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A letter to my almost kindergartner: Mommy isn’t ready, but Jesus is

From the moment you were born you have been with me.  All day.  All night.  Going on adventures together.  Cuddling on the couch with some good snacks and TV.  We have laughed and we have cried. We have loved and we have fought.  I’ve kissed your boo boos and tickled you til the tears rolled down your cheeks.  Sure there have been times where you have been watched by someone else.  There have been days here and there when you would be left with someone else for the night.  But for the most part, my dear first born, you have been with me more than anyone else.  

You have taught me so much about what it takes to do this mothering thing.  You have put songs of joy into my heart as well as made me want to tear out my hair.  I could never put into words the capacity of my love for you.  To watch you grow up these last few years has been a privilege, as well as some of the most grueling days of my life. 

In just a few short weeks however, our lives will change.  We will both be embarking on a new journey and a new chapter in our lives together.  On that Tuesday morning, you will let go of my hand and start the big world that is kindergarten.  For just shy of 8 hours, 4 days a week, you will be off doing your own thing.  Making new friends.  Learning new things.  Being apart of the world in a far different way than you ever have before.  In the next 8 months or so, you will most likely grow faster than you ever have before.  In more ways than one.

I have been asked if I’m ready and I have been asked why wouldn’t I be ready.  And my dear sweet one, the simple answer is: No.  No, I am not ready.  I feel as if just yesterday I was breathing in that sweet first scent of your fresh baby skin.  I feel as if just yesterday you were learning how to walk and talk.  They say kids grow up fast and goodness they aren’t lying.  These 5.5 years with you have disappeared in a blink.  And after being home with you all this time, you will suddenly become far more independent than either of us have ever known.  

And while the world will tell me that all this is inevitable….I’m still not ready.  I’m not ready to let you go.  I’m not ready for this time to come to a close.  These past few years I have been able to shelter you from all the scary things in this world.  I have been able to shelter you from the heart ache that comes with living in it.  I have been able to keep that child like faith in the world burning brightly in you.  

I’m so proud of you my girl.  I’m so proud of how much you love people.  How much you love to learn.  And while I know you are so ready for this next step, please don’t mistake the tears Mommy will shed on that day as me being upset at you.  In fact it will be the opposite.  It will be because my heart is bursting with pride for who you are and how brave you are charging into this next step with so much joy.  At the very same time, it’s in that very moment that Mommy will be realizing how much she needs our sweet Jesus to give her strength and oh so much peace.  Because the thing is baby girl, I won’t be able to let go on my own.  I will want to keep you right beside me, sheltered beneath my wings.  It will take a strength only Jesus can give to let you go be who He is calling you to be in this world.  It will take a peace only He can give to know that no matter what, it will all be okay.  

So no, my sweet one, I’m not ready for this next step in motherhood.  But I know you are.  And so, I will choose to let go and let God.  Because while Mommy won’t be able to be there by your side through it all, I know He will be.  Mommy isn’t ready, but Jesus sure is….and you better believe your mama will be in constant communication with Him.  

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Going Against the Grain – A Throwback Thursday post

Going against the grain isn’t normal. It isn’t our natural instincts. It’s hard and sometimes painful. The bottom line is it screams that we are different. We aren’t going with the crowd. Aren’t doing what the ‘cool’ thing is. Think back to high school and you will remember quite clearly who was ‘going against the grain’. You will clearly remember those that were different. They weren’t like everyone else. Sadly, more than likely, they were probably mocked and made fun of at one time or another. They didn’t blend in. Those that blended in went with the tides. Went along with the rest of the crowd. It didn’t mean they agreed with everyone else, it just meant they didn’t want to stand out. They didn’t want to be different.

Life as an adult hasn’t changed much. We are so quick to try and blend in with the customs of the world and the way they all think life should be done. We are afraid to offend anyone. Always have to be politically correct because even if it goes against our beliefs it doesn’t matter if it will hurt someone else. And of course that’s true to a point, to a point. But Jesus, a man who we will celebrate this week for dying for us all, He didn’t ask us to blend in. He didn’t want us to be so afraid to offend someone that we don’t spread His word. He wants us to  shine and stand out bold and proud of who we are in Him.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and PERFECT.”
-Romans 12:2 NLT

