Thursday, September 6, 2018

Currently: September



Wow, it's September! I am glad that summer is coming to a close and that fall is upon us. Each year we walk through seasons, and for some reason I seem to be surprised with each one. The Lord gave us seasons to mark time, and there is a purpose in each one. But I always seem to be in a hurry to get to the next one. I pray that this fall I can slow down and savor this sweet life He's given me. Here's what's going on currently:

Starting to read more fiction. It is a nice escape for me, and I love getting caught up in others' lives.
Buying groceries that go along with my meal prep plan from Work Week Lunch - it's been a game changer!
Sharing fun home improvement links with the hubs with decor ideas for our new home!
Reading the Lowlands of Scotland series by Liz Curtis Higgs, thanks to a friend who let me borrow them! They are a historical fiction account of the Biblical story of Rachel and Leah.
Recording all the ways that God has been faithful. He's got a great track record, but sometimes (ok all the time) I need reminders of His goodness!

What are you up to currently?

Linking up with Anne today!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

when you're not enough

{via}

A month ago, I wrote about accepting my limitations. I began understanding on a completely new level the desperation of my weakness and need for Jesus in the context of our first experience on our foster care journey. Little did I know that 10 days later, our children would be ripped from our home with an hour's notice. I won't go into the details of everything here, because it's not appropriate or honoring to everyone who is involved. But I will say that day and those that followed were the darkest we have walked through together thus far, and the turbulence of the last few months has been extremely difficult.

It's interesting, because when you're called by God to do something, you're undergirded by a strength not your own. You are given supernatural ability to do things you wouldn't normally do and say things you wouldn't normally say. That's what this summer was for us. Nothing was magical or mystical. Most of the time it wasn't fun at all. It was actually hard work and mostly unseen. But our Heavenly Father, who knows and sees everything, simply guided, held, protected, and loved us as we woke up each morning and chose to do the next right thing.

Looking back, I can see God's merciful hand in every little detail of our situation. I can see how He protected us and our kids and ordained every step. All through the summer, we held on to the truth of seasons. We asked that He help us to do what we could for as long as we could with our kids and to open and close doors as He saw fit. And He did.

So now what? How do we process the intensity of a tumultuous season? Personally, I feel like the last three months are now just beginning to register and manifest in my physiological makeup. When you're in survival mode for a sustained period of time, you don't even realize it. And when the desperate need to just make it through each minute, hour, and day is gone, your body is released to deal with all that just happened. Practically, that means I have been really tired, friends. Like pajamas on when I get home from work and lights out at 9:30 tired. And that's ok.  I've also really wanted to eat a lot of chips and salsa/guac and chocolate, but that's not entirely out of the ordinary.

The temptation is for me to think "I just wasn't enough." That's the lie my heart prefers whenever things in life get too difficult for me to endure - "I'm not enough." And while there is some truth to that - I am not enough for anyone because I am not Jesus - it quickly and easily sinks into a shame fest for me. I begin to mentally covet and compare and compete, and we all know that doesn't lead anywhere that is life-giving.

So here's what I'm trying to do - embrace the fact that I'm not enough. Because while my enemy likes to taunt me with the thought and make me think I am less than, my Savior invites me to rest in Him and boast in my weakness. I read somewhere on Instagram from a fellow foster mama that this thought is kind of the crux of foster care, at least within a Christian context. I am absolutely never going to be enough for any child God decides to place within my home - through childbirth, foster care, or adoption. I will never be enough for my littles who have walked through trauma and have deep wounds. I will never be enough for the biological kiddos I know God is going to give us one day. I will never be enough. And that is ok. Because my Jesus? He is enough.

His outstretched arms on the cross are enough to embrace each one of us, right where we are. His nail-pierced hands are enough to wipe every tear from our eyes. And His resurrection proves that there is absolutely nothing and no one that is too hard, too far gone, or too messed up for Him. Because His love literally brings the dead to life. And knowing that is enough for me to keep saying yes to each step of this crazy wonderful adventure He allows me to live with Him.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Currently: August


It's August, and for many people, today is the first day of school! Our kids started last Friday (what the heck, Jefferson City Schools?!) so summer is over! Womp womp. I hope your summer has been amazing, friend. Our summer has been a whirlwind of crazy and we feel as though we have been drinking from a fire hose. Here's hoping for some calm and peace in the fall! Here's what's going on in our neck of the woods currently.

Following: I have been following lots of fun new foodie accounts on Instagram. The past couple months I've changed my diet considerably and am always looking for more inspiration.
Ordering: When our kids get up at night to go to the bathroom, they turn the light on and leave it on. This girl is a light sleeper so you better believe I just ordered a sleep mask and my husband has given me so much grief about it!
Pinning: I always love the idea of a good DIY, so I am pinning lots of fun DIY projects these days.
Watching: These days I just want something easy and light to watch because real life has enough drama of its own. I have been watching Family Matters some nights just to get a little laugh in before bed.
Counting: Rory and I are taking a beach trip next month for my birthday/anniversary/respite and we could not be more excited and ready, so I am counting down the days!

What are you up to these days?

