Intentionality and Longevity

The past couple of years have been touch and go. There have been many transitions: having children, moving three times (including the current impending move back to Hershey), changing jobs, and all of the shifts that occur in the wake of those things. With major transitions life can get a bit chaotic, and for years it’s felt like we have been finding different ways to survive. We’ve just been trying to make the right choice for the next couple of years; not knowing how long we will be in the next place. With this next one we are determined to approach everything with INTENTIONALITY and LONGEVITY in mind. So, what does that look like?

We will be buying a house, so how do we do that with intentionality? For us it looks like this: does the house accommodate our family, including family that may visit? Will our kids be able to thrive long term there? School district? Land? Can we eliminate the burden of a mortgage in the next couple of years by spending our money correctly? And so on.

In recent months life has allowed for us to make major shifts in how we spend out money on a weekly/monthly basis as well. The kids are getting “easier” to manage which has allowed us to do things like meal plan/prep for the week. That has allowed us to save $50-$75 per week. That’s a minimum of $2,600 a year of savings by being intentional with our time and resources. What does THAT look like? It means sitting down on Saturday evening/Sunday morning and coming up with meals, and a list of groceries that we need for the week. We go shopping as a family, and we show our kids how to shop (they LOVE it). They carry baskets, have micro lists and help us get the things we need. We stick to the list and we do not deviate from it. Our weekly grocery budget is between $150-$200 (depending on whether of not we need dog food which is at least another $30-40, laundry detergent, etc.) and the kids know this as well. They help me with the self check out, and at the end we look at the total and I show them how we did.

We go out to eat/order in once a month (avg. savings of $120/month).

We stopped drinking sweet beverages (soda mostly and small savings, but huge health benefits).

We have found different ways to enjoy our time together that doesn’t cost money: going to the library, walking on the dirt roads, going to local parks, going for bike rides, etc. We did a lot of this before, but also found excuses to go to places like Amazeum more frequently than we needed. It alllll adds up.

The reason behind cutting out excessive spending is two-fold. We found that as we save more we are able to do two things: use our resources to help other people, and put more towards being financially independent at an earlier age. So, as we move forward into this next stage we want to move forward with intentionality, knowing that we only get 14-16 more summers with our children before they are “adults”. The time we have is precious, so how do we want to spend it? Our resources are what they are, how do we want to spend/use them?

We also want to keep in mind that this next phase is one to be made with the “long run” in mind. How do we do this well? So well that we are able to watch our children flourish and grow in the same place for the rest of their childhood. In a house that can contain every memory we make within its walls. Using practices that honor our time, our resources, and the people around us. Longevity sets us up for this.

In the days that come things will get more and more chaotic as we pack up our lives one more time. It will exhaust us, irritate us, maybe even scare us. But as we go through each day with intentionality, and keep the goal in mind, we will allow room for the long term plan to be accomplished (longevity). Each day (intentionality) for future days (longevity).

May you find ways in your life, and each passing day, to walk and act with intention.


Hard Work and Why It ALWAYS Pays Off

They say that hard work pays off, but sometimes we put the work in and it doesn’t yield the result(s) we were hoping for…does it? Sometimes we fight, sweat, study, mentally grind, press into the discomfort and tell ourselves “this is going to be worth it”, and when we are finally done, what we were hoping for just isn’t there. It’s not greeting us at the finish line with a time worthy of BQing. It’s not the grade we studied for, or the job we wanted afters hours of prepping for the interview. When this happens our minds reframe the narrative from “hard work pays off” to “why am I trying so hard? It probably won’t work out”. We spiral into constant disappointment and questioning our self-worth. It may not happen after one or two setbacks, but the compounding impact of these moments over time can, in fact, muddle the waters a bit. So, then, why is it that this saying “hard work always pays off” is still a common phrase to say to those who are in the thick of it? Is it to simply help the individual feel better, even if it’s not true. Is it the “that dress doesn’t make you look fat” equivalent for people pushing through something difficult? I think not. I believe this is still commonplace because in life…hard work DOES pay off.

