…. 2nd half

I turned 36 yesterday.

Officially in the second half of my thirties and I’m committed to continuing to walk, crawl, claw, cry, & run in the complete opposite direction of the first half. Those years were awful. but, even in their awfulness they were purposeful………. and, I’m honestly hoping that their purpose was to set the foundation for the most productive & healthy rest of my life.

Because I seriously cannot, okay?

Generally I have these grand plans for my birthday…. lots of meals and drinks and gathering and socializing that really ends up depleting me and stressing me out. I opted out this year, and ended up feeling more seen, loved, supported, encouraged, & full than I have in a very, very long time. for that, I am thankful. And, I cried. Which I hardly ever do these days……. and that is a whole post & visit with the therapist within itself.

As providence would have it, my birthday landed on my company’s largest training day of the year. Dylan, my team, and I hopped on the road and spent a day and a half with a ton of other friends from our team. I literally spent my birthday with friends. who surprised me with a cake. bought me dinner & drinks. gifts. & Rosé. It was nice & I was (still am) so grateful.

Between my big girls singing me “Happy birthday Rhyann & Logan” & giving me their biggest hugs before they left on Friday.

And Baby Sister being the perfect bring along to a work event, I’m definitely winning in the kid department.

I’m satisfied with how my spiritual life is developing.

How eye am becoming more & more of who I want to be. Clawing some days, laughing some, inching others towards progress, but we are definitely moving in a direction that is exciting. Not always fun, but exciting.

I hope. I’m praying so. Faithfully believing and working like we’re headed somewhere beyond our requests and imaginations.

What has gone through my mind is how thoughtful the Lord is to give us another chance to experience goodness after traumas and pains. He is faithful see the plan of good + prosperity to the end. And, lovingly kind to lead us away from what is old & dead to what is full & new. I’m also pretty thankful for second chances and enough awareness to recognize change is necessary & enough sense to do something about it.

The 36th year may not end perfectly but I’m committing everyday to the Lord so I know without a shadow of a doubt it will be good.

the one thing I do plan on being is happy & accomplished.

And, I’m listening to Mercy on repeat. Do yourself a favor and listen intently to the lyrics. But, prepare your heart to be filled with hope & gratitude to overflowing first. I cried hot, flowing tears listening to it Friday. It’s a good one.

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This week is my birthday week.

By the end of the week, I’ll be a whole year older, and I usually have a ton of plans that I created in an effort to celebrate myself…… (truth bomb here) because I “knew” no one else would.

Just about every year in the past, I have planned dinners and brunches and time with friends + family to celebrate my birthday. This year, I have nothing (like a literal nothing) planned and I’m not mad about it at all. Or bummed. Or disappointed. Or feeling an emptiness or yearning for a celebration at all. Or anything of that nature.

From what I can remember, most of my life I’ve done a lot of priming + prepping, initiating, maintaining, enduring, and wanting more in & from many of my relationships than the other person. And, over the past year, the Lord has been teaching me to do a lot more waiting & enjoying than “working”. My personality is set up in a way that won’t let me “be”. I’m an initiator, I’m intentional, I go after goals, & I know what I want. This is great until it’s not. There is typically a lot of establishing, tone setting, and creating and I end up pulling someone along is exhausting. It takes a toll on mental & emotional health…. it’s painful. Likely on both sides, but I mean, the other side isn’t mine to unpack.

Praise God for counseling, right? Years of weekly or bi-weekly sessions along with a natural curiosity for personality profiles, understand motives, & “self help” books. That’s what there were called 10-20 years ago. Maybe not so much today. I like to understand WHY and that natural inclination had been a major blessing.

The glaring fact that I’ve always hustled for what I never understood was already mine in Christ opened my eyes to so many things that now make so much sense. Worthiness, a place, and to be heard drove a lot of my unhealthy choices & created mindsets & beliefs about self esteem, belief in who I was & what I could do, the quality of my relationships, life happenings, & people around me that were just not accurate.

A lot of life has happened that’s driven me to the Lord that I wish I could say I really could have done without. Things that were so painful. Things that still resurface & I have to silence and speak life over. Things necessary for my personal growth & what would be required to lead + support other women.

Things that would ultimately bring healing.

Life is hard.

It’s even harder when it seems to continue to get harder.

But, what is so so good?? The grace in the details that make up every situation…. the proof that God is with me, and you. The Lord will put the best, most necessary people in our lives to hold us up & wipe us off while encouraging us to endure.

The Lord hears us.

He comes to our rescue.

He moves when we call.

He is purposeful in his timing.

Generous with his comfort, grace, & mercy.

