I had my daughter, McKennah. I figured there HAS to be a way to help this. My body never responds to over-the-counter drugs, besides ibuprofen. And only when I have a bacterial infection, does it respond to antibiotics.
I have been pregnant for the better half of the last 5 years. My four children mean the absolute world to me. It’s just so hard to be the best mom I need to be when I have a cold. I hits me like a train and suddenly I just can’t do anything. I don’t want to cook, clean, go out anywhere. All I want to do is sit in my tub and drink coffee.
But then I found a few things that would change my life forever.
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With a little bit of determination, research, and willingness to try something new, I have found the answer to my month-long cold problem.
  1. Elderberry. Before having kids, I had never even heard of elderberry. It has a lot of health benefits and it has been used for hundreds of years as a part of traditional medicine. They have large amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, and its health benefits range from digestive health, cardiovascular protection, immune system health, and bone health and inflammation. It helps alleviate respiratory conditions such as cold and cough, which is why I use it while I’m sick and even when I’m not to help avoid sickness. It’s only when I’m not taking do I catch nasty germs.
I have grabbed this awesome infographic from Organicfacts.net:
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You can view its entire article here.
It is an AWESOME preventative for colds. Take it every day if you have a job where you’re around of lot of people, or take for a few days before you go somewhere where there might be people who are sick.
Another great thing about Elderberry, its SAFE for pregnancy and breastfeeding which is one of my biggest concerns when looking for cold relief as a mom. As long as it is not taken in huge amounts, its very safe, as with many OTC drugs. It is also safe for kids to take, and they even make children’s elderberry supplements. I have a bottle of little elderberry gummies right now! Elderberry is also sweet and easy to take.
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I know for a fact that elderberry works. The first time I started taking it was when I was Day 3 in a horrible cold. It was about 3 days later, I felt good as new. Seriously. Coupled with Elderberry and my #2, Apple Cider Vinegar, my horrible colds are now a thing of the past.

If you want to check out what I personally use, you can view it here on Amazon:Nature’s Way Sambucus Black Elderberry Original Syrup, 8 Ounce

And also here is the children’s gummies that I buy too:Zarbee’s Mighty Bee Gummy – Elderberry – 42 ct

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: I love ACV. It naturally alkalinizes the body, and most illnesses can’t thrive in alkaline environments. Make sure that if you use it, buy the raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized versions that include “The Mother of Vinegar” which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. It is rich potassium, it helps soothe dry throats, and it also helps support a healthy immune system.

Personally, I have had it help stop my colds in their tracks. There are so many wonderful benefits of taking Apple Cider Vinegar. I only buy Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. You can find it everywhere now! I used to have to go to health food stores or order it online. Look at it further by clicking here:Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar has been highly regarded throughout history? In 400 B.C. the great Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing health qualities! You can also give it to your kids as well, and use it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s also healthy for your pets, including horses! 

 

If you want to take ACV, I personally mix it in a cup of tea, 3 times a day. I only use 1-2 tablespoons! If you’ve never had ACV, the taste my knock you down a bit, but you’ll get used to it. Especially when you start seeing how amazing you feel. 🙂
  1. Saline Nasal Spray- I never liked the thought of spraying anything into my nose. I broke down and eventually bought some because my poor nose was raw from trying to get all that congestion loose. I actually tried Nasonex when I was little and I remember it gave me the worst nosebleeds while I was in school. I never used a spray again. But now if I ever have a stuffy nose, saline nasal spray is one of the top things on my list. I can’t use anything with a drug in it because I’m nursing the twins. Saline spray is perfectly safe to use as many times as you need to while you’re sick.
  2. You spray in one nostril, and gently breathe in a little through your nose, even if you can’t breathe through it. It’ll help the spray get to the toughest spots in your nose. A couple of times in each nostril usually does the trick for me. And the best thing to do is to be very patient and gentle with yourself! If you’re blowing your nose really hard, its only going to make the inflammation worse.

Those are my major essentials for knocking colds down. Other things that help me battle them are:

  • chicken soup
  • coconut water
  • tea
  • foods with fresh garlic or ginger
  • cinnamon
  •  lots of dark leafy things, spinach, kale, etc
  • plenty of rest and sleep

What are your experiences with Apple Cider Vinegar or Elderberry? Do you have a go-to cold relief protocol? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy 5th Birthday, Darlin’!

My oldest daughter, McKennah, turned 5 this week. I am so proud of her.. and its been a bittersweet time for me. It seems like days ago I was helping her walk around the house, or trying to get her to say “Babo”, her word for Elmo that I loved to hear her say. Now she’s learning the alphabet, and writing her name. She’s so smart and so beautiful. She’s going to be in kindergarten next year and every time I think about it, I get all teary-eyed! My sweet, beautiful baby is growing up right before my eyes.

