A little bit goes a long way.

On Sunday, we talked a lot about encouragement. Pastor Kevin stated that encouraging is literally putting courage into someone else. It is a double gift; meaning it not only helps the person receiving, but it also helps the person giving. This message is the EXACT message I needed. You see I’ve been hitting a wall spiritually. I am sound in my faith, but I have felt like something is off. In addition to that, I have really been struggling with my anxiety and as much as I was focusing on it not being an issue, it was still a huge issue. God really spoke to me, and this week I’ve really tried to lift the focus on my anxiety and focus more on others. 

What a huge difference it has made. It is incredible how far a little act of encouragement goes. Others and myself have been happier and more positive. It’s definitely easier to listen when God speaks clearly (thank you, Lord, for that). If you feel like He is speaking to you, listen. Whatever it is. It’s not always easy, the answer we want, or in our comfort zone. I’ve said it before though, it is always worth it. His voice isn’t always clear, but He is always guiding us… and encouraging us. 

“Encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Listen to the nudge.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” E. E. Cummings

I shared this quotation 5 years ago today (thank you Facebook for the On This Day). Five years ago. Wow. I was coming out of one of the darkest years of my life. I was afraid and completely broken. I began rebuilding broken relationships and giving my life BACK to God. I focused on Him, me, and my kiddo, nothing else. He got me through it and brought me to the most incredible years of my life. Going through the rough times has really prepared me for what God has been nudging me to do. 

1. Create this blog ✔️ 2. Go to school for Psychology/Christian Couseling 3. Help people dealing with addiction/recovery, domestic violence, broken relationships, self doubt, etc.

Creating this blog was the first step. I felt nudged a few months ago and really prayed about it in the months that followed. I finally listened and here we are. School has been a hurdle, because it doesn’t make sense financially since I feel like I’m being called to volunteer. You read that right, I want all of that education to volunteer. I have recently been feeling the nudge to go to my boss for advise. He’s a very wise man, but I kept ‘not finding time’ to talk with him. Until today. I couldn’t shake the feeling and he had time before his first patient. He gave me advice that I hadn’t given much thought. He suggested looking within the church for opportunities to help; turns out there is a care and recovery group. School may not be the right road, and I may just find another road where I can help using life experiences. I will be exploring that option and see what I come up with. 

All of this to say, don’t ignore what He’s pushing you to do. You are here with a purpose and to fulfill that purpose, you have to listen when He speaks. Sometimes it’s crystal clear and other times it’s a little harder to understand. If you’re going through a struggle, know that He is growing you. If you’re coming out of a struggle, what was it and how can you use it for His great works? Wherever you are, whatever you’re going through, know that you are not alone. Never give up. Keep moving forward. God is good all the time! 🙌🏻

Sublime.

Adjective. Of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe.

A sunset. Ocean waves. Blue Ridge Mountains. Lighthouses. These are gifts that are so sublime were given to us by God to enjoy while we’re here. It gives just a glimpse of what He is capable of. He has also given His son for our sins. He has given us the opportunity to know Him and depend on Him. Time with Him offers us a perfect love and peace that isn’t attainable through any worldly thing or person. I’m sitting here, this beautiful Saturday morning, thinking about my journey (so far) with Him, how He has grown me, and how He has shown me how much He loves us. His work is sublime.

I’m working on putting my testimony into words to share. What He has accomplished is better than worlds can explain. I’ll try with impressive, astonishing, breathtaking, awesome.

Think back on His work in your life. Pretty amazing, right?


I love you with all my kidney.

Four years ago today, I gave a kidney to my big little brother. He’s younger by about 8-9 years, but he’s been much taller for most of those years. He’s had a handful a different medical conditions since he was a baby that made my heart break. However, he has handled like a pro! Oh and he is so wise beyond is years. Truly an old soul. He developed kidney issues, and it finally came time to discuss options. I saw this day coming several months prior and asked if I could please help. We weren’t crossing that bridge yet so the discussion was tabled. God had just pulled me from one of the darkest years of my life so I wasn’t a family favorite at that moment. God was still healing me. Side bar: it’s incredible the difference one year can make!

Fast forward to the day I saw my now husband. God showed me that He was the one and I was going to be ok. Not long after we began dating, my brothers kidneys were getting worse. I knew God had plans for me. I could feel it. My mom and stepdad weren’t able to be donors so I asked if I could be tested for a match. They agreed and thankfully, I was. I told my boyfriend (now husband) and he thought it was incredible and was fully supportive. This man God had given me went with me to appointments, held my hand and watched all of the emotions and obstacles. We got to a point where we needed to fast track testing and appointments as dialysis was coming into conversation, and we didn’t want that. Talk about miracles, we got scheduled right as it was looking like it would have to happen. Timing is a beautiful thing. 

