Enjoy The Views

Do you ever feel lost, dazed, and always behind?

Lately I have felt all these things not because of poor choices but because I am living my best life. Loving my family well is my first priority.  I ask God daily for wisdom, insight and help. He has blessed us far beyond comprehension at this point.

Recently, I haven’t had time or the thought process to get my jumbled words out onto paper. I have had so many thoughts recently. Thoughts about human trafficking, the church, abuse, how Jesus heals, love, rest as a weapon and so much more. These thoughts are all wound up in my head like messy yarn. Instead of writing I see the beautiful faces of those I love and they have needed me more. When I begin one thing I am needed for someone else and I forget to finish what I began. If you are around when this happens please don’t take it personal. I am truly doing my best here to keep up with those that need me.

I often struggle with not being able to do everything I set my heart to get done. I have missed some writing deadlines, none that were required of me, but I set a personal goal to submit guest posts once a month. I found myself getting frustrated at myself for not being able to complete these submissions despite the drastic life changes my husband and I have had recently.

Have you ever been hard on yourself despite circumstances being far beyond your control? Why are we so hard on ourselves over things that don’t matter?

Once I realized how hard I was being on myself I chose to put my phone down, except to take photos, and enjoy the view. Whether it was hearing giggles and seeing smiling faces or providing tissues for tear streaked cheeks with heartache coming to the surface, I chose to be fully present in it all. I suppose I have been attempting to truly live this way since February but I hadn’t realized how much of our busy and performance based culture was imbedded into my DNA.

I have had to say, “no” more than I can count and take rain checks more often recently to ensure that I am fully present and living in obedience. This has also meant that goals have been slowed, not stopped, and life filled with other foreign things during a time unknown to us all. If I do not take the time to choose wisely I will miss it. What will I miss? I will miss those moments where those in my life need me and want to be the center of my world in that moment. I will miss the laughter and the hugs. I will miss the epic stories. I will miss the hiking trails and the messy faces, the scraped knees that need bandaging and my name being called in a sweet voice. I will miss the losses and the incredible victories.

I will miss the views.

The views that are beautiful beyond words and take your breathe away. The type of views you have prayed your entire life for and are struggling to soak in because it seems so surreal that finally you are living it!

Each of us must soak these views in because they will pass like a vapor in the wind too soon.

If you are struggling today to enjoy your view take a nice deep breathe in, exhale slowly and realize that this won’t last. You will miss some precious moments because they come and go in a blink of an eye. Give yourself grace as each day passes and a new one begins. Goals and dreams are waiting but those that need you won’t always be there like they are today.

Let each of us put down our phone, keep our wind blown hair and enjoy the views.

Heart Somersaults

I saw my paint brushes drying next to my coffee station the other day and felt pure joy! The simple things in life have given my heart somersaults. The recent months have brought about extreme changes. There is a stretching period where life attempts to find a balance.

Laughter has filled silent halls, bouncing from one wall to the next. Loneliness has left. Healing drips from Heaven.

This is life despite the challenges, the pain and the ache. Beauty intertwines like vines amidst the mess as tears fall and laughter fills deep bellies. Nothing can stop what God has begun. He brings us freedom and victory so that we no longer have to live life bound up and stuck in the mud.

Each day presents new opportunities for adventures and new memories to cover the painful ones.

Painting frees my creative soul as colors dance on the canvas. Jesus comes to join me and I get to enjoy His peace as I sip on fresh brewed coffee. These times with my brush and paints are far less than before but I love and cherish the moments I do get to have.

As life unfolds continuously I am grateful. I am grateful for a God who provides miraculously. When I say that He pays my paycheck I am not joking. Without His provision the past 4-5 months we wouldn’t have made it. Each month grows a deeper trust as God always comes through with supernatural provision from surprising sources. I have learned to celebrate and find joy in obedience and faithfulness knowing He is always there to take care of us.

Dear Reader, what is it that you need? What are some things you do that bring you joy and give your heart somersaults?

Thank you for being here and supporting my journey!


Pure Enjoyment

Enjoying the adventures in our backyard together!

I have to admit that I have enjoyed the past month (even though it feels like two or three) in more ways than I have struggled with the changes it has brought. I have enjoyed the new and creative ways we have come together as a family. In many ways it has increased the love and connection that schedules and the busy often can decrease.

I have learned the value in boredom. Kids can return back to their imaginations more than before much like life used to be before phones, tablets and other electronics. Being a kid in the grass and roasting s’mores. Magical lands once again return to life. This was my favorite part of my childhood and I have to admit that I have returned a bit myself during the longer days and have written adventures again.