God reminded me of this verse and convicted me tonight. This winter, I felt Him tugging at my heart to go out and pray over our for sale sign. It was -20 some below out and I said, “You have GOT to be kidding right? No way!” So I didn’t….I went on with my life and left it alone. Just recently the thought came into my head as well as a dear family friend suggesting we start walking around our house praying over it. So this time I said “Ok God….I’ll listen.” The first day I did it Trav was standing next to me and I felt comfortable doing it. I felt strong and secure doing it. Confident. Tonight though….oh tonight I am all by my lonesome…..and let me tell you friends, I truly felt alone. Suddenly I felt like our whole neighborhood was staring out there window at the crazy lady standing with her hand on her for sale sign with her eyes closed. I felt awkward and like they were all judging who I am. I will tell you right now, I felt like I should be kneeling outside praying and I didn’t. Not too long after I had started at the sign I quickly decided to just start walking around the house. And I still felt judged and watched. I felt different than everyone else. I felt like the uncool kid in school. Now let’s be honest, were all my neighbors staring out their window? Probably not. Were they all thinking how crazy I was? Probably not. But even if they were why should I care? It clearly states in Romans 12:2 that we shouldn’t be like this world because friends we aren’t of this world. Our home and world is with Jesus in heaven. We need to stop worrying about what the world is seeing and start thinking about what GOD is seeing. It is so. dang. hard. I know it trust me I do. But I also tell you what friends I pray, I pray to God, that someday…some day soon…I will be so confident in who I am in Christ and be kneeling outside in front of our house with arms raised praising Jesus and begging Him to sell our house. I pray I find strength in the fact that what HE sees is all that matters. I pray that if my neighbors happen to look out while I am out there that they will want to come ask me what the heck I am doing so I can have the opportunity to speak the sweet word of Jesus to them and tell them who He is. Because I am not only out there praying for our house, I am out there praying for our neighborhood that God will bless it fully and richly.

Let’s stop going with the tide and start going against the grain. Trust me it feels weird and hard at first….but with time I trust that Jesus will change my heart to see that HIS opinion is the only one that matters as long as I am obeying what He asks. And with that I say: Are YOU up to the challenge?

 

**This post was originally posted on my previous site.  To view more of my early work please visit: Previous Blog

Jesus also needs our BRAVE.  Read more about that HERE

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Choose Brave and Jesus will take care of the rest…

I still remember the moment it happened.  The time that I completely let God flow through my words and had me be more open and transparent than I would have wanted.  I still remember how hard it was to hit that post button, how my hands seemed to tremble.  Back and forth I went in my mind about if I should really do it.  What would people think of me?  Of our marriage? And there was Jesus, whispering how badly He needed me to.  Choosing brave over fear was the only option.  Before I knew it, I was having a conversation with a girlfriend who opened up about how badly she needed to read it.  To this day, I am still helping that friend walk through an incredible season of very dark things.  That brave post led to an ocean of conversations and let a friend know I would hold her hand through it.  

I never considered myself a writer.  In fact, I never even had a passion for it until just  a few short years ago.  God has used these last few years to whisper some simple, honest truth into my soul that I know isn’t just meant for me.  

Sometimes those truths are meant for one other person, and sometimes they are meant for more.  Yet no matter how many eyes the Lord intends them for, it never seems to get less scary.  But I wish I could have you over for coffee and tell you how the Lord has yet to let me down when I choose to continually do the brave thing.

Our human nature wants us to blend in.  It doesn’t want us to create waves.  It has become so easy to follow the crowd and so much harder to choose the road less traveled.  The road that draws attention to how we are different than this world.  It takes bravery to willingly step up to the plate and say “Hey world! I’m different than you! Here’s why!”  It takes courage to shout: “Here’s my broken places! Can you relate?”  

Have you felt the Lord stir up raw honest truths in your own heart?  Have you felt your heart begin to race as He quietly whispers to your soul to share it with another?  I have.  I have had shaky hands as I type the words He pours out of my fingers.  I have felt my heart race and have held my breath as I hit send or post.  Sometimes it takes all the strength in me and I quietly whisper to Him: “Let who needs this read it Lord.”  

Sometimes I get to hear the stories of who it was meant for and sometimes I’m left in the dark to wonder.  But oh how Jesus is teaching me and stirring it up in my heart to keep being brave for Him.

This world needs our brave.  It needs us to have the hard conversations.  It needs us to share our own stories to help heal hearts in His name.  Jesus needs our brave so that this world can see Him shining brightly in the dark.

