Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Reflections...and hopes for 2017

So I am sitting here on the couch while watching the Top 2000 music countdown and thinking about all that has happened this past year.  I honestly don't even know where to begin.  Maybe my Belgian brown beer will help give me some inspiration.  It's supposed to increase milk supply anyway...haha.

This past year has been met with lots of joy as well as sadness, lots of moving forward while feeling like I have taken 3 steps back, lots of challenges, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally.  I have honestly learned so much about myself, God, and others.  As difficult as this year was at times, I am thankful for every trial I've walked through.  It's helped me to grow and mature as a person, a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a friend.

We started out 2016 in our new house that we had just moved into one month before.  That whole situation was one big stressful drama, but we made it.  After all kinds of setbacks as well as having to move twice within 2 weeks time, we survived.  In fact, we overcame.  It was refreshing to start out a new year in a new place where lots of new beginnings would be birthed.  The kids have surely adjusted well.  Guido did too.  It was me who continued to have my reservations about this place.  I wasn't easily sold and just had a hard time seeing the bigger picture, the potential,  all that could become in this house.  But it happened.  This house became a home for us.  This place grew on me, and now I actually really enjoy living here.  We've done a ton of work to personalize our home, and we're nowhere near finished.  But hey, we've come a long way, and I am proud of how much we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time.  If only the money grew on trees since we have a bunch of those in our garden.  Ah well.  I am especially proud of Guido and all that he has done to develop our home into what we dream of.  I wasn't an easy person to deal with when it came to the renovations, but he survived.  WE survived, and our house is looking better and better all of the time.
After somewhat of a long journey of doubt, fear, and uncertainty, it happened.  The thing we weren't sure we could handle.  The thing we weren't sure we wanted, needed, or thought would ever even happen.  But it did.  After I finally surrendered my heart, my feelings, my desires, my everything to the Lord, it happened.  Dylan Asher happened.  Oh my, what an adventure.  This was a tough one.  The pregnancy was met with all kinds of struggles, including some medical stuff as well as dealing with depression and anxiety that I had never experienced during my other two pregnancies.  It was so so hard.  I second guessed myself in just about every area of my life during this time.  I was faced with some harsh realities regarding my own upbringing which also became a mirror for me regarding my role as a mother to my own children.  Do I have what it takes?  Can I be everything that they want, need, and deserve?  I asked myself this question so often, probably a million times a day.  Let's face it.  I was scared.  I was scared to start all over again.  I mean, I turned 35 years old this year.  Verah had turned 4 and started elementary school and here I was going back to the beginning.  I almost felt selfish for questioning it all, but now I know that it's normal and even healthy to do so.  I felt like I was going crazy at times so I took the initiative to go see a psychiatric nurse at the hospital in order to make sure I was getting the support I needed during this time.  Just that one conversation changed it all for me.  The nurse was a man probably in his 60's or so.  He was honest, kind, and seasoned.  He listened to me...really listened.  He encouraged me that I wasn't crazy nor was I suffering from clinical depression or anything like that.  The psychiatrist confirmed all of that, and they both agreed that I was dealing more with life phase questions.  It clicked.  It all made sense.  I finally could cross that bridge and have some much-needed peace in my heart and mind.

Finally, we were reaching the end of the pregnancy.  I couldn't wait to have that physical relief and just meet our son.  We were pretty shocked, by the way, to be having another boy.  We both thought we were having another girl.  I was so shocked that I had asked the ultrasound technician to show us again during the 20-week ultrasound that it indeed is a boy.  I had been listening to this awesome soaking CD for the week or so leading up to Dylan's birth.  It's called, "Childbirth in the Glory." It's awesome, powerful, and encouraging.  There was a part that stood out to me both before Dylan's birth as well as when I was in labor with him.  Hebrews 11:4 says something about laboring in order to enter into rest.  Well, Dylan's birthday is 11/4 (November 4th) so this scripture became very special and profound to me.  God began speaking to me about how we have laboring for years, and that this was a time of transition to enter into a new season...a season of REST!  Hallelujah!  Music to my ears!  Haha!  This also came shortly after Guido and I celebrated 8 years of marriage at the end of October.  The number "8" means "new beginnings" so this made so much sense to both of us.  One season has come to a close, and we're entering a new season full of amazing things for us all individually, as a couple, and also as a family.

