Simple August Challenge

Looking for an easy way to de-clutter your space while having some fun? Play a game with me in August!  It’s called the 30-day Minimalism Game.

IMG_2391I have a wonderful, creative friend I met through roller derby who is constantly challenging me in different ways.  And today just happens to be her birthday!!!  So…HAPPY BIRTHDAY GOLDIE!!!!

First it was to take an online hand lettering course.  And pushing and challenging each other through graphic design as we promoted our team together.  Encouraging each other through a Whole30 challenge.  And then an “impulse savings” group that is always challenging us to save more and spend less.  And now…we’ve accepted a new challenge, the 30-day minimalism game.

Although my dear hubby is a little scared about all the things I might get rid of, I’m excited for this month-long challenge.  It’s simple: each day of the month you get rid of that many items.  So, since today is the 29th, you’d get rid of 29 items.  You can donate them, give them away or trash them, it doesn’t matter as long as they are out of your house.

You can join in the fun too! Start with me, on August 1st, to simplify your life.

You can start small, it doesn’t have to be huge items.  You can get rid of 29 old magazines cluttering up your space.  It can be anything!  What will you get rid of?

Want to play? Use #MinsGame on Twitter or Instagram so I can follow along with you.

Monday Menagerie {13}

A quick wrap up of all the random things I’ve been enjoying recently.  Things I loved, or learned something from, things I think you might enjoy too.  I hope you appreciate them as well…and so, here are my weekly(-ish) top 5 favorite things:

1. The best Maid Of Honor “speech” I’ve seen.  I just love the fact that they didn’t take themselves too serious, and intentionally sang off key.  Totally how I’d rock it.  If you haven’t seen it, check it out here.

2. This post from Perry Noble about the Supreme Court’s Decision…

3. And this post by @AnnVoskamp titled “How woman can stop judging each other: a movement of key women.”  This resinated so much with me. I see so much judging from people all the time, and I hate it.  I want to be a Key Woman.  I’m not sure what that looks like, but it’s sometime I am hoping to pursue more.

4. Scentbird where I am trying out some new perfumes.  Just received my first one yesterday, Something Blue, and I love it!  I would have never tried this on my own, but Scentbird has a quiz – and who doesn’t love those – where I answered a few questions and it gave me a tons of scent suggestions.  Since it’s July, I went with one that was recommended for the summer.  And I’m glad I did.

IMG_40085. A few Saturdays ago, a crafternoon was in full force at my house.  I had the sewing machine out and was sewing up a storm.

I was finishing up the baby bandana bibs from the previous Mondays Menagerie.  Then I made some coffee koozies, cause even though the coffee cups are insulated at church, they still hurt my delicate hands.  I had one with my initial on it but couldn’t find it after I changed bags a while bag.  BUT, guess what I found while I was sewing some new koozies!  Yep, I found my original one.

And then I finished up the day with transforming an old blanket from my grandparents into a pouf, thanks to a super easy pattern from HGTV.  I love up-cycling things, especially with any personal history, to something that I will use.  I suppose I could have kept it as a blanket…but if you’ve ever been to my house, you would see I have a plethora of blankets!

 

Those are the things I’ve been enjoying lately.  How about you?  Show me something you’ve recently come across that you love.

There is no “JUST” in Adoption

The morning we found out that B.B. King had passed away our son became a Blues lover.  We have Pandora playing in his nursery most of the time, and that morning was no different.  After hearing of his death, my husband created a new Blues station to listen to, and Ace went from crying to just enjoying the music in seconds.  And we haven’t looked back.  Sure we change up the stations now and then, put on a Disney show-tunes melody, rock out to some old school rap, and relax to lullabies.  But our go-to station is the Blues.

This morning as I was rocking him and talking to him after a bottle, Etta James’ song “At Last” came on and it brought me to tears.  Such a beautiful song that pretty much encompasses the emotions of our adoption.  At last…it’s been such a long journey getting to this point, where he is smiling in my arms.  At last..he is finally here.

