Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm Just a Seamstress

The one thing I love most about sewing is I can take a few pieces of fabric and turn it into something wonderful.  No one knows what the finished product will look like but over time, piece by piece, it all comes together.

It goes from this

 to this.   

As I finished this years costumes Psalm 139:13 came to mind.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb."

Just like the costume, God takes us piece by piece and over time we turn into something wonderful.  A little new born with all its squishy yummy smelling goodness!  Before anyone could detect the pregnancy (even mama bear) He was creating at conception.   

I know this truth first hand.  It was a hot late August drive down the windy road to our goodbye lunch when I felt sick.  I knew I was pregnant.  Pregnancy test and blood tests both confirmed it.  But before this announcement was made there was WORRY.

We headed to the German hospital for an ultrasound.  I needed to be medically cleared to travel back to the US.  With all of the instruments and high tech tools the doctor couldn't see a baby.  The only thing seen was the fear I felt. 

The doctor was honest and informed us it could be an ectopic pregnancy.  The egg could have implanted in the fallopian tube making it impossible for the baby to grow and dangerous for the me.  

Day two we returned for yet another ultra sound.  Just fluids but no baby.  Doctor again informed us the fluids may be an indication of a miscarriage.  We prayed, we asked others to pray, and we trusted God.  Whatever was going to happen  we were in His hand.  Psalm 139: 13-16 was where I found comfort.  

"My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance"  [v15]

We knew he was there.  Even though we couldn't see Him, the doctors couldn't see him, GOD could see him.

On the third day, the day before we were scheduled to hop on an airplane, baby boy showed himself!  So much joy and relief.  He was just a teeny weeny tiny spec on the ultra sound screen.  Unidentifiable by my untrained eyes but this 4-5 week little baby was forming.  That little faint dot was being created. 


The rest of the pregnancy went smooth but this time in our life showed me just what a miracle life is.  I'm still astonished that this toddler started out life unseen.  Unseen but fully loved.

I'm just a seamtress, a sewist.  I may have created that pretty little dress but God in heaven is the true creator.  A spec on a screen, God knit you together in  my womb, and handsome little man you truly are fearfully and wonderfully made.  









Thursday, October 13, 2016

I'm Sick & Tired

I mean literally, I am sick and tired.  Bear with me while I throw myself a mini pity party for a second.  My body aches, my throat is sore, coughing like a frog, I'm breaking out in daily crazy hives, the toddler is not sleeping well, which means neither am I.  

Tuesday was rough emotionally and physically.  I'm getting virtual sympathy from friends and one in particular sends me a video on positive thinking and gratitude.  At the end of the video this little piece from Romans 12:2 popped into my mind:

Be transformed and RENEW your mind.  Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Good, pleasing, perfect.  All words that do not describe how I feel BUT I'm pretty sure the last thing God wants me to do is complain, feel hopeless, and defeated.  He wants me to RENEW my mind and be transformed.  To put a new perspective on these situations, his perspective. 

FLIP IT
So I flipped it.  I took each complaint, each situation I'm facing and asked Him to renew my mind to see them differently.  

I'm sick.
BUT through this sickness I've been able to experience and see Randy's love so strong and so tangible.  That man is pretty amazing.  Putting kids to bed, his prayers over me, the pity, and offering to take a day off to help.  I'm so thankful for him.  You're the best my love. 

Confused by rashes. 
BUT God knows.  He knows what is going on inside my body and I need to trust that it will get taken care of in time.  TRUST.  I have the ability to see a doctor and I'm thankful for that.  I'm thankful to have family and friends who are praying for my health and have been such an encouragement through this discomfort.  [looks pretty gross, I know]  


3am Wake Up Call
This was a tough one but the bestie said, one day he'll be grown and won't be crawling into bed with you anymore.  As hard as it is to have my sleep interrupted, the bestie is right.  So for this week I'll enjoy the snuggles and the baby love. 