Linking up with Anne today!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

one day at a time

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It's a humbling realization to learn that you do, in fact, have limitations. When asked how I'm doing these days, the response is usually surface level. There is so much swirling around in my heart and mind that it is hard to pin it down to a simple reply. 72 days ago, three children came to live in our home. And 72 days ago, our lives were turned upside down.

We've known spiritual warfare like never before, cried more tears than I can count, and decided that "one day at a time" would be our mantra from here on out. And some days, it's more like "one hour at a time" or "one minute at a time." For most of my life, I have been able to perform my way to "success." The myth of self-actualization was shattered by our infertility journey last year, and the shards that remained have been shattered yet again as we ride the emotional rollercoaster that is foster care.

I literally do not know how anyone lives life without Jesus. If not for Him, I would have quit hoping for healing. If not for Him, I would not have opened our home to our three littles. If not for Him, I would not be able to love these three littles.

I've read that God always gives us more of Himself and that He doesn't hold back when we come to Him. And I'm beginning to see that this is true. He doesn't withhold from us when what we need is more of Him.

Weakness is something that we do not like in our culture. We like to say that we can "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" and "keep on keepin' on." But what about the days when you just can't? Not that you don't want to, but you just can't? That's when the strength of God enters in. I've hated my weakness and scolded myself for not being able to have it all together, but I'm laying that down. Turns out that wrestling with God can only last so long before you give in.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.
- 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, TPT

I confess that in these last couple months, I have done everything but celebrate my weakness. I've hated it, pushed it aside, tried to fix it, and have begged for it to be taken away. But God has said otherwise. A few weeks ago, Holy Spirit whispered to me that if I believe His ways are higher than mine, than I had better get on board with what He's doing instead of kicking and screaming to get my way in my time. Since then, I've thought about how nice it sounds to say that you're going to get on board with what God is doing, but I've still held tightly to my idea of how things should go. And it hasn't gone so well for me, friends. Turns out when you're clenching your fists and hanging on to your ways, your inner sense of peace is shattered. It may look like things are going ok, but everything is held together by a very thin string right now. And you know what? That's ok. Not because it's ok to embrace sin. By no means. But it is ok to not be ok. And it is ok to need help. And it is ok to boast in your weaknesses and fall into the arms of a loving Father who is waiting to embrace you and surround you with His love. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Currently: July



Celebrating:
 Next week we will celebrate our third anniversary! It seems like we have been married for much longer than three years, because we have packed a lot of life into these three years.
Visiting: Right now we are visiting lots of different parks to try to keep the kids active!
Baking: Lots and lots of veggies!
Wearing: I am almost always wearing some combination of essential oils. :)
Loving: The simple joys - clean house (a rarity these days), sleep, fresh flowers.

Linking up with Anne and Shelly today!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Currently: June



Well, a lot has changed since I last wrote! Starting with the fact that I am now a foster mama to three kiddies! While things have been pretty quiet here on the blog and on social media, there are lots of things stirring in my heart, and when I'm ready, don't worry, because I will share them with you, too.

Here's what's going on currently in our world:

traveling: We aren't doing a lot of travel this summer since we have the three littles, but we do have plans to take a beach trip just the two of us later this summer for my 30th birthday (which was last month) and our 3rd anniversary (which is next month).
grilling: The grill hasn't been fired up yet this summer, but I enjoyed some "grilled" salmon kabobs from Zoe's Kitchen the other day! :)
exploring: All. the. parks. We want to keep the kiddos busy on the weekends and are trying to go to all the parks we can!
planting: Seeds of hope. The goal of foster care is always reunification, so we are planting seeds of hope and working toward supporting the kiddies and their mama in that.
playing: Lots of board games! So many friends sent us lovely things from our registry and we are playing all the things!

What are you up to currently?

Linking up with Anne and Sarah today!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Currently: May


Wow! May has gotten off to a great start! I love May because it is a month of celebrations. My birthday as well as my husband's and my dad's are in May. Plus it is finally spring, and with it consistently warm weather! I just love this month. Here's what's going on currently:

celebrating: I am celebrating the release of my first full length book! It released yesterday on Amazon and I am pretty pumped about it. Yesterday it reached #1 in the new releases for the subcategory "Christian marriage" and that made me wildly happy. :)
creating: I am creating lots of yummy things in the kitchen. Ok, so maybe creating would be a stretch of a word, but I am loving the recipes from this week's plan through Prep Dish.
wearing: With this incredibly warm weather, I am living in dresses and loving the comfort they bring.
sharing: All about my new book! And also the fact that we are finally approved as foster parents!
going: This weekend, I am going to turn 30! Eek! It is actually really exciting to me and I can't wait to enter into this fun new decade.

What are you up to currently?

Linking up with Anne and Carrie today!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

ALREADY CHOSEN BOOK RELEASE DAY!





Today is the day!

I am so excited because today my first full length book, Already Chosen: Loving Your Life in the Midst of Longing releases!

This is my story of waiting and waiting for what I hoped would fulfill me and the journey to joy. I pray it encourages you in the midst of your wait, no matter what you may be waiting on. This book was a labor of love, and I hope you grab a copy for you and a friend!

You can purchase Already Chosen on Amazon as a paperback and Kindle version.

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