THE WAITING.

I’ve been writing and re-writing this for a couple days, and today I deleted everything and started anew. Call it what you want, but I feel like the Holy Spirit put fresh (and fewer) words into me and wanted me to share this.

The Saturday before Easter always gets me. The waiting after Jesus died until his resurrection had to have been excruciating. His mother, His siblings, His friends… all waiting, grieving, hoping.

I know so many people (myself included) who have been or are RIGHT NOW sitting in a season of “Saturday.” Sitting in the waiting. The grieving. The pain. The hopelessness.

But friends, even though the waiting and grieving are excruciating, PLEASE HOLD ON TO THE HOPE. Hold on to the faith, because faith is just that: believing in what you cannot see. Not easy, I know. Worth it? Yes.

SUNDAY IS COMING.

Sunday might look different for us all. Your Sunday might be next week, next month, next year… but don’t give up, YOUR Sunday is coming.

The Saturdays are hard. I stand with you all and I’m praying for you all. I’ve been there.

DO NOT LOSE HOPE, YOU ARE SO VERY LOVED.

** Back to lighter, funnier topics next post, but I really felt like some people needed to hear this **

I’M GETTING IMMERSION BAPTIZED, AND HERE IS WHY

Years ago I sat in the pew at church sobbing.  I was crying because since I had never been baptized, I wasn’t allowed to take communion. What was salt in the wound was the fact that I had loved Jesus since middle school, and a person very close to me who had no relationship with Jesus went up to take communion because they had been sprinkled as a baby.  Ouch.

Something else that made me sad about this situation was the thought that what if someone had an experience taking communion and that was the very act that would lead them to dedicate their life to the Lord?  It all felt very “Old Testament-y” where you have to do things in order to be loved by God, and that can  scare people away from the faith.

So in 2013 when I was six months pregnant, I got sprinkle baptized.  While it was nice, it felt very mechanical and more like checking a box in order to gain membership into a club.

YOU GUYS, CHRISTIANITY ISN’T A “CLUB” ONLY CERTAIN PEOPLE CAN JOIN.

Since 2013, I have had A LOT OF HARD LIFE happen.  Looking back, I can see how God got me through it all with His amazing GRACE. I have come out on the other side with a stronger faith and a stronger peace.

Don’t get me wrong, I asked God a lot of hard questions and wrestled with my faith during hard times.  That is okay to do, you can love the Lord and wrestle with Him at the same time (Look at the story of Jacob in Genesis 32:22-32).  I think He actually likes when we ask hard questions because you know what?  THE GOSPEL WILL ALWAYS HOLD UP.

All of this has led up to why I am getting TOTAL IMMERSION BAPTIZED tomorrow.

This is not a requirement of the church I am now attending. Nope. This is something I am  choosing to do as a fresh awakening of my faith.  A public display of how a good, good Father has loved this messy girl through hard times and brought me through to who I am and who I am becoming.  A death of my old life and a resurrection of the NEW.  Even more symbolic since we are getting close to Easter.

This doesn’t mean I won’t fall upon hard times in the future.  But it does mean that I am never alone and with Jesus by my side I will get through them.  Just as I have in the past.

*** If you have questions about Jesus or are looking for a church, please reach out to me, I’d love to chat!

*** The church I got baptized in back in 2013 has now changed up their communion protocol and that makes me happy.

Dear Lord,

Some thoughts.

I saw this photo earlier this week, and it really resonated with me.

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You don’t need big, beautiful, “churchy,” poetic words to talk to God. Nope. You don’t even need words at all. HE KNOWS. You don’t have to explain anything, just go and rest in Him.

This week has been a tough one for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons.  Losing someone unexpectedly is SO VERY HARD. While I had not known this person long, it was a wake-up call as to how things can change in an instant.  How life is so fragile.

It made my heart ache so deeply for those I know and saw and talked to who were close to this person.

It reminded me of the sermon that was preached last Sunday at Life Vineyard Church and words that I have heard from a few mentors.  You have to let yourself feel all of your feelings to be able to move through and heal.

But I will admit, I didn’t take that advice.

While I felt and grieved for everyone, I didn’t really let myself. I tried to numb my thoughts and feelings by eating and drinking junk so I could sleep and not think and feel my feelings.

Not my proudest moment, but I wasn’t sure if I could be a good support if I was grieving too.    *insert eyeroll*

So yesterday I went to God. I went to God and cried for everyone touched by this loss and  for myself.  I didn’t have words. HE KNEW.

Being in HIS presence is peace-giving, life-giving and healing.  While the sadness isn’t all gone, I have a lighter heart than I did before I went to HIM.

