As a mom to 7 children and wife to my husband I felt overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and swallowed up in the mundane of having a family. Although all I ever wanted was a family, I struggled to find joy in it. Three babies in diapers, a husband who worked all the time, not getting enough sleep, etc., made me feel strung out. I felt like in order to be a good mom and wife, I had to sacrifice all of myself, my wants, my needs, my care. Of course everyone knows self-care is important, but I just wasn't prioritizing it and when I did, I would feel guilty, because there was always something that I still needed to do and someone who always needed something.
Fast forward and now as a mom to 9 and married for 19 years, I feel more hope and joy. There are still the same things to do day in and day out, errands to run, kids to carpool, homeschool to be accomplished, but I now feel the joy that I had envisioned when thinking about my future family and what it would be like. I sing and play with my children. I am more present in my daily life. I recognize the beauty and potential of each of my children. I feel energized when I think of my life and my family's future. I take time to prioritize myself without the feeling of guilt, because I recognize my value.
For the last eight years, I have become serious about shifting my life and my mental health. Nothing really changed, but it led me to Leslie Householder's work in Rare Faith. I learned why I was thinking the way I did and what I could do to shift my thoughts and therefore shift my life experiences. This led me to finding Ann Ferguson and Joyful Heart Mastery!
I took Joyful Heart Mastery with Ann when Covid was starting to get a lot of attention. All of my kids were home from school and the teenagers were doing online school before the year ended. It was a rough time for them and for me, not knowing what the future had in store. Through Joyful Heart Mastery I learned to find joy in my day by honoring the emotions I was experiencing, recognising that I had a support system around me, and how to connect to God daily and recognize my worth in His eyes. I learned to dream and that God desires our joy and peace. The most important tool I learned during my class was, The Thought Stream, becoming aware of the thoughts that ran through my mind. I have experienced a lot of anxiety for 18 years and with this tool, I became aware of the thoughts that kept me in the bondage of anxiety. Becoming aware of my thoughts has helped me overcome anxiety in a lot of ways. I used to have, what I call, a carousel of thoughts running through my mind, now I control more of the thoughts that I take my time to think.
I am grateful to Ann and her work. I believe in its ability to change lives and I have chosen to become a Joyful Heart Mentor, as well as a Rare Faith Mentor. I believe both offer the truth of who God is and what He truly desires for our lives.
I want my mentees to experience the life-changing effects of connecting with God, through Joy, on a daily basis; to find joy and peace as they move forward in their day-to-day lives and know that God is walking the path right alongside them. I want my mentees to recognize their emotions and honor them as they move forward, to know that they matter and are valued. I want them to know that they have a team and they are not alone!
Life is great! Let's make it joyful!