So the next time God stirs up something in our hearts….let’s speak it. Let’s write it.  Let’s continue to choose brave, friend.  No matter how scary it seems.  Choose brave in our homes, in the coffee shop, on the street, in our churches, and on the internet.  Just choose brave over it all and Jesus will take care of the rest….

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An old fashioned kind of love: A Throwback Thursday Post

It’s the 1940s, a boy sees a girl from across the street.  Her smile is contagious….her laughter magnetic.  In an instant he knows she’s the one for him.  Of course when he asks her out she tries multiple times to refuse.  The boy, in the same token, refuses to give up.  He sees her get on a ferris wheel with another guy and runs and leaps onto their seat.  When she refuses him yet again, he proceeds to dangle high above the ground in order to force her to say yes.  And from there, they proceed to fall madly in love…..a true passionate old fashioned kind of love.  Fast forward years later and we find this girl, now woman, has Alzheimers.  She has seemed to forgotten the love of her life and yet he continues to refuse to accept that and makes her fall for him over and over and over again. Until one day they lie down and drift off into heaven together….

We all know this story.  It’s Nicholas Sparks book titled, “The Notebook”.  Women, and let’s be honest some men, fell head over heels in love with this story.  We fell deeply into each character.  We felt what they felt.  We cried when they cried and we laughed when they laughed.  Some may say we loved it so much because it was a beautifully written story.  And while I agree I also feel like we let it seep so deep into our souls because we all crave that earth shaking, knees quaking, no one else matters around you kind of love.  And not only that passionate, but a love that is so powerful it lasts until your final breath.  And not only until your final breath but also through all sorts of turmoil, heartache, and pain.  A love that is still felt even when one of your memory’s slips away.  A real, honest, pure, simple, passionate, old fashioned kind of love.  In today’s society…..in generations since that time, it just doesn’t seem to happen when you look at the staggering statics of marriages.  Life it seems, has gotten more complicated for families.  Both the husband and wife can easily both have booming careers outside the home.  Kids activities seem to clutter and fill up the schedule.  There’s errands to run, chores to be done, functions to attend, meetings to go to….and it seems that the thing that takes the biggest hit is our relationships with our spouse.  We seem to take that relationship, that bond, that love for granted.  It’s so easy to assume they will always be there for us.  They are married to us after all so they will have to wait.  Other things, other people, other stuff needs our attention more at whatever season we are at in our lives….

Recently, just a few weeks ago actually, Travis’ beloved Papa passed away.  He lived to be the wonderfully old age of 92.  And by his side for almost 68 of those amazing years was his wife Lilian.  Can you even fathom that? When he was just 24 and she was just 18 they fell madly in love with each other.  And they never stopped.  They had their share of good times and bad.  They had 2 sons together and lived out their lives on the farm.  Ever since I started dating Trav I honestly don’t think I ever saw one without the other.  With each glance they gave one another, I saw the purest form of love I have ever seen.  The way he looked at her, his eyes danced.  I can just picture it in my mind as I close my eyes now.  When Travis would tell stories about the 2 of them he would say so many times how much they loved each other.  For the last several years we had said we didn’t know how one would get along without the other.  They had that “Notebook” kind of love.  That love that society seems to view as a ‘fairy-tale’ these days.  We haven’t been back to the farm since Papa’s passing but I know how incredibly hard that day is going to be.  When we think of Papa and Grandma, we think of them as one unit.  They aren’t 2 separate people in our minds.  They are 2 souls forever intertwined….

When I think of them, it makes my soul yearn….It makes my soul yearn and aspire to make sure that Travis and I have that old fashioned kind of love.  That love that people don’t see much of these days it seems.  That love that intertwines us for eternity.  That love that makes people see us as one unit.  That love where if either one of us were to lose the other we wouldn’t know how to go on nor would we want to live in that world.  A piece of us would forever be missing. 

