Fall family photos 2017

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I’m the one in my family that is always worried about capturing memories through a lens. I constantly make my family stop to take a photo when we are all together. It can definitely get on their nerves, but hey…we have a lot of great photos, thanks to me. I’d like to fancy myself a photographer, but sadly that is not the case. My dear husband is the one lugging around the camera and taking photos of everything I point out. I guess you could call me the photo director? I just like to pose people and I think I know what looks good. Someday I would like to discipline myself in the art of photography, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep annoying my family, making my husband point the camera, scouting out pretty locations and playing around in Light Room.

Here are our Fall family photos that you will most likely see on all of our Christmas cards. Enjoy!

What we’ve been up to

The past few months have been a whirlwind, to say the least. We moved from SoCal to NorCal and have been trying to get settled in whilst jumping into a new ministry head first. I finally feel like this is place becoming home, even though I still miss Long Beach, my friends, The Way and Disneyland like crazy! So I thought I’d give a little overview of what we’ve been up to.

Josh has been super busy and productive with heading up the Jr. High, High School and college ministries at our new church. He’s done everything from tearing down and building up the HS room with a modern and more efficient design, to completely reformating the way these ministries are formatted. I’m super proud of him for excelling so well in his new position and I’m honestly really impressed. He comes home every day exhausted but excited.

We’ve had fun on the weekends exploring our new surroundings and have been to San Fran, Watsonville, malls, parks, downtown, a Niner’s game, we even went to the Winchester Mystery House…well the courtyard at least. The house tour is outrageously priced!

I’ve had a lot of time with just me and my girl and have really been able to kind of try and figure out where I fit in here and what my new routine is going to be. I feel like ever since we got here it’s been one thing after the other with Selah, between getting Roseola, her molars, a cold and new nap times, it’s been a little tricky adjusting to a new rhythm with her, but we are trying to find a new normal. I’ve been working a lot (Stitch Fix) and going through a new devotional (She Reads Truth) so that usually takes up my free time while Selah naps. When she’s awake, I find myself not really knowing what to do with her, so I’ve been trying a plethora of different things! I’ve noticed that she’s taken up an interest in books, so I’ve taken her to Barnes & Noble and the book section of Target multiple times. I’ve discovered a new passion for hiking with Selah on my back while simultaneously developing a heightened fear of rattlesnakes and mountain lions! I almost stepped on one while on a beautiful rural trail and freaked the heck out! I’ve been jogging to and around the new park that they are building in our neighborhood and now that it’s semi-open, I let Selah play in it with the neighbor kids. I’ve joined a MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) group at a different church than where Josh is working and am trying to make friends there as well as at our church. I’m still trying to discover a core group of friends and who I fit in with here, but I’ve been super open and putting myself out there meeting tons of new people. I like to attend a Saturday night service at the church I go to MOPS for, where I get to go by myself, worship without abandon and glean from a pastor who doesn’t know me. It’s nice to go to a service where I’m not necessarily connected and know all the politics and idiosyncrasies of.  I feel like it fills me up and gets my heart right to serve at my church and love the people God has put in my life.

We’ve also had multiple people come visit and stay with us in our guest room! That has been one of the biggest blessings of our move…we get to have people stay with us! Coming from a one bedroom apartment with one parking space, we were never able to have people stay with us. Now that we have an actual house that we are renting, it is SUCH a joy to host our loved ones! If any one out there is thinking they’d like to come to the Bay area for a weekend, come stay with us! We’d LOVE to have you!

Anyways…I just thought I’d give a little life update for all our people out there. 

Gizdich Ranch

One of the cool things about moving to a new city is that you get to explore! Since I’m desperate for it to feel like fall, we took a trip to an apple farm called Gizdich ranch! It was so cute and gave me all the fall feels, complete with its orchards of apples to pick and quaint little pie shop. I will say, that piece of pie was the best I’ve ever had! Look how cute my apple baby is : )

