In Case You’ve Wondered What It’s Like

Guilt. There’s been a lot of that.

Because I underestimated what it would be like to be at home. There have been fewer showers, less projects and more chores. There have been days when I feel like I’m on top of the world, and days when I cry for hours and wonder when I will get a break and feel sane again.

I sometimes eat dinner in the bathroom while watching my kids play in the bath tub, and my house isn’t nearly as clean as I thought it would be.

I completely took for granted the 40-hour break I got from being a mom each week. Not that my ¬†mom-worries and responsibilities stopped when I went to work, but shifting my responsibility to something else for eight hours a day was a break. And I didn’t ever think so at the time.

I underestimated the value of a lot of the relationships I had with my co-workers, and I’ve realized that I wasn’t a very good boss or friend at work. I couldn’t have been. I was trying to do it all by myself, and had lost faith in God and I too often let my stress get to me. I always seemed annoyed and no one ever seemed to need me at a time that was convenient for me. I was so buried in tasks and the desire to perform. I cared deeply about always doing the right thing and being good for everyone, but I wasn’t good for myself. I am thankful for this awareness now and look forward to continuing to nurture the relationships I had through work that I know were real.

I miss interacting with adults all day and I miss taking a lunch break. I miss holding team meetings and watching my maintenance guys roll their eyes because I asked them to hang a sign.

There are days when my mind surges with ideas for my new business and all I want is eight hours to sit at a desk and my laptop and colorful pens and planners and a good playlist. I’d even take four hours. I just miss the grind of getting stuff done. Having a perpetual to-do list that carries over from one day to the next makes you feel like you’re digging holes on the beach. The wave comes, and fills up your hole and you have to dig again. And then more waves.

So, I savor nap time and all that I’m able to accomplish (like this blog post), but I feel guilty for telling Sadler she can watch TV while I work.

I’ve moved on to living life in my favorite robe and yoga pants, spending most of my day in the kitchen and building a rock star essential ¬†oil business. I’ve gotten to spend more time with my Granny over the last three months than I’ve spent with her in the last 10 years. I’ve cancelled cable, sold my dream car, paid off debt, started this blog, read at least a dozen books and made lasting new friendships.

I’m grateful for all the naps I’ve been able to rock Everly before, and all the times I’ve been able to say Hi to the mailman.

I know that being needed all of the time may seem heavy and hard, because it is. But I’m thankful for the time I’ve learned to make for myself and appreciate each minute more than ever before. I’m learning to let the guilt of it all go, because I feel in my bones that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. And doing it with dirty hair and yoga pants makes it just that much more fun.

I know how the lotus flower grows…

 

 

 

Reflections: A Season Ends

I had a really close friend in college tell me out of the blue that we couldn’t be friends anymore. She just stopped hanging out with me. I remember feeling super-confused and I asked another friend if he knew what happened to make her stop wanting to hang out. He said, “You were just too much for her to handle”…

My journey as an at-home mama began at the end of winter. Spring came in, a fresh breeze of light and momentum. Now it’s nearing an end, and summer starts next week. A new season, a new set of goals and a new wave of life and adventure.

I’m learning to accept that people come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. They may float in and it feels as if they’ve been in the room all along. Like a feather. (I saw a feather on the beach just last weekend. It reminded me of the down pillows on Mama Dot’s bed and it made me smile/cry a tiny tear.)

Some people leave suddenly like my college friend, and we can’t help but wonder what we did to suddenly shift things so unexpectedly.

But then sometimes, we are blessed with people who land on our path at just at the right time. We instantly feel warm and we know we will love them forever.

I see life differently now.

Do you remember those books we used to color in as a kid? The ones where the pages were black and white drawings with tiny boxes within the drawing, like a big puzzle… and there was a number in the box and you filled in the boxes according to the little legend at the bottom of the page? Well, now when I look at those pages, all of my tiny boxes are filled in with color. All of the drawings are colored in in beautiful colors. It’s the same book, but I see all the colors. I now get the joy of adding glitter to the pages.

I’ve learned that being misunderstood is one of the most painful experiences as a human. Or, at least for me as a human. I can be seen by many as a punch in the face, packed into a pill form, immediately followed by a smile and a hug. But what I’m learning is that we all see differently, through different lenses. And I’m just not seen by everyone. And I can’t change that. I have a big heart and a strong passion to help others find the light within them. I’ve been called to help others see what I now see.

