Saturday, February 27, 2016

Seasonal Friends

Feeling overwhelmingly grateful this entire week.  Grateful because Thursday night was a reminder to me that God is so good.

No matter what season I am in life, I’ve been blessed with just the right friends.  Seasonal friends.  If you move constantly like we do you know what I'm talking about. You know that with each move, each state, you bond fast, you bond strong.  You only have a season together, 2 years [maybe three if you’re lucky] so you make the best of every moment.  There’s little room for fights, drama, jealousy because you know, this is only for a season.

 I’ve moved five times in the seven years we’ve been married.   Away from family.  Away from friends.  BUT no matter where we have gone, God has always brought along just the right people to my life.  Early Europe pre baby shopping friends, new mommy let’s start a preschool together friends, short but fun friends, and now…. My dream neighborhood friends.

These ladies are more than just neighbors, we share life together.  I love these girls to the core.  They’ve seen me at my best and at my worst.  They know me and love me just the way I am.  I’m there for them and they are there for me.   They’re real.  We talk about life without having to sugar coat it.  Celebrate one another’s little victories and support one another’s struggles.   

The concert for us is a rare treat and it was perfect.  A memory for my treasure chest.  Carrie was spectacular.  But the one moment that filled me with gratitude was the song.   When she sang I Will Always Love You it triggered a time in the past for me and I couldn’t hold back the tears.  There in my emotion was an arm hugging me and comforting me.  In that moment, I was so thankful to have these friends for this season in my life.  So thankful that I can be real, be me. 

I know that God brought them into my life because they are just what I need.  It makes me sad to think about it.  I know one day we are going to have to pack up, move again, say goodbye.   But until then, I’m going to cherish sharing life with you ladies…. more pajama days, snow days, pool days, no makeup playing ball in the street, chasing after each other’s kids, staying sane, do you have “this” I can borrow, come over for dinner, maybe let’s BBQ kind of days.   

To all the ladies who I’ve had the pleasure to share life with in person, face to face for a season.... know that I am truly thankful for you and the time that we got to spend together. 

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Product of Divorce

Yesterday I read this article from a college friend about divorce HERE and it tore open a wound that had been closed.  She shares about her divorce; it's raw, emotional, and honest.  It's painful. She is so open about the sadness and heartbreak that comes with the separation of a family unit.  I admit that it made me cry because it brought me back to being that vulnerable little girl in the middle of chaos.  

As a kid I lived in a dysfunctional family and it was my reality.  Even in the mess, I still had both parents together to rely on.  When it fell apart because of the divorce, my world fell apart.  She writes about her strong little girl quietly crying in the bathroom when she first found out.  I'm a grown woman but I can still feel those emotions when I was that little girl, quietly crying myself to sleep wondering how, why, and what now.  It still makes my heart sad.  Divorce is painful no matter how old you are. 

My mother in law once told me that when people get divorced they are trading in one set of circumstances for another.  In my parents case, that was true.  They thought this was easier than staying together but what they didn't calculate or fully understand was it's effect on us kids. They didn't realize the impact and implications it would have until we were right in the middle of it.   I love my parents and I know they did their best but that doesn't take away the brokeness I experienced.  I don't know what would have been best, for them to stay together or divorce.  All I know is it hurt.

I don't stay married for my kids but they are a motivator.  Because I'm a product of divorce I see marriage a little differently.  Maybe a little more fragile than some.  I see marriage as something that needs to be continually watered to  keep it from dying.  I've seen how quickly it can slip away, how one unresolved problem or apathy snowballs into what feels like a hopeless immovable boulder.  Our pastor once said, marriage is hard.  Divorce is hard.  Which hard do you want?  

Because I know the pain of divorce, I do all I can to keep my kids from experiencing it.  I don't ever want them to know that sadness, to feel that hurt, that brokenness and confusion I did.  I deep down in my heart want them to see how two people who at one time fell in love can stay in love, disagree, argue, be affectionate, and work together as partners.  It's my dream. It's a promise I made on the alter to my husband, but I have also made that promise to the kids.  It's a promise I will try to keep every single day. 

I am a product of divorce.  Everyday I fight for our marriage for us and for our family.  I don't think marriage will ever stop being hard, it will always be a learning and growing experience.  I know it's truly by God's grace that I am more in love now than on day one.  It's by His grace that this year marks seven years of ups and downs, seven years of a perfectly imperfect marriage.  It is by His grace that these two crazy in love sixteen year old's continue to make it work [ thirteen years together if you do the math].  

 I understand that in some cases divorce is the only option, but that doesn't stop the little girl inside of me to beg parents to have hope.  Every situation is different.  Every marriage is different.  Whether parents stay married or choose divorce, know this TRUTH: God's grace is sufficient.  His grace can cover our mistakes and short comings.  