We've gone through so much with our children this past year.  Lots of transition for us all, and we've seen first-hand how much the move as well as other factors have played in Jaydon and Verah's lives.  Jaydon went through several trials at his old school, and it was heartbreaking.  Verah had a good start at the old school, and she was sad to leave.  Things seemed so uncertain, especially with Jaydon.  It all seemed unclear, and I was scared to let go and walk yet again into unfamiliar territory.  But I trusted my husband's leading, and we decided to change schools.  God totally orchestrated it all, and just like that, the kids both had a place in the new school after the summer vacation.  After such a rough start at elementary school for Jaydon, he's finally enjoying school and thriving!  He has two wonderful teachers who really support him as well as new friends in an environment where he finally feels safe to be himself.  Verah also has great teachers and a bunch of new besties.  She is doing great, and really enjoys going to school.  We're so blessed and so proud of these two.  We love how the school is not even a 10-minute walk from our doorstep, and our kids can grow up and go to school with the other kids in the neighborhood.  They love our home, and they finally have the space to run and be to explore and just be who they!

I cannot even begin to share my thoughts and perhaps even opinions regarding all of the stuff that's happened in the world this past year.  But my gosh!  What a year!  My heart is broken over so many things that are out of my control, and I am honestly just feeling tired and helpless a lot of times.  I wish I could reach out and save every child who needs a home, a mommy, a hug, and just to be loved.  All of this while doubting my capabilities of even being a good parent to my own children.  The delivery of Dylan was rough, especially at the end.  The first weeks were such a challenge, and this really made me question myself and if I could truly handle being a mom of three kids.  But they, they're 3 amazing kids.  Who wouldn't want to be their mommy?  And here I have the honor of being that one special person who carried them, birthed, them, and now gets to raise them along with their daddy.  It's a humbling experience.  And the answer to prayers and have come and continue to happen.  After the rough starts, our kids are thriving.  They're settled, growing, thriving, living life with such joy.  And this brings Guido and I much joy too.

So with all of that randomness, I guess I am thinking about what my hopes and dreams are for 2017.  I could totally make this lame New Year's resolution list, but I know myself.  It'd be broken within the first hours or days of the new year so why even bother.  What I do know is that I want to continue to be awesome and grow into even more a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.  I want to continue to learn more to love genuinely and not be so judgmental.  I want to grow in my relationship with God and not be afraid to ask the hard questions...and also not feel guilty for doing so.  I am seriously so over Christians guilt-tripping one another over one's doubts and struggles when it comes to faith.  Faith is such a personal, unique journey for each person, and we're all entitled to explore this journey without condemnation.  That's what I think anyway.  I want to fall more in love with my husband and kids than I am, enjoy this season of my life where my main focus is resting, exploring who I am, liking myself, celebrating my giftings and callings, and learning to be content with breathing even if that's all that I have accomplished on any given day.  I am done being afraid of being 35 and growing older.  I admire my husband's joy and pride in turning 40 just a couple of weeks ago.  He's excited about what the present and future hold for him and for us.  I am too.  I just wish I was a bit more bold sometimes.  I guess I should be careful what I wish for though.  It might come true.

So, here's to 2016.  Thank you for all that you've taught me about myself, God, and other.  Thank you for all of the trials and tribulations as well as the life-changing moments that have brought me some of the greatest joy in my life.  Thank you for bringing me 8 years of marriage and another son to share in our crazy life.  Thank you for allowing me to look at others close to me, though they may be far in physical distance, with another set of eyes which have helped me to put things in the right perspective, though it hurts my heart at times.  I appreciate you, 2016.  You've been a core year, one of foundations strengthning which allow of the continued bulding upon with greater things to come.