Bloom where you’re planted

Bloom where you are planted. My old small group girls are all too familiar with this phrase. It was the advice I always gave them, my nugget of wisdom, my mantra. One of them (I love you H) even used this as her senior quote in her yearbook and quoted me…bless her soul. I by no means came up with this quote, although it made me feel way too cool seeing my name at the end of a quote in a hard covered book. Rather, I heard it in a sermon given at the Joshua Wilderness Institute, a discipleship college I attended at 19. The speaker was instructing us that wherever God has us is where He wants us. He went on to explain that often times, we as Christ followers are just waiting for God to call us somewhere else or we are looking on to the next thing or the next stage of our lives to finally start doing what God has called us to do, when the truth is…we are right where we are supposed to be. For my high schoolers, that often meant that they were to finish school well, obey their parents and share God’s love to their classmates and friends. When I was in college, that meant that I didn’t have to wait until my degree was earned to start ministry but rather learn how to use my gifts in the local church. For singles, that can mean not waiting until you find “the one” to fall in love but choosing to embark on the adventure of seeking Jesus and falling in love with Him first. I could go on and on. It’s an easy concept to grasp in a flowery phrase that makes it easy to remember. The hard thing is actually doing it.

I think God burned this saying into my brain because He knew that I was going to need to cling to it. As I sit here, typing my thoughts away, I am in a new city, in a new home, at a new church and surrounded by new people. It makes so much sense to “bloom where you’re planted” when you are encircled by friends, family and loved ones. You know who to love, how to love them and there is already a relationship in place. It’s natural. Back in Long Beach I could call up one of my mom friends for a play date and not feel awkward about it. I could confidently point my small group girls in the right direction because I knew their story. I could invite over our friends to eat cheap pizza and just chill because I knew they wouldn’t judge me for my house being in shambles. It felt like I was blooming up a whole freakin’ garden in Long Beach! I was in a great place. I truly felt at peace and at home with all the deep friendships I was beginning to make. When we moved here, to San Jose, my world felt like it had come crashing down, like my garden was being ravaged. I rebelled against it at first, not allowing myself to take root, but God keeps bringing my heart back to this silly but true little saying…bloom where you are planted.

I’m trying.

I kind of feel like Joshua and the Israelites as they made their way to the land flowing with milk and honey. God told them that He had a new home for them and it was far better than anything they could hope for. The Israelites just had to trust Him. At times it was very hard for them to believe this, like when they wandered through the desert for 40 years or when they had to go up against armies double and triple the size of their own. It was no easy feat getting to the promised land and they could not do it in their own power. God was the one leading them. God was the one fighting for them. God was the one who brought them home.

I resonate with this because if blooming where I’m planted was based on my own power, I would have given up before I ever started. God brought Josh and I here for a reason and I know He has plans to prosper us and not to hurt us…but guys, it’s hard. It’s hard putting yourself out there and trying to be a part of a whole new community when you are the outsider. That’s why I HAVE to choose to rely on Jesus’ strength, wisdom and peace to guide me. And just how God conquered all the different kings and vicious armies to get the Israelites to their home, I know He will conquer awkwardness,  disingenuity and self-doubt to help me truly bloom where I am planted.

 

Here’s to you, Selah True

To my darling daughter,

Happy birthday! I cannot believe my baby is now a whole year old! This feels like such a momentous occasion and I want to honor it with gusto! I want to shower you with gifts and love and make you feel exquisite today. I want to throw you a magnificent party filled with everyone who’s life you’ve graced with your intoxicating smile. I want to write you an eloquent poem filled with flowery language and charming truths. I want to bake you the most decadent cake with vibrant colors and new tastes for you to discover. I want to shout from the rooftops how much I love you. I want to throw a lasso around the moon and pull it down for you, I want to give you the moon, Selah! But the reality is, you won’t remember any of that.  So, I figured I’d write down a little bit about what your first year of life has been like to encapsulate it for you through my eyes.

Did you know that you’ve never gone a day without your mother dearest? I’ve been here for you every morning to start your day off with cuddles and milk and I’ve been here every night as you’ve slept just a few feet away from me. You’ve been my biggest and best responsibility each day since you’ve arrived and my sweetest and most complete joy.

Do you remember the first time we met? Me neither. I was too doped up and tied down to function and you were whisked away to the NICU. All I remember thinking when I saw you for that split second was, ‘she looks like my uncle ron’. Your first day was a sad one. I didn’t know where you were, what was wrong with you or why they wouldn’t let us be together. It was a day of tears and mourning. But thank God that His mercies are new every morning because the next day I finally got to hold you in my arms, even though you were mangled with all kinds of different wires and tubes. You were crying when I rolled up to your incubator and I said, “Selah, it’s ok, mama’s here”, and you heard my voice and instantly stopped crying. I’ll never get over the shock I felt when I realized that you knew who I was. It was truly an enchanting moment.

