Thursday, March 28, 2013

Screaming, Crying, Just EXCITED!!!

So, yesterday I posted that an obstacle had been placed in my family's path but I had faith God was leading us in a different direction.

Obstacle CLEARED. My husband got a new job today--a better job--and I'm back and forth between screaming and crying because I am just so excited and SO proud of him!

God surprised me, I have to admit. I knew He had different plans, but I just didn't know how quickly they would fall into place. I cannot say it enough--He is GOOD, ALL THE TIME--through the good and the bad.

Yesterday when I shared my post on Facebook, I posted it along with Jeremiah 29:11 that says: "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

We can't always see where God is leading us, but we just have to trust that He is leading us in a direction that will prosper us even if it may not seem like that at first.

Other exciting news this week, we got to see our little one again! Legs were tightly crossed, so the gender is still a mystery, but we will try again at our anatomy scan on April 16. Little baby is perfectly healthy and cute as a button if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

While I'm Waiting

Today an obstacle was placed in the life of my family. I won't get into it on here. If this had happened this time last year, I would be in a panic and completely freaking out. And strangely one would think I would probably be freaking out anyway--but that hasn't even crossed my mind.

I immediately felt ok with the situation. I felt a peace and I began to trust that God is leading my family in a new direction. We don't know where that is yet, but honestly I can't wait to see. I have been in constant prayer over the situation today and the stress has stayed away. It's all in His plan and I'm trusting in that.

That's not always easy--I like to plan and control and I know I'm not the only one like that. I have been doing a lot of planning today, but nothing extreme. Just trying to stay organized with where we will be heading. It's all in God's hands and I'm so excited to see where He will take us.

I heard this song Monday and it immediately popped into my head. It's called While I'm Waiting by John Waller. It has been a reminder to me not to sit by complacently while I'm waiting on the Lord, but to serve and praise Him in the process.

While I'm Waiting
John Waller

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guest Blogging and a Few Thoughts for the Day

I never got a chance yesterday to share the link for the guest blog I did at Marine Wife, Mommy & Life, but here it is: CLICK HERE

Last Saturday was seven months since Barrett was born. I've heard countless times that time heals all wounds, but that's a lie--or rather just a saying to make us feel better. Time is merely a band aid on the wounds that life gives us just from living. To say things are easier now than they were in, say, September would not be entirely true. I don't miss Barrett any less. I love him even more. I miss him even more. I've learned to live with it and I've learned to mask the pain in the moments where I am sure my grief will overwhelm me once more.

When your child leaves this earth before you do, a part of you goes with them. The song Homesick by MercyMe never made as much sense to me as it does now. I've never been more homesick for my heavenly home than now because a huge part of my heart--a huge part of me--is already there.

I think about what he would be doing now at seven months--wanting mommy to cuddle him when he is cutting those nasty teeth, or crawling as fast as he can to chase his big sister down the hall. My heart breaks as I realize my home will never be full and complete without him. There will always be that huge part of our family that is missing.

This past weekend, I cleaned and went through things to make room for our little one on the way. I picked up Audrey's coats that were laid across the rocking chair and I felt the tears roll down my face. My mom rocked me in that chair. I rocked Audrey in it. But Barrett never got to come home to it.

Then I imagined sitting there with this baby. I thought about rocking this baby with his or her brother's lovey as a reminder that he lived. That's my biggest fear. As long as I live, his memory will live. But what happens after I'm gone? Will his life be forgotten? It is my prayer that his legacy lives on through Barrett's Blankets and that God continues to work through his life long after I'm gone.

We go back to the doctor today to check on Baby C and though I heard that strong heartbeat this morning, the anxiety is still there. In three weeks I will be at the point in my pregnancy when Barrett died and that carries a whole new level of anxiety with it. Point of Loss is an extremely emotional time for any mom with a loss. I hope and pray that when I get past that point, my anxiety will ease a little.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nesting Fever

Well, I've hit my second trimester and nesting fever has officially set in. I got home from work around one, grabbed a bite to eat, and went to cleaning.

I spent two hours filling bags to give away or throw away. I know two hours doesn't seem that long, but bending over and back up that much with my belly was exhausting. I'll be finishing tomorrow.

The entire time we've been in this house, Audrey has basically had two rooms. She has her bedroom, and then the room that was her nursery has been home to her nursery furniture and toys. Obviously that room will be baby's, so the toys had to find a new home. I cleaned in her room and moved around to accommodate her favorite toys, but we are cleaning out a lot.

