Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I bet you didn't know...

My blog has been so heavy lately.

I'm tired of heavy.

So here you go.  A few things you wouldn't know about me unless I told ya.

// I had really blonde hair from eighth grade until my Sophomore year of college and a perm when I was eight \\
My mom is a hairstylist, I mean root touch ups were free and the perm was just an experiment so why not?
 
// I have three tattoos.  I only regret one of them. \\
 
//  I can squat over 200 lbs. \\
What can I say?  I'm a beast.

// I circled Devin's picture in my 6th grade yearbook and any time a '50 cent' song came on the radio in high school he would pop into my head. \\
 Ha, I had never even talked to the kid.  I guess it has always been fate.

// I used to skip class in college just because I couldn't find a parking spot. \\
If Kollyns ever does that while I'm paying for her education I will flip.  But really what would I be able to say? 

// I centered my life around One Tree Hill Episodes for about three whole years and I totally planned on naming my kids after the cast. \\
Devin and I couldn't agree on Luke, Nathan, Haley, Brooke or Peyton.  So there went that.

// I called my dad crying on my last day of student teaching and begged him for a job. I started working for him two days after I graduated from college. \\
That meltdown was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Life Lately

It's a BB gun y'all, don't be alarmed.
And you see this look with the hand gesture.  Ha, well that's an attitude problem and we are working on correcting that!  I hope it's a phase.  No one warned me "4" would be this sassy.
 
We've been spending most of our time outside because the weather is just too pretty not to. 
The river, the pond...anywhere we can find water.
Between her baiting hooks with minnows, then putting on lip gloss and loving a good shopping trip.  I'm starting to think she's the perfect mix of country and city girl.  :)
 
And by the way, she has been dressing herself lately.  Hey, I choose my battles carefully and this isn't one that's worth the fight.  I'm guessing she'll be wearing these chevron shorts and camo crocs until she grows out of them...which I hope is soon.

She stays on her scooter flying up and down the driveway.  That's a boo-boo waiting to happen but she's having fun while I squint waiting for the spill.  She's so happy when she's on that thing that I'm seriously considering digging my Razor scooter out of my parent's basement.  Do you remember those things?  I was so cool when I had one.
 
I'm just so thankful today and everyday.  I have too many blessings to count and I'll never ever take that for granted.  And I'm so thrilled it's warming up outside.  I've never been more ready for sunshine and fresh air. 
I hope Spring brings lots of happy memories and good times. This Winter is one I wouldn't mind forgetting.

And if you're wondering why my iPhone photo reel is now on my blog...

//I broke up with Facebook almost two years ago, and two weeks ago I bid farewell to my beloved Instagram account as well.  At this point in my life, I have no room for time stealers.   Right now I'm desperate to be as close to the Lord as I can possibly be and I've learned over time that He is always in the same place and I'm the one that allows things to come between us.  Nope, I would never look down on anyone for having social media so please don't take this that way. I literally mourned the loss of my Instagram because I had over 500 photos on there of my sweet Kollyns that spanned over three years.   I just know that in order for me to pick up my Bible first thing in the morning instead of my phone, I had to get rid of everything.  I didn't even want to be tempted to put something before my time with the Lord, so I just removed it.  Y'all might think I'm extreme and that's fine.  Because I am extreme in my Faith and I am not ashamed of that.  :)  But with every storm I've endured this past year I've come to know just how fully dependent I need to be God to get through anything.\\
 
 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Choices.

 
In this life we will face struggle.  That's a given.  We live in an imperfect world and there's an ongoing battle between good and evil day in and day out. It's exhausting thinking about the choices that we are faced with everyday.  Choices that define us, and eventually determine the type of person we are and the amount of respect we receive from people.  Choices that can build people up, and just as easily break them down.  They can hurt, and they can heal.  They can damage, and they can restore.  That's the beauty of it, but that's the ugliness of it too. 

When we know who we are in Christ and what's important to us, choices aren't as difficult to make.  There aren't any moral gray areas, and there aren't any blurred lines.  Our hearts are convicted before we even begin to act on a choice if we are close with our Savior.  And this conviction keeps us from hurting people we love through shallow decisions that have deep consequences.  So I guess what I'm saying is... it's great that we can control our own choices, but what about when someone else's choices hurt us? What then?  It's not our fault when someone makes a choice that hurts us.  How is it fair that we have to deal with the pain of someone else's selfishness?  Well, it isn't.  But life isn't fair and we certainly weren't promised that we wouldn't face struggle during our time here.  But we do have a Savior that can pull us out of the darkness if we let him and turn our pain into the fulfillment of his will for our lives.

We can either allow God to work in our hearts and reflect him in the way we respond, or we can hinder him from using the situation for a much greater plan than we could ever imagine by allowing the damage done to us to change who we are.  When this happens, we interfere with the work he is trying to complete within us and within the people surrounding us.  There is always a purpose for our pain.  That doesn't make it hurt any less, but it certainly makes us stronger in our faith if we trust Him instead of questioning why we go through things and allowing our pain to make us bitter. 
 
 Satan wants to creep into our hearts and minds when we are weak any way that he can because that's how he wins.  That's why when we are faced with things we are tempted to deal with them in a worldly way.  We can either fight the fight to get even much to Satan's delight, or fight the good fight to receive a reward in heaven by trusting God and holding our peace. Of course retaliating or hurting someone back might make us feel better for a time...but at the end of the day we have the consequences of our choices as well. So we're already dealing with the consequences of someone else's choice, but now we're going to have to stack another layer of consequences on top of that one for taking it upon ourselves to 'win the battle'.  And still, nobody wins.
 
This past year has probably been the hardest one I've faced when it comes to being hurt by people that I love... people that are supposed to love me back.  And the struggles keep rolling.  Just when one storm calms it seems I am faced with a new one.  I've finally come to grips with the truth that hurting people hurt people.  It isn't my fault and it isn't my responsibility to save them.  I know that this season of my life won't last forever and that God is using difficult times for some great reason, and I have to remind myself of that every time I find myself in a dark moment.  I've learned that the only true way to win in this life is to stand firm in my faith and be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Putting on the full armor of God so that I can take my stand against the devil's schemes even when I'm at my weakest point. And responding to the many challenges I face in this life with peace in my heart, knowing full well that God has a plan for my life and that His plans are far greater than mine. 

I just want to encourage anyone who is struggling or going through something, to find rest in the Savior.  He is perfect, constant, and will never leave you.  And when the burden feels too heavy to bear, that's because it is.  God wants us to hand it over to Him and only then can we find peace in our hearts and minds.  The deepest level of worship is praising God through the pain that we face in this life and remaining thankful no matter the circumstances. He will carry you, just as he has me.