Hey beautiful friends! In today's post we're going to get real. I'm also going to give you a pretty fabulous recipe. (Food is my favorite!)
If we know each other well enough by now, then you probably know I'm always real. But, there are secrets hidden in even the realest lives. Secrets we don't know we hold. And mine?
It is... it was burnout.
I didn't even know this word existed! I've powered through living with a chronic disease, two complicated pregnancies, a sick baby, a special needs baby. I've run a million-dollar business. I have relearned how to walk... twice. And I've fallen straight apart into the depths of a sorrow I (also) didn't know existed.
You see, for so long I hid behind a smile and just crushed life! I mean, what other option do we have? Rest just didn't make sense. And leaning on others? No. Way. Then the "b" word came up in conversation one day with a close friend, as we spoke about my passionless existence. It's not depression, I told her. It might be complacency, I sighed. And then she used the "b" word.
As a special needs mother living with a chronic and sometimes incapacitating invisible disease (chronic fatigue syndrome), burnout bit me in the bottom when I least expected it. After building up that big kind-of-fabulously-successful business, I found myself sick with Dengue Fever. And I found myself advocating for our daughter without rest. (Bliss rocks life like a boss! And also has some pretty hard struggles with anxiety and sensory processing disorder.) It was there - at the corner of sick and exhausted - that I let my business go for a season.
As I read this article from Carey Neiuwhof (a leader I'd like to be more like, if I'm honest), something clicked. I have slowly but surely been coaching again - but slowly is a critical word. Like Carey, it's been a long recovery from burnout. If I'm honest, I'm only 80% there. But what I'm doing with that 80% now... It's incredible. I am reaching for my dreams again! And I'm supporting other amazing women along the way.
I hope you'll go read Carey's article. It's pretty outstanding with lots of tips that I can't give you yet (still human and growing!) You don't need to be perfect to keep moving forward. You just need to be real.
If the "b" word has been holding you back too, let's talk. Shoot me a message or comment below.
Also, try my favorite Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding and let me know what you think! Food can bring such comfort when life is wild, challenging, or just plain hard.
You're not alone, and we're better together.
Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding
Food is so healing. There's something about sitting down with something that I know is going to fuel my precious bod WELL that just brings me so much peace. When I experienced burnout from my business, I really put some of my favorite parts of me on the back burner. And cooking was one of those parts. It feels so wonderful to be back in the kitchen experimenting with the nutritious and delicious gifts our creater has given us! This breakfast bowl takes 5 minutes to prep - and you'll have enough for an entire week! (P.S. I don't share specific macro facts because of my yogi mama roots; chia is a low carb food + coconut milk should be additive free and unsweetened, also making it low carb. I prefer canned because of it's quality.)
Mix ingredients together in a glass bowl and cover. Add low carb toppings (optional) like almonds, macadamia nuts, raw or roasted pepitas, maca root, blueberries or strawberries, moringa leaves, and cinnamon. For those who need their breakfast pudding sweetened, you can try either 1/4 tsp honey or a few drops of stevia as the best options.
Serve. Share. Enjoy!
Hey friend, you can click here if you'd like me in your inbox each week. I hope we'll do life together. P.S. I love sharing helpful resources! I may also make a small cut that keeps me fully caffeinated and my brain research-packed (because we can't serve from an empty well, and I really love collecting all the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom I can for both of us.) Always, I'll do my best to keep you on the right path, but I'm no doctor even though I play one at home - often - and mostly for myself. Life with CFS sure keeps things interesting! Life with you + CFS keeps things full of JOY, too.
Sunshine in my tea mug and hope in my heart. I'm reading Kelly Minter's All Things New bible study (on 2 Corinthians) right now, and this weeks' words really ministered to my soul!
I'm not about to get preachy on you today! (Or am I? Wink.) But I felt this deep, guttural need to speak life into your life through this post. So here we go...
(psst - you can also grab the audio instead, with some commentary)
You are more than your "earthly tent."
You are! You are a precious, beautiful, and gifted soul who was put here - on earth - with a mission, a calling, and a greater purpose. Sometimes, when we focus too much on the tent, the body we've been gifted, we miss out on the ministry we could partake in.