I'm really not even sure how she ended up with so many toys--it's ridiculous! We have enough to toys for a small army of children. Well, we did. Several big black garbage bags are leaving our house for good. I'm making room for baby.

I did all of this while Audrey was at school. I'm sure all of you mommas know that you can't get rid of toys with the kids in the house. Suddenly, every toy becomes their favorite toy.

I'm excited to be getting the baby room ready for paint! My plan for the nursery is to paint it gray either way. If it's a girl, I'll accent in turquoise, pink, chocolate, and white. If it's a boy, I'll accent in navy, hunter green, and white. And I can finally start working on all of the nursery projects I've pinned on Pinterest!

Pinterest Projects I'm looking at for both genders (I'm going for a vintage look either way):

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's Complicated

This pregnancy has brought me so many emotions. {Joy} being the most overwhelming. I've been anxious--I can't count how many times a day I worry about baby and worry about whether something will go wrong (THANK GOODNESS for my doppler). With Barrett, I had no signs that anything had gone wrong, so that has basically made me a paranoid pregnant lady. I can't wait for September to be here so I can finally hold this precious child.

I told y'all I feel like this baby is a girl--and most days I do. Some days I think boy. I can't settle on one or the other with this baby, so I'm going with Audrey's prediction of girl (she was right about her brother!).

There have been times lately that I have caught myself calling the boy "he" when I talk about it. I always catch myself and pause afterwards because I know why I do this--sometimes my mind still feels like I'm pregnant with Barrett. He should have been born in January and since it hasn't been that long, mentally I just associate him with this pregnancy sometimes. It makes me feel crazy, but I know it's normal after a loss.

I guess that because I never got the time with him I thought I would have, at times it still feels like I should still be pregnant with him. There are times I have to stop and remind myself that this isn't him--he's gone. But that reminder isn't all sad--God has placed a new life inside of me--a tiny, beautiful little baby who is growing every day.

The doppler was a purchase that has put my mind at ease so much. Hearing that precious heart beat everyday is so reassuring. I think next Tuesday will be the first appointment that I don't head into an ultrasound holding my breath wondering if there will be a heart beat--because I can hear it myself at home. It has definitely eased my anxiousness.

So, next week at my ultrasound I will be 14weeks 5days and I'm hoping we find out the sex! Any guesses??

Monday, March 18, 2013

Too Cute!

I wanted to show off some outfits we've purchased from Too Cute- Children's Clothes & Accessories.

They provide adorable, personalized children's clothing at affordable prices. She also does special projects. Last fall we took Audrey to the aquarium in Atlanta and she wanted a seahorse outfit to wear. Too Cute had her looking adorable!! I told them what she wanted, and that red was her favorite color, and this is what we got:

When we had Barrett's gender reveal party in August, we also revealed his name to the world--Too Cute helped us with that also! This onesie is now something of his that I treasure and plan on incorporating into a shadowbox for him.

I can't wait to find out what this baby is so we can have some special outfits made for baby! You can check out some of her items and place orders by visiting her Facebook page, Too Cute- Children's Clothing & Accessories

It's Monday?!?

This weekend FLEW by! I know it's because we were crazy busy. Saturday morning we left bright and early for the Birmingham zoo. I have to pause here to tell a little story.

On the way, we stopped at McDonald's in Livingston, AL for breakfast. They had Barbie princess toys which is one of Audrey's favorites right now. Of course they don't give toys with breakfast, but this day was all about her, so we coughed up the $2 for a toy. Well, she wanted a crown and they were out so she got a doll instead. We went on eating breakfast and you could tell she was really disappointed that they didn't have a crown. The ladies at that McDonald's turned that place upside down looking for a crown with no luck (all the while with a smile on their face). As we were about to leave, the lady working the drive-thru stops us. She remembered that her daughter had gotten one of the crowns the other day but didn't want it and it was still in her car in the packaging. She went outside and brought it in to Audrey--she made my child's day. They played with her and told her how that pretty crown matched her outfit and she loved every second of it. I was so impressed with them and how kind they were to my daughter- they went well above and beyond. I had to brag on them (and I've sent this in to McDonald's as well!).

Audrey had a blast at the zoo and that was an all day trip. We rode the carousel, rode a camel, fed the flamingos, got bitten by a Lorikeet, and managed to make our way around to every animal except for the Reptile House.

Audrey was most excited to see the giraffes and ended up with a little stuffed giraffe as her souvenir.

