Friday, January 30, 2015 No comments

They've always said laughter was the best medicine. When you are going through the darkness, the sludge of a season, you don't always see it that way. These two girls right here mean so much to me. One of them was my "come over and vent over a bottle of wine" and the other is my sound mind, when I need advice. Both of these ladies point me to Christ and encourage me with their love and words when I'm down or struggling. 

Tonight I got pampered (did I mention they are both amazing hairstylist?) One did my hair and the other did my make up just so I could feel pretty for the day, even if I did just come home to study the night away. Next time I seriously think the three of us need a girl's night :-) As I was sitting at the salon talking with these two, what occurred to me was for the first time in a long time I was laughing, like honest to goodness laughing without a care in the world. What a refreshing time it was for my soul. Even though I am still working through things regarding last year, I can honestly say I am at peace, I am happy, so so happy and so excited to see what this year has in store for me.

You see, even though the three of us still have stuff going on (such is life) we all three find our hope in Christ and not in anything of this world, that is fading away. We know the problems we face on this earth do not own us or define us. Our identity is firmly found in Christ. For that reason we are able to laugh, smile, goof off and just have fun, knowing that whatever we face in life we aren't facing it alone.

Tonight I am thankful for great friends, new seasons, new beginnings, crazy hair and a sweet Savior who loves me and calls me His. 

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future"
Proverbs 31:25

A Blank Canvas

Friday, January 23, 2015 No comments

So for those of you who have been long time readers of this little blog of mine, you'll notice it got a little facelift as well as a new name. I used this blog to document so much of Isaiah's adoption journey and once he came home I was so hit and miss with posting, a few times I would debate just taking it down, but every time I did I felt the Lord saying "not yet" so I kept it up, waiting for the day He would lead me back to writing.
For those of you who know me in real life you probably know that last year I went through a very dark season. PRAISE JESUS the Lord delivered me from that season and has done more than I could ever imagine in caring for the boys and I. Though we lost a lot last year, we still have each other and I am still walking with my Savior, pressing into Him every step of the way. I learned a lot of things last year and one of the most important things my suffering taught me was that the Lord never waste anything. Our trials, our sufferings, our brokenness, He has a purpose for all of it and He will redeem it. Which leads me to this little blog of mine and what I feel the Lord calling me to do with it (other then document my life with my two favorite little men)
Faithful. Redeemer. Restorer. Healer. Comforter. Provider. Sovereign.
Those are words I use to describe the Almighty God, my Heavenly Father who has done more for me than I could ever imagine or hope for. The more I look back on my life over the recent years the more I see a journey full of those words I mentioned above when it comes to the Lord working in my life. How humbling!!
That brings me to this blog. I want this blog to point people to Jesus. I want to document the raw and real parts of my life, not to bring attention to myself but to bring attention to how AMAZING the Lord is and how is faithful in caring for His children, even during the hard times, when we don't think we can make it through another day, He is there, walking with us breath by breath. You see last year I struggled with a lot of shame for what was going on in my life, not wanting to allow people to see the brokenness that had become my life, but then the Lord brought me to my knees one night and it was then that I realized that through my brokenness His Glory was going to shine. I stopped hiding after that  and once I stopped hiding, He began to work in ways that still overwhelm me. The BEST part, was through my struggles and suffering, He was being glorified and others were being encouraged. Praise Him!!
So here we are, a new year, a new season and new beginnings for the boys and I. We are living with dear friends for a season, however long that might be. We are loving our church, building relationships, seeing the body of Christ in a way I have never seen before. The boys are getting bigger every day, I'm hard at work studying for my boards and for the first time ever I am just RESTING at the feet of my Savior and enjoying the peace He has given me recently. I have NO idea what this year holds for my little family, but I am here with open arms, ready feet and a heart full of anticipation for what He is going to do.

