The Year of Creativity.

Each year I like to come up with a word or theme for that year. As I thought about this year and what I felt this year should represent, I kept coming back to this idea of making it the year of Creativity.

I’ve always felt like a creative person.

As a child I would dream that one day I would become an artist. I remember having notebooks, colored pencils and crayons at my ready so that I could draw whenever inspiration hit. Eventually that dream faded and in it’s place, the dream of writing music took it’s place.

In my early twenties I had the opportunity to experience just that. My younger brother is an incredibly talented musician, and I just happen move back home for a year, so we would spend our days writing music and sharing it with others every chance we got.

But then the realization that the life of musician was not for me once again caused that dream to fade..

Over the last decade, I haven’t experienced much creativity.

I guess that’s what happens when you allow life and heartbreak consume you and your energy. You quickly forget the things that set your soul on fire, or maybe you haven’t quite figured out what those things are yet?

Both are true for me. Life had this way of making forget how much I need creativity in my life to make me feel alive. And I guess I hadn’t quite figured out what creativity would look like for me now.

I didn’t realize it at first, but for the past 3 years I was cultivating a new form of creativity: Writing.

I’ve never considered myself to be a writer. In fact, I didn’t even enjoy reading books until I was into my mid twenties. And it wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve truly come to love them. So much so, that I practically devour a book within days of it landing in my hands.

For me, words have this way of moving me in a way I’ve never felt before. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a book and felt truly changed for the better. And so I guess it would make sense that writing words of my own would have this same sort of effect.

And so, I will set about this year with creativity in the driver seat.

For the past year, I’ve been hearing this little voice encouraging me to write, not just posts like this one, but a book. Crazy right?? Even just writing those words for you to read feels a little surreal.

But I think God has been preparing me for this all along. He’s been grooming me to become a writer. From my early days of writing songs with my brother, to my crazy love for books, to the past few years writing posts here and on my Infertility website.

And now that I have this clear idea and vision of where I can find creativity in my life, while using the gifts God has given me to encourage others and share my heart, I feel unstoppable.

I have no idea how this will all unfold, but I’m ready to enjoy the ride…

I have so many ideas of what types of books I’d like to right, but first I’ll start with a book about my journey through infertility, what I learned and how others going through it can make their way to the “other side”. My hope is that this book will be like talking to your best friend for those struggling in the way I once did.

And so there you have it…a book. I’m sure there will be many ups and down in this process, but I’m also sure that it will be a year I will never forget!

XOXO,

~P

A Spark Ignites.

A new year is upon us and the feeling of renewed hope is in the air. The buzz, the energy, the anticipation of what the new year will bring can create a spark. It can ignite the hopes & dreams that got buried by life, but still find ways to break through and remind you of what your purpose in this life is.

Each year I feel this spark. But I don’t always act on it.

My hope is that this year is different. That I don’t just meet that spark half way, but that I embrace it and allow it to change me in ways I’ve never been changed before. But before we can allow such great change to happen, we must first learn to let go…

-Of the fears that keep us from reaching our full potential.

-Of the busyness that life can bring if we let it.

-Of the noise in this world telling us we’re not worthy.

-Of the worry that keeps us at a stand still.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living my life half way. I want to release it all so that I can fully experience the beauty of this life. It’s going to be a daily choice and hard work. But with consistent action, character change can happen.

-No longer will I let the fear of failure keep me from acting on the work God has called me to do.

-No longer will I let life get so busy that I don’t have the time and space to find peace, joy and happiness in all of my days.

-No longer will I allow the noise of this world keep me from feeling worthy.

-No longer will I allow worry to steal my days and hold me captive.

2017 was a year of rest and refining which I so desperately needed…

But 2018 will be the year of great change. Change to my character, to my days & to my calling. I long to be a person who exudes peace. I long to live my days with new eyes and see the beauty that each day holds. I long to make strides in the work God has called me to do.

I share all of this with you in hopes that it will ignite that spark in you and to keep myself accountable. My prayer is that this coming year will bring you much joy and happiness, seeing that spark ignite a fire in you and your life. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me and for allowing me to share my heart with you…

Cheers to 2018!!

XOXO,

~P

 

 

 

I Choose.

Life has this funny way of happening. No matter how much you plan and prepare, some seasons sweep you up in the busyness, the stress and the pressure of keeping it all together.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that this year has been a big year of change for me. I’ve made decisions based on what I no longer wanted to feel or experience. I let go of the idea that I had to do things a certain way and instead decided to do things the way I felt God calling me to do them.

But even still, I get swept up.

