… sweet, glorious reminders

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Friday morning. Warmth of the sun shines through the blinds. Hillsong & Gungor play on repeat.

And, I am overwhelmed.

And, reminded by this garden how sweet our God is.

I honestly forget to water the garden, so when I do I give a double and triple the amount of water I think it needs.

Grated, I have no idea but if I’ve missed a few days and rain has been if-y….. Certainly it needs more right? Hope I’m not drowning them.

And, I’m overwhelmed again. As I type this. I’m overwhelmed.

20130621-101306.jpgFor me, this garden has become the ultimate metaphor for life.

It’s a constant reminder of how just the smallest amount of love and attention, how situations, relationships, & circumstances can change.

A little more attention.
A bit more grace.
A little more forgiveness.
More mercy.
More faith.
A little bit of hope.

Water. Sunshine. The negative removed.

Prayer. Faith. Hope. Love.
The greatest of these is love.

Without it our relationships are ruined. Without it we give less grace & mercy.
Without it we’re less patient. Less forgiving. Less understanding. Less likely to reconcile. Less likely to care. To try. To give. To sacrifice.

Faith keeps us trusting the promises of God.

Hope keeps us motivated enough to go to God. Keeps us humble. Keeps us working towards our desires. It won’t let us quit.

It seems as if every week, I see a difference. A slight change in my flowers.

Flowers that were there but didn’t have what they needed to grow. To become beautiful. To give life & hope to those watching them for encouragement. A small sign that all the watering, pulling of weeds, & effort is doing some good.

They needed consistency. Love. Faith. Hope.

I wonder how drastically our lives would change if we were willing to DO even the smallest amount more than what we say we’re going to do.

If our speech was laced with grace, forgiveness, & understanding.

If we depended on the Holy Spirit to guide our every action.

If God’s character & personality was what we goaled to emulate instead of allowing our egos to drive us.

What if Christ actions were what we so intently watched & His words were ours instead of allowing the culture’s way of life to be our example.

Yes. We would behave differently. Yes, some wouldn’t like us. But, we’d draw more men to Him through our patience, kindness, humility, service, and smiles.

We would be loving people. We would be making a difference.

Those watching us would find hope in our transparency & honesty. They would desire to know what it is that causes us to rejoice in trying times. We would attract people by the light being radiated through us – the light that is our Father.

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Our redeemer. Our salvation. Our companion. The giver of Life. The Bread of Life. The comforter. Our friend. Our protector and provider.

I can’t help but thank God for the desire to tend to that garden out there. What a blessing it has been. I have a real life example of how my Creator makes new & beautiful things. How HE loves His creations.

How there is always something working underneath the surface, things going on that we can’t see & don’t understand. But, as we water, allow light to shine, & remove the negative – how things grow and change. How these baby flowers or leaves or whatever they are are growing. And the little buds we are beginning to see aren’t the end.

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Once we see progress, we still have to weed and water. Its not time to rest & bask in the fact that there is progress. That little plant, the change, has a great life before it and if we continue to do our part, it can become something truly beautiful. The plant, the improvement can wither just as easily if we choose not to work just as hard to keep what we’ve worked for.

“You make me new. You are making me new. You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of dust. You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us.” – Beautiful Things by Gungor. It’s the song on our Chrome Buffalo video. You can watch that here.

God is working. Always. We just have to act in faith. Trust Him actively. Continue to seek Him – especially in those moments when we feel like we’re drowning.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid because of them. It is God who goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you”

… Here’s to little gardens that glorify our God and tell of His goodness & faithfulness!

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… it’s coming

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I literally blinked and I’m turning 30.

THIRTY
.

I can’t even BEGIN to understand how I’m about to enter a whole new decade of my life. I didn’t think I’d “freak out” (I actually like getting older) but 30 {THIRTY} is HUGE!! I knew it was coming but it’s actually happening in a few days.
And, I cannot believe it’s here already.

I don’t actually turn until the 12th but I doubt I’ll have the time blog about my “shift” into what feels like legitimate adulthood on that particular day.