It is also okay to not have plans. Return to rest and learn what it means to relax together. Love grows in these moments if it is allowed to, even if there is tension with the unknown. Perhaps once life returns post covid19 we can keep these moments? I want the deeper connections to stay and magical lands to continue to grow.

What have you enjoyed during this time?

Counting The Savior’s Fingers And Toes

I have been thinking about Mary and baby Jesus recently. How did it feel to hold him close knowing who he was? As I began pondering these things the birth of Jesus started to come alive in different ways. Other things came to my mind as well.

Since God chose Mary and Joseph to be parents to Jesus, then he has fully equipped you to parent your kids whether they are biological or not. You are needed. You are known.

Remember the babe in a manger. Look at his family. Even he grew up in a blended family. It was not perfect. They were not rich. They loved God and each other. Obedience ran deep in their veins and trust was rooted in their hearts.

Below is a quick story that came from one of my days of pondering, wondering and imagining one of the greatest days in history for all mankind.

As you read, may the birth of Christ become more real to you today.

The dingy, musky air filled with scents of hay and sheep surrounded them. A fire crackled as a pot of water warmed over for Jesus and Mary.

Mary lay back exhausted and uncomfortable. She was trying to get Jesus to latch on for his first meal while Joseph gathered food, and tended to the fire. He would check on her every now and then. She would catch him staring at them in awe.

Jesus cooed and Mary nuzzled her nose into his neck and inhaled the scent of him. She counted his fingers and toes twice over. His eyes had a brightness to them and seemed to have a hue of every color. This was the Savior her people had been waiting their entire lives for.

Her heart could hardly take in that she was chosen to be his Mommy. How does one raise the son of God? She and Joseph did not have much and she bit back tears as she realized their lives were not fit for a king. It humbled her that she was considered worthy for such a task. And now here he was, in her arms, tiny, handsome and needing her. The Savior of the world needed her.

As Joseph finished gathering rags he brought over the warmed water and took care of his family. He could hardly believe that he was to raise the Messiah. He looked perfect in every way. Mary was more beautiful to him than she ever was. There were no words for this moment. Immediately their souls had intertwined and been brought together in a way that no one else in history would ever know.

Only a Savior could do that.

Freedom Fighter

When I hear the word I think of the cowardly lion. The amazing thing about the cowardly lion is that the audience is a witness to his courage before he realizes it. How similar we are to that, aren’t we? While we struggle, others are admiring us before we get around to it.

Courage.

Courage is getting up everyday and loving others whom may never love you in return. You try your best to hug away pain and trauma. You carry peace for the outbursts. Each day holds a similar routine. Each night you cry because you see a glimpse into the horror that sneaks out in your kids reactions. Deep down, you know that if you choose to give in to the darkness or give up, your child will add you to the list of people who did not know how to endure for their sake, for love.

Foster parent. Adoptive parent. Stepparent. Grandma. Grandpa. Aunt. Uncle.

Parent.

Whoever you are, courage is the word that defines you.

We are a witness to your courage even if you are unable to see it in yourself.

Every morning you wake up to love through another day full of trauma unknown, in an attempt to bring freedom. To love someone so deeply that your heart bursts with love despite the ache that seems to grow with each tear that drops from your precious child. At night you exhale, your soul full of exhaustion after the freedom work you just accomplished.

It may not feel like anything has changed but I assure you that your love in one day has done far more than any evil upon your child ever could. That is why you must rise in the morning to do it all over again. You are a freedom fighter.

Courage defines you.

Take courage.

Be still.

The Lord fights for you.

Do Not Fear The Night

The dark, it has a sinister presence.

Have you ever noticed how much your perspective changes in the dark? That chair looks to be an ominous crouching figure. The chair leg stepped in front of you and stubbed that toe of yours. Pain, it is unbearable in that moment.

Putting laughter aside, when we face a season filled with darkness on either side, our perspectives can often get skewed. Some of us begin to doubt the truth we believed in the light. We must get to a place of calm security even when circumstance change and the light seems to dim.

God, mighty God, is never consumed by the darkness but instead He defeats it. He is so strategic that there is no foe that can come close to overtaking Him. What God says happens. He simply has to speak it and it is.

Friend, what darkness are you facing? Are you speaking truth? Perhaps you are yelling it and are slumped over in exhaustion. Why are you striving so hard to win a battle that has already been won?

Your victory is won by God almighty. Yes, you play a role but any hint that the victory is yours to claim for your glory is making yourself an idol. You are not greater than God. By letting go of control and following Gods path of life and light, therein lies your victory. He has it planned out just for you. As you let go more stability will come. No one compares to Him.

Let your enemies laugh thinking they have won. Let them speak lies thinking it does something (it does not). God reigns. He is good. He prepares a full banquet table amidst your enemies. You will not be overcome.

