Tag Archives: Story

Series: College Life | Firsts…

I’m in my last semester of college for my BA in English. I have five, yes five, English courses this semester…and a husband, three kids, and a dog. And four of those classes have long book lists so needless to say, I have little time for anything.

With all that said, I miss being here. I am trying to make time to blog but honestly, I’m exhausted. Physically and emotionally. Especially since my last blog which told of another huge loss I’m dealing with. It’s still hard. It’s going to be hard. It’s life. Anyway, a professor from one of my writing classes gave us a writing exercise in class a couple days ago and I wanted to share it all with you…

The exercise: Write about a first or firsts…

“It was ice cold and stark white in the delivery room. Even though I hadn’t started pushing yet, I was already exhausted. It’s indescribable how those sharp, stabbing pains in my stomach and back had stolen any umph I could muster up. It was all I could do just to breathe through them.

Speaking of breathing, I hate that word. I hate focusing on breathing. There was a time in my life when holding my breathe was normal. It was safe. Here was this doctor standing beside me telling me to breathe. Frankly, I wanted to rip his lungs out and say, ‘You try breathing!’

Not to mention my husband standing there with an empathetic look. All I could think was he’d gotten me into this mess — he better figure out a way to get me through it. I wanted to stab him every time the knots got tighter inside. I felt like my body was attacking me, which I’d felt many times before, only this time, it wasn’t my body. It was this strange creature growing inside my body causing this crazy whirlwind of physical and emotional feelings.

I screamed at the doctor, ‘Just get him out!’

I was twenty-two. I wondered what God was thinking letting me have a kid. Didn’t He know how screwed up I was? Why would He trust me with an innocent little kid. I couldn’t even keep a cactus alive, but God expected me to keep a baby alive?

‘Push…’ I hear the nurses say, ‘You can do it…breathe, just breathe.’ I swore if I heard one more person say breathe I was going to smother them all with the extra pillows they’d stuffed behind me.

And then…

I saw these tiny red toes and heard this wimpy, pitiful cry. It was the first time I’d given birth…the first time I’d really known what love was…the first time I had a reason to breathe.”

So there you have it. That’s my creative story of firsts. Though portions of the story may be somewhat exaggerated, when I write, I write from my heart. So yes, that little creature that turned my world upside down…he gave me purpose. He gave me a reason to fight. We’ve had our moments. I’ve had my really crappy mom moments and he’s had his drive me crazy moments. He’s seventeen now. He’s a senior in high school. He’s a volunteer firefighter. He’s training to be an EMT. He’s a good boy. I’m thankful, but still surprised God trusted me to raise this kid…and his two siblings.

Through all the hard in life, in marriage, in parenting, in loss, in grief, in darkness…through it all, I depend on beauty like this to help me breathe again.

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Being made new…

MadeNew

First off, I want to give a big shout out to all the moms out there – new moms, old moms, want-to-be moms, stepmoms, adoptive moms, foster moms, fill-in moms, angel moms, and any other moms.  Praise God for giving you hearts filled with joy in the midst of trials, minds filled with strength and hope in the midst of chaos and panic, courage and faith in the midst of worry and fear.  Thank you for doing the best job you could do – a job only a mother can do!

Now that you’re feeling like you’ve accomplished something, many of you are really a mess, right?

You’re tired.
You’re worn.
You’re not just worn, you’re exhausted.
You’re overjoyed.
You’re emotional.
You’re desperate for a potty break alone.
You long for a phone call that doesn’t sound like an all call to the screams and cries of toddlers and teens.

You’re heart is full for your babies and children but is it full for you?  And I’m not just talking to the younger moms.  I’m talking to you older moms who’s kids are either soon to move into adulthood or perhaps already there.  Your hearts are full too.

Full of worry.
Full of questions.
Full of doubt.
Full of concern.
Full of hope for their future.
Full of love.

I’m figuring out, this being a mom thing brings on a whole world of emotions all on its own.  As if we women didn’t have enough emotions already?!  Thanks, Eve ;)

Listen up, moms.  Stop.  Right now.

Stop the worrying.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:27

Think back to when you were younger.  Did YOU make any dumb decisions?  Do YOU make any bad choices?  I doubt anyone can answer that truthfully with a, “No!”  Did you learn from your mistakes?  Did you grow through them?

So will your kids!

The message I want to share with you today is to stop worrying and simply love them, unconditionally.  Support them.  Encourage them.  Believe them and believe in them.  Talk to them and listen to them.  Share your faults and failures and let them know that we are all human.  Tell them it’s okay to make mistakes.  Remind them that you will love them no matter what.  Let them know that God will love them because He wants to, not because of their good deeds or perfections.  Teach them that’s no excuse for sin, but to seek God in their sin, to turn to Him in the midst of their failures, in the middles of their storms, to seek Him with all their hearts.

