All Spent Up: My Journey to Hope Spoken



This weekend I had the privilege of going to the Hope Spoken women’s conference in Dallas.  My pal(she has always called friends her pal…and I love I stole it.  Love you Em) bought the tickets a year ago and I honestly had totally taken it off my radar.  Life gets busy ya know?  I had no idea how much I needed it…until I had it.

So, hang with me today.  I’m just going to share a little about where my heart was before this weekend.  I know this has nothing to do with running but it has everything to do with life, and sometimes we just need to talk about life.


I went back and forth all weekend with how much to share with you.  I wanted to sit down at my computer and pour my heart out to you in hopes that it could encourage someone or challenge you in one way or another.  I decided most of it will remain sacred.  Known only to me and Jesus and my husband and a handful of women who walked this weekend with me.  But, there was something rich and worth sharing in the struggle to get there.

3 weeks ago I began having some issues with my stomach.  I assumed it was a virus as my husband had been having similar issues.  His lasted a week.  Mine came with cramping and extremely painful heart burn.  It only progressed and got worse instead of better.  It was like my body was rejecting food, and my body has NEVER rejected food.  I KNEW I wasn’t pregnant so I marked that off my list.  I love my babies, but we are done people.  Maxed.  Out.  Anyway, after more google searches than were necessary, I diagnosed myself with an ulcer.  Google searches are great at making you paranoid.  They can easily convince you that you are in fact dying from a rare and uncurable disease.  In my case, an ulcer made the most sense.  Thank you Jesus.  So, I scheduled an appointment with a GI this week.  We’ll see if I’m right.

Anyway, the week leading up to Hope Spoken was miserable.  I couldn’t run or workout or function without pain.  I was snappy, stressed and my chest was heavy.  I was all spent up.  I was short with my kids and I wasn’t enjoying mothering.  At all.  The smallest things were stressing me to the max.  I had a lot on my mind and heart.  A job hanging in front of me that I may take, but will require change for my family after 9 years of staying home.  A potty training toddler.  I’ve beaten that dead horse(she’s officially nailed it by the way.  My job is done…on to college).  A traveling husband.  A heart filled with passion and desire to do big things but absolutely zero idea how to get there.  Conflict over resting in being a mother and not chasing the next big thing.  Feeling unworthy and useless and not valued for what I do.  Feeling as though nothing I did was good enough.

These were just a few of the things my heart was wrestling with.  And when I say wrestling, I mean it.   The night before Hope Spoken Rob was out of town and I went to bed with some heart burn.  It turned into a 6 hour pain fest.  I rolled around in my bed in tears because of the pain.  I thought this was it.  I’m officially dying.   And I’ve had natural child birth ya’ll.  I feel like I have a decent pain tolerance.  I was mad and frustrated.  I was supposed to have this amazing weekend away to be refreshed and here I was in some of the most intense pain I’d ever felt.  It finally subsided around 3am and I dozed off to sleep.

I woke up that morning tired.  Spent.  Defeated.  Why was I feeling this way?  Was my life really so out of control that I was physically suffering under the stress of the every day?  I didn’t know.  But I knew I was on the verge of a total melt down.  If anyone even looked at me I’d cry.  So, I held it in, packed my stuff, put on a cute outfit and waited for the flood gates to open.

We have that stuff don’t we?  The stuff we hang onto that seems small but becomes big in the rush and noise of life.  It doesn’t always have to be loss or a hard marriage or a rebellious teenager.  Sometimes, it’s the every day that gets exhausting.

So, I got everything in order for the weekend and got in my pal’s giant suburban with zero children.  We made it.  We were officially escaping.  We rolled through Starbucks so I wouldn’t fall asleep in the car and headed downtown with our latte’s.  Just the car ride was like a dream.  No one interrupted our conversation.  There are no words.  It was heavenly.


I prayed.  I prayed for God to take the pain away so I could enjoy my weekend.  I prayed for relief but deep down I honestly don’t think I believed it would happen.  Until it did.  After 3 weeks of pain and discomfort, I walked into that hotel and felt immediate relief.  Relief for my soul and my heart, but also for my body.  My chest was light and not weighed down or burdened.  I was finally feeling peace.

I had absolutely no pain the entire time I was there.  None.  I rested at night and felt completely lifted. Ya’ll…that just doesn’t happen.  When I say 3 weeks of pain and discomfort I’m talking every second of every day, even with mediation.  Gone.  No doubt I was right where I needed to be and my spirit was being refreshed and more dreams and passions were taking root as I felt the physical burdens lift.

There are so many things I took away from this weekend that God had for me.  But here’s what I think He has for you. 

You are valuable.  What you are doing is worthy. And You are enough. 

Momma’s of littles…I can speak to you because I’m where you are.  I just emptied poop and pee from the little potty into the big potty for the ten thousandth time.  Why she won’t just go in the big one is beyond me.  I get it.  It’s so easy to believe lies isn’t it?  What your doing isn’t enough.  You should aim higher.  Shoot for the stars, be more successful or make money doing something of worth.  Let me just tell you, if you are “just a mom” your calling is worthy.  Making snacks and scrubbing toilets and taking kids to and from baseball or gymnastics.  Those things mean something.  You are raising little people to one day be big people who will make a great big splash in this world.  You are shaping hearts and minds and nothing about that lacks value.  If I could wrap every one of you in a hug right now I would.  I’m sitting here with a tear stained face and puffy ugly cry eyes because God gently reminded me of that this weekend.  To rest in where I am.  To not forget that this is important and worthy and one day, they’ll be gone.