“At Last” by Etta James

At last 
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh yeah yeah At last

The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
The night I looked at you

I found a dream, that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known

Oh yeah yeah
You smiled, you smiled
Oh and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
for you are mine…

At Last

Adoption is no easy journey, especially when it begins with infertility.  And anyone who says “just adopt” should prepare themselves for a smack in the face.  There is no just about it…you just run up to the store to pick up milk when you run out, you just do some laundry when you’re out of clothes, you don’t just adopt.

IMG_2606After seven long years of trying to get pregnant we decided, in April of 2014, to stop trying and grow our family through adoption.  This was no easy decision, we had been talking and praying about it for several years.  And finally in April we felt God was leading us to make this shift in our hearts and our minds as to how He was going to grow our family.  Then, leave it to God and his sense of humor, His perfect timing, in April 2015, Ace joined our family…one year later.

I remember the day we decided to stop the medical treatments.  We were at lunch on a Saturday, enjoying some South Carolina BBQ.  We had been talking about what was the next step, then we got into the car, and John suddenly said, “Let’s not go back, I’m done.  Let’s start the application for Bethany.”  A huge relief washed over me as my husband guided this decision.  And a wave of peace set in, as we started this new leg of our journey.

10 REASONS WHY I CANNOT JUST ADOPT

1. There is a birth mother out there that didn’t JUST decide to give her baby to a stranger, it took a lot of thought, a lot of pain, and a lot of tears.
2. An average adoption cost anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000.  I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s a lot of money…worth every penny, but we don’t have that lying around.
3. There are tons of options to consider.  Agencies: private, state, religious, etc. The age of the child: infant, toddler, older.  Do you: foster or adopt.  And then once you decide what’s best for your family, there are even more choices to consider, and when you think you are done making decisions, there are more.
4. It will never replace the grief I have for Poppy, the baby we lost to an ectopic pregnancy.  Or replace the heartache of not being unable to carry a biological child of my own.
5. All the paper work you have to fill out takes time, lots of time – getting pregnant up takes a night….unless you’ve been dealing with infertility, then it can take years.
6. The home studies are not convenient – sounds whinny, it’s not meant to be; but it’s a reality that others do not have to deal with.  With our agency we had to have 6 total “home studies.”  Three during the application process, and three after Ace came home.  These are kinda deceptive, they really have little to do with your home, it’s more about you and you’re relationships.
7. Because we did battle infertility before deciding to adopt, there is a mountain of medical bills we are still working through.  Plus the mental shift that had to take place from trying to get pregnant to simply trying to start a family.  That might seem small, but it is a huge shift in your heart, a hurdle you have to overcome or at least accept.
8. It’s nerve-wracking preparing for a baby to arrive when you don’t know when it’ll get here.  We were lucky enough to connect with our birth mom about a month or so before Ace was born, but even then nothing was definite so we were afraid to purchase too much for the nursery or even tell too many people.  But sometimes when you are adopting you just get a phone call that asks if you can head to the hospital, giving you no real notice at all.
9. There will always be more to his story than the average kid.  More heartache, more paperwork, more history and previous hurts – some that he doesn’t even know about yet.  Learning to navigate his story, telling his truth, watching God guide his life is an amazing privilege, but it’s not easy.
10.  Growing your family by adoption is a big deal, it’s not something to take lightly, please don’t trivialize it with the word just.

Mondays Menagerie {12}

A quick weekly wrap up of all the random things I’ve been enjoying this past week.  Things I loved, or learned something from, things I think you might enjoy too.  I hope you appreciate them as well…and so, here are my weekly top 5 favorite things:

Weekly Top 5 Favorite Things

Weekly Top 5 Favorite Things

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, let alone a Mondays Menagerie.  But I thought this week it’d be a fun way to share the things I’m loving on this new adventure called motherhood.

1. This book that helped us get Ace to sleep through the night by 9 weeks, On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep.  It also helped us prepare for all the little growth spurts that I’d never heard about, but where right on the money.  Poor Ace’s day 10 growth spurt was the worst so far.