And 2017, I welcome you.  I look forward to the journey as I continue to look and the mirror and learn more and more to actually like what I see.  I look forward to turning 36, which is getting closer to 40, and I take pride in actually growing up with good music and without the internet and knowing that I still survived.  I do hope to grow in sarcasm and wit, and I sure as well hope that my wine closet expands more than my waistline.  In fact, I don't want my waistline to expand at there's that.  I hope to find my people this next year and get established in a community.  I choose to enter this new year with thankfulness and gratitude for all that's been and all that's to come.  Let's go.  Bring it on.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In the here and now

Well, it's been a horribly long time since I last wrote.  So much has happened in life in the past year or more.  I will get into that more another time perhaps.  But here I the here and the now.  This is where I am at.

2014 proved to be quite a whirlwind of a year for me personally but also for us as a family.  We definitely had a bunch of ups and downs in various areas, but God proved Himself faithful through each and every test, trial, and circumstance.  I am forever thankful for Him...just everything about Him.  Ahhh!  But here we are now in 2015 already!  I am in my 33rd year of life, and lately I feel like an 80 year old some days while an 18 year old on other days.  Life is fun and always an adventure.

We were blessed that Guido was able to take about 2 and a half weeks off from work during the holidays so we could enjoy some time together as a family but also have some personal down time individually to reflect, dream, explore, and so on.  This time was so precious for us both as we closed out last year and began this new calendar year.  I had been dealing with a writer's block for so freaking long.  I cannot even begin to tell you how frustrating it had become for me.  Because, maybe something you don't know about me is that I love to write.  I love to put my thoughts down on paper, or, as in this case, on the computer.  I need an outlet to get all of the ideas, dreams, thoughts, and goals out of my system.  But moreso, I longed to write for so long just to write.  To write stories, song lyrics, poetry, and other ideas that have been swirling around in my mind for as long as I can remember.  And finally...FINALLY!!  It happened.

It's so funny how God speaks to me.  Over the last few months, He has given me so many crazy, vivid, detailed dreams.  I could be hanging out with my kids, cooking dinner, or even using the bathroom, and BOOM!  Great ideas!  A new song melody, a new project, get the point.  But the funniest place that God has been speaking to me for years is while I shower.  I still wonder to this day as to why, but I kind of think it's because I am in a vulnerable place in a sense and maybe am just more open to hearing and actively listening to His voice during this time.  I've always looked forward to taking showers, but I love them even more now.  Haha!  Many times, I would find myself humming those new melodies, and I would have to rush to my phone after my shower to get it on the voice recorder before I would lose it.  Or I would scramble to find my journal so I could write down as much of the lyrics or other ideas before it would leave my memory.

So yeah, now you're probably wondering what I am writing about.  I will share more details as I continue to work on this new stuff.  I am excited about it though.  Some of you may know that I have been taking singing lessons for over 2 years now, and I also began piano lessons last September.  My teacher is a really cool, young guy, and we have great conversations.  He and I have been discussing about what my goals are musically, and we touched upon it again at my lesson last night.  From the beginning, I set a new challenge for myself.  And this would include not being afraid to "be dark." Well, what does that mean exactly?  For me personally, it means that I am not afraid to go to the dark places of my life, be it ugly moments of my past or things that I am currently struggling with and working through some of those things with music as my tool or medium.  I am learning to be more and more real and honest with myself, to be more present in where I am at in my life, and also to explore which areas of my life where ugliness or darkness still lies and where healing and restoration still needs to take place.  I am learning to be more self-confident and more vulnerable.  I am learning healthier boundaries in all relationships as well as to love and accept myself more and more each day.  This is definitely not an easy process, but it's just that:  a process.

