Words of Gratitude

As I have been sharing lately, my life is a little intense right now. I am in the middle of a training of sorts towards where I feel called-long term care administration.

This particular season in my life leaves little time for writing, but I have been trying to squeeze in what I can.

Thursday after work, a box greeted me.

With the busyness of my life, I had forgotten this was coming. Inside were ten copies of the Chicken Soup for the Soul edition honoring mothers. Of the 101 stories, I have the humbling privilege to have my story be one of those.

As exciting as it is to have your story be published, this particular story touches me very personally. It is a tribute I wrote to my son’s birth mother. I feel such a deep sense of gratitude towards her for the beautiful gift I have been blessed with of raising my son.

If you have a chance to purchase the book (what a great Mother’s Day idea), I hope you will take a few moments to read my heartfelt words. The book releases March 20th.

The love of a mother takes many forms and sometimes, it is the greatest sacrifice of recognizing that you cannot provide your child with the life you feel he or she deserves. For this great sacrifice, I am forever grateful to call her son, my precious son.

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Right where we Need to Be

Ever feel like your vision is like this?

Blurry? Disorienting? Like yet another snowy drive home…

Defeated. The word I used to describe myself the other night. Exhausted and defeated with a distorted sense of my vision.

God poured sweetness right back into my soul that very next morning. The gift of three women. We call our little monthly gatherings our writing group, but God is doing something more. It was a step of obedience, a response to the nudge, the call to form a writing group. We are small, but we are growing in our comfort with one another. Fellowship, laughter, encouragement. All the defeat washed away by the reminder of His promises.

But yet, here I am again tonight. Exhausted. Defeated. Tomorrow is a new day. Sleep will come. It will restore my soul. Renew me, refresh me.

This vision, becoming clearer, revealed in Holy whispers, sacred moments.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Him, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4-5

These are His promises, unfolding in His timing.

I heard a sermon that shared some insight… God allows conflict to help us grow closer to Him.

If this is true, I shouldn’t be surprised when hard things come my way. Growth seldom occurs when things are easy. I don’t have all the answers. I certainly don’t know what to do sometimes. I stand confused at times wondering when, why, which way?

Today, I read something beautiful about brokenness. Brokenness reminds us we are not perfect, and that is okay. We don’t have to have it all together despite what the world says.

We need God to guide our way to the desires of our heart. We need to commit and trust.

And He shall bring it to pass.

What is the “it”?

It is unique to us all.

The next time the world reminds you of all the ways you have messed up, and it will, remember God is in the business of using broken people with messy lives. Conflict puts us right where we need to be…in need of Him.

Painful at times, yes, but what better place to be than in the grip of His promises?

Farther Along

I know I have been a bit quiet on here lately. My current season of life is a bit intense. I am working towards my dream of long term care administration. Long term care is not for the faint of heart.

I had a family member of a resident ask me this week if I love my job. We talked about the joys of long term care. She shared with me how hard she thought it would be. I shared with her how I feel like it is my calling.

So, here I am farther along in that dream than I was just a few years ago, even months ago. As I listened to a sermon on the way into work, something the pastor said really resonated with me. When God is calling us to something, He doesn’t reveal all His promises before we jump in and say yes, Lord. He wants our obedience, our trust, and our willingness to take the risk before we see the promise of the finish line.

I said yes a few years ago and left a comfortable job close to home in order to follow the direction I felt Him calling me. It has been a journey of growth and discovery ever since. I am learning about myself and learning to trust God without knowing all the answers. There is a peace that comes with this level of trust.

I believe that when we trust God with our hopes, our dreams, and our fears, and we step out in faith, He is more than faithful. This is one of my favorite passages from Isaiah.

But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT

Each day in the journey of trust brings us farther along.

This has become a favorite song of mine in this season. Farther Along by Josh Garrels Anyone that knows me well knows a quirky thing about me is that I have favorite songs in seasons and listen to them over and over. This is my current play over and over song. I need to be reminded that I am farther along than I was yesterday.

Farther along…every day we are farther along in our journey of faith and life.

Take time to reflect and enjoy the journey.

Perseverance

Weekends either end up being a time of relaxation or a time to catch up. Often times, they are a combination of both.

This particular season in my life, I am finding myself exhausted. It is a combination of work and internship training that feels like the equivalency of graduate school all over again.