I believe that with each setback there is room for growth in wisdom and contentment. In the face of the next setback (especially if it is similar to the one we previously faced) we bring experience to the table. Experience brings forth wisdom, and we all know lady wisdom is one of our many companions when it comes to living a fruitful life; all the while being aware of the order placed in the world by God Himself. Without wisdom we are in danger of being trapped by folly. Without wisdom we seek things in this world that will continue to suck the life from us and believe that the rewards and benefits of our hard work should be straight forward and rewarding. It’s not always that simple. When we lean into the wisdom we gain through setbacks, however, we can approach each step forward with some fog wiped away from the lens. Wisdom drives us to move forward with more and more intention and insight.

The other thing we gain through setbacks is contentment. There is a theory in Psychology called non attachment theory. It is “something that arises when we are truly present and not caught up in the automatic process of fixating on things being better or worse than they are at the given moment” (Psychology Today, 2019). So what does that mean? Does it mean that we just throw in the towel in the face of adversity and never try to overcome new challenges? No. It poses the idea that when walking into those situations that you be fully present and accept that without the better or worse outcome, life now is good, and there are things you are thankful for. With that kind of mindset disappointments are no longer debilitating or earth shattering. They do not define you or your life. They do not define your worth or success. Allowing yourself to be present and content in these moments gives you freedom to release any demands or expectations that could otherwise plague you if they are not met. It also allows you to try again without fear and pain being the driving forces.

I am an average runner. I love running, and sometimes I even like to let myself compete by racing. Past races have rarely yielded successful results because when I’ve approached them I’ve always had hard-pressed expectations for each one. These expectations have been time based goals, place goals, and so on. Some of which I accomplished, but most of my races proved to be “unsuccessful” and “disappointing” because my expectations were unwavering. They were all I could focus on. I’ve had a coach for about a year now, and in that year I’ve been equipped with many shiny new tools for running (learning how to pace myself, learning how to listen to my body, fueling correctly, etc.), but the most important one….the one I just learned on Saturday when I raced the Back 40 was this: “you’re trying to have fun…” (Drew). My real, inner desire when it comes to running….joy. Running is something that brings me joy. At the end of the day the pace, placement, BQing…doesn’t matter. If striving for those things steals my joy, I’m not living in contentment. I’m requiring this thing to define me and that will always prove to be disappointing. So, I tried that. I tried to just have fun. You know what happened? I did! I tore through those woods with a friend, scraped my knees, high-fived James, ate some pickles to keep me going, laughed, complained about hills, and won. It was the first race I went into where the only goal was to have fun, and not only was I successful because it was SO MUCH FUN…I won my first race.

So…whatever you are doing, whatever you are working towards, stop for a second. Close your eyes and bring yourself to the present moment (mentally). Think about things you are grateful for (big or small, the smaller the better), and keep doing that for a minute or two. Then allow yourself the grace to be content in this moment, right now. Allow yourself to be free of the expectations of this next test, application, whatever it may be. The outcome does NOT define you. Hard work is unavoidable in life, so yes, we need to embrace it, but we don’t have to let it own us. It will pay off because no matter what happens, YOU are enough, and the work will bring you wisdom and further contentment.




One of my coping mechanisms when things get too hard, or I find myself dissociating during a stressful moment is to redirect myself into hopeful thoughts. Sometimes this simply looks like me daydreaming, or thinking big positive thoughts…some are ideas of grandeur…some are small, simple thoughts that have the power to lift me out of the present moment that feels murky. There isn’t really a rhyme or reason to how I go about daydreaming, or what I daydream about, so I thought I would share some of the things I’ve conjured up in my mind over the last couple of weeks.

*Moving back to South Africa, but doing it with remote jobs, actually making money and living in the house on a mountain. Stewarding the orchards with our children, walking to Themba Church on Sundays, running the 16 mile loop on dirt bush roads, and reconnecting with friends of old.

*Buying a small home, on a larger piece of land, fixing it up and enjoying a simple life. Living in a place that’s walkable, bikeable, near family and friends and just cultivating relationships and a strong sense of community.

*What it would be like to pay off someone else’s mortgage just to bless them.

*Running the Commrades in South Africa

*Feeling a soccer ball on my feet; playing the beautiful game with people just for FUN where no one is concerned about skill level, scouts, stats, winning/losing seasons etc. We are just there for the joy.

*The day my kids can run with me. This one is particularly fun to daydream about.

*Watching our friend’s daughter be healed of the burdens this world has placed upon her.

*Hugging my mom again in heaven

*Having an actual conversation with my brother; genuine connection and honesty.

