Friday, February 25, 2011

February 17, 2011....

Is a date that will forever change my life. It is the day I became a mother. The past week of my life has been the quickest, hardest, most fun, most rewarding week of my life.I now find it hard to believe that there was a time in life when I questioned whether or not I would ever want children.

Stella Rae Sadie made her way into this world on February 17, 2011 at 10:09 p.m. She weighed 7lbs 7oz and was 21 1/4 inches long. She is every bit of perfect to me. Nick and I are so blessed.

Not that I have much of a clear mind these days due to sleep deprivation,however, I find myself wondering how in the world I am to guide this child through life so that she is a strong woman who loves God and can make wise choices. The only thing that comes to mind is Bethany Dillon's song Beautiful. As women we are bombarded with images of perfection. I want Stella to know that she will never be perfect but is perfectly loved by a God who created her in His image. What a responsibility I have to show her what beautiful is supposed to reflect.....

Lyrics to Beautiful by Bethan Dillon

I was so unique
Now I feel skin deep
I count on the make-up to cover it all
Crying myself to sleep cause I cannot keep their attention
I thought I could be strong
But it's killing me

Does someone hear my cry?
I'm dying for new life

I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful

Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me
Fighting to make the mirror happy
Trying to find whatever is missing
Won't you help me back to glory

You make me beautiful
You make me stand in awe
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed
I love to hear You say
Who I am is quite enough
You make me worthy of love and beautiful

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Would Life Look Like If....

I love college football, especially Clemson football. I enjoy going to the games and a winning season. I get way too emotionally attached when we don't do well and I hear people talking trash about Clemson. Facebook does not help this problem at all. After the emotional rollercoaster that Clowney induced in the media after prolonging his announcement, I began to ponder the idea of what our world would look like if we invested as much emotion in hunger, poverty, poor education, homelessness, etc. What if we cared as much about other people as we did about whether or not Clowney commits to our school of choice...what would this world look like? Just a thought...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why I Still Seek Him ( a comprehensive overview of my life april - present )

It has taken me some time to muster up the courage to post anything regarding my life for the past 8 months. But as I have time to process and reflect, I know that I must share with you what has been happening. All of the twists and turns my life had taken this year are so not about me but what God is able to do with sin and His ability to redeem and make life new.

In January of last year I prayed, half believing, and asked God to just please let 2010 be the year. My, my, my...I didn't know what I was asking for! God was so faithful to teach me so many things last year and to bring me to a place of such peace in the midst of my SINGLE circumstances. I had finally come to a place where I truly was enjoying life. After attending the Nicaragua mission trip in 2009, I knew that my heart was to take care of patients again ( as noted in earlier posts ). I applied and was accepted to USC to get my Masters as a Nurse Practitioner. I was beyond excited and ready to take on the challenge of being a student again. In the meantime of applying for school I met a wonderful man - Nick. He was unlike anyone I had ever met. I no longer found myself wondering when I would meet someone. Instead, I found myself asking - could this really be it?! As we got to know each other I was more and more comfortable with the idea of never meeting anyone again. I wasn't in a hurry to marry this guy - but there was just something about him. I am so thankful for that assurance early on in our relationship. Life was good and I found myself so thankful for how 2010 was unfolding.

In the midst of God's faithfulness I found myself tangled up in my own selfishness and sinful desires. God had brought me so far and I was ready to do it my way. On June 2 I discovered that I was expecting...and NOT married! How could I have let this happen? Due to time's sake, I will not detail out all of the emotions that ran through me but let's just say that the next 6 weeks would be full of some of the most difficult decisions and discussions as I had to reveal to family and close friends what was happening. During this time, God humbled me by how gentle His presence is. I knew that I could make a choice - I could go through this with or without Him. So, Nick and I decided that we would opt to let God carry us through and show us the way. I have learned so much about God's mercy and character throughout the past 8 months. He truly never fails us and He does pick us up from our self-created disasters and shapes us to be more like Him. The outpour of love and support from family and friends was an extension of God's love for Nick and me. Nick and I were going to do this - we were going to have this baby and hope for the best.

