Sunday, January 20, 2013

TFI: Back in the Game

So I took about 6 months off from being an Advocate for The Forgotten Initiative.  We had so much going on and so many changes happening in our house (or lack there of) that I just needed to regroup and get my feet up under me before I started doing ministry outside of my own family again.  The break was needed, but I'm SOOOO glad to be back in the game! 

Ministry and evangelism type stuff is a little bit strange in ways.  You need to take breaks to refill your tank at times (sebaticles, etc), but the more you do ministry activities, the more entrenched and excited you get.  I'm excited to say that I'm pumped about foster care ministry again!  The more I pray about it and talk to people about it, the more pumped I get.  So don't be surprised if I actually start talking about adoption issues and ministry opportunities and all kind of crazy stuff again soon. 

Heck, I might as well start now!

TFI Charleston is a GO! 

The facebook page is up and running and you can find a super short needs list for our area HERE

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Photo Dump!

Just in case you were wondering, Layla IS still alive and kicking.  She won't really sit still long enough for a proper photo shoot anymore, so here's a look at what we've been up to the last couple of months!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dirty Little Lies

A little less than a year ago, I went to a women's retreat with our church at the beach.  God showed me A LOT about myself and about His place in my heart's desires.  At the time my struggle was letting fear rule my emotions and my actions.  While I was dealing with all the truths He was throwing at me, many of the other women were dealing with how to handle and recognize spiritual warfare.  To say that I wish I was able to spend more time soaking up their knowledge and experience with this subject would be the understatement of the year. 

It has been months since I last wrote a blog post.  Honestly, it has been months since I've done a whole lot of anything besides just survive.  I laid down my ministry with foster care, stopped being real with most of my friends, lost control of my emotions (and many times, my temper), and simply gave myself the goal of making it through the day.  This is no way to live. 

About a month ago, God sent me a message:  "Stop believing the lies.  Know who they are coming from."  I knew instantly what He meant.  Each day and night a voice had been whispering in my ear every time I was alone.

"You're going to lose this baby."
"You're not a good mother."
"You're house is never clean."
"You aren't a good cook."
"You're body is ugly."
"You're husband doesn't love you."
"You're husband is cheating on you."
"You don't have any friends."
"You're worthless."
"You're emotionally unstable."

Now that I've written them down, they look pretty ridiculous......  But when you've moved to a new city, you've quit working and are staying at home with a toddler, you know practically no one to hang out with, and you're freaked out about being pregnant, its pretty easy to believe every single one of those statements.  The real problem lies in the fact that the Devil doesn't get in your face and scream at you.  He is quiet and consistent.  You don't even know that he's been feeding you his garbage until you have already completely agreed with him and you can barely function anymore.  This is where I've been: in the pit.  (What's really strange is how many women go through this during or right after pregnancy.  We'll talk about this later though.)

These are the lies I refuse to accept as truth any longer. 

This is the pit that I'm climbing out of. 

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made"

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reinventing Myself

There has been a couple of times in my life that I've had to change who I am.  The summer I met Ryan was one of these times.  God changed my heart and my goals that summer.  Six years later, He's changing me again.  He's asking that I take a good look at my priorities, my goals, and my ideas of success.

It's been about 2 months since I quit my job.  To say that it has been an adjustment being at home full-time would be a huge understatement.  Watching Layla all day is hard.  I have more respect for my stay-at-home mom friends than I ever had before.  The kicker is that Layla is great kid.  She's easy.  She's almost always in a good mood and she plays by herself pretty well.  She's not a picky eater and is pretty easily entertained.  All this to say: I have it good.  I love hanging out with her and seeing her learning new stuff all the time.

There's a lot of really fabulous perks to staying at home.  It's not all fun and games though.  I've been sick a lot lately (more info on this TBA in a couple of weeks.) There are days when Ryan gets home from work and dinner isn't cooked and I'm wanting to beat my head against the wall because our apartment looks like a I haven't cleaned it in weeks and I swear that I vacuumed and picked up the whole place less than an hour ago.  Let's be honest: I don't clean the floors because Maddox has knocked something over or shed too much.  I clean the floors because Layla dumped an entire box of rice and/or Goldfish on the floor and tried to eat/crunch them up into tiny pieces.

Every day is similar to the days before.  Wake up when Layla decides to wake up; make and eat breakfast; play and go for a walk; decide it's naptime; take nap while she naps; wake up when she wakes up; make and eat lunch; play; decide it's naptime; clean up while Layla naps; attempt to make dinner.

Some days we go places.  Some days I take two naps.  Some days I turn on Dinosaur Train (only a select few people will even know what this is.)  Some days I go to bed wondering what it is that I've done all day.

