Staying in my Lane

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

I was reminded of a clip from the 1987 Blockbuster – Baby Boom as I wrote this post. In the movie, Diane Keaton plays this high-powered corporate executive in New York City. She happens to inherit a baby girl from a distant cousin and I remember at one point in the movie – she is trying to keep up with the other women power walking to work.

As I recall, for a moment, she tries to keep up with the other high-powered exec’s but then realizes – she can’t do it anymore. So she slows down and this look of resignation comes over her.

It’s crazy that I remember that clip so well from a movie that I watched when I was just a kid. Maybe because I find time and again that I’m that woman. Trying to keep up, to be the same, and then realizing I just can’t.

Case in point, I’ve been on the treadmill lately. Running around like a crazy mama to sports practices and games like no. body’s. biz. It occurred to me a couple of days ago that we have 11 sports practices and 10 games this week ALONE. And my 2nd half is headed out of town. Oh my.

With the marathon that has been my life over the last 6-7 weeks, I have slowly started to slip away from some of the habits that continually keep me grounded. Namely spending time reading my Bible (being connected to God), journaling (being connected to myself), and working toward staying connected emotionally to Jason (being connected with others).

This fraying of the cord that anchors me has started to infiltrate other areas of life. I have started to feel pressure “to be the same”. To do whatever it takes to “fit in”. The problem is – fitting in changes with every situation.

I’ve also started to get super caught up in what other people (both near and far) are doing with their time (I hate social media in this way) while I have just gotten more and more frustrated and disappointed with how much I am NOT doing. Discontent is the word that comes to mind.

And this, my friends, is NOT how I want to live.

So on Sunday night – after a day of feeling pretty much anxious and powerless – I took some steps in the right direction. I ran a couple of errands to better help me be ready for the week (self care people). I wrote Jason a note and left it by his keys. I dusted off my Bible on Monday morning and picked up where I left off months ago.

Then yesterday, while I was prepping for this talk – I picked up this book that I read a couple of years ago – and flipped to a page speaking to what I have been struggling with. He mentions differentiation and this is what he says:

Differentiation involves the ability to hold on to who you are and who you are not. The degree to which you are able to affirm your distinct values and goals apart from the pressures around you while remaining close to the people important to you helps determine your level of differentiation. People with a high level of differentiation… can choose… how they want to be without being controlled by the approval or disapproval of others.

Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality p 82

Ironically – out in the margin, written in my hand writing from 2017 – it says “I think I have some work to do.” (You don’t say!)

This, my friends, was exactly what I needed to be reminded of. I need to get in my own lane and stay there for a while. I need to get super clear with God on what my next steps look like. I need to go back to my values and what makes me unique. I need to think boundaries and seeing myself apart from others while also being connected to God, self and others. I’m not running someone else’s race. I’m running my own race and God hasn’t forgotten about me.

Here is the deal – I know I’m not alone in looking at others, seeing what all they are doing or not doing and wondering – what went wrong. {Heck, I was texting with a sweet soul yesterday and we were talking about what we thought this season would look like versus what it actually looks like. I told her – and I’m serious – I thought by now I’d have another book in the world (um, not happening), I’d have a well-thought-out designed home (bahaha), and I’d have time to take a shower and wash my hair on a daily basis (for the love). She as well was sharing where she expected to be by now, but wasn’t.}

We all have big plans. And for a lot of us – those plans went into the porta-potty when life blew up before our eyes. (And for some of us, we had big plans and then we had a baby.)

Either way – know that God hasn’t forgotten about you. Know that if you are in a season of barely keeping up, feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and exhausted from recovery and from life – He is doing a good work in you and through you even in the wait.

Let’s stay in our lanes. Let’s be ourselves, be different. Let’s encourage one another, support one another and cheer each other on. And let’s take a lot of pit stops – preferably with comfy restrooms and not porta-potty’s.

