I don’t even recognize ME anymore

I will never forget this teary phone call with my friend. We were talking about how tired we were as young moms and how much we loved it – yet we yearned for something more with our days.

We were trying to pump each other up, but we were both in the same shoes. We were both stay-at-home moms and we were knee-deep in some really physically and emotionally demanding years. The little years.

And she said something that stuck with me for many years.

“Court, I don’t even recognize me anymore.”

We cried some more together because I knew that statement carried so much. I knew what it meant and I felt it too.

A stay-at-home mom isn’t the only one that feels this way. I think the “girl” in us can get lost during many seasons of our lives. What about when you get so wrapped up into a relationship or what a boy thinks that you even forget what you like to eat? Your desires just become whatever he wants?

Who remembers this scene in Runaway Bride? I LOVED IT. It really hit home with me to find a way to love and get to know my man – but KNOW how I like my eggs too! 🙂

What about empty nesters or those that have left a career after many years? Any mom and any woman knows this feeling!

It can be hard to find yourself again right?

Yes, this has to do with identity and purpose and yes – this is  a little bit about growing up – yet not losing the girl you’ve always been. I know my identity has had some issues after I left my corporate job and then I shifted all my ego into having great kids.

And now, I’m realizing the safest place for my identity has to be anchored in the unwavering love of God. Not what I do – or how I look – or how my kids behave.

So back to the girl in you. The girl in me.

What do you do when you need to reconnect with the GIRL in you?

I will be honest. This is a TRICKY balance. Because “me” time isn’t something that’s realistic all the time and I’m ok with it. During years as a mom, it’s important for me to remember that’s it’s one of the most important roles I’ll ever play. These kids depend on me and that is part of the role! I’ve noticed an unhealthy extreme about “me time” during motherhood.  I think we can begin to get out of balance when we expect/demand the old single days of independence during years of raising children.

However, there’s an equally dangerous extreme that leans towards all dishing out and no fueling up. I’ve been there too. I’ve been in a season of only giving to others and I end up being resentful and bitter. And not very helpful with others because I’m so empty. We have to find a balance somehow and learn to know when we’ve reached an extreme.

Have we lost the girl in us? How do you reconnect with YOU?

I could you give you about 100 ways I fuel up and rescue the GIRL in me… from time in God’s word to date nights to mani pedis to vacations to simple a hazelnut latte and a great song. There are so many ways. It’s important to know yourself.

I just want to share ONE BIG WAY for ME that consistently refreshes me a a very deep level. 

It’s FRIENDS. I have to surround myself with friends that know me well. To my core. It really doesn’t matter how I connect with them – road trip, FaceTime call, text,  lunch, vacation, etc. You name it.

 

There is something magical that happens when I get around my girlfriends that know me best. They see me better than I see myself and I think they are like these little messengers of God’s love and grace. They remind me what I’m best at – what I love – and encourage me in a way that feels sacred. They remind me to laugh and to be myself. They remind me to chill out and enjoy life.

 

Sometimes I travel to get this time because I’ve moved around and it’s worth a trip to reconnect. Old friends and heart friends are treasured friends. You get what you pour out. Love others well. Forgive and ask for forgiveness. Give your heart freely and generously and you’ll receive way more back.

One of those friends for me is Chrystal Evans Hurst and ironically she has written a book, She’s Still There, on this very topic. Since I moved to Dallas – we have been spending some time together and I have LOVED watching her live this message out.

Here is why I love this book. I’ve read it cover and cover. She gives you wonderful biblical perspective and encouragement – but she’s also the tough love friend that’s going to hit you on the tush and tell you to get going. It’s both. We need God and we need action.

It’s a choice and I so needed this reminder.

As I’ve read her book and processed a few things I’d like to do for MYSELF this year… I’m thinking about these things. (PS – I’m getting an A+ in travel and manicures. Possibly over extending my me time in those areas. 🙂

  • Space to enjoy God’s word without the rush
  • Exploring photography or design for FUN not for business
  • Finding an exercise activity I might enjoy – tennis or zumba – bc I can dance and duh tennis skirts are cute

What would you do for just YOU if you could this week?

TIME FOR GIVEAWAY

GIVEWAY IS NOW CLOSED:
Winners are Taylor, Christie Anthony, Veronica, Melissa, Heidi and Lisa – Congrats!

 

Comments

  1. Oh I need this right now!!! It always helps me to look at old pictures because it is a concrete reminder of how quickly these change- good and bad!