I feel that everyone is entitled to this process.  I mean, isn't that what this journey called 'life' is all about anyway?  We're all a work-in-progress, and it's those of us who choose to face ourselves who can be deemed 'courageous' in my book.  But anyway.  This is where I am at right now.  I am in a good place.  A place of rest and reflection.  A season of hiding myself away a bit, and I am enjoying every moment of it.  So cheers to this new year.  Bring it on!  I am ready for new adventure.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Our New "Reality"

First of all, my sincere apologies for not writing sooner.  Once I explain why I haven't done so, I am sure you will forgive me...(one can always hope, right?)  It's been a long past few months with lots of ups and downs in life, and I honestly was just too tired and couldn't really get my thoughts together to actually focus on typing out a blog.  However, I figured that since we've had some pretty big things happening in our little family, it only makes sense to update you all with what's going on.

Before I get to the main thing I want to share, let me just say that we're blessed.  2013 has been a great year for us so far in the midst of trials and tribulations that have come our way.  The Lord has been and continues to be faithful in carrying us through everything we endure on a daily basis, and I am forever thankful.  Guido and I have been doing a lot of dreaming this year as we've both felt the Lord telling us that 2013 is the year that He is making our dreams come true.  While I won't get into details just yet, let me just say that some exciting things have been and continue to happen for us.  It's just rad.

Now onto the main reason for writing this post.  For those of you who know me personally, I may or may not have shared that I have been struggling with some real physical issues for several months now.  Between major pain in my hands to the point of not being able to use them to shooting pains throughout my body to migraines to lack of sleep to a million other things...and so on and so forth.  You get the picture.  It wasn't pretty.  I really thought I was headed towards a burnout last year.  It was Sinterklaas evening (December 5th) when reality finally hit.  Guido and I had had a conversation that evening about how I had been struggling for a few months now, and so we made the decision together for me to see our family physician.  At the appointment, I explained my symptoms and the doctor agreed that I was probably overdoing it and needed to rest more.  He also had me start physical therapy on a weekly basis in order to help strengthen my body.  Some time went on, I was going to my therapy session, and I realized that I wasn't feeling better.  Sure...I had some good days with much less pain, but most of the time I suffered...A LOT.  I wasn't sleeping well, and I also began having constant and very intense migraines that I could hardly bear.

With all of this going on, I contacted my doctor again.  I was given a referral to see a neurologist, especially because I was having feelings of numbness and also some blurred vision, along with the other symptoms that were already there and even began intensifying.  At that appt., it was determined that there was nothing wrong with me neurologically, as I was told by the specialist.  Well thanks.  Good to know, but that STILL doesn't explain what's been going on with my body for the past several months.  So I went back to the family physician yet again.  He explained to me that the neurologist mentioned that he thinks I may have fibromyalgia, and my doctor agreed.  So I then received a referral to see a rheumatologist.

Fast forward to last week Monday.  I went to the appointment, spoke with the rheumatologist, and he did a full examination.  He told me what I pretty much already knew.  "There is a very large chance that you have fibromyalgia." He gave me paperwork to get blood work done in order to rule out any other possible cause for what's been going on.  I will get that done next week, and then I will go back to see him in May to discuss further the results and more about treatment and such.

So there you have it.  Fibromyalgia.  I had heard of the word before, but I had absolutely no idea what it entailed.  After my family doctor mentioned it to me and explained briefly about why he and the neurologist believe I have it, I began doing a little research of my own before my rheumatologist appointment in order to help me understand what we're dealing with here.  I've read a lot so far, and Guido has also read some things.  We both agreed that it makes absolute and total sense as far as what I have been dealing with the months now.  And come to think of it, it explains things I have dealt with my entire life.  It could very well be that this thing has acted a bit dormant most of my life and was triggered by something sometime last year.  Who knows.  I guess I will learn more about that at my next appointment with the rheumatologist.