I’ve felt my friendships shift over the recent weeks, as the season has shifted into summer. I feel the energy moving around my circles and feel the different bonds forming as weekends and fireside nights turn to beach memories and family time at the park. I feel some drifting away as some are drawing closer. I welcome and appreciate the joy I feel in my life every day and am thankful for the people who have allowed me into their space. If you’ve been in mine, I can assure you it was a pure joy for me. I savor every bit of time I have to give love to others and am humbled by what this season has done for me as a person, a mother, a wife, a friend, a business leader.

The light within me sees and honors the light within you.

I look forward to summer. More time in the sun, more time in the sand, more time in the hammock, more burgers on the grill, more deep talks on the back patio. I look forward to pool days and spending time with some of my sweet mama friends around the baby pool.

I am thankful for what spring cultivated in my life. It’s incredibly beautiful to watch growth through nurturing and a little love and attention. Grace gets us far, I’m learning. God is so big and great and good.

 

The Game of Life and How to Play It

Some of you will read this title and think I came up with it. That would be natural of you to do. But I didn’t. It’s the title of an incredible book that I have just started reading, and I honestly have become so moved by it that this post is burning inside me.

I just started the book and am only about a third of the way through it, but I’ve been reading it in every bit of “down time” I have. I’ve been compelled to even jot a few things down because they just resonated with me so much. I felt moved to write them down, so I could then share them with you.

A friend loaned her copy of the book to me, and if it were mine to keep I’d be marking all over it. Normally I listen to books on Audible, and if you don’t know about this app you should totally check it out. So finding the time to actually sit and quietly read this hasn’t been as easy as you may think as an at-home mama, but I’m reading it every chance I get. I can’t put it down.

The title of the book says enough about what’s inside but I have found it to be incredibly eye-opening and moving. The author shines bright insight into my own life and in her book, Florence Scovel Shinn reminds us that the mind gives us power. ¬†As Proverbs says, “your thoughts run your life”. We reap what we sow. If we fill our minds (which are basically thoughts, that we can control if you really think about it) with negativity, hatred, anger, fear, disgust, comparison, resentment, etc. then we will have failures and sickness and troubled situations in our lives.

In an early chapter, she writes:

“Continual criticism produces rheumatism, as critical, inharmonious thoughts cause unnatural deposits in the blood, which settle in the joints.”

Basically, she is saying that if we walk around being nasty to one another and spend time criticizing each other and ourselves, we can literally make ourselves sick. Crazy, right?! We screw things up and throw off our own energetic alignment by¬†choosing to think negatively, or comparing ourselves to others, or being judgmental. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all shift to a place of observation rather than dwell in a place of judgment? Notice what’s around you, but let the thought end there. Don’t be envious, or critical, or greedy, or ungrateful, or jealous, or angry, or fearful. Choose joy, and watch the universe begin to work in your favor.

We seem so quick to look for something or someone to blame for all of the junk in our lives, but the truth is, we must take 100% responsibility for our own lives. We have endless choices each day. Our feelings affect our thoughts, which affect our attitude, which affects our actions. So, if we live the majority of our days feeling that we aren’t deserving of having something, we won’t ever have it. If we feel that we aren’t worthy enough, we won’t ever get more. If we feel like we can’t do something, we won’t ever do it. We must learn to get out of our own way. Don’t step on your own big toe.

Shinn goes on to say:

“Man should watch himself hourly to detect if his motive for action is fear or faith. There is no peace or happiness for man, until he has erased all fear from the subconscious. Fear is misdirected energy and must be redirected, or transmuted into faith.”

Misdirected energy…meaning we give the directions. We tell the energy where to go. Fear and faith don’t go together.

The most incredible part of this book for me, though — is realizing that this book was written in 1925.¬†How fascinating that almost one hundred years later, so much can still be said for humanity and how much our mind plays a part in our story.

So, folks. Here comes the secret. If you never pick up or listen to this book, maybe reading isn’t your thing. Or maybe you think I’ve lost it finding so much enjoyment in a book like this (funny thing is, I actually feel like I’ve¬†found it.) But here is the secret. Here is what Florence Scovell Shinn says is the object of the game of life:

“…to see clearly one’s good and to obliterate all mental pictures of evil. This must be done by impressing the subconscious mind with a realization of good.”