I let all the to-do’s, stress, obligations and pressure dictate my days and ultimately my life. And before I know it, my days are passing by without a chance to really be present and seek the beauty of my life.

Recently, I had this profound phrase pierce my heart: I choose. It’s simple but holds so much weight. It made me realize that I don’t have to get swept up in all the things, I have this amazing ability to choose how my days will unfold. Yes there are things out of our control, but there is also so so much in our control.

If only we will stop long enough to make the decision to choose…

I choose to let go of my insecurities and walls I’ve built up to protect my heart.

I choose to slow down so I can actually seek the beauty and wonder of this life.

I choose to be present and find the joy in each of my days.

I choose to believe that we have a good God that is bigger and more loving than we can ever imagine.

I choose to follow Jesus knowing that I don’t have to have it all together to earn my place.

I choose to go at God’s pace, not the world’s.

I choose. I choose. I choose.

This is my life and this is your life. Let’s make the decision today to choose better. To choose what lights ours souls on fire. To choose the things that will bring us peace and happiness.

Because when we choose a life filled with all of those things, we can look back on our days knowing it was a good life…

XOXO,

~P

Allowing yourself to feel.

At the beginning of this year I vowed that this year would be a year of rest. I was in desperate need of less distraction and more time to be present. But what I didn’t realize is that with this change I’d experience so much emotion bubbling to the surface. Emotions that I pushed deep down as I moved through the busyness of life, never allowing myself to feel.

And now that I’m more present & still, I can feel the emotions so deeply.

I’m grateful for this life I’ve been given and often still can’t believe I’m living my dream of becoming a momma. But, if I’m honest, I have to admit that I had no idea it would be as challenging as it has been over the last year.

I had no idea that because I’m an introvert, the constant noise and demands of my children would leave me feeling so depleted at the end of the day. I didn’t realize how easy it would be to “lose myself” in the busyness of taking care of my kiddos. I didn’t know that I would yearn for more meaning and connection.

I found myself in this place of deep shame for my feelings…I wanted this from the deepest part of my soul, so shouldn’t I feel nothing but joy?

Then something happened. I finally gave into my feelings. I shared them with my husband and with God. I realized that it’s ok to feel this way. It doesn’t make me a bad mom. It makes me real and vulnerable. Something I hope to teach my children to be.

And now that I’ve released those feelings and allowed myself to feel them. I’ve found understanding and a new perspective. I’ve found joy.

I’m still a work in progress and probably always will be, but I’m seeing my life in a new light.

I’m learning that I need to take breaks from the noise, because when I do it reminds me how grateful I am for those tiny voices calling me “mommy” one hundred times a day.

I’m making more time for the things that bring me life and remind me of who I am outside of being a momma.

And I’m making relationships more of a priority in my life, so the loneliness I’ve felt over this past year doesn’t keep me from truly enjoying the beauty that’s right in front of me.

Yes, it’s ok to feel your emotions, even when it hurts. But, we must also realize it’s up to us to make the choice to change. To do the things we know will allow us to live in joy, peace & gratefulness the rest of ours days…

XOXO,

~P

Radical Change

A few weeks ago I finished reading the book This Life I Live written by Rory Feek and watched his movieTo Joey, With Love. I’ve honestly never had a story affect my heart and life more. I had resisted hearing it at first, for I knew the heartbreak and wasn’t sure I could bring myself to experience it. But, it was exactly the story I needed to hear. A story that has inspired radical change in my life.

I’ve always tried to be a good person. To do the right thing and care for those I love. But I am human and often struggle with looking too far ahead, causing me to wish away the time I have now and miss the blessings right in front of me. I get caught up in the struggles of life and fail to remember all of the things I am grateful for. I let my stress and emotions get the best of me, causing me to say and act in ways I later regret.

This year I’ve gotten a lot better at being present and grateful, but I knew I could do better.

Sometimes it’s hard to get out of a pattern, a way of thinking and acting. I needed an example to show me what it truly means to live life with a joyful heart no matter the situation. To show me that each season brings with it some hard stuff, but also some of the greatest blessings if we are just willing to stop long enough for them to penetrate our hearts and minds.

The story of Joey Feek, the woman she was before cancer came into her life and more so the woman she was during her battle and ultimate terminal diagnosis, has had a profound affect on my life. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and the legacy she left behind.

I pray that the radical change I’m experiencing now will allow me to leave a similar legacy.

One that shows the love of God to everyone that crosses my path. A legacy that teaches my children to be present, grateful and giving. So that long after I’m gone, my love will continue to touch those I had the pleasure of knowing.