We aren’t on our own, even while we watch the things around us literally falling apart….. he is working (and has been working) together for our good.

Because he loves us.

Have you heard Lauren Daigle’s song Rescue? You must!!

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…. speak life

One of the greatest realizations I’ve had over the past couple of years is that I am not alone.

That even though I am hit with and struggle with some pretty hard things, the Lord, Christ, & the Holy Spirit are truly contending for me, praying for me, & guiding me.

As a mama, we want the best for our children. While I will have to stand up for them here in the physical in a shrewd & strategic way that honors the Lord and defends us well, I also know that the Lord fights for in ways that will bring victory for us.

After so many years of living in fear, doubt, and losing battles & experiencing so much defeat I have learned over the past few years to entrust all things to God. Utilizing Him as my first line of defense, walking in obedience, & heeding his warnings are the best ways (ONLY ways) to have peace in chaos and have things go a way that is good for me. And, when things go another direction, I can trust that they will still go well for me because I’m trusting the one who has a plan for my good and not my harm.

I mentioned a couple posts back how my response to hard, hurtful, and difficult things was not the best. And, that pretty much means tears, thinking & speaking the worst, anger, acting out in that anger……. the last couple of years of my marriage and a couple years after that, ya girl was a mess. Privately, of course. With certain people… well, person. And I had a haaaaaard time seeing the opportunity I had to change my narrative because I was seeing life through feelings of hurt, shame, abandonment, and more instead with eyes of faith for healing, life, newness, hope, & joy. It wasn’t cute at all. Quite awful actually but I matured & grew so much, my faith was strengthened, and my perspectives & mindset have totally been revamped……. for the hard & literal crazy, I am thankful.

I mentioned in that same post that my responses have changed so drastically that I can hardly believe it. It happened so subtly that I don’t even know when it happened, so but I’m so grateful that it did.

One of the things I have learned to do in the moments of “disruption”, is speak life and truth. In those moments the enemy comes for what we believe. He knows that our beliefs dictate our responses. That if he can only get us to believe that nothing will change, that we are not loved or protected, that we are alone, unforgiven, and have no value whatsoever. If he can get us doubt that God is with us and his promises of peace, protection, provision – we will do anything to fill those voids & do what we feel is right.

A couple of days ago, I could have flipped out and become an emotional mess. BUT…… I literally spoke life and truth to myself. I decided to write those truths down (read: type them in the notes section of my phone) so that I could always go back to them whenever I need to. And, I wanted to share them with you.

At your word, life is created + life ends.

At your word, things are established + things are destroyed.

At your word, plans are made.

At your word, demons tremble.

At your word, healing takes place.

I am your child.

I am loved with a love that never ends.

I am loved with a love that accepts me.

I am loved with a love that always protects me.

I am loved with a love that plans good for me.

I am loved with a love that fully forgives me.

Your love doesn’t depend on my behavior, feelings, response, struggles, or fear.

Your love causes you to joyfully receive me at all times, no matter what. Nothing can separate me from your love- nothing can cause you to stop loving me.

There is no darkness in your presence.

And you are here with me.

There is no fear in your presence.

And you are here with me.

There is no darkness in your presence.

I am safe.

You go with me.

You are here.

You go before me.

You are preparing that space for me.

You surround me with your love.

You protect me on all sides.

You provide every need.

You give me joy.

You give me hope.

You give me a safe place to hide & rest.

You are for me, I can trust you.

You never sleep, I can rest.

You protect me from my enemies, I am not fearful.

You bless me abundantly, I can enjoy my work.

You forgive me daily, I can come to you freely.

You rejoice over me, I can trust your love for me.

You know every detail of my troubles.

You know every detail of my success.

Pain, fear, disappointment, envy, & hatred do not color my days. Those things are not of you.

Joy, healing, hope, love, peace, self control are how I choose to fill my days knowing + believing that when I trust you with my mind, my responses, & decisions to focus on + obey you, I am in your will & under your umbrella of protection. There is safety & favor there.

You are for me.

You WANT me to be whole.

You are for me.

You WANT to provide for me.

You are for me.

You WANT me to experience joy.

You are for me.

You WANT to bless me.

You are FOR me.

You WANT to protect me.

You are FOR me.

You WANT to guide me.

You are FOR me.

You WANT the best for me.

AND, you will NOT allow me to fall.

Girl, speaking what you KNOW to be true even when you do feel it will bring life. You will remind and encourage yourself. Our words will either bring life or death. What you say makes you feel good or bad. What you say excites or literally brings you down.

Today, I encourage you to speak life, to encourage yourself. Remember that God is for you – especially when things look to be completely awful. He is with you and has victory, comfort, & peace planned for you!

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