Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Only Pictures

More from Boston. We are now in Cape Cod and finishing up the month of May! 
I didn't make it through the challenge but I tried! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day From Boston

Happy Memorial to all of you Americans! It's a day to stop and thank those that have sacrificed everything so that I can live without fear for my safety. Men and women that are brave and courageous, they protect us. Thank you to all of the soldiers that fight and the families that are left here to stand behind their loved ones. I say Happy Memorial day to you from Boston, MA. It is a beautiful city! The adventures continue with family vacation. What better way to celebrate freedom than where this country became it's own. Enjoy the last few hours of your three day weekend! I promise to be back with more quality posts soon. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Destin Vacay

The unplanned hiatus was just wonderful. I really did intend to blog during our short little girls trip to the beach but once we arrived, my mind was away from the real world and in vacation mode. My sweet friend Kodie, my sister and I decided on sort of a whim to take a 4 day trip to Destin, Fl! With a steal of a deal from hotwire, we were set for some sunny days and yummy seafood. I'm back home with a bad head cold and a busy weekend on the horizon. I got my cara box, too! I can't wait to share it with you! Enjoy a few shots a took on our trip! We're just a few hours from Friday - you almost made it!! 

The Lord's creation is just breath taking...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

How Can I Pick Just One?!

Day nineteen: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them

As a blog reader, it is hard to pick just five blogs that I adore. Most of the ones that made it to my list have similar content to my blog. I love reading from adoptive mothers! I am inspired to be a better woman by some of the women that I have found through the blogging world. How am I supposed to pick just five?! So here ya go {in no particular order} I hope you enjoy these lovely women and give their blogs a little love! And since I am exhausted at the moment...the list just dropped to four!

Oh my, this blog has stolen my heart and all my spare time! Ah, I have fallen in love with Wynne's adoption stories and her adorable family. You know when I said I love reading from adoptive mama's, well this is one of them! Her blog is just one of this golden nuggets. So great! 

Jamie has been one of my daily reads for a while now and I just love her blog. She covers a wide variety of topics but they all come back to her life and everything that makes her so amazing! I LOVE reading about her babies and her hubbies music is awesome..check it out! She is transparent and shares her struggles from the heart. I just love that she is real. Like you are having a coffee date and talking about life. Really, you have to see what I'm talking about!

If I could switch places with anyone it would probably be this girl! What a cool life she leads and does it all for the Lord. Katie shares her stories from around the world alongside some of the most beautiful photography out there. Reading about her adventures in Nepal is one of my favorite finds!

Bloom is a beautiful blog written by Nicole. Her deep faith and journey through the newlywed life is another one of my favorite reads. Her passion for the Lord is evident in all that she writes and her site is so relatable to where I am in life right now... minus the marriage part! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Diary of a Recovering Good Girl {part 2}

Yesterday was such a productive day. After weeks of procrastinating and school work, it felt so good to be running errands and marking "to do's" off of the list. Getting up early and getting dressed makes such a difference in how my day goes. 
If you have been reading for a few weeks, you might have seen my part 1 post from my reading of Grace for the Good Girl. I know it is taking me forever to get through this one but it is a GREAT read and I wanted to be able to soak in all the Emily has to share, so I am taking it slow. Today I came to chapter 8: Picket Fences.

It is all about this little thing we like to call our 'comfort zone'. It is a mask that I can hide behind better than any other mask in the book. It's where I live, comfy and cozy, never stepping on anyone's toes and aiming to please. To get to the heart of the matter I have to share with you Emily's words:

"She was deciding between a small, educational activity book or a set of colorful princess pencils. With the book in one hand and the pencils in the other, she quietly held them up to her daddy's face as if to ask him which one he thought she should choose." 

She goes on to tell how the little girls father tried to sway her to choose the activity book and the girl walked out of the store with a big smile and pencils in hand. 

It is something that I have always struggled with, the ability to have a voice of my own. Some people may not have even asked their father but I know I would have. I want to choose whatever will make people the most proud of me, whatever will make me good. For so long I begged God to make me into that girl. The one that walks with confidence and always has the perfect thing to say in any situation. She doesn't ask other opinions because she doesn't need them. But that is not my comfort zone. For years it has been more important to me for people to get a glimpse of who they think I am, rather than who I really am. That is what's easiest. I can work to shape that girl into whatever she needs to be. It's not an act, it's more like a wall I have put up to give the illusion that nothing is wrong here. 

This past summer, after arriving back home from my 10 week trip to the Philippines, I was at a very low point. I had poured out everything that I had to offer spiritually, mentally and physically. When I went back to church, people asked me to speak and I politely declined. Inside I was crying out, feeling like a failure and a fraud. The ten weeks I was away were rarely filled with joyous times. Other teams saw the result of years of labor and were able to baptize new believers that truly understood the gospel and were sharing it with others. I was in a hard place. I got sick, the people did not want to listen to what we had to say, the nights were long and I was homesick. I felt like to speak to about my trip to people back home, I would have to tell them great stories that didn't happen. I would have to lie to cover up this new, miserable me that went away trusting God to do great things and came back broken and sad. 

This month I shared for the first time. It has been almost a full year since I left for that trip and it has taken me almost that long to realize that God did do great things. He worked in ways I could not see at the time. He protected us from grave danger that we heard of once we were safe in another city. He allowed us to disciple two men that are now assisting leaders in the local church. I stepped out in faith and God used me. We planted seeds. It wasn't perfect and it wasn't grand, two things that I felt I needed to be able to communicate a successful trip to the members of my church. But finally, I was able to stand up and to bear witness to the things God is doing all over the world. 

