Sunday, January 17

life is a journey

S I X months pregnant with baby boy and reminiscing. When I was six months pregnant with Nora, we flew from Fort Myers, Florida to Fairbanks, Alaska to interview at the church where we are currently on staff. I remember the feeling I had in my gut when we were flying over the mountains to go home -- and it wasn't morning sickness! We said yes. We committed to moving to Alaska, people. Tears filled my eyes as I thought, "What in the world are we getting ourselves into? Lord, please don't let go of my hand as we walk this new path." I was holding on to nothing but my hope in Jesus and His plan as we faced a series of major life changes ahead.

Last week in a meeting, we got to share our story and our journey to Alaska, and someone commented on just how much life change has happened for us in the last 4.5 years. Marriage, college graduations, two big moves, a baby, new jobs, a second pregnancy. I had honestly never even thought of it in that way (which is probably a good thing). Our journey has been such an incredible adventure already in a short amount of time. It makes me really excited to find out what God has planned for our family's future. 

I recently wrote this in my journal:
How much better it is to be in the center of God's will than to be somewhere else and "have it all." This is His story, not my own. When I follow His direction, every detail is just as He planned. Sometimes we can be so fearful of having to leave our comfort zone that we risk leaving the center of God's will. We can either choose to be fearful or willing. Selfish or selfless. Oh, to see the bigger picture that God sees!

Can I just encourage you? You may be looking at a really daunting mountain in your life right now and wanting to run. Maybe you're really uncomfortable in a certain circumstance of your life. Maybe you're scared to death to leave your comfort zone. 
God isn't hiding from you. He's holding His hand out waiting for you to grab on. To follow Him. I can promise you that no matter where He leads you, He won't leave you alone. And when you choose to follow His Master Plan, you will be so much more fulfilled than you could ever imagine. Will it be easy? Probably not. But you won't be doing it alone. T R U S T Him. 

In her soon-to-be-released book, Hope Unfolding, Becky Thompson writes this about trusting God:
"You know, sometimes we have to be willing to trust God to lead us down the roads that don’t make any sense if we want to continue to walk in His perfect plan. We have to trust that He doesn’t just have our best interests at heart but the interests of those that we love as well. 
Whatever you are trusting Him with, whatever steps you are taking or see ahead that you need to take, I want you to look at them as the safest route to your future. Because even when we don’t understand them, we can trust that God is ordering them purposefully forward."
When we trade fear for faith, we find fulfillment in Christ!

Let me leave you with these promises straight from God's Word. . .
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you, he will neither fail you not abandon you. | Deuteronomy 31:8

Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you," we can boldly quote, "God is there, ready to help; I'm fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?" | Hebrews 13:5-6

Tuesday, February 3

Nora Sue | Two Months

Look at my big girl! Can't believe she's two months already! (Since I'm late posting, she's getting close to three now!) Unfortunately, my phone has been out of order, so we didn't get to take photos just for her 2-month post, but I have lots of snapshots from around her two-month mark.

(Click "Read more" to see the rest of this post!)

Monday, February 2

a blank page to be filled...

I'm looking at the next page of my story. It's blank. I have no idea what stories God might pen there. And to be honest, part of me isn't ready to leave the page I'm on right now. Can I just go back and reread it over and over and over?

A baby's on the way!...
Happy Graduation to Me!...
We're moving to Alaska!...
Welcome to the world, Nora Sue!...

So many HAPPY things happened over the last year, and I'm in this state of mommy-bliss that I could stay in forever. These lasts couple seasons certainly weren't challenge-free, but I learned and grew and loved so much, that they are a couple of my favorites.

But new things have to get to come. 

(Click "Read more" to see the rest of this post!)

Wednesday, January 28

In His Strength.

I can't remember the last time I was sitting on the couch twiddling my thumbs.
Free time?? What is this "free time" you speak of? I'm a mommy of a newborn. Ain't no such thing!

Well, technically I have things I should could be doing, but I'm enjoying the silence in my house and taking a moment to write some of my thoughts before the regularly scheduled thoughts take over. You know...the ones like, "Is that poop on my shirt?" or "Wow, I haven't seen the shower in a few days." (Of course, that's not true....okay, sometimes it is.)

Aaaanyway. Being a new mom has taught me a lot of things. For instance, I've learned just how NOT-stealthy I am. It seems like every time I put Nora down for a nap, I try to do something very quietly, yet somehow I manage to step on a dog toy, sneeze my guts up, drop a fork on the kitchen floor, you name it. After 8 weeks, I think I've finally determined that nap time is not the time to do the dishes. 

Another thing I've learned? Motherhood is HARD, y'all!

Sunday, December 28

Nora Sue | one month

Someone tell time to slow down! It's going way too quickly!

On one hand, I feel like she was just born yesterday. I can remember every detail so vividly and miss that day so much. On the other hand, though, it has been the longest month of my life. And as much as I have loved the last month getting to know my baby and learning how to be a mother, I can't say I want to do it over again. It has been the hardest, most challenging, yet most rewarding month of my life. But man, oh man, is it nice to feel normal again. My emotions are no longer on the world's largest roller coaster -- more of just a kiddie-coaster. ;) I've learned and grown so much over the last four weeks, and I'm so thankful for each moment, even the hardest ones.

Wednesday, December 10

Nora Sue's Birth Story

I had a feeling something would happen that day. It was Wednesday, November 26th, just two days before my due date. I was wishing so badly that Nora would make her appearance soon. I had even spent the night before walking laps around my living room and dining room trying to get her out. I told Josh and my mom Wednesday morning, "I think today is the day." 

We spent the day in North Pole, Alaska (yes, that's a real place -- just outside of Fairbanks) exploring the Santa Claus house and eating cheeseburgers at a teeny tiny diner. After stopping at another little gift shop, we went home. Josh took his dad back to his hotel and went to the grocery store to get a few things so my mom could make her famous chicken enchiladas. Mom sat at the table to get some work done (since they changed their flight plans and flew in early, she didn't get it all finished in time), and I sat on the couch and watched Dr. Phil. 

Tuesday, September 30

things you learn when you're trying to do your Bible study with a grumpy heart...

It's been a while since I've visited my little corner of the blog world, but my heart was prompted this morning to write, if even just for myself.

Can we just talk about how sneaky that pesky devil is?
This morning started out a little rough, and as I sat down at the table to do my Bible study, I looked down at the book and thought, "Well, I sure can't do this with my bad attitude. I need to pray."

So I sat there...
I know I said I needed to pray, but I didn't even know what to say. So I sat.
Ever been there? You're like, "Okay, God. Give it to me. I know I'm being a brat. Tell me all the things I did wrong so I can repent and move on with my day."

God could have easily (and rightfully) put me on blast and made me feel like scum, but instead He gently told me something I was definitely not expecting.

Stop worrying. My burden is light.

HUH? I'm not worried!
I'm irritated!
I'm in a bad mood!
I'm grumpy! 
But I'm not worried!

But then He began to show me. It was like he gave me a peek into the crevices of my own heart. And I began to realize that I really have been worrying over several things.