*Surfing on the shores of Charleston again. The warm air, the dried salt on my skin intermingling with a slight burn. My hair just dancing in the wind, wild and untamed; sticking to my hands as I try to bridle it with a hair tie.

*Going for a long drive by myself.

*Taking pictures where ever I want for a whole day.

*Writing a book…the theme of the book changes CONSTANTLY.

*Deleting ALL of the emails in my inbox

*Completing my master’s degree in Counseling or PT.

*Things we will do once we no longer have a mortgage: pay things off for others, make places better than when we found them, get rid of most of my clothes and only replace them with fewer, higher quality items, travel in order to enrich our children’s lives; show them there is a world outside of America (some good stuff and some stuff that’s hard to grapple with).

*Having another baby

I think there’s an unlimited amount of things that can happen in our minds. Some are things that can and will come to fruition, some are things we may never meet face to face. I think, however, that all of these things are 100% necessary to nurture our hearts, and remind us of what we deem worthy of taking up space in our minds and possibly in the world. If you haven’t stopped and daydreamed for a while, try it. While you’re running, allow your mind to create things. When your sitting in the waiting room, put down your phone and lean into the boredom… your mind will create it’s own entertainment. Where ever you are, sink into that escape mechanism we were all born with; daydream.


Mental Hell to Mental Health

My mental health journey is a long and windy road, one that has not been very enjoyable, or easy. When I first noticed something was “off” I was 13. My parents had been divorced for years, but my mom had a slew of failed marriages that had piled up. All of my stepfathers were physically/sexually/verbally abusive. My biological father was good and kind despite his struggles with alcohol. I’m sure I presented with different mental health symptoms before I was 13, but they came into view (for myself) around then. Symptoms at 13: self harm (cutting and burning), self isolation, disinterest in activities I used to enjoy, poor appetite, sleeping too much/too little, extremely irritable, and a few others, but those were the most prominent then. This was the age I started contemplating suicide while my peers were hanging out at shopping malls.

I attempted once by intentionally taking the remaining pills of my mom’s bottle of percocet. Looking back now, I’m thankful that I was unsuccessful. Then, however, I felt like I was stuck. I felt like a failure. I felt unloved and unseen. It felt like the end of the road…a dead end…but there I was, just chillin. What now? Just keep swimming the say. So, I just kept swimming.

High school…yikes. My symptoms not only got worse, but I developed a new one: manic episodes. I didn’t know what they were at the time, but I was aware of them. Everyone else was starting to notice them too. I remember not sleeping for several nights one week and tearing up all of the carpet in my room and painting all of the walls bright yellow. It looked BAD. Like really bad, and I wasn’t aware of that until I was post-manic. This was just one example. They got worse as time went on, but I continued to ignore them

As an adult and a new mom it was hard to ignore the unknown giant I constantly faced. It was starting to rear its ugly head more frequently, and I was not digging that. I also started having panic attacks after becoming a mother. So now we have extreme irritability, disinterest in activities I used to enjoy, extreme highs and lows (manic/depressive), panic attacks, poor appetite, shifty sleep habits (sometimes too much, and sometimes I didn’t need it at all), still self isolating, etc.

It wasn’t until this year that I took it seriously. I had been to physicians before and had been put on several medications to treat this and that. The only one that ended up sticking was “manic depression” (as told to me by my PCP at the time).

Several months ago I had another manic episode. I was running a decent amount, not sleeping (didn’t “need it”), cleaning excessively, “making things”, very irritable (even more so than usual), not eating (without realizing it), conjuring up “grand” ideas, rapid speech, and not being able to keep up with my thoughts while speaking. All of this was followed by DEPRESSION. I was contemplating suicide, needing way more sleep than was possible, still not wanting to eat, zoning out constantly, unable to concentrate, and unable to will myself to move when running. That last symptom was the most bizarre one. That had never happened to me before. I think it was the one that made me realize something was severely wrong. That was my pivotal moment.