I have had little energy left for much besides work, commuting, TV time with my son, eating, and sleep. My morning coffee devotional time has been my favorite part of the day. It is keeping me focused on the greater purpose right now.

I know this season isn’t forever. I know this season has a purpose. I also know that I am tired. Very. Tired.

But…I push on trusting God in this and through this.

Have you ever found yourself in a tiring season in your life but knew it had a greater purpose? I think of my friend and her story of graduate school to become a school counselor. She pushed through because she knew God had a greater purpose in the challenging days. She now has a fulfilling career and feels her job is her mission field.

Trust God in this season. He does His greatest work in the challenging seasons.

My inspiring quote to keep you pushing on…

#nevergiveup #Godhasaplan

Surrender

Surrender…letting go…to be free…

When I think of surrender, my mind travels back to a few years ago sitting on my friend’s couch as we had a heart to heart talk. As we talked about my challenging job situation, I remember her asking me if I was willing to surrender everything to God.

Surrender….to let go…to be free from control

My journey of surrender led to a gratitude journal. Despite my circumstances, every day, I recorded things I was grateful for. Most days, they were simple things, but it helped me stay focused on trusting God with the details of my life.

One of the greatest gifts of learning to surrender has been trusting God with anxiety.  It has been a long journey,  but I have learned to let go and let God. When I feel myself becoming anxious, I reflect to seek the root cause. I turn it over to God and pray on it.

So  much of life is out of our control. Our reaction to life is within our control.

Surrender…let go and trsut God.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday

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Small Things

I am in one of the busiest seasons of my life right now. The work weeks are a whirlwind. The weekends are when I attempt to catch my breath.

It’s a great season of list making to help me stay on top of things. Or at least do my best effort!!

Last weekend, the winter sickness caught hold of my family, and I have been bouncing back with intention. Sleep has become a priority and ensuring my morning quiet time happens consistently has become a renewed mission.

For the fourth time, I am reading Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson. Today, day two…”God is great not just because nothing is too big for Him; God is also great because nothing is too small.” That is so encouraging to me especially right now as I push through my busy days.

Small things matter.

A few nights ago after I left my evening chiropractor appointment, I knew I needed some food with the hour drive home. With my food sensitivities, drive thru options are limited. I decided on Chick Fil-A. I had $5 in cash and that was all I intended to spend. I ordered a kids meal and when I approached the window to pay, I was informed with a big smile by the attendant that my meal was on the house that night.

I was so grateful. Small things matter. As I shared this story with my friend, she responded with, “God knows you are trying to be good stewards with what He has blessed you with.”

If we are faithful in the small things, He will entrust was with the bigger things. He cares about the big and small details in our lives. Nothing is too small for Him.

If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in the large ones. Luke 16:10

Nothing is too small for God.

What do I hope you will take away from this?

1. God cares about even the smallest details of our lives.

2. Be faithful in the small things so you can be trusted with the large ones.

3. Don’t miss the everyday blessings that are right before us even in a $4.15 kids meal.

If you have a prayer need, I would be honored to pray for you.

Blessings for a good day!

I don’t have time for this…

It’s Saturday afternoon, and I am in bed. I don’t have time for this. It’s not that I am feeling horrible, it’s just that I am not feeling great.

If there is one thing I have heard over and over from my friends and family the past few days, it is…you need to rest!!

The winter sickness has hit my family. My teen son is in bed. My husband is downstairs. He is feeling better and attempting to put our lives back into some sort of semblance.

It’s been busyness followed by not feeling well which quickly transforms the house into a full blown disaster. Dirty dishes, laundry piles….

I feel a sense of guilt resting. I don’t rest well especially in one of the most intensely busy seasons of my life.

Yet, time after time in the Bible, we are given examples of resting. I suppose I tend to focus more on the stories of doing, of action.

Which leads me to this thought… maybe I need to make rest a priority. A friend reminded me that if I don’t take care of me, then I can’t take care of those I love.

So, I rest….

The diffuser with lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus oils is on. The headache oil blend that I used on my temples was effective. After an hour nap, my headache is gone.

We may not think we have time for rest, but we need to take time and trust God with the details of our lives.

This was not how I expected to spend my weekend, but maybe it is exactly what I need.

What helps you rest?