    • i LOVE doing that too! and it gives me such great perspective. photos provide me with lots of gratitude when i’m cranky.

  2. Sometimes i just need to watch an episode of Real Housewives of Orange County with some carbs and a glass of Pinot. Am I the worst?

  3. I’ve listened to Chrystal recently talk about her book on a couple of podcasts. It sounds good! In this season with young kids I’ve found it really hard to connect with friends. I feel like I’m surrounded by people in the same stage of life – also juggling and traveling husbands; however, I have found it helps me to connect with myself through setting time aside for journaling and prayer.

  4. Honestly, the thing that has helped me reconnect with “me” most has been having a group of friends who also have little ones at home. Since my first daughter was born five year ago, we had lived in a place where I had no friends and was so very isolated. We recently moved for my husbands job (he’s a youth pastor) and moving to a new church with several young moms and new people to connect with has changed what my life and my days look like drastically and it has been so so good for me.

    • i think that’s why so many of us moms are online looking to connect for someone to say “me too” – when you realize you’re not alone in the struggles – it’s a powerful thing. i do think getting with REAL faces in your community is key though. i had to remind myself of that recently and not just rely on online relationships. way to go!

    • I love connecting with girlfriends who are in the same season of life and can understand the pace of life with children. But life doesn’t always allow for this daily. So recently I’ve been listening to more Christian music on Amazon prime. I feel like it is putting me in a better mood quickly.

  5. This is exactly what I need in this stage of life! I am trying to figure out what to do just for me right now. Read something recently that really stuck with me …we all need something in life that we enjoy that doesn’t need us! If I could do anything it would be go skiing but since it is summer I guess it would be time on the beach with a great book !! Thankful for you Courtney! Xoxo

    • i LOVE that. isn’t that the truth. i think that’s why i get into netflix binges. i just stay there too long i think 🙂 but no one in friday night lights or the crown – needs me.

  6. “When circumstances can’t change.. your attitude toward them can”.. YES!! I really needed this post right now! I’ve recently “retired” from my teaching career and diving in to the new adventure of what makes me tick.. what brings the fire and light back. Finding me! It’s only been a few months, but so far my hikes have been the me time that lights that fire. Thank you for your words and your light!

    • i can see you’re awesome smile now. just being you right around your community is what i’d enjoy! miss seeing you. xoxo

  7. The thing that helps me reconnect with me is spending time with my husband, talking, just the two of us, with no interruptions. With 18yo twin sons and a 13yo daughter, you’d think the interruptions would have ended by now, but we have some special circumstances in our family that prohibit that. Being with my husband, talking, hearing his godly wisdom and just enjoying each other helps me recenter my perspective and realign it with God’s. He helps drown the voices in my head that are intent on lying to me and leading me away from God by reminding me of the Truth….about myself, our marriage, our life circumstances, and our Lord.

    • awesome. and so encouraging. i think we forget to do that. i know my husband feels like he gets the left overs. way to make him a priority!

  8. This may sound crazy but the one thing that helps me reconnect with me is being in the car ALONE! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy my drive home from choir practice on Wednesday nights with my praise and worship music blaring!!!

    • not crazy. music is a serious healer. i just have to say though – i can waffle from worship music to prince to michael jackson to NKTOB and find so many versions of me 🙂

  9. I’ve recently resumed working out, and it has been a big step in the right direction. I go EARLY – before my kids and the sun are up – and it’s sacred. I worship, I push myself and remember I’m strong, and I have a great feeling of accomplishment when I’m done. It’s a season without kudos (stay at home motherhood…. kingdom building work and all, but man are the days LOOOOONG :D), so this me-time is a huge pick-me-up!

  10. I remind myself to enjoy activities that have always been hobbies of mine, like scrapbooking. But God has put adventure on my heart in recent years….He moved me across the country after a lifetime in the same city…and is encouraging me to try new things: barre workouts, salsa dancing, different areas of serving…I think there is more to me than I know!

  11. I just left my career of nursing to be a SAHM and am struggling through the new change. One way that helps me reconnect with me is my adult tap
    and contemporary dance classes. To feel the rhythms and connect to the music and movement somehow speaks to my soul.

  12. The best way for me to reconnect with me is time with my sister. No one knows me better. We’re only a year apart and have shared almost all of life’s ups and downs together. She keeps me real!

  13. I like to sit down and enjoy my mocha from start to finish. Most days I reheat the mug so many times that the last half of the mocha makes it down the drain when my husband gets home from work .

