Yesterday afternoon as I sat at a red light, I watched as car after car sped past. Each person looked as if they were on some sort of personal mission to get where they were going as quickly as possible. In that moment, it hit me. Why are we always in such a hurry??
The light changed to green and I headed in the direction of our home. I looked to my left and was awestruck by the most beautiful sunset that was just dipping below the horizon. I wondered to myself how many other people had stopped for a moment out of the hustle and bustle of their day to appreciate this amazing view. The sky was a stunning array of blues and pinks and looked like a canvas painting. I glance in the rearview mirror at E giving me a toothy grin. He is kicking his feet up in the air and babbling something that sounds similar to “Mama” and it makes my heart explode into like a million pieces.
Before my son was born, I made a personal commitment to myself and the unborn life inside me, that I would soak up every sweet moment and enjoy every single thing. Even the dirty diapers and midnight feedings! That I would never become so busy that I missed out on smiles, laughs, or important milestones in his life.
Jesus never wants his children to be so busy that we miss out on beautiful sunsets or the little joys that make up our happiness. He wants us to carve out time to do things we love but more importantly to spend more time with Him!
Today, I urge you to take time to enjoy life’s simplest pleasures. Everyday we are blessed with is a special occasion worth celebrating!
My idea of strength is motherhood. God built and designed each mother completely different yet we all have the same purpose. As a mom our mission is to raise our children to the best of our abilities, set a loving and Godly example, and provide them with the knowledge they will need to succeed in life.
When I think of a mothers strength, I am reminded of a tree that is deeply rooted in the ground. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God gave us similar qualities. Just as a tree requires nurturing, so do our children. They need much sunshine and to be watered daily with positive affirmations and Gods goodness. It’s important that we are planting seeds of faith and love so that our children’s lives yield an abundance of fruit.
Like branches grow towards the sky, we should stretch our arms towards the heavens and offer up praise to Him for allowing us the privilege of raising these children for His kingdom work. Have you ever ran your hand over a trees bark? It has many ridges, bumpy places, and is rough to touch. Motherhood can be rough sometimes too. There are times when we get to a bumpy spot and feel like giving up but we should remember that we are called to do this for the glory of God.
Our children grow and change as quickly as the colors of leaves transform. This season of life doesn’t last long. When we start to feel the winds blow and the ground beneath us shake, it’s comforting to know that the Lord created us with his own hands. He formed us each in His own image and made us beautiful in every aspect that makes us a mother. Our creator plants us, cares for us, and protects us from the conditions of life.
May we use this weekend as a chance to recharge our spiritual batteries. To reenergize our minds and bodies. To turn off all of the noise and distractions. To put away all worries and burdens. And take a break to Be Still and know that whatever the next week may bring that God is already there and He’s got this!
The other day we were running late for church. I had set the alarm thirty minutes early the night before to ensure that we would be up and on time since my brother and his girlfriend would be meeting us for worship service. As soon as the alarm clock went off, I was up and preparing a quick breakfast. I changed the babies diaper, fed him a morning bottle, and bathed him quickly. I picked out a precious outfit he wore for six month pictures and a little pair of white shoes. I quickly realized that his foot had grown some since the last time he wore the shoes so they were a bit snug. I broke down for a ten second emotional mommy moment asking myself how my baby boy could be growing so fast and thinking oh, dear God how I was going to miss these little piggies when they turned into big piggies!!
After working the shoes onto his feet, we grabbed our things and were out the door with ten seconds to spare. As we were driving down the road, I begin to hear a chewing sound. My son had somehow managed to wiggle the shoes off of his feet and was gnawing on one of the velcro straps. (Yes! My son is teething and Yes! I do know that a shoe is not an appropriate teething toy!) Aggravated and thinking of how much trouble it was getting his foot into the shoe in the first place, I ask my husband: “Please tell me that is not his shoe!” He just laughed and said, “Yep!”
Knowing we would have to get the shoes back on his feet before we went inside for church service, I started to go on and on about how we were going to be late for church and that we are always somehow the last ones to go in on Sunday’s! That’s when J looked at me and said two words that really rocked my soul! He said, “Just Smile!” It is not the response I expected him to give as I sat there complaining. He could have told me to hush babbling and that he is just a baby. Right then, I couldn’t help but feel the corners of my mouth turning upwards and a grin slowly creeping across my face. We pulled up at church two minutes late and I said forget the shoes!! My sweet baby looked as dapper as ever in his white socks…one which was inside out!!
Isn’t it awesome knowing when things aren’t necessarily going our way we can look up and smile knowing God has everything under control? I was so worried about being at church on time I was letting Satan steal the joy I feel on Sunday mornings! I needed a reminder that God didn’t care about us being late but our presence there was all that mattered.
