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.