How many times have you said I can't (out loud or in your head) over the last few days? I can't spend ten more minutes reading to my child; I'm exhausted! I can't answer that email right now; I need to clean the house. I can't meet this goal; I just don't have the means. We live in a culture obsessed with the physical. But we can be set apart from it (I promise).
There is a huge and significant difference between self care, or self nurture, and self preservation. I've spoken about it a bit in my live chats (please forgive my appearance in many of them - just another mother doing her best; and I am so okay with that!). Self care isn't obsession. It's life-giving. Self preservation comes from a poverty mindset. There isn't enough... time, money, resources, energy, etc. etc.
I'm sharing this Turmeric Latte recipe with you today, because you are so dang worthy of self care. We cannot serve from empty wells. Any of us. Not just the disease-crushers and special needs parents.
I was about to write that I'm obsessed with this drink, but that would negate the message I attempted to share above... So. I just really, really, really like this one. It's delicious, ketogenic (fat-fueling), and totally worth the five to ten minutes of prep.
Once you have your tea prepared (steeped in hot water for specified time and bad removed), you can add the ingredients as listed and whisk. It's an incredibly easy recipe to make, and a nutritionally jam-packed one that is safe for the entire family! Our Wild loves her "golden milk" just as much as her mama does.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
I love sharing helpful resources! I may also make a small cut that keeps me fully caffeinated and my brain research-packed (because we can't serve from an empty well, and I really love collecting all the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom I can for both of us.) Always, I'll do my best to keep you on the right path, but I'm no doctor even though I play one at home - often - and mostly for myself. Life with CFS sure keeps things interesting! Life with you + CFS keeps things full of JOY, too.
1 Peter 5:2 makes me melt 😭
Each week, I'm picking one of the many posts shared on social media - to dig a little deeper. Sometimes I can convey everything I want to in a caption, but more often than not there is a bigger, grander story behind it all.
Such is the case this week.
About seven years ago, before my back injury, I was a short distance runner. I wasn't a good runner. I wasn't a runner who liked running. In fact, running was actually destroying my precious, hyper-mobile joints. But I needed the rush. Endorphins have long-regulated what I've now recognized as a lifelong internal battle with depression.
About depression for a moment. As a Christian, I believe many of us have a relationship with the darkness. For some of us it's absolutely physiological. For others, it's spiritual. For me, it's both. I've lived my entire life with disease. I also know I'm not home yet, and for as long as I'm alive "there will be troubles" to quote my Jesus. So, in a time and place seven years ago when I wanted the troubles to end, running was as essential to life as air.
It was on one of these runs that I heard - loud and clear - my call. Screaming through my earbuds was "Rocky Ground" by Bruce, one of my most favorite artists of all time (I love the way he tells a story). And the lyrics literally stopped me in my tracks. Specifically, it was one line:
Find your flock, get them to higher ground.
You were chosen for an assignment. Did you know that? You were made with intent! And so was I.
Even though it wasn't until some time later that I realized 1 Peter 5:2 had the same message, I knew this one line was my assignment. I was made to be with my flock, and lead them to higher ground.
Interestingly, until I had my Wild child - I thought that my flock was just other mom's with postpartum struggles. I had no idea my flock would be every single person on my path - my family, friends, friends' kids, acquaintances, colleagues. I would minister to them all. And reflecting on that now is both so dang exciting to me, and absolutely terrifying at the same time.
Let me pause for a moment here. Who is your flock? Who are you being called to lead to higher ground? As I've been digging into what it means to have a larger-than-life calling, I've realized we all have larger-than-our-life callings. But the callings are so big only because we aren't meant to do them alone.
What does that mean to you?
Are you caring for your flock(s) well?
If not, who can encourage you? How can I encourage you today?
I can't wait to hear your responses. Be blessed, my beautiful beautiful friends!
My name is Jennifer though you might know me as The Barefoot Preacher on social media. I'm a sharer of inexhaustible joy fueled by Jesus and coffee. I love reality and books. And I'm a CFS thriver and special needs mama bear. Speaking life into really real life is kind of my favorite. (Okay, it's seriously my favorite!) I'm so honored to be on this path with you!
want the audio?
You can find it here.