In this book, Emily references Mark 5. In the story of Mark 5, we see a woman who was healed after she touched Jesus' robe. This woman had been bleeding for twelve years and could not be healed until she touch the robe of Jesus. The bleeding stopped but when Jesus addressed the crowd and asked who had touched his robe, she did not want to raise her hand and show her face. But as Jesus waited, she could hide no longer. "She stepped out from behind her comfort zone and fell at the feet of Jesus." She was dearly loved by the Most High. He took time to tell her so. Hiding behind the mask wasn't an option. Now, she would bear witness to Jesus' love and all would see how He healed her. 

It is a crutch that our world allows us to fall on. The norm is acceptable. Living in your comfort zone, never allowing yourself to be vulnerable or hurt and seeking perfection. Stepping out can be uncomfortable. It exposes us and at the same time it frees us from the need to be perfect, to have all the answers and the be the good girl. You are dearly love by the Lord Jesus and he wants you to be bold and be brave in that truth. Stepping out from your comfort zone can be hard but it's not impossible. " What if, instead of walking into a room with a wall around me, I was able to walk into a room and move toward others in freedom? Before I am able to do that, I have to be convinced I am safe. And that is exactly what Jesus came to do." 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Lot in Life

Day sixteen: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it. 

I suppose this is where a complaint is supposed to be posted. A time for us not let it all out, to vent to the blogger world about something difficult. Yes, there have been some difficult days in the past week or so. Yes, I can complain with the best of them. But today, I just feel thankful for my lot in life. I spent a good part of yesterday at Juvenile Court for the foster care review board meeting. Just walking into the court building makes me want to grab my mom's hand like a small child. It breaks my heart into a million pieces when I look at the faces that surround me. I want to save them all. The unloved, the orphans, the starving, the abused. 

It is life. Life is hard. I say it almost everyday, "how much can one person live through?" People live through some incredible and unbelievable things. 
I do not understand why each person is given the lot in life that they are. 
Why I wasn't the one born to a HIV positive mother in Haiti.
 Why I was born to my amazing family in the United States and why I have been blessed so richly. 

I guess if I could say there is something that I am working to overcome, I would have to say that my lack of patience with those that mean so much to me is at the front of my mind. I owe each of them an apology for my snappy moments and my intolerance for any personality that varies from mine. I am working to overcome it through prayer and sweet conversation with those that love me! Change takes time. How are you working to overcome things in your life that seem impossible to conquer?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Miss You

Today's attempt at the blog everyday in May challenge: fail. I completely forgot to document my day yesterday AND today. I promise I will try better tomorrow! You will get a glance at this crazy thing I call my life. 

Since I have missed a few days from the challenge in the past week, I think I will catch up a little with Day twelve: what do you miss?

There are quite a few things that I miss right now. Each day brings something or someone different to mind. I miss my teammates from last summer. 15 Americans and 7 filipinos stepped into my life around this time one year ago and I MISS THEM! 

These people have seen me at my worst. Sick, sad, crying, moody and they loved me through it all. We are all different. We came from different places, different situations and we were strangers last May. We left as family. These people are some of my closest friends and I would call them in a minute if I needed anything. They push me to be bold in my faith. They encourage me to trust the Lord. They have the best shoulders to cry on. They are awesome at playing with my hair and entertaining my emotional breakdowns. They put up with my complaining about not getting a shower for 10 weeks. And trust me, that's saying a lot. These people are the hands and feet of Jesus. 

Rural Healthcare Team 2012, I miss you. You changed my life!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

If You're Happy And You Know It

Day fourteen: 10 things that make you really happy! 
These three people make me happy. They support me, they encourage me and they love me. Maybe family is obligated to do and be all of these things but mine is extra, super-duper good at it and they are truly my best friends. 

This baby. Oh my goodness does she make my heart happy?! I have fallen completely in love with Baby M over the past 11 weeks. If you haven't read her story, you need to. Happy, happy, happy!

Maybe this one speaks for itself because who doesn't love that relaxing sound of the waves crashing onto the shore or looking out onto the never ending horizon. The ocean makes me feel small and reminds me how big God is. To me, it represents peace and refuge. It's my happy place.
Sweet, sweet summertime just puts a smile on my face. The sunshine, the warmth - It's right up there with ocean, just love it! In the South, we get some blazing weather this time of the year. Last summer, I was out of the country for close to three months and I missed all the great things I love about this season. This year, we are making up for lost time!

It is like God is giving permission for me to stay inside, cuddle up and just listen to the rain fall on the roof. I love a thunder storm and a summer rain is literally one of my favorite things, ever. I think rain is romantic and beautiful. LOVE!

Singing to the top of my lungs when I am really sad or really happy is the best. I like a variety of music - pretty much anything will fit the bill except some extreme stuff. No screaming, no whining. Luke Bryan fixes anything that ails my little heart.
Jamie Ivey tells some of the BEST adoption stories ever, not to mention her stories with her own children. Adoption is something very near and dear to my heart and someday I hope to make it part of my family. After all, we are adopted into the family/body of Christ and He gives us the ultimate example. Adoption is love in it's rawest form and reading about it or seeing it, oh my soul! 
Yes, it's true. When you people comment on my silly ramblings or thoughts, it makes me so very happy! There are so many nice people in this world and to know that you stopped by my little space of the world wide web and thought it was worthy of your time to make a comment it awesome! I love it!! Thank you, blog friends, for making me happy.
Maybe I am just really weird but I love doing the laundry, I love folding the laundry, putting it away. It's relaxing to me! The smell of clean laundry, ahhhhh so fresh and so clean. It's the simple things, my friends. 

Last but certainly not least, is spending time in the word or in prayer with my sweet Jesus. There is nothing else that brings me closer to my heavenly father than time together. It makes for a better start to my day, a better solution to my problems and a sweet release of my worries and fears. God is so good. 

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