Humble Beginnings

We left our honeymoon. Hesitant to leave and address what laid ahead, but anxious to return to our little barely finished home. There was no shower or running sink, the interior was mostly bare drywall. No flooring or pictures. Simply a blank slate. I’ll be honest it wasn’t what I’d imagined being my first home after getting married and yet the inner part of me loved it dearly. We pulled into our drive to see a small group of our family working and placing flowers outside our door. I smiled at the flowers, the inside was a construction zone and the outside was nothing to fancy. The flowers were cheerful and encouraged me to think positive in the midst of all the chaos. Our family left after a short time and my new husband and I laid on our bed. Our bedroom, not just the bedroom but the temporary kitchen, and the only room in the house that was mostly finished. We talked for a while about our vision for each room. What color we’d paint them. Pictures for the walls. Even though we had a lot of work ahead of us, more than we could fathom at the moment. We went to bed knowing that God was good. 

There were so many times of trial after that. I’d say for renovating a house right out of the gate of getting married, we’ve been through the worst of it.

I’ve continuously listened to stories similar to my own. Of young couples and friends around me who started out with mere humble beginnings. Some make me chuckle, some make me cry and others make me want to grab the teller of the story and hug them. My husband and I are facing a trial today and initially it took me back to a place of insecurity when we first got married. But a simple text brought light to it all. Steven wrote and said, “Patience. God is good. All the time.” We’ve always said to each other, through hard times, “Imagine a few years from now, when we look back on this moment and we laugh. Because guess what? We’re going to be just fine!” That statement has gotten us through almost six years of marriage and I know we’ll continue to use it for the rest of our lives.

The few years that Jesus wasn’t in my heart during our marriage. My continuous thought was, “If only I had more money!” Now I’ve realized that even if I had all the money I supposedly “needed” it wouldn’t make a difference without Jesus. If the Holy Spirit was missing from my marriage, I’m sure I’d squander the money and end up using it for something unwise. There is this quote I remember frequently from a friend and it always makes me laugh. She said, “I don’t need to be rich. I just want enough money in my account that I can go to the gas station and not wonder if I have enough money to fill up my tank.” Money will not fix our heart. My treasure is in my friendship with Jesus. I’ve fought for it, struggled to get it, laid down my selfishness and pride. He’s seen me through my worst and my best. I pull all my strength from him. On days like today when I know that Satan is taking every opportunity to tear me apart. Jesus speaks to me, “Patience, you got this! I’m right here. All day, I’m right by your side.”

Jesus is enough. I believe that he always provides. It is through our faith in hard times that he blesses us. I’m staking a claim that Jesus will provide and he will bring me comfort.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.- 2 Corinthians 12:10

 

 

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The Sound

I loaded my girls out of the car. It was way past their bed time I might add. Their is no fuss. Everyone files inside. Quickly removes their shoes, into their pajamas, a quick brush of the teeth and into bed without a sound. Silently I thought, “At last, I’m all alone.” Still unsure of what to blog about I put in my headphones and decided to tackle the mess of my home that was neglected most of the day until now. The 1975 comes thru my headphones. “Yes I love this song!”. The 1975, The Sound. The song plays as I put dishes away and sweep the floor. Then comes my favorite part. The guitar solo. Without thinking I whipped out the broom and began pretending as though I was playing the guitar. Slowly jiggling and moving as it played on. I probably looked like a circus act, considering I know absolutely nothing about playing the guitar. But the moment felt right to pretend. Upon ending I stood up to regain composure over myself and thought “Wow! What a weirdo Patience!”. Chuckled softly and continued sweeping. 

