Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finding Rest

It's hard to believe that summer is nearly over. It pains me to even write it. It's been a full and amazing few months at our house. This being the first summer in our neighborhood on the beautiful west side of Michigan, we have really been able to explore all it has to offer.

It's no secret our family (yes, you too Dajuan) loves the beach, in particular Lake Michigan. I've started realizing that when my kids get older and look back on their childhood, Lake Michigan will be a huge part of it. Childhood memories galore. It's special here. The shoreline is so welcoming. I take the boys after work, on weekends, at night, in the morning... We've done it all. Each time we go, their love for it grows.

Boat rides. Skipping rocks. Eating chips with sandy hands. Holding our breath under the water. Walking the beach for hours. Jumping off the boat and swimming to shore. These small but meaningful memories are building. 

I'm so thankful to have such an amazing 'backyard' to build these memories in, but at what cost? As a parent, I'm down right tired. I always say the beach restores me but it also depletes me. Not the beach itself, but the trip there. The unloading and loading. The mounds of wet laundry. The endless snacks and moldy coolers. It's a process but one I'm willing to take.

The past few days I've suffered from severe headaches. I'm not really sure what has brought them on.. anxiety, exhaustion, the weather.. a combination, who knows? What I do know is, I will find my rest. My "to-do" list is long. My urge to want to ditch "real-life" and head to the lake is undying.  But right now, in the middle of this crazy week, I will find rest. Maybe grace will meet me on my drive to Muskegon tonight, while heading to the beach. Maybe it will meet me while packing in my quiet house. Maybe it's already met me and I'm too busy trying to find it, that I've missed it.  Sometimes rest which I like to think of as grace escapes me simply because I like to be in control of me, which never ends well. 

While doing devotions this morning I realized, I look for rest in the wrong places. I think to myself, "If I just get a 10 minute nap, I'll be ready to go." Or, "If I just get the dishes done, laundry folded and walk the dog, I can rest." Or, (this happens daily),  "If I keep my oils with me, I can combat the headache I know I'm going to get." The problem is, I'm writing my own story. 

I feel like God is urging me to consciously work to find my rest in Him. My security in Him. I know that the memories made are worth every eye-twitch, headache, and anxiety ridden moment, but what if I walked in step with Him, how would my day unfold?

Where do you find your rest


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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beautiful Things

My life has been full of many changes. We've sold, moved in a rental and then purchased another house all within a few months of each other. We are in new waters. We are navigating through the unknown. I'd like to say I've been fearless but that's hardly been the case.

All of these changes ignited a fear in me I didn't know could exist. I was convinced it wasn't anxiety. It wasn't doubt. It wasn't my body reacting to change. I was convinced I had something physically wrong with me. How can I be so tired? How can I feel so nervous? So anxious? So dizzy? ...and  still be told I'm so healthy? 

The said changes were the last piece of the puzzle that my body needed to break down. My body began to rid itself of me and become new, a new me

Long before our move, after I delivered Christian, I began to have little episodes of fear. I would start sweating, breathing heavy... but had no idea why? After several months of little episodes in combination with our move across state, big episodes began to emerge. I mean, big. I didn't know what was happening or how I was ever going to live to see the end of it. I began to weep, to pray, to cling to anything I knew to be stable. The stability was evident: my faith.

Isn't it crazy how God will take all of you and mold you into something new? I was (am) broken. My faith began to weaken. I couldn't figure out how my God could allow me to go through something so terrifying. What did I do to deserve this? 

Isn't that what we always do? We try to find the source of our pain, the reason for our doubts, sickness and troubles? Maybe, just maybe, we aren't supposed to know why something happens. Instead, maybe we just let it happen and see where it takes us. 

After several months of fighting the "what ifs", with the direction of my family and counselor I followed this route. I'm on the path of a new me. 

I'm back in toddler stage. I'm clingy to Jesus. I rarely make a move without his direction first. This took a lot of pruning. I've rid myself of myself. I've grown in my new skin. While I still have a long way to go, I now understand that my pain was/is a huge gain. 

Friends, today I encourage you. Don't lose faith. If you are struggling with anything... weight gain, anxiety, sickness, loss (you fill in the blank), try to embrace it. As my counselor would say, "ride the wave." Life is full of uncertainty, what is certain is that we only have now. Be the best you, even if that means you have to learn to breathe through the pain. 

This song has helped me through dark times. Listen :)  Beautiful Things - Gungor


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Birthday, Nora!

Today, Nora turns 1! It's been such a fun year for our family to have a little girl added to clan. Emily has become the most beautiful and caring mother, ever. Nora is so lucky to have her! 

Enjoy your day, Nora! We will celebrate this weekend on the beach. Love you sissy! 
Aunt Abby's first time babysitting sweet girl!

First photo with my new niece, Nora Elizabeth!

Momma's girl, that's for sure! Just the sweetest! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Here to Stay.

I've decided to come back to my writing home. It's been a long time coming. A couple years worth of changes, spiritually, professionally and personally. 

Everyday, I'm itching to express my opinions, feelings, excitements, concerns and joys but find that social media is becoming too much of a circus to do so. 

