Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Honest Momma. Join me?

I LOVE being a stay at home momma to my sweet little ones. 
These days are so special. Sweet, lovely, and charming.
These little people are two of the three greatest loves of my life.
I prayed hard for each of them.
God has been so faithful to give them to me. Entrusting me with their lives. 
However, that doesn't mean that some days are not challenging. 
Each day is not all smiles, snuggles, and pretty. Some days are mini marathons that I highly doubt some of the best trained athletes could ever survive. Physically, maybe. Mentally, not so much. Being the main caregiver for your family is a challenge at times. I think the most challenging part of it all is for the momma to know who she is, where her identity rest.

As women if our identity is found in the state of our home, then anytime the laundry is overflowing or the floor needs mopped our happiness will not come until we complete the chore.

As a momma if our identity is found in the perfection of motherhood, then we will constantly be striving to be better. Do better. Make them happier. Buy them more things. Take them more places. Do it all.

As a wife if our identify is found in our husbands, how best we can make them happy and striving to be the best house wife (vomit) then we will most surely fail. 

When we fail at all these things where our identity is placed then what is left?
Where do we go from here?

Lets find our identity in Jesus. Finding joy, peace, comfort, and fulfillment in Him. 
Lets remember that being a wife & a momma is not always picture perfect.
Lets give ourselves some grace. Forget trying to always have the prettiest instagram or facebook pictures for the sake of pleasing someone else. Can we forget pretending to be the best? Life is messy sometimes. Lets embrace it.
In saying all of this I've started something on Instagram. 
Started capturing little moments that might not be so perfect.
Perhaps they are moments that most wives, mommas, and women in general would rather keep a secret. Not letting other mommas, wives, women know happen in your home. For example, maybe your bed is unmade for the 5th day in a row. The dishes are still on the table from last nights dinner. The laundry, well that is never done and piling up out of control in your room. So you just keep that door shut tight. 

I've started capturing these moments and sharing them with the hashtag, #ahonestmomma 
If you search that hashtag you will see my post from the last few months. 
One thing about myself that I will forever work to keep is my honesty. To always be real, never trying to be something or someone that I am not. To not be a pretender of a woman, momma, wife, friend, or believer. To be real. Honest. True.
With that said, will you join me?
Will you be #ahonestmomma ? 
Will you consider joining a community of women who are in the same place that you are.
Who maybe need an encouragement that its okay to not be perfect. To not have to have everything together all the time.
Lets face it, thats not reality. Thats not truth. 

Being a honest momma is not an excuse to be a lazy woman. To not care for your children, husband, or neglect responsibility of your home that the Lord has blessed you with. Instead its simply the reality that being a mommy & wife is hard work sometimes. That the reality of a tidy home 24/7 is just not gonna happen with littles. If it does, you can forget ever having a free moment to yourself. to think, write, pray, spend time with others. enjoy your kids being kids. to relax. to feel a little more human. its just not going to happen unless thats all your life is…. cleaning. I would rather be growing and celebrating life.

So if you would like to be vulnerable with me in the hopes of encouraging others & knowing that its okay to not be perfect join me with #ahonestmomma ! Click here to connect!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Live a Life Refreshed in Him. Not Yourself.

just breathe
stop controlling
start speaking kindly
move with gentleness
act in kindness
find his grace.
One day last week this is what I began to say to myself around 8:30 am. Johnny was gone to work, I was trying to get dressed for the day & breakfast going. 
My coffee was already cold, reheated twice. 
Olivia was crying. Noah was giving me a run for my money. 
Requiring my patience to work on overtime. 
He was nearly begging me to put him into time out.
I felt anxious. 
Literally out of breath. 
It would have been the perfect moment for me to release myself into the temptation of becoming overwhelmed and allowing the ugliness that wanted to rise up within me out. 

Thankfully, we serve a Jesus who ask us to be mommas of a different standard.
In moments like this He encourages our hearts to act in His love. Not our own. 
To show grace to our little sons who are a bit out of control before 9 am.
He calls us to reach deep into ourselves to pull out the lovely even if its surrounded by ugly.
I breathed in deep. 
Picked up my baby girl. 