This word in our house has become our new "reality." Yes, I am using quotation marks.  Why?  Because, despite the fact that I most likely have this chronic illness NOW, it does not mean I will have it forever.  We, as a family, have made the decision to fully trust God in this journey and believe Him wholeheartedly for full healing and restoration from this.  I do not believe that the Lord has inflicted me with this in any way, but I DO believe that He can and WILL use this for His glory in order to encourage and bring healing to others through the testimony in my life.  That's my heart's desire.

I'll be honest.  I struggle everyday.  I have some days that I wish I could just stay in bed because of the pain and the exhaustion.  With this, I have experienced periods of great anxiety as well, and it's just plain hard.  I am a woman with goals and dreams, I am a wife and a mother, and I have to make a daily decision to wake up and get out of bed and make the most of my day with my husband, kids, and anyone else who I cross paths with.  I refuse to feel sorry for myself or let others feel sorry for me.  I do need support and encouragement from family and friends.  You don't have to fully understand how it feels to endure something like this, but I trust that you will love me through it anyway and be supportive.  And I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

So now we wait.  We wait for the next appt. with the rheumatologist to get the official diagnosis and discuss treatment options.  And in the midst of it all, we have been dealing with some medical issues with both of our kids that we will hopefully have more answers for in the coming weeks.  So yeah, it's a lot.  But it's not too much.  Though it feels like it some days, it's not.  We can bear it because Jesus promises us that He will never give us more than we can handle, and He is with us every step of the way.  And I feel pretty okay knowing that and walking this journey together with Him, knowing that I will never have to go it alone. Ever.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Snickers are Good for the Soul...and Amazing Grace!

No seriously.  They are.  After this day from Hades, chocolate is a bit soothing to my soul.  Oh em gee.  Okay, I confess.  I also ate a Twix and a Kit Kat.  But, in my defense, they're all mini candy bars from Christmas.  So there.

Anyway, today was a very challenging day for me.  I woke up feeling a bit "off" after having not have slept so well.  Jaydon was off the wall.  Luckily, Verah was sweet and easy so that was good.  But  This child challenges me to no end.  I feel so dumb as a mom when it comes to him.  I feel like I have no idea how to raise a boy.  I know these challenges are good, and I am learning a lot.  But about trials.  I love my son with everything in my being, AND he is quite a kid!  He is 2 and a half so why should I expect anything less than what he is giving out?  It's just been so hard, especially with my health issues and the burnout stuff going on.  My limits are much greater than normal, and I hate it.  I feel like it takes away from my kids because I am not 100% myself right now.  I need to remember, however, that where I am weak, He is strong.  He sustains me.  Ahhh.  Thank God He is God.  Amen?

I also know that things were insane today because yesterday was a great day full of breakthroughs!  From a financial situation being resolved to a nice phone call from my grandma to just a great day with my kids yesterday...resulted in straight up war today.  I should have seen it.  I should have prepared myself.  Well, I can go on and dwell on all of the "shoulda coulda woulda's", but that won't get me anywhere.  The point is that at least I can look back and reflect on the situation now AND be thankful.  Trials are not fun.  Pruning, growth, etc. is just not fun.  Necessary but totally not fun.  And I am in the midst of it.  Oy and vey.

Thankfully, I was able to attend my singing lesson this evening.  My teacher is great!  She is a young woman from Spain who attends a music conservatorium here in NL...which also means my lessons are in English!  Hallelujah!  Haha.  We did some warm-up, and then she asked me to pick out another song to work on.  Well, I picked another worship song.  This one is called "This is Amazing Grace" by Jeremy Riddle, and it's on Bethel Music's new CD, "For the Sake of the World." I love this song.  It speaks to my heart.  I just love the lyrics.  His amazing grace.  Wow.  My favorite line talks about God turning an orphan into a son or daughter.  This line speaks to me more than you know.  Why?  Because God showed me the other day that I have an orphan spirit.  I do not live as the daughter He calls me, but as a lost, abandoned orphan.  Wow.  That hit me like a ton of bricks.  But the breakthrough that is coming forth since receiving that word from the Lord has been wonderful.  It's still a process, of course, but it's wonderful to look back and see how His hand has always been and continues to be on my life.  His amazing grace.  Wow.  I am His daughter.  This is good stuff.