After the zoo we came home to find Daddy had found a snake in our yard (EEEKK!). It was not poisonous (I don't like them anyway) and he hit it with the lawn mower, so whatever kind of snake it WAS, it is NOW a dead one.

Sunday morning I woke up craving Pizza Hut for about the 5th or 6th day in a row. SO, Brent took me there after church--it is so awesome to fulfill a strong craving like that! I had Ultimate Cheese Lover's with pan crust on the brain and it was SO good.

The last few days it has been so easy to find Baby C's heartbeat on the Doppler. I can't describe just how much that puts my mind at ease each day to hear that precious sound. That was definitely worth the money spent. We purchased the Sonoline B 3MHz--so easy to use. I love having that peace of mind.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Joy, or "Just Wait"?

I have no idea who wrote this and I claim no rights to it. I just read it, loved it, and wanted to share.

Joy, or "Just Wait?"
As I wait at Target, a young couple pushes a stroller in the line behind me. The stroller, brand new, appears to be on its maiden voyage. I  peer at the tiny sleeping newborn, his fingers curled up near his ruddy face.
"You guys do good work!" I comment. The parents beam with pride, but the weariness in their eyes lets me know that they are all still in the process of getting to know each other. The lady behind the couple glances at the stroller as well, and asks. "Is this your first?" They nod proudly.  "Just wait" she snorts, and then follows with a comment about unruly teenagers.
Inwardly, I wince. We seem to live in a country overrun by a great lot of negative naysayers when it comes to parenting. I remember hearing comments like that when I was a new (and overwhelmed!) mom.  It seemed that many parents were suffering from a chronic case of disappointment and dissatisfaction called "Just-Wait-itis", characterized by the inflammation of impending doom in parenthood. I felt trapped in a swirl of know-it-alls who were warning me that the worst was yet to come.
Of course, now that my kids are teenagers, I know the truth. Parenting is complicated; it's wonderful and challenging. Exhausting and gut wrenching. Heart warming and heart breaking. And, at the outset, parenting can be utterly daunting. It just doesn't help when others douse young parents with stories leading to doubt and despair.
Instead, we seasoned moms could infuse joy into our "just waits" As I regard this weary pair, I think of so many things I could say:
Just wait until your preschool son sees you in the hallway at pick up time and covertly grins and waves to you. (It's the best flirting in the world.)
Just wait until you watch your kindergartener jump off the bus after that first day, triumphant and tired, melting into your arms.
Just wait until your son is up to bat, and strikes out, holding it together despite disappointment. And just wait until the crack of the bat meeting the ball surprises him and he races to first base; safe.
Just wait until your daughter stands up for a classmate who is struggling, and her peers, humbled, apologize.
Just wait until your child, painfully tethered to tubes and machines in the hospital, whispers, "I just want my mommy." (and you are suddenly aware that your presence is more powerful than any prescription.)
Just wait until your son gets his very first summer job and he is, unmistakably, walking taller and more confidently as a result.
Just wait until your child's quick sense of humor makes you double over with laughter.
Just wait until you hear your son invite a friend to church.
Just wait until your daughter receives her first college acceptance and you find yourself overcome with tears, not because she's leaving, but because she's ready.
The baby in the stroller whimpers, breaking my reverie.
I smile at the couple and look them straight in the eye.
"You have so much joy ahead of you," I remark,
"Just wait."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kindness Matters

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Yes, this is my FOURTH, post today. Y'all know me--I always have something to say!

Lately I've been dealing with this word {gossip} a lot. I've had to hear things about myself that are the furthest thing from the truth. I talk to people, and I spend the whole time wondering "What have they heard?". I've felt so many emotions: hurt, anger, disbelief. It's hard to sit back and hear things about yourself when you know you did nothing wrong. The Lord knows the truth, and that should be enough, but we all know it's no fun to be talked about. It's hard to turn the other cheek.

Well today I heard just about all one person can take in one day. I was just feeling down. Part of me wanted to get a microphone and scream "Stop making assumptions. Ask the source. I'll be glad to tell you the truth". But people don't want the truth most of the time. It's not as entertaining. That gets me down.

I was so "over it" tonight I actually thought about not going to church. I wanted to have a pity party basically. But I remembered the quote I mentioned in a post the other day and realized once again I was putting other things before Him. So Audrey and I went to church. {so glad I did-such a sweet time}. As I sat there waiting for church to start, I went over all of the ridiculous rumors in my head, and I have to admit, I also wondered what all they had heard.