Grabbed my little man. 
Asked the Lord to cover our day together. 

Letting us feel refreshed instead of run down.
He has been speaking to me to walk in a life refreshed in Him. Not myself. 

Linking up for Mommy Moments.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hope Spoken; All About Glorifying Him

The most beautiful part of meeting new people, making new friends, and doing new things is allowing the Lord to move in every aspect of it. Seeing him work out the details along the way. 

I heard about Hope Spoken nearly a year ago. Immediately I knew that it was a conference to attend simply because of the message spoken. Hope. Romans 5:1-5, We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, and hope does not disappoint. The women behind this event truly are genuine, kind, and very much full of the Holy Spirit. Their words online are the same in person. Their hearts are even bigger in real life. Making friends online is an interesting concept because there is always the concern that perhaps the realness of individuals online is not quite genuine to who they are. These concerns were put to rest upon arriving at the conference. 
Before leaving for the conference I asked the Lord to place the women in my path that He would desire for me to meet. To encourage me and those He might have me to encourage. I love that the Lord is faithful, always leading when we ask. 

My sister Jen, online (now real life) friend Allison, and new friend Caitlin were my sweet roommates for the weekend. Oh, you should really go read how God was so sweet to Jen (through Danielle) in getting her to the conference. (Read here) I'm so happy these women were my roommates it was so good getting to spend time with them. My sister & I haven't had a weekend together in years. Was amazing to have some unexpected sister time with her. 
Hope Spoken was all about Jesus, all about real life, and truly everything about Hope in our savior. Women with all different types of stories of brokenness, disappointment, loss, and the hard parts of life shared from their hearts of how the Lord set them free, made them new, restored them, and gave them Hope. I can not say enough how truly genuine these women were in sharing their stories from the stage & in one on one conversations. 
Over the course of the weekend their was ample time for worship, the word, and hearing testimonies from others. The Lord allowed me to share pieces of my story with my small group at the conference as well as a few other women. I love how the Lord is faithful. Always restoring. Alway at work when we least expect it. 
A few of my favorite parts of the weekend... 
Hearing Danielle speak about, Living in the Now. She graciously shared in such an honest way her fears about open adoption. As she began to speak the Lord totally wrecked my heart in big ways. Johnny & I have been praying about adoption for a few years now and we are at a place of waiting on the Lords timing. (waiting is hard) This lady is just the sweetest. 
Another favorite part was hearing from Casey's heart again. I had the chance to hear her a few years ago at another conference. Her sweet spirit came through then and once again at Hope Spoken. On the last night of the conference Jenny from Addison Road spoke and was just incredible. Totally anointed as she lead worship & shared testimonies from her life. I loved seeing friends who I haven't seen in a few years, hearing & meeting a favorite author Shauna Niequist, oh and eating very yummy treats. 

I wont mention all of my favorite parts because we would be here all day. I'll just say that the entire conference was simply beautiful. Every woman felt loved & valued. Something completely refreshing from the weekend was that I can count on one hand how many times I heard the word, blog. Hope Spoken was all about giving Him Glory. If your are looking for a conference full of Jesus, sweet new friends, and time to grow in the Lord this is for you. Saving up to go back next year! You should join me!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Beauty in the Busy

The months of February & March have been busy. Our little family has found itself always on the go. Our days filled with family, friends, and lots ministry.
At night we fall into bed, hug the other, share highlights from our days, talk over the hard parts, then doze off ready for the next day. 
We are so thankful to be tired at the end of the day.
Thankful that we are surrounded with life that is ever changing.
Hard. Challenging. Beautiful. Full of grace and Jesus. 

One thing that I've learned is that we have the choice if what we are busy with is going to matter, mean something in the long run. Or if we are going to be busy just for the sake of being busy. Lets make our busy beautiful, lets make it count.