While some thought I wasn’t thinking about the future enough, I knew that God was allowing this because my son and I are and will be fine. I had all the love and support I needed. At the time I was a smoker, but wanted to quit and I had been asking God to help me drop habit. But when I felt stress, I’d light right up. On June 13, 2013, I smoked a cigarette because I was so anxious for the next day and ready for my brother to get better. Little did I know that would be my last (basically). June 14, 2013 was surgery. It would be long, and with any surgery, there would be risks. When they cut out my kidney, they’d put it in a cooler and take it across to the children’s hospital via an underground tunnel (very neat!). Easy peasy, let’s do this thing!

Nope. I don’t remember much, but it was not so easy peasy. I had to redo a test the morning of, which delayed start time. I remember waking up in a strange place, alone, crying and wanting a familiar face. I was hurting and I knew nothing about my brother, or even myself. They finally got an open room and I was being wheeled down a hall when I saw my mom, my stepdad, my cousin (Brandi) and that incredible man God blessed me with. I was going in and out but I saw faces I needed to see. … Now let’s be clear, I think those are the faces I saw. It’s a vague memory. Then they told me my brother was having a rough time and was in the ICU. 

Wait! That’s not how this was supposed to happen. He’s supposed to be fixed! The next few days were tough. I was extremely foggy (the series of events may be out of order). I remember Terrance, my family, and Chick-fil-A (that’s a good start). All I wanted to do was see my brother. All the nurses wanted was for me to walk. My mom relayed messages between Lee and me. I had Terrance so I wanted parents to be with my brother. Lee was still fighting and he needed them. Terrance helped me when the nurses wouldn’t, he sat in silence with me, watched me sleep, and even washed my hair. (God, you are so good!) I finally got up and moving enough to walk down the hall and RING THE BELL! Talk about exhaustion. The next big thing, they were finally going to wheel me across the way to see my bother. Bittersweet. He was doing better but he wasn’t doing better. 

When I went home my brother was still in the hospital, but thankfully he came home about a week later. We both struggled through recovery, him more than me but we had an incredible support system. I battled for 6 months with pain medication but through God I let go and moved forward. I had a thyroid issue pop up, but it has been resolved through prayer. I’ve delt with depression and anxiety, and I’ve also ended up with a collapsed disc. You see, my kidney was attached to a rod in my spine which cause difficulty with my surgery and when they disconnected it, it may have, through the years, caused the collapse. I pray for relief, and some days are better than others, but no matter what it is, I keep on living life. I’ve been so grateful for the love and light of my Heavenly Father. Lee has definitely had ups and downs over the past few years as well. He went to college, and is hopefully going back in the fall. So praise God for that for sure! He has been colorblind for years and through a fall (which wasn’t good) he was given back his ability to see color! It was fun asking, “What color is that? What color is that?” With a weakened immune system, sickness really gets him hard. He’s had several trips to the doctor and the hospital. His body even tried to reject the kidney and THAT was scary. I didn’t understand, but I had God to lean on and pray that He heal my brother. It’s been a long road and continues to be a journey best placed in the hands of the ONE who can carry us through. 

It’s amazing to look back on the past several years and see how God has pieced things together. He works in unbelievable ways and I pray I always pay attention to just HOW MUCH He has accomplished through us. I know without a doubt that He leads and carries my family and I. The mountains and the valleys create beautiful testimony. God is SO good! 

Answered prayers. 

Have you ever been stopped in your tracks and realized God just answered a prayer? 

Our 10 year old, really struggled in math this year. While normally he excels in math, that was not turning out to be the case. He had a long term sub during the first nine weeks and as sweet as she was, it wasn’t good fit for him in math. Then his teacher came back and again, she was kind but he wasn’t doing well and she thought he was doing fine. Mind you, he had been teetering pass/fail all semester. If you’re familiar with common core, you know it’s pretty difficult. I was struggling to help him and he was getting further and further behind. I turned to God in prayer, praying he would just pass. I would’ve taken a 69.5 at this point. In February, we moved so he was switching schools and yes, getting another teacher. This teacher was great… a little too late. Once you fall behind in math, it’s a snowball effect. We found Mathnasium around the corner but oh my… the cost. I continued to turn my prayer to God. Just help him pass. Help me figure out how to afford Mathnasium. Show us how to help him. This continued through the semester, and unfortunately, he barely failed. So summer school, here we come. Today was the first day. He’ll be there for 15 days doing nothing but math. Well God, thank you for that answered prayer. We couldn’t afford Mathnasium and he didn’t pass. It wasn’t my answer, it was His. For 15 days, 6.5 hours a day, our son will be dedicated to learning math. He’ll get back on track and I truly believe he will do great next year. Had he passed math, he still would be behind with understanding. If we went with Mathnasium, we would be strapped financially. So behind door number three was the perfect solution. I never doubted what He was doing. I just couldn’t see, in the moment, what He working on. 

