Starting Over

I’ve started this post over six times now. I’ve written a few paragraphs, then selected all and deleted all.

Six.Times.

I cannot “pick up where I left off” almost 3 years ago. Too much has happened. I can’t even pick up a year ago. WAY too much has happened. So I’ll do my best to sum it all up in a quick, easy-to-understand, way.

June 26, 2018: Learned we would be leaving our previous church, and I wouldn’t even be there for our last Sunday. Surprise! Lots of confusion, anger, hurt and sadness was felt here. Honestly, the full grieving process is taking place. Yes, I say takING because I am still processing through it. Maybe more on this in another post.

June 30, 2018: Left to go on a cruise. I read an entire book on this cruise: Not A Fan written by Kyle Idleman. It was this book that focused me on obedience and sacrifice even when it’s difficult and doesn’t make sense. That’s the difference between a “fan” of God and a “follower” of God. God has good timing because we were about to enter a season of following and trusting Him in ways I never have before.

cruise

July 8, 2018: Found out we were pregnant with our 4th baby.

welcome to the world

August 6, 2018: Started my 11th year teaching.

August 18-20, 2018: Traveled to Florida for a potential pastoral job. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m in love with the beach, and I’m in love with Florida. This seemed like an answered prayer. However, at the end of it, we both did not have peace about accepting this position. I am thankful that the Lord had something better.

March 8, 2019: Charlotte was born (most difficult pregnancy, and most difficult recovery I’ve had). 

April 2019: Traveled to Indiana for a potential pastoral job just three weeks after Charlotte was born. Thankful that the Lord had something better.

April 2019: Traveled to Pennsylvania for a potential pastoral job. Charlotte has now been on 8 fights. Real talk: traveling with a newborn is easy because they sleep the entire time, but then you have moments like the one below that calls for a wardrobe change in an airport.

traveling to pa

June 26, 2018 – May 13, 2019: Struggled tremendously with people, the church, and the Lord while growing even closer to my true friends (I say true because leaving a church that your husband is on staff at will show you who your true friends really are), husband, and family. I learned valuable lessons about loneliness, trust, prayer, and sole dependence on the Him.

Isaiah 66:13 is one of the many verses I held onto during this time. He is the God of comfort, and as I was comforting Charlotte during restless nights, He was comforting me.

May 13, 2019: Accepted a position at a church in Pennsylvania. Hallelujah! Very few people know how many prayers have been answered through this.

May 14, 2019: Listed our house to sell.

May 22, 2019: I returned to work for the last week to pack up my classroom and say a temporary goodbye to teaching. Also, the night before this night, I had to put down my cat that I’d had for 21 years. Just a couple weeks later, I had to put down my other cat that I had for 22 years. RIP Fatty and Pinto.

July 8, 2019: Our house sells and goes under contract. Our previous two houses sold within days, even hours. So waiting almost two months was excruciating, especially knowing that we were supposed to be in PA.

July 10, 2019: My husband leaves Texas (with our dog and cat) to begin his new job.  The girls and I stayed back to finish selling the house and packing.

packing

July 15, 2019: My husband started his new job.

July 19-25, 2019: The girls and I caravan with my mom to Florida for my grandfather’s funeral. 

August 1, 2019: My husband flew back to Texas to close on our house, say goodbyes, and pack up the truck.

August 3, 2019: We packed the truck (and, surprise, a trailer), and my husband and his friend leave to drive to Pennsylvania.

moving.JPG

August 4, 2019: My mom, the girls, and I leave Texas for a four day drive to Pennsylvania.

August 7, 2019: Arrive in Pennsylvania!

made it to pa

August 15, 2019: My brother and his family drive in from Rhode Island to help us move into our new place.

August 16, 2019: We close on our new home and UNPACK the truck!

Now, it’s been four weeks since we’ve moved into our house. And we are loving it. We are in a cul-de-sac of town homes with lots of kids in the area. We have been blessed a wonderful backyard with a swing set, two “tree houses”, a flat spot for the trampoline, and a big hill (which we’ve told is where the kids go to sled in the snow). *insert wide eyed emoji* We are all adjusting quite well. For the first time in 11 years, I am a stay-at-home-mom, and I’m loving it as well. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was being convicted that my family and home were not being taken care of the way it could be if I stayed at home. My family and home were suffering. So I am thankful for the opportunity to pour my heart into what God has entrusted me with the most. Our oldest daughter has started first grade and is thriving and loving it. Our second daughter is almost 3, and is loving life as she gets to play outside all the time (newsflash: it’s not 100 degrees here!). And our six month old is sleeping well through the night and loves watching her big sisters play while we sit on the deck.

There. Now you’re all caught up. Needless to say…this past year has been KER-AZE-EE. I have learned so much about God’s goodness, and faithfulness. Not all lessons are pleasant and easy. But it’s the hard ones that we remember the most. I have cried a lot over the past year, and I’m sure that there will be more tears as the adrenaline wears off and we try to find our new normal with new people. I’m already beginning to miss Texas, and our family. And I’m sure it will get harder before it gets easier.

But I’m excited to share this journey with you, and I’m thankful for this space where I can be honest and open, and start over. Starting over is so difficult, but so exciting.