In today’s society we are told that we shouldn’t depend on anyone like that.  Especially women are taught that.  That we need to be our own person and we need to take care of ourselves.  That we need to prove to society that we don’t need a man in our lives to take care of us.  And men are taught that they need to prove that they don’t need any women in their lives telling them what to do.  That marriage is a ball and chain relationship…

I tell you what ladies and gentlemen listen up…. I want that kind of love.  Society is lying to you once again.  That old fashioned kind of love is good for the soul.  That old fashioned kind of love works.  That old fashioned kind of love is the kind where the divorce rate isn’t 1 out of every 2 marriages.  That old fashioned kind of love is the kind of love that God created for us all.  He wants us to feel that kind of love.  Our souls yearn for it.  It’s why we love stories like the Notebook.  But they don’t have to be just stories.  Love like that really exists out there.  Papa Donovan and Grandma Lillian are living proof of that.  I pray that Travis and I live to see 68 beautiful years together.  It’s not going to be easy….but by God it’s going to be WORTH it.  Find an inspirational couple in your own life and let them inspire you to do everything in your power to make sure you are fighting for them daily.  That that relationship is your top priority after Jesus.  Kids are amazing but they thrive when mommy and daddy are head over heels in love.  The busyness doesn’t have to be so busy.  Carve out time for them.  Do unexpected things for them.  Pray for them.  And when life tries to bash the love out, dig in your heels and fight for them….

I want an old fashioned kind of love……the earth shaking, knees quaking, no one else matters around you kind of love……

**This post was originally posted on my previous site.  To view more of my early work please visit: Previous Blog

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8 years of being in the mud of marriage, but worth every bit of it.

It was 8 years ago and I was taking my last few looks at myself in the mirror.  Fixing my hair, checking my make up, sharing some last minute giggles with my favorite girls…..scarfing down a sandwich as fast as I could since I had barely ate lunch.  The church was filling up and my soon to be husband was somewhere in the building becoming just as nervous as I was.  We were young, in love, and so ready for the day to just be over so we could head out into our future and a much deserved vacation in the Colorado mountains.   

I still remember standing out in the entry way, arm and arm with my dad, listening to the music begin to play.  I was so ready to be this man’s wife and yet, my arms wouldn’t stop shaking.  My dad kept patting me on the arm and reminding me that it was all going to be okay and yet, I felt like I could faint I was so nervous.   The best man would not stop laughing as he watched everything in me tremble.  And then that sweet sweet melody began to play…… “I remember trying not to stare the night I first met you. You had me mesmerized…”  We stepped into the sanctuary and there was my guy, also looking like he could faint, waiting for me at the altar.  

I still sometimes can’t believe that was all 8 years ago.  I can’t believe all we have seen and done and been through.  Neither of us is 30 yet and here we are with 2 girls and such a beautiful life.  Our generation seems to be one that doesn’t view marriage in the highest regard.  Either they don’t believe in it or they don’t think it’s as important as it is.  Some are scared to death of it and some just don’t think it’s a necessity.  And here we are in a marriage that can’t be summed up in a single word.  Because marriage is so much more than just something you do.  It’s a way of life that I wouldn’t give up for anything.  

This life we have together is crazy and simple.  It’s ridiculously hard and enormously amazing.  It’s all I have ever imagined and yet so much more than I ever could imagine.  It’s cozy nights at home and crazy adventures making memories.  It’s falling perfectly in step with one another and getting on each other’s nerves.  It’s knowing that no matter how hard it gets, we have each other’s backs for life.  It’s not as simple as just walking out the door and never looking back.  Instead, it’s locking that front door, going into the bedroom, and fighting FOR EACH OTHER. Marriage isn’t just something we did.  It’s not just a life style we chose to get into.  It’s never simple and it’s never easy.   It’s choosing every single day to remember that vow you took.  That no matter how impossible life seems to get, you will continue to choose that person over and over and over again.  Even when the world tells you to walk away, marriage is just so much bigger than that.  

There are seasons we have walked through as a couple that I truly don’t think we would have survived had it not been for the bond of marriage.  It would have been so much easier to just walk away.  We wouldn’t have had to dig our heels into the ground and fight with everything we had to make sure we came out stronger on the other side.

I am Travis Dean Petty’s and he is mine.  For life.  Those vows bind you together.  The world might say they aren’t important, but friend, you are missing out on an incredible adventure if have written marriage off.  The feeling of it is indescribable.  The security of it, the passion of it,  the everything of it….

So babe, here’s to another 8 years of it.  Here’s to another 10, 20, 30 even 50.  I made the vow to never walk away back then and I would still make it today.  The fight has been worth all of it. Every tear, every hurt, every laugh, and every joy.  Every single bit of it.  The good, the bad and the downright ugly.  Let’s continue to beat all the odds that the world stacks against us.  Because we have each other, and because Jesus is at the center…I have no doubt in my mind that we will…..