Embracing The Season & Enjoying A Simple Christmas

Friday, December 5, 2014 No comments

I have spent the last week watching friends on social media post about the beginning of their Christmas traditions with their families. Elf on the Shelf, dressing up the kids in Christmas outfits and going to see Santa, visiting the town square and seeing all the buildings lit up, unwrapping a book every night to read before bed, building gingerbread houses, going to see The Nutcracker, riding the Christmas train and honestly these are all wonderful things that build precious memories with our kids. All of those things I have done myself in years past with Noah and Isaiah. This year though I am being forced to embrace the simplicity of Christmas. Before you say to yourself "who needs to be forced into that" Let me explain. Being a single mom I've always tried extra hard to ensure my kids had memories and experiences. I have never had the money to do yearly vacations, my kids have never been to Disney World or even seen the beach, so whenever I have been able to I have always tried to give them memories and traditions. This year looks very different for the boys and I. Our surrounding family is separated, There will be 5 empty seats at Christmas dinner, I'm working 12 hour days which makes for an exhausted Mommy most days on top of homeschooling, extra money for fun stuff is non-existent and here recently I found myself getting depressed at how I wasn't going to be able to provide my boys with everything I have in the past. (i.e. Christmas memories) That's where the Lord grabbed me out of my pit and reminded me of what I already knew. Don't you just love when the Lord does that :-) 

I may not be able to provide all that fun stuff for my boys this year but I can provide them with memories of sitting on the couch snuggled under a blanket, looking at our Christmas tree lit up while reading our Advent storybook and talking about the real reason we celebrate Christmas and how thankful we are for Jesus, because during times like this, where things are hard, we have hope in Jesus and we know everything will be okay. So while this year looks very different, I'm choosing to embrace this continued season of change for the boys and I and enjoying a simple Christmas this year. A Christmas where the best gift of all isn't found under the tree on Christmas morning, but is living inside of us all year long, all the days of our lives. 

Christ Overcomes Darkness

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 No comments
I really have no idea where to even start with this post. I'm not even sure why I am writing it. Actually yes I am, writing has always been a form of therapy for me, free therapy, lol I sit here and find myself praying as type, seeking the Lord with every word. I have no idea who reads this blog, if anyone does. Okay actually I do know of one person, Hi Care :-) Love you sister!!

I remember starting this blog 4 years ago as a way of keeping track of my adoption. What a blessing it is to have a way to go back and revisit the amazing journey the Lord took me on to bring my sweet Isaiah home. Though I have been hit and miss the last two years (hello post adoption, nursing school craziness) I could never bring myself to take the blog down. I knew I wanted to keep writing but I knew the Lord would show me when it was time. Guess's time :-)

Every year after the new year is rung in, the holidays are over, decorations are packed up, I find myself reflecting on the past year and anticipating what the Lord has in store for me in the coming year. It seems like for the past few years there have always been one or two big experiences that have grown me in my faith and allowed me to see the Lord in a way I hadn't before. In 2009 I went through a divorce, in 2010 I graduated LPN school and started the adoption process, in 2011 Noah and I moved in with my mom, sister and her kids into a lovely home the Lord provided as well as saw my sweet Isaiah's face for the first time when I got his referral, in 2012 I traveled to Ethiopia twice and brought my sweet boy home as well as suffered through a horrible health condition that the Lord later healed me of, in 2013 I started RN school and traveled to Haiti on a medical mission trip where I was rebaptised and rededicated my life to Jesus. When 2014 rolled around I was so excited. I knew I would be graduating nursing school and I couldn't wait, but you see 2014 was nothing like I could have ever expected. Truthfully this year, specifically the last 6 months have been some of the darkest times of my life. I have experienced a season of spiritual attack, brokenness, sadness and loss while also experiencing Jesus in a way that I have never experienced Him before.