The shift into legitimate adulthood……… Maybe the fact that I’m “small” and look quite young is the cause of the slight annoyance when asked my age by older people but….. when I can answer the question of “How old are you?” with a bold, confident “Thirty.”I feel like it carries a lot more weight than professing that your age still begins with a two. It makes a difference – I think. I don’t think I’ll be given that almost snooty you’re-just-a-baby snub of an attitude that is so often thrown my way. I’m kinda proud of that. (This is given I am acting my age… right?! lol)

My birthday this year just feels different. It feels like my life… our lives… are changing so drastically and so incredibly quickly. When it’s just the two of you… nothing really matters. You can come and go as you want… buy what you want… do what you want and it really doesn’t affect much at all. Time almost isn’t a big deal. We have thoroughly been enjoying the freedom of D.I.N.K (Dual Income, No Kids) style living for almost three years (on the 17th!!!!). We’ve had a great time together, we’ve learned so much about life, each other, and our roles in each other’s lives.

And, I’m grateful that it panned out this way. We enjoyed about half of our twenties together and it’s as if we’re moving into a new chapter of our lives in a major way! The best part is that we’re ready. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. God’s plan is perfect.

So, I find it enjoyable and ironic that in the year I feel as if I become a legit adult, is the year we will inherit so much more responsibility. And, we already feel it and are really taking efforts to ensure that we’re very thoughtful about how we want the rest of our lives to “look” in all of it’s different aspects.

I’ve learned an incredible amount in the past ten years… especially in the past five or so and I’m so grateful for everything that I have experienced, endured, and enjoyed! Life lessons definitely cause you to grow.

I’m looking forward to posting a few things I’ve learned in all of my 30 years and a few things that I have sparked my interest and challenged me to try from a few new found blogger friends (who are also apart of, what I will call, the Adoptive Parent Coalition! lol).

This year will be great. I’m so incredibly excited, mainly humbled, and definitely determined.
If one thing I have learned for certain, it is that There is a God.

Over the past five years, I have grown an incredible amount in my walk with Christ. I believe that it was in my 28th & 29th years that I really feel as if I’d taken leaps and bounds in growth and knowledge of who God is and made a real effort to trust Him for any and all changes that needed (and, still need) to be made.

These years have been an experience but they have absolutely been apart of the molding process and have prepped me to be and do everything that this year has for me. This is the year I will live out loud for Him. I’ve never done that before. I’ve never done the things I’ve been challenged to do before. But, this year. I will.

I’m turning 30, y’all. 🙂

Shine & pursue.

… here’s to aging gracefully. living graciously. and, loving intentionally. (more on all of that later!)

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… out of the darkness

One of the hardest yet most encouraging parts of this journey is watching so many others come into mother/parenthood. One of the toughest assumptions to battle that is connected with dealing with this is that we, infertiles, are angry at or jealous of the individual. Yes, I’m sure there are some women who can lash out but our issues, at their core, are not with you mamas…. but, rather with the battles that are (literally) within us – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I am not one of those women and although this post is very candid, it is about my growth rather than another’s blessings.

I’ve said before that this is a tough life. Very hard. Very isolating. Very dark. At times, seemingly hopeless……. Especially during “baby season” and when it seems as if every time you log onto Facebook or run into friends, there is a plethora of  amazing news to share.

It’s during these times, we tend to go to “that place”. And, if you just so happen to be on your cycle during the time of announcements or during a “moment”, it’s a double whammy and the depth of that darkness is even deeper.

I went to that dark place last week. While watching the new Private Practice episode where Charlotte is angry and beside herself because she is pregnant with triplets…  after logging onto Facebook on one of “those” days where everyone has an annoucement. After coming down from a rough day.

I went there. It’s a place that pulls you in no matter how hard to try. Broken hearts are virtually impossible to escape.

I cried. Thomas came home and had that look on his face when he saw the look I had on my face. Thankfully, he knows and just let me be. Which is what I needed. I cried myself to sleep and woke up with next day willing myself to move forward.

The funny/strange part is that I woke up repeating “.. out the of the darkness that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul..” from Invictus
and after I got that in/out of my system, I moved on to singing Isreal Houghton’s “Everywhere That I Go”, then remebered Genesis 16:13 and thanked God for being “.. the God who sees me…”.

In this life it is soooo easy to forget the truths of God, to get caught up in the now, and overwhelmed with the issues of life. We forget that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for and that we have someone with us who has paved our way before the beginning of time, who is with us now, and who thinks more of us than we can imagine. He sees us, our every moment, and catches every tear. He knows our deepest desires and has felt every hurt. He is with us. And, thankfully, He allows us to abide in Him, as well.

He is the light shining through the darkness giving us hope, anchoring our souls, and giving us a peace and a comfort (in the midst of circumstance) that cannot be understood.

…. He sees me. And, that is enough.

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