2. A month of cloth diaper trial by Ivy’s Diaper Service.  I’ve always been curious to try cloth diapers, the amount of money they save is just too appealing to me to not give it a shot.  But to dish out a ton of money only to hate it, and not knowing which style or brand of cloth diaper I would like kept me from jumping in.  Then, I found a trial service where you can try out several different styles and brands for a month, and you only lose a small deposit if you hate them all and want to go with disposables.  I loved the trial, and their customer service was amazing!  And our favorite diaper….

3.  bumGenius Freetime All-In-One is our all time favorite because it’s SO easy, dries so quickly, and I don’t have to stuff it like a Pocket Diaper.  It’s pretty much just as easy as a disposable diaper, just slightly different to adjust to at first.  Our second favorite is bumGenius Flip and the inserts for it (which are much cheaper on Ivy’s).  We also use these prefolds in the Flip covers, but I like the Flip inserts better.  I like the Flips because they are much cheaper, and you can re-use the cover several times throughout the day and just swap out the insert.  Maybe I’ll do a post later on how I use the cloth diapers, and show you just how easy they are.

4.  Baby Bandana Bibs.  They are so stinkin’ cute!  I made a bunch thanks to White & Bright blog here with a great pattern and instructions.

5.  And the one thing I don’t think I could do without now…Amazon Prime.  I love how I can get something so fast without paying shipping, and without having to load up Ace and run out, especially since it’s a good 20-40 minutes to anything other than a grocery store.  It’s also been great to play around with the Prime Music and download free playlists for our Blues loving babe.

How Long Will It Hurt?- Part 5

 To read Part 4, click here.

Well, it’s been a few months since I started this series in January, and a lot has happened.  But as I read through this series about how to survive a long trial, I knew I needed to finish it now…it’s too amazing how God finished this story to not share it with you.

Just a super quick reminder, I was sharing what God had been teaching me through the life of David, specifically in Psalm 13:

“How long, Lord?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will You hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?  How long will my enemy triumph over me?  Look on me and answer, Lord my God.  Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome her,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.  But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.  I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.

(If you’d like to start back at the beginning of this series, click here.)

HOW LONG – DOUBTING GOD’S PLAN

“How long will my enemy triumph over me?”

When you’re going through a difficult time, it can seem that everyone and everything is out to get you.  But really there is just one enemy…and he knows just what buttons to push to draw you away from your Savior.

David said, “It’s no use. Saul is going to win. He has all the troops, resources, and time he needs. He will end up destroying me!” Do you realize what was really happening here? David was actually saying, “God, didn’t You promise me I was going to be the next king someday? But God, my enemy’s going to triumph over me! If it’s not the Philistines, Saul’s going to get me! But I thought Your Word said …” When David got to that point he was right where Satan wanted him. David was doubting God’s Word, God’s goodness, and God’s plan. By remaining in this doubt, we are giving ground to the enemy.

And that is about where I was when I stopped writing this series…full of doubt.

In the beginning of February, I was beginning to doubt that we would ever be a family of more than two.  I was letting the enemy fill my thoughts again with painful, bitter thoughts.  But thanks to a wonderful group of ladies in a small group study through a wonderful book I had already read, I was starting to fight back.  Starting to trust again…to trust for more…to hope again…for more.

GIVE LIGHT TO MY EYES

And that’s when we received a phone call.  Not from our adoption agency, but from a friend.  The phone call brought a possibility, a glimmer of light.  But it wasn’t until a little while after the phone call, that we realized just how much of a God-story this was about to be.

See, a few months before, a different friend of ours asked us to start praying for a young woman who had recently discovered she was pregnant. At the time all we knew was that she was unsure what she should do or how she would care for her baby.

And so we prayed.  We prayed that God would bring her comfort, and peace as she faced this life changing event.  We prayed that as friends and family might begin to turn their back on her, she would not feel all alone, that He would be there and make His presence known to her.  And that as she tried to decide how she would love this child best, that He would give her wisdom.

God had been weaving our stories together even before she had made up her mind to choose adoption as the best way to love her baby. We put two and two together, and realized that the same woman we’d started praying for several months ago was now interested in meeting us to parent her baby.

Through two totally unrelated friends, God was writing our adoption story.

