As we look out at the year before us, no one is quite prepared for the future that the next twelve months will unfold. There will be challenges, conflicts, victories, heartaches, adventures, boredom, and a myriad of emotions along the way. Currently, at five months pregnant there is certainly a great deal of “unknown” ahead of our little family as well.
While I don’t know what the future holds in store for us, I have to remind myself daily that I do know WHO holds it. For this reason I am making STEADFAST my word. I am claiming it and writing it on my heart (any anywhere else that I can until it sticks). I have a head knowledge, but I also need to remind my heart this year that God is and always will be in control on my life, my future, my world.
My word this year will remind me to be steadfast in love for others, faith in Christ Jesus, disciplined, and driven by kindness and mercy. I will make mistakes daily, but He will give me strength.
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.
Psalm 112:6-7 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
From the moment she was born I said it. I whispered it, prayed it, sang it, and repeated it over and over and over again. Even though those three little words couldn’t possibly describe my emotions bottled up inside, I said them anyway. “I love you.” From the moment she was born and for no reason at all I loved her. (It is in these moments that I feel I can see a glimpse of our Heavenly Father’s agape love towards man. We are nothing and could not possibly earn his favor, yet he so richly lavishes his love upon us.)
God has blessed our family with a sweet, sassy, silly, social butterfly named Addie. She has turned our world upside down, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Since she was born we make sure to tell her we love her each and every day so that it will be one of those undeniable truths that she can hold fast to when she becomes a teenager and thinks she knows it all, or her world is rocked by some unforeseen future or lingering doubt.
Most of our professions of love have been monologues spoken over her as she lie asleep, during late night rocking chair sessions, or fleeting and hurried moments throughout our time together. One day something different happened. She said it. Not “I love you too” as in a reply, but just out of the blue. “Mommy, I’ll always love you.”And at that moment my heart grew three sizes and burst into a million tiny pieces all over the floor.
Now don’t forget, she is two…so shortly after this heartfelt moment she can usually be heard demanding another snack, drink, or negotiating five more minutes of playtime before her bath. But, in this moment I realize that another milestone of motherhood has come and I love her more with each passing day.
Our little girl is already 10 months old. How did that happen? I am pretty sure that I blinked my eyes and she sprouted overnight. She is pulling up, patty-caking, laughing, squealing, and screaming ma-ma and da-da! I am overjoyed/excited/anxious/and terrified of the future to come.
I worry about the future. What will the current state of world affairs hold? What will Addie have to face in her life ahead of her? Only God knows…which is why Waring and I took the opportunity to publicly proclaim our commitment to raise her in a Christian home and work each day to show her the Word visibly in her life. No, we will not be perfect, and neither will she. We will have have bad days and fall miserably short of the mark. No, we did not “baptize” her; that is a choice and an action that only she can choose to do one day hopefully in the distant future. Last Sunday, with our family and friends by our side, Waring and I made a commitment to share Christ and make him the center of our family. I pray that our actions continue to bring him glory and honor.
We thank the Lord each day for the blessings he has given to us in her.
We are almost five months into 2014 and my bucket list is still looking pretty bare. I have given up soda (with the occasional relapse from time to time), I have visited a new state (the exciting state of Alabama), signed up for acupuncture (although I haven’t actually completed it yet), and we have an upcoming trip to California very soon.
But, if I don’t get a chance to cross anything else off of this year’s list I know I won’t be missing out. On this Easter Sunday I am thankful for the life that I have been blessed with and the everlasting future to come because of Christ’s sacrifice for us all. I am very proud of my husband for professing his dedication and life to Christ through baptism today as we joined a new loving church family. I am excited to call Bible Baptist West our new church home.
Tonight as I sit across from my husband and cuddle my two little girls (Baby Addie and Miss Lily), my heart could literally burst. They are enough. They are everything. They represent my purpose and God’s plan for me on earth. I may not have gotten many items crossed off of that list, but my life has never felt more complete. As I hold her in my arms, I can’t help but think that she is the greatest thing that I have ever done and the greatest gift I will ever receive in this life.
Thank you Christ for your sacrifice, your mercy, and your overwhelming love. I am humbled and amazed by your love for me!
What a crazy season the last nine months have been for Hubby and I! We have been in more weddings in the past 9 months, than I have any other time in my life COMBINED! I have been surprised at how beautiful and unique each of these weddings have been. When I think back to each of these weddings, I am amazed about how I can see elements of their personality shining through in each of their special days. I have been praying for these ladies and the lucky men that get to be called their husbands for a while now. I know that God has amazing things in store for their future.
Here are just a few pics of the amazing/crazy/joyous occasions:
Kristen and Trey (October 20, 2012)
Katie and Josh (November 17, 2012)
Meredith and Justin (May 18, 2013)
Laurelee and Paul (July 6, 2013)
Trish and Ryan (July 27, 2013)
After the many hours of planning, prepping, rehearsing, and partying, I can’t believe that all of these guys are married off and beginning their new lives as newlyweds. Each of them will face different challenges and trials over the next years and decades, however they will have each other to hold onto.
Waring and I have only been married for four very short years, but when I think about the meager advice I could offer these couples, a particular verse seems to come to mind. Christ doesn’t warn us that we will have trials he GUARANTEES it! However, he follows by promising: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
In the years to come, I hope and pray that these couples grow stronger in Christ and as a family. I hope that they rely on Christ and their relationship with each other as they live each and every day. Waring and I feel so blessed to have been asked to be a part of each couple’s special day. My daddy once told me that weddings are special, and that I should always take it seriously and feel honored to be asked to be a part of such a special day in a person’s life. I am truly honored, and I can’t wait to share many more memories with these beautiful couples!
This week’s life lesson: Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
This week’s goal: Philippians 1:21 To live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Since returning home from vacation life has been a whirlwind of emotions. The passing of a dearly loved man in our family has shaken our little corner of the world. I want to breathe a bit deeper tonight, and drink this life in a little bit bigger sips knowing how precious and finite this life truly is.
This week I started thinking about Philippians 1:21. I want to live my life in a manner that reflects the meaning of this verse. We each have a purpose and plan on this earth, and just as the pastor said today at the funeral service, what is important in life is that we “finish the race strong.” I want to see evidence of Christ’s work being done through my life today and everyday. I want to give Christ my life and be amazed by the work that HE can do for the kingdom.
Death and eternity are humbling thoughts to ponder on, but I am so glad that my God is greater. I pray that all of our faith increases….