I made the decision to be evaluated. It was hard to figure out how/where to get this done. How much it was going to cost? How it would impact my future? I finally asked my neighbor (a LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor) what she would recommended and she pointed me in the right direction. The evaluation itself consisted of three 3 hour sessions. The first one, background check…tell them about my past, my work history, schooling, etc. The second, assessment. These were tests that ruled out certain things and allowed the psychologist to focus on specific disorders a bit more. Day three, cognitive evaluation. After that…I waited. It took about a week before I received my official diagnosis; Bipolar and PTSD. Weight. Lifted. Giant(s) identified. I felt seen, understood, and for the first time since I was a child I was able to BREATHE. From the perspective of a Christian I felt like God had brought me to that point, wrapped me in His arms and said “you can rest now and breathe, but now comes the hard work. I’ll be there with you through it all”.

I am now on two medications: one for mood stabilization and one low dose antidepressant. I take L-Methylfolate, and some other supplements. I am still learning a lot about what this is and how it impacts me and my behavior. Looking back, the PCP who diagnosed me with Manic Depression was on the right path.

I know this story will bore most of you and surprise some of you. What I hope, though, after sharing this is that ONE if you feels seen or understood. You are not alone. There are resources available, and there are people in this world who care about you. Idontmind talking about the hard stuff.


Loving the “monsters” in front of us

This is not the first time in human history when things have been confusing, overwhelming, and for many…hopeless.

I’m not about to lay out an explanation of my views, or argue a case and point. What I do want to do is redirect the ones who are feeling like things are no longer clear. I am a HIGHLY emotional person, and I try to view things from a non-biased perspective….impossible sometimes…I know. At the end of the day, however, I find that anything I do or think or say is moot without actually connecting with other people.

Yes, I have beliefs and opinions. Yes, I would like certain things to happen, not happen, and I would love to see certain things highly restricted. But guess what….those things are not as important and seeing the people in front of me, and listening. Loving them. Helping them. Caring for them. My job here is not to press into political schemes, but to encounter others and show them how God intends to love his church. How He longs to heal and forgive. His provision. My job is to do so much more than cast a vote and post links on social media to let people know how wrong they are.

My real job is this…
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40  (ESV, Matthew 22:37-39).

So how does that translate into everyday life? What does it even mean to love someone as myself? What If I DON’T love myself? Not really. Two things are important here: 1.) where do we find our value and self worth? Is is from God? Because if it’s not I think we will find it difficult to love others the way He intended us to. 2.) How can we expect others to love themselves if they do not know the love of God? The standard is DIFFERENT. People who do not ascribe to our beliefs are not expected to act as we would act or think the things we would think about certain issues.

Sure, to some this will seem passive…ignorant…maybe impractical? I’m not here to appeal to the masses or convince anyone of anything, but I will say that we are going nowhere fast (no matter what laws/statutes/restrictions) if we are heading there without trying to connect with one another. The person standing across the political line from you is still human. They are still worthy of love, and contrary to popular social media postings/protest signs/comments….they are not monsters. They are human. Which ever side you are standing on…open your eyes, allow your ears to hear, and let your heart settle into a moment of connection. I think if we do this we can come to more reasonable solutions for our society. And at the very least we won’t hate each other as much, and that’s a HUGE step from where we are right now.

I feel like this thought is pretty incomplete, and I think I could write about this particular subject for days, but I need to fold my laundry too. So, maybe you will get enough from my unfinished ramblings to connect the dots on your own. *fingers crossed*. Also….you are loved.

Let’s do better,

Past Tense/Present Tense

As I distance myself with things from my past it becomes easier to connect with people, easier to push through moments when I feel extremely triggered, and easier to believe that life is, in fact, good. Then there are other days when my past, in all of its darkness, comes back to me. Like a rush of cold air at the mouth of a cave hits you on a pleasant summer day; It takes my breath away. It reminds me that there are still things that, even though I have acknowledged/dealt with them, can stop my in my tracks. Make me feel like I’m going to vomit. Give me tunnel vision. When this happens it makes me feel powerless. “well, have you tried praying?” or “if Jesus has healed you of those things shouldn’t you be done with them?” or “Just allow Jesus to fill you with His joy”…..all of these things (and more) have been said to my face, and honestly it just pisses me off. Yes, God has done REMARKABLE things in me, and in my life, but abuse, neglect, death….they aren’t “deal with it once and it’s done” kind of things. They hide and creep. Some days, they find their way back to the forefront of my brain, and they are relentless. I wish these days didn’t happen anymore, but today is here, and it’s one of them. So, rather than sit and stay silent I just wanted to say….”Hey…today I’m in a dark place” because just saying that gives today less power.

