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

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

Letting the Walls Fall…

I’m not sure what kind of friendships you have. Maybe you’re the type who has her “core friends”, the ones she can open up to and be vulnerable with. Maybe these friendships are effortless, the give and take being equal on either side. Or maybe you’re more like me, craving connection and true friendship…

I’ve had a few people come into my life and make a BIG impact, but unfortunately time and distance has caused most of them to drift away. Leaving only a few intact. Maybe it’s due to being home full time, or perhaps living in a fairly “new to me” city that leaves me wanting more. More connection. More acceptance. More love.

Unfortunately, the walls I’ve built around my heart have kept me from experiencing this type of friendship.

The fear of being hurt yet again by someone I’ve let into the core of my heart, has caused me to put up a barrier. A protection. To keep my heart safe from the pain I know too well. The problem is, unless I’m willing to risk heartbreak, I will never experience true friendship. 

Over the course of this last year I’ve felt a tug on my heart. A whisper from God saying, “let the walls fall.” Ugh. Just thinking about it makes my chest feel tight. But I know it must be done. So I take a baby step. I put myself out there. I plan a playdate. I go to events I where I know almost no one.

I slowly let the walls fall.

It’s been a refining progress to say the least. I slowly start to let my guard down only to put it right back up again. But just as always, I hear the whisper again. So I pick myself up, I let vulnerability lead the way and I take another step forward.

I’m definitely not where I want to be, but I’m getting there. I’m becoming more intentional about who God has placed in my life. I’m focused on cultivating those relationships with the understanding that they may only be for a season and that’s ok.

I’m letting the walls fall.

I’m opening up.

I’m becoming vulnerable.

I’m letting people see the real me.

I’m experiencing community & what it means to have true friends.

And for this I am grateful…

If you’re in a season where you’re craving more, I challenge you to take that first step. Send that text. Plan that playdate (or girls day). Open your heart and take a risk. We were meant to experience this life together, not alone. But it starts with you.

XOXO,

~P

Reflecting Back and Moving Forward…

After some time away from writing here in this little space of mine, I’m ready to get back to sharing with you the happenings in my life as well as what’s on my heart.

As I reflect back on 2016, I have this overwhelming feeling of HOPE. Hope for what the new year brings and hope for how God will use me. So much change has happened over the last year and I am definitely not where I thought I would be…

I’m some place better.

I’m more still, patient, joyful, connect, present and hopeful. My faith is stronger. And I now feel confident in where God has called me to be. I’m so grateful for the ups & downs that the past year brought with it…they brought me to a place where my relationship with God and the people I love is stronger than ever.

When I think about the possibilities that are ahead of me, I feel overcome with joy. Knowing where you’re supposed to be and getting there is so fulfilling. For so long I moved from job to job, never feeling truly satisfied. It wasn’t until I finally got quiet and listened to what God was trying to tell me, did I find true contentment. Getting to use my story to help others brings so much happiness to my life.

As I move forward into the new year…

I’m not exactly sure where God will continue to lead me, but my hope is to continue to provide encouragement to those in The HA Sisterhood (my online community group for those struggling with infertility) as well build connections here with momma’s like you. I’m not one to set resolutions, but I do have some goals/priorities for the coming year:

  • Continue to build my relationship with God
  • Spend more time being present with my family
  • Provide support & encouragement to those struggling with HA (infertility)
  • Be more intentional about getting together with the special people in my life

I hope that as you reflect back on the past year and look forward to the future, you’re filled with happiness & excitement for what’s to come. Thank you for reading along and for all your support…Cheers to 2017!!!

XOXO,

~P

 

My Redemption Story.

Re•demp•tion: The act of being saved from error…

I was once asked to think of a time I created a mess for myself and found myself being saved from God and in it’s place given a miracle.

It didn’t take long for me to think of the mess I had unknowingly created for myself during my struggle with infertility. As the pain & hurt from not being able to have a child grew more and more with each passing day, so did the mess I found myself in.

For the first 6 years of my struggle with infertility, I had no idea that the mess I was in was caused by my lifestyle. The hours at the gym, the restriction I put myself through on a daily basis. They were the mess. I’m honestly not sure had someone told me during the darkest years that it was my desire to be thin that was causing all of this pain, if I would have made the change I needed to make.

It wasn’t until I came to the point of desperation that I was ready to do whatever it took. I was running out of options and time.

My relationship with God during those years was distant at best. I always felt He was there, but I didn’t think He was listening to my cries and brokenness. I didn’t think He had a plan for me or that my dreams and prayers would be answered.

Looking back now I can see so clearly how He held me close and kept me safe, even during the heartbreak and tragic losses.

Yes, I created a mess for myself. I may not have know it at the time, but I was absolutely the one who brought this upon myself. There was a time I felt deep shame over this mess and couldn’t believe I let my desire to be thin take so much from me. But God wasn’t ashamed. Instead He took that mess and turned it into the most beautiful miracles I could have never given to myself.

He gave my my babies and the ability to love them in the deepest way. He gave me a calling and a passion. He took my story and turned it into something beautiful, something life giving.

He gave me my redemption. He saved me from my error and in it’s place brought beauty & healing.

I’m so grateful for my journey and the ability to touch others lives. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel a wave of emotion wash over me when I think about how He’s using me. When I see that my story is changing lives, it brings tears of joy to my eyes.

For so long I felt unworthy, not good enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough. I felt forgotten, a face in the crowd. But those are just lies.

We are all Worthy, Enough, Beautiful…and we all have a Purpose. We were placed on this earth to do good in our own ways. To use our story and messes for the benefit of others. To allow God to save us from error and turn it into something beautiful.

My sweet sisters, if you’re feeling unloved, unworthy, ashamed or forgotten, please know that you are not alone. There is a God out there waiting to use you and all your messes for good. He wants to turn it into something beautiful, all you have to do is allow it to happen…

XOXO,

~P