I’d love to believe that I’m the only person out there that breaks out into a guitar solo and dances when no one is watching. But I know I’d be wrong. I know you. You dance when you think no one is watching. You laugh at your own jokes. You smile thinking over precious memories. You get teary eyed at sad moments. I want to believe that we all love ourselves. We’re special with a one of a kind makeup. Think for a moment on how random you are? I look at myself and I see a die hard Jane Austen fan who likes rock, 80’s music and a self proclaimed semi minimalist. Most of those things are not like the other. Jesus spent so much time on us. Shaping us into our own unique mold.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

I’ve spent many years being known as the “quiet one.”. They’d be right in most instances, when I’m feeling out of place I people watch and observe. I sit in silence but I always listen. What I observe most is the facade that we unintentionally or sometimes intentionally put up around us. Some say it’s to shield from hurt or judgement. Others say it’s because we just don’t “click” with certain people. Don’t worry I’m not placing blame I’m totally guilty and speaking from self experience. Past all of that I think to myself, “Why?” Is it to impress the people around me? Do I even like this person around I want to impress? And if the answer is no, is there something I can do differently to dig into this person so I can love them? Am I trying to act superior? Do I need to change my own heart? I know myself because I ask real questions. I cannot hide from my own intentions.

I’ve done an experiment on my own the past year. To intentionally ask as many people, “How have you been?” The question is easy it’s what you do after that remains important. I listen. We typically ask the question because it’s the polite thing to do. But don’t continue to concentrate on that person afterwards. The other part of the experiment is to be intentional about being genuine. If I feel like I’m putting up my “facade” I remind myself that there is no need to have it, “my sound” is my own. The many years I was known as “the quiet girl” I thought I was alone in feeling like no one actually listened to me at all. Turns out that many other people feel that way too. Sure we can’t be intentional with everyone. We get busy, we all have a life, obstacles to jump over, kids to raise and work to be done. I encourage you, start with one person. A person you may not know to well or have a preconceived idea about but you’ve never actually talked to. Ask them how they are and listen to their sound. You might find that part of your makeup overlaps. Embracing your sound, it encourages others to embrace theirs.

After that song I knew what to write about in my blog. It’s a total cliche. ‘Girl plays air guitar in the middle of her kitchen’. Pretty sure I’ve seen that in a movie a few dozen times. Go ahead, listen to the song, smile a little as you picture me dancing in my kitchen. Cliche or not it’s the truth. My thought for tonight is “grasp your sound.” It can be in a time when you’re all alone, if you’re bold it can be with everyone you know. I like to imagine that Jesus was sitting in heaven chuckling at me and says to me, “Oh Patience, I love you. Now go show everyone else why!”

 

until I write again….

 

 

Imaginary Baseball

The day was like any other. No particular tasks to do. Nothing exceptional in value to be learned. I sat with my cup of coffee at the kitchen table scribbling down random thoughts of things that came to mind for the grocery list. My eldest daughter runs to me and says,

“Mama lets go to the park!”

I hesitated. The lazy part of me wanted to stay in my pajamas in my kitchen. But the hopeful part of me said,

“Okay! Give mama a minute to get dressed.”

Loading the girls into the stroller seemed monotonous. I’d done it a thousand times this summer. What was one more? Not even nine a.m. and here we were walking the short distance to the park. Each one of the girls squealed as we got closer and closer to the the swings and slides. Before I could put the brakes on the stroller they were unbuckling and climbing out. I parked near a bench. Sat down with my pen and paper and once again began scribbling small notes. Becoming bored with it. I tucked it away. Stood up and walked over to my youngest who was attempting to climb down the fire pole. The park was the same as it always was. We’d spent countless hours there this summer, but today it was plain uneventful.

“Mama. Let’s play baseball!” 

“No Janie. We don’t have a ball or a bat.” 

“But Mama, we pretend. We just pretend Mama.” 

I sighed, gathered all of our things and walked to the closest baseball field. 

“Mama. You sit here.” Jane said, pointing to the metal bleachers beside us. 

Without a thought she stood on the mound. Raised up her arms like she was holding a bat and she swung. Excitedly I cheered from the stands, 

“Go Janie! Run! Run! Run!” 

She ran from base to base. Smiling ear to ear with that amazing grin that I’ve memorized inside in my heart. Laughing in pure joy. She ran all the way to home plate, then shouted “Touchdown!” 

“Janie, that’s football. Football is a touchdown. When you score in baseball it’s a run.” 