The next few weeks were a roller coaster of emotions.  And out of respect for her, we didn’t want to share much at all with anyone until we left the hospital.  That was one of the most difficult things – to be so excited about the upcoming possibility of finally adding a baby to our family, but to keep that excitement measured.

At any moment, until we left the hospital, she had every right to change her mind.  And although we had been waiting and wanting this for so long, we wanted to make sure she did not feel pressured in any way, at least from us.  We continually felt God’s leading, and were pretty confident that this was His plan.  But there was still the possibility for heartache, so we remained guarded.  Plus, this was potentially the beginning of a lifelong relationship, and we did not want to jeopardize it.

TRUST.  REJOICE.  SING.

But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.  I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.

When I led a study through Psalm 13 at a ladies beach getaway last October, one of the goodies we gave the women were necklaces as weekend reminders.  There were three different words we chose for the necklaces, and they were given out randomly.  My necklace said: REJOICE.

I hung it from my rearview mirror as a reminder.  I believed God had promised me children, and I believe Him at His word.  There was nothing left for me to do but rejoice in His goodness, I needed to keep my focus back on Him and the good He had already done in my life.

In Matthew 14: 19-21, Jesus praised God and gave thanks BEFORE the miracle of the Fishes and Loaves. Sometimes faith and trust means celebrating before the miracle happens, even when it doesn’t make sense.

“There are moments in life when you need to stop pleading and start praising.  If God has put a promise in your heart, praise Him for it…even if God doesn’t answer the way you want, you still need to praise through it.” The Circle Maker

I’m so glad He brought us to a place of rejoicing even before He showed us the beginning of our adoption adventure.  And I’m so glad we’re able to rejoice now as His story continues to unfold…

AceWeek1


“The blessings of God won’t just bless you; they will also complicate your life.” Circle Maker

How Long Will It Hurt?- Part 4

To read Part 3, click here.

HOW LONG? – WORRY & ANXIETY

“How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?”

After a while, the “how long” is filled with worry and anxious thoughts.  It becomes something that consumes our thoughts, something we can’t get away from.

For those who have been blessed and never had to go through infertility, you might not be aware of some of the steps you have to take in order to really “try”.  This might be a little too much information, but I wanted to share so you can get a picture of how easy it is for worry and anxiety to fill your every thought.  One of the first things most couples do when “trying,” is to get an ovulation kit.  And in order to use one, you have to pee on it first thing in the morning, for almost the whole month.  SO, the VERY FIRST thing you have to think about when you wake up is that….and there it sits, in your thoughts constantly for the rest of the day.

That constant thinking about my infertility drove me crazy.  I had to stop testing because the anxiety was turning me into a very mean person.  I finally realized there was nothing I could do to change the situation, other than to stop testing so that I would stop thinking about it all the time.  I had to give it up…it had been too long.

In Psalm 13, David was asking God: “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?” or “How long must I take counsel in my soul?” His thoughts were getting the best of him, and he was exhausted.  He was tired of coming up with his own plans and solutions to his problems.  I am too.  Are you?

God had told David long ago that he was to be king, He had given David that promise.  And yet anytime his kingship was threatened, David ran away, trying to solve his own problems instead of taking them to the Lord.  In running away from threats, David sought refuge in caves (I Sam. 22:1), with the Moabites (I Sam. 22:3), in desert hills (I Sam. 23:14), even with the Philistines, his enemies (I Sam. 27:1).  I don’t know about you, but a castle sounds much better than a cave…obviously David’s plans were getting him nowhere.

I believe God gives us personal promises too.  And you have to be seeking after His heart in order to hear His promises for you.  One of mine comes from Isaiah 51:1-3.  It’s kind of a long story, so I’ll give you the quick version…through a couple of sermons and many prayers, He spoke to me through this verse telling me that we will have a family.  I am confident in that, I stake my claim to that verse, and pray it back to Him when I begin to doubt.

But it is so easy to lose hope, like David did, when you don’t see God’s promises coming like you thought they would.  It’s easy to start coming up with your own plan to make those promises happen.  It’s easy to make the end result of those promises more important in your mind than God Himself.  And that’s when you’re in trouble.

