a little bit

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Sweet Rhyann.

You know, my girls and I are really starting to get each other. The girls are communicating with much more intention, they know how to get my attention and how to get me to do what they want. They’ve learned our routine and as much as they’re learning me and about the world around them, I’m learning them as well. We play, we laugh, we are building the sweetest relationship and I love it. I never thought about how we don’t just wake up at 7 years old and know how our parents are going to respond this way or that way…. we don’t come into this world knowing that our parents will let us get away with this or kill us if we do that. you know? The trust, love, comfort, the satisfaction of being known and accepted begins far before we’re able to even understand what is happening…. I’d literally never thought about that until now & my hope is that I am creating consistent, positive, and warm truths for my babes.

As much as I thought each kid would need about the same amount of this, this, and that from me…. I’m learning that these kiddos each need a lot from me in different ways, thankfully. One needs a few more cuddles, one a few more minutes after bedtime in order to go to sleep. They’re needing a little more guidance and discipline, my voice needs to be a bit more stern more often now. They just need more.

Over the last two weeks or so, the girls’ molars have begun to break through the gum line. Of course, with molars we’re also battling running noses and fevers which means crankiness, loss of appetite – they’re basically having a tough time but they’re such troopers and are handling it really well. One of the many joys of this teething process has been the sleep schedule. It’s off…. completely out of whack. They’ve reverted, they aren’t sleeping through the night, I’m having to rock babies and get up pretty much every hour to soothe a kiddo back to sleep.

That isn’t fun. In fact, it’s quite frustrating.
I’m sleep deprived & exhausted.

But, as I was rocking one of the girls to sleep, I realized how long it had been since the girls needed me in that way…. how much less they’ve needed me because they’re becoming so much more independent. It’s been forever and I didn’t realize how much I missed that time of cuddling, their breathe on my neck, them snuggling against me and (now) hugging me as they fall asleep. This time in their life requires so much more of me but I also know that this is time that will never come again. This is time the Lord is using to create more patience in me, I’m learning different ways to communicate, connect, and accomplish goals. That thick and wide boundary that protects my comfort zone is thinning out and expanding. And, I like it. It’s uncomfortable but so good at the same time.

Most of all I’m thankful for how much more I have to lean on Jesus. The more that’s pulled from me, the more I require of the Lord. And, y’all he’s showing up everytime I need him and revealing more & more of who he is and who he can be to me. He’s giving me a deeper confidence in my ability to parent the girls, the energy, the wisdom in know how to manage my time and how to prioritize tasks. I’m becoming more okay comfortable with being unable to do certain things, and picking them back up when I can. The more at peace I am with what can be done, the happier I am as a mother because the stress of being pulled in so many directions is gone.This parenting solo thing is hard work but it’s good work. I love being the mama to these sweet girls. They bring me so much joy and focus when it feels like the world is spinning in a blur around me. They push me closer to the Lord because I want to be able to respond to to them peacefully, with patience, kindness, encouraging words, and words that are necessary, honest, and important no matter what is going on.

Truthfully, the girls aren’t the only ones who are growing and experiencing so much newness. The Lord is really challenging me in some areas and he’s being so patient and gentle with me, I love it. It’s the gentleness and compassion that makes me so much more content with how things are going. Reminds me of Proverbs 15:1…. a gentle answer turns away wrath. The Lord teaches us how to interact with each other by example, right? So, if the Lord was impatient with me and showed frustration because of life’s circumstances or when I showed mistrust and fear in what he’s calling me to do (again), how likely would I follow him? Would that irritation make me want to obey and say, “Yes, Lord” with honor, excitement, and integrity? Probably not. The good Father teaching us how to be good….. Hmmmm… pretty sure I’m convicted by that. (Does wine pair well with conviction?)  SO, I’m following the nudge to write more or to do “small” things or act on those thoughts the Spirit gives me with more and more confidence. Things tend to go a lot smoother & I’m encouraged to trust a little bit more with each ask. Discipling myself and training myself to ignore distractions has been so good, too. When you’re used to having time and being able to get things done when you wanted to, is so nice. But, when free moments are hard to come by and have to be carved in your schedule…. Lawd, that takes a lot of effort and adjusting. But, I want to have the time to do the work the Lord is asking me to do.

You know that one student in your class that was pumped about extra work?
That’s me right now.
Excited about opportunities to grow, enjoying the ways the Lord is shaping me, &  feeling hopeful & joyful about the future….
It’s life giving.