“Oh…” she looked puzzled. “Well mama it’s your turn.” 

She ran out to the stands. Sat all the way at the top. Then shouted, “Go Mama! Whoop Whoop!” 

I stood on home plate. Put my arms in the air as if to swing a bat. Even imitated the “smack!” of the ball making impact. Then proceeded to run to first, then second, then third, then all the way home. All the while my little girl yelling, “Yay Mama. Run Faster. Run Faster. Yay Mommy!” 

I ran to her. “Janie, Mama got a run!” 

“I know Mama! You did so good.”

We took turns back and forth, for what I can remember as a full three innings. Eventually she became tired, so we made the short walk back to home. 

 

I’m obsessed with this memory. Have you ever had a moment while an event in your life is happening and you think to yourself. “I never want to forget this.” I was feeling that during the entire time that me played baseball together. My sunshine. My Jane. I strive to be as fearless and innocent in heart as she. So much joy came out of that moment. Thinking of it makes me smile every. single. time. Jesus was showing me love in a time I felt like everything was just the same as it was the day before. I encourage you. Make the memories. Not everyday will leave a lifelong impression. It is on the days when life is mundane that Jesus has so much in store.

Blessings. Until I write again….

 

 

 

 

 

Every Little Thing- A Recap

It is the eve of what would’ve been my third child’s due date. The nostalgia is bittersweet. God has given me my peace, but as the days have drawn closer I can’t help but feel some small hints of sadness deep down in my gut. And yet my heart tonight remains peaceful.

 

 

So far this year has been one for the books. Can you say PURIFY? Purification. My house. My clothes. My garage. My mind. My soul. I started out the year depressed and filled with anxiety. Jesus got a hold of me and here I am. I’ve thought long and hard about blogging again. Finally having a computer again helps, but mostly it goes back to fear. The cold hard truth is that I put more of my heart and thoughts out into a blog, open for my whole Facebook world to see, than I do in person. I mean have you talked to me in real life? Or do you read my blog to get in on the juice?

As I said purification…. You’d have to see me or my house to believe it. After dozens of trips to the donation store and lots of prayer, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t have time or energy to waste on keeping up with every other family or mother around me. In a blatant term. I don’t care. The best, most liberating feeling. When you actually believe it way deep down that no ones judgement can shake your values. It’s a pretty darn good feeling.

Learning. Overlooking myself and taking the time to get to know new people. I’ve talked to more people this year than I think in my adult life. Some serious growth especially for an introvert. I’ve thrown myself into some situations and events where my whole being is screaming, “No! Don’t hang out with other people! You’ll hate it!” Yet low and behold, Jesus carries me thru and here I am, meeting new people and making friends. There have been some gatherings that I was very hinder-ant to go to. Satan’s words telling me that I’d be judged or slandered. But Jesus used people in those gatherings to show me love and a small smile comes to my face as I remember them now.

Fun. Is that too vague of a word? My husband and I were determined that this year was going to be about adventure. Maybe that should be my next point? Adventure. I’m loving it. Seeing new things. Trying new things. Taking our girls anywhere that we’ve never been or maybe we have been a thousand times just to soak in all of God’s goodness. The adventures continue on.

Growth. Isn’t that what I’ve been doing all along with this blog? Putting my own insecurities and thoughts into writing. I feel like every blog is just another little piece of doubt being clipped off of me. The feeling itself is sublime.

Finally, Love. isn’t that what we all strive for? The safety that comes with love. It cannot be shaken. From our Savior or our dearest friends. And I’m feeling it tonight.

Until I write again….

 

“Let’s Call Her Esther.”

A dream. A dream I remember vividly…

The sun was shining down from the clear blue sky, creating a bright white glare in front of me. I saw myself sun kissed and brown, in a summer dress. I called out but I couldn’t hear myself. Suddenly the sound came through as I called a second time, “Esther!”. A little girl came running and broke through a pair of trees. Running towards me she giggled. In her own summer dress covered in flower print. Long brown hair fell down her back as she ran to me. Finally I picked her up, wrapping her arms around my neck and slowly we walked away together. 