That is all.


A Little’s Enough

My English professor from college once taught us to give daily gratitudes to help redirect our focus in life from a negative narrative to a narrative driven by joy and thankfulness. Dealing with a mental illness can sometimes take over the narrative in my life. It’s hard for me to sit down and make a list of things I am thankful for, but just taking a few moments to do it takes the edge off just enough to keep pushing through. I thought I would make one publicly just as an example. I always say my family, our home, and Jesus (as those are a given). These are things that often go overlooked…

*Chapstick; it soothes my lips and my soul
*A warm shower proceeded by sweatpants and a movie
*Car rides by myself
*Good photography
*A clean kitchen. Can I get an amen for cleared countertops?!
*Long ass walks…the kind that never seem to end…but always feel too short.
*Dried salt water on my skin
*My freckles in the summer
*Tacos. Enough said.
*Carolyn Spaulding’s singing voice
*A good pillow
*An uninterrupted conversation with Daniel
*Catching waves until my body can’t hang anymore. One day I’ll do that again.
*Running. Just the pure act of running.

I’m thankful. I’m Thankful. I’m thankful; even when my mind is spiraling.

Remembering the Tanya of Old

Sometimes, usually while I’m driving or running, I’m reminded of things from my past. Some of these things are welcomed memories, some not so much. Nevertheless they come flooding back to me, and I welcome them every time, like an old friend. Today I was reminded of a time when Daniel and I were dating, when I would INSIST that we attend any open house we saw when we were driving. At first Dan wasn’t so excited about these random drop-ins, but as the years went on he started enjoying them. Sometimes we would pretend we were interested buyers, create a backstory, and ask ridiculous questions that no adult would ever be concerned with. Other times we just waltzed on in and floated around, what was usually, a very large house (if not mansion) in eastern Pennsylvania. Today I was running past an open house and thought about the girl who got excited to parade through homes that were out of her reach, and I honored her by doing so. It was a house that (I’m pretty sure) we will never be able to afford, filled with interested buyers who make way more money that we ever will (prolly). The countertops teased with flecks of gold. The windows allowed light to reside on the walls and floors abundantly, and with pride. Tiles adorned the walls playfully in rooms meant for mundane activities; cooking, washing, eating, being. Every little detail reminded me of the importance of daydreaming. It reminded me of wonder, and play, and beauty. I was happy, for a moment, to be reunited with a younger version of myself in that house. And even though she came with me as I skipped down the newly cladded brick steps, I also felt like I let a small part of her stay to rest in the light that danced through the stained glass window. I sometimes feel sad that parts of me, like this one, don’t get to be “let out” much anymore (you know…kids), but it’s so so sweet when they do make an appearance.

As I drove home I thought about some of the other parts of me that I don’t get to interact with as much anymore. I don’t have as much time to write as I would like this evening, but I would like to write them down so I can be assured that they are left in safe keeping. Just in case.

I used to go to the SPCA just to pet cats and dogs in my free time
Little, itty bitty Tanya, used to lay on the kitchen floor of her dad’s house where the heat ran under the tile, and fall asleep on it while dinner was being made.
I used to play soccer, and I was really good at it. I miss the ball at my feet.
I hated rinsing the saltwater off of my skin after swimming in the ocean.
I was ashamed of how much of a tomboy I was. Painfully so.
I used to bring home animals I would find and try to find homes for them
I used to sing more
I used to take pictures of things that weren’t my children
I used to say “bad words”
I was afraid of getting married
It was easier for me to sit, and be silent, even when things were terrible.
I used to write more
I used to swing dance

I do other things now. I feel different things now, and with greater depth. I miss some of these things, but I’m also so so happy of who I am and how far I’ve come. I hope that in another 10 years I can welcome and honor little pieces of THIS Tanya, but still feel this good about myself.

Try to honor where you have come from, and embrace all of it.


