It's Been Awhile

Hey Friends....

I apologize that I have been MIA.  John and I have been raising a toddler who is now four years old!  Is she still considered a toddler?  I don't know.  It's been a joy-filled, lessons-learned, humbling experience. Wow! I've learned so much about trusting the Lord minute by minute.  

SO much has transpired since I last wrote.  Just wanted to let you know that I am still shakin' and bakin' over here. 

I have quite a number of new speaking opportunities in the next couple of months that I am excited about and thankful for!  If you're in the area, I would love to see you!  You can click here to see where I will be!  I am also scheduled to be interviewed on two different podcasts! I'm not sure what the airdates will be but I will let you know. This is a new and exciting avenue of sharing my story and I am again, so incredibly humbled to have been asked to do these interviews.  One of the podcasts is called "Constantly Under Construction".  Please check it out. Donna Harris has a heart for telling people's stories about hardship and triumph and how God's fingerprints can be seen in all things. She has a powerful story herself and has turned her misery into her ministry.  The other podcast is so brand spanking new it's not even available yet, but I promise you it will be a good one. 

I plan on posting new content here in the very near future so keep in touch! 

I was challenged by this passage today:                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Ephesians 5: 8-10 " For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  and find out what pleases the Lord."     

We were once in darkness...but now we aren't!!!  So.......LIVE AS CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT!!  I love when Scripture is frank... almost "in your face"..... just do it!  Today I'm evaluating areas of my life where I am not living as a child of the light and making some changes.  I encourage you do to the same.  

I wish you a fun, beautiful day! 


Writing This Journal Was No Joke

The process of writing Patiently Endure was amazing.  I learned so much about myself, about printing, about God.  There were days when the words just flowed. It was like I could feel the Holy Spirit writing for me.  There were also days where I had a bad case of writer's block . Days where I felt like I could not organize my thoughts clearly.  And then there were days, weeks actually, I was paralyzed by fear.  

Writing Patiently Endure was not all rainbows and butterflies.                                                                                                                                                            (Thank you Maroon Five for the lyrical inspiration. Reader, if you have no idea what I am talking about, just move on. It's OK. :)

My mind is my battlefield.  Always has been. The devil had a hay day with me on my own turf throughout the whole year of writing Patiently Endure.  I had many fears but the one that kept rearing it's head was this:

I or someone in my family was going to be stricken with a major health crisis. 

As you read through Patiently Endure you will find that I share a lot about my past experiences in life and what I learned through them about myself and about the Lord.  Key word:  PAST.   As we experience trials in life it is oftentimes the case that we do not see the good or the Lord's fingerprints in our situation until we can lean on hindsight.  I was not experiencing any major health problems when I was writing Patiently Endure, so it was, dar I say it, easy for me to write about what I had gone through. And having been on the other side, writing about the Lord's faithfulness brought a smile to my face.  But the fear that something could happen to myself or John or Aralyn at any given time burdened me off and on the entire timeline of writing this journal, almost to the point that I wanted to quit. I would fear something would happen to "test" my faith.  If it did, would I still say the Lord was good? It was in those times of fear that I was forgetting the Lord's faithfulness.  I was forgetting his love.  I was forgetting to fill my mind with excellent and praiseworthy things. (Philippians 4:8-10)

The bottom line was and still is this:  Something could've happened to me.  Not one of us knows what our day to day lives will bring.  But I have trusted the Lord with my salvation- a literal life and death decision.  I can trust him with my health. With my family's health.  With the inner workings of my entire life. I love this verse from Isaiah.

Let's fix our eyes on Jesus.  I've said it time and time again, but to me it's the answer to everything. 

I will share some of my other fears, but need to get going for now.  Nap time for my sweet little girl is almost over.  



How It All Began...

In my mid-twenties I had a dream of writing my autobiography.  I know i hadn't lived a super long life by that point, but I had so much to look back upon and so many life experiences to tell due to living with a chronic disease since age three.  If for anything, I wanted to write it so that I, myself, could look back and remember the faithfulness of the Lord.   However, writing an autobiography is no small feat.  I felt like I couldn't find the time to commit to writing a whole autobiography, but knew I wanted to share my story in some capacity. Fast forward to January 2015.  I sat down to make goals for the year.  Again, I wanted to complete my goal of sharing my story in written form, somehow, someway.  

I felt led by the Lord to write a devotional/journal that told parts of my story but was also an encouragement to others going through medical conditions. I had so many fears and doubts and was believing some lies from the enemy, so I drug my feet for a few weeks to get started.   I attended the IF:Gathering in February 2015 and was challenged at the end of the conference to think of something that I needed to step out in faith to do; something that I knew I was hesitating on.  Well... immediately this little devotional journal came to mind.  We were asked to write our "faith step" on a stone.  On that day in February I wrote "SSP" on my stone.  It stood for, "Super Secret Project."  At that time I had no idea what the title would be, what the content would be, but I knew the Lord was telling me I had to do this, to stop dragging my feet and tell my story so that He may be glorified.  

I worked on my "SSP" for a year.  Most of my writing was done while my daughter was napping, which is part of the reason it took so long.  If you are a mom, you know that nap times can be unpredictable in length.   I also took some breaks because I would start to feel inadequate and not worthy of writing something like this. (There were so many fears during the whole process that I can share in a different post.) Yet, there was still an excitement I felt, knowing that the Lord was using me to share what I have learned through the different seasons of my life.  I am so thankful for the encouragement I got from friends and family during this whole process.  Everyone has been sweet cheerleaders for me!  

And here I am.... about to launch my very first self-published devotional journal.  To God be the glory... My prayer is that everyone that reads Patiently Endure is able to gain some kind of encouragement and it helps them to fix their eyes on Jesus.... the author and perfector of our faith.