If only for a season

I haven't been sleeping well lately. I've been through periods of life where I sleep horrible, my brain doesn't shut off but my body is tired. That's how it's been for the past few weeks. By the end of the day my body is dragging and I'm longing for a good nights sleep, but it seems to never come. In spite of this, this past week I've decided to counter the lack of sleep by getting out of bed (still exhausted) to spend time with God. Even though I'm tired I've found joy in sitting on my couch in the peaceful quiet of my house and spending time with God. Nothing routine. Just sitting in the quiet, reading my Bible, praying and writing. These are times that I have begun to long for.

Those that know me personally are aware that I'm in a time of change. But more so in a period of waiting. I know that change will come soon enough, but God has given me a sense of peace about everything. In the middle of the busy and the tired he has pushed me to be still and listen.

2 years later

As I sit here writing this I cannot believe that we have been here for 2 years. It's difficult to think about all of those moments we missed with friends and family over the past 2 years. It's crazy to look back and remember how tiny our boys were.
I still remember the last day. I bravely stood beside my husband at our church as they prayed over us and this journey we are on. I remember the final goodbye at In-n-Out with friends and family. I remember driving out of town crying over all of the people that I invested in and that invested in me over the past years. I remember the excitement and fear that was packed into our car along with everything else we owned.

January 4, 2015

January 4, 2015

But what would have happened if we had never came? I wouldn't have met many amazing people that now are really good friends. I wouldn't have suffered in ways that God wanted to take me through. I wouldn't have this story to share to tell of His wonderful work.

Currently John is the lead Pastor at our Church. (That is a story that I plan on sharing more of this next year.) John is continuing to take full load classes at SEBTS, as well as continue his music outlet with a local band. He's able to play worship sets and even do camps. 

A year ago today we began homeschooling the boys. An adventure that we knew was coming, but didn't expect to be nearly as difficult (or rewarding) as it has been. The transition has been more difficult as the relentless responsibility of teaching, driving, correcting, encouraging has all landed on us as parents. Slowly and after many changes we are beginning to see what is working for our family.

PaperFromHeaven is still one of our main sources of income, as well as FabricFromHeaven. Both keep me busy and give me a creative outlet. Balancing everything that I do is the most difficult.

What's next? I don't know. Some days we're certain school is over in 2 more years, and some days it looks more like 4. Some days I just don't even want to think about it and instead live in the ignorance of real life. My inner human longs to settle, but my adventurous being says "this isn't it, there is so much more that God has planned, hurry lets finish here and move on to what's next". I have to remind myself that even the trees have to grow from season to season. They cannot product fruit season after season without the growing phase. 

Would you continue to pray for us as we endure this life, as we sacrificially give all of our everything to be here to learn to serve God better?

 

2017: A New Beginning - Write through the Bible

I want to try something different this month.
This month I want to encourage you to read a chapter of Proverbs every day. Then write out 1-2 verses that speak to you. It'll be different for everyone, but it's something that God is impressing on your heart.

Here's to a new beginning! Lets start fresh. I tell my boys every morning, if you missed yesterday just keep going, start today. Start fresh. Don't try to catch up because that will burn you out. Start fresh today, because ya know what? HIS mercies are new every morning.

I want to challenge you to spend a few more minutes meditating on the Word of God each day. Add something to your quiet time, change something up. Each month I am going to post a theme of passages or a book that I will be writing through. I want to invite you to write through the Bible with me as well.

Advent - Write through the Bible

Without Easter, Christmas means nothing. This is because Jesus had to die for His birth to be worth while. During the Christmas season we celebrate Christ's coming because He came to fulfill the promise of God to crush sin. Because of sin, Jesus had to become a perfect sinless man and die in the place of sinful men + women.

 

This month I really want to focus on what the season of Christmas is about. It's about God becoming man. It's about God's love for us that he would make such a sacrifice. I've chosen verses that display the story from the beginning to what we are waiting for now. Verses that begin with the problem that needed to be fixed, the fall of man, the prophecy of the coming of the Christ, and His birth, and finally his return.

You can download a bookmark for yourself here.

I want to challenge you to spend a few more minutes meditating on the Word of God each day. Add something to your quiet time, change something up. Each month I am going to post a theme of passages or a book that I will be writing through. I want to invite you to write through the Bible with me as well.

Give Thanks - Write through the Bible

As sappy as it sounds this time of year always reminds me to be extra thankful, to see God's grace and love in the little things. I find during the month of November as God preparing my heart for what is going to come next, the Birth of his Son!