The brutal truth is that these days don't feel like much of a success to me most of the time.  I'm not used to measuring how well I'm doing by how many times I didn't raise my voice at Layla and how much time I spent actually playing with her and showing her love vs letting her watch TV.  Up until 2 months ago I knew how well I was doing by my school grades and how many cases I could get through at work.  Success was tangible and my hard work always paid off quickly.  These days I'm not even sure what success looks like for me.

The weird thing is that this whole thing reminds me a lot of my personal walk with God.  It's so easy for me to base my identity and success as a Christian on how much I'm doing.  When all the stuff that I'm doing gets taken away and I no longer have all my "works" to remind me who I am, I have nothing left but Christ as my identity.  So I'm reinventing myself.  I'll be the first to admit that I honestly have no idea what I'm doing as a stay-at-home mom and I have a TON of learning to do.  But I'm trying to take it one day at a time and find little victories throughout the day.  Obviously, ANY advice is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


It's pretty sad when you can't remember the last time you wrote a post.....

Life has been, well, changing.  Layla is 13 months old. I'm officially a stay-at-home-mom.  Ryan is working in charleston. Tomorrow is the start of moving weekend for the rest of us as our apartment is finally ready. I'm officially a USC grad. A couple of other stuff has been going on as well but I won't share about that for a bit longer.....

One thing I can say through all of this change is that Ryan and I are beyond certain that God is moving us to Charleston for a reason and we are super pumped to finally be getting there this weekend. I'm also beyond excited to have my own home again, even if it is a two bedroom apartment. Living with other people is HARD. It's like having roommates again... Except with a one year old thrown in for extra craziness. :) Layla has seemed pretty oblivious to it all. Lucky her....

Regardless, I'll be so happy to get my sweet pup back home. I've seriously been missing Maddox  this last month at home. I know Layla and I could use the company during the day. On a side note: hooray for Kit for informing me that Kiawa is a dog-friendly leash free beach. I will most likely be spending my Monday afternoon there with my favorite people and furry friend.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The best laid plans......

of mice and men often go astray.......

Of if you don't like cryptic messages: We're moving to Charleston.

Shocker, I know.  We're still processing this ourselves.  We certainly didn't come up with the idea on our own.  Last Thursday Ryan was informed that he's being "indefinately" assigned to work in Charleston.  I'm not really a fan of that word.  It means "we aren't really sure how long this is going to be, so just don't make any plans."  His time frame is most likely 6 months to a year.  That is 6 months to a year of traveling to and from Charleston 5 days a week.  That sounded pretty terrible to me.  Apparently, it sounded pretty terrible to Ryan too.  So he asked his boss man if he could work in Charleston permanently if we were to just move there.  Answer = yes. 

God has funny timing with things like this.  While this summer is absolutely hectic, He threw us this curve ball at the exact perfect time.  We will, in fact, be homeless after July 23rd.  Our current house sells that day, and we were planning on living with the in-laws for at least a month and a half until our new house would be finished.  Turns out we won't be buying that big beautiful new home after all.  The builder will sell it to some lucky couple who will benefit from my design prowess (jk of course).  I FINALLY finish school on August 2nd and I was going to be looking for a new job soon regardless of where I was living.  When Ryan told me that I could quit my job and be a (GASP) Stay at Home Mom for a couple of months at least, I kinda couldn't help but say ok.

We have a lot of details that we still haven't worked out.  We don't have a place to live. We don't know where we want to live.  We don't know when we're going to officially move down there.  We have no idea what church we're going to go to.  We have no idea who is going to step into our leadership roles in the ministries that we are involved in.  There are a LOT of unknowns, and for some reason we are ok with that.  Yes, it is a shocker when you walk into a two bedroom apartment and realize that instead of getting more stuff, you have to get rid of half your stuff.  But God is good even in the crazy. 

All we know is that He's given us an amazing peace about this whole thing, and we're all in this together; even the dog..... 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I'm going to be taking a bit of a break from the blog for a couple of weeks.  There are a LOT of changes going on in our house, and I really don't have a ton of extra time to write posts.  Layla will be a year old in less than a month and I want to spend as much time as I can focusing on her and Ryan in the itty bitty amount of spare time that I have.  We're hopefully only going to have about a month of crazy and I should be back with billions of updates in August. 

In the meantime, we would really love your prayers this month.  We're going to be logging a lot of travel/moving/studying/working hours and can only hope that we come out unscathed and still mentally stable on the other side.  Alas, it is better if we push through. :) 

See you in a month or so!