RENEWED
You know what happened when I flipped it?  My body is still sick and I'm still tired but I genuinely feel good.  [hehehe]   My spirit is strong and I feel renewed.  I know God wants me to see how he is using this sickness and my tired body to strengthen my faith and show me just how loved I am.  I know that this crazy attack on my body WILL PASS.  

So if you're having a rough week or feeling sick and tired...  Take Romans 12:2 say it, pray it, and believe it.
God, you have given me the ability to transform and renew my mind.  I want to learn to know your will for me which is good, pleasing, and perfect.  

  RENEW your mind and FLIP IT.  See the hope in the situation and how God can use it for the good.  Take the complaint and turn it into gratitude.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Need More Eggs

We walked up to the freezing cold gigantic dairy section at Costco and Randy asks, "How many eggs?"  The last time we got a 36 pack they somehow disappeared.  As I was standing there thinking about my cooking plans he jokingly said, "If we get more than 36 you'll be cooking for the whole neighborhood." [Insert giggles].   He's right and I was proud.  That one statement showed me that he saw my heart.  He saw how I showed my love to our family and our community.


I love feeding people.  It sounds so silly but it's true.  When I read 1 Kings 19 I got the warm fuzzies because the story reminded me that God can use any act of service including what I create in the kitchen to minister.  He can use these treats to show people they are loved, important, and cared for.  Who doesn't love a little something sweet or salty or savory or down right delicious?! 



1 Kings 19 is a short story but let me give you the run down.  Elijah was running from Queen Jezebel because she wanted to kill him.  Actually, she said that by the next day he would be killed.  SO, he runs and runs and runs into the wilderness until he is physically and emotionally exhausted.  He's afraid and so distraught he even asks God to take his life.  Instead, God sends him an angel.  The angel doesn't do any cool miracle, no healing, bright lights, no glitter, nothing supernatural.  The angel  does something so simple..... cooks him food, gives him water and lets him rest [1 Kings 19:6-9].  That's right ladies, all this weary man needed was a hot meal, some water, and lots of rest!  


I love to cook, bake, host and give people a place to rest.  When I read this story it was like God telling me, you may think what you do is little but I take your little gift and show my love to them through it.  It's amazing what a little thoughtfulness and delicious goodness can do for a tired and weary soul. I know because I've also been on the receiving end of meals that have been gifted to me. 

Do you see where I am going with this?!   It seems like a small menial task.... cooking but I'm convinced the saying food is good for the soul comes from this story.  God showed me that my little passion for cooking can do more than nourish a belly he can use it to nourish a soul.  You may not like to bake, cook, or host but you have a gift too.  You have a small little something that God wants to use to show people his love. He can use your words of encouragement to be an angel and lift another persons soul.  Are you a hugger?  A crazy text person? That hug, the note or text of appreciation can turn an awful day to a bright one.  Your love for kids can bless a mom who needs an extra hand.  Whatever your little passion is God can use it to nourish a soul. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Memories on My News feed

Last week this popped up in my memories.  Don't you love those things?  I see an image, a memory and get the warm fuzzies.  I say awwwww.  I think has it really been that long already?!  Look how young we look!  You know what I'm talking about.  


So when I saw this from 2008 I did all of the above.  I look back and see how far we have come [two love struck sixteen year olds]. I have to do a touchdown, finger point to the big man upstairs because this memory on my news feed makes me so thankful to God for bringing us together and continually showing us how to work as a team.   I look at Randy and all of me wants to be the wife and helper that he needs me to be.  This is my prayer and it's a prayer for any woman who wants to be the wife/girlfriend God wants her to be.


Lord, I thank you that You have given me an amazing man to walk this life with.  Bless him for being such a supportive and loving husband.  Bless his hard work and desire to provide for our family.  Thank for you for the patience and kindness he shows to me even when I don't deserve it.



