biggest blessing, deepest frustration

I love music. I learn lyrics very quickly and can listen to the same song on repeat for days. Music hits me to my core; not sure if it’s my two years of middle school cello and violin (which I adored), but it stirs my soul.

One of my favorite songs is “Find Rest” by Dara Maclean. It’s a insanely beautiful song (from chords to lyrics) that remind us that in the chaos of life, we are not only capable of fighting (with the Word of God), not only are we protected by our God, but we can also find rest in our God.  One of my favorite lines (I thought) said “…our dreams are yours”, but actually says “the victory is yours”. Anyone else completely destroy lyrics?! lol. Needless to say, we even have victory in Christ. Which actually belongs to him and let me tell it, our dreams (and children) do, too!

When I ‘heard’ our dreams are yours, tears began to fall as I started worshipping in my shower. My very firm belief is that the Lord plants hopes, dreams, goals, and plans in our hearts. We may not fully understand them, we may be afraid of what we are led to do with them, or even mishandle them…but I ultimately believe that those things he gives us are our ‘work’ to do. He gives us a task that will serve others, build up the body, mature our faith, and allow us to encourage one another as we bear each other’s burdens. So for me, when I think of my goals and the things I’d love to accomplish I recognize that they aren’t for me. Reaching those goals and winning those victories would be to the glory of God and the edification, in some way, of his people.

….that sounds great, right? It is. It’s beautiful.

thing is this….. it is so easy for my biggest blessings, joys, and gifts to become my deepest frustrations and sore places! I get so fixated on our goals and plans, the details and ‘need to do’s’, that serving and loving is overshadowed with stress and pride! I forget that the victory is Christ’s, not mine. That when I honor the Lord with my effort, when I work as unto him, and do everything within my power to accomplish what he has given me, all things work together for my good and his glory. YES!!!!! the Lord said he would give us the desires of our hearts (and he will!) and that we are overcomers (we really are!) and that we will receive victory (yeeeesssss!!!) that it’s not actually us who wins! Because of that truth, we can find peace in the Lord and rest in the shadow of his wings. Rest for our broken hearts, for our weary spirits, and new life for our dreams we may have given up on.

We don’t have to be frustrated, worn out, weary, angry, disappointed, envious, or and hopeless because things aren’t going the way we want them to go or people aren’t doing what we want them to do. We forgot that this isn’t our circus. These aren’t our monkeys. This isn’t our plan and our will to be done. We are doing more running than resting. More monitoring that submitting. More dividing than gathering. More complaining than praising because of our perspectives.

We are so consumed with the what than the how
and inn those moments we  are not longer honoring the Lord.

But, it’s so easy, right?!
Becoming frustrated while preparing dinner and attempting to put a decent meal on the table while every single child in your house seems to have completely lost it. for the love, it is easy.
Becoming short tempered and feeling anxious when you’re experiencing complete overwhelm is fathomable when no one seems to appreciate you or even see you.
Acting and speaking in anger when we’ve been hurt deeply. Consistently.

It’s easy and understandable to focus on what is happening, but that’s not where the fight is.

We become irritable, impatient, and so (do you give me permission to  say it?) so self focused that we are missing the Lord working right in front of us, we miss moments how the Lord is putting things together for us. We’re missing moments that are worthy of so much gratitude and praise, we’re missing moments to soften our hearts and really be with our people. We’re missing moments to share the heart and love of Jesus to those who need it most.

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of all of this but I am so thankful that I am forgiven and freed in Christ. That I am called righteous and holy. And, that the Lord continuous to refine me. So grateful for the grace that holds me close, presses me up against him, and urges me to abide so deeply within him. {Blameless by Dara Maclean}

Because I believe that I am a child of God and that his heart is for me, that he cares deeply for every concern that burdens my heart, and that he will provide every single need I have…..

I can rest. I can have peace. I can live joyfully, serve well,
be forgiving, look to the future with hope and joy,
and love all people as Christ loves me.
Because he loves me.