As I sat there still having my own little pity party, a lady in the church came to me and gave me a little book about peace wrapped up in a cute little package that she had gotten for me. This small act of kindness blessed me in a way I can't describe. My pity party was replaced by a genuine smile. I don't know that she knows how much that small act of kindness meant to me, but I pray that she will soon.

I told you all of this to make a point. Kindness matters. No matter how awful a day someone is having, even the smallest act of kindness can totally turn their day around. So here's my challenge today: small, random acts of kindness. Do one every day for the rest of March. At the end of the month, decide who was blessed more; them or you.

Hey, Jack!

For those of you who know me in "real life", you know I am some kind of obsessed with Duck Dynasty. I am faithful to tune in every Wednesday night, and I will watch the same reruns over and over any time that I can talk my husband into it. I can see an episode a hundred times and laugh just as much that 101st time as I did on the night it premiered.

It's no secret that Duck Dynasty is a funny show. I don't know how anyone could get through ten minutes of it without laughing at Jase's take on Willie's manliness, Phil's philosophies, or Si's antics and words of wisdom.

I love to laugh so the comedy of the show is of course one reason that I love it, but it's not the main reason. I can turn Duck Dynasty on in my living room and never have to worry about what my four year old who repeats everything might hear come out of their mouths. The worst thing she could repeat is:

But, hey Jack, that's pretty good advice!

I love Duck Dynasty for their family values. Yes, Sadie may send a lot of texts, but she ends up doing a day's worth of work over it. They teach their kids values- from hard work to dating advice- and it's good to see. At the end of every show, the entire family sits down and eats together--they don't take off to different corners to eat and watch TV. American families are missing a lot of that these days. There are too many distractions in our lives and I love that Duck Dynasty, despite their fame, take it back to the basics and display real family values.

I love Phil's philosophies and I'll let him speak for himself:

And then there's Si. Who doesn't love Si? I think they should have one entire episode of Si just sitting on a stool and talking.

And of course there is Jase and his Redneck insight:

But here is the real reason I love Duck Dynasty (I'll let Phil explain for you):

Linked up to: Because Shanna Said So

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I heard a song I want to share with you. I've heard it before, but it just seems to be an appropriate one to share today.

Hawk Nelson
Featuring Bart Millard

They've made me feel like a prisoner
They've made me feel set free
They've made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king

They've lifted my heart
To places I'd never been
And they've dragged me down
Back to where I began

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

You can heal the heartache
Speak over the fear
(Speak over the fear)
God, Your voice is the only thing
We need to hear
(We need to hear)

Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I wanna speak Your love
Not just another noise
Oh, I wanna be Your light
I wanna be Your voice

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts
Or put it out

I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

The words to this song really stuck out to me today. The last two lines left the song resonating with me the rest of the day. It made me think of this verse:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 
Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth. Not a little, none. I want every word I say to point the world back to Him.

The combination of the song and the verse it brought to my mind really got me thinking about everything I've said this week and all of the things I said that didn't point to Him.

I've posted before about how powerful our words are, but I don't think it truly sinks in with us. If it did, we wouldn't continue to say some of the things we do.

I don't understand why we sometimes find so much joy in tearing other people down. What do we get out of it?

Yesterday I posted about how God loves and desires a relationship with all of us. Everyone. God made all of us and essentially when you tear someone down with our words, you are tearing down one of God's works of art.

When I think of it that way, conviction is an understatement. When we insult another person, we might as well be insulting Him.

Here's the great thing about words: They can also build someone up. They can bring a smile to someone's face and they can absolutely turn someone's day around.

Those are the words we need to focus on. My challenge for tomorrow (for myself too) is to think about every word before you say it. Ask yourself if it will build someone up and point them to Him. If not, it probably isn't necessary.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Not Needed, Wanted

Here is a humbling thought for the day: God doesn't need us, but He wants us.

That is so amazing that it is absolutely beyond my comprehension. The God who created everything desires a relationship with every single one of us. He doesn't need us for anything. He chooses to use us, but He doesn't have to. He loves us so much that He wants a personal relationship with us. Every time I try to wrap my mind around that, it just blows me away.

There is a Casting Crowns song that says:

How refreshing to know You don't need me
How amazing to find that You want me
So I'll stand on Your truth
And I'll fight with Your strength
Til You bring the victory
By the power of Christ in me

I love that first line also. How refreshing to know He doesn't need us. But so amazing to find that He wants us anyway.