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I (insert name) take thee… A throwback Thursday post…

This past weekend I got to stand up at the altar with a sweet friend from middle school as she married her prince charming. 🙂 It very much was a magical day and I must say she looked just like a princess out of a fairy tale.  I do admit it was a very surreal experience.  As I saw her walking down that aisle images of us sitting in the bleachers in our middle school gym during volleyball practice and laughing with friends in our high school ad room flashed through my mind.  We are all definitely growing up and those years are obviously behind us.  It is such an awesome feeling though, knowing how head over heels in love she is and how this man is helping make all her dreams come true. 

The Pastor shared a message that hit me in a way I didn’t think it would.  Usually when you go to a wedding, at least the ones I have been to, the Pastor shares stories he has about the couple or takes some scripture and creates a very generic message that could be related to anyone really.  But this message was one I was clinging to every word of.  I will try to give a good shorten version of it, but either way the message is pretty dang good.

The story involved a married couple that had decided to get all dressed up in their wedding attire and take a photograph every year on their anniversary.  On their 5th wedding anniversary the couple was all ready to take the photograph and this year they were struggling financially.  Bills were hard to pay, one of their kids was having medical problems, the furniture was old and worn, therefore they couldn’t hire a professional photographer to take this years photo.  As they were getting ready to take the photograph they ended up holding hands and repeating their vows all over again.  While they were saying those promises to each other, the words for richer or for poorer flashed in their minds along with those bills they have laying on the table. 

At 15 years, they were better financially, but before the photographer arrived the couple got into a fight and harsh words were said.  Knowing the photographer had already left the studio, the couple went up to the attic, got out those wedding clothes, and put them on.  When the photographer arrived, the couple wasn’t into it.  As they were getting posed into position, the couple got caught up in the moment and as they held hands started saying those promises to each other yet again.  This time the words for better or worse flashed in their minds along with the image of the fight just a few moments prior. 

Flash forward yet again to 47 years of marriage.  The couple has aged considerably.  The wife suffering from arthritis, ect.  The wedding dress has yellowed and the husband’s suit doesn’t fit like it used to.  As they got into position again and held hands those promises came from their lips and as they held hands, the husband felt his wife’s knobby fingers and the words in sickness and in health flashed in his mind. 

As I stood there and took in that story, not only did I think about all the beautiful years Brian & Cari will have together and all the tough times they will also experience, but I also thought about how those same vows can also relate to our relationship with Jesus.  It is so very easy to love and worship the Lord when things are going ‘our’ way, but yet when trouble hits we are so quick to get angry at God for letting this happen to us.  We love Him and obey Him so why on earth would He do this to us??  

I am very much guilty of this.  When things have gotten really tough I will be the first to admit that I have sat on my bed and yelled at God wondering how could You?? How could You do this to me?? Have I not obeyed you? Have I not loved  You enough? Why would you leave me? 

 

The thing is we are called to love God for better OR for worse; for richer OR poorer; in sickness AND health.  The only difference is that instead of at the end saying til death do us part, we should be saying forever and ever amen.  

Therefore I challenge all of us to go to the Lord tonight and give Him our solemn vow:

I, Christine Petty, take thee Jesus Christ to be my Savior,
to love & to cherish from this day forward.
For better or worse,
for richer or poorer,
in sickness and health.
Forever and ever amen
It may not be easy but I think we all know how worth it it will be in the end 🙂
**This post was originally posted on my previous site.  To view more of my early work please visit: Previous Blog
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Biggest Surprise in Motherhood? It shouldn’t have been…

I remember sitting there at the dinner table, listening to her heart.  I kept glancing over at my husband to see his own reaction.  She sat there so visibly upset.  “I just don’t understand Mom.  Why? Why doesn’t she want to be my friend? I didn’t do anything Mom.  She just doesn’t like me.”  All I could keep saying was “Baby I don’t know.  You just keep being sweet and kind to everyone.”  Inside though, oh inside my heart was torn.  I had to hold back the tears that I wanted to cry for her, and at the same time hold back my mama bear instincts to become angry at this little girl who had hurt my daughters feelings so.  

In case you didn’t know, she’s 5.  Not even in kindergarten yet and already has so many big  emotions that run through her.  Just 5 years old and already dealing with issues I truly didn’t expect so young.  When I gave birth to this beautiful girl, I thought I had time.  I thought I had time to help shape and mold her heart.  I thought I had time to instill into her that she is so loved and accepted by Jesus that what this world thinks of her doesn’t matter.  I didn’t think that at the tender age of 5 that she would already have that longing.  The longing to feel seen, noticed, accepted and loved by the outside world.  