I know my blog tonight is completely random.  I am cold, tired, and I should have been in bed an hour and a half ago.  But...I said I would blog so I am trying to stay true to my word.  And it's just good to get things out in words, ya know?  Like a cleansing.  I find that when I do this, I can more easily lay things to rest instead of continuing to allow them to plague my mind and keep me worrying, anxious, upset, or whatever emotion is being triggered at the time.  All I know is that there is a battle raging, and we're all in the midst of it.  You, me, everyone.  There will be crapiola days and amazing days.  It's called life.  I am learning that it's just so good and worthwhile to soak up life's lessons that both offer so that we can move forward into all that God has for our lives.

...and with that, I bid you all a very good night!

"This is Amazing Grace" by Jeremy Riddle

Friday, January 04, 2013

Let's Face it, I'm Human

It's true.  Let's just say that we've had a rough day today.  Children whining and crying and just simply off the wall.  Babies cranky and clingy due to teething.  Absolutely disastrous house. Laundry overflowing.  Whiny dog even!  Ahhh!  Yeah.  And this mama didn't respond so well to it all.  You could say I definitely acted out of my own flesh rather than out of the things of the Spirit of God.  I allowed my fears, anxieties, anger, and frustrations get the best of me today.  I am exhausted.  

My day didn't start so well either.  This was simply one of those days that I wish I could have just gone back to bed and start over a couple of hours later.  If only.  My beloved husband kept me up half the night with his snoring and kicking, and I had the worst nightmare ever about Jaydon being shot right in front of me.  It can't get much worse than that.  And to top it all off, Guido's alarm didn't go off this morning for some reason, which made him have less time to get ready and out the door, and I certainly didn't have time or the motivation to shower before he had to leave.  I was simply exhausted and overwhelmed today.  But it's better...

One of the things God has been and continues to work on with me is healing and restoration regarding fear and anger.  I got so frustrated today that I yelled a bit more than I would like to admit, and I acted mostly out of frustration and anger rather than love and grace.  Not cool.  I guess it's good though that I recognize it.  We're all human.  We all have bad days.  Many moms I know are exhausted and can relate.  It's simply not fun, but this too shall pass.  I just do not like how I was today.  I was so tired.  I was so edgy.  Every little thing seemed to irritate me today, and I just couldn't get a grip...and there was a much-needed grip necessary!

But all in all, things ended well.  I was able to shower, my kids were fed well and are sleeping peacefully.  Guido made it on time to work, got groceries for me, and had a decent evening at the church group tonight.  I stayed home because of not feeling well (I have a sort of burnout and become exhausted and overwhelmed very easily).  Jaydon had a great speech therapy appointment today!  His ST is very impressed with his progress, and she says he is doing great!  (Insert "proud mom smile" here)  We ended the evening with saying "I'm sorry", lost of huggies, kissies, raspberries, nosies, and giggles.  Well, Verah didn't giggle so much after Jaydon went upstairs and pulled on her hair or hit her or something right when I was heading up there.  Sigh.  All is good now.  

So why do I beat myself up for bad days?  Well, I am human, but I can't always use that as an excuse.  I have no excuses.  But...I DO have forgiveness.  My kids and husband are more than gracious, and I am thankful that the Lord is too.  I guess the missing component that is all too common for me is forgiving myself.  Ouch.  Not easy to do.  I put so many expectations on myself and seem to think that people do the same.  This only brings out more feeling and thoughts of failure and insecurity, and it causes me to focus on fear rather than what TRUTH says.  I am more than a conqueror.  His mercies are new every morning.  He loves and forgives.  Love endures all things.  I shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall set me free.  ...and so on.  I really just need to get a much-needed grip and get over it already!  I need to learn to forgive myself AND accept the forgiveness from my husband, children, and the Lord so we can move on in unity, love, and peace.  Easier said than done.  

