37/52 – getting personal

Kelli Murray

Kelli Murray

Kelli Murray

Kelli Murray

Kelli Murray

Kelli Murray

 The 52 Project – a portrait series of my daughter, once a week in 2013

Leggings c/o Les Petits Darlings / Sandals – Gap / Sweater – Zara / Hat – Opals Meadows / Toy Camera – Twig Creative

Let’s talk about these little leggings for a minute. SO.IN.LOVE. Les Petits Darlings has some adorable pants for your littles.  I especially love this forest animal print in charcoal.  And if I had a little man (I really hope I have a little man one day!) you can bet he’d be wearing these.  Seriously, too cute.

Everyday I’m reminded more and more of what a mini me I’ve created.  This photo shoot for example.  I told Rylee we were going to go outside to explore and take a few pictures.  She insisted on bringing her own camera along to “take pictures of the snails”.  She is obsessed with snails.  I….am not :)  But it makes me laugh (and secretly proud) that she wants to copy everything I do….keeping me in check I guess!  This girl….she’s got my heart.

Yesterday we went on a tour of a day school that we are considering enrolling her in for two days a week.   All with the hope of bringing a little more “balance” to my life.  Oh balance, you are such a myth.  It was hard for me to even get to the place where I was open to the idea.  But with the increase in work projects and now getting ready to open our own retail shop, I’ve found myself dealing with anxiety like I’ve never experienced.  I think for a lot of my adult life I’ve dealt with stress pretty well.  I’m used to pressure, deadlines and a non-stop schedule.  In fact, I’d probably tell you that I prefer it that way.  But perhaps it was a culmination of being a full time mom with a pretty full time freelance career, my age, my sedentary lifestyle and a major (exciting yet risky) future career move for Sam and I….that it finally caught up with me.  All in the form of extreme anxiety and a racing heart.  My mind told me to relax and that everything was fine, but no matter what I tried, my body just didn’t want to cooperate.  After a few doctors visits trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I ended up discovering an irregular heart rhythm.  As if I needed another thing to worry about.  During the waiting period leading up to my heart tests, I hit one of my lowest points.  My mind wandered to the darkest places and some of my worst fears consumed my thoughts.  On the morning before my tests I opened a book called Jesus Calling that I hadn’t read for months and flipped to the excerpt for that day.  It’s crazy how God works sometimes….leading me to open that specific book on that specific day to that specific page. It was exactly what I needed to hear.  This was the passage that helped re-set my focus:

“Grow strong in your weakness.  Some of My children I’ve gifted with abundant strength and stamina.  Others, like you, have received the humble gift of fragility.  Your fragility is not a punishment, nor does it indicate lack of faith.  On the contrary, weak ones like you must live by faith, depending on Me to get you through the day.  I am developing your ability to trust Me, to lean on Me rather than on your understanding.  Your natural preference is to plan out your day, knowing what will happen when.  My preference is for you to depend on Me continually, trusting Me to guide you and strengthen you as needed.  This is how you grow strong in your weakness.”

Talk about straight to the heart.  I got a call last week after all my tests were done that there was nothing that they found to be an immediate concern, but that I needed to come in for a follow up visit to go over everything and see if there is any additional tests they need to take.  That appointment is still on the horizon….but I have felt a lot more like myself this week that I did the two weeks prior.  Going through all of this was/is a bit of a wake up call for me.  I want to live a life that’s full, healthy, and inspiring.   I don’t want to let fear and worry rule over me.  I want to be the best mom I can be, but I know that means first taking care of myself.  I am no good to anyone if I am no good to myself. There are certain things that will happen in life that are out of my control….and in those times, I need to trust that God will take care of me.  It’s frightening to know what stress is capable of.  I’ve heard story after story about the way it’s affected other people, but it wasn’t until this month that I experienced the ugliness for myself.   I am still dealing with it, and it might be something I will always struggle with at some capacity.  The curse of being an entrepreneur + perfectionist.   But it’s conscious decisions every day that are the most healing.  Going for a run when it’s the last thing on earth I want to do.  It’s asking for help when I feel like I have more on my plate than I can handle.  It’s going to bed at a decent hour and not answering every email that comes my way.  Sometimes….it’s saying no.  I can only do what is in my power, and the rest I have to “let be”.  So much easier said than done, huh?  I am still learning….

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening.  I didn’t actually intend to write all of this tonight….but here I am, 4 paragraphs later.  All stemming from the thought of sending my baby girl to a day school.