Forgive me for the times when I am unable to control my anger and emotions.  Bring to the surface any bitterness or resentment that I've tucked away.  Would you remove whatever it is that keeps me stony and stubborn and replace it with a heart that is tender and responsive [Ezekiel 36:26].  Show me how to have a gentle and quiet spirit [1 Peter 3:4].  I know if I am peaceful, my home and everyone in it will be also [Proverbs 25:24].



In times of conflict remind me that we are together to sharpen one another [Proverbs 27:17].  Would conflicts and troubles make our relationship stronger instead of pushing us apart.  Help me graciously take his suggestions and corrections without offense.  In return may my corrections to him be done gently in love and with respect [Ephesians 4:15].



Today I pray that you would show me how to be the wife I need to be.  Help me to not become weary of doing good for him, so in the right time we can reap the harvest of our marriage [Ephesians 5:22-23]. Would we continue to enjoy one another's company and grow in the hobbies and interests that we share.  Don't let him become a better cook than I am. Hahahaha.  Just kidding!



  Your word says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. [Proverbs 18:21].  Would the words I speak to Randy bring us closer together in unity.  Words that are respectful, full of encouragement and appreciation.  Words that will build him up as a man, husband, father, friend, and worker.



Thank you for being with us and using people along the way to guide us.  Continue to show us how to be partners in life and with you.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen!

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Rotten Sippy Cup Under the Seat

Ever have a sippy cup thrown on the floor by your toddler and it roll under the seat?  Heaven forbid it was full of milk on a hot summer day.  It's happened to me.  After a few days, the milk start to rot.  Them the car smells like someone has died in it.  It is foul and I'm desperate to take apart the entire car only to find the milk rotten sippy cup under the seat, spilled on the carpet.  

Sound familiar?  Hopefully not.  

Like that sippy cup sometimes it is easier to let problems roll under the seat, unseen, undetected.  We drive on without even realizing that the bitterness, annoyance, frustration is brewing in that cup.  We pretend that everything is fine, but eventually the stench comes.  

I know that is why God reminds me of the sippy cup whenever I am tempted to let my anger, annoyance, and frustration sit.  Paul tells the church in Ephesians 4:26-27

“In your anger do not sin”  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

I don't think the warning is an actual timeline to how long I should let these feeling sit but it is a warning to deal with it as soon as I am in my right mind again. 

DON'T LET IT SIT 
How do I not let our anger sit and turn into bitterness?  By acknowledging when the cup falls.  I red flag that moment when people start to get under my skin.  Red flag that thought that enters my mind, the one that wants to talk bad about another person.  Red flag that thought that justifies my anger, bitterness, and annoyance. 

THROW IT AWAY
When the cup has fallen and I let it sit, it's time to throw it away.  Time to give it to God.  
I turn the red flags into prayers.   Prayers of blessings and forgiveness.  

 Like the time when my sister was bugging me with all the wedding to dos, I got frustrated and I could feel myself boiling.  RED FLAG.  I hate getting annoyed with her because this is HER TIME and I want her to enjoy it.... So I prayed, 
"Lord, bless my sister.  She is driving me crazy with her perfectionism but help me to I love her and do the things I can do without complaining.  I pray that she has the wedding of her dreams.  Help her to enjoy every single moment."

What about people who deeply hurt you.... Who you consider an enemy?  Well Jesus has something to say about that in Matthew 5:43-44

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

I'm convinced Jesus tell us this because you can't hate someone you are praying for and blessing.  It is so insanely hard to pray for someone you're mad it but it works.  The Bible's truth doesn't fail.  I've turned long time perceived "enemies" into cordial friends this way.  I started blessing them and you know what happened?  They didn't miraculously change, but my heart towards them did.  The prayers sounded something like this.

"God, you love _______.  Help me to love him/her the way you love them.   He or she is ____________ [list all of their good traits, and yes they have some in there].  Then begin to bless them.  Bless their home, relationship, work, finances.     

When Jesus was on the cross he said,  Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing [Luke 23:34].  There are times when people hurt us they don't realize the magnitude of the offense.  They don't see that their words [or lack of], their actions have cut deep into our souls.  Jesus is setting an example.   Even if that person doesn't acknowledge how they have hurt you or apologize, God is still telling you to forgive fully.   To continually turn those red flag thoughts and feelings into prayers.