The first 12 weeks you had a bad case of the witching hour. Every single night, without fail, from the hours of 6pm-10pm, you would cry. There was nothing we could do to soothe you at home. We tried EVERYTHING! We rocked you, held you, bounced you, sang to you, we even ran the vacuum right next to you in hopes to get you to calm down. We quickly learned that when we took you out in public places during this time, we were able to distract you or lull you to sleep for a bit. That’s when I started feeling like you would be an extrovert. You’ve always loved being out and about around other people, even as a wee lass. You are so much like your dad in that way.

During the first 6 months of your life you could only fall asleep in my arms. This is something I’ll always remember. You were so precious and I will never get over the blissful feeling and surge of emotion I got every time you would close your sleepy eyes and cuddle into my embrace. It felt like I was your safe haven. I would work around you on my laptop with my free hand or read a book and there were even a few times I was on a video conference call with you tucked away on my lap.  I read a bunch of blogs and baby books that suggested I shouldn’t let you do this…but I couldn’t help it and I will never regret those countless hours with you fast asleep in my arms.

The whole first year of your life, you probably only slept through the night for a total of 6 weeks. There were nights that you slept from 7pm-7am like an angel, but those didn’t last long. I like to think it’s because you just love me so much that you want to wake me up every 3 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddling and nursing you…but it’s not super thrilling at 12, 3 and 6am. I hope one day you sleep through the night, but until then, I’ll try and savor our late night girl time while it lasts.

That brings me to my next topic…nursing! I always thought nursing was weird when I was growing up, but when I had you, that was my biggest desire! Because you spent the first week of your life in the NICU, you were so used to bottle feeding, by the time you were entrusted to me you refused to nurse. I was more than ready to start nursing with all the milk I had received, but you wouldn’t have it! I was distraught and spent the first night with you (in the hospital) trying to get you to nurse but failing. I beseeched my friends and family to pray that God would help you to nurse and the next day…you did! Praise God! You’ve loved nursing your whole life and I wonder when you will want to stop. I’ve been so blessed to be able to nourish you with my body and I never thought I would feel this way. Breastfeeding has created such a bond between us and I am so glad we’ve made it a whole year! In fact, when it came time to introduce solids into your diet at 6 months, I cried because I was enjoying exclusively breastfeeding so much!

Bath time. You have ALWAYS loved bath time! Did you know that you have had a bath every day of your life ever since your umbilical cord stub fell off? It’s part of your nightly routine. We go to the bath every night, whether it be 7pm or midnight, then I nurse you, place you in your bed, sing your own special version of “You are my Sunshine” and pray with you. At bath time you like to splash and scream and your latest thing is that you like to have me kiss all of your rubber duckies repeatedly. I think this is just the cutest thing, so a kiss is never denied to your dear friends.

You are fearless. I’m constantly in awe of your courage and tenacity. Whether it be going off to the nursery to play with other kiddos, meeting new people or trying new things, you have a daring determination that is uniquely you. You’ve never cried because you were handed off to someone new or being introduced to something unfamiliar. I can only remember one time that you truly cried out of terror, and that was when you were 12 weeks old and your dad sneezed really loud while you were sleeping, but I don’t blame you…his sneezes are thunderous.

You’ve always been a silly girl. One of my favorite things you do is when you come into a room and people aren’t paying attention to you, you fake cough to get their attention. Ever since you were a small thing, you’ve smiled and have tried making us laugh by trying to mimic us. The weird thing is though, you didn’t REALLY start laughing until a few months ago when you were around 8 months. You would smile goofily all the time, but you wouldn’t laugh! Now you do this super cute scream laugh that your dad and I will do ANYTHING to hear!

My sweet girl, this year has been filled with so much joy and delight because of you. You are one of a kind and your dad and I thank God every day for gracing us with you. You are our sunshine and we look forward to all the memories to ensue this next year of your life as a toddler, though I will forever hold a special place in my heart for baby Selah. So here’s to you, Selah True! Happy birthday, love.

Your Ma

 

 

When God says no

You know the expression, “want to know how to make God laugh… make a plan”, well that’s what I did. I planned on God answering my prayer favorably and didn’t even consider the alternative. So when His answer to my prayer was a no, I freaked out. After a lot of tears, confusion, and processing, I’m seeing things a little clearer. (Just enough to write down a few things that I am learning). So here it is.

