… fresh starts

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For years, I admired anyone who had a regular Bible reading regimen….. Especially those who read and studied in the wee hours of the mornings.

I never got into morning devotions because I struggle so much with getting up in the morning. Then, I never really knew how to go through the Bible effectively and finding a devotional that was “right” for me was even harder.

I most recently found a Devo that I completely adore that has a morning and evening reading and it is spectacular. Not only are the devotionals good but I’m more enjoying how my days unfold and my person is so much calmer than they were when I rushed through those amazing, quiet moments of the morning.

I crave them now.
And, I am working to be even more intent on grasping everything that I can from my readings.
So, I have a nice little assortment of colored pens, notebook paper, dividers, and even a pen pouch to keep organized and prepared! Lol.

I’ve also joined an online community of women who follow Bible reading plans called She Reads Truth. More amazingness read in the morning. More to understand, grasp, & deal with throughout my days.

**** read, more reasons to use all of my goodies! ****

And, I love it.

I’m so grateful for this lesson of spending quiet moments with God…. a lesson I wish I’d learned and worked that much harder to seek when I was younger.

One of my devotionals is Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon. And, you can join me in the She Reads Truth online-community when you click here.

I am lucky to be able to have mornings that are easy and as late as I want them. I’m worried that school will start and knock me completely off track. We’ll see. I still have about a month before everything begins so hopefully after a couple of weeks of adjusting to the time change, I’ll be solid.

Hopefully!

… here’s to growing in knowledge and being shaped in faith! No regrets.

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… be strong & courageous

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

As we grow in wisdom, we learn that being strong and courageous can sometimes mean sitting still….. Praying…. And, waiting. Being quiet. Trusting God while He works.

We recognize that being strong and courageous in Christ is completely different than being strong and courageous in the ways our culture defines strength and courage.

It’s counter-cultural. It’s not ego driven. It is not self satisfying.

Sometimes showing strength & courage means standing up and defending ourselves and others, but never at the cost of another.

Tearing someone down doesn’t make you strong.

Neither does holding your tongue “to keep peace” when someone or their cause needs defending against a larger entity or when it means going against what’s popular. There are times when it’s much wiser to remain quiet, which takes a strength all it’s own, but we can trust that wisdom will tell us what battles are worth fighting with who and when.

Getting our little one has been a fight from the very start, but I have learned that some battles are best fought on my knees. Praying and pleading.

For my baby. My family. Their family. And, for whatever circumstances wherever they may be experiencing.

One of my friends called her family her adopted child’s Plan B family. I never thought of it that way but how true it is.

It is so true that God doesn’t desire families to be broken and children to be removed from their homes.

It’s true that God doesn’t want His children living with life long soul aches because they can’t raise their children comfortably themselves.

But, redemption stories are also true. How God can mend all of our broken hearts. How He can comfort our sorrows and turn our pains into opportunities that birth our greatest joys, opportunities for us to testify to His goodness & glorify His name.

How these three or four separate entities can find peace and comfort in our Savior. The One, besides the baby, that unites us forever.

It’s absolute truth that our Plan B story written by God is better than any top tier, Plan A story that could ever be written by anyone or any cohesive group of people.

I think about how our Savior wasn’t God’s first, second, or even third choice when deciding how to bring His people back to Him…….. But, because of our sinful nature, His last option was the greatest option.

I have wanted to give up. To say “this just may not be for us…” but I know that it’s God’s desire for us to care for a baby who is either unwanted or just cannot remain with their birth family for whatever reason.

And, I can’t walk away from that.

I’d prefer to wait in the balance knowing I’m doing God’s will than to walk away and experience temporary “peace” that will never truly be satisfying because of how the Holy Spirit will nag me and forever tap on my shoulder reminding me of what could have been and pushing me to obey anyway.

I’m excited about the next steps in our process…….

This week, I’ll be working on gathering our pictures so they’ll be ready to go in the next few weeks!

I’m excited and literally sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation about what God is going to do over the next few months! I truly believe that He is going to do something amazing through our lives and I am so ready for it!!

He commands to not fear or be discouraged. No matter what the circumstances or what you face, The Lord YOUR God is with you wherever you may go.

His presence is more valuable than anything we could ever purchase to protect us. Or, whatever comforts we feel could make us feel better.

…. Here’s to a strength, peace, & courage that could only come from The Lord!

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… #tbt

Most days of the week have a reputation….
Not much is ever said about Tuesdays but Mondays, Fridays, and “the weekend” are the days we look forward to the most! We can’t forget Wednesday, or “Hump Day”, because it just lets us know we’ve almost made it to “the weekend”!

Now.. there are THURSDAYS.
I’m an avid Instagram picture post-er (username: amayes) and I love, love, love taking and posting pictures on this addictive little app.
Well, this app has given Thursdays a new appeal, lots of attention, and a little “swag” if you will….

Instagram has instituted “#tbt or #throwbackthursdays….. YES! with the Twitter hashtag!

This day invigorates and excites us loyal picture posters… we Instagramers will dig up OLD school pictures and family photo’s with of us with our siblings and parents with our hair all over the place, dressed in bad clothes! Sorority/fraternity, vacation, and graduation pictures will reappear! This day causes us to walk down memory lane in conflict because we don’t know if we want to hang our heads in shame or tag our family/friends with pride knowing that those days were the “good ol’ days” and worth every little bit of the memory and then some!

I love #tbt but rarely post any old pictures because I really don’t have access to them – they’re all stowed away at my mom’s house on the OTHER side of Houston! But, today I participated and was quite proud of my #throwbacks. Take a peek and see what memories they bring back for you!

First….
Were you NOT obsessed with passing notes in middle school?!?! I loved the simplicity and pesonalization of doing this today! It was sooo fun – I even sent it through another person, shamefully, it was a student! Best part – I was so surprised at how easily I remebered how to fold the note!

Then…..
I am a new comer to the world of thrifting and I absolutely love it! I went to one store today and was obsessed with the book section. There were sooo many Agatha Christie books… Biology, and Accounting books… (Please do not ask WHY I was tempted to purchase a couple of these!)….Cookbooks….. Children’s books….
But, then I came across these gems.

WOW!!! Are you serious?!?!?!?
Before there was the Twilight, Hunger Games, and Shades of…. series – there was The Baby – Sitters Club. TRUE inspirations!!! OMG! I called my sister from the cash register and she couldn’t believe it either! Obviously, we’re wanting our little sister to read them and all of our neices, too…. I’m not sure how they’ll compare to what they read now but what a reminder of all the days/nights I would just lay in bed and just read!

As I end my walk down memory lane……..

The day after my 3rd graders last STARR test (which happened to be a THURSDAY!!!) was a rest day for them! They’d worked so hard the two days prior and just wanted to rest. Which I understood and was prepared to pop in a movie when I came to class. Until, I walked in and realized they were making these…..

… and, I had to jump in! I could not help BUT to loop and thread with them! It took me a bit longer to remember how to start the cords but once I got it down, it was over!

It’s absolutely true that nothing new is under the sun, but I don’t think it’s until your generation’s “new” comes back around that you really realize it.
Unfortunately, I don’t think The Baby-Sitter’s Club books or the letter writing will come back into play (much like vinyl records) but if they did……

Our children’s innocence is slowly being chiseled away……. (which makes me sound like the near thirty year old that I am) but the realization of how quickly our kids are growing up now due to technology and more common sense is scary. And, sad. Mostly, sad. But, that’s another post on another day!

…. here’s to #tbt, remembering the “old days”, and enjoying each simplicity that TODAY has to offer.

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