God is Faithful

In January, we found out were pregnant with our third (our second is in Heaven partying it up with Jesus). I’ve never had so many feelings in my life. I felt excited, scared, angry, frustrated, confused, eager, and blessed all at the same time. See, two days prior to seeing the double pink lines, my grandmother had passed away. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with emotions on both ends of the spectrum.

Immediately I started praying. At first, I started praying for life. That this little baby make it. That prayer continued through the entire pregnancy. It wasn’t until about week 16 that I started to no longer dwell on the fact that something could “happen” and actually get excited about this little life growing inside of me and no live in fear anymore. From there, my prayers became a little more specific.

You see, with Cupcake, all I wanted was a healthy baby. I didn’t know exactly what to pray for. She was our first! However, because of my experience with Cupcake, I knew exactly what to pray for this time. Everything from a quick and simple c-section, to mine and the little’s ability to breastfeed, to sleeping through the night, to adjusting to new roles as parents of multiple children, Cupcake’s adjusting to her new role as a big sister….and the list goes on and on.

So you see, my prayers went from very board, to very specific. And let me tell you. GOD IS FAITHFUL.

He has answered so many of those specific prayers, its unreal. And I could not be more grateful.

Delivery – it was the smoothest it could’ve gone.

Breastfeeding – the little latched almost immediately. I haven’t had to pump to increase supply, no shields, no supplementing…a complete 180 difference between Cupcake and this one.

Sleep – well…you know. She’s only almost 4 weeks old. Ha! It’s really not that bad…it could be much worse. And she’s on a pretty solid schedule now, so I’m thankful for what we have. But don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to when she starts sleeping through the night.

Demeanor – she is so laid back. She only cries when she needs something, and I can usually figure out what it is that she needs.

Husband – being that we’ve been through this before, I feel we have been better about communicating both of our needs, and being on the same page.

Cupcake – this may be the hardest part. Her little world has been rocked. She loves her sister SO much. She is just trying to figure out how to share us.

All of this is in a nutshell. I know that my story is not like others’ stories. And we are very blessed to have what we have. All I’m saying is that God is faithful, and He knows what we need more than we think we do.

Worship Looks Different

These past couple weeks have kind of been a whirlwind. Baby girl number 3 was born, and our lives have been full of schedule changes, adjusting to new roles, and lanolin. It’s been incredibly humbling to embark on the newborn stage again, or as some people call it, the “fourth trimester”. This baby has been different in so many ways, but the stage itself hasn’t changed. Sleep deprivation, adjusting to a new life, and making sacrifices are among those similarities.

This past Wednesday, I was reminded of one of the ways we make sacrifices. Wednesday nights, we go to church. That’s what we do. We hang out with teens, worship together, and I’d teach a small group while Cupcake went to her own class. Well since this new baby came, I haven’t attended a Wednesday night. A week ago, I brought her to church thinking “she usually sleeps in her car seat, so I’ll just bring her for worship and then leave.” Well, she had a different plan. Her plan included crying the whole time. So we had to leave. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

Sunday, I dropped Cupcake off at church, then Baby and I went to run a few errands. I had Hillsong on my radio, and was singing along with it…meaning every.word. that I sang.

And that’s when it hit me.

I don’t have to be a part of corporate worship to have a relationship with God. I know it’s a “duh” moment, but I was so caught up in thinking about how I wanted to be inside of those walls praising His name. But the truth is that I was driving, with a sleeping baby in the back, and praising His name the same way I would be if I were inside of that building.

I was telling my husband this, and he brought up a good point. He said “I wonder of the Devil makes us think that we HAVE to be a part of church to have a relationship with God.” And I can totally relate to this. Yes, attending church is important. It’s hard to grow when you don’t show up. But, that’s not where the growing stops.

I’m thankful to serve a God that meets me where I am – even if it’s in my car running errands.

New Life Style

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It has been a little over a year and two months since we started attending Walnut Ridge Baptist Church.

It has been about a year and one month since we moved away from the place that I called “home” for most of my life, and ventured to a new town.

And it’s been one year since my last blog post.

So, instead of starting with the emotional stuff and adjustments and changes that have happened within the past 365 days, I’m going to start with a new adventure that I began about ten months ago. And that, my friends, is the adventure of essential oils.

When I first started hearing about essential oils, I totally didn’t believe they worked. Because, duh, voodoo. =P But one day while teaching, I felt myself getting a serious sinus infection. Usually, I keep OTC medicine handy to help whenever those lovely moments happen, but at this point I had run out. My coworker lent me her diffuser and oils that help support your respiratory system and within about an hour, my sinuses had cleared up and I didn’t need to go to the doctor at all. SCORE! So within a few months, I invested in a Premium Starter Kit, and have luckily had some awesome people to help me get started.

It has been so awesome being able to play around with the wonderful smells and mixtures to help support my family’s needs. From bug spray, to belly butter (for my grown preggo belly – yay for no itching and reduced stretch marks), I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this process.

I have success story, after success story, after success story of how YLEO  (Young Living Essential Oils) have changed my life, my family’s life, and my friends’ life. Care to know more? Please please PLEASE ask me!