  14. I make my favorite coffee, pour it into my prettiest mug and call my sister a couple states away for a coffee date. Aside from my sweet husband she knows me best – she remembers the me that most people don’t know. We laugh, we cry, we encourage each other.

  15. I’m just starting to learn what it looks like to take a second and “be me”. I’m so task driven that whenever I have a little time, I usually jump into whatever project needs attention. I’m just now learning to take a moment and BE STILL.

  16. Exercise, reading a book and some good ol’ vitamin D!! Thanks for this post and I look forward to reading this book.

    • i have been doing WAY too much netflix lately and need to get back into a good book and going to bed early!

  17. Travel away from my normal always gives me a fresh perspective. We have littles (two kids 4 and under), and it’s easy to say that travel with kids is stressful and just mom work in a different location. Yet being with my family in a new place with a good mix of peaceful downtime and fun exploring in nature reminds me what a great stage of life this is. I’m realizing I want to do less so that I can do more of what I love. God gave us a trip to Montana recently and it was exactly what I needed, even though I wasn’t sure what I needed at the time.

  18. Annual girls’ trip with my college besties. It’s major for everyone to commit and rearrange lives, child care, etc., but our husbands and parents all value those relationships for us so much too, that it really feels like a team effort to make it happen. We basically sit in our yoga pants and cry and laugh for three days straight. Medicinal!

    • i was JUST working on the details for my college reunion today. it makes me so excited. nothing like those laughs.

  19. Bargain hunting! Yard sales, thrift stores, you name it. It’s my therapy. Thanks for the encouraging posts. War Eagle!

  20. In this season of 2 Little’s, work and grad school, running is essential to fill me back up. Sometimes I go with my hubby and it’s 45 min of reconnecting and sometimes I just go pray, think and process. Something about the physical exertion clears my head and I come back in a better place. Friends are essential too! We are mastering play dates and half conversations cause girl nights are hard to make happen in this season.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  21. On a daily basis – some type of exercise… preferably at the gym with my girls in childcare, it’s amazing what even 30 minutes alone moving does for my mind and spirit. On a less frequent basis, girl time with other grown up women, whether it’s dinner or a weekend away, that time is precious. It does not happen often but it is so nice to have uninterrupted conversations during these years raising little ones.

  22. I’ve been trying really hard to spend 30 minutes a day doing some kind of exercise and 30 minutes a day reading something I enjoy. True, my toddler is almost always with me for the exercising but I no longer feel bad about wearing my headphones and zoning out for a bit while he jabbers on in his stroller.

  23. I’ve always been a reader, so making time to read is a must for me! 🙂 This book sounds so wonderful…thank you for letting us know! God bless!

  24. Man, I love this post!! Coming off of 3 months of lax schedules and littles, I am totally feeling a little
    “Lost”. I am blessed to have a small group of women – in all different stages of life – to study with and support each other. I find that I feel my best after some time with those who know us well. Can’t wait to read this! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Just taking time to sit outside and enjoy God’s beautiful creations! My neighbor has been “deck sittin” for a while now on her back porch in the evening and recently began inviting me over. Great time to enjoy fellowship, gorgeous sunsets, meteor showers, etc.

  26. Saturday I woke up and my hubby said, I was thinking to make you breakfast in bed (this only ever happenend on some mothers days). Because I have spent the past few years relearning who I am (during this season of life) I replied aww that sounds great! but I was actually hoping to get out to Starbucks alone for an hour. I ended up getting that coffee, sitting near a wooded pond journaling and It was magnificent!!

  27. Running/working out – that’s what does it for me. My kids even can tell when I haven’t run – lol. It’s my therapy. Great time to think, reflect, listen. Looking forward to reading this book.

  28. I love your encouragement! Our oldest just turned 12, and our youngest is four. When I can get in a hard, good workout I feel so much better. I said to my friend the other day when I excerise I feel like I am on the crossfit games and when I get junky I feel like I am on the my 600lbs. TLC show. And all with in the same week and while I am the same weight It’s crazy how much better it makes me feel. I have always loved to move!

  29. I love to go for a run or even just take a hot bath at the end of the day!! And anytime I can spend alone time with my husband or mom friends!! I’m excited to order this book (if I don’t win )

  30. A trip to the ocean will quickly help me reconnect. There’s just something about the waves that make me pause, pray, and reconnect with the person that God created me to be.

  31. What helps me reconnect with me is laughter. I love hearing it. I love a good hearty laugh. Thi’s year has been bewildering at best and hearing the merriment of laughter has been my reminder that all is indeed well.

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