I've picked different passages from all over the Bible that all speak loud of being thankful. Something that I can take with me and meditate on and just remember to "give thanks with a grateful heart". My goal is to spend this month preparing for Thanksgiving by seeing all that God has done for me and what I have to be thankful for, and also to set my heart ready to celebrate the birth of His son Jesus. I would love for you to join me on this journey and ready your heart as well.

You can download a bookmark for yourself here.

I want to challenge you to spend a few more minutes meditating on the Word of God each day. Add something to your quiet time, change something up. Each month I am going to post a theme of passages or a book that I will be writing through. I want to invite you to write through the Bible with me as well.

The end of myself

One of my goals for this blog was to be a place of truth & transparency. I rarely sugar coat anything usually giving it clear and straight. With that, life has been a whirlwind lately. I shared about a year ago that "I get quiet when the world is spinning around me. I settle in my mind and start thinking of all of the time I've wasted. I think back on my actions and how I could have changed them, I praise God for the grace He gave me. I withdraw from the public eye and just try to keep myself together. That's where I'm at now. I'm in a quiet place of trying to keep up with my responsibilities and just trying to get through it. I'm clinging to God; knowing that at the end he will get the glory. Nothing else matters."

And you know what? It's the same thoughts that I've been having for the past few months now. While it seems at times that I have been in a fog, I have been clinging to God praying that He will deliver me and praising Him for the little bits of grace I've seen along the way.

During this last month I wrote this down "I always think I have reached the end of myself, but every time God wants to show me something he takes me to a deeper level of brokenness that hurts more than the last time."

This past week a bit of the fog has lifted and I am seeing God's grace and faithfulness. God has been faithful to carry me through every single time. Which again reminds me that, I need to be patient enough to wait for His perfect timing. I will share the full story at some point, but for now the story isn't complete and isn't ready to be written.

 

Philippians - write through the Bible

For me writing and meditating God's word is important. I really will not learn it any other way.

All of the Illustrated Faith - drawing in your Bible is awesome. It's just not for me. I would be apt to spend more time trying to make the drawing perfect than actually meditating on God's word. I also really hate how I write most of the time, lets not even get started with how I draw. But knowing and meditating God's word is important.

This month I chose the book of Philippians. Philippians is known for being a resource through suffering. Remember as you write this month that Christ is your strength through everything you face.

You can download a bookmark for yourself here.

I want to challenge you to spend a few more minutes meditating on the Word of God. Add something to your quiet time, change something up. Each month I am going to post a theme of passages or a book that I will be writing through. I want to invite you to write through the Bible with me as well.

 

 

You're not alone

Hope.  Joy.  Peace.  Love.

There are days I struggle with all of those. I feel like I am constantly on the go and forgetting something. Always behind and exhausted. I would like to give you an easy fix right about now, unfortunately I don’t have one. I can tell you you’re not alone. Most likely that mom in the checkout lane with you is feeling the same thing as you.

At one point my youngest really enjoyed screaming while we were in the car line for school pickup. I say that he enjoyed it, because he was always screaming. It wasn't the usual happy scream, it was the “my older brother is unbuckled and I’m not and this is not okay” scream. I also liked to sit in the car line with my windows down and enjoy the cool air, which means everyone could hear him scream. One day in between his screams it hit me, I’m not alone! There was a soft screaming (again – angry scream) coming from another car in the line. I smiled. I often get so excited when I see other parents dealing with misbehaving children. Not because it’s not my kids, but because at that moment I realize I’m not alone.

When you put yourself in a place of isolation it’s never good. You lie to yourself that you are the only one having it hard, that it’s all about you. When in fact it’s not about you at all. When you isolate yourself you begin to judge others of what they think of you, how they act, and the lives they live. I know this, because this is what I want to do. Too often I’ve often judged people without even knowing them, just based on a few behaviors I’ve witnessed. Then I make up a whole story of who they are as a person and totally judge their character when really I am completely wrong. I’ve gotten to know some of the very people I judged and had to confess they aren’t like what I said they were. They’re awesome, and even a little like me. When you see how real others are you realize how much you share; how much they have the same struggles and heartaches as you. You're not alone! God purposefully gave us each other to make it through life. We can lean on others when we are weak. We can encourage others when we are strong. But above all we can "encourage each other daily so that none of you is hardened by sin's deception." Hebrews 3:13