While most people see life as an ongoing battle, it is really a game. However, we must create harmony in our lives. It’s about Love. It’s about Joy. “Keep thy heart (or imagination with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

And yes, I realize this is a premature book report as I have barely finished the book. However, I couldn’t help myself. It’s too good not to share today. To think that someone out there in the universe could be one book away from opening a door within their soul that gets them back into the light again. Sometimes, we forget that our flame is always burning to show us the way.

Reflections: Motherhood for Me

Something salpingitis. That’s what I remember my doctor saying to me. She was young like me, so the tears in her eyes as she told me made sense to me. But I still didn’t understand. Having children on my own would be very difficult because my fallopian tubes were blocked? I’m sorry, what do you mean exactly? I remember getting in the car and sobbing. We knew we wanted to have a family, and we had already discussed adoption if it truly wasn’t in our plan to have our own children. But I was devastated to think of the possibility.

God proved that doctor wrong and we became pregnant with Sadler in 2011. When we found out we were pregnant, I will never forget the way that I felt. I felt happier and more excited than ever before! I quickly became washed with the gift of motherhood and made my body a temple to prepare for the precious child God would bless us with.

We wanted a boy. I really wanted a boy. I even knew what I wanted to name him. I remember being in the tiny ultrasound room, my parents and Reid’s parents circled the room as we all patiently waited for the technician to tell us. When she said it was a girl…I wept. I think to this day everyone in the room except for my husband thought I was weeping tears of joy. In reality, the tears were fear and disappointment. I felt guilty for being sad that it wasn’t a boy. But deep down, I feared I wouldn’t know how to be a mother to a girl. My mother and I didn’t have the closest of relationships throughout my life, and while I love my mother dearly and am thankful for the journey we rode because it has undoubtedly led me to who and what I am today — I was scared.

Sadler Mae was born on July 12, 2012 via cesarean because she was breach. Her umbilical cord prolapsed while I was being prepped for delivery and what was a normal procedure turned into an emergency situation in the blink of an eye. My husband was still in the hall being scrubbed in when they made the incision to get her out. The anesthesia hadn’t fully kicked in. I wanted my husband’s hand to hold. I wanted his eyes to look into. Within a few seconds, he stood before me, and I don’t think either of us was breathing. We just locked eyes and cried as the doctors and nurses worked to get Sadler out of my body. She was lodged under my ribcage and it took lots of force and unexpected positioning to get her out. And then, the sweetest most anticipated sound my ears ever did wait to hear. She cried. And I breathed. And my life was changed forever.

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In January of 2015 I turned 33 and for a birthday gift, someone very special to me took me to see a spiritual advisor. I had been to one once before as a teenager, and honestly didn’t know what to expect as we walked in. One of the things that came up during our conversation was whether or not I would be blessed with another child. Reid and I knew we wanted another child, and I really still wanted to have a son. I had dreamt of my baby Dax. I had seen his face before and held him in my arms. So when I told this to the spiritual advisor that day, I felt the look in her eye but wouldn’t fully understand until a few months later. She gently smiled and told me that “soon enough” I would be pregnant again and reminded me to be patient with God’s plan.

I found out I was pregnant with another baby girl in June of 2015 and Everly Jean was born on December 27. She and I rocked out an amazing vaginal delivery, which was something I wanted more than I even realized until it actually happened. It was intense and long and difficult and painful. But there is no doubt in my mind that the second this child exited my body and joined our family earth side, a spiritual gate opened within my soul and my life became bright with colors I’d never seen before.

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I’ve thought often about my conversation with the spiritual advisor that day, and after connecting the dots in some of my own intuition I now believe that we did get our baby Dax. He was living inside me at some point in my life. However, God had Everly held for us and she was waiting. It wasn’t in the plan for baby Dax to be mine on Earth. But it was most certainly his divine plan to give me Everly.

I am weeping as I type this, because I am filled with so much emotion through this realization. We often think we have it all figured out, but we are small in the grand scheme of everything. God has a bigger plan for us all, and doctor’s don’t know everything. Life is a gift and a miracle.

 

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I will celebrate being a mother every day that I’m alive. I enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend with my two daughters and husband picking strawberries and just loving on each other. It’s the little things that reset my perspective of my purpose. I’m grateful for these moments.

It Always was WAHM

 

This has been my view lately. It’s what I see when I look out the back window of my house. In front of this window sits a tall kitchen table with lots of chairs. It’s where I sit (and stand) a lot of the day. It’s where I work.

