When Joy and Chaos Co-Exist

So it’s been a minute (more like a few months) since I’ve last posted. And I feel compelled to share why.

So in this post, I’m going to pour out my heart. I’m going to share the battles I’ve been going through. And I’m hoping that through my vulnerability, someone reading this will realize they are not alone!

So here it goes:

I have talked on here before about how I had walked through some hard stuff last year. I came through that horrible season, stronger than ever. I was on this mountain and I felt unstoppable. It was during that time that I started this blog and my podcast. I was loving where life seemed like it was heading.

And then the next crazy whirlwind swooped into our lives. This time, it was business related, rather than our personal lives. You see, throughout the end of last year we were being extremely faithful with how we spent our money and we were saving as much as possible. We had dreams of finishing our basement, taking the girls to Disney (which I have dreamed about for YEARS!). I was so proud of the amount we had saved up. It was more than I’d ever had in my life. And then… things at our business started to get a little rocky. The details are a whole other story for a whole different time, but we realized that we were facing some difficult choices. You see the place we were renting from had gone through some changes. And their vision no longer aligned with ours. And they were forcing us to make some changes to the way we did business that we just didn’t feel comfortable with. So we hit our knees and prayed.

It had only been 3 years (a little shy of 3 years actually) since we had moved to that location and we were sure we would have our gym there for as long as we owned it. But we don’t always get to choose how those things work out. So we had to figure out how to move to another facility, renovate it, and figure out how to get all of our equipment from one location to the next. And while we had saved a lot of money over those past few months, when it comes to the world of business, it was still less than most places spend on payroll each month. So we knew that this was only going to be possible if God made a way.

And make a way, He did. He lined up the perfect place, right within our budget. And when we factored in the costs to renovate (and by renovate I mean beg and borrow and do as much as possible ourselves), it came out to exactly the amount we had saved.

So despite the enormity of this decision, we got to work. We pulled all nighters on more occasions than I can count and in less than One month, we completely renovated and moved our entire fitness center to that new location.

But that’s when the real struggles started. Because now we were left with the extra expenses from that move, and the only way to pay it was to cut our own salaries. So we started to feel more trapped financially than I can remember in a while. And while I have total faith in the Lord and know He will pull us through this season, I have struggled to keep my spirits up on a day to day basis. I have battled more internal battles this summer than ever before in my life. I’ve struggled with contentment, with comparison, with anger, with anxiety, with depression. You name it and I’ve probably faced it at some point in these past few months.

And the longer this was going on, the more upset I would get at God. “Lord, you’ve given me these dreams to write a book, to expand our business, to reach women all over the world, but I just feel stuck. Why would you give me these dreams if I can’t make them a reality?”

Did you catch the tone of my statements…. “I feel… and I can’t”. I was making it all about me. I was so focused on my struggle and my current situation, that I couldn’t keep my eyes fixed on Him! I was forgetting His promises to me. I was forgetting to thank Him for the time I got to spend at home with my girls this summer.

I have missed so much joy in these past few months. And if I’m being honest, I’m still writing this from the trenches. I’ve just chosen to lift my head up high enough to see out. But this isn’t something I’ve mastered. I’m not writing it from a beautiful mountaintop place.

You see, I had big dreams (again with the “I” in there)… I was counting down all summer to when my kids went back to school, because then I could get into my office at our gym and make things happen. I could catch up on the mounds of filing and bookkeeping I fell behind on all summer and I could focus on being proactive and marketing so we could climb back up to the top. But that’s not what happened. My kids started back to school on August 20th. And my youngest has been sick NONSTOP since the middle of August. She’s only made it to 4 days of preschool so far. And one of those days was her birthday, so I spent the day preparing for her party instead of working at the office. So I’ve had 3 days to go to my office in the past month. 3! And I’ve felt more frustrated than ever about it! I was getting angrier by the day!

“God, why is this happening? You know my desires! You know we need the money! I NEED to get to work right now!”

My prayers became a little less pleading and little more shouting each day!

And then something I read this week reminded me that I need to be still and let God work. Yes, we can’t get lazy and expect God to just show up and fix all our problems. But we also can’t strive to fix them all within our own strength. And that’s what I was longing to do. And God in his sovereignty, knew He needed to keep me from that trap!

My husband said something today that seemed to really help snap me out of the fog I’ve been surrounded by. He said, “Sheena I would give everything to make you happy. I will give up our gym today if it would make you smile. I don’t remember the last time you were truly happy. It’s been a while. And I think God is trying to show you that you already have everything you need to experience joy right here, right now. You are just choosing to strive for your own dreams instead of accepting the gifts he’s giving you right here and now.”

Oh how true his words were!

I’m literally sitting in my tub crying as I write this, after spending most of my day screaming at my children in frustration. You see I’m still trying to figure out how to not strive for things to happen in my way and in my timing. I don’t think it’s something I will figure out this week, maybe not even in my lifetime. But I’m going to try to be a little better at it tomorrow than I was today!

What about you? Are you able to put aside your expectations and find the joy in your Right Now!? Can you see past the chaos that’s trying to distract you? It’s there, I promise you!!!

If this helped you in any way, I’d love to hear from you. Either comment here or send me a message on IG or FB! I’d love to be able to pray for you and also celebrate how God is moving in your life!

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