What was "best" supposed to look like? I had always, ALWAYS imagined that I would be married for about 5 years and then it would be time to have children - if I wanted them by then. Clearly, my fairy tale existence was not panning out the way I had always envisioned. So, together Nick and I had to make the decision of whether or not we would marry. I know that this probably seems like the logical choice - he's the father of my unborn child. I wish that the decision had only been that easy. Nick was not the problem - I was. I didn't want to get married just because we had a baby on the way. I was full of pride. I was freaking out. It just wasn't supposed to look this way so how could it ever be right, nevertheless, God's plan for Nick and me? Then, it hit me. We had created our circumstances out of our disobedience. Perhaps, it was time for me to consider what obedience looked like in the midst of the self-inflicted chaos. So, I got real with God. I told Him what I was afraid of. I told Him how ashamed I was of myself for allowing this to happen. I knew that I needed to marry Nick. I think that the most ironic theme in this decision is that the peace to marry Nick did not come until I decided to put my will to the side and let God decide what should happen. Not until Nick and I took the our first step of faith together and decided to marry did we begin to experience the redemptive power of a Living God in our lives. What could have been a devastating set of circumstances slowly blossomed into one of the sweetest times I have experienced. Nick and I married on Oct 1, 2010. It was the wedding that my inner little girl had always dreamed of...and most importantly, I was sure that I had finally found my prince.

Nick Sadie is a good man - he took on the challenge of marrying me! Although it has only been a whopping 4 1/2 months since we said "I do", marriage has already taught me so much. A lot of what I have learned about myself hasn't been pretty. I am selfish,impatient and demand my way far too often. These ugly truths about myself have not been easy to face. I am so thankful that Nick loves me in spite of all of my flaws. His strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. No matter how we made it to the altar, I could not imagine a man more suited for me.

So, here I am on Feb 3, 2011 at 5:45 in the morning - one week out from the expected arrival date of our daughter Stella Rae Sadie. I am swollen, rotund and uncomfortable most of my waking hours. I will not lie and tell you that I love being pregnant. I do not! However, I do love this child and I haven't even met her yet. I find myself anticipating her next move. I know when she's probably sleeping and when she will be active. I know that sugar makes her happy ( tell tell sign that she is mine ). I know that she was created to fulfill a purpose that God has only for her. I pray for her. I pray that she would have an easy love for God...that she will not be like her momma and have to figure things out on her own. I pray that God will protect her from the evils of this world while shaping her into a realistic human being. I pray that Nick and I live a life that leads her to God and makes her want to know Him. I pray that the love that Nick and I have for each other will pour over into feelings of safety and security for her. I pray that I will know what to do with her when she get here :)! Needless to say, this is quite an overwhelming time emotions. However, throughout every fear and joy, there has been a supernatural peace that carries me. The peace and assurance that God is in the midst of every feeling I experience and He sustains me. What a sweet, sweet time the past 8 months have proven to be. Oh, how sweet it is to trust in Him!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's All a Matter of Faith

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Luke 1:45

For what are you believing God? Does it seem that He doesn't hear you? Or, better yet, is it hard to believe that He has chosen you for the life that He's entrusted to you?

I struggle on a very frequent basis with all of these questions. It is so hard to believe in something that you can't see but are so certain of. I am not only speaking about believing in God, I am talking about believing in His love and the plans that He has for us.

Recently, I had a very peculiar encounter with a date. Let's just say it was a blind date gone bad....REAL BAD. I will leave it at that. The timing of this date was kind of hard for me. And when it comes to boys, I just seem to be disappointed each time a new prospect comes along. It is not necessarily the person that I am disappointed with ( except the blind date ) it is that nothing seems to work out for me in the relationship department. After each "date gone bad" I always wonder why God allows me to have these experiences. Why do I have to go through the process over and over again to only feel defeated in the end when nothing works out? Yes, I call this a pity party. However, I feel like so many of us can relate to these feelings just in very different areas of our lives.