The morning is coming. Look up. Do you not yet see the hints of the sun rise? Wait. Breathe.

Victory is upon the horizon.

All The Praise

Today I must believe that all that has been intended to harm and destroy those I love, will be used for good. I must believe that it will all be turned around as justice prevails.

Worthy is your name, Jesus!

Be exalted high in the heavens.

You deserve all of our praise.

In times of gladness I will praise you.

In times of sadness I will praise you.

I will praise you even as I await for justice.

I will praise you while my hands can accomplish little.

I will praise you through the tears.

I know who you are. You are mighty. You are love. Jesus, my savior.

Please do not delay.

Even if I must wait a little longer than I would like for someone to be rescued, I will still praise you.

You deserve all of the praise.

Thank you for victory!

The Not-So-Little Secret

I know that since the dawn of time individuals have been trying to make truth what they want. Somehow people think that if they just say something or feel something then that is what is true. Like a magic lamp and poof!, truth is what I say it is.

This is a big fat lie! Anyone that lives like this has an agenda whether they realize it or not. That agenda is this: “I get to live however I want and when I want no matter how it hurts others or hurts me. I do not care if it is an abomination to the Creator of love.”

Injustices occur all of the time. Sin destroys people.

Truth exists to set everyone free from the above.

If hatred, anger, vulgar talk, gossip and lies are coming out of your mouth like a venomous snake, let me tell you a not-so-little secret. Truth always wins. Lies will rise to the surface and light will expose what is malevolent.

Be ready to be exposed.

Your game can only be played for so long before justice comes running in to save the ones you are bent on destroying. Love wins. His name is Jesus, perfector of truth and savior for all.

Victory is here.

Roar of Justice

My little family of 3 is worth trudging through the mud for!

Due to our current dynamics (other blended families can relate) we often face ongoing challenges that require a good lifestyle of forgiveness, self-control, patience, joy, peace, kindness, goodness & love. Oh wait, you mean all families should require that too? Uh… Yeah!

Exclusion and slander have become just a normal thing we face on a regular basis (sadly by multiple people). The unfortunate part about this is that our daughter is the one that pays for it. I want to write a book about all of the ways that kids are getting damaged by selfish, deceitful adults who exclude, lie and slander those whose intentions are pure… So stayed tuned for several years about how selfish adults actions affect the next generation & ways to reverse the damage (insert wink emoji here for added light hearted effect which won’t work anyways).

I have reached a point where just pretending to put a smile on my face around these people is not good enough anymore. If you know anything about me I have always struggled when things are not complete, are not reconciled & when injustices continue to occur. I have also come to the realization that I have at times unknowingly partnered with the thief by just sitting back and allowing a heavy cloak of the wrong identity to be placed on me that was never mine. Consider this post a step to break free from the ongoing bondage I unknowingly partnered with.

Is my family worth it? Yes!

Will I continue to attempt to ensure that my family will be included and given time together that they deserve? Yes, just with a different attempt & with those that are in our lives to lift us up. I have every right to protect and guard those I love especially my own husband and daughter.

Here is to victory after victory!

Here is to triumph after triumph!

Hear the roar of justice! He is coming.

Winter is about to end.

Better Than The Lilies

There is a statement I keep saying this year, “He clothes me better than the lilies.”

This is a significant statement about how I trust the Lord. He has always provided for our needs plus some.

It has been our priority to take care of our daughter first. We pay hundreds a month for her care (even though she rarely sees half of it) and then we make sure she has all she needs in our care. With her constant growth spurts this means that any new clothes for us come not out of our own pockets but as a blessing from others.

I have been blown away in the last month and at scattered times throughout the past year! I practically have a new wardrobe. You may not know but I’ve kept things even as things faded, stunk (sorry armpits), and tore (I still have items from before college). I now can get rid of these because of generous ladies who have shown great love for me. They keep giving me very nice clothes (brands I could not shop for).

I truly believe this great outpouring is because I (my husband too) have gone without for years to ensure our daughter has had clothes to wear. There were moments when we could not even afford to purchase her clothes and the Lord always provided with hand me downs from other families. He has always taken care of us.

We have celebrated this year because we’ve enjoyed shopping for clothes for her. It has given us great joy to be able to do so after many years of struggling. I have not cared that all the clothes money goes to her. She comes first.

Becauseof this I have come to understand how proud God is for how we love our girl. He clothes me better than the lilies because he loves me. Every time I wear a new-to-me item of clothing I feel so much love. I know whose I am. It is a reminder that if God cares enough to clothe me like royalty that all the other impossible and difficult things will come to pass in time.

Hallelujah!