  1. Sioned

    It’s funny to see how anxiety can manifest itself. I do hope now you have a diagnosis it can soothe you a little. Doctors are incredible, as are our bodies. As for your venture it’s so exciting don’t worry about the what if’s just take each challenge as it comes and know another one will be coming but you and Sam will get it all done each day at a time. It’s so exciting! Having a shop is like having a child. I ran my mothers wool/yarn shop over the summer to give them a break and it’s so much fun, I loved it! It’s my dream to own a bookshop and Jamie’s dream to run a barbers/tattooist. We have this dream of combining the three on these units in Leicester next to our favourite mens wear concept store. It’s a long way away (Jamie currently does the merch and the buying for some stores in Iceland and Libya) but that’s our dream. Yours and Sam’s venture is so inspiring!
    As for dayschool, Molly has just made the transition from childminder to two days at pre-school and she loves it! I have to bribe her to take her home again! Go with your gut when you visit. We went to see three before we chose ours.
    I’d say good luck but I have faith you don’t need it :) xx

    Reply
    • kelli

      We have so much in common! Thanks for sharing that…I hope you guys are able to make your shop dreams come true one day too! Keep me posted :)

      Reply
  2. Kendra

    Kelli, thank you for sharing this. I struggled with breathing problems for a while (and I still do on occasion) and after many doctor visits and tests, concluded that it probably came from stress. Stress is crazy stuff. I’m sorry you’re going through this because I know how overwhelming it can be. Maybe, you can evaluate your schedule and decide to cut something out. Even if it means cutting out a big thing that seems like a crazy idea.

    Reply
  3. Ali Hayward

    I feel your pain… Being a business owner and a full time momma is rough but so worth it at the same time. My little guy is on the wait list at the Rock daycare… Praying they will open another class soon. He is almost 2 but I’m still sooo attached and freaked out about taking him to day school. I got a really good vibe there though (how could you not though, right?). It’s probably a far drive for you but might be worth it.

    Reply
  4. christine evolving

    Kelli you’re amazing! The only thing constant in life is change – doesn’t make it easy though- Sending positive relaxing vibes! – I hiiighly recommend deep diaphragmatic breathing- calms the nervous system tremendously! allows the mind to calm and see things more clearly :) Set and alarm for 5 minutes a day = LIFE changing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFByTJVVX38

    Reply
  5. TruebadourJess

    First of all. As someone without kids, but a passion for her career, you are inspiring. You are living proof that both dreams and both worlds are possible.

    Second. I’ll be praying for your heart and your anxiety. I love how god chooses to speak to us, just when we need to hear his voice. I think you’re living proof that god honors the risk-takers whose hearts are following him. So this new career move will be nothing but blessed as well as everything else that is waiting to fall into place. I like to think of god as someone who is really broad shouldered. When you stand so close in his embrace or behind him as he protects you, he’s all you can see because he’s all you need to see. Press your nose into his shoulder-blades and let him clear the path for you.

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  6. Candice williams

    God works in amazing ways and its no coincidence that you opened to that passage just when you needed it. Amen! I pray that your anxiety lessens and everything from here on out is smooth sailing. Enjoy every moment and I wish you and Sam all the best in opening the new store!!!

    Reply
  7. Giovanna

    Sorry to hear you’ve been going through a tough time. I’ve been there and it’s no fun. You know how when you were little and people would tell you that you can do ANYTHING? Well I’ve come to realize that isn’t exactly true because if it were, we’d all be astronauts and moms and presidents and Olympians! I do what I can do and you’ve got to figure out what’s right for you. Hang in there. This will blow over.

    Reply
  8. Elnjoy

    Please ask your doctor to check your thyroid. Many overlook this basic thing but, often after having a child, one’s thyroid gets thrown off. Happened to me and I thought that I was really sick. A couple of blood tests later I had the answers to all of my questions…

    Reply
  9. Sarah

    I appreciate the honesty of your blog. it’s refreshing and inspiring. You aren’t alone in your trials and I’m sure there are more people reading that can relate than not! You have a beautiful family and a beautiful outlook. I’m sure the future holds an abundance of joy for you!

    xo Sarah

    Reply
  10. Jade Sheldon-Burnsed

    Battling anxiety and stress has been a challenge in my life since I was in the 2nd grade. I would come home from school nearly every day in tears because I just couldn’t get over my worries about not being perfect. Now that I’m older, things are much better but my health has definitely suffered from all those years spent being worried and miserable. Praying for you!