This morning, I woke up as a woman on the brink of thirty. I turned twenty nine a few days ago which means I have one year left to really relish my twenties! My second decade has treated me remarkably well. I was married at twenty two to my childhood sweetheart, J, and have gotten to see different places and experience great things. In November of last year, we were blessed with the greatest gift..our first born son, baby E. This new phase of life that I am in as a mother is one that I have fully embraced. At first, I was more scared than I was willing to admit. But as my belly grew and grew so did my faith in God that he would protect the life growing inside me as well as mold me and shape me into a good mother. I could almost feel Christ’s arms around me during the months my son was growing inside my womb and it was a feeling of peace and comfort that I will never forget.
After an early arrival and an extended stay in the NICU, we were finally able to bring our newborn son home from the hospital. Ten months down the road, the pace of life has not slowed any. All of the time spent planning to bring our baby into the world had not prepared us for this new reality. We were so exhausted but could not believe that we could feel this strange new depth of love for someone we had just met. This blonde haired, blue eyed boy whom I had talked to and carried with me for eight months would make me a mother.
When I was younger I often imagined what my child would look like, what I would name them, and what they would enjoy doing. Never did I imagine the raw emotion or unconditional love that I would get to experience. Being a mother has blessed me in more ways than I could have ever dreamed. Now, I can relate easily to my own mother and the love she unselfishly gave to my two brothers and I.
For most people, turning twenty nine isn’t a big milestone. In fact, it is normally a dreaded birthday that somehow means you are finalizing the chapter on your youth. I look at this age as a new beginning. It’s the perfect opportunity to accomplish those big ideas and take things to the next level. A chance to look at the future with a positive mind and open heart. And being as I will have many 29th birthdays to celebrate in the coming years ahead, I’d say the future is looking very bright!
29 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ME
- As cliché as it sounds, I have wanted to be a writer since I was six years old. I spent summers, sitting Indian style at my Great-Grandmothers coffee table, writing creative stories. I have dabbled in many things but my passion for writing has never waned.
- I met the man of my dreams when I was only a few years old. No, really! We went to pre-school together. He moved away for nine years, our senior year of high school he moves back to town, and long story short..we have been together ever since. Funny..my name is even listed in his baby book!!
- I once got a handheld drill stuck in my hair. I was playing with it at my Grandad’s workshop and had to go to the hospital to get it out. I began the first day of third grade with a huge bald spot in my head that looked as if I had been in a fight with a circus monkey..and the monkey won!
- I do NOT eat vegetables. None. Nada. Zip. Not one tiny pea! There is a picky eater inside me that repulses at the sight of anything green! I know, I know. Your thinking–how could you possibly live in the heart of the South and not love turnip greens or black eyed peas?? I’m working on myself one day at a time..and that includes my picky eating habits.
- I love thrift store shopping and junking. Nothing gives me quite a thrill like find someone else’s trash on the curb..and turning it into something completely new and inspiring!
- I love to sing with my husband in the car. We pull our favorite songs up and act like crazy fools singing our hearts out! Finally, someone sees and looks over at us like we are having some kind of spastic attack and asks do we need help. But no really, the man can sing! Me, on the other hand, not if my life depended on it.
- I am a pluviophile–which means I am a lover of rainy days. I love getting caught in a summer rain storm, hearing the rain drops play a soothing melody on my tin roof, and the stillness of the Earth after the rain is gone.
- I make wishes. I pick pennies up on heads that have fallen out of a mysterious strangers pocket, I close my eyes at 11:11, I blow dandelion puffs..the whole nine yards! They might not come true..but hey, what if they do?
- I believe in miracles. I pray you never have to experience life inside the neonatal intensive care unit. But for those that have or the curious, the work performed behind those locked doors where some newborns live out the first days, weeks, or months of their precious existence, is nothing short of miracle work. The Lord still performs miracles to this very day. And they often come in the form of tiny babies who are born early, yet right on time.
- I am a Pinterest addict. My personal account contains almost 14,000 pins going strong. I often waste countless hours on Pinterest planning my next party, recipe, or DIY project. But I like to tell myself that something I enjoy doing is not wasted time. It’s a great way to unwind and get out of doing that looming pile of laundry!
- I like to laugh at myself. I often find humor in things that I say or do that wouldn’t be considered the least bit funny to someone else. What’s the point in being serious all the time? A good belly laugh is the cure for anything!
- I am a 90s kid to the core. I still have a secret love for Lisa Frank, Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers, Goosebumps, and can tell you every word to every “Saved by the Bell” episode ever made!