So I sit here and reflect on this day with a thankful heart for this day shall too pass (It's after midnight...yay!), and tomorrow is a new day full of new hope, life, love, and new opportunities.  With the Lord, my husband, and my kids by my side, I shall bust out some carpe diem action tomorrow...but this time not without coffee AND a few hours of sleep!  

Night all!  ;)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Let's Talk Temper Tantrums

I have a very quick minute while I drink my morning vanilla latte and watch the kiddos play so I thought I might jot down some thoughts that were going through my mind yesterday already.

Let's talk temper tantrums.  Now, as most of you know, I have a son named Jaydon who will be 3 years old in April.  And oh em gee...can he tantrum!  I am thinking this child should win some kind of award for it some days.  Wow.  Just wow.  Anyway, I was thinking yesterday and talking to God about how I want to be a better mom in regards to his tantrums in this next year.  Truth be told, I haven't been the most patient mother on the planet (ever!), especially when it comes to these meltdowns.  I get angry, frustrated, and sometimes I just lose it.  I yell, put him in time out, and I don't think through about how to effectively deal with the situation as often as I should.  You probably get where I am coming from.  Now, I must say that not every single time is a failing attempt at calming him down and getting things back under control, but most times...yikes.  I need to work on it for sure.

So yeah, I was praying and just talking to God.  I had to laugh at His response.  He told me to think about Jaydon's tantrums, and then think about my most common response to them.  (Not so good).  Then think about how we, as people...adults, children, whoever, throw tantrums all of the time with God. "But God, You're not blessing me RIGHT NOW!  You're not giving me the house I want NOW!  I need to get married NOW!  But God, this trial I am going through just is NOT FAIR!  These people in my life are making me crazy!  My job sucks, God!  I need more money!  I want new clothes!" ....and so on.  You get the picture.  When God was showing me this, I got quiet and low.  I mean, how else should one respond when the Lord is showing you how immature and just straight up ridiculous your behavior and actions can be when you don't get what you want when you want it?  Ahhh!

Needless to say, this situation was a bit of a wake-up call for me yesterday.  I could just picture myself saying these things at one time or another and thinking, "Man, I look pretty ridiculous right about now.  I am 31 years old, and I am throwing a fit like my toddler-aged son!" Okay, not REALLY like how Jaydon does with throwing myself on the ground and whatnot, but I am definitely not a happy camper when I don't get my way when I want my way.  I start having feelings of fear, doubt, and just discouragement when things don't go the way I think they should.  I lose faith.  I lose hope.  I forget about LOVE.  I doubt God, I forget His promises, and I allow the enemy to infiltrate my thoughts the way he sees fit.  Ouch.  Major eye opener right here.

I think the major missing link here is trust....or lack thereof.  We get so caught up in our human thinking that we forget that God most times has a better way and a better time frame.  No, God the BEST way and the BEST time frame.  Period.  The Bible talks about this in Isaiah 55 that His ways and His thoughts are much higher and different from ours.  He has everything under control.  He promises to work everything out for our good.  Sometimes we need to just stay put, endure, and trust Him.  We're always in a hurry to get nowhere, it seems.  When we focus so much on the destination, we lose sight of all that God wants to teach us along the journey towards that destination.  However, when our eyes are fixed on Him, we then begin to see just how valuable the life lessons along the journey are, and then the destination becomes of less importance to us.

So, I guess you could say that one of my "goals" this year is to learn to stop throwing temper tantrums about how I think my life needs to look at any given moment and just to start trusting God that He knows better.  He loves us so much and always wants the very best for us.  It's just learning that His best and our best look very different most of the time.  It's about giving up control.  It's about surrender and trust.  It's about letting God in and allowing Him to love me and not always putting my guard up when it comes to things I feel unsure or not so happy about.  I'll get there.  You'll get there.  That's the beauty of it all.  It's actually not about getting "there" at all that's important, but what we learn each step of the way.  God delights in walking this path called life with you.  So just let go, sit back, and enjoy the most amazing ride of your life!  He is with you always.  Amen.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013: Believe!