My dream. One that I’ve had three times over the course of ten years. The very first was when I was twelve years old. An odd type of dream for a twelve year old. But I remember thinking how strange it was that I could remember the details.

The second time was after I graduated high school at seventeen. Surely it couldn’t be a coincidence to have the same exact dream? I shared my dream with my boyfriend at the time (now husband) and we prayed about it for quite some time but never got an answer from the Lord. I continued on with life only to think of my dream every so often at little instances that reminded me of this small girl.

The third was before my first daughter was born. At the time we knew that we were having a girl and had yet to decide on a name. At that moment I was convinced “Steven I think we should call her Esther?!” So we prayed and thought and although we loved the name in our hearts we didn’t feel that it was right. In fact we had come to the consensus that Esther, Esther was going to be special to us. Special in every way. Extraordinary and teach us something and draw us closer to the Lord. Finding out we were having our second daughter we prayed again and the Lord gave us the same conclusion. “She was going to change our lives.”

My heart has been breaking and slowly over the past few months God has been mending it back together. Late December the day after Christmas my husband and I, lost our child. A child that wasn’t part of our plan, but part of God’s and nevertheless we loved unconditionally. In the days before the emotions ranged from shocked, excitement, panic, at the thought of having three children under the age of three. But after that it was a pure delight. “Would it be a boy?” “What will our family say?”, “Three Girls!”. It was too early to know. I had had no appointments and never heard the heartbeat. But in my heart and in my gut I knew that this little being was in fact, my third daughter.

I didn’t know how to handle what had happened to me, to my child. Heartbroken I cried for days, my husband and I cried together and prayed. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.- Job 1:21  After the crying was over, I tried to continue on with life, loving on my girls and taking in every moment. I shut myself off and somehow I had no emotion except sadness. No tears, no anger. Just simply heartbroken. I shared my heartache with the few women I hold dear, both knowing what I was going through. They went above and beyond to love me and only a small few have known of my heartbreak until now.

Weeks later I had shoved it so far down inside of me that it felt that nothing had happened. Except every once in awhile pricks were made and it was a reminder of what no longer remained. I prayed to God to help heal my heart. Was I wrong to feel nothing? Why did I feel this way? Until one night we went a friends home to play games, we stayed late chatting the night away. One conversation led to another and suddenly an uncontrollable sob came over me. My dear sister and friend held me, and we cried together. No one kept track of time and I wept endlessly. The days following, I cried more and I felt as though I wouldn’t stop. I continued in prayer knowing that God was carrying me through this time.

In early December I attended a Women’s Conference with a friend and at the conference at each setting there was a personal card that had a specific prayer and word for each woman. Mine wrote…

You are stepping up onto a rise, not big in the natural but a new level in the spiritual. No fear, it is a wider place and what awaits is the Father’s good plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11

Instantly I was moved I’ve had this feeling of my dry spiritual life finally coming to LIFE since October and this was just another reminder of God’s promise. That he and I would draw close again and this time it was going to be unbreakable and not slowly fade away. Over the course of the past months I never blamed God or got angry with him I only ever in-rooted myself more in his word and took in everything he gave me to try and understand how I was feeling.

Finally, I am healing and sad moments come occasionally but quickly fade knowing that God has a plan for it all. During one of my moments of sadness my dream came to me and I closed my eyes, trying to remember any detail I could grasp to keep it in my mind just for a moment. My husband came home from lunch that day and I said,

“Let’s call her Esther.”

Understanding exactly what I meant, he simply said “okay.”. It was the one baby name we agreed on completely. I’m so thankful for this life that God gave me and God took away. All in all I know God knew. That’s why he’d been giving me glimpses of her since I was twelve years old. Esther is my angel baby. The one in my dream that I can replay in my mind. The little girl I called to. The daughter we’ll meet someday in heaven in her perfect form just the way God intended her to be.

