Tag Archives: trusting God

Trusting God

It’s been too long since I posted. And SO much has happened.

But I want to start with Trusting God.

I’ve been a Christian for a long time and sometimes I feel like I’m in this rut of doing the same things over and over. Like I’m not growing or changing or becoming more like Christ. I mostly just felt stuck in my safe, comfortable little Christian bubble. And moving to the Bible belt to work at a Christian company magnified that beyond compare.

But how could I grow? My deepest wish is to show compassion and grace and love like Jesus did. But what does that look like? Where do I start if I just feel blah inside?

This summer, God has taught me to trust Him more than I ever have before.

Trust Him with two broken feet right before my first ever Half Marathon.

Trust Him to show me a new passion in exercise.

Trust Him with feeling like we belong in TN.

Trust Him with finding a house.

Trust Him with growing our family.

Trust Him to bring me friends that I can really connect with.

Trust Him to give me comfort in my darkest times.

Trust Him.

If you had asked, I would have told you I did trust God. I would have been sure of it. But over the past 15 months we have had more challenges thrown at us than ever before. And over and over and over again God showed up. Not always how we wanted, but He has been there.

My favorite thing to do is drive somewhere alone. I turn off the radio and I just talk to God. As if He was actually sitting in the seat next to me. Often times, I’m crying. But that time has been so healing for me. I know that this is exactly the journey he has for us. Each thing that happens open the doors for new things. It doesn’t make the pain of two miscarriages disappear, but it provides hope. I hope and I trust and I know that God has a plan for my life. It’s not the plan I have for my life, it’s better.

Trust Him.

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Peaches and Cream

It’s been on my heart recently to share about my struggles and some of the things I’ve learned.

In a few weeks Damien and I will have been married for 10 years. God has blessed us in more ways than I can count and it has been amazing to watch him work in our marriage. Damien is truly my best friend and my deepest confidant. He supports me and hopes for me. He wants the best for me. I could not dream of having a better partner by my side.

That being said, life is not always peaches and cream. Its easy to live behind this facade of perfection. Too often we don’t share the struggles we are facing and I think that’s a bad thing. We need support. We need help. Letting other people know that we aren’t perfect is a good thing. No one is perfect. And if we act like we are, we are not only misleading others and missing potential opportunities to help others, but we are misleading ourselves.

People often talk about the first year of marriage as being tough, but I wouldn’t call ours tough. One advantage of getting married two months after you graduate high school is that we handled all of the life transition together. We figured out our finances together. We figured out what it was like to live on our own, together. I think that helped us avoid problems in the first years, because we were just figuring it all out as we went.

Fast forward 8 years and we were expecting the arrival of Big C. We were excited and terrified. We knew our lives would change, but it’s impossible to be ‘ready’ for kids. I can easily say that our toughest years of marriage have been the two since we have been parents. It is so easy to just blame sleep deprivation (and for goodness sakes we are!) but that’s not it.

I know that I have taken advantage of the trust and relationship we have built over the past decade. When I’m tired and frustrated, it’s so easy for me to take it out on Damien because he can ‘take it.’ I find myself draining my emotional tank with friends or especially while taking care of the boys and I often neglect to put any effort in to my relationship with Damien. I find it so easy to take advantage of his servant’s heart just because I’m tired or even lazy. Especially during that first year with a new baby, we found ourselves frustrated at each other more often than ever before. I know I would snap at him more easily and I wouldn’t give him as much grace and understanding as I expected from him.

Adjusting to life as three instead of two was tough. Being parents is amazing, kids are amazing, it’s all amazing, but don’t be fooled. Life changes in a way that you can’t possibly understand until you’re there. Our marriage has been pushed in all new ways. Just when we had a handle on dealing with the ‘major’ issues together, we found a whole new set of issues – that can talk back!

Through everything, we have tried to always communicate with each other. After a particularly trying day or week, we’d sit down and air out our grievances. I have to make a conscious effort not to take things personally and I try to make sure I don’t bring things up while I’m still stewing over it. I at least attempt to calm down and think through my thoughts before talking to Damien about how I’m feeling. It’s not always easy and it definitely doesn’t mean we’re perfect, but we have learned to work through difficult subjects. Ignoring them just means I have time to let things fester and that’s never a good thing. It is very hard to swallow my pride, but being intentional about sharing our frustrations with each other leads to a resolution and a deepening of our relationship. Finding time to talk with the kids can be a challenge, but we’ve had to learn to make it a priority. It’s tough to be a good parent when there’s something that needs to be talked about in our marriage. A healthy marriage leads to healthy parents!

I know I’ve mentioned it already, but the book The 5 Love Languages has been great too. Reading it made me focus on the fact that I often don’t do things that will intentionally help Damien feel loved. Sometimes I do them, but I really am working on doing them intentionally. Communicating with him what my love language is helps too. We have pretty opposite love languages and if we don’t do things intentionally, the other one feels pretty unloved at times. It has been a great reminder to focus on each other in the midst of raising our two boys. And it’s even been great to try to figure out what love language they might be and focus on theirs too.