So it's officially 2013 now!  Hope you all have had a wonderful new year so far.  We've had a pretty relaxed  day, but tomorrow it's back to the flow.  Guido heads back to work at his brand new job (yay!), and I am home with the kiddos trying to pick up the pieces of what's known as my house after the holiday rush.  The amount of laundry and housework I have to do is ridiculous, and it's overwhelming at times since I am limited with what and how much I can accomplish due to the problems with my hands, back, neck, etc.  It'll get done.  I have a great husband who is willing to help out wherever he can, and his new work hours will only bring more balance to our family that is ever so needed right now.

I have been busy working on this blog, and I am pretty excited about it.  I should have pursued this more actively a long time ago because I always have enough to say so why not write it down...or in this case...type it out?  My hope and prayer is that I can be consistent and also allow myself to become more vulnerable and transparent in a healthy way through this blog.  I admit to be a self-professed slacker, and the fact that I will soon be without a laptop to blog for a couple of weeks won't help matters any.  Ah well.  I have all of you wonderful people to get on my case now and hold me accountable to keep following my dreams.  But ya know, that's not necessarily what this post is about.  It's about me encouraging you (and myself, of course) to BELIEVE!  It's time to really look at our dreams, goals and aspirations and BELIEVE we can and will achieve them!  God is good, and He promises us that He is always with us, always works things out for our good, and gives us the strength to accomplish the things we set our hearts and minds to.

I was in the shower today, and I felt almost bombarded or something with all of these thoughts and ideas for this blog, for this year, and just for my life and family in general.  It's really exciting how God blesses us with such creativity if we will only take the tools that He equips us with and run the race towards the goal, ya know?  Anyway, it hit me.  BELIEVE!  God has given us dreams and aspirations in life.  He has placed us each on a unique journey and holds our destiny in His hands as a great treasure.  That's just how much He loves us.  Okay, so I can write all of this, but the point I am trying to make is that I have to believe it.  You have to believe it.  God believes in us so why do we find it so difficult, if not almost impossible, to believe in ourselves?  Why have we given up on our dreams?  Where is our child-like faith?  God is in a good mood!  He loves to lavish us in His love, blessings, and favor.  As important as our dreams are to us, our dreams are so much MORE important to God!  He created us, and He planted those amazing dreams inside of our hearts.  We now have to question ourselves if we will do our with Him to see to it that these dreams come true!  Sure, God's way, God's timing...listening to the Holy Spirit leading us and guiding us every step of the way.  Absolutely relevant and so important in the process.  Just don't give up, okay?  BELIEVE!  Start journaling again!  Write every single one of those dreams down, big or small, and believe God today to lead and guide you to accomplish each and every one in His way and His timing.

Guido and I wrote dreams down the other day and prayed over them.  We're excited about all that God has in store for us regarding our dreams.  We're also excited that He is equipping us with the skills, faith, confidence, and JOY to see to it that these dreams come true.  God is so good and so faithful.  I love how He loves me more than enough to care just as much as I do, if not more, about even the tiniest dreams, hope, and aspirations that lie down deep in my heart.  How cool is that!?

So...cheers to 2013!  Cheers to a new year filled with love, hope, joy, and dreams coming true!  Stand up, and BELIEVE cuz this is your BEST YEAR YET!

The Script - Hall of Fame ft.

The link I posted above is a pretty well-known song these days.  I just love the message of it.  It gets me pumped.  I can do anything!  I can do ALL THINGS through Christ Who strengthens me...and YOU!  So never forget that.  He's got amazing plans for you!  Chase after them, and watch God meet you every step of the way.