Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Labels....and such!

Life always seems to have this funny way of catching up with you.  One minute you're a happy go lucky 16 yr old girl, getting ready for the prom.  The next, you are planning an outfit for your 6  year old to enjoy at her daddy-daughter dance.  It happens, just like that you're responsible for another life ( or 2, or 3, or whatever).  Suddenly every single choice you make feels daunting.  Anything you say or do, or don't do isn't just scrutinized by you, but seemingly by the rest of the world.

It's tough.  I mean, impossibly tough.  For the record, NO ONE writes the book, atleast, not the one you need.  The best that you can do, is the best that you can do.  Some mommy's are pinterest queens, some successfully dress all of their children in matching outfits, hair fixed, teeth brush, and manage to shower themselves, and there are those of us who happily drop their kids off at school hiding in their pajamas behind the steering wheel. Others pack nutritious lunches, complete with every single food group needed, and a sweet note, while some cut the crust off of another sandwich, throw in a juice box, a pack of gummies, and an apple (you know they won't eat it, but it makes you feel better).  The point is, it doesn't matter.  It doesn't matter if you breast feed, or bottle feed, stay home or work, make the beds daily, or let the laundry pile up.

The point is, you know your child(ren) better than anyone else in the world.  Love them with everything you've got, and let God help you through the rest.  He's already given you everything you need.  So lean in and trust.  Whatever type of mom you are, or are becoming, it's 100% in His plan, and He trusted you to be exactly what your little one will need!  How awesome is that!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year

I opted out of the resolution trend this year.  I'm just no good at it.  I get worked up, purchase unnecessary things (hello tie dyed yoga pants, and glitter journal), that usually end up in the back of my closet, or stolen by my children to use an art book.  The truth is that it's just so much pressure, and I fold.  So I opted out.

I decided to approach this New Year just simply being grateful for the life I am living.  Truth is, i don't need or desire much more than I already have.  I want to learn to be content, and to lean more on God, trusting that He will put the desires on my heart to help me lead a life in accordance to His plan.

Do you make resolutions for the New Year?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It won't get any better.

The church service before Christmas I took Lena Belle to Sunday school.  I grew up in a small old time church.  Sunday school is at 10, church is at 11.  There is no nursery, and no "entertaining" or pacifying the kids.  You're at church, together.

I walked into my little church in the middle of the Sunday School prayer.  I stood quietly in the doorway with my oversized plate of cookies, while Lena skipped to her seat.  My heart was already so full, so blessed, so happy.  Praying on the way there I came to this realization that we have been promised Heaven.  I mean, WOW!!  HEAVEN!!  Seriously, it absolutely just can not, will not get any better than that promise.  Any other blessing here on earth is just extra.

I found myself watching the men bowed on the floor, with tear stained faces.   I thought, people don't pray like this anymore.  We don't see a lot of people humble themselves before the Lord.  Crying out for forgiveness, for His love.  Christians today go through these motions.   There is this image of what it is supposed to look like to be a Christian today.  In the modern world you wear Toms, read the bible on your iphone app, and listen to heavy metal Christian music that sounds more like something you scream at your teenager to turn down, then that of worship.

I know, I know, worship comes in all forms.  But what has happened to the heart of the Christian.  I see a lot of social media Jesus shout outs today, people quoting Bible verses online who rarely, if ever truly open up their bible.  It's easy to say you are a Christian, but so much harder to actually walk in the Faith.

I say this from a place of love, and complete humility and understanding.  I have always considered myself a Christian woman, even in times when I was not even close to leading the example of the life I should be working on living.  It was that Sunday morning, during that prayer, watching those men, and catching the smile of my four year old that my heart changed a little.

I know what salvation feels like.  It's electrifying, undeniable, it makes you feel as though you are floating on air.  And when you find salvation, feel the Holy Spirit enter in, you won't forget it.  It's magnificently humbling.  I remember my husband and I once talking about how going to our church always seemed so sad.  For the most part we are right.  There's beautiful rejoicing, but the congregation knows exactly what it means to bow before God.  Nothing I have ever done in my life, or will ever do in my life will be enough to repay Him the sacrifice made or say thank you.  This gift, this promise, Heaven....well I am so unworthy.  Yet He would disagree.  Offers it to me with love, grace, understanding, and forgiveness.  

Yes, my heart changed a little that day.  My knees buckled, and I believe I might have cried the entire service.  I hugged everyone and told them all how much I love them.  I missed my Grandmother and Grandfather and pictured that reunion we will one day have.  I held Lena a little tighter after she came out of her lesson that morning.  I forgave, I loved, I prayed, and I decided that day to start living the type of life I wanted for me, for my family.  A life that will never truly be worthy of the promise, but one that is sure going to try it's hardest to be.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Realizing....

We've been back home now for a little over a year.  There are things that have turned out exactly like I thought they would, and others that haven't gone as planned, with a few surprises thrown in.  In all, I can say that moving back, after being gone for so long, has taught  me more than I ever imagined I could learn about myself.  I thought moving away had done that, but maybe we are just constantly learning.

The thing that has been the hardest to face is that I am not at all the person I like to think I am.  Seriously, really hard to say that!  I have realized that I have a difficult time letting go of me, the me of the past.  Living 8 hours away from home I had this completely unique way of living.  In NC I was a dedicated SAHM.  I spent 100% of my time with my family.  When I visited home I was free to do as I pleased.  Grandparents usually wanted every minute they could get with the kiddos, and I found myself able to hang out with friends and do as I pleased during the visits.