David’s experience of being swept away by his emotions is common, I think we’ve all been there a time or two.  He had wallowed so long on disaster after disaster that he was feeding on the dark thoughts of hopelessness.  He was waiting on God for these promises he believed in, and he let the doubt creep in.

Have you ever tried to solve a problem or get out of one and it actually made it worse?  Yep, I have.

God is a much better problem solver than we are, give it back to Him.


“When I said, “My foot is slipping, your love, O Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19

How Long Will It Hurt?- Part 3

To read Part 2, click here.

HOW LONG – FEELING ABANDONED

David asks, “How long will You look the other way?”  Have you ever felt like God has turned His back to you?  I have.

As a believer, regardless of the extent of our spiritual maturity, it’s possible to reach a point so low we actually feel that everyone—even God—has abandoned us.  We feel so alone, so desperate to be heard, yet unable to speak through the tears and the pain.

I believe that was David’s desperate condition when he wrote Psalm 13.

Sometimes we don’t sense that God’s there, but He is.  Sometimes we don’t think He’s blessing us, but He is.  Sometimes we don’t think He’s watching over us, but He is.  In David’s distress he lost sight of God’s presence and blessing, and it’s easy for the same thing to happen to us.

But the TRUTH is, He has not abandoned you.

“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”  – Proverbs 15:3

“Am I only a God nearby”, declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord, “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”  – Jeremiah 23:23-24

It may feel like God has turned away from you, but the reality is that He is very near, and is working on something in your heart. What is He teaching you?

Now is the time to spend some extra time in His Word, trying to hear His voice.  I know in these times of despair it’s much easier to wallow in self-pity than seek His heart.  I’ve been there, I get it.  But time with Him is the most important thing you can do right now.

Pray.  And when you don’t know what to pray anymore, read through some scripture as your prayer.  Call out to Him.  Cry out to Him.  Seek hard after His heart for you and this difficult time.  Ask Him to show you what He is trying to teach you, to give you the wisdom to see.

It may take a while, but keep after it, it’s worth it.  Personally, I journal while I pray.  I highly recommend it if you don’t already.  It makes it so much easier to go back and look to see if He’s working on some type of “theme” in your life.

My “theme” was, and continues to be, WAIT.  I wrote more about that here.  What is your “theme” God is trying to give you?  Even though my theme doesn’t sound like it, just knowing what He has for me gives me comfort.  It makes it easier to WAIT in Him.


“Never put a comma where God puts a period.  And never put a period where God puts a comma.” Mark Batterson

Click here for Part 4.

Sidetracked

So, I had every intention of working on my remaining January goals of posting about my new cleaning plan or my capsule wardrobe, but I got sidetracked.  So, instead of posting about one of those, I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been distracted with…

Every time I thought about working on my January goals I ended up daydreaming about our nursery.  We’re still waiting…and waiting… on our home study for our adoption, but we’ve already started getting the nursery settled.  We’re in that awful WAITING period that never seems to end with adoption.  And all I can do to help pass the time is prepare for when our baby will arrive.

We thought an “adventure theme” was very fitting for our family because of how our baby will be joining our family, and the road we’ve traveled to get here.  (You can see my pinterest board for it here.)  So, first we painted the room a beautiful taupe from Benjamin Moore – the only paint my hubby will use.  At first I was nervous, it seemed darker than I was expecting, but now I LOVE IT!!!  In fact, I might use it in another room or two later.

Foxy PullsWe wanted to reuse things we already had as much as possible.  So, we took the old white dresser that I grew up with and painted it a beautiful jade green.  Then I had some fun with a sander and some distressing glaze.  It gave it an old, shabby chic type of look.  I ordered these beautiful fox drawer pulls from Anthropologie, and now it’s PERFECT.  It’s a long, low dresser that will provide plenty of storage and a great top for a changing pad.

My hubby’s Grandma made him a beautiful patchwork quilt for a High School graduation gift.  He loved it, he loved it so much it was falling apart.  We had taken it back to her to see if she could repair it and she said it should just be thrown away.  Ahhh…that’s awful, there was no way I could do that, so I just folded it up and kept it in a drawer till later.

