It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year—or so goes the song. This time of year right now is just flat out weird. Trials know no time constraint of convenience, that is for sure. We’re in the middle of one of those seasons where it seems like my mind is flooded with all the yuckies everyone, including us, are facing. My nature is to want to help and when I feel lost on how to do so, it’s automatic shutdown mode. That’s the total opposite of what this time of year is about though.
Oh so many years ago, there was one that arrived upon the earth to be the light of the world. I find it very encouraging that He didn’t arrive dressed in a Gucci onesie or lay in a golden crib. He was born among the smelly animals, wrapped in pieces of tattered fabric and born to a family situation that many had their questions about.
Now that I’m a mommy of small children, my go-to daily attire has changed a bit.
Gone are the days of super high pumps, and restrictive clothing. Well, for now anyway.
In this season of life, I have to keep things simple. That’s because I’m in the daily trenches of mommyhood. So I’m up, I’m down, I’m changing diapers, loading car seats, sweeping, mopping, washing seven thousand sinks of dishes, and folding just as many baskets of laundry.
Have you ever had to eat a slice or even a whole humble pie? Well I have, many times in my life. A couple of years ago my husband, being the awesome youth pastor that he is, felt called to talk about grace and forgiveness. I thought it was such a great topic especially since it’s such a huge and deep concept. I mean really, can we fully grasp God’s grace for us? I honestly think that NO ONE can fully know how DEEP and how WIDE His grace is.
We give grace daily – to our children, to our co-workers, to the people who cut you off on the road. Grace has a wide range and covers a multitude of sins or misgivings. But, I’m talking about a grace MUCH deeper than these. I’m talking about life-changing, spirit altering, joy overflowing GRACE that comes with forgiveness.
Have you ever asked God to change your life, but not really known how or why? Well, I have some advice for you… don’t ask it if you don’t mean it!!
4 months ago I spent about an hour touring a court-ordered residential facility for teens. It was only an hour, but I knew that my life was changed forever. This wasn’t the rough and rigid juvenile hall we’ve all seen on TV. Confidence, respect, and smiles filled the sweet faces of my resident tour guides. There are no bars here. No cells. No barbed wire. Instead, the AMIkids halls are filled with counselors, educators, mentors... family.
Writing this is my therapy from the last week, so apologizing in advance if it comes off in rambles. Hurricane Irma hit Florida and it hit it hard y’all. We are on the west coast in central Florida in Tampa, and for about a week, we were feeling impending doom headed our way in one way or another. Here is my account of the events and how my momxiety took over for a hot minute.
Irma was predicted to hit the opposite coast of Florida, but knowing it’s size and living here my whole life, I know things can change last minute and they did. A few days ago, the spaghetti models (I don’t want to eat spaghetti for a long, long time FYI) swapped coasts and it was predicted to make land fall in the Florida Keys and then continue up to Naples or Fort Meyers. Tampa was still within the cone as a possibility for landfall, but mostly looked like we would get the eye over us as a category three as it traveled up the coast.
Last we talked, I was chatting about my future plans and how I had absolutely no idea what was ahead. Slowly but surely, things have started to come together(bless!), but today I wanted to talk about standing on your own two feet. For anyone, the first real leap “out of the nest” can be tough. Leaving mom and dad, friends and family, to venture out onto your own is not always the easiest, but it must be done. For me, I’m moving a few states away from my mom and dad to Texas! However, I also know that it can be equally as hard taking that first jump even if it is right around the corner from wherever you call home.
I’ve always known I was shy. But I never thought I was an INTROVERT too. And no, they are not the same thing, not exactly. But some tendencies could appear similar and that's why people think that they are one in the same. According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of shy is being disposed to avoid a person or thing for fear of negative judgement. In my case, I almost dread social gatherings, not because I’m antisocial, or harmful to organized society (another word people throw around loosely, but that’s a post for another day), but because I’m terrified of “acting a fool” and of how others will think of me. I’m already my own worst critic, but then I shutter to think about what others think of me.
Ok, I’m over a little exaggerating here, but it’s how I really feel. The psychological definition of introvert is a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts. This means that you’d prefer, and actually flourish being by yourself or doing solitary activities. Left to your own devises, so to speak. As an introvert, you may feel drained when you are around a group of people an may need frequent breaks. Does this sound like you too?
Have you ever met someone in life that just clicked with your soul? It was like God strategically placed them in your path to run into and bond with! Not only do you two click but you have similar goals…life goals, spiritual goals, career goals, relationship goals. It just works and it is beautiful. I have had a few of those people.
Have you ever met someone in life that just clicked with your soul and you just thanked God in that moment only to be asking God later as to why they went away? Why they left your life? Why did he take what brought you joy? I have also had a few of those people.
Allow me to tell you more about myself (for those who don’t know me. Haha!). I’m Jennifer, and I’m married to my absolute best friend ever. I have two sweet kiddos, my 5-year-old daughter, and my 1-year-old son who are literally the most exhausting and amazing little people ever. I’m a working-mommy turned stay-at-home-mommy. I absolutely love spending time with my family. I do photography. I love being involved in my church. And guess what – I used to be 336 pounds.
As a woman there is a different definition of strong that comes with our gender. It is not strength of physicality but more emotional and mental strength that is tested beyond measure. I, myself, have been through some pretty painful moments that emotionally I thought were physically going to destroy me; however, my mental strength proved me wrong. If I am being honest, it was my faith that held me together because in my flesh I was at the end. It is only by faith I am held together.
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