Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
Last Monday was Johnny's 28th birthday. Early that morning my little fireman & myself snuck out of the house before daddy and sister were awake to work on a very special birthday surprise. We went to Kroger where I let Noah pick out daddy's birthday present. Completely on his own. Two balloons, 1 massive cookie cupcake, a dr. sues card, and a race car later we rang the door bell to deliver the goods to daddy. This little man was so proud of his gift.
Of course Noah insisted Johnny close his eyes for the surprise. Honestly, this was such a fun morning with my Noah. We accomplished picking out daddy a fun surprise & gift but I really just loved the alone time with my little man.
My mom was sweet to come watch the kids that afternoon so I could take Johnny on a mini date to see a movie. We had a good time.
That evening we had a birthday dinner at Chuys to celebrate my sweet man with some wonderful friends. I'm so thankful that the Lord has brought these people into our lives. He sure knows what he is doing. We had such a fun day celebrate Johnny. He truly is such a gift to everyone he meets. His personality is so loving, happy, and very kind. He will do anything for anybody without anyone asking him to do it. He has taught me so much since we have been married. Love you boy!
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Every other Sunday evening a group of sweet women and myself gather around a table at Panera Bread to discuss Abiding. I’m honored to lead a Thrive small group and this season we chose to work through a journal called, Abide, by NaptimeDiaries. Its an eight week study that is all about resting in the Lord as women while we realize that we in fact don’t know everything that we thought we did about trusting, resting, and growing in the Lord.
This is what I love about the gospel. We can never reach a plateau. There is not a level of “knowing it all” or “having it all together” in Him that we can attain because our God is just too big for us, full of so much grace, and offering a never ending fountain of knowledge to us. We just have to search his truths, wisdom, and all the grace we can receive while we pursue him.
Easier sad than done.
As we began reading through Abide a few months ago together (it has taken us a little longer than 8 weeks) I quickly realized how little abiding I was actually doing in my life. Once again I thought I was abiding because I’ve somehow figured out how to - on most days - have alone time with Jesus. Even if alone time means I've been asked 20 times to put on Curious George or I change a diaper and pick up a pretty little girls pacifier 15 times. Its time in the word and I’m so very desperate for his gospel that I will take it however it comes to me.
Little did I truly understand that abiding wasn’t worshiping to music during my day at home, or squeezing in his word when I could, and it even wasn’t trusting him with my thoughts, hurts, worries, and concerns. This wasn’t abiding at all. This was spending time with my savior and worshiping the one I am blessed to know.
Abide, the journal, has opened my heart to understand that truly abiding in the Lord is making new rhythms in my life of pursuing Jesus on a daily basis. Rhythms that have come from a true desire to find my rest not in sleep but to truly rest in him. To spend time alone with my thoughts, prayers, and love for our King without anything or anyone threatening that time. For me, I’ve truly fallen in love with a time of day that use to be so ungodly to me. A time of day that I rarely have seen in my life unless I was catching an early flight, holding a sick baby, or too worried about something that I couldn’t sleep.
I’ve fallen in love with a quiet, still, absolutely breathtakingly beautiful 5 or 6 am. I know, you think I’ve lost it, maybe you think I’m “one of those Christians” or perhaps you don’t believe me. But I’m so serious.
It’s so wonderful. I just want every single woman (momma or not) to do this. At least a few times. When I use to hear women say they woke up before everyone else I literally would think they must be those super hero Christians or totally crazy or totally exaggerating because there is no way anyone would do that on purpose. Jeopardize their glorious uninterrupted sleep. Especially if she had kids because God knows where you are in life & totally gets that you are cleaning up poop and exhausted that you don’t need to wake up early for him. He gets it.
Yep. Ive given that advise before. Which in many ways I 100% believe. God gets that my bible time, worship time, and prayer time is stretched out over 24 hours, crammed in between PBJs and the evening news but shouldn’t I want more? Maybe I need more…
Turns out I do.
Now, I’m her. Not a superhero Christian, crazy, or exaggerating… instead I’m just truly needing to abide in him before I do anything else in my day. It makes knowing him, resting in him, and sustaining me so much easier. Joyous. Happier. And even when my days are so full that I can barely remember if I’ve brushed my teeth (it happens, don’t judge) it doesn’t seem like it is at all. The days seem so full, so wonderful, so amazing, and full of grace.
What does abiding mean to you?
What does it look like for you?
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Happy Heart Box from Brittany Willard on Vimeo.
This is the day that I have been praying about & working so hard towards. If you follow me on facebook or instagram you are fully aware that I've been up to something the last two months. This is it! The Lord gave me a dream this year to start a ministry for women. The purpose to encourage women to passionately pursue Jesus at all times. Especially in the hard times. I invite you to take a few minutes of your day to watch this video and to visit Happy Heart Box at www.happyheartbox.com to learn all about this ministry.
My heart is to bless women who are experiencing a difficult time in life with a gift box full of beautiful products. FREE of charge! If you own a handmade shop or would like to donate products please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Also there is a go-fund-me account set up to fully fund Happy Heart Box for the entire first year! This will fund 56 boxes that will be sent out to women throughout the year. Happy Heart Box is completely run by donations and we need you to be successful.
Please feel free to share with everyone you know.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Falling in love with my babies has been something that has happened so intensely the last eight months. I have always loved them. However, I've fallen deep in love with enjoying both of them everyday. We have been building tents all throughout the house the last two weeks. Laying there together, snuggling, telling stories, eating snacks, and making memories.
