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Ep 12// Making Progress Towards Your Goals in the Midst of Grief and Family Challenges!

Updated: Jan 27, 2022





These things are all part of life. They come in waves, ready or NOT!

But HOW do you keep pressing on in the midst of challenges, making progress towards your goals?

Our family has been going through some deep grief recently and when sadness strikes, it is perfectly OK to stop everything. Family comes FIRST!

However, it is also POSSIBLE to keep going, in the midst. 🙏🏼

💫 Just because you’re not “feeling it” doesn’t mean you can’t stay faithful.

💫 Just because your heart is heavy doesn’t mean your heart can’t be in it.

In this episode, I share some tips that have helped me get through and stay the course during some heavy weeks.



Full Episode Transcription:


Hey Friends, today I want to talk about making progress towards your goals even in the midst of grief and family challenges. You know, distractions, interruptions, heartbreak, tragedy, these things are all part of life unfortunately, and they come in waves ready or not. But how do you keep pressing on in the midst of challenges making progress towards your goals even? Our family has been going through deep grief recently and when sadness strikes, it is perfectly okay to stop everything, to drop everything and just be still be present. Family always comes first. At the end of the day, you've got to do what is best for your family, for relationships and what is going to be most honoring in that situation and in that time. However, it is also possible to keep going even in the midst. In this episode I want to share some tips that have helped me personally get through and stay the course.


Welcome back to The Nourishing Mompreneur Podcast, where we get encouraged and empowered as we pursue our greatest potential within the walls of our home. Hey Mama, my name is Michelle Hiatt, and I'm so thankful you're here. Do you feel like your life is good, but something in you feels unfulfilled? Do you feel stuck in the trenches of motherhood, exhausted and working so hard, but feeling like you're getting nowhere? Do you have big dreams you hold in your heart, but you've been living small? Are you motivated for more, but don't have the clarity or the courage to do anything about it? Do you want to discover God's best and see if it's really possible to be an excellent wife, an intentional mother, and be successful in business, all for the glory of God? As a wife of 16 years, a homeschooling mom of five, and an entrepreneur, I know exactly how you feel. Every bit of it. I truly believe that the most important work you will ever do is within the walls of your home and that there is purpose in every season. If you are a fellow business-minded mama, with a heart for home and a love for Jesus, let's process this journey and grow together.


Hey friend, has this year distracted and derailed you from making progress towards your goals? I don't know about you, but this has been a crazy season for everybody and maybe you feel like it is just wave after wave coming. You're trying to just stay standing, let alone take steps forward. It just seems like every time you move in a direction there's always something holding you back, interrupting you, messing up your flow. If that's where you're at and you're just feeling frustrated, all the distractions, all the interruptions, this is for you.


I just want to talk a little bit about that and making progress towards your goals in the midst of interruptions in the midst of grief in the midst of family challenges. This has been a hard year for everybody. We are just I don't know, I don't even know if I can say this fingers crossed, maybe coming out of this COVID season, if you will. But all that to say in the last year there have been so many unexpected circumstances in our world that we've had to navigate. If you tend to be the queen of excuses this has been a time where you could probably proudly wear that crown. You know all the fear, the shutdowns, the quarantines, the mandates, they've affected everybody. No one has been exempt. We've all had to do things we never thought we do. We've had to navigate new waters, we've had to just pivot and adjust and adapt in ways that we did not see coming.


So many things were thrown our way that we weren't expecting and for me in 2020 I was all about pressing on despite COVID and all the chaos in our world. I'm a big believer and doing what you can do and I just felt like you know what, let's focus in. Let me rise up, let me press on, stay faithful, stay the course and that's exactly what I did. I got super focused and determined to rise up and do what I could do in the midst of it all. If you want to hear more about that go to Episode One. I talked all about that. If you're in a season of hustle if you have clarity, if you are laser focused towards your goals then check out Episode One, that is going to be an awesome interview there with some great content just to encourage you to keep going.


But what about when the unexpected circumstances hit close to home? How do you keep going when your family dynamic is rocked? It's one thing when chaos is in the world. You can shut off the news you can shut off social media. You can stay in your home and kind of hole up and put your nose to the grindstone and do what you got to do. But what about when you can't do that? What about when it actually comes in your home and it affects you with your family? You know the day that I officially launched this podcast was a really awesome day I went and launched it it was a big deal. It was kind of a long time coming. Had a big day. I was driving my son home from his jujitsu practice and I got a text on my phone. My heart kind of sank. One of our family members tested positive for COVID and I knew that it would be very serious while through a course of different events, 13 days later, my husband's dad, my dear precious father-in-law, my children's grandpa, the pillar of the Hiatt family died from health complications, sorry, I'm getting emotional here. You know most likely triggered from COVID, so it just kind of set a course of experiencing a really, really, deep, deep, loss in our family.