I just wanted to share that our marriage is far from perfect. We have learned how to communicate, but that doesn’t always happen like it should. We haven’t been parents long enough to even pretend that we have it all figured out. All I know is that open communication and a God who loves us and works in our lives leads to a happy, healthy marriage.


Big Changes for Little People

I wasn’t sure how the boys would react to all the changes.

I knew that little C would probably be affected mostly by the hustle and bustle of everything and the inevitability of a messed up nap schedule. He’s a pretty easy going kid, but he just hit his separation anxiety phase. I think it has a lot to do with how much has been going on lately and that we haven’t had time to just sit and play during the day like we normally do.  I’ll admit it’s been tough. I’ve been busy and stressed and him needing to be held constantly has been frustrating to say the least. I definitely need an extra dose of patience!

At first, I though Big C was taking everything in stride. We read the Berenstain Bear’s Moving Day and talked about the truck and packing and dad working for Dave. Even though I know he’s not old enough to understand everything about moving, he seemed to be enjoying all the excitement. Over the last few days we have had to say goodbye to all our friends (which has been tough on me!) and I feel like he kind of figured it out. He’s always been a mama’s boy and doesn’t like to be left with other people, but in the last few days, that has ramped up exponentially. People he knows well who have come over to play a million times were making him anxious – or really it was just any time I left the room. It’s been easy to get frustrated with him for being so clingy, but I just need to focus on how upside down his little world is right now and how much he needs me. Case in point – he came and gave me a hug on the couch and promptly fell asleep. He hasn’t fallen asleep on my lap since he was an infant. He just needs his momma, and let’s be honest, I need him.

Even I am having a hard time adjusting to the fact that we are really moving across the country, and the boys just need a little extra loving during this time of transition. It’s a great reminder to me to slow down and focus on what’s important. And that’s the two little boys who need me more than anyone else.

Please keep us in your prayers as we spend the next few weeks spending time with family, driving a TON, and then settling in to our new place. God has been so good to us throughout this journey and it’s not over yet.


7 Weeks

Our little man is already 7 weeks old. It’s hard to believe how fast it’s gone. Having two kids hasn’t been nearly as tough as I had imagined. Most of my expectations turned out totally differently.

Having a newborn has been so much less stressful the second time. It’s easy to just enjoy him and big brother. Life is crazy, but it’s not overwhelming. I remember feeling constantly overwhelmed the first time. Everything was so new, nursing hurt like crazy, and I was pretty sure we would break him. I never felt like I knew what I was doing and I was always second guessing myself. Thankfully, in the past year and a half I’ve learned to trust my instincts and I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself. God has really helped me through my biggest fears and struggles. Without turning to him, I don’t know how I would be able to overcome some of the fears that come with parenting.

The biggest challenge with two seems to be logistics. How do I accomplish the same things I used to? Feeding two kids, changing two diapers, getting two kids dressed, packing two kids into the car. It’s quite the challenge. It can be tough to divide my attention. It seems they have an uncanny ability to both need me at exactly the same time. It’s hard to let one cry while I deal with the other one, but there’s no other solution. It’s not for very long and big brother is great at trying to help entertain little C.

Little C has finally started having longer awake periods – and more importantly stretches of time where he’s not just eating, but happy and just looking around. It is fun to get to know him and start to learn about his personality, but it is even better to watch him interact with his brother. Big C loves to go lay down right next to him or pat his belly, hold his hand, or give him a kiss. The best is when little brother actually pays attention to him. On several occasions, he will even stop crying if big brother comes over. It is amazing to watch them together and I can’t wait until they can really play together.

Big C is so much fun. I think this age has to be my favorite so far. He is learning a million words a day and he is so funny. He loves to joke and be silly and he loves his little brother. He finally likes (will actually let us) read to him and his bedtime stories have become a favorite. He knows the names of the main characters of each one and will ask for them by name. During the day he will go pick out a book and ‘read’ it aloud. He just babbles for each page and generally inserts real words when he sees something in a picture that he recognizes. He is also obsessed with disc golf and loves the kid sized basket and discs we got for him. He can actually throw them pretty well too.

I love watching him with Damien. That boy loves his dad! He copies everything dad does – even how he is sitting or standing. He yells every time dad gets home, and asks for him first thing every morning. I am so thankful for a husband who is so active in our kids’ lives. He loves to play and wrestle with big C and he also is great at giving him a bath and reading him bedtime stories. He willingly changes little C’s diapers and makes sure he holds him when he can (meaning when he’s not attached to me). He is great about taking the boys if I need a break and he understands when things aren’t done around the house. I couldn’t dream of a better partner to raise our kids or a better example for our boys to emulate.


Freedom!

As I’ve mentioned before, we recently finished Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It was exactly the kick in the rear we needed. On the one hand it kills us that we wasted 9 years worth of money by not planning how we wanted to spend it, but on the other hand I am so thankful that we are still so young and are finally getting it figured out! I’m here to say:

We are debt free except our house!!!!