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… create it 

If you follow me on Insta, you may have seen this post already, if you haven’t, here you are…

” I have done a lot of CREATING over the past year. I didn’t waste time “looking” for myself, I didn’t search for happiness in things, people, or activities.

What I did do is CREATE belief in myself, & belief in who I COULD be based on who God FORMED me to be. I set goals goals based on dreams that settled in my heart back when I was a little girl. I created a positive mindset, I created a perspective on all things that said “This event will not define me. I will be more than ‘okay’. I AM AND WILL BE AMAZING, I WILL THRIVE, I WILL ACHIEVE, I WILL BE HAPPY!” in spite of what comes my way!
I’m in charge of how I feel and how I view my circumstances. I make the choice of whether or not I will have a good day, if I will be frustrated or angry, if I will CHOOSE to refill my cup rather than deal with it being half full. If I choose to wallow or stand boldly!
Life is all about choice and creating what you want to see, experience, & how things will go for you.

I’ve been there. In the dark, not knowing if things will ever be okay, but I promise you that it can be….. if you CHOOSE & WORK for it to be! I hope that if you’re struggling with ANYTHING in life, that you BELIEVE that hurt, pain, disappointment, & fear do NOT have to last always. That you can be filled with the hope, bravery, belief, & faith to be and do better!! I believe in you!! #plexusbelieve”

I wrote this at our Plexus convention after taking a pic in front of this banner. Because, it’s perfect.. is it not? #yes 

I’m learning to create what I wish to find… in myself, my relationships, my work, my conversation. I’m learning that being still (sometimes for a while) is a part of the creative process. I’m learning to be who I needed to others. 

The girls have mainly been with their dad for the past few weeks and I’m missing my girls deep. So I’m scrolling through pictures on Insta and in every picture I’m smiling. Even in the pictures I specifically remember having the worst day or previous night, when I felt at my absolute lowest, there was a smile. As my thumb passed over the pictures, pulling up older and older photos, a thought flashed through my mind….. I wonder if I’m the me I needed three years ago……and the only answer I can come up with is that that woman who dealt and endured and fought and cried and pressed and shouted and tried and failed (and succeeded) was exactly who she needed to be then. And, I believe that girl is cheering this one on.  

I’m a believer in creating what you can’t find, creating what you need and want. I’m a believer in counseling and personal growth and becoming so that you are prepared to deal with what comes around the corner – both in and through the moment. I believe in questions and understanding, kindness and love, in second and third chances and yet standing your ground. 

I believe in creating a life you love and choosing who & what will bring you closer to your happy. I believe in making it your own. 

Also, that things truly come in time. But the come faster when your living in peace, joy, love, & harmony. That loves causes all things to grow well. Plants, relationships, kids, self esteem, & self worth……. everything grows better when it’s happy. Food is even tastier & your performance at work is better when you’re happy. 

Sometimes you have to create the happy you’re looking for. Create what you need. Carve out the time to revive your soul, lay down your burdens, get a little salt water in or out of your system (tears, sweat, or the sea) & make yourself happy and overwhelm yourself in joy. 

  1. If the privately broken girl was not drowned in the ‘come hell or high water’ or the ‘come what may’, you can make it, too. Because you’re strong. I believe that if I am happy & better than I’ve ever been, and at peace after complete brokenness, there’s more than the slightest chance you will be, too. The happiness and joy begins when you choose to move on from what happened and grow. You are growing and there’s something so much greater for you to do past this. This doesn’t define you. It’s a part of you, but it’s not who you are. 

Everything won’t always be perfect. There will be days you feel disconnected and nights you cry yourself to sleep. There will be some hard and dark moments, but in those times you have to fight for yourself. Your own voice has to be louder, more calm, more steady, more convicting, & sure than the noise. That voice that tells you that you can, that you’re good enough, that you’re strong enough, ready enough, & committed enough to keep going. 
Because you are. 