Maybe it isn’t being a mom.  Maybe you are a professional in your field or a student.  Maybe you are single or married with no kids or a full time working mom or just wondering what in the crap you are supposed to be doing with your life.  Wherever you find yourself today….you matter.  What you do matter’s.  Rest in that.  I’m sitting in the office and Lila is bringing me breakfast while I work.  That’s my moment right now.



I’ve decided I need to soak up these moments.  I can still dream and desire to do great things.  Nothing wrong with that.  In fact I was reminded this weekend that God loves adventure.  He wants us to dream because He created us to do so.  But, I don’t want to miss the now.  What’s right in front of me.  I want to be present.  My now might be hard and my now might involve things that aren’t glamorous or acknowledged.  I’m not saving children in Africa or selling everything I own.  Maybe I will one day.  Because I think it would be awesome.  But right now, today, I’m at home.  That’s where I am and I was reminded to be thankful for that.  To let God build big ole dreams inside of me and for Him to rejoice with me when I’m able to do them.  But to also let Him rejoice and sing over me as I do the mundane and every day tasks set before me.

So be where you are…today.  Don’t compare what you are doing with what that other chick is doing.  Let her do her thing, and you do yours.  And do it well.  Because it is worthy, and so are you. 


14 comments on “All Spent Up: My Journey to Hope Spoken

  1. Shawnee….thanks for sharing!! Girl, I can understand a little of that feeling. I did finish college but I skated by with a degree I didn’t care about and haven’t used at all. Like, at all. Sometimes I look back and wish I had made better decisions and picked something I love, not just something that would be easy. But, we live and learn and move on. You are working hard and I’m sure you are a fantastic mom juggling a lot. I can’t even imagine teenagers yet!! So hang in there, you are fantastic!!

  2. Linda, I know I could go on and on about this too. It’s just hard navigating life sometimes and we all have different reasons why. I always tell me kids to stop and verbally give thanks when they start to complain. It’s amazing how it changes our hearts. Have a great day friend!!

  3. Amen, sister. I have been there before, excruciating stomach pains and all, and I am still there most days. But you are right. We are worthy and we are loved. I have a feeling I will always struggle at least a little bit being a FT working mom and having 3 very opinionated children, but those moments are made easier when I stop to just. be. thankful. for all I have. Gosh, this is a subject I would talk about forever.

  4. I needed to read this too! I’m a mom to a 14 and 10yr old. I don’t stay at home with them but I work fulltime outside the home as an office manager for an electrical contractor. As babies they both came work with me for the first few months. I’ve never missed a school function or sporting event because of the flexibility of my job and I’m able to take off whenever I want. BUT I have this constant nagging in the back of my head saying you should have finished college to be a nurse and be making better money and able to contribute more to the family finances. I make good money here and have insurance that my boss pays the majority of and all these other perks but some days I can’t help but beat myself up for not finishing college. Starting today I’m going to be content with where I’m at, it truly is not the end of the world that I didn’t finish college. We have all that we could possibly need and then some!!! I’m so glad I found your blog. Praying you get good news from the GI doctor.

  5. are too cute. If I wrote a book it would have to have 10 titles because I wouldn’t be able to narrow down all I wanted to say haha. but thank you for being so sweet. Maybe one day=)

  6. You do Shelly!!!!!! Raising these kids is no joke and you are doing a fantastic job. Thanks for your encouragement. You too are beautiful friend!!!

  7. Tara…thank you for your sweet comment. And girl, we need to be friends. Restless rocked my world upside down and is my all time favorite book. Game changer. But you’re right, God’s plans are His own. Love that you are holding that sweet baby!! That brought tears to my eyes. Thanks again for reading today!!!

  8. This was so good. Such a beautiful reminder. Last year I went through the book Restless and felt I knew a calling. Something big God was going to do and I could serve others. Then I had back surgery and then I was surprise Preggo with number 3. I have a 7 and 8 year old. I was done with baby stage. And now as I sit here holding this sweet baby boy I know Gods plans aren’t always ours. And this mom life, I want to savor and not miss either. Thank you for your words! I’ve always wanted to go to Hope Spoken! God bless you and thank you for being so honest and real! 🙂

  9. Love every word. I get into these funks ever so often and start to feel like I really haven’t made an impact and then I look at these amazing kids I have and know that isn’t true. I touch people all the time and don’t even realize. You are beautiful inside and out! Keep sharing!

  10. Elizabeth…it just makes all of this worth it to see it touches someone. And I understand that feeling…that what you’re doing isn’t enough. But knowing when those lies creep in and being able to replace them with truth has helped me so much. Wether it’s God’s word or music or talking to a friend. Getting truth in so you don’t believe the lies. Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement to me!! You are doing fantastic girl

  11. thank you Allison!! It was definitely needed!! Thanks for reading and for the encouragement=)

  12. Kelly, you have no idea how much I needed to see this tonight & be reassured that “being a mom” is enough. I always feel the need to continue to do more & be more to prove to myself and everyone else that I can do it all. I’ve gotten a little better about it over the past few months, but I still have that nagging in the back of my mind that I need to make money to feel successful. It’s so wrong! I know part of that comes from having a career for so many years before having my daughter and then deciding to stay home with her while I did personal training on the side. The “side” so easily becomes every moment of my free time when she’s not awake. You are a wonderful mama and a great example to the fitness community & Christian mommas trying to stay sane with toddlers 😉

  13. Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m new to your blog and it’s so amazing to see the miracle that God worked in you this weekend through healing your GI issues. I pray you continue to feel well! Keep doing amazing things for the Kingdom!

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