Friday, January 30, 2015

Laughter


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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Unexpected Gifts

This week has been simply crazy. I'm trying to study for my boards while battling fear and insecurities regarding my capability of actually passing my dreaded NCLEX exam on February 11th. On top of dealing with everyday life of being a single mom, raising these sweet boys the Lord has entrusted to me and trying to point them to Jesus even when there are times I want to point them to the corner :-)

I was sitting in my bedroom tonight thinking about how I spent 7 months in what can only be described as "a very dark season" I spent that time praying, crying out to the Lord to deliver me from all that was crashing down on me, and for a long time He didn't He kept me in that season, but not because He doesn't love me, far from it actually. He kept me there because He loves me so much. You see during that season my faith grew immensely and my reliance on the Lord became my life. There wasn't a single breath that was breathed from my lungs that I was not clinging to Christ, relying on Him to help make it through another day. I didn't see what He was doing then, but now that I am on the other side of it, I am slowly starting to see what He was doing and can I just say it is extremely humbling to know that the Creator of the world loves me, a messed up sinner who fails Him daily, so much that He took me on a journey of despair and brokenness because He was redeeming parts of me that I didn't even know at the time needed to be redeemed. Parts of my story that I had long forgotten but my Savior hadn't, and He knew there was some pruning and refining that needed to be done to prepare me for this next season.

The boys and I are in week two of living in our new home. There are many words I could use to describe our lives right now, but really the word I keep going back to is "redemption" He has brought us from one extreme being despair to another being peace. How great is our God y'all :-) Grace upon Grace!! Seriously, He overwhelms me with His goodness. These last few weeks the Lord has been impressing upon me the ways He has been working in my life that would lead up to the present. You see, I am one of those weird people who gets joy out of looking back at my life and seeing where the Lord was working when I didn't even know it. Being able to see where He first crossed my path with my friends who we are staying with almost 4 years ago over our mutual passion, orphan care and how He has used our friendship to not only lead me to the church we now attend but also to provide a home for the boys and I during this season. I keep seeing how He is using relationships that have been forming for years, both short and long to sustain me, minister to me, encourage me and simply provide for me a peak into the Father's heart for me.

A few years ago when I was blogging about my adoption with Isaiah I got a comment from a girl who has been reading my blog for a while. That one comment lead to us finding each other on Facebook which lead to lots of conversations, text messages, facetiming and ultimately lead me to my best friend who I absolutely love and praise God for this girl. She is truly my sister. She holds me accountable, she prays for me, encourages me in the Lord, loves me even though I am a little crazy and has been the hands and feet of Jesus for me more times then I can count. I love her lots and am so thankful the Lord crossed out paths. Her life shines for Jesus and I am a better person because of her. This girl is one of the best unexpected gifts I've ever received from the Lord. She continues to impact my life for Christ and minister to me through her life. She'll never know what an impact she had on me during that dark season through her prayers, her text messages and love. Love you Care!

Being able to see where the Lord was working, even when it didn't feel like it is so encouraging to me, and because He is reminding me of His faithful over last year, I am able to walk boldly into this next season with confidence, not in myself but in the one who created me. Knowing He is with me, leading me and giving me Grace upon Grace, which in itself is one of the greatest gifts we as believers in Christ could receive. I know there are going to be bumps, there are going to be times where the world gets a hold of my head and tries to overshadow what I feel in my heart, and I pray that when those times hit, I remember what the Lord says in His word~

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promise to her" Luke 1:45

The Lord has been speaking to my heart so much recently about mine and the boy's future and reminding me that His plans are not just different then mine but also better. I expect there to be moments where I'm standing in amazement of Him and I also expect moments where I'm standing there with my "are you serious" look but one thing I know for sure, I'm walking with my Savior, with open arms, ready feet and a heart full of anticipation for what He has in store for the boys and I.

I'm thankful today for the unexpected gifts, not in the form of material things, but those in the form of sweet relationships He has blessed me with that continue to impact my life today. Most importantly I'm thankful for the relationship I have with Jesus. Knowing I am not walking in this world alone, makes the unknown far less scary because He is with me, leading the way.

"Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12



Friday, January 23, 2015

A Blank Canvas




 
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.
 
 




 
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