This past season has been hard. Hard on my marriage, my relationships and most of all…my faith. During the last 7 months, my heart has been in a tug-of-war between doubt and trust, truth and lies and between wanting to do what I want to do and submitting to the Lord. It’s been a struggle trying to seek the Lord when His plan is not aligning with mine. Realizing you are not in control is jolting. The fact of the matter is, I’ve been praying for my heart’s desire for years and God said no. It’s been really hard to come to terms with and I’m honestly still processing it.

I’ve always believed with my whole heart that God says no sometimes, but that it’s because He has something better in mind. I’ve discovered that that is a whole lot easier to say when life is peachy. God has said no to my prayers before, but only in little things, like when I was dating someone I shouldn’t be or when I didn’t get a job I applied for, but I never thought God could say no to something so near and dear to my heart. I’ve always given everything to God because I trust Him, but this one thing…this was mine. I thought that I deserved it and that it was okay if God had everything else in my life, except this

As I continued to pray that God would answer my prayer, He began to point out verses about what it means to follow Him:

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” Luke 17:33

“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’  To another, he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Yet another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’  Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'” Luke 9:57-62

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

 God never promised an easy life. He never promised we would get everything we wanted, in fact, He asks us to give up everything. He says,”Whoever loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37-38). This hit me hard. It’s not an easy thing to give up everything…everything…. to follow Jesus, but He is worth it, and He did it for me. So if I have to give up my hopes and dreams because they are not in alignment with what God has for me…so be it. 
I also know that sometimes, God answers prayers in His own timing. Just because we pray and pray and pray and then God says no, doesn’t mean it’s a no forever. Sometimes, God needs other things to happen before He says yes. Sometimes that can take a few days, sometimes that can take decades and sometimes, that answer comes when we enter Heaven.

I’m learning that God takes His sweet time to develop us. He is more interested in heart change than anything else.  This often times takes experience, trial, and pain, which doesn’t come or go quickly. Look at Moses; God had him and his people wandering around the desert for 40 years! When God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass through, He didn’t lead them straight into the land flowing with milk and honey, even though they were promised that this is where they would be going.  It took time. It took trust. It took faith. And that was by no means easy. They were so fed up with it at times, they were asking God to go back to Egypt to be slaves again! But what did God do, He provided what they needed, brought them through the desert and delivered them unto the promised land…in His timing.

Although this has been really hard for me, I can’t deny that the Lord is working through this. I believe with all my heart that He is working this all out for good and that He can see something that I am not capable of. I am indeed scared to follow His plan for me instead of my own, but I’m trying to let my faith be bigger than my fear. Because when God says no to us, we have the opportunity to say yes to Him.

For Mother’s Day, Josh set up a fun photo shoot for me complete with floral crowns and crisp morning light. He sure knows the way to my heart! He is insanely talented at taking photos (as well as a million other things)!

Josh planned this a while back and kind of sprung it on me 3 days before! I was so excited but also a little frantic because I didn’t have anything to wear for me or Selah! I spent the 2 days prior, running around town trying to find dresses for us and it was not super fun going store to store trying on dresses in cramped fitting rooms with my baby whining in her stroller! I was also nervous that Selah wouldn’t cooperate in the photos because she was teething and going through a grumpy streak. I wasn’t worried at all about the floral crowns because my amazing friend, Sabrina, has her own flower business and knows how to make a girl swoon over any of her creations!

We left early Thursday morning and drove all the way to Irvine. The weather was perfect, the lighting was gorgeous and there was no one on the trails! Selah didn’t have the same appreciation for her flower crown as I did and was constantly trying to take it off! Most of the photos I am bribing her with Puffs and trying to hide the fact that I am holding her crown on!

I love these photos and am so impressed by that handsome husband of mine! The only question is, which one do we get printed on a big canvas?!

 

Photography: my wonderful husband, Flower crowns: All Friends Floral, Location: Quail Loop, Irvine, My dress: Forever 21, Selah’s dress: Target

Random thoughts on motherhood

This time last year, I was dreaming what it was going to be like to be a mother. (I wrote a blog about it here). I wondered what my life would look like with a tiny human in it and how life-altering it would be. I was extremely nervous but also super excited. I would scroll through my Instagram explore page, clicking on any photo of a baby and reading through other women’s accounts of motherhood. What would my experience of being a mother be like? Would I buckle under pressure? Would I be any good at it? Would I bond with my child? Would I be a nervous nelly mama or a laid back one? As all these questions bounced around in my head, I fashioned an idea of what I wanted it to be like.