I've been reading the book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. The book was written by Francis Chan and I love it. Be on the lookout, because I'll be giving away a copy on the blog! This was one of the paragraphs in the book I highlighted (consider this your book preview!):

     The irony is that while God doesn't need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don't really want Him most of the time. He treasures us and anticipates our departure from this earth to be with Him- and we wonder, indifferently, how much we have to do for Him to get by.

Man that last part hit me hard. I thought to myself how many times do I try to figure out what I need to do just to get by. How many times do I read my Bible out of habit so I don't feel guilty instead of because I just can't put it down? How many times do I pray just enough to get by instead of praying with conviction?

I began to think of how many people and things I put ahead of God just today and my heart broke with each person or thing that I named off. This is another one of those quotes going on an index card for me to carry around--no I don't carry 100 around--I switch them up.

Painting :)
God doesn't need us, but we need Him. Yet, we continually push Him to the side. We will read our Bible later, and then we fall asleep. Or I'll read in the morning, but then you just can't wake yourself up in time. I'll pray when I go to bed, but you fall asleep two minutes in. I'll go to church next time, I'm busy today.

Why are we SO busy? We do so much to "keep up with Jones" but in doing that we neglect our entire purpose for being here: to serve Him.

We are so busy running here and there that we neglect a relationship with a perfect God--a relationship we don't deserve, but He graciously gives because He loves us--because He wants us.

My goal for the week? To work on my priorities. To eagerly seek Him and let everything else fall into place after that.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Trust in Jesus

My Scarlett girl :)
This past week I've found myself asking "Who can I trust?" and "How do I know who to trust?". There are certain people in positions of authority that we automatically feel like we can trust, and we should be able to trust those people.

So when you confide in one of those people and then not only do they break that trust, but they shatter it, it will knock you down. That's where I found myself a few days ago. Shock, disbelief, betrayed--all emotions I felt. I confided in someone that I had automatically trusted and they took advantage of that. It knocked me down for sure. But I found that when that happened--when it knocked me down--I found myself on my knees even more than before.

Here's one thing I know--no matter how much I question who I can trust here on this earth, I can always trust in Jesus. He never changes. He is always who He says He is. He's walking through it with me every step of the way.

I heard a song on XM's "The Message" this week by Third Day and the chorus stood out to me. It said:

I trust in Jesus, my great Deliverer 
My strong Defender, the Son of God 
I trust in Jesus, blessed Redeemer 
My Lord forever, the Holy One, the Holy One

No matter what happens here in this life, I can always trust in Him. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blessings in Disguise

I was once again reminded this week to quit worrying and give it to God. I spent two weeks stressing about something that I didn't know for a fact was going to happen, but felt pretty sure it would. I was worried about how it would affect someone I care about.

Then, the thing I was worrying about happened. At first I was angry and upset, but as the day and the week went on, I began to see how much of a blessing it actually was. I never would have thought it could be such a blessing, but it has been. The person I was worrying about--I haven't seen her this happy and relaxed in awhile and it's a beautiful thing.

So here's my point--we worry, worry, worry--all for nothing. He's got it under control. So often, the things we worry about are truly blessings in disguise.

Worrying about something today? Let it go.

Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Mommy

We all go through that phase growing up where you are quite sure you will never do any of the things your parent does. While for some people that's probably a good thing, for most people you will live to eat those words.

I was that kid--a teenager who knew it all. I would never grow up to be my mom. Oh my goodness how many times I catch myself sounding JUST like her. Teenagers reading this--I KNOW this won't happen to you, or that's what you think--but it's coming. Moms of teenagers--be patient. Eventually we grow up and learn that we have a lot to learn.

My mom stood beside me through my crazy teenage years--stood by me as I went to college, worked, and had a baby at eighteen. When someone is driving me up the wall, she is there and understands. When I need advice, you know who I call--that's right teens--I call my mom.

My mom taught me a lot growing up that I didn't even realize she taught me until lately. My mom taught me that being nice doesn't mean letting people run over you--it's ok to stand up for yourself.

She taught me that there is a time to keep your mouth shut, and times when you need to speak up. I mirrored her work ethic and was promoted at my first job after one month. She taught me that if you have a job to do, do it wholeheartedly. Your work is a reflection of you.

She has stood by me recently to the point that it has majorly impacted her life as well and I'm grateful. Money isn't always everything--you have to maintain your integrity at the same time. All within this same lesson, if you can't be around someone and be nice, it's better to remove yourself from the situation than to say or do something you can't take back. Your actions reflect your character.