If/when you think God isn’t answering your prayers. He is. It’s always on His time and His answer may be one we hadn’t yet thought of. Keep the faith. 

Love one another.

Our two greatest commands, love God and love one another. Something our pastor said Sunday has really been on my mind. He said, “Am I loving more today than I did yesterday?” …. Unfortunately, not always.

Talking with my husband tonight, I confessed something I am really striving for more than anything. It sort of piggybacks off of a previous post. Loving others. Tears running down my face, from my whole heart, “What I want, more than anything, is to genuinely love everyone with all my heart.” It’s not easy. I try. I fail most days. My personal weakness? Anger. Not a violent anger, but a festering frustration when my feelings get hurt. I tend to wear my emotions for all to see. That being said, it’s hard to love as He loves us, to forgive as He has forgiven, and to not let worldly things consume us. All it takes is one person to change our smile, strike a nerve and unsettle us. But I’m called to love. Again, it’s not easy. We aren’t God and we are imperfect. That’s the beauty of His grace and mercy. He shows me daily that He still loves me. So it didn’t work so well today. Don’t give up. Tomorrow is always a brand new start. Take a breath, and talk to God. He WILL show us how if we slow down and listen. In a world where darkness is behind every corner, we can share Gods love (and His work) as best we can and shine our light. One simple act of compassion could change someone’s entire day. That one act of compassion could be shared or repeated, and it could potentially shine Gods love and light to even more people.

Loving and being loved breathes life into us. Think about how you feel when your spouse/significant other says they love you, when you hear the heartbeat of your unborn child for the first time, when you see that sweet face seconds after being delivered, the support of friends through hard times, and above all, the love of God. Love is so vital to our being. It helps us thrive, and it helps us strive to do better.

Love one another. Faithfully. Without conditions. Don’t give up on one another. Let God use you! 💕

Oh my heart.

When I see Gods light shining through my child, there’s no greater feeling. I’m thankful, proud, and thrilled that he’s experiencing the love of our Father.

A brief background: He has seen God work in our lives, including his, and he made the decision 4.17.16 to be baptized and follow Jesus; made even more special than normal because his dad baptized him. (Yes, tears.) 

Today, we were headed to his dentist appointment and we were listening to Hillsong Young & Free “Only Wanna Sing.” He’s come to love their music through his class on Sundays. I peek in my rear view mirror and saw his hands in the air. Oh my heart.  I sneak a photo (below) and I could visibly see the passion I had been hearing in his voice. We listened to several songs and he belted out the lyrics. He brings so much joy to our lives.


If I could choose to only get ONE thing right, it would be for our child to always walk with Jesus. Later, he was opening doors for everyone; we had a couple errands to run. I told him he was so kind, which is his typical personality. He then explained that when he listens to worship music, it helps him and he makes good choices. His innocence and his kindness, I hope he carries it with him always. 

It really reaffirms that it doesn’t matter, young or old, God works through us all. His light and His love shine bright for others to see as long as we allow Him to. And when we share His works with others, He can continue to spread. 

What is God doing in your life? 

Not every day is perfect.

Well it’s been a rough couple of weeks. Issues with my wisdom teeth, breathing problems, high blood pressure, anxiety, self-doubt… and allowing myself to listen to gossip and being involved in it. I spiraled downward and got off the right track. It happened so fast and before I knew it, I realized, I’m trying to control my life. Which is not mine to control. And frankly, I was not being Christ-like. I was not loving others and being kind. I’ve been the topic of gossip, it hurts. It’s a betrayal of trust and it’s infectious. I’ve been praying for someone and I wasn’t even being a good example. So He prompted me to stop, re-evaluate and renew me heart. I listened. I got back to spending time with Him. Worship music, His word, daily Scripture, prayer and being kind to others. Then, through Him and His never ending grace, all is well. He gives me more love and more grace than I deserve but oh, how I appreciate it so very much. 

Not every day is perfect. It’s constantly working on a relationship with God and others. It is a continuous journey. It is WANTING to be completey submerged in God and being completely dependent on Him. If you find yourself irritated, overwhelmed, anxious, etc. it’s a sign directly from the Holy Spirit that you’re spending less time with God and more time in the ways of the world. I’m guilty of just that. It’s not always easy, but it IS ALWAYS worth it. You can always restart. Everyday is a new chance to do right.

I pray you never give up.