The last month there have been lots of birthdays, weddings, laughs, tears, cheering students on in the middle of their life's battles, less & less sleep, praying, celebrating, traveling, baby toting, conferences, community, building friendships, retreats, and growing in the Lord. 
Last week we took our students on a spring break trip that was simply incredible. The entire week we intentionally provided ample opportunity for students to spend time with the Lord. Opportunities for them to seek after God instead of us continually providing them with the word & worship all week. It was such a beautiful time with our students. To watch them grow in Christ. It was extra special because Johnny and I got married in the beautiful chapel there 5 years ago. 

The month of March is still going strong with so many things going on. We have fine arts this weekend and then I'm going to Hope Spoken next weekend! I'm so ready to join 250 other women just like myself ready to grow in the Lord & build community. Woohoo!  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Our move in September was a bit of a whirlwind. To say the least.
We put our house on the market not expecting to sell so quickly.
The buyer walked in a week later. We closed about 1.5 months after the house was on the market. Amazing. Answered prayers. 
We moved in with my parents 4 hours away, which was 1.5 hours from our new church. Also I was 8 months pregnant and the doctor I used with Noah was in that area. It made sense and we are so thankful that the Lord orchestrated us to be able to move in with my parents. To use the same doctor. Later we would realize just how God designed & life saving this move was.

We planned to rent a two bedroom apartment for a year. God had other plans. Better ones.
We got a call while in the hospital after Olivia was born that there was a house someone wanted to rent in our church to us. It was perfect timing to be getting that call. Olivia was having some complications and we were feeling discouraged. The idea of renting a home instead of an apartment was a reminder from the Lord that he was taking care of us.
After Olivia was born we moved to Houston. The Lord provided this beautiful home for us to rent. We were not at a place to buy again because of everything going on with me. It would have been way too much. We actually moved into our new place a few days before we closed on our home in Longview.

We have now been in our home since mid October.
We are blown away by the provision of the Lord with this home.
Plenty of room for Noah to RUN! Play. Great driveway to ride his bike. There is a pool. Quiet neighborhood in Houston is rare. Plus its lovely & all of our things fit perfectly.

The move has brought on some heart ache for our little Noah. He often ask when we are going home. Back to his garden. His room. Its provided the opportunity for us to explain to him that our home is not a house. 
Its a place where we are all together. 
I've enjoyed having more energy to get back outside with Noah. Now Olivia too. Its been wonderful.
Excited for spring to arrive. Johnny is making me a table to put out the yard to paint at.
The Lord never fails to surprise me. His faithfulness is truly unbelievable all of the time.
Even in the hard times. 
He is faithful.

Monday, March 3, 2014

He Moves When Our Feet Are Wet

Sometimes you just need to get your feet wet.

Lately I've been longing for the Lord to move in new ways within my heart.
It is amazing how just when I begin to wonder if there are new ways for Him to speak to me...

He does.
Its beautiful.

I've loved the Lord my whole life but still He shows me new ways to love. In Him.
Its been raining for a while in our life. Figuratively. We are at a place that we embrace the rain with open arms. For when it pours showers that are hard-seem to never end-He forever is on the other side giving fresh grace and mercy. Teaching us to trust beyond the ability of our own nature. We have learned that without our arms open in praise during the rain that we can not walk into His victories. We can not learn to embrace His full glory.

Tonight there is rain on my feet.
Perfect, refreshing rain for my soul.
As the Lord speaks crisp, so clearly to my heart.

I'm caught up in the love of the Lord while it literally pours rain all around me as I write out bits from my heart. Sitting outside with worship playing, hands raised praising the King - He is pouring his love out in showers of mercy & grace.

He reminds me that this is our time for victory.
When the enemy is moving the Lord is working.
God is breathing new dreams within us.
Healing moves throughout our bodies.
Our freedom takes deep root in him.
Boldness rises within our souls, crying out.
Worship brings the victory from the King.

As the rain pours with our eyes locked onto His, the enemy is confused.
The enemy does not want us to persevere standing in Christ as it pours.
That is the best victory of all.

Lets get our feet wet.
Even if its uncomfortable. Even if it is hard. Even if it hurts.
Even if you can not see your feet because the water is too deep, embrace the rain.
It is worth it.

Listen to this song below.

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