… my hope

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Yes. I. Did.
And, I love it.

Every time I look at my wrist, I smile & my heart stirs a little.

20140113-161927.jpg This little, dime size tattoo means the entire world to me and I am so proud of my “baby ancho r”!
{Even though it’s tiny; it packs a punch!}

Hebrews 6:19 says that “we have this hope as an anchor for our soul, strong and secure.”
We have hope in our salvation. In Christ’s return. In His acknowledgement of our love shown to God in how we relate to each other.

This little anchor symbolizes hope and faith.
In God’s promises. In who He is. In His word.

I can’t help but smile.
(I sent this picture to my brother (who has a ton of tattoos, & he says “you can barely see it!” …… I’m guessing in order to be fully accepted into the community, you must have large tattoos??? LMBO!)

20140113-163215.jpgI smile at the promises I’ve been given, the anyway love that will endure forever. I smile & think of who our God is. I’m instantly humbled at His great love; that he would promise such great things to me knowing I would constantly fail Him. Humbled at the love and grace he mercifully pours out onto us.
I smile confidently because no matter what happens in this life, I know that my soul is secure and his promises are true. No matter how heavy my cross becomes or how I mess up, God is with me. And, how much do things really matter in comparison to that truth?

My sweet anchor is a constant reminder of the grace of God. His very own peace he offers us and the love he has for us.
This little thing means the world to me.
{and, yes I had about 5 friends with me….. There was lots of picture and taking and video recording going on! “Hoopla for a tiny tattoo that won’t take 5 minutes!!” Yup. 🙂

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Yes. I have a nose piecing, too! …. That I also got at the very same place I was tattooed!

…. here’s to my 31st year!

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… happy 31st birthday to me!!!

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I absolutely love, love, love birthdays!!!!! They’re such a wonderful time to spend a day (or enjoy an event!) celebrating the people you love most in life. Right? There’s nothing better than showering those you love & being there to make the good stuff, great stuff!

And, I don’t think I’m on my own when I say that I love my very own birthday! Its probably more of an unhealthy obsession. It always starts so incredibly slow then gains a tremendous amount of momentum the days leading up to it. I just can’t help it. 🙁 “The Devil comes in……” every year and causes me to do the absolute most in a very low key, Alaina kind of way!

20140111-093136.jpg The big thing this year- pictures. This is the first time I’ve ever taken pictures for my birthday & I enjoyed. every. minute. I have the most amazing, crazy talented sorority sister who does fab work; I sent her my theme/vision for the shoot & prayed she would be able to hang out with me for a little bit to bring it to life. I loved this shoot because it totally embodies who I am today. Simplistic, chic, girly. I think its so important to capture life and capture it just as it is in that specific span of time! Ya know? I look at these pictures and see me. The joys, triumphs, goals, loves, & heartaches donning all my favorites. And, I’m grateful to have been able to document myself at such an important time of my life.

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So, today is my indulgence day. My cheat day. My have your cake and eat it, too, day. The day that isn’t about adoption, infertility, children, heartache, and effort put forth in managing emotions & dealing with the process.

…. But, before I cry anymore, the next post will honor the journey. It will include a few less pictures (lol… are you annoyed by the flood yet?! IG & Facebook have been hit hard!) & more lessons I’ve learned over the course of my 31 years! Lol.

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…. thank you all for loving me! I’ve enjoyed the growing friendships and the community of ladies & mamas who have grabbed my hand & held on tight committing to walking this journey with me. A billion thanks, air kisses, & bear hugs to you. 🙂

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… close & open

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 20131216-172503.jpg

I always get really sentimental around the end of the year.
I believe it’s because my birthday is in early January, and I feel as if I have the opportunity to end one calendar year and begin another, fresh calendar year before I’m ushered into a new birth year.

I like it that way.
Almost like walking into your home after it’s been cleaned. You just feel better.

Everything sparkles.
There’s no clutter.
Everything is put in it’s proper place.
The need-nots (a new word I just made up for things you don’t need) are tossed.

When you clean house, you have an awesome opportunity to really see.
You realize what you don’t need and what you do. You find things you forgot you had but really valued….. And, you have so much more space.

You get rid of things you thought you needed.

The older I get the more I realize how much stuff I don’t need…… And, I’m embracing the freedom that comes with not being bound to so much stuff. Stuff (for me) is fun shoes, clothes, bags, vacations, lots of friends or likes on Instagram, multiple retweets on twitter or double digit comments on a Facebook status, anything new, & everything girl.

Ehhhh…… UNNECESSARY STUFF.

We are so good at collecting and hoarding so many things that we really don’t need, but are horrible at getting a good grip on the things we do need.
I can be horrible at getting a grip, but so wonderful at collecting and buying and making!

This year, I want to end this calendar year with a good grip on understanding that stuff will never satisfy. I enjoy likes on Insta & the back & forth on Facebook, but at the end of the day, and in the grand scheme of things…… Those posts mean nothing.

We work hard at making sure the pictures or status’ we post are “likeable”- that they look as if we’re having fun, or focused, or whatever we’re attempting to convey at the moment. The right angles, the right filters, & perfect wording get us what we’re looking for —> confirmation, validation, attention, conversation, etc. Emotional responses that make us feel accepted.

But, a few minutes pass and it’s over. It’s done. Friends & family forget about your post, mindlessly scroll right past it, or just plain don’t like it. They aren’t in the mood. They didn’t find it funny. They’re mad at you. They are uninterested. They logged off & never saw it. And, there goes our confidence. And, quick.

My point.
Stuff never satisfies. Not for long. Never fully. There’s no longevity. No true depth.

But, in Christ.
We find all that we’re looking for and more than we ever imagined existed. A perfect protection. An incomprehensible peace. And, a forever friend.

He isn’t going to forget about us three minutes after we come to Him. He won’t ever scroll past us- he sees us. And, he truly cares for us. He doesn’t miss a beat. He became like us, but he is not like us. He loves us in a way we won’t ever understand. And, gives us a comfort that will have us calmly riding out any storm we find ourselves in.

I want to grip that. Yea, I know it logically. I know it better now than I did before. But, I want more.

But, I’m always craving more. More of his peace and comfort when he’s taking me through…. I want to trust Him mightily. When He tells me not to fear and do not worry – I want to believe without a shadow if a doubt that I can in fact not worry. We can NOT worry. We can NOT be afraid. But, not by our own power. We have to trust Him.

We can notfear. We can not worry. We can trust Him. And, believing Him is the only way to do that.

That life of hope & encouragement begins with a choice to accept what Christ so freely gives.

I want to end and begin with an unwavering heart.
There’s safety in the shadows of His wings. And, I need to find myself there because Lord knows I’m scared.

… here’s to pushing further away from the need-nots and choosing to cling closely to the giver of everything good.

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