This blog is raw and personal and I’ve shed tears as I type. I’m sharing my story because many women know my pain. I’ve been debating on sharing for some time but haven’t until now because I can feel God holding onto me. Saying “It’s going to be okay Patience. Don’t be afraid.” I shouldn’t be afraid to show what causes me pain to others especially something so dear to my heart.

Blessings.. Until I write again…

 

 

 

 

A Lady that Cares. A God that Cares.

I’m starting today’s blog off with a short story that filled my heart with a small devotion and I have to share in more than just a Facebook post to do it justice…

Throughout the night and the early morning both of my girls ended up in my bed. My husband goes to work very early and some days it can be comforting to not wake up alone. I was laying in bed talking to my eldest when the baby woke up. She suddenly started crying and became noticeably upset in a matter of seconds. I (being right next to her) tried to console her crying and calm her down but she continued to cry. By this time Jane  had gotten up and walk to the other side of the bed and started to “shhh” her. Without any prompting or rehearsal she says to Clara, “It’s okay bebe sister. Jesus take care of you.” That moment was my reward. It may sounds silly, but I believe that every parent wants confirmation that they’re doing it right. Something that says, “Hey your kid isn’t a total jerk. Good job.”(High fives from Jesus and all that jazz.)

My girls are my greatest passion. I’ve always said that we are raising them to be ladies. Not women, not girls… ladies. Because a lady is refined, with the perfect balance of grace and compassion.  Jane, my oldest is definitely strong willed, textbook first born attitude in my opinion. But she has never wavered in compassion or empathy. She is always thinking of others around her and becomes quite concerned if they become troubled. And even though she doesn’t fully understand yet, it gives me joy to know that at the age of two she knows that Jesus is there, taking care of her and the ones she loves. Furthermore, it reminds me that he cares for me and he’s taking care of my worries.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

This past year I’ve been through a lot of growth. Trust me I’d be more than content to stay at home with my husband and kids, with my books and my dog and hide out forever. But God is pushing me out of my comfort zone. People are my anxiety. He’s shown me I have nothing to fear. I reached out to about thirty other moms to arrange a get together, not once but twice… Something I wouldn’t of done in a million years, and guess what? It’s been amazing. I’m having play dates! I’m reaching out and it’s only just the beginning.

Whatever your anxiety may be today, “Jesus take care of you.”

Until next time….Patience

 

New Year, New Blog, New Outlook

It has been one year since my first blog post and I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. I started out strong. Writing consistently enough for my own satisfaction and others. About half way through I received some criticism which blew out the fire some, but after a few weeks of prayer and thought I continued. I have no real explanation for why the blog posts stopped all together. In honesty I got lazy and made excuses. “I’m pregnant.” “I have nothing else to write about.” and the list goes on.

Also during that I time I was trying to make some changes in my life, personally. I was still trying to “find myself” or so they say. Although lately I’ve been thinking that this blog is a huge part of how I started to grow. I got my thoughts and feelings out. Wrote them down and even if no one read it then at least it was out loud instead of causing my brain to overload. I make no promises as to how often I’ll write or what time of day it will be. But I do promise to at least stay constant and not completely fall off the grid. Now that my day to day life is on somewhat of a schedule I’m most confident I can fulfill that promise.

During the past few months that I’ve been away in the blogging world, I finished my second healthy pregnancy and gave birth to our second daughter, Clara Rose. She’s my prize. We’re all in love and as it goes I can’t imagine life without our second little lady. Jane is now two. No lies… It’s rough. The phrase, ‘terrible twos’ cannot be more accurate. Jane is not a bad little girl she is actually pretty good most of the time. She’s so smart, and most definitely strong-willed, mix those traits with over reactive emotions and it gets a little dramatic. Steven and I just celebrated our fourth anniversary and I have to say I’m still in love with him. We are mostly opposites so I feel like we are constantly keeping each other balanced. He started a new job so that was a change for our family but I can go into more of that in a different post.

All in all. I guess I’m letting the blogging world know that I’m back at it again. With a little bit different outlook and expectations.

Until Next Time Friends…..