I’m here to say that it is so much better than I ever could have imagined!

There have definitely been hard times and I definitely had a rough go of it in the beginning (read about it here), but overall, I am completely smitten with this daughter of mine! The only way I can think to explain it is… she makes my heart sing.

This little lassie is the apple of my eye and brings me so much joy I could burst! I never thought that I would love motherhood so incredibly much. Sometimes I feel like I’m not allowed to say that because she isn’t even a year old yet and the “real parenting” is still yet to come, but how could I not love being her mom…it’s her! The funny part is, I never even really wanted to be a mom. I was always just so excited to be a wife and the mom part just didn’t seem that exciting, but boy was I wrong. Nowadays, the simplest things are exciting! Trying new foods and seeing her funny faces in response: exciting! Her standing on her tippy-toes to reach the remote on the couch: exciting! When she blows a raspberry in response to mine: exciting! When she flaps her arms out of pure joy after seeing a dog: exciting! The mundane has become enthralling!

Life sure does look a whole lot different than when it did before her and priorities have certainly changed. Instead of going out to be with friends every night, we have to be back home by 7 for bath time. Instead of using my spare time to work out or clean, I have to use it to get my work done online or just relax because I’m so tired. Instead of talking about life with my husband in bed late at night, we quietly kiss goodnight so we won’t wake up the baby. Instead of just having fun with friends, I crave quality connection time with other mamas. Life does indeed look different, but it is so much richer!

Having my priorities and responsibilities so drastically changed has really been teaching me so much about myself. Putting my daughter’s needs before my own has taught me what exactly my needs are. For example, I know that I need time alone before the Lord to pray, reflect and read His word to feel grounded, and honestly, it’s been really hard to find time for that. The absence of this has shown me how much I NEED it! Without time with Him, I find myself being more selfish, more stressed and less patient. Also, I’ve learned to give myself grace and to be more comfortable in my own skin. Since having Selah, I have not had the time or the means to go to the gym or to put in the effort to eat super healthy. Instead of wallowing in “shoulds”, as in “I should work out” or, “I should eat better”, I’m finding joy in knowing that my body is producing the nutrients my daughter needs and that I sacrificed my body to bring her into the world. It’s ok that my body isn’t perfect! Seeing her beauty, makes me worry less about mine.

Overall, I feel so incredibly blessed to be her mama! She is so great and I love getting to be with her for every step of the way. Life would be so dull if I didn’t get to squeeze her chubby thighs every hour or get to hear every new sound she makes. I feel like the luckiest gal in the world that I get to work from home and raise my baby the way I want.

I hope this post doesn’t come off as boastful or prideful…I’m honestly just so pleasantly surprised with the amount of love and adoration I have for my baby and I just feel so blessed that God allowed me to be her mother. I savor every second I have with her being so little, but I also look forward to seeing who she becomes in the future.

Just a few random thoughts on motherhood in lieu of Mother’s Day.

To be known…

That is the struggle, right? We all just want to be known. We want people to see us a certain way, to see the good things we’ve done, our beauty, our skills, our thoughts, opinions and values. We have a deep seeded desire to be seen and valued for who we are. We want to know that we are not overlooked or scrolled over.

So we post things on social media through photos, videos, vlogs and blogs. We put our best face forward and seek approval while swimming through the muddy waters of comparison. We like to think that people are somehow impressed by us; that we are special or unique or artsy. We spend way too much time looking at what others post and seeing how we measure up. I am the guiltiest of these. I spend hours scrolling through my Instagram feed and reading Facebook statuses of people I knew in high school, but haven’t ever had a real conversation with. I take literally hundreds of photos of the same shot to find the most presentable and try countless filters tweaking it just right so that it is not too over edited but just enough. It can’t be too posed, but it can’t be totally candid either because it has to be my good side and show off how long my hair is. Before I even take the photo, I premeditate on what it should say and how I can make myself sound wise or deep or eloquent. Social media has become an issue of pure vanity for me. I get a high when people respond to any of my posts and I constantly check throughout the day to see how many likes I get. When I get a lower number, I wonder what I did wrong. When I get a lot of likes, I feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s quite embarrassing to admit.