The Thrill of Hope

Before I became a Christian the idea that I could escape some of the things from my past seemed like a naive dream inceptioned by fairy tales and Disney movies. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (NIV; John 10:10) and that he did. Over and over and over. Children should not have to know the sting of a stepfather’s fist. They shouldn’t know how to identify what kind of high their mom is experiencing based on certain facial features. I should not have had to attend that same mother’s funeral at 14. My brother and I were robbed of our innocence. The enemy stole our feeling of security. He killed with intention and precision. By the time I was 15 I not only felt the sting of death, but was starting to submit to it…

But there is someone else. “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (NIV; John 10:10).
Christmas is a precarious time for me and my mental state. I’m well aware of my childhood deficiencies and challenges. They creep up around this time of year more so than others. Luckily I am also very aware of what Jesus came to do, and that the season of Christmas is about celebrating the beginning of His life. In the moments when the enemy tries to remind me of the things I have lost, Jesus reminds me of the life I have been given, not only in Him, but my literal life. My husband, my children, provision, a new job that I LOVE, the ability to still run…all of it is because I turned to Him when I was 15 instead of submitting to that voice telling me to end it. The enemy wanted to literally destroy me, and I was fine with it. Jesus said He wants me to have life, and He wants me to have it abundantly. His voice was soft when I first heard it. Different from voices I was used to. He spoke to me kindly and with love and grace. He sought me out and required nothing but faith in Him. He promised to walk with me through all of my days and to never leave me. He knew what I needed to hear. It’s been hard to allow grace to not only heal me of things from my past, but allow it to reshape my current life and future.

All of this is to say…Christmas can be hard, but when I allow myself to think about Jesus and what He came to do my heart feels light. It dances and finds wonder in Christmastime again. I find joy in all of the traditions rather than feeling angry for missing out as a child. I see the lightheartedness of my children and rejoice in knowing that they will look back seeing Christ in these moments instead of abuse, and drugs, and struggle. They will look back and find peace, and joy, and grace in the innermost weavings of their childhood. The burden they carry will be lighter, because mine surely is.

Merry Christmas to all of you. May you find peace, joy, and hope in your heart. You are worthy of it, and it is freely given. It’s thrilling.

I love you, and I see you.



Every moment deserves our attention

It can be tiring waking up and giving each day our “all”. Life doesn’t always extend the grace we long for, and the same is true for each small moment. There are times when it’s not only easier to check out, but desirable. We encounter these moments on a daily basis; the conversations with strangers in the midst of our busy day, playing with our children after they just threw a tantrum for 30+ minutes, saying “yes” to going outside even when the rain bullies you to stay in.

There is a term in medicine called “first intention” that (from my understanding as a person with little medical training) means that a wound is being healed via sutures, adhesive, staples, etc. and that the wound has had little tissue loss. Nevertheless it was a wound that needed something INTENTIONALLY done to make sure it healed properly.

It’s interesting, to me, that all of these moments that require intentionality are moments can show us areas within ourselves that are gaping wounds. The efforts that we put in, then, during these moments must be our “first intention”. The efforts are our sutures to close up these wounds that would otherwise fester.

Have you ever tried playing with a toddler who has just thrown a tantrum and then minutes later desires connection from you? Maybe it’s just me, but I find it extremely difficult to gather my emotions (usually anger and frustration), tell them I’m moving forward, and enjoy the next moment with my children. I want to be angry still, because that tantrum literally drove me insane, But you know what? The moment I choose to move forward and allow myself to feel joy and connection again my children see it. They feel it. Not only am I preventing myself from feeling anger and frustration for longer than I need, I am showing my children what it looks like to feel the feelings, own them, and then move forward with strength. It’s hard to choose connection in the midst of that, and it’s hard to be intentional about how you connect moving forward. Without intentionality, though, we miss out on growth and healing.

I have found nothing more beautiful than saying yes to intentionality in the hard moments. I have made friendships that would otherwise be missed out on. I have had amazing experiences and conversations. I have felt pain with people that would otherwise be carrying that burden on their own. I’ve seen bigger smiles on my children’s teary-eyed faces when I play and hug after arguments than when I choose to allow anger to dictate my actions. All of these, and any others that you can think of, ought to be what we are aiming for.

If we choose intentionality every time, then it becomes muscle memory, and the things we needed to be intentional about are no longer areas in our life that need to be addressed (or at least not as often). So, all of this is to say…

When you wake up each morning, think about what needs your attention and give it just that. Decide ahead of time how you want to handle hard moments with your family, or bad weather, or people you encounter. Think hard about it, then be intentional in those moments to strive for those results. This stuff isn’t easy, but healing and growth are not known for their paths of least resistance.