LEARN YOUR LESSON 
That sippy cup reminds me not to let my anger and bitterness towards another person sit.  In some situations it has caused me to draw back and set up boundaries.  Sometimes the relationship can be repaired.  Either way, I know I've forgiven when I can look at that person that hurt me or annoys me with love.  There isn't the stench of rotten milk of curses and accusations.  I want to see them the way God does and be able to bless them.  

Be angry... YES!  Be frustrated, cry, pity yourself.... YES!  But I'm learning not to let my anger sit too long because the first person it hurts is me. 

                                                               


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Overwhelmingly Grateful


Yesterday was a mix of emotions that were all engulfed in this overwhelming feeling of gratitude.  This life, that first day, it was a dream come true for me.  So today, a prayer of gratitude. 

Thank you Lord for giving me the honor of being the mom to this bold and confident little lady.   Thank you that I got to soak in every special moment of this big day with her.

I will always remember hearing her ask everyone around the house if they are so excited for her that she is starting kindergarten.  You have given her a light and I pray that she shines bright in her classroom and in the school.  May she always know  You are there with her in any of her struggles that.




Thank you for the peace and for friends who are there for support when fear arises. You say in Isaiah 41:10 that you are always with me and I know You are always with her.  I trust her in Your hands.  Thank you for the community of ladies you have given me to walk this life with.


I give You my gratitude for this little guy who loves his sister so much.  For the strong bond that they have built.   Would you give me the wisdom and continue to show me how to help them strengthen their bond.  May they always take care of one another and be quick to forgive when one hurts the other.

  I thank you for letting me be the wife to this wonderful man.  He may not understand my madness but he always shows his support.  He's always there and is patient with my incessant picture taking.   Bless him for being such an amazing, loving dad and husband.




Thank you for this perfectly imperfect family. Show me everyday how to care for their needs.  Help me to embody the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control so I can nurture them and show them the love that you have shown to me.

I would have none of this without you and today I offer up my gratitude.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What I Hate About Fitness

 As I was sitting in my rabbit hole not wanting to get off my butt, God kept reminded me of his principle of reaping and sowing.  You know those parables Jesus talks about and the tail end of the verse Galatians 6:7 

  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 

I want to reap all the benefits of someone who works out and eats right.  It's the sowing part, the putting in the effort that is sooo hard.  Can I get an AMEN?!

 I hate that fitness is like a relationship except in this relationship there are no hugs, warm fuzzies and kisses.   The rewards are not always visible, they are not tangible, but everyday fitness takes time, effort, and sacrifice.  Cooking healthy instead of eating out.  Veggies instead of rice crispy treats. Saying no to ice cream every night.  It's painful.

Just like with relationships and most of life, you really reap the benefits of what you sow.  I know when I'm actively and daily taking care of myself I reap more than just the physical.  I also reap the energy, a good mood, and confidence.  It's this principle and thought that got me to the gym today.

      

I jumped back into my weight lifting class.  I sadly downgraded my heavies and every squat  and lift shot pain through my muscles.   I know the faces I was making showed that I had been absent for awhile.   I may not be able to walk tomorrow, but I can tell you one thing as I write this after finishing up that class... I feel good.  

Maybe it's the endorphins, the feeling of mentally overcoming that barbell.  Maybe it's sticking around the entire class even though my body said leave.  Maybe it's sweating out the toxins or getting the mommy break of no one needing me for 45 minutes.  All I know is it feels GOOD to be back in the game.

Today's lesson is that you are always ONE DECISION away from a workout and having a carrot stick.  So when your brain starts to waver think about that verse and tell yourself.. I will reap what I sow.


