Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Our gift. Those are the words that come to my mind when I think about my precious Lyla. She is simply that: our gift.
This sweet baby entered our world 5 years ago today. She was completely unplanned, unexpected, and more than we could have ever hoped for. Lily Rain was only 8 months old when we found out that Lyla was on the way. Little did I know at that point how much we needed her.
Since the day she was born, she has graced our days with excitement, laughter, joy, and cheerfulness.
Lyla has brought to life the meaning of the verse, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17
Lyla, we are so thankful for your life. We praise God for giving us the greatest surprise of our lives in you! You mean the world to us.
Friday, January 1, 2016
2015 has been a doozie of a year. We welcomed 2015 while in ICU with my sweet Will, so 2016 has already gotten off on a better foot.
We definitely had our share of hard times this past year, but what great hope and refuge we were able to take in our sweet Lord. I truly do not see how people who go through hard times get through anything without knowing that we are held in the hands of our Maker.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Even in the midst of trials, I am amazed by the goodness of God. On Christmas night, as I rocked Will to sleep, I quietly sang “Jesus Loves Me” and tears began to sting at my eyes as I became overwhelmed by the truth of that little song. When so much of this broken world seems to attack my life, He has given me three tiny reflections of His grace and mercy that remind me every day that His love for us is so great.
Jesus Loves Me. This I know.
As few days ago, as I was reflecting on this past year and praying for direction and guidance for 2016, I came across the following verses from Hebrews, and I knew that these two verses are what the Lord desires for me for 2016:
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” Hebrews 13:20-21
For those of you who know me well, you know that my idols are my reputation and self-sufficiency. The verses above are directly opposite of those fleshy desires that I have, and I want to becomes more aware of the power of the Holy Spirit within me to “do what is pleasing to Him” this year.
I always make a few resolutions, but my first and most important one is to make sure that I meet with Jesus each day BEFORE going to the gym. I enjoy working out in the mornings, before anyone else is up, and before I go to work. I get it over and done with, or I won’t do it at all. But, most days the gym gets my time before Jesus does and the end of my day is spent trying to read a couple verses before falling asleep. I feel like Jesus simply gets the “leftovers” of me, and not my best.
I want to encourage each of you to take the time to reflect on a spiritual resolution this year. You will never regret getting closer to our Creator. I strongly encourage the First 5 App, the Jesus Calling devotional, or John Piper Daily Devotional App.
For those of you that are just curious, my resolutions are below. Thanks for reading my little slice of cyberspace. This is a joy for me and I pray that it brings you some kind of encouragement.
1. Focus on living out Hebrews 13:20-21 as I make a conscious effort to meet with the Lord each day BEFORE going to the gym.
2. To intentionally focus on spending more time with my family by leaving work no later than 4:30.
3. To lose 5% bodyfat (you can roll your eyes, but all resolutions must include this, right?)
4. To become more aware of my spending habits to better focus on debt reduction.
5. To focus on eating healthier (more fruits and veggies, taking vitamins, etc.).
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1
So very much to be thankful for…
1. The gift of being a mom. In the past few years, I have seen a great number of dear friends struggle with infertility. I cannot imagine the intense pain that struggle must bring, and today I am thankful that I am a mom.
2. My kids. There are no words to adequately describe the joy they each bring to my life. They are unique, special, exhausting, and exhilarating, and I am grateful for them. They fill my days with purpose and push me to be better.
3. My job. Although there are days when I think it may literally send me to the grave, it gives me great satisfaction. I am passionate about teaching, and my students. Each day is new and different, and I can honestly say “I love what I do!”....It also allows me summers and holidays with my kids, which no other job allows.
4. My husband. He is selfless, loyal, and genuine. He wakes up before the rest of us to meet with Jesus so that he can be prepared to lead our family. He has overcome so many obstacles in this life and gives glory to God for it all. He is an amazing father and he allows me to go to grocery store each Saturday….alone….and never complains.
5. Hot Coffee.
6. Uneventful days. This time last year we were waiting on the phone call to determine the day of Will’s heart surgery. I can’t remember anything about last Christmas. I honestly don't remember putting up the tree, Christmas events, or even Christmas morning. Everything was a fog and today I am grateful for uneventful, lazy, non-stressful days.
7. Friends. I am grateful for the friends in my life who don’t try to fix my problems but will simply listen, and constantly keep me laughing.
8. Great parents. No explanation needed. I have amazing, self-sacrificing parents.
9. Great teachers and amazing babysitters. My anxiety and sanity are in a better place because of these people who love on my kids.
10. A cozy, warm, small-enough-to-clean-myself, home.
The list could go on and on for days. Happy Thanksgiving.