It was February 1st of this year, and it was the very first day that I was at home in my “new life”. On this day, I recall thinking to myself…”I’m never going to¬†think or say the words: I have to go to work again today/tomorrow…“. I even recall telling¬†my husband about this thought I had. I told him that I was going to make it¬†my goal to never utter those words again. I recall him smirking and saying, “OK babe.”¬†¬†In my heart, these words meant so much more to me¬†than they may seem to you reading them now, or to my husband when he heard them initially. I had¬†felt a shift within myself and knew that I was going to find a way to contribute to our family without ever working outside of the home again.

It was merely a few days later, I was standing in the laundry room listening to my thoughts race back and forth in my head between ideas I’d pondered on ways to work from home. My heart was heavy. I’d been praying about it. Reid and I had been fighting about it. Quitting my job – my CAREER in property management that had provided so many blessings for us over the last decade – was a BIG DEAL. And while my heart may have felt that there was a plan, putting that plan¬†into motion seemed like a more daunting task than I had realized.

But as I stood there, and continued to pull each piece of clothing out of the dryer one-by-one, it was as if the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, Candice, turn your head to the left”.

On the countertop to my left sat my wooden box of essential oils. Our families medicine cabinet. My reliable emotional health regimen. My daily go-to for at least 5 different reasons for myself or someone in this house.

I remember throwing my head back and literally laughing out loud when this happened. “Really, Lord?!” I cried! Something that had been right at my fingertips every. single. day. for the last two years was now the vehicle to bring¬†income to my family.

What does the word “work” really mean to us anyway? The way I see it, we work to make money. Right?!

So, what if I could make money a non-traditional way? A way in which I never had to “go to work” again, or at least it would never feel that way.¬†And then I read a story about a¬†man:

There once was a man who hauled buckets of water for a living. His job was to haul water every day from the nearest water source, back to his village. Because everyone needed water, he always sold out. If he wanted to make more money, he simply hauled more buckets of water.

After many years of hauling these buckets of water, the man grew tired. Then he had an idea and inspiration! He decided to use his spare time to build a pipeline, so that eventually he could be free of hauling buckets of water, yet still provide water to the people of his village. So, he worked very hard over the next few years to build his pipeline.

The day the man turned on his water spigot, everything changed. He had successfully created an unlimited supply of water for the villagers and himself, resulting in an abundant financial pipeline.

I never knew anything about network marketing. Like most people, I had my own narrow thoughts about what it really was and how it really worked. Prior to this year, I didn’t really care to know about it. I had¬†used the products for the last couple of years and¬†found¬† myself sharing with friends and loved ones naturally.¬†However, I never had an interest in the business side of the company. I then read one book and¬†that was all it took¬†for me to see the vision.

It also¬†hasn’t taken me very long to see that the business venture I’ve launched into¬†is really a personal development company disguised as an essential oil company.

Over the last ninety days, I have grown exponentially as a person.

I have found support in some incredible people who are walking this same  journey with me.

I have had the beautiful pleasure of helping other people get started on this very same journey. While their pace may be different or their approach unique to my own, the journey is theirs – and I get to be a part in helping them reach their goals.

I have found a way to utilize all of the business skills I acquired and sharpened over the past decade in order to propel my business forward.

Reading this book opened my eyes to living on purpose and gave me a powerful inspiring approach to managing all of the goals in my life and has made them more attainable and the reward seem more gratifying.

I’ve also learned that at an early age, we give ourselves limiting beliefs on what we should do and feel and think and say. By doing this, we have fears that we may never breakthrough. Reading this book¬†has been an eye-opening way to change this mindset altogether for me personally,¬†and has taught me to face my fears head on and then to¬†watch them dissipate.

I have taken a deep dive in, head first and will never look back.

If you find yourself feeling as if you are just going through the motions in your life, you probably are.

If you stare at the ceiling at night thinking that there has got to be a better way to live life, there definitely is.

We were all put on this Earth to do something more than just pay bills.

Life is meant to be LIVED. We should not have to haul buckets for hours upon days upon weeks upon years.

Time is not something meant to hold us captive by all that we “have to do”. Time is actually in abundance if you can learn to shift your mindset about what’s actually important to you. Only then will you see that time is a gift, not a limitation.

I look forward to life now more so than ever. I truly welcome each day as a new gift from God and am so thankful to be able to carry out the plans He has in store for me. My heart remains full so that I may pour into others.