All of this has spiraled out of control, starting from a place of just wanting to be known. Recently, the Lord has convicted me of how much time I’ve been spending on social media and encouraged me to take a break. Now being off of it for only a month, I’ve come to process some truths.

I never grasped how much “noise” social media’s presence creates in my life. It’s not only spending so much time thinking about what I post, but I perseverate on everyone else’s posts throughout my day. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an empathetic person or what, but when I see a post that is sad, annoying or even awesome…I think about it all day. It just pops in my head for no reason and has nothing to do with my life. Or when someone posts something negative or rude, I take total offense even though it has nothing to do with me. Since taking a step back from social media, I’ve been able to fill my thoughts with things that are actually prevalent to me. Without all the noise of others, I am able to focus more on my daughter and husband, think through my priorities of the day better and most of all I’m more able to seek what the Lord is teaching me.

I’ve been learning through not being on social media, has created a yearning for true relationships in my life. It’s easy to feel connected to people when they are informing you of what’s going on with their lives through a photo or a status, but there is no sense of intentionality. When I don’t see that you “got a new job, are in a new relationship or that your dog died” I have no idea what’s going on with my friends. Instead, I have to reach out and actually talk to them or be intentional about seeking a good time to meet up. I’ve noticed that I’ve actually been a lot braver over the last month in inviting people over or asking them to meet up! I must say that I love it! While social media is awesome for keeping in touch with people in your life, it’s not very good at creating life-giving relationships that the soul needs! You can share a vulnerable post and have people relate…and that’s cool to see, but it stops there if there is no personal follow-up.

One of the major things He is revealing to me, is how much I want to be known, yet He calls me to make Him known.“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9. Yiiiiikes. This truth makes me feel so self-centered when I think about how much time and effort I’ve spent on getting “who I am”across on a computer screen. What if I put just a fraction of that time and effort into showing His love? What if I actually lived my life in a manner of making Him known instead of myself? Not just spouting off bible verses on a status or as a caption under a serene nature photo, but actually living life in such a way that people see Jesus instead of Sawyer. If I was doing that, I think it would naturally flow over into all aspects of my life.

On the flip side, Jesus has also been showing me that it’s ok to have a desire to be known and share with others! God made each and every one of us in a unique way with unique gifts and it’s honestly an amazing journey figuring those things out. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.” In order to be known by others, I first must know who I am and to know who I am, I must look to the One who created me. He made each of us in a unique way with a unique story to tell. So why do we idolize the Insta-famous or the Youtube stars and try to mimic our lives to be like theirs? I can’t just force myself to be something I’m not…trust me…I’ve tried. I always find so much peace and freedom when I realize something about myself and choose to walk in the ways He’s made me instead of altering it.  I’ve come to learn a lot of things about myself the last few years and one of those things is that I need to write down or verbalize what’s going on in my life and mind to fully process it. That’s why I write a blog and lengthy Insta captions! But I’ve also come to find, that I seek too much approval in what I share. God’s teaching me that I don’t need anyone’s approval except His…and I already have it! He gave me His approval when He gave us His son. I didn’t have to do anything to earn it. (praise hands!)  I truly think that God delights in people embracing who He made them to be and sharing that with others, and that includes social media.

So….no, I don’t at all think social media is the spawn of satan or even a negative thing! I just know that it has become an idol in my life and I am so glad that God called me to take a break to get my priorities straight.

Moving forward, I am going to enjoy social media for what it is, but not let it take a front-running spot on the priority list! I’m going to limit my time on social media and not obsessively scroll through it whenever my hands are idle. I’m going to embrace who God made me and share only that with the world, not compare myself to trendier ladies and more hipster moms. I’m going to feel the freedom of my creativeness, but not spend an obscene amount of time and energy trying to be perfect. I’m going to use it as a means of seeing what’s going on with others, but not as a substitute for true relationships.

 

 

Selah’s first time at Disneyland!

We were recently blessed with a Disney day we will not soon forget! Josh and I got invited to go to Club 33 with our dear friends and couldn’t pass up the opportunity! It was an incredible time and so special to experience with our favorite little princess! She will not remember a dang thing, but I will treasure these photos forever! Thank you to everyone who made this special day happen!