Monday, November 16, 2015

Pray for Paris

My heart sank Friday night at the news of the Paris attacks.  The beautiful City of Lights... and my favorite city on Earth was attacked.

As many of you know my husband was born and raised in the Paris area and we still have family and close friends that live there.  We were frantically checking in to make sure everyone was accounted for and thank God they were! But so many were not so lucky.   There is now a pit that lives in our stomachs as we think about what happened.

Where do I even begin with this? As someone who already struggles with anxiety, are we not supposed to go out in public? Restaurants? Bars? CONCERTS? Where will this end?

If we succumb to this fear. This anxiety... The enemy WINS. He gains territory within each of us.  Instead, lets remember that:

“Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world. That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One.” (Eph. 6:12–16 NCV)

The most beautiful thing I read was from Hillsong's Joel Houston:

Dear Paris, our hearts break with yours from afar, and though indeed the night seems darker than ever before, remember now, You are the 'City of Lights' - more now than ever. So remind us all, especially those who are blinded by their own hatred that even the deepest-dark can not stand a chance against even the faintest glimmer of light. You have our love, our thoughts and our prayers.  

Your love surrounds me when my thoughts wage war
When night screams terror there Your voice will roar
Come death or shadow
God I know Your light will meet me there
When fear comes knocking there You'll be my guard
When day breeds trouble there You'll hold my heart
Come storm or battle
God I know Your Peace will meet me there

Friday, November 13, 2015

Emerging from the Fog

If I am being honest, this is really the FIRST week I have felt like myself since September.  I have been active as a Mom, wife, and business owner AND I have even made time to be social and spend time with my friends.  Up until the past week or so, I had basically isolated myself from everyone and everything.  If I could get to the store AND cook dinner, it was a BIG day for me.  This week I have found so much hope, joy, and peace.  The very things I have been praying for over the past 8 weeks.

The experience I just walked through is still very much in my rearview mirror but as it gets smaller and smaller into the past, I take deep breaths of gratitude that it is behind me and we are victoriously moving into a better season by the grace of God.  I really think I will share the whole story at some point when it doesn't feel so very RAW.

What I CAN say is that it brought me into a deeper relationship with the Lord and He has been so NEAR.  He has spoken to me in very personal ways.... He really is such a gentleman and knows what will speak to each of our hearts. He has spoken through music, scripture, books, sermons, and people.  All in different ways.   I now possess a newfound appreciation for life, my physical health, my mental health, and my emotional/ spiritual health.  As Max Lucado told me last month, "Be KIND to yourself." Basically - take CARE of yourself.  No one else is going to.  So I have taken time to pour into myself so that I have something to offer others instead of pulling from the reserve tank every day.

A few verses that have really been my ANTHEM lately are:

"I have not been givin a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind." 2 Timonthy 1:7

"He is steady in his mind that Jehonva will take care of him." Psalm 112:7

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Praise Him who is ALWAYS victorious in our weaknesses.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dallas Moms Blog Update

Here are links to my 2 latest Dallas Moms Blog posts!

One is my Do's and Don'ts List for a friend walking through Miscarriage.

Read it HERE.

The Second was really challenging to write because I had no idea where to start with how to serve the community as a FAMILY.  After doing the research though, I am excited to implement a few of these into my family's routine!

Read about it HERE.

Friday, October 30, 2015

"Pushing Through"

The internet is a funny place.  It's SO OPEN AND SO PUBLIC. For YEARS, the blogs that I have fallen in love with are the ones that are "real" and raw and honest.  I looked up to these women because they were brave and courageous... not because of anything specifically that they had done but the common thread that they were unashamedly themselves and weren't afraid to put both the GOOD AND HARD TIMES out there into cyberspace.  Life is messy. And imperfect. And MANY people choose to have their social media reflect their highlight reel, not the behind the scenes and that is AWESOME and completely up to them!  I am also fully aware it IS the highlight reel because no one has a perfect life.  BUT I have chosen to be more like those women I have followed and respected and admired for so many years. The raw. The open. The real life.  (Sidebar: Check out this inpiring TED Talk by one of my heroes, Brené Brown )

Since I've made that decision, I have trembled hitting publish every time I go "public" with a struggle.  My miscarriage.  My struggle with breastfeeding. And now.... WHATEVER this is.