She had a cowgirl birthday party. It made my inner child so excited because I grew up on the back of a horse, so you can imagine how crazy happy I was to hear that my kiddo wanted anything to do with horses. I would never push her into horses because true cowgirls are not taught, they are born. 🙂 and I can only hope that Ava and my boys have horses in their blood too!

The boys had fun hanging out while we were getting ready for the party..

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Then their cousin Mikey came to play!

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Kennah’s birthday was really on Wednesday.. and we took her to her favorite restaurant for lunch and then we made strawberry cheesecake cupcakes for her at home!

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Her party was Saturday. Some of her decorations!

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My sister Shannon and I played with Breyer horses growing up. I kept them over the years and we brought them down from storage to decorate with. They’re on her cake and we put them on the fireplace mantle. 🙂 These horses mean so much to us, and I can’t wait till the kids are old enough to play with them.

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Her cake 🙂

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cupcakes

My sister and I made them. I baked the cake but I could not TOUCH that icing. She’s an icing wizard! 🙂 And fantastic with cupcakes. She doesn’t think she’s good at cakes but as you can see, she’s freaking awesome.  Go to her website here:Mama Moments.com if you’d like to contact Shannon about her cakes!

 

Some of our guests.. 🙂

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Kennah was NOT excited about everyone singing Happy Birthday to her… but she loved her cake and she ate every bit of her plate AND her ice cream. That girl could live on ice cream. She loved opening her presents, though!

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She had a wonderful time at her party. She loved everything. I hope that I can get her buddies to come to her party next year. It’s always so cold on her birthday so a lot of people don’t really like to come and it makes me sad for her. She was born on a very snowy day.. I hope she doesn’t hate me for that forever. lol.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Busy Busy Busy.

It’s been like two weeks since I’ve been able to make another post. But SBSM is still on my mind whether I’m close to the computer or not! We have been so busy with my husbands trip to California and getting my new embroidery machine. We also were getting ready to go to a wedding. After my twin pregnancy, none of my clothes fit. So we had to make a trip to the mall with the crew just for me to find something to wear. And we found the cutest little suits for the boys, and the girls wore dresses that they had, that fit perfectly! It was so much fun to dress them up.

Our water heater has been on the fritz so we’ve been trying to fix it.

Everything should start settling down soon, right? Wrong.

My daughters birthday is in three days, and we are throwing a “big little” 5th birthday party for her. I love parties! I make them a really big deal and try to transform the house into whatever character or theme they choose. All of last year we had Frozen parties. One all Elsa themed, one all Anna. So one birthday we made the house into a winter wonderland, and the other, we had bright pinks and sunflowers. It was so fun. This year we will be having (close to) back-to-back parties in May. It’ll be Ava’s 3rd birthday and the twins’ 1st birthday!

So you can imagine I will be slightly busy.

And this year I’m particularly excited about because some of Kennah’s preschool friends might come. So we have adorable stuff ready just for the kids. She’s going to have a piñata and little coloring pages. I’ve gotta come up with more stuff to do and I’m so excited. I have to order a cake and make her t-shirt and I need to buy some more things, other than that, we are ready.

After all of that, it will be full steam ahead with the blog and my business. I’ve had fabric cut out for a week for my sample blankets and I’m going to make a sample hospital gown too.

I am getting my daughter into horseback riding lessons. 😀 I’m thrilled because I grew up on the back of a horse. If she has the same passion for horses that I do, it’ll just be a dream come true. I planned to get a horse at least for myself later on, and if any of the kids loved horses too, I would just get one for them when the time was right. To know that Kennah already wants to start riding, it just makes my heart so happy. I would never push her into liking anything just because I do. I wanted her to genuinely love it, and she’s developed a love for horses right before my eyes, at an early age just like I did. I just sat quietly and watched.. It makes me so happy. And there are so many things that you learn being around horses. You learn a great deal of patience, respect, and humility. You learn to work hard for what you have, you learn to be alright with what you don’t have. You learn to be content. Because when it comes down to it, the only thing a girl and her horse needs is each other.

The closer all of my children are to being their true selves and not being influenced by the terrible world around us, the better. Whatever they decide their interests are, I just want them to be true to themselves. If horses taught me anything, its that being yourself is all that matters. I won tons of blue ribbons just doing what I do best. I didn’t have the fanciest outfits, I didn’t have the fanciest tack. I have a special connection with horses and I let that take over when I was in the arena.

Anyway.. enough with my rambling. My busy day is about to start and I figured I’d catch you up with what’s going on with me.. I miss my horses terribly. I am determined to get back in the saddle. My own saddle. <3

 

 

 

The Birth of My Twins!

I’ve been wanting to write their birth story for a while and I know a few who want to know how things really went. The pregnancy was incredibly difficult for me although on paper, it was (almost) completely uneventful-that which I am very thankful for.