Shortly after we moved to South Carolina I cut some of the quilt off and made some throw pillows for our couch.  But we still had so much of the beloved quilt waiting for another purpose.  Finally, it hit me as we were dreaming about the nursery…window valances!

Vintage ValanceSo, my talented hubby made me some boxes and helped me staple the quilt to the boxes.  We hung them up on Sunday and they looked amazing!  It’s going to coordinate so well with the adventure theme, without being too theme-y themed.

We also hung a beautiful oil painting by my Great Grandmother, one that she painted of the mountains and some wildlife.

Our adventure is coming together, with the taupe, the green, the patchwork, the painting, the playful foxes and a beautiful wooden glider…now if we could just move on to our next step…the home study.

Waiting is the worst.

But as we wait, I can’t help but think where the other part to our story is right now.  I’m kinda hoping for an open adoption, which can have so many different meanings…but basically, I’m hoping to have some type of relationship with our child’s birth mom, and having her be a part of our child’s life.

And in this waiting, I wonder where she is right now, is she already pregnant or is that still in her future?  I wonder what type of relationship we will have, and what type of relationship she will have with our child.  I wonder what type of woman she will be.  One thing I do know though, she will be a strong, courageous woman…cause that is what it takes to trust someone else with raising your child.

I’ve begun praying for her already, because even though I know the heartache I have now, I cannot imagine her heartache later.  Her agony of letting go, while at the same having hope that someone else might provide a better life for her child.  It’s a decision I do not envy, but one I whole heartedly respect…how much easier it would have been for her to have let go much sooner and put an end to her pregnancy.

It’s a life that is meant to be.  One that we were meant to wait for.  One that is meant to bring two women together in one amazing way.  One amazing story that will join many lives.

And so, we wait.

We pray, we prepare, and we wait.

How Long Will It Hurt?- Part 2

 To read Part 1, click here.

I’m a big fan of Psalms.  Almost every emotion that I might have as I come before the Lord, one of the authors in the Psalms has felt the same way.  It’s such a comfort to me to see the raw honesty of others as they seek Him, especially during a hard time.  Last year, God really spoke to me through one specifically, Psalm 13.  The words take me back to where I’m suppose to be, at the Father’s feet.

“How long, Lord?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will You hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?  How long will my enemy triumph over me?  Look on me and answer, Lord my God.  Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome her,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.  But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.  I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.”

Clinging to words like these in scripture can sometimes feel like your only safety net over an endless pit.  “For He HAS been good to me.”  It was true then, it is true now, and it will remain to be true.

For the next few weeks I’m going to dig into Psalm 13 with David and learn how God wants us to TRUST, REJOICE, and SING, even when we are going through a difficult time.  For those friends who came along with me on the beach retreat in October, some of this post series is the same.  But God is just continuing to use these verses in my life, and so I wanted to share here on my blog as well.

HOW LONG – FORGETTING THE GOOD

David starts out this Psalm asking God, four times, “how long?” But one thing that is easy to miss is what’s implied…the knowledge that eventually it will end, and God will deliver him.  David knew, in faith, that God would be there for him, he just didn’t know when.

“How long will you forget me? Forever?”  Have you ever felt forgotten or looked over?  I have, for the longest time it was like a stab in the heart every time I saw a pregnant woman.  I saw the blessing that should be mine as a woman passed by, and given to someone else.  I felt forgotten, neglected and like God did not hear my prayers.

When you feel like God is not listening, it is easy to want to stop talking.  “It’s easy to give up on dreams, give up on miracles, give up on promises.  We lose heart, lose patience, lose faith.  And like a slow leak it often happens without us even knowing it until our prayer life gets a flat.” (Mark Batterson)  But that’s when it’s even more important that we keep seeking Him.

David turned to God with his complaint, just like Job, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others did throughout the Bible.  Often as we vent our anger with God to Him in our prayers, He will speak to our hearts and bring us comfort.

That is one of the things God has been teaching me during our hard time with infertility, that the most challenging thing and the most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open…keep praying and keep reading His Word.  When you keep praying, you are helping to guard your heart from becoming bitter.