    Reply
  11. angel swanson

    beautiful Kelli — thank you for sharing your heart with this post, literally. i am praying for you and hope that the additional future tests give you peace. most of all, i pray that God continues to wash over you with the peace only He can give. sending you a huge hug and lots of encouragement. take good care of yourself, dear!!! xo

    Reply
  12. kelly ann

    As someone who’s dealt with major anxiety in the past (panic attacks, heart racing/irregular heart beat), I totally empathize with you, Kelli. Wish I could give you a great big hug – but I’m sending you one over the internet. :) I’m keeping you in my heart and writing your name on my prayer list. Just remember that there are people surrounding you with a lot of love and support for you & your family, and sweet Jesus who is holding you in His hands. (I forget, so often, that that is the best place to be!) He’s got you, and you are covered in love and prayers and compassion and encouragement.

    Hold onto these things and let them lift you up during this time. And keep reading things like Jesus Calling, they are so powerful and helpful in moments of worry or heartache – sometimes it’s astounding how spot-on each day’s message can be!

    Prayers of rest + peace + renewal sent your way, dear friend. xo.

    Reply
  13. Alycia Mealy

    That passage made me teary eyed ! So what I needed to hear. It’s crazy how often what you write on your blog is exactly what i am going through at the time. Thank you for sharing your heart and being so personable ! I will be praying for you and your sweet family!

    P.s. A retail shop!!? How cool is that !!

    Reply
    • kelli

      Ah thank you Alycia! I am sorry you are dealing with some of the same things. You’ll be in my prayers too! (and yes! A retail shop in Del Mar! I’ll keep you posted!)

      Reply
  14. Mel

    Your post just brought tears to my eyes. My sister in law just emailed me your post to me as she felt I could relate to it. I certainly can!! I have struggled with stress and anxiety issues for a number of years and recently decided to start a small business from home while having a couple of kids in tow. The result? Excitement but also increased anxiety. I am learning to manage it all but it can be so tough. I also struggle with an irregular heartbeat and an SVT arrhythmia so this also gets exasperated by stress. I feel your pain and anxiety around this. It sure can be scary.

    I do LOVE what you quoted from Jesus Calling, that it’s through our weaknesses we can learn to become more reliant on the Lord, not ourselves. I certainly can’t do it alone. I need Jesus more than ever. Thank you for that reminder. Praying that the Lord will help you navigate through it all. x

    Reply
  15. Lady à la Mode

    I struggle with pretty bad anxiety too, and it’s really upsetting to have to go through it. I’m sorry :(. And, I’m happy to know your doctors couldn’t find any initial things wrong with your lab tests… hope everything is good! But you should try and “balance” your life more… I think everyone has a hard time finding the perfect in between state, you know? I do, but in different ways I’m sure. What always helps me is to think about all of the family, friends, and my boyfriend who loves me and would do anything for me! It’s comforting to know, and sometimes you just got to let it all out with a good cry. it helps :). anyways, I hope you are doing better, lady! I will be thinking of you!

    P.S. your baby girl is just so cute, I expect to see her as a gap model :)
    P.P.S. congrats on your new retail shop!!! Will have to come visit when it’s open :)

    xxx
    Lady à la Mode

    Reply
  16. Melissa @ Fawn Over Baby

    WOW! GOD is good isn’t he? We (I) sometimes forget to call upon Him when I need Him the most. It’s weird how your brain (or you know who) tricks you into thinking you can do it all on your own. That you can fix the problem, you are in charge of your own destiny. It’s Him who is in charge and can pave the way to a life of pure bliss, happiness and contentment :) You are such an inspiration to so many and it’s so wonderful to know where your faith lies. :)

    XX
    Melissa :)

    Reply
  17. Dara H

    Hello! Just popping in to say that I’m thinking about you and I hope the heart issue turns out to be nothing at all! I was super tired and went in for a few tests and they did an EKG and found minor “Mitral valve regurgitation” which leads to moments of a double heart beat and weird rhythms. They told me that its minor so not much to worry about. Just figured I’d let you know, in case that is what they discover for you as well. ((hugs)) You’re a great mom!

    Reply
  18. Mindy

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us Kelli. I am so sorry to hear that anxiousness has been overwhelming for you lately. I totally feel you. I had a 3-4 month bout where anxiety got the best of me. I’m talking mini panic attacks, racing heart beats and everything. It is such a difficult thing to deal with, especially when it comes out of nowhere and with no bodily explanations. My prayer for you is that you might find absolute and complete comfort in the Lord, that He might overwhelm you with his presence in those moments of racing heartbeats and panic, and that you would cling to him. When I was struggling, Jesus Calling did the same thing for me. One of the readings, I remember specifically because it said something along the lines of “Refuse to worry, and change your focus to my presence.” I know that “refusing to worry” and changing your focus when dealing with anxiety is extremely difficult, but it really helped me to have something practical to attempt to do. And nothing better to focus on than the only One who knows how to ease our panic and fears. Praying that your anxieties cease, and that you find joy in each peaceful moment. Thanks again for sharing, know that you are NOT alone in this.