On the journey with you – Shelley

17 thoughts on “Staying in my Lane

  1. Kristy

    October 3, 2019  |  10:18 am

    Great post – so relatable as I know so many people (esp women) struggle with this! This year has been the hardest year of my life by far as a first time mom trying to adjust to life with a newborn and going back to work and trying to manage everything (and really attempting to make it look like it wasn’t struggle city). I had a deadline at work in the spring and I KNEW that if I could just make it to that deadline, I would take a much needed break, practice some self care, and get back on track with figuring on my new routines and come back stronger. Little did I know that literally THE DAY BEFORE my deadline, I would discover something on my husband’s phone that would send my world crashing down and send me into many more months of a life circling the drain. At a time when I was just barely hanging on as it was, it seemed that life was too much to handle. I tried so hard to pretend everything was fine and I was keeping up when I was dying inside. Seeing everyone else live happy lives and celebrate weddings and anniversaries and babies being born just sent daggers in me in all directions. I hated it – but it seemed impossible to not see what was going on around me and compare it to where I was. I’m in a much better place now – still would love a pause button on life sometimes, but I’m getting by and practicing self care as much as possible. That said, I will be forever haunted by this year and all of the difficulties it brought! I am slowly working back up to a better place and trying to give myself as much grace as possible when I start to compare myself to others. Thank you for your inspiring posts, Shelley – I really enjoy them.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 3, 2019  |  01:45 pm

      Wow Kristy – what a year. Thank you for being so brave and sharing with the other ladies here. I know so many will relate to what you put into words. I am grateful for you and your sweet spirit! xo – Shelley

  2. DJ Crossman

    October 3, 2019  |  01:24 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful reminders, Shelley! This is something that has always been a struggle for me. In fact, this week as I was once again comparing myself and my life to someone else, it’s like God quietly whispered to me, “please don’t compare yourself to others, DJ. That is their journey. I have a different journey for you. One that will bring me glory and one that is better suited for you. You are beautiful just the way you are, so live your journey, the one that is for you.”

    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 3, 2019  |  01:46 pm

      Ahhhh!!! Love those gentle whispers that I all too often miss! Thank you for sharing DJ, I so appreciate your words! xoxo

  3. Chelle

    October 3, 2019  |  04:32 pm

    As always , you are spot on! I actually downloaded and watched that movie on my flight this past week ! I have not seen it in 20 years .. I’m much older and further along in this race of life , raused my adult children with my high school sweetheart buried him and his twin brother in my 40’s have 5 grandkids (11 when you count my second husbands too) ah yes remarried to a second husband who after four years of marriage had an affair with his high school girlfriend
    Ugh enough about that
    You are enough all you mommas out there running the race
    You have the most important job
    Raising your littles
    I look at my adult children and know , whatever else comes
    My adult kids are my life blood
    They are passing on values to the next generation
    And no matter the pain I’ve endured
    When I see them
    My heart is full
    I’m so proud to know you

    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 3, 2019  |  10:12 pm

      oh that is so funny you watched that movie on a recent flight! I was thinking while Jason is oot this weekend, I might try to see if I can watch it. You are such an amazing momma Chelle and you bless your sweet family in so many ways. Know you are loved and I am honored to know you and your story. xo – Shelley

  4. L

    October 3, 2019  |  07:13 pm

    BINGO. This was just what I needed to hear today – feeling frazzled by not only healing from betrayal and dealing with all the fallout (anxious kids, just now), but also all the LIFE stuff that Does. Not. Let. Up. just because the bottom fell out of my life. Dentist visits and annual physicals and staying connected to my children’s hearts and buying food for the house and …. and …. and ….

    So needed to be reminded to keep first things first, and to stop looking around at what everyone else is doing (or appears to be) with their piece of eternity.

    I live my life before God …. not for social media ….

    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 3, 2019  |  10:11 pm

      Amen girl. I think I need to be reminded of this morning, noon and night. It’s so easy to forget. Thanks for sharing L and for allowing others to hear your thoughts. I know others out there will feel less alone because of what you have shared. xo – Shelley

  5. Jasmine Shumway

    October 3, 2019  |  09:17 pm

    Wow! Shelley, I REALLY needed this, thank you so much for the reminder. This pregnancy has been so tough to say the least, and remembering that I can take a pit stop along the way is really helpful in relieving some of my frustrations❤️

    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 3, 2019  |  10:10 pm

      You are so close to seeing that baby girl! Will be ALL worth it once you are holding her. And between here and there – yes, comfy pit stops all the way! xoxo – Shelley