Love you Mom :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


This post is cleverly titled--not. I don't even know where to begin or exactly what to say, but be prepared for a vent type post--I've just got to organize my thoughts.

Let me start by saying how blessed I am. In general, I am blessed far beyond anything I deserve. Right now I am feeling especially blessed--I have a wonderful new job that I love and enjoy, and a job that allows me a lot more time with Audrey--that's important to me. I was starting to feel like I hardly ever got to see my precious child and I had been worried about how hard it would be to leave a newborn to go back to my previous schedule. I no longer have those worries and for that I am especially thankful. I now see how much Audrey was missing me too--like in the mornings when we actually have time to eat breakfast together now and in the afternoons when I pick her up "early" and she tells me how happy that makes her. I fight back tears every time. I feel I've been given the opportunity to get to know her even better because we have more time to just talk.

This has hit me big time. I worked and worked to provide for my family, but I was always at work and when I came home I was tired and was ready to go to bed right after I ate. I didn't realize how much I was missing--all the little things I was shrugging off because I was tired or busy--they were important to her and I am thankful to have the time to treasure those things with her.

I am blessed to be carrying my third child--a beautiful baby with long legs, whose flutters remind me every day of the precious life God has entrusted to my care. I cannot wait to meet this precious baby. I can't wait to hold this baby and smother it with kisses. I often imagine the emotional moment when I hold my rainbow baby for the first time, and I absolutely cannot wait.

That being said, today I'm consumed by guilt. A few months ago I did what I know to be "the right thing" to do. I guess I thought that by doing the right thing, that things would be better than if I kept quiet about it. But now I don't know. Part of me feels guilty for not just dealing with it myself. I've been beating myself up all night--why? Because I "did the right thing". I feel no guilt for telling the truth, but I can't help but sometimes feel that the way it affects my loved ones is my fault for opening my mouth rather than just dealing with it myself.

I'm so torn and don't even know what to think tonight. I'm sorry I'm not being more specific and if you're bored I don't expect you to read all of it--I'm just organizing thoughts and letting it out.

How is it that telling the truth can in the end cause you to feel worse?

I guess that's what I don't understand.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Just the Right Thing

Today was one of those days where God sent me just what I needed to read and hear. I've been dealing with some things the past few months and more specifically the last few weeks and days. I've been wrestling with different things--a big decision and how to handle another situation.

This morning I was reading and ended up in Galatians. Galatians 1:10 is a verse I know very well, but here is one thing I've learned: Even the verses you "know" the best can still hit you in a different way over and over again. God is good.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 

I can't even describe how much I needed to read that. I don't know why we worry so much about what other people think, but we do and I'm especially bad about it. When I can tell someone is mad at me or upset with me it will eat me alive, even if I know I did the right thing. There have been times lately where my heart has questioned whether I did the right thing or not because of the way people are treating me even though logically I know I did. I've been letting my focus be drawn away from Him and onto myself and how I was being treated and how that made me feel. I trust you've picked up on that pattern I have been following.

That verse was just what I needed this morning, but the day wasn't over yet. After lunch, I was heading back to work and reached over to turn my volume up. I have XM radio and it stays on the Message (seriously they should have a package for one channel, because I subscribe JUST for that one channel apparently). Again, the song playing was not new to me. It's a song I've heard many times and a song that has "hit" me before, but once again in a different way today. I've even shared this song on the blog before. It's by Matthew West and the title is Forgiveness. I turned it up in the middle of the song. When I started listening, these words played:

Even when a jury and a judge
Say you've got a right to hold a grudge
It's the whisper in your ear saying
"Set it free"

I began to sob so uncontrollably I had to stop at the gas station I was passing. Again, I can't even describe how much I needed to hear this. I've been constantly praying about a situation and God is always faithful to answer. The problem was I was listening to everyone around me instead of the answer He was giving.

Now, I have to give a shout out to the pretty lady in all of these pictures with me. God brought this lovely lady and I together through the youth group at our church and we've been best friends ever since--even though she lives hours away, when we talk it's like we haven't missed anything. I can be so upset and she can make me laugh--she doesn't even know it sometimes--like when I think about us riding in her jeep with the top off singing "She's in Love with the Boy" as loud as we possibly could with bandanas on our heads (because a church Easter egg hunt is serious business--had to be there). She's my voice of sanity when I'm upset and "venting" and she's full of words of wisdom. She's in love with Jesus and portrays that in her daily life. I couldn't ask for a better friend, sister, and amazing person in general. Love you Steph (or Stepabie as Audrey affectionately calls you)