We were able to sell our truck and use the money to pay off our car and then within a few weeks we were able to pay off the little bit of consumer debt we had. Technically, we didn’t follow Dave’s debt snowball because we should have paid off the credit card first, but the point of the snowball is to get some emotional traction and keep you motivated. Not only did we not have long to go, but the car was such an emotional win. We have been talking about getting that car paid off for what feels like forever! I am proud to say with confidence that we will NEVER have another car payment.

If we want/need a new car, we will save up and buy one. We are definitely car people and enjoy the whole new car/fancy car thing. We would often drive through car lots for fun just to check out the newest models. On one hand we were always ‘reasonable’ about the cars we did buy, but let’s be honest. Why on earth is any car worth $15-$20,000 in debt? (more or less) My entire perspective on cars has shifted. I would still love to buy a fast car, but now I have no problem saving up for it. There is no way a car is going to out prioritize other things that I can do with my family. Like the kitchen upgrade we should have been able to do forever ago, but never budgeted in!

It’s also been neat to see God working in our financial transformation. Awhile ago we tried to sell our truck so that we could purchase Damien’s dad’s truck. Not only was the other truck the exact make and model we wanted, but it had/has incredible emotional significance because it was Andy’s. We listed our truck and put a sign in the window and nothing. No one even called us or anything. I think in a lot of ways God was protecting us. We definitely didn’t need Andy’s truck and I don’t think we would have been able to sell it this time around. Without that truck, we had no emotional tie to the vehicle we could sell to pay off the car. I’m thankful it didn’t work out before.

God has been working in much smaller ways, too. When we first started our budget, (It’s a process, but what a rewarding one!) we miscalculated how much money we could spend one of the weeks. We weren’t over budget, but the money we needed wasn’t coming until payday later that week – oops! We found ourselves needing a few groceries and we could have used our little emergency fund no problem until we could plan more efficiently, but God provided. That day Damien earned $10 cash for taking a survey. Who gets $10 from a survey?! It was little and I could say it was insignificant, but it wasn’t.

Not only is it neat to watch God work out the little things, a huge weight is off my shoulders. It’s hard to describe it, but I can breathe easier. This process is teaching us how to have discipline with our finances, but it’s also working on my attitude. Stuff won’t help me feel better. Having a handle on my family’s future does!


Thankful for Patience

Little man is 7 months old today! I can’t believe how fast it’s gone. The number one thing that God has been teaching me since C joined us is patience.

I have loved being a mom, but patience is something that you can’t have too much of and admittedly, I’m a little short on.

Being a parent means lost sleep and frustration over why the perfect little being in your care wants nothing to do with sleep. Or why he won’t stop crying even though you have tried everything you know how to make him happy. In those first crazy weeks and months (and let’s be honest – even now), it is so easy to get frustrated. Frustrated that I have to wake up every few hours to feed him. Frustrated that I can’t leave him for more than an hour or two. Frustrated that he won’t let me set him down. Frustrated that he’s dead asleep in my arms but as soon as I lay him down he’s wide awake. Frustrated that I have no idea why he’s crying. I admit, I had and still have times when I just have to put him in his crib and walk away for a minute so I can cry, scream, or both.

I don’t want to be a mom who is always frustrated or stressed out so I belatedly asked God to give me more patience. I understand that this is a double edged sword. If I ask for patience, there have to be more opportunities for me to NEED patience. I am so thankful that I have a God that can help me through even the craziest days with my little guy. I am not perfect. Even today I had to laugh at the fact that C fought me to take a nap and provided me with all sorts of chances to practice patience.

I am so thankful that God has been providing for me. Ever since I made an effort to tell my frustrations to God and ask for His help, I have had much more peace and patience as a mom. I try to have an entirely new attitude when frustrations arise. I try to focus on the fact that having to constantly hold, feed, or rock him to sleep is just extra cuddle time. Soon enough he won’t want me to hold, feed, or rock him. I thank God for my attitude adjustment. It’s not always easy to focus on the positive when Bubba’s screaming in my ear, but I know that God will always give me the strength I need to be a good mom.

I always pictured being a mom as a great opportunity to teach a little one all about life. I love that I’m the one that’s learning how to be a better person.

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4

I hope that one day I will be mature and complete as a mother and wife.


This is harder than it looks…

Being a new mom is a lot like being a Christian. So often we are unwilling to show the true side of us. Falling into the same traps over and over again, “not me.” Struggling with the choices you make and the things you do, “not me.”

I absolutely love being a mom. Little man is absolutely perfect and he lights up my day. Is being a mom all roses? No! I love him with all of my heart, but sometimes I am so frustrated because I do not know how to meet his needs that I have to set him in his crib and let him cry for a few minutes. I know that I am a good mom, but listening to your child cry and not knowing how to help him has got to be one of the worst feelings ever. It’s easy to be hard on myself, but I know that I can do this; with God’s help. Admitting that life is not perfect and that I really don’t have a clue is hard.

Just like admitting my struggles as a new mom, admitting that I am human and struggle to do the things God commands is tough. I fail to do the right thing more often than I would like to admit. I struggle to spend time in God’s word. Why? Probably, because I’m afraid that I won’t like what I read or that I’ll be convicted of the things I don’t do.

I’d like to change. I’d like to be more open about my struggles. I’m not perfect and I’m ok with everyone knowing.