    Reply
  19. Kristy

    Kelli – thanks so much for sharing this. That quote from Sarah Young was exactly what I needed to hear today. It echoes 2 Cor 12:9, which my heart is beginning to understand the truth of. God Bless xx

    Reply
  20. Anna @ IHOD

    Kelli,
    My mom is a lot like me….she works herself to death for the sake of a greater good, and in the process, totally lets go of her health. She had a series of panic attacks last week and has since resigned from her job at a school she started to get her health back in order. It made me realize I was on the same path so I recently quite my graphic design job, hired a sitter to come once or twice a week, and am working on creating more balance in my life. Its so hard for us creatives to do so….our mind is always on full speed.

    That reflection is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. I want to print it out. I need to get that book! I can’t wait to see where this new business takes your family. I know each of you will be blessed through it. Praying you get all your strength back soon and that you can find some good rhythm. Rylee is so lucky to have parents who love her so much! xo, Anna

    Reply
    • kelli

      Thank you Anna. I really feel like we are kindred souls! Thanks for always being so kind and encouraging. I love that we are able to root each other on in our creative endeavors…even from afar. I hope one of these days we get to meet. So much love, friend.

      Reply
  21. Erin

    First of all your baby is soo beautiful! & How cute that she wanted to take her own camera so she could take “photos” of the snails! I love her.

    Secondly, this whole thing was amazing. I loved reading about dealing with stress and your tips to living a healthier life. I have such a problem saying “no” to things, and I’m terrible at delegating when I have taken on more than I can handle.

    Lastly, I loved the quote from Jesus Calling. That is such a great book and the passage that you quoted here is a fantastic reminder to lean on God and hand our burdens over to him-because he will help us through everything.

    Thanks for writing this!

    xx

    Erin @ http://www.truffles-ruffles.com/

    Reply
  22. Kassandra

    Man that big guy up there always knows what we need just at the right time. That passage from your book sounds perfect for me too. Stress can really consume you. I read somewhere once, have you prayed about it as much as you have worried about it? I try to think of that whenever I get anxious and just give it up to God. I’ll be praying for your heart missy. Make sure to take some time for yourself each day & catch a breath. Have a wonderful week!
    <3 Kastles

    Reply
  23. Britt

    I was directed here via a post of Anna’s today. Like hers, I really need to read this one this morning. So, thank you! While I’m not deciding to send a little one to school just yet, there are questions I daily face, and some days for no reason, a wave of anxiety comes over me that I cannot shake.

    All that to say, thank you for your beautiful works and the beautiful quote on fragility. I so needed it.

    Reply
  24. Heather

    Awesome post. I love how honest and open you were, isn’t amazing how God works in mysterious ways? I love that that passage was right what you opened to. Amazing.

    Reply
  25. Katie

    Kelli, this is one of my very first times commenting on your blog but I just had to. I appreciate you so much for writing and sharing this. I have suffered from severe anxiety my whole entire life. It has led me down dark paths in my mind and into bad depression that I have suffered in. It is a daily battle and I think something I will be dealing with every day for the rest of my life. And it sucks. But within these past two years it has improved a lot and while I still have my falls, I know that I will be okay. It is all thanks to God. I know that getting closer to him and prayer is the only things that bring me through some days. Life lately for me has been chaotic and crazy and lonely and sad and has left me feeling broken. And I am learning that I can’t control many things in life and I just have to give it to God, trust him and let it be. It is so hard to do but I know it is the only way. Health issues, tough work situations, no friends, broken heart and dealing with my aunt dying of cancer has pretty much torn apart my whole year especially when I fell back in the hole of depression for six months(including right now) again. But I am learning that God has this and he loves me and together, with Him, I can get through it all. I am thinking of you, Kelli. I appreciate your honesty and your thoughts. and I pray that the Lord will just bless you with peace and content in this new season of your life. Anxiety is SO hard and I hate to see anyone suffering from it. I know that I will be commenting even more. I hope you have a beautiful rest of your week. xo.

    Reply
    • kelli

      I’m so sorry Katie. Hang in there sweet girl. Cling to Him and He will get you through this. Thanks for sharing your heart. You’re not alone.

      Reply

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