Joey was that kind of person. She radiated joy. She was kind and truly cared about others. She was present and grateful for the life God gave her. She was faithful and trusted that her journey could still bring happiness to those she loved, even though she’s no longer here to show them.

This type of radical change doesn’t happen over night, but with time I hope that it will become noticeable.

I hope that my loved ones will feel the joy radiating from my heart. See the peace I feel etched on my face. And the faith and trust I have in God to guide them to do the same. I pray that above all else, I leave those I love with a feeling of joy in their hearts too. Knowing that I loved them in a fierce way.

I pray that God gives me the ability to be fully present in the now. For kind words and actions to become my immediate reaction. For a heart that forgives easily and remembers that no one is perfect. I pray for the ability to be grateful, even in the hardest of circumstances.

When I think about this year and all that I’ve experienced, I feel an overwhelming sense of joy. Joy for God’s grace and the ability to start fresh each morning. To keep trying to live this life with intention and purpose. Joy for the lessons about what it means to be truly present and grateful. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s always been worth it…

XOXO,

~P

The momma he needs me to be

Those first few years I thought I had it down. I knew your cries and what they meant. I could tell when you were sleepy or just needed some extra cuddles. You were my sidekick and my dream come true. But then you turned three and my whole world turned upside down.

No longer were we in sync the way we once were.

Your rollercoaster ride of emotions kept me guessing and failing at how to mother you best. It was also a season of learning how to share myself with you and your baby sister, something I’m still learning today. Months went by and the fear in my heart crept in.

I worried that our constant battles would create a barrier between us. I felt pain for the once happy days now turning into days of time outs, discipline & tears. This was not what I wanted for our days. I needed to find a way to be the momma you needed me to be.

I reached my breaking point and what came with it was clarity, peace & understanding.

I thought that what you needed most was structure, but really all you needed was love. Yes, you need me to teach you right from wrong, but you also need a momma who’s gentle. You are one stubborn, strong-willed little boy but what I’ve learned is you can’t fight stubbornness with stubbornness. Just love.

So here we are, months later and so much better. Yes, we still have our days when I’ve had little sleep or you’re just in a mood. But knowing now what I know allows me to let go of the frustration and need for control, and in it’s place I embrace you in my arms and tell you that I love you. No longer will our days be filled with the constant tug & pull.

You are worth this refining of my heart & soul sweet boy.

I will never stop trying and learning how to be the momma you need me to be. Because in the end I know I will be a better for it.

XOXO,

Momma

What I was created for

Years went by before I truly knew what I was put on this earth to do. I guess that’s because it took time for my story to unfold before it could be used for good. But I remember the moment so clearly when my calling finally made it’s way to me.

I was made to encourage others through my words.

To share my stories of the past and life lessons of today. To encourage others in their walk through infertility and to connect with other mommas in the thick of their season with littles.

At first I wasn’t sure how to bring it all together, my past & my present. They are polar opposites. How could I share about one and then the other and still connect to those I feel God has placed in my life and path?

But over time I found myself trusting Him more, because after all this life isn’t about me, it’s about sharing the beauty of God’s story in my life and pointing others towards Him.

I’ve always believed in God, but there were years when I didn’t feel Him.

It wasn’t until I could look back and see how he helped me take each step towards where I am today and how each of those has given me a purpose and a passion, that I finally started to feel him.

My purpose is to share, encourage and lift up those who are struggling with their own journey through infertility. To help them know they’re not alone. To help them learn from and gain hope from my journey. I now know that it’s the very reason why I endured the longest, darkest 7 years of my life and for that I am grateful.

My passion is to write about life now, one the “other side”. To share how it’s changed me and continues to change me and my perspective on life & motherhood. To connect, encourage and support other momma’s walking in the same season. To share my flaws and how I’m learning to give myself grace.

Because when you finally get to that place where you know what you were created for, peace washes over you.

And it’s that peace that keeps me going when the doubt sets in and I think, “Did I hear God wrong, was I made for something else?”. I think back to that moment when it all became clear and there was no question that this is what I was created for.

I’m learning to let go of worldly acceptance & acknowledgement and trust in this call. Because success in God’s eyes means following Him as well as serving & loving other’s with no strings attached.

And if at the end of my years I have…

Followed God & His call on my life.

Loved my husband fiercely.

Provided a safe place in my arms for my babies.

And served & love those God has placed in my life and path.

Then I’d say it was life well done.

I still have a lot of work to do and so much yet to learn,

but knowing now what I was created for makes the journey that much sweeter…

XOXO,

~P