  6. In His Grip

    October 7, 2019  |  06:29 pm

    Thank you so much Shelley, I needed this even though it is bringing tears to my eyes. I’m in the process of divorce. D I V O R C E. I never thought this would even be a season of my life. I never thought that my husband was lying to me for 18 years and that even though I was willing to stand by him, do the hard work; he wasn’t. So I also find myself struggling with differentiation. The emotional abuse has taken its toll on me. I am doing better day by day, but tonight I felt lost again. I guess it is a day by day walk. God has come alongside me in ways that have been incredible. Yet, I still long for….wish for…..restoration. Redemption. A different story. I need to find out who I am and then be able to hold onto that. At this point, I really don’t know. I’ve been lost in the fog of gaslighting so long pieces of me have been left on the side of the road. This is very encouraging as I needed self care today and took and nap and felt guilty for it.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 8, 2019  |  08:57 pm

      I hear strength in you underneath the uncertainty, grief and pain of the betrayal and lying. I love that you said you need to find out who you are. Seeing that, admitting it – that’s a huge step. Keep pressing forward. xo

  7. Melinda Ramire

    October 8, 2019  |  04:42 pm

    Thank you Shelley for the post …. it was exactly what I needed to hear (read)!

    I will be “dusting” off my Bible this evening 🙂 🙂


    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 8, 2019  |  08:58 pm

      That is such a gift to hear it’s what you needed to hear/read. This is life work and we are all trying to figure out how this looks – differentiation, staying in our lanes, figuring out who we are apart from others. It’s not easy but there is freedom awaiting us all! xo

  8. Rhyta Hooks

    October 10, 2019  |  08:16 am

    I definitely needed to hear this. My doctor has told me on more than one occasion that it is past time to take care of self after 37 years of being the stay-at-home wife and homeschool mother of 8. The divorce process was long and exhausting but staying in a marriage with a sex addict that would not leave his adulterous lifestyle was not an option. In this time, I have been figuring out who I am as me and not so-and-so’s wife or so-and-so’s mother. I am Me! I have gone back to school and excelled in earning 2 associate degrees (to add to my previously earned bachelor degree), gone through 2 surgeries last year and currently recovering from another surgery last month, and just this week accepted a job offer that came looking for me. God is ever faithful, even when I need to “dust” my Bible off! He has led me every step of the way and continues to do so. He is the One who keeps me going. Even with all the steps toward finding myself, it is hard to not think about all the dreams that went in the porta-potty. My life is His, and I walk to bring Him glory. Thank you for the post!

  9. Katie N

    April 14, 2020  |  08:14 am

    Wow all you women are so strong . I am at the point of feeling depressed daily not knowing what to do. Walk away, stay and fight for it . I found out in October that my husband of 9 years had been meeting up w a woman that was who I thought a very good friend of mine for three years off and on. He claims it was only sex and no feelings involved. Me being a woman it’s totally not comprehendable how that could even be possible. I had literally been praying that my husband would turn back toward God and have a changed heart (I even prayed for something dramatic to happen if that’s what it needed to change his heart) . Really God …. I was thinking like an accident where no one was seriously hurt but never this. I know God didnt cause the affair but I know he brought it to the light . But how can I forgive the unforgivable. I know God sees all sins the same but for me this is where I struggle . To me they are not the same . I would of never thought in my wildest nightmares that this would happen to me . He wants us now to grow as a family closer to God. But right now I feel mad at God as to why he allowed the devil to get to our family. I pray that God gives me the strength daily. Now this man I’m married to prays over me prays and does devotions with our girls…. I mean really I just do t know why it had to happen like this. We see a counselor but him being a man it seems like he always praises my husband for everything and I’m sitting over there broken and wondering what about me. It just seems like my husband is doing everything right and my heart is so broken that I want to just back away. It’s hard for me to look in the future to a day w less hurt or any trust at all. I am just lost and broken and not seeing much light at the end of the tunnel right now. Thanks for letting me vent I needed to so badly.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      April 15, 2020  |  05:24 pm

      Vent all you need to Katie! That’s what this is for. One of the hardest parts of recovery (there really are too many hard parts to count) was when Jason was getting better and I was sitting there getting worse and worse. It’s awful. I so get that. And yes – the questions for God. I hear you. So many women deal with this and it’s super hard because it’s one thing to feel hurt by our husbands but it’s a whole other level to feel so hurt by God. And yet most women don’t feel safe sharing that part of the process. Thank you for being so transparent here and sharing. xo – Shelley

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