When I get calls, texts, emails, and messages thanking me for being a "voice" and encouraging me to keep writing and that I somehow helped someone or taught them a great lesson... I realize THAT is why I do this.  If I can help even just 1 person in some small way, it's worth it.

I have been writing since I was in elementary school.  It has always been my therapy.  I have a box in my Mom's garage FULL of my old journals.  So I am going to keep sharing and posting and being brave because it is something I LOVE doing.  It is fulfilling and seems to be helping people.  If you know me in "real life" you know that I have always been an open book so this is no surprise. I feel like the Lord has given me the gift of "openness" and "vulnerability." I know that is not something that comes easy to a lot of people.  I don't regret a single word I have published nor am I embarrassed to admit that I struggle sometimes.  

I wish I had a pretty packaged answer to give you on what I have been going through. OH LORD, I do.  I would truly find COMFORT in a diagnosis and for 6 very long weeks we have searched.  I have seen numerous doctors and we have ruled a lot of things out.  How crazy is it that when we tested my thyroid and my bloodwork came back completely normal... that I CRIED?!?!? I mean that is twisted. But I know many of you can relate to the fact that sometimes NOT KNOWING what is wrong with you or what caused something can be the scariest because it can be any number of things! You just want to feel like your old self again and no one can seem to tell you what it is, why it happened, or when it will get better so you just keep collecting information and clues.  It is quite a journey.

Some things I have heard speculated about have made me chuckle, horrified, and grateful all at the same time:
  • I do NOT have cancer.  Thank the GOOD GOD above I do not. We never thought it was that. 
  • Logan is NOT leaving me! HAHAHA... Because of this HELL, we are closer than ever. He has been by my side during this entire ordeal.  "In sickness and in health." (Happy 6th Anniversary by the way, babe!)
  • My girls are HEALTHY as can be!!! THEY are my anchors. I am pushing through this because I want to be the very best Mom for THEM!
I am VERY aware of my blessings and even more aware that in the awful game of comparison that there is ALWAYS someone that is "worse off" than I am. I also don't want to minimize what I went through the past 6 weeks because it was extremely hard on me and my family.  I am not trying to get attention or be dramatic or even get sympathy.  I am just merely sharing a hard life experience in hopes that I can share some lessons I learned along the way that will hopefully help someone now or in the future.  

Thanks for being on this journey with me! God is teaching me, growing me, and refining me through this process.  I will be a better version of myself once this is behind me and for that I am grateful.  

The Lord is whispering to me every day.... "Push THROUGH." I can. I will. And I am making progress. Praise Him!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hands and Feet

When we go through dark times.  Hard times.  You realize how important it is to have community.  To have people not only praying for you but to SHOW UP.  To DO something. To be there for you. To carry you through.

The past month I have faced something so hard in my life.  I have never felt so scared, anxious, isolated, and alone.   I tried different doctors and could open a pharmacy from all of the various prescriptions we tried to alleviate the problem.

The hardest part of all of this is that I was going through SO MUCH but still had a resposibility to take care of 2 little girls and provide for my family and keep up with grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry.  These tiny, tedious tasks took it out of me because it took everything in me to just make it through the day.  I felt like a shell of a person and spent most of my days crying and sticking the girls in front of movies.  I was barely functioning.

I am not writing this post directed towards any person in particular so hear me clearly. SHOWING UP is something that I have been BAD AT in the past but after walking through the past 4 weeks, I will never be the same when it comes to helping those in need.

Prayers are amazing.  But to stop at "prayer hand emojiis" does nothing to help the person in crisis.  If you are far away, send scripture and encouragement and check in regularly. Like... DAILY. Pray them THROUGH the situation until answers are revealed.  Intercession is so important and letting them know WHEN they have been prayed for means so much. 