I had someone recently ask me, "How do you always seem to enjoy your kids so much all the time? I always feels so overwhelmed...tired..." I want to share how I got to this place I've been for a few years now. Even more so the last 8 months. It hasn't always been this way for me, being deeply in love with my babies & our everyday life together. I don't have it figured out & am confident I never ever will.
But through freedom in Him I've fallen deeply in love with my everyday life with my littles.
Let me explain a bit....
Noah is my sweet little buddy who has always been such a gift to me in my everyday life. Initially Noah was a very unexpected little surprise in our lives but over the years I have realized what a true gift in the perfect timing his precious life has been. He has been so much comfort, joy, and a constant reminder of faithfulness to us in our lives. I've always enjoyed him. However, until he was about 1.5 years old I often struggled with my attitude as a stay at home momma. I felt exhausted, tired, lonely, and sometimes depressed. This prevented me from truly falling totally in love with Noah & our everyday life together. I would often find myself down during the week. Wishing to be working in a career, frustrated with trying to be a wife, mother, & the "stay at home mom" that I thought I had to be. Honestly, I felt trapped. Trapped in a box that I built around myself.
Pinterest was becoming a thing & it was ugly.
Pretty on the outside but ugly on the inside.
All these mommas, women, & wives showing me how picture perfect their homes were, how clean their kids were, all the ways their children were the smartest, their weekly menus overwhelmed me, and how their everyday outfits were always so clean. For real? Who lives like this? I didn't.
I fell into the trap of believing that as a stay at home mom that I had to cook, clean, keep a schedule for every part of my life, and act a certain way. All of this fueled my emotions and prevented me from truly falling in love with my baby in a deeper way. Obviously I was in love with him. If I looked at him when he smiled I would cry. I often still do. His sweet snuggles just made my heart burst. But I wasn't in love with our everyday life together as mom and child. God often convicted me about my lack of patience not just with Noah but in general. If my meal flopped, if others frustrated me, or if things didn't go the way I hoped. I got frustrated. Annoyed. Impatient.
I was trying to be something God never intended me to be. I was trying to live up to a dream that was never mine. Definitely not God's dream for my life. Who he called me to be - as his.
The Lord set me free of that whole mind set. It wasn't easy and it took work but when he did I never felt so joyous. Since then letting my kids wear pjs all day is totally acceptable, cooking twice a week is a miracle, having an empty laundry baskets every week is rare, having paint under my nails when I show up to church from enjoying my day is something I never think about anymore, or letting my Noah wear his daddy's long green socks that come all the way up to his bum to church is a priceless memory made or if he wants to carry around an orange under his arm all day for a week - its all good. Who cares what anyone else thinks about it. These and a list so long of things that have become real life everyday unbelievable memories hold more importance than being that woman I thought I had to be 3 years ago.
There is freedom that my home doesn't always have to be perfect when friends come over. Expected or unexpected company show up, it doesn't phase me. I'm actually genuinely happy about having guest. Three years ago if someone rang the door bell unexpected all kinds of ugly would have crept up into my heart like,
"why are they here, they didn't call, ugh who is it"
Gross. Ugly. I know.
Looking back on the last 3 years my heart breaks at the thought of all the things I would have missed out on with my babies, friends, and in my life if I hadn't found freedom in Jesus. Found freedom from something I didn't even realize (at first) I needed freedom from.
I have fallen in love with my littles and our everyday life together by grace & freedom in Jesus Christ. Today I'm sharing this because I've been asked how I seem to enjoy my kids so much all the time. This is how. It is not perfect every day of the week, don't think that. I have my moments too, but honestly those moments are so fleeting since I've found freedom.
Maybe you can see yourself in the me three years ago. Maybe there are parts of you in that old me. The reason I'm sharing this isn't to pretend I have everything figured out, because thats not truth. However, I am sharing this because I know that other women struggle with feeling overwhelmed, so tired, and even depressed as mommas because maybe we are trying to live our lives the way God never called us to. For you, maybe it is something completely different that you are trying to live up to. You may truly find enjoyment in having empty laundry baskets, clean nails, and schedules. (Some of my best friends truly do love it.) I just know that the enemy loves to speak lies over our lives in any area he can. Whatever & wherever that area is for you just know you are not alone. You never will be.
Know that there is hope & freedom in Jesus. Seek his freedom in all areas of life. It may not be easy, it may take some work, and the enemy will fight you over it a lot but it is possible to live in freedom.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
This summer has stolen my heart. So many days spent enjoying my Noah & Olivia experiencing the pool, relaxing on the back porch drinking sweet tea with my hubby, family, friends and loving making memories. Each year the summer time seems to get a bit sweeter. Texas gets hot in the summer time and at times we can't go out until the evening so during the day we've been eating lots of homemade yogurt pops, coloring, building tents, snuggling while watching movies, eating lunch with friends, and hanging out with students at the church.
This summer we have had many house guests that we have so enjoyed & our home has been full of laughter from students & friends. We have had camps, conferences, and the start of new ministries. We are definitely enjoying this season of life. Making friendships, building community, and enjoying our family.
As the summer starts to come to an end I'm excited for the Fall. For the next season of life. But this summer has stolen my heart in a big way. I'm holding onto the last little bit tightly. Loving all these sweet memories we have made in the sun with our loved ones. My favorite summer memory this year has been watching Noah fall in love with the water as much as I do.