Looking back now, it baffles me that I had been so naive.  We are all born with that natural feeling to be seen, noticed, accepted and loved by this world.  We are all born with just wanting people to see us and want to be our friend.  So why on earth did I think that I alone as her mother would be able to overcome those feelings inside of her?  Why did I think that my love would  save her from feeling the sting of rejection in this world? 

We so badly want to protect our children from everything.  It’s like we somehow want to create the biggest shield around them and have them never feel the pains and hurts we ourselves have felt.  That’s a natural instinct, and one I’m fairly certain we as parents will never move passed.  And then when life throws that curve ball and feelings get crushed, we always seem to be taken aback and wondering how on earth it happened to them.  Did I not protect them enough?   Did I not prepare them enough for this?  And why am I myself not prepared enough for this?  I don’t even know the right words to say to help ease this pain.  And you know what? I’m learning that that is ok.  To not be prepared and not have all the right fluffy answers.  Because you know what our kids need?  Our real.  We have experienced all those big feelings they are feeling.  Let’s use it.  Let’s use our own experiences and stories to navigate through their stories.  And then, let’s pray with them.  Pray that God would heal their hearts from the sting.  That He would move into that situation and help us find solutions.  Because as parents, we don’t always have the answers.  And we can’t protect our kids from feeling the burn of this world.  Even at just 5 years old, the world can hurt us deeper than we imagined it would at such a young age.   

Our Maci was born with, what seems like, larger than life feelings.  Even bigger than her mama’s, and I’ll admit…I feel things pretty hard. (Yet another reason I don’t get why I was so shocked…like mother like daughter, right?) Right now we are searching for answers on how to help her navigate them and I know deep down, that this will be a life long battle for her.  And while I could look at all the negatives of that, I keep dreaming of all the ways she is going to help this tired old world with those feelings.  With our help and Jesus, she is going to shine so brightly that I can hardly stand the thought of waiting to see what she does with it.  But for now, when life hits her hard, I’m going to listen to her heart…..give her my real….and pray. Pray. PRAY with her.  Because sometimes, that’s all we can do……

What is something that has been your biggest surprise during motherhood?  

 

Chrissy Petty – Beauty in Chaos is an exclusive member of Becky Thompson’s  Writer Network. For more information on how to join, go to: http://www.BeckyThompsonCourse.com

Listen to what

What God wants…A throwback Thursday post

**Originally posted 10/3/12**

Well here we go….

For some reason the past several months my mind has randomly gone to blogging.  I’ve always done some blogs here and there for clients but never anything too personal.  Nothing ever real on my thoughts or things that are weighing on my heart. But lately, probably since the beginning of summer every once in a while the idea of sitting down at the computer and writing out what is on my mind at that moment seemed so unbelievably tempting.  I have often thought it was just because now all the sudden I’m noticing blogging is the new ‘in’ thing.  I’ve got a few more friends that do it and if I’m being completely honest I’ve always been a tad jealous of their talent.  Sitting down and writing out things on your mind and heart is one thing but to sit down, write it all out and then hit the ‘post’ button so the world can see? Man, I truly believe that takes guts and talent.  Once those thoughts are out there they are totally out there.  Can’t take them back and for sure can’t erase them from any one’s mind who read what you posted.

Therefore anytime the longing to want to try it entered my mind I just brushed it off.  Thoughts like, “Oh they are way better at it than I would ever be” and “I could never do that, I would never say anything of any importance to anyone” would be in my head resulting in my of course not thinking about it again for quite some time.  Yet just because I wasn’t thinking about it, I really don’t think it ever left my mind.

Today Maci, my daughter, and I went for a beautiful afternoon fall walk.  It was absolutely gorgeous out and I just couldn’t resist taking her for a stroll in her stroller and take some time to just enjoy it.  Enjoy the leaves falling, enjoy the little bit of the last warmth from the sun, enjoy the peace and somewhat quiet that is outside.  (Of course there are noises, like cars and kids playing, but to me that is still quiet and peaceful.  When you are indoors a person always tends to have the T.V. on or music, it’s never the same quiet that comes from the outdoors.)