So, here I am. This is a safe zone. I plan to write on a plethora of topics. Mainly, in the moment, raw posts.

My heart has never felt closer to Jesus. I pray through my words you find love, Anchored Love, in Him. My words are never aimed to hurt but only to shed my truths. 

Will post again, soon. Happy Independence Day, weekend. May we always have this freedom. 


Monday, February 11, 2013


As a fresh mommy of two, I'm worn out, exhausted, spit-up on and rarely get a shower before dark but what a fabulous job I have! Hard to believe Christian will be 4 months old on Thursday and Braylon will be 4 years old in April.

Our lives are in the midst of transition again (when aren't they), and I'm feeling a plethora of emotions. I love being home with the boys during the day and all the sweet sweet memories I'm making with them. On the other hand, I have a yearning to work again, to bury myself in paperwork and get lost in conversation with adults. When the boys and I wake in the morning, I lay there (tears usually) and thank Jesus for every single minute he allows me to have with them. I know eventually, most likely sooner than later, my unlimited time with them will end and my life will shift to evening meetings and research.

Please pray for me and our family as we continue to make the transition to full-time working mommy. Specifically that I have patience, sleep, a lot of love and extra time with my boys!

Love to you all,

Jefferson Junction

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm Back

I haven't wrote in months and for a reason. I love to write, I used to write because I needed to -- mentally. I realized that instead of writing about my feelings I needed to really approach them on a different level.

So... Winter became a time of growth for me. I just didn't feel that writing would help me grow during a time of deep confusion. I did a lot of soul searching, dug deeper than I ever have with my faith and tested my relationship with Dajuan. I fully commited to a church and have found so much reward from attending every week... I can hardly wait to get my next spoonful the next Sunday. My baby turned 2 in April and I've come to realize he is no longer a 'baby'. Dajuan and I are stronger than ever, I love him more every single day.

My life is nowhere near perfect, it never will be. I will say I've grown into my skin and role as a mother and wife.

I just wanted to check-in quick and welcome myself back to the writing game. The weather has finally broke and I feel like I can come out of this cacoon I've placed myself in and fly. I have a lot in store this summer and can't wait to keep you all updated.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Power of Prayer

Have you ever just felt anxious? My sister has battled with anxiety her entire life; me on the other hand, I could never relate... until recently. As I've gotten older and seen the world for what it really is I've felt my heart race and chest tighten on several occasions. Mostly, I can control my anxious thoughts and relax after a few deep breaths but recently, my control over anxiety has slipped away. I've found myself gasping for air through the work day, at home, while typing, showering, praying, rocking and sometimes I even wake up and have to calm myself down. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our everyday lives and problems that we can truly engulf ourselves in them. I know I've wrote about stuggling with my faith before but I just can't get it figured out. I am so blessed. I know that I'm blessed but why can't I feel like it?

I've just been in another world. I feel like I could be triggered at any given moment. There are so many factors that are playing on my emotions and moods. Braylon being sick has worn me down beyond belief. The thought of the doctor's office makes me scowl. I've become distant with Dajuan, more than usual. At work I have a hard time smiling because I feel overwhelmed and defeated. When these three combine it's a recipe for disaster.

As much as I've been digging to find peace and happiness and my purpose I feel my wheels just spinning. I just don't feel happy. What a terrible feeling. It's hard to even admit. Too often we get caught up in our lives, our problems, our kids, our relationships that we miss the 'big' picture. I know that I am. I am well aware there is a problem, I wish I could say I've figured it out... but I just haven't. It's devastating.

I've come to the conclusion the frustrating part is the unknown. The mystery of faith is a real, well, mystery. I am the type of person that wants facts; I need reassurance. While on Twitter today I came across a tweet from my sister talking about the power of prayer. I immediately felt sick and anxious. Why though? Emily, has been following a blog from a couple in AZ whose daughter has brain cancer. This couple has chosen to walk out their journey with their daughter's illness in the public... naturally, I began to read the blog, and there I sat eyes soaking wet, weeping for these strangers. Their blog is unbelievable, it's bone-chilling. Their absolutely gorgeous five-year-old, Kate, is in the fight of her life and with the power of prayer this family is trusting that God can heal Kate. The news continues to grow weary for this beautiful, God loving family yet they cling tight to their faith and their Maker. Kate's mom, Holly noted that their humanness is aching to depths they never knew it could reach but their faith is untouched.

What a powerful statement and what a powerful message. I am blessed. My everyday struggles are just that, everyday struggles. There are people like Kate, who are spreading God's word amidst illness, fear and the unknown. I'm so thankful I came across that tweet. I felt God for the first time today in a very long time. My heart is so heavy that I can feel it pounding in my stomach. I cannot stop praying for this little girl; actually I just can't stop praying in general. My sister is right, the power of prayer is larger than any tumor, any bad day, and any anxious thought.

I am so thankful for days like today when I can feel God and slowly reel myself back to him. I wish I had all the answers and knew how to handle my day to day obstacles but that's the beauty of my journey. Please keep Kate in your prayers-- there are SO many out there who are struggling with pressing issues that are far worse than ours.

Here's to a good nights sleep and a better tomorrow.

xO. Abby