Friday, August 5, 2016

We Broke Up

There is something very special about social media.  It allows for people to feel part of each others lives without having to be in the same physical location.  I've always been thankful for Facebook because with every move it has allowed me to feel connected to family and friends.  It helped with homesickness, provided me with work from home, and it was fun to share our lives with everyone.  

SO if we're Facebook friends or you follow me on Instagram, we are connected.  Over the last few weeks I've slowly unplugged.  It's as if we broke up and I never told you why or even gave a warning that I was leaving.  I've gotten some sweet texts and messages of concern and questions.  To eliminate the wonder I would like to tell you why I left in this social media break up letter/blog post.

Over the last few months the fun of sharing felt more like a chore.  More like an obligation and less fun.  I slowly pulled away from Instagram and something crazy happened.... I didn't miss it.  Then on our first day of vacation to Yosemite my phone died and I couldn't find my charger.  For that week I didn't even bother looking and just completely unplugged.

You know what happened?

I didn't miss it.  I fully enjoyed our vacation and to my husbands shock I didn't feel the desire to share.  The thrill and desire to be so connected has left me for this season.  Nothing profound.  I will still be around for short updates and to check messages.  I'm sure one day I'll jump back on, share our family photos and life again.  For now, I'm taking a break and you may not see our crazy faces pop up on your feed as often as before.  

My plan is to focus my online time blogging and getting back to this first social media love.  I know it won't be the same as daily pictures, but for now it will have to do.  Feel free to text and email me still.  Catching up with some of you one on one through messenger has been awesome!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Best Birthday Gift

This past week I couldn’t help but look back on my twenties.   I got bombarded with discouragement, a terrible gift to receive on your birthday.  The idea of being almost thirty put me in a almost thirty life crisis.

I looked back on the last ten years and wondered, where did the time go?  What have I done?  I have no career and no significant recognition to show for the past decade.  A degree with no credential, semi finished masters [oh yes, I almost forgot].  I’ve been a retail worker, tutor, wanna –be party planner.  The endeavors I’ve chased that all fell short of my own expectations.  A semi successful craft blog and a failed attempt at being a fitness coach.

You feeling as down as I was?!  I sat there Monday night feeling defeated.   Randy hugged me as I whimpered and threw myself an epic birthday pity party.  I told him I love being a stay at home mom, I love my life, but I felt as if everything I’ve attempted to do has just fallen short.  

WORTH
My goodness I can’t believe I sat there and listened to all these lies from the devil.  I poured out my heart to God the next day and He told me, why are you measuring yourself to the standards of this world?  Awards, credentials, plaques, fame, money.  Is that where you find your worth?  Is your worth found in these physical things, in how people view you? 

He may not have been speaking audibly, but I heard him loud and clear.  In case I had any doubt He also wanted to show me.  Chapter 7 of Tuesday mornings devotional reminded me that I am not defined by my idea of success.   My worth is found in Him and I am who He says I am… redeemed, beautifully and fearfully made, a loved wife and mom, proud home maker, faithful friend, hard worker, blessed. 

If that were not enough of a pick me up, I got the most fitting gift.  Randy had no idea I was feeling discouraged when he bought this card, but it spoke directly to my struggle.  My amazing husband is the one physical person whose opinion I value most and the words in this card were the best birthday present I could have gotten.   Yes, I cried knowing the words in this card is how he thinks of me. 

PATIENCE
Yes all the things I have tried to do have fallen short, but He reminded me of Esther’s story and what her uncle told her, for you are in your position for such a time as this.  I may not be saving a whole nation, but God was telling me I am doing exactly what I am suppose to do.  I am exactly where I am need to be.   I’m in training and as long as I stay faithful and obedient I know one day I’ll be able to teach it and preach it. 

God reminded me to have patience.  Abraham was 100 when his dream of a son was fulfilled.  Joseph worked 13 years before he earned the right to marry Rachel.  Moses waited 30 years before going back to Egypt to set the Israelite's free.  Joseph was enslaved and imprisoned before he became second in command.  David was told he would be king as a teen but first he had to kill Goliath. 