Events, completely unrelated to any of this, forced me into prayer.  I have been working hard lately to lean more on Jesus in everything I do, not just the big things, but everything.  Needless to say, I spend a lot of time talking aloud to God.  The prayer started out with me asking for help with forgiveness, and quickly turned into something I didn't even know I was struggling with.  It's funny how He works.

I have this deep desire in my heart to live a certain way, raise my kids a certain way, work on certain relationships etc etc.  Nothing I want is out of my reach.  In fact the Lord has literally moved mountains to give me what I want, all I have to do is say thank you and take it.  What I didn't know was that not letting go of who I was, was interfering with who I want to become.  I have been so afraid to take the steps to live this life, because deep down I know that in order to have that, there are parts of my old life I will have to say goodbye to.

Life is like that.  To have something you have to sacrifice something else.  I guess the challenge is being able to decipher the important parts of life.  Understanding that what you gain could be much more fulfilling than what you're giving up.  It's the unknown that's scary.  But I guess we will never know unless we try.....

Until Next Time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Resolutions...

We are just into our first week of the year 2015, and while some are holding on steadfast to those self-made promises of losing weight, working out, giving up soda, I'd say most have forgotten to even begin on their "life changes".  Maybe your like me, someone who resolved to not make a resolution.

I know it sounds slightly off base, but every year I make a promise to myself and every year I break it.  Eventually.  So I am giving it up.  From here on out if I want to do something, I will just simply do it.  No promises, no resolutions, just doing.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Yes, I stay home.

I recently moved back to my hometown.  My husband and I have lived in North Carolina for the last 4-5 years of our lives, and entire marriage.  I changed a LOT in those years.  I even brought two human lives into the world.  So basically I am AWESOME!

But I've noticed something. Not everyone has recognized the awesomeness of my being a mom.  Living in my hometown I have ran into several people I knew growing up.  Teachers, coaches, friends, etc.  And I always LOVE when they ask me what I am doing.  I really want to carry a camera around so I can flash a picture when I tell them I stay home with my two toddlers.  The looks of disapproval, shock, and even that occasional half smile of mockingness are priceless.  I'm used to it when I go in to the bank to fill out paperwork, and the lady sitting behind the bullet proof glass flashes a grin, as though she has "one uped" me today!  To you bank teller, I say BRAVA!!  You did it!  You won!  You bring in a pay check every week, spend 8 hours of your day counting other people's money, and can today sit in pride on your sore bum.  Yes, brava!  (okay wow that's been built up for some time now, but really she was quite rude lol)

In complete honesty I love staying home.  I find myself  blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to stay at home with my children. I understand that my ability to do this lies solely on the work ethic of my husband.  His sacrifice and commitment have provided me with this choice.

 I still love music, I still love being educated, and I still have dreams of using my God given talents for something more, something bigger.  But right now this chapter in my life has me at home, using my talents for singing lullabies. 

And that's okay.  Actually that is perfect!  Today we teach our women to grow up, get an education, travel, find success in yourself.  But we don't ever tell them that success is measured in love.  And while loving yourself is necessary, finding love in others is what we are created for.  To live as one, in love.  And you won't fully know, or understand the love of God without giving yourself over completely to love. 

That's what it is ultimately about.  Serving Him.  Learning that the best way to serve is to love.

So staying home with my family does just that for me.  It keeps me grounded and balanced in Christ.  I serve the Lord daily through wiping runny noses, cleaning up toys, and singing the ABCs.  My every day is full of catering to and loving others.  And it is this work that brings about more joy and happiness than my soul has ever experienced.  The rush of opening night, and excitement of being on stage eventually wears off.  But the love of my family will last me a lifetime.

So yes, I am a stay-at-home mom.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Home

Down the back roads of Kentucky, nestled in a curve, and framed by trees, sits a little brick church.  On Sunday morning you will find a gathering of people dressed in their Sunday best looking to find love.  Pews line the walls as you walk down the aisle towards the alter, a wooden bench soaked in tears, drenched in hope, drowning in sorrows.  As the singing begins you won't notice any fancy lighting, slide shows, or mist seeping from under the band.  Just people, their voices brought on by a pitch pipe, and the occasional harmonizing of baby cries . The preacher won't read from an already made script, perhaps he won't need to preach.  And you can visibly watch as the Holy Spirit makes it's way around the small, but powerful congregation.  This is home.

Nearly 20 years ago I found salvation on that wooden alter.  That's where it all begins.   I find myself right back on that cool October night.  From the outside looking in, not much has changed.  The same hymnals still echo off the walls, many of the same faces fill the room.  And the smell,  that smell , I don't think that will ever change.  But it's different.  20 years ago I was a kid.   Some have gone on, some have moved away, others quit coming.  Many new faces, and  many the same, though the mark of time has enhanced their beauty.  A lot can change in 20 years, and a lot can stay the same.   No, it's not exactly the same, but that smell, that feeling, the Holy Spirit, yes that has always been a consistent piece of home.

I've been away from that home for four years now.  Finding time during short trips back to make my way to that brick church. I have learned a lot in those four years, and grown more in my faith away than I believe would have been possible there.  I've carried that October night around with me, and learned that Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit is in me.  It isn't something you go out to "find", but something embedded inside of you.  It's something that once you find, though you may forget it's there, it can never be lost.

So it's my prayer that through life I grow more in love with God and Christ.  That I get to know them on a deeper level.  That I challenge myself each and every day to never become complacent in Christ, but to remember I am born of Christ. I can always do better, be better.  I don't want to simply walk like Christ, but with Christ, each and every day.

This Southern Belle
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