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Monday, January 26, 2015

be you bravely

Hello. It's been an easy Monday so I'm taking advantage of some free time (Annalise's nap time) to take some time to blog, to think, to pray. I haven't been consistent on these things and I want to do better.
I need to make sure I am taking care of myself physically, spiritually and mentally and I'm not doing a good job of it these days.

 I'm trying to set new goals and live life on purpose. I feel that some of that has slipped away from me. I feel like I've gotten a little lost in who I am and what my purpose is. Sometimes I think that I am too hard on myself. God blessed Jason and I with our beautiful daughter and I have the privilege of staying home with her so I need to give it all I've got. I don't want to mess up on this. I know that God has equipped Jason and I with the tools to raise her. I am constantly reminding myself of that.

It was so nice to get away this past weekend. We, along with other children's leaders from our district, had a time of refreshing. WE got to stay in a really nice hotel in Branson. It was wonderful. I defiantly missed Annalise but really did need a break. I don't get "me time" often. We met some really wonderful people and got some good ideas and inspiration for children's ministry. I felt so bad for Jason though. He got sick (tummy troubles) and was only able to join us here and there. I guess God needed him to really be still and for him to stay more secluded. He works so hard in ministry and has a second job on top of that. He's so dedicated to providing for us and always giving it his 110%. He inspires me. I can't say that I always do the same. He's a brave man. He keeps his head up, always looks forward and keeps moving toward his goals until they are accomplished.

There were many brave people at this past weekend's retreat.  At the end of the weekend, we shared prayer needs and lifted one another up in prayer. I was really impressed with several children's pastors who were going through huge struggles in their personal lives but were such bright spots. They were so positive and always smiling, so encouraging. They probably had no idea how brave and inspiring they are.

God is teaching me something. I am a part of a group of moms that meets twice a month. It's called MOPS (mothers of pre schoolers). I am absolutely in love with this year's theme.

It totally speaks to me and to where I am right now. I feel this is what God is calling me to in this season. I need to be myself as a mom, as a wife, as a minister, and not be afraid of that. I need to step out and be who I am in God and work towards what he wants me to accomplish without backing down. It's such a deep feeling, it's hard to put into words.

I absolutely love our family pics from this past October. I love how the photographers captured us as a family.. just being us. I don't really care for the way I look In a lot of these pics (I need to lose 20-30 lbs. and I don't like my teeth) but it's ME.

Be encouraged today friends.

Be Brave, Be You, Be Free

Thursday, January 22, 2015

hello again

Hi! It's been a while. A long while actually. A LOT has changed since I last wrote and I regret not documenting all of it. Being a new mom is overwhelming. There is so much to learn and I want to make sure I write it all down before I turn around and my baby girl is a teenager.

I don't even know where to begin. Our baby, Annalise Grace, was born on Fathers day weekend of 2013. June 15 to be exact.  She is the light my life. Of our life. Instead of writing a novel here, how about some highlights? I will do my very best not to over share photos of our beautiful baby girl. I am constantly taking pictures of her and I just can't seem to stop. It may be an addiction. ;) Being a mom is WONDERFUL and hard and stressful... well.. it's the best thing EVER. I stay at home now. I get to raise my girl. I'm here for everything. It's the most challenging and fulfilling job I've ever had. I"m living my dream. I am a wife, a mom, and partnering with my husband in ministry. We are children's pastors and it's so much fun! We have some incredible kids. We are so very blessed to have been appointed with this responsibility, this privelidge. I also co teach a high school girls class at church. I love it. I've always loved teenagers. They are so fun and so full of life and so in need of love and encouragement. I love that. I love being a part of their lives and helping them navigate life God's way. Sigh.  GOD IS FAITHFUL.

I need to rewind to just a little before Annalise was born. It really was such a beautiful time.

Jason and I could hardly wait to meet our little girl. I had a really easy pregnancy I'm ready to do it all again. I loved the preparation for our little love and sharing it with family and friends.

Our church friends also threw us a shower. They went all out and it was a huge blessing. We have a great group of couples our age and this incredible group  of creative ladies made it so special.

Our last getaway before the baby came at the end of May. We joined Jason's family at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson. This is a family tradition the do every Summer. The moved it up a little for me. =)

It was the perfect getaway before the baby came. We had no idea her arrival would be sooner than later.

My blood pressure had been up for several check ups and on that last checkup, June 14, 2013, my Dr. asked us if we were ready to have a baby that day and I was like.. what?! It's time already?! My due date isn't for another couple of weeks. Well.. I was full term and bordering on pre eclampsia. My dr. didn't want to take any risks. Both the baby and I were healthy and in good shape and he wanted to keep it that way and induce that evening. I had heard scary stories about being induced so I was hesitant,  but agreed. I'm not the type to buck or argue what the expert is suggesting that I do. If you know what you are talking about and you tell me to do it, I say Ok, lets do it!

It actually worked out pretty perfectly. Jason and I were able to go home, no rush, finish up packing, and call our parents. There were no contractions, no panic. It game my parents enough of a heads up to make their 5 hour trip from Memphis and my brother an 8 hour trip from Nashville. Jason's parents were so excited that they arrived at the hospital the same time we did. It was cute.

Now that I've teased you with the story of Annalise's birth, i'm going to save it for another time. I've got some packing and cleaning to do. Jason and I are leaving for Branson in a few hours for a childrens' ministers retreat. Annalise is in Memphis with mom and dad. This is the first time she's stayed away from home and it's kinda crazy not having her talkative happy little self around here. I am missing her already and it's only been 1 day. I will enjoy this break though. It's already been a relaxing and productive day- I love those!

I can't leave without sharing at least one pic of our beautiful daughter. I have so many pictures..so much life to share... and so little time. One day at a time. =)