Story after story reminded me to be patient.  There will be victories and times when I feel like a failure.  Each moment will be an opportunity to learn.  Maybe just probably, the things I’ve chased haven’t flourished because He has something a little different for me, maybe something bigger that what I even dreamed of. 

TRUST
God was asking me Do you trust me?  Do you trust me that I want what is the ABSOLUTE very best for you?  Will you follow the way I lead you even when it doesn’t look like the road you want to take?  Will you listen even though it means having to wait, doing some hard things?   Will you give up in times like these when you feel defeated.  Do you trust me? 

I do.  The last ten years has brought me to this moment.  Each season has prepared me for such a time as this.   I know one day I'll have that published book or be able to lead that women's Bible study.  But for now I'll stand strong in who I am, I'll be patient and trust God. 
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Sunday, May 8, 2016

What I Would Have Told New Mom Me

Happy Mother's Day Mamas!  I look back on these five years and feel so thankful that God picked me to be the mom of my littles.  What an adventure it has been!  If there were things I could have told new mom me it would be this:


GROW UP
What you will come to understand is mommy hood is as much about you growing up as it is the kids growing up.  Why?  Because you cannot give someone something you do not have.   If you want them to know who God is, you have to know Him first.  They will hear the stories and the words you share from the Bible, but know the reality of it's truth in the way that you live your life.  

God will show you that if you want your kids to have confidence, discipline, patience, gentleness, kindness, gratitude you must have it first.   They aren’t listening to what you want them to be, but modeling who you are.  They are always watching and learning.  They see how you love.  They see how you forgive others.  They will learn how to ask for forgiveness from you.  You'll be the one to show them that when mommy makes a mistake she will say sorry with no ifs no but.

MENTOR
From here until forever you will hear anyone and everyone give you advice on the “best” way to be a mom… What I want you to know is, YOU know the best.  God has given you that very precious little child who is like NO ONE else in this world.  He knows that YOU have everything that child needs to grow up.  You will know her like no one else does, you will know her strengths and weaknesses.  You see her struggles and you will know how to help her as long as you stay close to Him.  You have the right balance of love and discipline to raise her up. 

But there will be times when you will feel lost, guilty, overwhelmed, feeling as though you aren’t enough or doing enough.  Go to her.  Your mentor.  That one mom who has raised her kids who are now mighty men of faith.  She fought similar battles as you, she knows your struggle.  Instead of listening to all the voices and wandering through the internet, let her pour her wisdom on you.  She may not understand what it looks like to raise a kid in these times, but she understands what it means to be a mom and a wife who draws her strength and knowledge from the Lord.  Learn from her example.  Have confidence.   

PERFECTION
Be teachable and be humble because the pressure of perfection will make you crazy.  Be honest with your shortcomings and use these moments as opportunities for change.  Never stop learning and striving to be the woman God wants you to be.  Pick up and read every book you can and learn from those who have come before you.  When frustration arises because you aren't getting the result you envisioned, keep planting.  Try something different, something new, plant a different seed.  

Know that over the years you will fail.  Fail miserably at times, but that is okay!  Let it be okay.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Get up and move on.  You don’t have to be a perfect mom to be a good mom.  You are a good mom.  Always remember that God’s grace is sufficient and He is there where you fall short.  Better yet he has surrounded you with people who love you and are there to walk this mommy hood journey with you! What a blessing it will be.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  Don't be afraid to share your insecurities and get encouragement.  The people around you are there for YOU. 

MARRIAGE
Most importantly new mom I want you to stop and look at your husband.  I know this baby has a lot of needs but don’t ever lost sight of your marriage.  I cannot express what a precious gift a healthy marriage is to those growing little ones.  They are standing on the stability that you are building.  Make him as much a priority as everything else in your life.  After all he is your first baby.  

Take heart new mom, you have a great responsibility but you aren't alone.  God is always with you and so are those loved ones.  From here until forever, you will always be a mom and even when those littles grow up, take comfort in knowing they will always need you.   




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