I don't know everything about marriage or about divorce.  All I know is divorce broke my heart.  All I know is marriage is hard and divorce is hard. 

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Responsibility is my Response to God's Ability

The last few days I've been grappling with this first post.  This is the beginning of a dream for me, one God has put in my heart.  I want to be a writer.  A real one.  Like one with an actual book with pages I can feel.  I want to teach people what God has taught me and use these words that I’ve been given to bring hope, encouragement and wisdom.

The morning I decided to write I sat on the couch, opened my books and God gave me a word.  Encouragement that I didn't even know I would need.  I read this from Joyce Meyer and have not been able to get it out of my head:

Responsibility is our response to God's ability.  Our response to the opportunities that God has placed in front of us.

That's deep.  She went on to talk about personal responsibility, it can't be delegated.   God won’t do my part and I can’t do His part.  He has the ability to give me this dream and many others, but…. he isn’t going to write for me.  He isn’t going to discipline and teach my kids for me.  He isn't going to save money for me.  He isn't going to build my marriage for me.   I have to respond, I play a role in all of these dreams. 
Many people have big dreams but when they realize the work it takes to reach them, as impossible as it may seem, they lose hope and sometimes don't even try. 

I read this in the morning and that night I hit a mental block..  A writer with no words to write.  Blah... this is so hard.  I just can't get the words to flow. The last time I had taught a Bible lesson was back in college. What if this isn’t the right topic.   It was frustrating and I was full of doubt.  Four total hours later, three posts, lots of words, reading, listening, breaks and still nothing felt right.  I knew this would be hard but I didn't realize it would be hard the first day.  BUT fulfilling a dream isn't meant to be easy, it takes work, time and it takes responsibility.   

Maybe it is on the forefront of my head because we've been talking about Passover, but I think about Moses.  There was nothing easy about what God was calling him to do.  God called him to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  God was going to do his part and Moses had to do his.  Moses had to leave Midian [his comfort zone, his life, and everything he built] and go back to Egypt [Exodus 4:19].  He had to face Pharaoh and demand Pharaoh to let his people go.  Moses and Aaron had to strike the staff to turn it into a snake, strike the staff to turn the water in the Nile river to blood.  Moses had to be obedient to God. 

They did their part and only God could perform the miracles of the plagues.  Only God could bring the frogs, boils, locusts, hail, the gnats, darkness, death [Exodus 7-11].  Only God could give the Isrealites a way out when they were stuck between the ocean and the entire Egyptian Army.  Only GOD could part the Red Sea.  [Exodus 14:21-29]  Imagine how different this story would have turned out if Moses allowed thoughts of doubt about God's ability rule his action.   Doubts that said this is impossible.  Things will never change no matter what I do.  God can't possibly help this situation.  It wouldn't have been the same if Moses didn't respond, if he didn't take responsibility.  

We all have big dreams.  Some may be simple, like a happy marriage and good kids.  But even these dreams take your response.  God has the ability to make it happen, but we have to respond.   We have to make choices every day that lead us closer to the dream becoming a reality.  I may not be able to control the current circumstance or people involved, BUT I can control my actions.  I can take responsibility. 

 Dream big because God has the ability and you can respond.  

What is your dream?
What are things only God can do that you can't?
What is your response to his ability, what can you have do?

I want to thank you for taking the time to stop by and read.  Feel free to leave a comment and share your dreams.  I would love to hear from you. 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Season New Blog

A new season calls for a new platform!  Over the last few months my love and desire for writing has exploded, so it is time to create a space for this passion.  Welcome everyone to my new blog Breath of Life.  I hope to still jump in at Make it Cozee every so often but I'll be spending most of my days here. 

I was bouncing back and forth with names and chose this one because it suits what I want to share. I'll be writing about how I see God in my everyday, the smallest moments of life.  How His word has helped to shape the woman I am today, and the wife and mom I hope to become in the future.  It's the perfect description of my past, my present and future.  

I didn't grow up with the most stable family. At sixteen, I was going through the motions of life, alive on the outside but the weight of the baggage I carried inside was crushing me to death.  BUT that's when  God grabbed a hold of me and slowly but surely started breathing life back into my dry bones.  He healed those wounds and hurts.  He placed scars of remembrance, but took away the pain. 

It's been more than a decade and I still see God's breath of life in my everyday life.  He can take a situation that is awful or looks doomed and turn it for the good.  I see him doing it now and I know he will continue to breathe life into my little moments in the future.  

 I believe words are powerful and my hope is that you see how real God is through my struggles, my victories, and thoughts.  May he breath into your life as he did and continues to do so for me. 

I would love to walk this journey with you so feel free to leave a comment and introduce yourself.  You can get to know me better in the About Me section.

Thanks for stopping by! 

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