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One last thought.  Yes, Heaven is rejoicing by this good and faithful servant returning home.  BUT, I believe that Jesus is weeping with everyone touched by this loss.  It breaks His heart to see us heartbroken. Instead of the awful “everything happens for a reason” statement, I find more comfort in knowing that Jesus is weeping right along side of us.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay not to have any words.  HE KNOWS.

One Year Into Our Autism Journey

One year ago today, Gemma was officially diagnosed with Autism. In some ways it seems like there is no way a whole year has passed, and in other ways I feel like a lifetime has passed. Some of that is just life with kids (the days are long but the years fly by, amiright?), but a lot of it has been the continual, nonstop learning about autism.

Gemma’s diagnosis came only a few short weeks after my divorce was final. Yeah, that was fun. It was like life was handing me the ‘ol one-two-punch.

But, you know what? After the dust settled and we got into the groove of our new normal, I really started to find my passion through advocating for Gemma. You see it IS true, things are scary when you aren’t educated on the subject. So as I started researching, talking to her doctors, meeting fellow “AU-some” friends and getting Gemma enrolled into an incredible school, I replaced my attitude of fear with a warrior attitude.

When I first publicly talked about Gemma and autism, I was SCARED. TO. DEATH. to his “publish.” But looking back it was one of the best decisions I have made. There is so much freedom when you are vulnerable and when you are your authentic self. It gets easier the more you do it (my experience), and it also can make you feel lighter even going through heavy circumstances.

So many people reached out to me with similar stories, there is so much power in the two words “me too.” Not just the movement our country is embracing, but in anything… Divorce, autism, grief, parenthood struggles, the list goes on and on.  When you start talking about these things you quickly find out that you aren’t alone.

While I am not an expert on anything, if sharing my stories can help one person feel seen and less alone, it is so worth it.

While this last year has had huge leaps and bounds for Gemma, I have found that I have gained just as much (maybe more) from everything. Life is actually really sweet.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me, I appreciate all of you!

TUESDAY THINGS: 7 Fun Things About My Birthday Month (yes, it’s a month long event)

It’s heeeeere! My birthday month… and this one is a doozy…

On May 29th I’ll be re-celebrating my 39th birthday. Kidding, I’m actually 100% A-OK about turning the big four-oh-em-gee.

Fun things about birthdays:

1. Cake.

2. Parties.

– actually this is probably more like it:

Zzzzzzzzzzzz… #kids

3. Presents.

4. All. The. Pizza.

5. Wine.

– It’s fine. 40 is fine. I’m FINE. –

6. Friends.

7. More cake.

Here goes nuthin!

Thursday Things: Thinking About Resolutions

I’m a New Year’s junkie, and I am sharing one of my resolutions!

HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!! I’ve missed this space!!!!!

I had to take an unexpected hiatus due to L I F E.

^^^ Me handling life the last month ^^^

But now that life is settling a bit, I have started looking forward to 2018.  New Year’s is quite possibly my favorite holiday.  New beginnings, fresh starts, new goals, clean slate.  There is such promise, and I get so energized by it.

Also ^^this gif ^^ makes me so happy because I am over the moon about her engagement to Prince Harry!

I digress.

So in thinking about the new year, I am going to let you in on one of my resolutions. Why?  Because I am hoping some of you will join me!

I am letting myself fully enjoy the holidays… So. Many. Desserts.

But January 1st I am starting Whole30, and this time I am determined to CONQUER!

I know you all are sitting there like:

But I am serious:

This gives us (yes, US) a month to prepare.  It’s 30 days, WE CAN DO IT!

Also the Whole30 creator is coming out with a new book this coming Tuesday, it is a daily companion for the 30 days… Perfect timing!

Click here to see the book.

So, who’s with me?  Who wants to jumpstart your health in 2018?  It’ll be like a hard-reset for our bodies, and I am reeeeeeallllly looking forward to it!

Thursday Things: A Silent Retreat.

SHHHHHHH!

So this weekend I am going on a silent retreat.

I am excited.

And I am nervous.

We are talking (I mean NOT talking) Friday evening until Sunday afternoon with ZERO WORDS. I haven’t heard (or not heard) silence in:

4 years, 2 months and 3 days (when Ashton was born).

I am excited to heal, hear from God and rest, but I am nervous I will accidentally say something or laugh out loud.

I can’t wait to spend the weekend journaling and praying.  Lots of emotions going into the weekend, and I will probably have lots of words to share afterwards.

Whatever this weekend brings, I’m sure it will be fabulous!