When you keep praying and keep reading, despite the heartache and anger towards God, He reminds you of His faithfulness in the past, and how He will remain faithful in the future.  We remember David’s reign and his triumphs as king, but we often forget how long he waited to be king and how much affliction he experienced while he was waiting.

He knew when he was young that God was going to make him king, yet it didn’t happen until he was a grown man.  At different points in his life everyone had left David, I mean everyone.  Talk about feeling alone and forgotten, he’s been there!  He was hunted by his own family (father-in-law); his own people (like Doeg the Edomite in Saul’s army); his covenant people of God; and threatened by enemies as he hid in a dry, desert wilderness. With every fiber of his being, David felt rejected and abandoned.

Being in the middle of this hard time, David forgot about all the good God had already done in his life.  Situational amnesia is easy to develop. That’s one of the reasons God had His people build so many memorials throughout the Old Testament, like in Joshua 4 after they crossed the Jordan, when they piled stones on the shore. We forget His goodness so easily.  How skewed is your memory?  Do you only remember the bad, or do you remember the good too?

David was saying: “I just can’t go on!”  I’ve been there too.  Perhaps you’re there right now.  If so, remember this: David was feeling those feelings too and took them to God.

When we feel like we can’t go on, we can still turn to God.  Sometimes the hardest time to crack open my bible are the times when I need it the most.  When you are struggling with getting into the Word, venture out of your comfort zone and read a book of the bible you haven’t yet, or hardly ever read.  See what stories you can find about His faithfulness. Because….

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4

And what is hope?  Hope is waiting for some thing we do not yet have.  And just like David reminds us, God is faithful, and He is good.  He will come through.

Click here for Part 3.

Fit In ’15

“This is the year I will be STRONGER, BRAVER, KINDER, & UNSTOPPABLE.  This year, I will BE FIERCE.”

That's me...#25!

That’s me…#25!

I saw this quote about two years ago, and I still love it.  Each year, I want to push myself more.  I might not complete my goals or get as far as I’d like, but at least I’m working towards them…after all, in 2013 being a Roller Derby Girl was still just a dream.

But one thing I’ve learned is that I need to have a plan of attack, I can’t just float through my life and hope those fitness goals will happen.  I’m busy, life wears me out, sometimes physically, sometimes just mentally/emotionally and I just want to veg at the end of the day.  If I have a plan though, I’m much more likely to push through and complete that “task” for the day.  I LOVE to cross things off my list, so if I add that to my daily “to-do’s”, I get to cross it off.  Ahh, satisfaction.

So what’s my plan?  I’m just going to focus on these 4 things for the next 3 months, and then re-evaluate.

1. Get back into the swing of derby practices.  We are technically “off season” still until the end of January.  But I can start preparing now by either skating on those nights still, or doing another work out at home.

2. Add some strength training at home on non-derby nights.  I don’t have a gym membership, nor can I afford one.  But we do have some basic home stuff I can use and modify to still get a decent work out.  Plus there are all kinds of exercises you can do with your own body weight.  One of my focuses on these nights will be my arms.  In derby there are lots of tank tops, and I’d really like to loose the bat-wings on my arms.  But one bonus of derby is that it builds your confidence, so despite having those hideous bat-wings, I STILL wear tank tops, and I’m much more ok with that than I use to be.  I’m learning to love myself more.

3. Drink more water.  As practices start back up, so should my intake.

4. Eat better.  This goes along with my meal plans that I’ve created.  I want to eat better, and planning ahead makes that much easier.  Most of the dinner meals that I’ve planned are paleo or even Whole30.  And usually we’ll have leftovers for lunches, so that means we’re eating fairly good for most of our meals.  But I’m not attempting a strict Whole30 or paleo plan right now, just focusing on making better choices.

So, for a daily breakdown, here we go:

Monday – derby practice (2 hours)

Tuesday – derby scrimmage (2 hours)

Wednesday – Strength Training at home (mainly focusing on arms)

Thursday – derby practice (2 hours)

Friday – Yoga at home (stretching & conditioning)

Saturday – Active projects around the house.

Sunday – “rest day” cause usually I’m on my feet all day at work.

 

What is your plan?