When things like this happen unforeseeable and heartbreaking circumstances, it's perfectly okay to stop everything to drop everything family should always come first. And in fact that's exactly what my husband did, he dropped everything. He stayed close to home he waited for what he could do and how he could help and eventually just went over to his parents house and stayed by their side honoring his father in the most beautiful way to the very end with his whole heart. It was a really, really precious time in the midst of deep grief.


I can't explain the heaviness of the grief that I felt just watching my husband go through what he was going through and really being helpless not being able to do anything about it. I think the hardest part was that our family couldn't be together during this time. What happened was because we just weren't sure it's such an interesting time. With COVID in the mix, we weren't sure if there was possible exposure. It was looking clean and clear. It was you know, possibly this that triggered other health conditions, there were a lot of underlying health conditions in this situation, but all that to say is we just weren't sure what was going on what was in the mix and we wanted to be super careful. My husband needed to be with his parents and honor them by their side every step of the way. There wasn't much that I can do and because we just didn't know of any possible exposure, I needed to stay home with the kids and keep us safe and continue honoring the commitments that we have as we finished out our school year with some major commitments, and in doing that honoring others. I wanted to make sure that we weren't going to in any way in any capacity spread anything.


So these are things that you just don't plan to have to think about and just weird territory you know, but anyways, my husband was there honoring his father being where he needed to be and I was home. Just taking it day by day you know these situations, you don't prepare for them and you have to just do what's right. In our situation, we would just look at it at every day. Is this the right situation? Should we change things up, willing to stop everything, shut everything down at any minute but at the same time, being also faithful to press on as long as that made sense. So I was home honoring our commitments. We were getting our jujitsu belt, we were fulfilling the commitment to a big band competition a national band competition competition that my son had been practicing for for months and months and months. We were finishing our homeschool Co-Op and the showcase and just finishing up all these commitments and taking care of the household. I was flying solo, keeping things going, honoring my my commitments honoring those that I would be in contact with but because of the situation I was away from my husband, it was really hard to go through deep grief and such a devastating time and not be able to go through it together to hug, to cry together. It's very hard, very hard. But even though all that was going on, even though we were just taking it day by day, I was able to continue. I was able to press on. I was able to stand by my grieving husband, walk my kids through the loss of their grandpa, keep the household going and fulfill my children's commitments even in the midst while continuing towards my goals. And my goals, I mean just staying faithful really with this podcast showing up here as my best I had just launched it and I wanted to be committed I wanted to be committed to you guys. I wanted to stay consistent with this. This was something new and you know you do these things and you move forward and you don't know that hard times are right around the corner, but I was able to press on and I just want to share with you some tips of how you can press on too in the midst of hard things, some things that really helped me during the last few weeks as we've been going through grief and continuing to move ahead, move towards the goals, stay intentional in our lives, even with big interruptions.


So here's the truth, just because you're not feeling it doesn't mean you can't stay faithful. Just because your heart is heavy, doesn't mean your heart can't be in it. One of the things that helped me is planning ahead and being intentional and focusing in on those habits. You really can't, you don't know when hard things are going to come but you have to be ready before the unexpected happen. There's always going to be something so you've got to get ready now. Have a plan if you don't have a routine or rhythm, focus on those daily habits and really nail that down and get comfortable with your your life groove if you will, because when life throws you a curveball, you want to be ready for it. That way you can continue. I think it's important to always start as you intend to go and even as you pivot and adjust and adapt, you'll be able to press on.


Ultimately you've got to trust God's timing and always hold on to your plans loosely if you go to Episode Four, I talked about the timing and how God's timing is so perfect and I'm telling you, I didn't know that we were going to have a very significant death in the family when I launched the podcast. I didn't know this, but if you go to Episode Four and you'll see how God weaved and orchestrated all the details of the timing when I was able to launch this podcast, you'll see how good He is because if I hadn't done it, then I don't know that I would be able to even continue now. I don't think I would have the courage, the confidence, I probably would just feel selfish in doing it in moving forward considering the circumstances and what our family is going through. At the same time, we just want to trust God's timing, but we've got to be willing to let it all drop if that's the best decision. There's not a right or wrong in these situations. Like I said, sometimes you can press on and sometimes it's the right decision to stop everything to drop everything and just be still and be there. It's okay either way, but if you feel like you can press on these things that are going to help you seek God and trust the Holy Spirit and these things. Let peace be an indicator that you're on track.


One thing that I've been really aware of the last few weeks is anytime I've gotten overwhelmed and just gripped with anxiousness, it's because I'm not doing the right thing. It's because I'm not doing that thing in the right time. God speaks to us through our peace. And I'll talk more about that in a second.