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#smalltogetheristhenewbig

Hey guys!
There are some crazy amazing things going on in the community of God and often, unless we are personally involved or if our home church is taking on a certain issue, so our opportunities to get involved in Kingdom building work may seem few and far between.
Well, about a year ago,I met an amazing woman who thought big for Jesus and was making real things happen for the sake of the Least of These.
Take a minute to read how Lindsy & her family are taking the largest leap of faith to continue serving God in the “craziest” ways & how you can join her.
wallacefam1
When my husband and I got engaged ten years ago, we didn’t want to have kids.
It’s ok, you can laugh.
wallacefamily2Our story goes something like this – marriage, bio kids, start adoption, heart-broken for the least of these, cancer, continue adoption, become foster parents, heart-broken for the American Orphan, continue adoption, adopt from foster care, continue adoption, etc., etc.
We came face to face with homelessness, mental health issues, single mothers/absent fathers, the brokenness of the foster care system, lack of clean water, human trafficking, poverty, lack of maternal health care and drug addiction.
The Lord taught us many things; the overarching theme being this – orphans do not exist in a vacuum. And if we want to combat the orphan crisis in a holistic and Godly way, we must enter into and seek solutions for the tragedies creating orphans and vulnerable children in our own backyard and around the world.
miamihouses
So, we’re heading to inner-city Miami with InnerCHANGE, a Christian order among the poor. InnerCHANGE communities of missionaries live in marginalized neighborhoods around the world – places most people want to avoid or ignore.
We will model biblical family, disciple at-risk mother/fathers and teens and love them
with the goal of restoring families and sharing the Gospel.
And, YOU can join us!
smalltogetheristhenewbigIn order to focus completely on Family Restoration, we will be fully supported by people just like you. People who get it. People who believe in a holistic model of ministry. People who believe children deserve to grow up healthy and carefree and as part of a family. People who have seen Jesus do amazing things.
Would you give $10 a month for the sake of advancing Gods Kingdom in Miami?
Could you give up a couple lattes or an album on iTunes or a tank top from Target?
team
Sometimes it’s hard to feel like our small thing is enough to make a difference right? So we don’t offer it. We tuck it away until it can be a big thing on its own.
But here’s what we’re learning about KingdomEconomics:
God takes all of our small things together and makes them BIG.
He takes the two coins we have and calls them Enough. He honors our hearts and our obedience and our seemingly small steps of faith. Because, #smalltogetheristhenewbig… but God’s been doing it all along. If our God can take two fish and five loaves of bread and feed thousands, He can also take your Hamilton’s and make Himself known in inner-city Miami.
But there’s more!
When you support us financially you are not just sending us to Miami; you are very much joining us.
You’re making Family Restoration happen in a neighborhood where healthy intact families are few and far between.
You are saying you won’t stand by while another generation of at-risk kids sell drugs and sling guns. You’re saying you won’t be silent while teenage girls become statistics, raising kids as single moms who have never even seen healthy family. Whose kids are destined, the system says, to become single moms themselves. You’re saying “Not on my watch” will Image Bearers grow up in oppressive poverty in our own country without hearing of the healing redemptive power of Jesus.
You’re acknowledging that through Him, you CAN do something. That God can and will use your small thing to do BIG amazing miraculous things. Satan wants you to believe the lie that your small thing isn’t enough. But our God is the God of the mustard seed, the God David trusted to slay a giant with a stone, the God who used an empty jar of oil to make food for days, the God who sent a tiny baby into the world to save it.
miamisky
Our God delights in small things.
Will you take your small thing and join us and dozens of others in advancing the Kingdom in inner-city Miami? Join the #smalltogetheristhenewbigmovement here.
(If God lays a dollar amount other than $10 on your heart, please go with that. Because, duh, He’s God.)
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oh, hell yes.

One big hell yes to the turban life!
photo 1-2If you’re not obsessed with my face…………… I hope you understand that I am and I’m not sorry for the extra large photo! lol.

I’m 31. I have a nose ring. A tattoo. And, natural hair. Three major “milestone” markers in my life that have occurred over the last three years that I believe have completed me. And, I love them. I’ve never felt more confident, more myself, and more “okay” with who I am.
I have a coworker who brought up the fact that for the past three years, I’ve done “something” to myself every year…. My husband wonders “what’s next?” probably in fear because I’ve become so uncharacteriscally liberal in my appearance, as I used to be very conservative and straight laced. I just laugh with a “who knows….” because I literally don’t. lol.

I love the freedom that comes with accepting, loving, and being who you are.
Not being so consumed with rejection that you don’t say how you feel or what you want.
So concerned with the crowd that you do things you feel in your gut is stupid.
And, so concerned with being right or popular or liked that you sell yourself out.

The fact that I chopped all of my hair off a year and a half ago is something I never thought I would do. I never thought I would wear my hair in it’s natural state. I never thought I could “pull off” big hair, and turbans. Styles I loved on other people, but just didn’t think were “me”. Nose rings? I “can’t” wear that? A tattoo? Uh-uh.

But, why? Who was I listening to? Who was telling me I COULDN’T do these things that are so a part of who I am today, things that are so very real and true to my personality.

The older I get, the more I adjust to this new phase in life and what it comes with, the more and more I grasp who I am. The more confident I am in what I believe and want, what I will accept and why. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin.

Comfortably & confidently living in my own skin will definitely impact the next phases of life and I’m glad that I’m right where I am right now. I’m hoping to be able to pass down and teach confidence in self regardless of who is standing next to you. I’d like to believe that my best qualities are being honed while the not so fantastic pieces of myself are malleable enough to be redeemed and given another chance to be seen in a more brilliant light. That when I’m brave my best and worst can be used equally to empower, strengthen, mature, and develop those watching and coming after me. That my transparency makes me real and that much more lovable and loving.

lolas turbann2I’ve been back and forth about another tattoo that is so near to my heart…. the only reason I hadn’t gotten it is because my first tattoo’s ink bled, and I’d literally die from heartbreak if this one bled, as well.

It’s inked on my soul and I think that’s good enough for now….. a portion of it says “be brave“. Be incredibly brave.

Brave when you’re loving the unlovable, brave when you’re loving the broken, the hurting, the hungry, the arrogant, the mean ones, and the amazing. Be brave with who you are, what you want, and what you believe. Be brave when following your dreams, experiencing new adventures, and taking chances. Brave when you’re hurting and losing.

Be brave when you forgive and when you love. When you start over and push though the tough stuff. Be brave when you’re broken and sad. Be brave when you’ve failed and rejected.

Be brave when following Jesus. When going where he leads you, when doing the things he calls you to do.

Be brave without allowing life’s ebbs and flows to completely destroy who you are, your belief system, and your outlook on life.

Every time I do something new, try something outside of my comfort zone, and speak my truth in uncomfortable situations, I become more and more I become who I am.  And, it feels really good.

What has being brave taught you???

 

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