Needless to say, I was mid-pity party when I stumbled upon the verse above in my quiet time the other day. God taught me several things in that moment:

1. He hears my heart. He knows my heart so much better than I do. He loves me immeasurably more than I can imagine.

2. His ways are above my ways and His plan is perfect. This verse comes from the story of Mary's conception. If you will remember, Elizabeth, Mary's relative was six months pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth was advanced in years and had resigned to the fact that she would not have children. I am sure that it pained God as she cried out to Him over and over again. I imagine that He was heartbroken each time His child approached His lap with a heavy heart because she just could not understand why He would withhold such a great thing. But, just like a loving Father, He knew what was in store for her and that His plan would exceed any and all expectations that she had ever placed on her life or her God. Because Elizabeth never lost her faith in her Abba Father or tried to manipulate His plan, He blessed her with a two-fold miracle: conceiving at a ripe age and the privilege to carry and mother John the Baptist who would prepare the way for our Savior. Wow! Let God's timing and perfect plan sink in. Where would we be today if Elizabeth had settled for anything less than what her Heavenly Father had for her?

3. This verse in Scripture is so feminine. "Blessed is SHE..." Girls, it is time that we LIVE out our faith. We need to be women who believe in a God who is capable of all things and pass this legacy along to the generations to follow. Oh, how my choices would have been different if only I had believed in God then like I do now.

4. God honors our faith in Him. Faith is the number one thing that pleases God.

So, let me ask you again...what is it that you are believing your Abba Father for? What is it that God is asking of you to move you closer to Him? I used to think that I would only ask these questions of God on occasion. Now, I try to ask Him this everyday. Each day I ask Him to reveal what I need just for that day and sometimes, moment. This discipline has revolutionized my relationship with God. I see everyday answers to prayers that I otherwise would have missed and when I begin to think - why me? why again? - I am quickly reminded of His faithfulness, His favor, His protection and His love.

To Loves Others as Jesus....

I don't know about you, but sometimes loving others the way that Jesus loves us is not my best thing. Christ's love for us is out of heart of submission to the Father and one of humility. I love the lyrics of the song below. I find peace in the love of Jesus and pray that He will give me the strength to love like Him!

Love Never Fails
By Brandon Heath

Love is not proud
Love does not boast
Love after all
Matters the most
Love does not run
Love does not hide
Love does not keep
Locked inside
Love is the river that flows through
Love never fails you
Love will sustain
Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time
Love will protect
Love always hopes
Love still believes
When you don’t
Love is the arms that are holding you
Love never fails you
When my heart won’t make a sound
When I can’t turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this
Love is right here
Love is alive
Love is the way
The truth the life
Love is the river than flows through
Love is the arms that are holding you
Love is the place you will fly to
Love never fails you

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Possibly the First Day of My New Beginning

Every day I get a Bible verse via email. Here is today's:
"And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know,
In paths they do now know I will guide them.
I will make darkness into light before them
And rugged places into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will not leave them undone."
Isaiah 42:16
This verse is a comforting reminder no matter what day you receive it. But, today is kind of a big day for me. As I have stated in an earlier post, I believe that God is directing me to return to school for a Masters Degree in Nurse Practitioner. Today is the day that I take my first step in the process of returning back to school. At 12 pm today I will take the GRE. I know, just a formality...hopefully :). However, I am not a test-taker. I get anxiety and second-guess every answer, even if I know that I am correct. Tests were a daunting task for me in my undergrad work. So, needless to say, I have been dreading today like the plague.

God knows His children so intimately well. Not only was I reassured of His plan for me through the verse that I received today, He also further affirmed Himself to me through my devotion ( 90 Days with A Heart Like His by Beth Moore - a study of David ). Today's devotion was all about getting started with what God has planned for us. Here is just a little background:

Key Verses: 1 Chronicles 22:11-19
David had already appointed Solomon as king and Solomon had taken over the throne of Israel. David spent the last year or two of his life watching and guiding Solomon's reign and it was time to build the tabernacle that would house the Ark of the of Solomon's most important charges from God during his time as king. Verses 18 - 19, "Is not the Lord your God with you? Has he not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the Lord and before His people. Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the Lord.

Don't be confused, God is not calling me to build a tabernacle but He is calling me to step out in faith and into a career that is to be used to honor and glorify Him. I am incredibly humbled and comforted that the God of all creation met with me this morning to encourage me to do His work. I now have no anxiety about this test and am confident that God will equip me to do see His work through to completion. Oh, how great is His love for us. Not only did He sacrifice His son so that we may not experience what we deserve, He loves us so much as to meet with me over a cup of coffee and a devotional book to cheer me on for the plans that He has for me. I do not have adequate words to articulate the joy and peace that this great love brings.