I went from working 40-50 hours a week outside of the home to working about 15 hours per week inside the home and am on a path to replace the income I once earned by the Fall of this year. This opportunity has proved itself to be very real and for once in my life, there is no stress associated with my “job”. It feels weird even calling what I do now a “job” because it just doesn’t feel like work. It just doesn’t.

I don’t sell essential oils. I share and educate others.

I don’t have essential oil parties. I teach essential oil classes.

This is not my hobby. This is my business.

I’m busy building a pipeline for my family so that someday, the mental shift will have come full circle — and we can pack up and vacation for three weeks if we feel like it. And we won’t have any debt left to pay. And we won’t feel like prisoners of time to the demands of the institutionalized world we feel so vacuumed into today.

I have a personal goal to lead a team of 1,000 people to take charge of their own health and wellness. I will achieve this goal by teaching anyone I can about the endless benefits these gifts of the Earth offer.

Who do you know that can help me reach this goal?…

 

 

 

Set an Intention to Live on Purpose

This bracelet came in the mail today. I went to a workshop recently and had the opportunity to make it. I was asked to come up with my word. It took only a few minutes to think about it, but the word WAIT quickly came into my head. I thought it odd at first. What was I waiting for?…

I’ve spent my life searching for ways to practice patience. I’ve failed often. I used to put rubber bands on my wrist at work, and each time I found myself feeling impatient, I would pop my wrist with the rubber band.

I’ve found myself reminding my daughter and husband almost daily of practicing their patience, in hopes that it would resonate with me in my own practicing.

I’ve jotted daily reminders to myself about not having a tone, or just remembering to smile and to¬†be patient with others.

While all of these¬†efforts were certainly helpful and some continue to be even today, I’ve come to learn that often if we make a tiny shift in our perspective, our situation can turn out differently than the direction it’s headed. What if the patience I have been seeking seemed unattainable to me because I was looking at my desired outcome the wrong way? What if all I needed to do was find a way to shift my perspective so that I could become a more patient person?

So I wait…

I wait to hurry.

I wait to judge.

I wait to raise my voice.

I wait to react.

I wait to compare.

I wait to argue.

I wait to criticize.

I wait to assume.

I wait to give up.

I wait to label.

I wait to run.

I wait for grace.

I WAIT.

And in these moments of waiting, I’ve found God taking over as my focal point.¬†

I’ve discovered that things will manifest themselves so much differently¬†if I simply wait it out before having a knee-jerk reaction, an unnecessary tone, a preconceived notion, a painful worry, a repetitive fear,¬†or¬†a consuming doubt. God knows today and he knows tomorrow. He is guiding my path with grace and an open heart and I am so thankful for the salvation I find in His glory.

I am becoming a more patient person by waiting.

Waiting allows me to live on purpose.

Living on purpose allows me to serve God’s plan for my life.

So I will wear this bracelet as often as I can and when I look down at it, I will remember to WAIT. I am grateful for the simplicity of what this bracelet offers.

When in doubt in your own life, I encourage you to turn inward. Find your word. Set your own intention. Living on purpose changes the game.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Sadler

April 24, 2017 (a very rainy Monday)

Dear Sadler,

You have the most beautiful singing voice.

Lately, you’ve been singing around the house. Singing louder. Singing prouder. I¬†found you in the bedroom just a few days ago with your microphone in hand, your pink sunglasses on and you were singing a Capella. You were making up your own lyrics. And you sounded really good.

You see, I don’t claim to be an excellent singer, but I¬†will claim to¬†have¬†a¬†very musical ear. In fact, lots of people in our family are musicians. Your daddy and I actually grew up in chorus together starting all the way back in middle school. We have roots singing and learning about music and the thought of you sharing in that desire is just awesome.

In fact, it’s what makes it the most beautiful part of the story in my opinion. Just what if the gift you have so clearly been blessed with carries you into a life as a performing artist or musician or Broadway star?? What if two people who fell in love over music created the most perfect little singer who loves music, too?!

Watching the light in your eyes today as we harmonized the Full House theme song Рtotally impromptu Рwas incredible. You carried the tune for the entire song, and you harmonized back with me. You made it look and sound effortless.

I know that you get a little bit nervous when you think someone else is listening to you. But I hope you know that you have not one single thing to hide, and your voice is beautiful and meant to be heard.  Keep singing in the car, and start singing in the shower. You just make me so proud every day.

I love you,

Mama