Let me say this bluntly.  The person who is in crisis is likely NOT going to have the strength or mindset to delegate or tell you exactly HOW you can help them in that moment.  So when people would ask "What can I do to help" I would draw a blank.  I have no idea? Where do I even begin? Take my kids... do a grocery run... come clean my house?  ANY of these things would have been helpful but the person walking through a dark time doesn't want to be a burden to anyone and sometimes it's hard to vocalize what exactly we need because we don't even know where to begin. 

This is where WE NEED TO STEP IN as the HANDS AND FEET of Christ.  We all have different strengths and talents and serving is not something that has come naturally to me in the past but I am going to try to be proactive instead of passive moving forward.

A few examples that literally got me through the past 30 days:
- I had a friend show up at lunch one day with her son and some Chick-fil-A. She came into my messy house and talked with me and prayed for me.
- A PHONE CALL always goes 100x further than a text or email.  If the person doesn't want to talk, trust me- they won't. Ha! It's quite easy to screen a call. But some of the most healing conversations took place for me in person or over the phone. 
- I had another friend send me $50 (because finances were tight due to all the mediciations and doctor copays) so that my family could go out to dinner one night and celebrate a small piece of good news I had received that day. 
- One of my sweet friends drove all the way to Richardson from ROCKWALL with her 5 children to bring me a homemade meal.  All of her kids brought pictures and cards for me with scripture and picture scribbles. Salt. Of. The. Earth. And what a LEGACY this friend is leaving and modeling for her kids.  I get weepy just talking about it.
- Someone did a grocery run for us.
- Another friend watched our kids ALL afternoon and another one that evening so we could go to certain appointments.

COMMUNITY.  It is SO necessary. AND in the same breath, equally as important to do it CORRECTLY.

In the past, I was SO guilty of just texting "I'll be praying for you" and then never following up. As a believer who just now feels like she is re-entering society, I am immensely grateful for this lesson. I want to be the Chick-fil-A friend.  I want to be the girl who drives and shows up with dinner and cards.  Not only because of what it will mean to THEM, but for what it will do to take the focus off of me for one moment and allow Christ to move through me.  He doesn't use the qualified, He uses the WILLING. And what better EXAMPLE to model this behavior WITH my children.

Let's step in and be proactive.  We are better than "prayer hand Emojiis."  We are CALLED to be more than that.  BE a community. Support those in need because there will come a time in your life, where you will be on the receiving end.  The Lord has been SO tender and near the past week and has weighed this topic SO HEAVY on my heart.  "We are better than this" is what I keep hearing Him say about how we are treating friendships these days. Actions speak louder than words.  People are HURTING and lonely and isolated all around us. We just need to open our eyes and ask the Lord who and how He can use us. Social media can be so very misleading.  The highlight reel NOT the behind the scenes.  Pray and ask the Lord to lay people on your heart.  Let Him USE YOU! And guess what? You will be SO BLESSED in return!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015


 1. Bridal Shower for my cousin Lane!
2. The Flower Girl + The Bride
3. Baby Aggie
4. When your 2.5 year old has a better wardrobe than you.
5. Snuggler.

6. My Little Mermaid. 
7. Melt Me. 
8. Trinity Groves. 
9. Airplane.
10. Monday Blues. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chloé Grace: 6 Months Old

Half a year already?!? Are you kidding me with this?? ���� Chloé you are sitting up-ish... Pretty wobbly! Eating food now - You LOVE bananas, peaches, & apples... Not so much the oatmeal or prunes. You watch your Big Sis like a hawk and give her your best smiles & giggles! You can roll across a room no problem and you've started putting your knees under you on your tummy like you are about to figure out this crawling thing. I'd prefer we delay that as LONG as possible �� Everything is going into your mouth these days so I think we have more teeth coming in! You are seriously a great napper and are incredibly happy & content during the day. You turn into a vampire baby at night and love to still wake up... A LOT. �� Cry it out didn't really work for us so we are going to talk to the doc tomorrow about other ideas! My best guess is these pesky teeth. �� I didn't know my heart could love another little girl as fiercely as I did my first baby girl, but this heart of mine has doubled in size because of you. We love you to the moon & back!!! 


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