Okay, number two, try to be helpful. It is a really, really valuable thing. In these situations. Of course, we always want to serve our family. We always want to honor I think honor has been a really key word on our hearts in our family, something that we've been really living out in in this time. But being helpful and looking to others because when you are feeling most helpless, the solution, a big solution, be helpful. Take the focus off of you and put it on others. Don't feel sorry for yourself. Don't get lost in self pity and feel stuck.


My third tip is to protect your peace and let yourself process your grief. Even in the midst of deep grief you can find peace.


The word says in Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."


These are the times when you are going through the valley when you are going through the trenches when you are experiencing great loss and heartbreak. These are the times where the peace of God is everything. It doesn't even make sense, but it's there and it's real because it's from him. You've got to protect your peace. And when you lose it like I just mentioned, imagine it's a referee blowing a whistle in your heart telling you it's like the Holy Spirit is the referee blowing that whistle, stop, pause, and evaluate the situation. Again, do you need to not do what you're doing? Do you need to wait and do it at another time? What do you need to do? But when you lose your peace, it is an indicator that you need to adjust. Know your mental, emotional, physical needs and be super intentional to take care of you. Really important in these times because sometimes we can forget that and we get depleted and when we're depleted and we're dealing with high intense emotions. It's just a bad combination. You won't have the courage to press on if you are not okay. So know what you need and when you're going through hard things. You're going to feel extra vulnerable. You're going to feel extra emotional, that's normal. Be gracious with yourself and protect your peace. It's healthy to let yourself cry. It's okay to sit in your sadness, but just don't stay there.


I can't tell you how many times during this week where my husband is there, watching his father failing his health and head towards passing way, grieving and going through that and I'm here with the kids at home. It's amazing how marriage one thing that I learned is how in Unity you are. We were going through it, I was going through so much with him I was so present in heart and spirit it was incredible. In fact, the day that he passed away I texted my husband I'm like what is going on? You have to tell me like I feel like there's an elephant on my chest I mean, so much grief. I was going through just processing it through there were nights where I just cried all night long. I woke up my face is swollen, going through grief. It's okay to go through it. It's okay to cry to sit in that sadness. But every day is a new day and His mercies are new and I would get up and I wash my face. I take care of the kids and continue.


I was at a conference years ago. And somebody said this comment and it always stuck with me. And I can't say that I'm deeply researched into this, but I would encourage you to do that. I just kind of ran out of time but I want to mention it because I think it's beautiful and I hope that you'll catch the significance, but she said tears are the mikvah for the soul. A mikvah in ancient times the mikvah was the most common is most commonly used by women and men for ritual cleaning after coming in contact with death. But today traditional immersion, it's basically just a bath and it's used for spiritual purification. It purifies, it cleanses, it's something that's significant in Jewish tradition. But I love that because it reminded me that tears are cleansing. They're healing, they bring release. It's okay to let yourself take a bath in your tears. But how do you keep going and protect your peace and process that in the sadness?


Well, number four is you just have to see God's presence. He is always the answer to everything. Everything. When you don't know what to do, when you don't know where to turn, when you don't know what is what. There are so many things we just don't know in life, and we have to be okay with not knowing but Je is the answer to everything.


This past week, I had a really big day I was gone from 8:30 in the morning I don't think I got home till 9:30 or 10 o'clock and we were still in the midst of grief. It was just a big day. Wrapping up the kids homeschool stuff. I mean costume changes, performances, scripts, I mean, you name it, it was it was all the things for a homeschool mom of five and family and all of it wrapped into one big day. So it was a huge day so much good happened. It was a significant milestone. Celebration Day as we were kind of rounding out the end of some things and celebrating some accomplishments. Well, the next day came and I also needed to have a big day I had quite a bit on my plate but I was just struggling so hard to be productive. I was losing my peace. I was feeling a lot of anxiousness and I took my daughter to swim lessons and I'm watching her swim and I was just reminded as she was up gasping for air and taking breaths of air and trying to figure out the sequence of how to swim and how to go underwater but also keep going and get oxygen is that God is the air we breathe. He is our oxygen. Job mentioned that as long as there's breath in me the Spirit of God is breath in my nostrils. We know all scripture is breathed out by God. But as I was watching my daughter, she was swimming and she was picking up her head like a turtle for a quick gasp of air. She didn't get very far. That's not how she was taught. That's not how she was trying. She wasn't doing it the right way but she was swimming and trying to just kind of cut corners, pick up her head get a quick gasp of air, but when she did it that way she was running out of air very quickly and it wasn't flowing very well.