- I hope to leave my mark on the world. We are only here for a short while. We are simply passing thru on our way to our eternal home. You may not have the resources to change the entire world. But you do have the ability to change the world for SOMEONE.
- I am afraid of the dark. J insists that I turn all the lights out because he says I am going to run the power bill up but that doesn’t stop me from sleeping with a nightlight or leaving the hall light on. When I have to go outside at night, I lace up my shoes and sprint like I am qualifying for a marathon.
- I enjoy quiet nights at home versus a fancy night on the town. Let’s face it ladies. Polka dot pajama pants are much more appealing than those skin , tight jeans that you have to use the jaws of life to get out of.
- I went to college for elementary education. It’s an eye opening and rewarding experience to view life from a childs perspective. I did not finish my degree in education however decided to follow my dreams and work towards becoming a children’s book author. Different field, yet same audience.
- I believe in the power of prayer. There have been many times in my life that I have prayed to God because I felt I had nowhere else to turn. When all seemed impossible, when I felt hopeless, when I was worried, when I was desperate for a miracle (see #9). I make it a priority each day to thank God for continually blessing me beyond my means. I also know that prayers that go unanswered are Gods way of preparing us for something greater that is in accordance to His plan for our lives.
- When I was in high school I wanted to be a model. I even took some modeling classes at a famous modeling school and did an in store promotion for a popular mouthwash. I had to approach people and let them gargle the mouthwash and spit it back into the little paper cup. It was my first and final job as a professional model.
- I am fascinated by clouds. I easily lose track of time by studying cloud shapes and patterns. I like to marvel at their beauty and it really reminds me on a grand scale of things just how small we truly are. As a woman, I can relate easily to clouds. Ladies, like us, they can go from sunbeams and rainbows to dark and fiesty in a matter of seconds!
- I find old books enchanting. I love stumbling across a stack of old,dusty novels that have long been forgotten and wondering who the curious soul might have been who last flipped thru its contents. I also like to repurpose books by using them around my home as decor pieces. My mantle is currently the resting place of a few old hymnals I found in a 177 year old house!
- I am a dreamer. I’ve been told many times in life that I live in a fantasy world. I often dream intensely about things that for some seem unrealistic. If you are a dreamer, then my advice is keep on dreaming, friend! The view is much better from the clouds!
- I take a lot of pictures. I snap photos of everything. This includes but is not limited to: the silly smirk E is giving me thru a mouth full of squash, J snoring away in his recliner, my running shoes, a passing car, birds on a power line, a breathtaking sunset, something completely ridiculous I saw in a store, and whatever strikes me in the moment.
- I love to receive letters. There is nothing more exciting than opening your mailbox to see that someone has taken the time to sit down and write their thoughts to you. In today’s world, where email has taken over, a handwritten letter is something of days gone by. If you want your words to be more personal, sit down and write a long overdue letter!
- I want to inspire people. My hope is that someone will look at me and say that I inspired a portion of their life either by my words or actions. I hope I touch someone and leave an impression on them that impacts their life for the better. Go be a light and inspire someone today!
- I write better than I talk. A lot of times when someone is speaking to me, I can’t think of the right thing to say in that moment. My words often roll off of my tongue like someone threw the alphabet in a blender! Writing my thoughts on paper comes so much more freely. It’s the perfect way to get your point across!
- I want to learn something new. It’s important that we take every new bit of information we receive and put it to good use! For years, I have wanted to learn calligraphy. Beautiful hand lettering takes skill. What is it that you’ve always wanted to learn? What are you waiting for? Today is a great day to start!
- I am a college football fan. Living in a state that is known to house one of sports biggest rivalries (Auburn vs Alabama), college football is not just a sport..it is a way of life. And since I am married to the biggest football fan ever conceived–watching it is a must! Each season we are front and center of all the action and enjoy giving a good fashioned ribbing to the opposing fans.
- I am grateful for my family. God sure knew what He was doing when He placed you with your people. You were born into your family for a reason. They were carefully chosen by Gods own hand to help you, raise you, and love you all of the days of your life–from beginning to end. Family is Gods way of sharing His love for us!
- I enjoy the little things. Sometimes we get so caught up in waiting for the big things that we fail to give credit to the little things that make up the beautiful tapestry of our lives. My son laying his sleepy head on my shoulder, the sun warming my face, an unexpected blessing–are all little things that remind me of Gods love and make up my happiness. Slow down and enjoy the little things today! One day you will look back and realize that the little things–were the best things!
Thanks for letting me share a little bit about myself with you. Now, I would like to get to know you better. Comment below with a few fun facts about yourself!