{note to self}

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… i found happiness 

Some will tell you to aim for joy because happiness depends on what is happening. That you should want to be joyful first, and if you happen to be happy- that’s a bonus. 

They’ll say that in order to be happy, something has to be happening. As if there aren’t people in this world who have a heck of a lot happening but aren’t happy. 

For a good 5 years (maybe?! I quit counting) life was HARD. My response varied between bawling some days and a zombie others, but most days were hemmed together with a The Lord-kept-me kinda grace so I was somehow able to smile (a lot) even though my days were really painful. I’d beg the Lord for peace and joy through sobs and tears and heartache type hard. Hard because my heart was aching and broken for so many reasons…. infertility, failed adoptions, failing/failed marriage……. it was an endless spiraling downward. Too many this-is-not-happening-where-is-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel situations back to back to back. 

Yet, I got through. I learned to have joy in the middle of chaos. A sliver of hope at first; bursts of sweet moments sprinkled here and there that allow you a bit of calm and genuine enjoyment in spite of what is going on around you. That sprinkle of joy eventually drenched me. There was s peace that allowed me to be fully present instead of in a fog. I fought for that awareness. 

The day I realized I had joy, I praised God & cried. It wasn’t something that had to be begged for anymore. It was just there.

But, is that enough? Should I be satisfied with “joy in spite of” when I believe that Christ came so that I may have abundant life? When I believe that the Lord gives me the desires of my heart and is a GOOD, GOOD father? If  I believe that the Lord made me an overcomer and gives me HIS strength, and has a plan for my life that is for my good and his glory……… should I settle for just joy?

Why shouldn’t I and couldn’t I shoot for happiness, too? UNDERSTANDING that the Lord also said that we were going to have trouble in life, understanding that my happiness isn’t the Lord’s number one priority…………. I’m thankful that the Lord gives me a lot to be happy for. 

Now, I’m in a really incredible spot. A sweet spot. A make-this-last-forever (and ever) spot. The spot where joy met peace then ran into happiness. The trifecta of life. There are moments that make me aware, yet again, of where I am and it makes me happy on top of happy to be in this place at this moment. 

I love where I am, where my kids are, and where we are as a family. They make me happy. Their smiles, singing, laughter, playing, & sleepy faces in the morning make me beam with joy and pride. 

Watching my little sister experience life and accomplish so many amazing things makes me happy!I mean how cute is she?!

Helping others improve their health and live more comfortable, enjoyable lives is fun to me. It fills my cup and makes me happy…. even on the hardest of days. 
I’m not sure if I ever really thought about or planned what life would look like post divorce. A lot more peaceful, yes. A lot less chaos & hurt – yes. But, the leading a household and doing the daily caretaking for the kids part I don’t think I really thought through, but the Lord has been so faithful and so good. 
I can truly say that I am content with life as it is. I am pleased with and grateful for where I am right now.  I am happy, my babies are happy…. Life is good. 

Am I overwhelmed with mom-ing? Yes. Daily. I never get a full 5-6 hours of sleep. My apartment is in a ‘real-life’ state at all times. You’re not welcome unless you’re totally okay and nonjudgmental about toys in every room, laundry on the couch, and Frozen on repeat. That’s just our life right now and I’m okay with it. I enjoy it. I can’t do everything everyday but I can do the important stuff daily. Hear that, mamas. Especially the single parenting ones. You can’t do the job of 2 people in every area every day.  Especially when your babies are young. Do the best you can and leave the rest for tomorrow. I promise  you they won’t need therapy because toys weren’t picked up every night. Everyone survives; I promise. 

If my happiness solely depended on what happening, things would be hard because everything changes. My happiness stands on a joy rooted in my faith. There is always a reason to be happy and joyful; the only thing that will motivate us to search for that joy and happiness is our faith that is overflowing with hope. 

Yes, sometimes things will go very wrong, but I promise that you can and will get through it. There is another side, there is life “after”……… you’ve just got to prepare yourself to endure and rely fully on the Lord. The trifecta will come. 

Matthew 11:28-30 

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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