When you've been working really hard, when you're emotionally, mentally running out of air and you're finding yourself gasping inside maybe there's a tightness in your chest, you're just overwhelmed, you need to stop taking little pockets of air and flip on your back and float. That's the way my daughter was taught and that's the way we need to teach ourselves and train ourselves is just to rest to rest in Him. When my daughter rolls on her back and floats she's resting, she's taking deep breaths, she's able to swim harder to swim longer. When we're feeling stressed and anxious, when we're losing our peace or feeling irritable, you're probably just getting tired from the work and you need to roll on your back to float and to rest. Breathe in your Heavenly Father, He loves you so much. He's there. He's holding you. Rest in His presence and be still.


The funny thing about floating if you have ever taught swim lessons or watched your kids swim, but the secret to it is to keep your chin up. You cannot float on your back with your chin is tucked down you'll just sink. So the key is to keep your chin up way, way, way high. And I think it was such a reminder to me is that keeping your face towards our Father and being still. Keeping our eyes so fiercely fixed on him that everything else just falls away and nothing else matters. Emotions are put in proper place, drama, stress, all the circumstances, everything finds order in the presence of God. Keep your eyes fixed on him. And the other thing that's so funny is that you cannot float when you're kicking your legs or moving your arms. That's what kids want to do. They want to float on their back and they're trying to keep moving and they think that they're helping but they're actually not because it makes you sink. In order to flow you have to be still. If you are striving for your rest, if you're striving for your peace, you're not going to truly refresh. You need to rest in him just be still, just trust. If you're gasping, roll on your back and float.


And adding on to that I guess I would say number five, you got to figure out your new sequence. So the swim lessons that they're added they teach a swim-float-swim sequence and that is going to look different based off our seasons. Sometimes we need to float for longer and take longer breaks. Sometimes we have the stamina and we're just got the energy and it works we can pop up for short bursts of air and keep going that way. Swim at your pace and when circumstances like this come when you're going through a grief when you're going through hard times as a family when the rug is pulled out from underneath you, settle into a new rhythm. Find what works for you. Swim and move. But find your rest and get your air look to the Lord, but you can keep going.


Life doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can press on in the midst of grief, even in the midst of tragedy, even in the midst of hard things. You just have to adjust and adapt. So just to wrap this up. Here's the thing guys, challenges, interruptions, distractions, hard circumstances, even heartbreak they are a part of life. We all have to work through these times. Sometimes more often than we want to. But after going through deep loss and really coming on here super raw today, super vulnerable, after experiencing deep grief the past few weeks, I know how it feels. And it's okay. It's totally okay to stop live for the sake of family or for your own well being. That's totally cool. But I do want you to know I want you to know that it's also possible to keep going and I just wanted to share with you some tips that have helped me the past few weeks, keep going. And I want to remind you that just because you're not feeling it doesn't mean that you can't stay faithful. Just because your heart is heavy, doesn't mean that your heart can't be in it. There's so much good if there's one thing, if there's one thing that has been just so, so evident the past few weeks is that there are so much good. There are so many beautiful moments, moments of worship of peace, of hope of love, so much gratitude and special times in the midst of grief. Life is not all or nothing. It's not one or the other. It can work together. So choose to focus on the good choose to keep your eyes on the Lord. Our hope is in Him.


So let me pray for you before we go. Father I just pray for the mom listening that you would give her wisdom in her life to plan ahead to be intentional. I pray that you'd help her to just hone in on her daily habits and the rhythm that she has in her home, give her wisdom and grace as she manages her household that she would just have a good structure in place that when interruptions happen, when life happens, she would be able to continue, she would be able to stay on course. Lord, I pray that when she feels stuck or sorry for herself, or just is struggling, that you would give her the wisdom and the discernment to look outward, to look to her family, to look to others, to think how she can be helpful to take the focus off of her and to do good in that moment. Lord, I pray above all that you would just protect her peace. Lord, thank you that You give peace and nobody else can give God it doesn't even make sense, Lord, but it's real and it comes from you, God and I pray that she would just lean into that, she would cast her cares on you and be anxious for nothing, God. Lord, as she processes her grief, she would allow herself just to be honest and real and know that in her sadness, in her tears, in that moment that you're with her. Lord, I pray that she would seek Your presence Lord, that she would look to you that her eyes would be so fixed on you that everything else would just gain perspective. Lord, You are the answer to everything and we declare that we trust you today. Lord, and I pray that you would just give her the grace to settle into a sequence of life that is honoring to you that she would work and rest guided by your Spirit, Lord that you would just orchestrate her day, orchestrate her rhythm for the season that she's in and the things that she's going through Lord I just blessed this mom today. In Jesus name, I pray.

Hey Mama real quick, before you run off and do all the things if you found value in today's conversation it would mean the world to me if you left a review on my podcast. I know you know how precious time is. The biggest thing that you can give me for taking the time to share on this podcast is to leave a written review. This helps me on my mission to encourage and empower others who are pursuing their greatest potential from home.

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