And, if they aren’t there yet, be patient.  How patient has God been with you?  Don’t judge them or turn away from them.  Love them.  Pray for them.  Let them know that a mother’s love is only second best to God’s love.  Prove to them that you are their biggest fan, that you will love and protect them at any cost but also let them know that God is first in your life.  Lead by example.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

And moms, you’re going to fail.

You’re not always going to make the right choice or the best decisions, either.  And just as you’re patient with your children, God is patient with you.  He understands we make messes and He’s ready to help clean them up.  Let Him.

Stop trying to write their story.  Give the pen back to God.  He’s writing your story and theirs.  Let Him work in their lives and instead of trying to write their story, simply be a part of it…a good part, the part God intended for you to be.  He intended for you to shower them with love and praise, to encourage them, to protect them, to support them, to believe them, to love them.  Do your part and leave the rest to God.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

You are being made new and so are they.  Every day is another part of the story.  Every triumph and trial is another part of the story.  Let Him be your author and theirs.  It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it!

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A Chaotic Winner…

ShortStory

I entered a writing contest over the summer for a short story on the topic of chaos in a theme park.

A couple weeks ago, I was notified by Mary Ann at All Things Writing, that my story had won the contest and it would be posted on the blog!  (Thanks Mary Ann!)

When I first wrote the story, I didn’t think much about the contest but the topic was perfect.  Immediately I knew a direction to go with the story.  If you’ve read it at the link above, I’ll tell you now, parts are fiction and parts are not.  The big chaotic story did not actually happen.  That part is fiction but you wouldn’t believe the calls I got asking when it happened and why no one had heard about ;)   The beginning of the story was very much true as far as the emotional roller coaster I went through when our middle son, Caleb, was big enough to ride the big rides!

Anyway, I just wanted to share my short story with you :)  Also, they interviewed me and posted that on their blog as well.  You can read it here.

I am definitely looking forward to more of these contests in the future!

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Just Keep Swimming…

JustKeepSwimming

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

I hope you’ve watched the movie, Finding Nemo and if you haven’t, go watch it … right after you finish reading this ;)

When I started this blog back in August 2011, I wondered if there really was a purpose?  I felt a strong desire to write but who would read it?

Would anyone really care what I had to say?

Would my life really matter to others?

Could my experiences actually help others?

Could I really help someone through a blog?

Would this actually make an impact on anyone’s life?

Even today, I find myself asking these questions over and over.  My blog isn’t viewed by many.  In fact, probably only a handful read it regularly.  I’ve poured two years of my life into writing here (not always very regular, mind you!).  But the answer to the question, “Would this actually make an impact in anyone’s life?” is most definitely, YES!

If nothing else, it’s impacting my own life!  It’s keeping me in God’s word.  It’s making me think and it’s helping me to step out of my comfort zone, to learn to embrace new things and new challenges and preparing me for greater things to come!

I don’t always get to hear how my stories, trials, triumphs have helped others, but this blog has very much had an impact in my own life.  I know God is using me.  Perhaps this is how he is preparing me to write a book.  Perhaps these are the stories he’s having me collect so that some day, I can speak them with my voice.  I know he is growing me.

The most encouragement though is when someone shares how God is working in them through my blog.  If you have a story, please share it!  It’s very much an encouragement for me to hear how God is working in your life.

Last week, I posted about perception here and here.

And then someone shared this story…

“I read your blog about perception and darkness.  I read it several times but wasn’t really getting what you were saying.  I opened my Bible to the verse you had mentioned “…If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”  Matthew 6:23.  I read it a few times but still, it just wasn’t getting through.  Then I read the verses before and after…

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Immediately, it was clear to me that God was not speaking to me about the darkness.  He was using your blog, your story, to lead me exactly where I needed to be.  I needed to hear about treasures.  I needed to hear about money.  God was speaking to me, through you.

Later in the day, I sat with my daughter to read her devotional book.  We had struggled for weeks to make very much progress in this particular book and when I opened the page to today’s lesson, I said, “You’ve got to be kidding.”  It was the exact verses from above.  That was just confirmation that God was speaking to me and he did all of that through you.

Had you never taken the time to share your thoughts, I would not have searched for that in my Bible.  Had you not taken the time to share your heart, I would have missed out on a lesson that God had for me.  Keep on keeping on!”

A few days later, this same person called to add to her story.  She had prepared for a prayer meeting with a group of ladies but the date got changed.  The next prayer brought her right back to these verses.  Once again, God was teaching her and by this point, it was so clear to her, maybe not the lesson he’s trying to teach, but he that he is very much trying to teach her something.

And that my friends, is why I sit here amazed.  I am just a girl who is more broken and messed up than most and yet God chooses to use me.  Being able to see that my brokenness can and does have an impact on someone else is the most amazing blessing ever.  I am so thankful that God has given me eyes to see his blessings in my life and the blessings in others!

I hope you will share your stories!  Remember, you may never know who you’ve had an impact on or how your story has changed their lives but I can assure you, your story can change lives.  God can work in you and on others through you if you let him.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  2 Peter 2:9

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