I made it to 37 weeks with my twins. I know that is a huge a accomplishment for a twin pregnancy and I’m very proud to say I did it! It didn’t come easy. I was so relieved when the doctor told me that we were going to the hospital that night because my anxiety was back in full swing. Being pregnant with twins is extremely nerve wracking. You are feeling two babies move and hiccup and kick and you’re constantly trying to figure out who is kicking and you have double to worry about as well. I was mainly focused on Twin To Twin Syndrome (TTTS) which is common in the later stages of a twin pregnancy and I hadn’t been feeling Jackson move as much. During my entire pregnancy, they were in the same spot and the same sides. The whole time!

I was staying at home with my girls still too, and if you can imagine two 6lb babies sitting on your bladder and having two toddlers pulling you around the house all day, you can imagine the exhaustion I was dealing with! For some reason I thought anything could be better than this. Even two newborns. At least I would have my body back, right? Wrong.

After I got through shaking in the car, after my doctor gave me the plan for the induction, I called my husband and told him to ready the troops. The babies are coming tonight! I called my dad to let him know and my sister. I was to arrive at the hospital at 10 o’clock.

I went home and spent the afternoon with my girls and put them to bed. Soon after that my mother and father in laws came to the house to keep the girls overnight for us, and we headed to the hospital.

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^^ yeah. Big as a HOUSE. I know. I was actually already having contractions!

Several hours into the induction and I was doing really good. The pain wasn’t all that bad, everything was going pretty good. It wasn’t until it was about 6 in the morning that I started getting tired and hungry. The pain was worse and I was having trouble focusing on breathing through the contractions. With any twin delivery you have to have an epidural anyway. So I thought, why go through this pain. Get the epidural over with.

It was probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt, the worst epidural I’ve had. I had three, long horrible contractions during the epidural. It felt like it lasted for hours. I must’ve not been fully numbed but I’m cringing just typing this out so I’m gong to stop there.

When it was over, I finally was able to relax. I could deal with the fading pain of the contractions and focus on breathing again and close my eyes. Until I felt like I was being suffocated. I started gasping for air. I felt like screaming but I couldn’t and I couldn’t get anyone’s attention around me. I grabbed the arms of the bed and pulled myself up without any relief and punched the nurse button, feeling like someone was sitting on my lungs. Like I was going underwater, drowning. She finally answered and I got out, “I can’t breathe”

The next thing I knew there were two nurses beside me, looking at me, then looking at the screen. The head anesthesiologist rushed in and checked something and I was scared, my anxiety filling up my ears and drowning them out and all I could think was, God don’t let this happen. Please don’t let me go. I was afraid that I was dying. I heard them saying, “we can’t do that or she will bottom out.” My blood pressure did drop dangerously low and my pulse was getting very high.

I was having an anxiety attack on top of the reaction my body had to the epidural. They gave me something in the IV and told me to calm down. Focus on breathing slowly, tune everything out. And we watched my heart rate fall back to normal. I had to do that for hours and hours. My body was getting so tired and without food, I was losing all of the little strength I had left. With no rest and no nourishment, I was begging God to let me be ready. Let it be time, please.

Finally. 23 1/2 hours after checking into the hospital, it was time.

Everyone excitedly cheered as they rolled my bed out of the room and down the hall toward the OR, while my husband, fully scrubbed, followed behind me.

The OR was cold and bright, and I was scared of what I was going to endure in the next few minutes but I just couldn’t wait to finally see my precious boys. Nine long months of waiting, filled with worry and joy and everything in between. They prepared me and Josh. Telling me what was going to happen, what to get ready for, and then my doctor did a quick ultrasound to check on the boys again before it was time to push.

My heartrate was steadily climbing the more anxious I got. I began to push but I had no strength. The boys growing had literally separated my abdominal muscles and I had nothing when I tried to push. I had to push harder than I ever had, I had to give it all that I had. Every ounce of energy I used. But my heart rate was getting dangerously high. I was freaking out because no matter how hard I tried, nothing was happening. Barely, if anything. My doctor told me to calm down and breathe and it dawned on me, God I’m hyperventilating again.

With a little help from my doctor, my precious boy Jackson was finally born. Time stood still. He cried and searched for me, and I got to cradle him on my chest until a nurse whisked him away and before I could take another breath, my doctor told me to bear down again, NOW.

After another push, my little Levi was born. He was blue. My doctor gave him a good thump on his rear and he cried his signature Levi cry that I still hear today. God got me through it and my boys were born safe and sound.

Jackson Lane was born at 9:11pm 5lbs 6oz.

Levi Jordan was born at 9:14pm 5lbs 15oz.

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The moment after that was unlike any feeling I could describe. It was the same when my daughters were born. Time stood still. Everything around me froze for just a moment. All my worries. All my burdens. All of the tears and the pain and the struggle just melted away. Looking into the eyes of my first sons. Jacksons little nose and Levi’s sweet dimples. It was all so worth it.

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Theyre 8 months old now. It’s crazy how time flies. It feels like I just had them. Now I’m working on helping them crawl. I hope you enjoyed reading! 🙂