The past few weeks have been incredibly hard on our family.  We have had so much going on and so much heartache, that I was so thankful for that walk.  I took that time to just reflect on all that God had done and just spend time with Him.  And of course in the middle of that this whole ‘silly’ blogging thing came back into my mind.  Really? Really??  I’m having this nice enjoyable walk and THAT enters my mind?? I seriously thought maybe I was going crazy and I just wasn’t focusing on God for some reason.  But then I began to wonder….is God telling me something?? Is He trying to tell me that this is part of His plan for me right now?? Is He wanting me to do it for some reason??

As I began to think about that more seriously and question it, I started of course with my same responses.  “I can’t do it.  Nothing I could ever write will ever be important to anyone.  No one is going to want to read it.  I’m not good enough”  And then I felt that small tug at my heart and heard that soft voice in my head.  “Daughter, someone needs to hear it.  Someone needs to hear what you have to say.  Someone just might need to know you are going through what they are.  Even if it’s just one person it IS worth it.”  

Alright let’s face it, He’s right.  Who can argue with God anyway?? He always has our best interest in mind, and He always ends up being right, even if we don’t see it right away.

That original voice in my head, that voice screaming “I can’t do it and I won’t”, well folks I firmly believe that’s the devil.  Whenever God tries to tell us something He wants from us, we best believe that soon to follow is the devil feeding us lies and telling us we can’t.

So with this very first post….I encourage us all to listen to what God wants of us and to STOP listening to the lies Satan wants us to believe.  Because with God on our side….we can do ANYTHING. 

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God ALL things are POSSIBLE”

-Matthew 19:26

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A cluttered heart…

Every single morning and every single night there has been this big eye sore in the corner of our bedroom. You know the kind. It’s a pile of throw pillows, some books, some clothes…honestly just a little bit of everything. And today I finally cleaned that baby up. It has been bothering me every single time I’ve seen it, but yet I just never seemed to get to it. More important things I’d rather be doing always seemed to come up each day. But this afternoon, I finally got that sucker straightened up. And man it felt good. Honestly, it seemed to make my entire day seem brighter. And I actually don’t hate going into our room anymore. But it got me thinking…our hearts can get like that too, can’t they?

If you know my story at all, you know that my sister has been dealing with a lot ridiculous amount of hard hard stuff. As with most families, what affects her, affects us all. There have been things we have experienced, that we have witnessed, that can never be undone. They cannot ever be unseen. And yet, life goes on. There are kids still in need of tending too, a house that needs cleaning, a husband that needs loving..the list goes on. And so what is a girl to do? Stuff it.

Honestly, I don’t think I really realized what I was doing. To the outside world, I probably look like I am handling all the junk that life was is throwing our way with such strength. There is nothing I can do to change it, we know God is in control, and we tell people that over and over. But just a few nights ago, the day Jess was admitted to the hospital this last time, I came home to my sweet hubby…and I broke. It was as if Jesus was there whispering in my ear: Daughter, what are you doing? Let it out. Let it all out. You aren’t called to carry it all alone.

And so I didn’t. And when I say I let it out, I mean I really really really let it out. Travis watched as I cried for what seemed like an eternity. I said things out loud that I didn’t even realize I was feeling. March 13th 2017 our lives changed drastically. It is not something we as a family openly share with the world really. But you who are taking the time to read this, I’m telling you the truth. I’m letting you in on that little nugget of information. Jess has always been in a wheelchair. It’s a fact I grew up with, but she’s always been my sister. We had the same fights and conversations most sisters do. But on that March day….the Jess I grew up with….faded. Conversations are hard. Losing her special way of playing with the girls is hard. Watching my parents struggle with all of it is hard. Which now that I think about it, is a reason I have probably kept a lot of emotions at bay. Who would want to add to their already stressful life?

After I let it all out though…after I spoke those very real, very painful, very hard things out loud….my heart didn’t feel so cluttered. It didn’t feel so chaotic. Just like that pile of random junk that I just cleaned up in my bedroom, my heart had more free space in it. It didn’t feel so hard to look into. It didn’t feel like it was something I wanted to keep hidden or locked up tight.

I don’t know what your heart looks like right now friend. I don’t know what hard or impossible things seem to be swirling around inside of it. But can I just encourage you to open it up, let the breeze in, clear out all those hard to say out loud feelings and just breathe again? Let someone you trust in. Let them hear your real, raw heart. Even though it’s scary, there is always just so much beauty in that. Don’t keep it locked up tight. All that seems to do is set up your emotions for an explosion. And other than the 4th of July…who really enjoys any type of explosion anyway. 😉