1.29.2016

Signs

One of my favorite experiences is when you sense God calling you to do something ... and as you begin to take the baby steps of obedience toward that calling, He sends you little signs of confirmation that you are doing the right thing.

For example, when you sense that you need to spend more time reading and studying the Word, so you do... a few minutes here or there when you can find the time... and a particular scripture jumps off the page and into your heart. Then, you are at church or Bible Study or in a conversation or (gasp!) on Facebook- and low and behold there is the exact.same.scripture. that spoke to you only days before!

I have had this happen to me more times than I can count. And maybe I read into things too much or am too desperate for a signal of approval, but I've always been a believer that sending us a "sign" is just another way that God can speak. It's not coincidence or chance or the universe aligning.

So when you believe that God is prompting you to do something you feel so deeply inside of you and aren't actually "qualified" to do, but you say yes to Him anyway...
And you begin to take teeny, tiny baby steps in that direction...
And then He sends you "sign" upon "sign" upon "sign" that you are headed down the right path...
What do you do?
Allow the fear and discouraging voices in your head dictate your next move?
Or trust that the God who made you knows exactly how He wants to knit together your unique gifts and experiences?

I am praying for wisdom as I search for the next step to take. I'm riddled with fear and eaten up with insecurity and self-doubt, but I will do my best to be obedient to His calling.

I don't know what God has laid on your heart, but listen carefully to what He might be whispering to you. Don't ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It just might lead to your greatest calling and the awakening of your soul.

"This is what the Lord says:
Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls."
Jeremiah 6:16


Healing Words

I came across this blog post the other day by one of my favorite writers/authors, Shauna Niequist. Read it if you have time-- it's worth it, I promise.

It got me thinking about motherhood and "using our words". I began to recall the instances that someone has taken the time to say, "You are a good mom, April" or "I love how you ____"or "I'm so proud of the parent you've become".

Last year I received a Facebook message from an adult from my childhood. Someone who I admired then and have the upmost respect for now. Her words were along these lines, "It is a joy to watch you parent...I'm praying for you... and cheering you on..."

As I read them, tears streamed down my face and I was shocked at how much I didn't even know that I needed to hear them. I inhaled them like clean, fresh, life-giving air to someone who was drowning. I had prayed earlier that day that the Lord would send some encouragement my way, as I was in a particularly challenging season of life. And as always, He was faithful to hear my cry.

So here's my point:

Maybe you are like me and motherhood, as glorious and wonderful as it is, has humbled you beyond anything you could have imagined. Maybe you are like me and motherhood has made you question your abilities and worth (and sanity!) more times than you would like to admit. Let's make a deal, ok? Let's use our words carefully, wisely, and intentionally. Let's encourage and build each other up. Let's not be afraid to give a meaningful, sincere, life-giving compliment to someone-- no strings attached.

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
Proverbs 16:24



2015 Books

In need of a good read? Here are some of the books I read in 2015..
They cross a variety of genres and most (if not all) should be available at your local library or, of course, Amazon.

  • 41
  • What Alice Forgot
  • Notes from a Blue Bike
  • Maude
  • Women of the Word
  • The Hiding Place
  • Strong Mothers, Strong Sons
  • Dinner: A Love Story
  • The Circle Maker
  • Ordering Your Private World
  • The Nazi Officer's Wife
  • All the Light We Cannot See
  • The Nightingale
  • The Husband's Secret
  • Angels Walking
  • Chasing Sunsets
  • The Imitation of Wings
  • Rosemary
Happy Reading! 

9.21.2015

Starting Again

I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately. About how God has used it as a nearly therapeutic tool in my past. A way to allow me to express my thoughts and musings about life, while also documenting the lives of my little people. Yes, we have various forms of social media that give us an avenue for photo documentation, but there is something about the written word (more than 40 characters or a few sentences) that is just so powerful. And while I might not have anything particularly profound to add to the already overly saturated blog-world, I think this is something that God has been nudging me toward for awhile now. Mostly for me and my own personal journey of faith-- but maybe for you too.