Without sharing specifics because this story is not just mine to share, I have lost relationship with my sister, my niece and two nephews as well as now have a very strained relationship with my dad. I have almost lost my home, I experienced the worst financial crisis I could have ever imagined, one that I am still trying to dig myself out of, my truck has broken down numerous times, I failed my last quarter of nursing school which caused me to have to repeat a class and graduate 3 months late, causing me to lose a job that had been offered to me. After graduating the Lord blessed me with a job working as a RN in the ER of a local hospital but I soon lost that job because I failed my nursing boards. I have watched my oldest son sit and cry at the loss of contact with his cousins. My health has been strained due to stress and at times I have just sat and cried, not understanding why any of this has happened.

You know what though, you know the saying Jesus will meet you just where you are? Ya'll it is so true. He was there when I needed groceries but didn't know how I was going to afford them, He provided Kroger gift cards through friends, He was there when my power steering went out in my truck and it was going to cost over $600 to fix, He provided a guy from church who fixed it for free, He was there when I asked Him "why" He allowed me to fail my last quarter of school, He put a woman in my path that had also failed her last class, she didn't know Jesus and we had many opportunities to talk and I shared the Gospel with her, He was there when I failed my boards and lost my nursing job. He provided the money to allow me to retake my boards and He provided an LPN job for me while I study and prepare to retake the boards. He was there when I needed to get away from all the stress of everything and He provided a way for the boys and I to travel North for the weekend to spend time with one of my dear friends and her family, a refreshing weekend that my weary soul needed. He was there when the boys and I found ourselves in search of a new church to call home. He provided an incredible church home and body of believers that have loved us and welcomed us with open arms. He was there as I cried to Him that I needed help, to please help me. He sent me a community group of people that have not only become friends, but who I consider family. The woman in the group encourage me with scripture, prayer and encouraging text messages through out the week and the men are investing in my boys weekly, at times just by living out the Gospel to them and showing them how men of God are to live. My boys have met and formed sweet friendships with the kids at our church and community group and the Lord has shown me through a sweet friend who's husband passed away earlier this year, that my season of singleness has a purpose, and that purpose has been to come alongside my sweet friend and encourage her as she now finds herself a single momma to her three precious little ones. He was there when the bills were piled sky high and my bank account was in the negative. He provided those who wanted to come alongside me, giving of their time and some of their finances to help bring me out of the hole I had found myself in. Then there were the many nights where I laid in bed crying out to Him for comfort, peace and His presence. He was there, every single time, embracing me, loving me, laying specific scripture on my heart, and reminding me He had a purpose for my pain.

Ever since I decided to follow Christ, I have always prayed that my life would reflect more of Him and less of me. I wanted people to see my life and see our Great Savior, Jesus Christ. I wanted people to see how the light of Christ overcomes any amount of darkness we could ever experience. Through salvation our lives are transformed, we begin to see ourselves as God sees us. Dead in our sins, but alive in Christ, redeemed, restored and loved by a Mighty God who loved us so much that He gave His one and only son so that we could spend eternity with Him forever in Heaven. The Lord has been so kind these last few months in how He has cared for the boys and I and at times has left me speechless (which if you know me, you know that doesn't happen often) at just how much He is in the details of my life, big and small. The biggest blessing from this season has been the numerous times my Father in Heaven has been glorified through my suffering. I have been told so many times recently through face to face conversations, text messages and Facebook messages how my strength and faith through turmoil has encouraged someone, caused someone to look at themselves and realize how they don't rely enough on the Lord. I have been told that people don't know how I have made it through, and that has allowed me to tell of my Great Savior and how without Him and the hope I have in Him, I would surely be in a corner crying but, because the battle has already been won on the Cross I can walk in faith toward the future, knowing that even though I have no idea what the future holds, I know WHO holds my future and that gives me the peace that surpasses anything I will endure on this earth and what a JOY it is to know that through my suffering, Jesus is being glorified.

I'll leave you with one of many encouraging words that have ministered to me these last few months..........."One of the best things you can do to worship God is simply to accept where you are and what He's doing for you RIGHT NOW" ~ Priscilla Shirer

Psalm 27 "I remain confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord"

Stay tuned ya'll, the Lord is slowly giving me words to say and I can't wait to see what He does through this little ole blog of mine :-) Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!