Tag Archives: learning

Journey_to_trust

The Journey to Trust

March 10, 2017

God, the one and only — I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, 

An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. 

My help and glory are in God — granite-strength and safe-harbor-God — So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be. {Psalm 62:5-8}

My word for 2016 was JOY, but to be honest much of it felt anything but joyful. The year started off on the heels of the miscarriage of our much-longed for twins and I spent months wrestling with God over His plans for my family. And His voice echoed in my head:

Do you trust me?

Of course, I trust you God, I’d reason. But the truth was, it was hard to trust. I knew that trusting God wouldn’t create an immunity from the yucky stuff of life. But when life is difficult, trusting God is what has gotten me through, and I’m reminded that God is my strength and safe-harbor, the solid rock on which I am stable {Psalm 62}.

Do you trust me?

Throughout the year, I tried by my own might to achieve the dream of my heart – a larger family. But by December, J and I had concluded that it was time to fully surrender that dream to God and pray about what was next. And so we began 2017 feeling a peace that could only come from trusting Him, even in the unknown.

Do you trust me?

Through prayer and tears, conversations with family and friends, the next has become abundantly clear. We know what He is calling us to trust Him in and with.

As so, with excitement and trusting God with our anxieties, J and I are beginning the journey to become licensed FOSTER PARENTS and to welcome children temporarily {and maybe forever} into our home and family. There is a lot of training ahead and paperwork galore {not to mention physicals, background checks, etc}, but we believe that this is where He wants us. Will it be hard? Yes. Will it be good? We sure hope so! And we would love your prayers and encouragement as we begin this new journey.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

{Oceans by Hillsong United)

Choosing Joy

Choosing Joy

January 15, 2016

Selecting a word or theme for the year – that’s never been my thing. In the past I haven’t felt the urge or conviction to be tied to any one thing for 365 days.

Until now. Like a 2×4 over the head, I felt compelled to focus on one big idea as 2016 rolled around. And not just on any word or concept, it was clear that JOY was needed in my heart and mind.

2015 proved a difficult time for my family, and while I’d love to say that choosing joy means that this coming year is going to be all roses and smooth sailing, with happiness just shooting out of every area of my life, that’s not what joy is about. In fact, joy has nothing to do with what’s going on around me.

In my friend Elisa Morgan’s book Naked Fruit, she writes, “joy is something deep that celebrates God’s character despite the circumstances.” She goes on, “joy is the ability to hold up because we know we are being held up … a confidence in God no matter what happens.”

Joy relies on a God bigger than my circumstances.

And while I’d love to have a year of ease and happiness (boy, would I), that’s not what I am focusing on while I pursue joy.

In Nehemiah 8:10, Nehemiah tells the people to stop grieving, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” While the Lord understands our grief and this passage should not be taken to mean never grieve (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). This is a great reminder that our grief should not keep us from the joy that comes from Christ and in that joy we find strength to face any circumstance.

Joy is an assurance in the Lord that sustains us through whatever life brings.

In other words, we are called to have joy in any circumstance and it’s through that joy that comes only from the Lord that we’ll find the strength to face the challenge.

Joy hasn’t been my natural response lately but in 2016 I’m choosing joy. I’m choosing to focus on the God of this universe who holds me close through the journey. Won’t you join me?

Do you choose a word or theme to focus each year on? If so, what are you focusing on in 2016?

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Choosing to be brave in a scary world

December 6, 2015

“Careful, be careful,” I hear her tell her imaginary friend through the bedroom door. And I wince. Those words are exactly the opposite of the brave spirit I want to instill in her.

Before Reagan was born I determined I wanted to raise her to be brave and adventurous with a curiosity to see and learn without fear. I wanted to give her the opportunity to try things, to succeed and to fail. And within reason, the space to get hurt. Rather than telling her to be careful I would be more descriptive in helping her learn to be wise and observant to what’s around her, or so I planned. Now I find myself telling her to be careful regularly – when she jumps off the ottoman or carries her stool in to the kitchen. “Be careful, Reagan,” as she scales her changing table.

Read the rest on the Middle Places blog.

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Girlfriending

November 23, 2015

Friendships in my 20s were easy. We were mostly single and, although money may have been tight, we had the time and creativity to turn the most mundane activity into a party (like grocery shopping at 11pm!). It didn’t hurt that I lived with a plethora of awesome girls during those years. I always had a buddy at home to blab to about boys and work, or to get fashion and style advice from.

Fast forward a decade, and life looks a little different. For starters, my housemate still hasn’t mastered the fine art of answering, “Does this make me look fat?” Poor guy.

Read the rest on the Middle Places blog.

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Recount the Good

November 14, 2015

I thought I could get a few minutes. We’d played out in the snow for nearly an hour and watched her favorite cartoons. Surely, she could play quietly for a half hour while I blogged. That’s when I noticed her using my glass of iced tea as her cowgirl-rubber-ducky’s swimming pool. Ahhhhh kids!

As I poured myself another glass of tea and snagged a piece of dark chocolate from the kitchen cupboard (because clearly I deserve it, right!?!), I began to recount the blessings of motherhood.

Read the rest on the Middle Places blog.

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That Time I Was a People Pleaser

October 26, 2015

As a single 20-something, I loved being aunt “Rayree.” I relished every moment with family and especially times with my first nephew and niece, showering them with love and affection, and going out of my way to be present during holidays and special occasions. I don’t mean to brag, but I was a rockin’ aunt.

Then I met my husband and had a baby, and began my transformation to less-rockin’-aunt.

Read the rest on the Middle Places blog.

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On Magical Fairies, Kitty Cats and Alligators

October 20, 2015

For the last two years I have singularly chosen what my precious babe would be for Halloween: a ladybug and a little chicken respectively.

The costumes were purchased weeks in advance. Who am I kidding? I bought her first Halloween costume the December before while I was still pregnant (I got a good deal!).

Fast forward to this year. Reagan is two and starting to have her own opinions, so in late September I began asking her just what she might like to be for Halloween. We scoured an entire rack of 2T costumes at a consignment sale.

Read the rest on the Middle Places blog.

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When Church is the Answer

October 10, 2015

I walked into the new-to-me church feeling a little hesitant. It’s not that I have an issue with church per say, but it’s always a little uncomfortable walking into one where you don’t know anyone (yet).

But this church had something very special going for it. Something that had me falling madly in love with it before even stepping a foot inside the door. You’ll understand why soon.

Read the rest on the Middle Places blog.

 

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When Life Feels like a Wrestling Match

September 30, 2015

“Did you win?” one of the guys from my small group asked me after church on Sunday.

“Did I win?” I replied racking my brain trying to remember what I had competed in. I may talk a big game, but there really isn’t that much competition going on in my life.

“It’s what I always ask people; did you win this week?” he repeated.

“No,” I replied honestly. “I think this last week beat me. But this coming week will be mine!”

Read the rest on the Middle Places blog.

 

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How becoming a better boss made me a better person

September 5, 2015

I’ve had a lot of bosses over the years. Good bosses, great people, bad bosses, not-so-great people. In college I had a boss who was having an affair with a contractor for the same company, later I had another who was never-ever-ever available. I’ve had some who had great hearts but couldn’t lead a team to save their lives, and another who was so full of herself I began to dread going to work. But I’ve also had some who were great examples of wisdom and leadership, who encouraged and inspired me. Some of my favorites are those who saw me not only for who I was, but for all that I could become, pouring into me and helping me grow to new heights, both professionally and personally.

And I’ve been the boss too, both the good boss and the bad boss…

Read the rest on the Middle Places blog.