12.30.2013

My Favorite Days 2013

2013 was a rough year for reasons far more personal than could ever be shared via a blog or social media. And quite honestly, it's not one that I'm sad to see go. However, there were so many special memories that I don't ever want to forget... and here are a few:

1. Our trip to DC was technically at the end of 2012, but I never really documented it so I'm going to include it in this list. Most everyone would agree that DC is an amazing city, but for us it is a very emotionally charged city as well. Jeremy and I got engaged, married, pregnant, and miscarried for the first time in this city. (Though we were actually engaged in NYC and married in Nashville- we still lived there during this time)

Jeremy had a work event that we tagged along for and really only had one full day in the city, but we packed it full from morning to night! We started off with breakfast at one of our favorite spots, then did some site seeing.

We ate hot dogs from street vendors...

Enjoyed some Christmas shopping...


Visited the Smithsonian...


Observed ice skaters...


I hiked up to the top of the Arlington Cemetery while the boys napped in the car...


And of course after reading a bazillion Kennedy books, visiting his grave was a must...



We ate dinner at another favorite spot, then headed to Georgetown and finished the night with Georgetown Cupcakes!


2. January 3, 2013 
IT'S A GIRL!!! 
On Jeremy's 33rd birthday we found out that we were having a daughter! 


3. January 4, 2013
Favorite Things Party!


4. May 8, 2013
We took Carter to a nice dinner and then to see The Lion King at TPAC. It was a complete surprise and such a magical night for both him and us! 



5. May 22, 2013

We met our daughter, Alexandra Jane. She made my dreams of having a little girl come true and is by far our biggest blessing this year!


6.  July 2013
A last minute Disney trip provided this unforgettable experience- Carter got to participate in The Lion King show at Animal Kingdom! So fun!


7. August 2013
Carter started Pre-K! We are SO SO thankful for this experience!


8. We were on the hunt for something fun to do as a family during one of the few Saturdays we were all together this fall and tried Lucky Ladd Farm for the first time. It was a huge hit! Sometimes the best days are the unexpected ones :)



9. November 15, 2013
This sweet girl and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. I'm talking 20+ years and more vacations than I can count! We finally got to see each other and catch up for a few hours over dinner at BrickTop's. She's like family to me and I seriously hope it isn't so long until the next time I see her.
{Nashville is a great town and JT may or may not be moving here.... just sayin'!}


As this year closes, I am so grateful for the fresh start that 2014 will bring. I CRAVE the new year and the new beginning it offers. Happy New Year to you all!

10.08.2013

Oceans

 Do yourself a favor and listen to this song. 

The older I get the more I realize the power in these words. 

Be encouraged, friends.



10.06.2013

Autumn

It's that time of year! While our days are still pretty warm here in the south, I know cooler weather is on the horizon. The leaves are turning, the wind is picking up, and pumpkin mania is in full effect! I mean today alone I came home from the grocery store with pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cider, and pumpkin granola to go alongside my pumpkin cream cheese and pumpkin coffee creamer that I already had at home. I passed on the pumpkin flavored coffee though- telling myself "we already have plenty of coffee at home" and "it will be there next time". It better be!

It hasn't been cool enough to make my favorite fall soups like Apple Cider Stew, Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup, and Potato Chowder, but I do have Chili on the menu for this week! We have already enjoyed several batches of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (my mom's recipe is my absolute favorite) and found a few new favorites like these two:



Hooray for autumn cooking! 

I've started on my fall decorations too, though I'm finding out that decorating is more of a process now than ever. This is partially because a) I have three small children at home and b) I like to change things up every year which requires playing around with arrangements over and over before deciding on something I like. Here's a little peek of some of my new favorites this year:








I've kind of moved away from all the really orange, "pumpkiny" decor and tried to choose items that fit more nicely with the color scheme I already have in my house. We still have our bright orange pumpkins outside though, so no worries.

I hope you, too, are enjoying this wonderful season!