Category Archives: Bible Study

Church

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What do you think of when I say the word church? Joy? Good people? Pain? Hypocrisy? Unspoken?

So many thoughts…none of them wrong, but I think of home. My go to place each Wednesday and Sunday. My first boyfriend and best friend. Youth group hang outs and camps. People that prayed.

Sure it is full of broken people and sinners, but that is why I fit in so well. My brokenness is welcome here and yours should be too. My youth church closed its doors this past Sunday. Church is not a place, but still sad I cannot go back to visit the building where I was baptized. Happy to have my family with me this Easter. Hope my son has all I had in a church home and more. If you feel a certain way about church, I encourage you to try again. It is worth it.

January 1st is just another day…

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To me January 1st is just another day. Whatever vision you had on December 31st could be done then…why wait? Why be dramatic about January 1st…it seems like it is setting one up to get on this hig emotional high then fail. However, I do love graduations to reflect and endings call for new beginnings.

Four areas I want to examine:

Relationships

Relationship goals…lifelong friends where you can be vulnerable and fail, but they pick you up.

Spiritual Habits

calendar of praying for a child

Health-mind and physical. I am hopeful to get answers to my weight loss, gain some weight, and not let inflammation bring me down.

My CG trainer and my spin class teacher- mix up the workouts!

Reading-both to grow and for pleasure

Bible Recap Reading Plan

I see these four areas as important to me and areas where I can grow. Work is important too and I have goals there…but at my stage of life…so much time is spent on making a name for myself as a teacher that it is exhausting. Sometimes I just need to live my life and bring that to the curriculum I know.

Teacher friends
Always a learner

My school family!

So today, give yourself grace. Notice the baby steps to be better, but do not suffocate yourself with strict guidelines. Enjoy the journey!

Be you and embrace it!
Appreciate where you are! Some may see this as being complacent but I see it as being content. You are enough!
I love hearing feedback from people I trust, but you cannot make everyone happy.
Move forward afraid.
This is a fun tool to track exercise or books read or classes attended…

Happy 2022. The year I blog until I get busy again!

The face I make returning to school after a long break!

Priorities

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I struggle with this. I put off Bible study to put away dishes. I avoid reading his word to vacuum. I get more concerned about others being impressed with my home I stop to consider how they feel about themselves in my presence. I need to reconsider my priorities.

Quiet Time with God

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Quiet Time with God

I fail at this daily. The author of the Bible Recap says “You are a person that reads her Bible, wants to read her Bible or wants to want to read her Bible.” I fall in the middle.

I am on Day 102 of a Bible reading plan, but should be on Day 175 I think. I started strong then stalled. I thought summer days would catch me up and I failed at that, too. My problem is distractedness. I sit down then lose focus. I am a failure.

Now, I celebrate that I have read 102 more days of the Bible than I read last year, but I can do better. I want to do better. I feel better and can handle life better when God’s truth is poured into me. I strive to be more like God.

But believing God is where the joy is at is much different than living it, so I continue to pray and do more. Truthfully, every time God has called me to study His word…he ends up preparing me for a battle where His word has sustained me. I will see if this time is different, but I know I am armed with the truth and that is enough.

Bible Study Truths

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I have a goal to read the entire Bible this year using the Bible Recap and Group Me to hold me accountable. This has been a long time goal so I am thankful to partner with this group and hope to finish it strong. I am far behind but not giving up.

Another Bible truth is doing a study with other women. Bible studies are out of my comfort zone since I am a woman outside the mold…but women are women and we can all learn from each other. Right now our study is Truth Filled and learning how to preach the truth to yourself.

However, you get the Word I pray the Lord will reveal His truths and wisdom and you grow to know Him better.

However

Declaring a Goal

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I am putting it out to the universe a few goals I have for 2021 in hopes to hold myself accountable:

Goal 1: continue with Camp Gladiator to gain strength and good health. Of all the things in 2020 that make me proud, starting an exercise routine and sticking with it is at the top of my list. I pay more than I prefer, but I go and that is huge! I see results in my arms, abs and ass…also a positive. I feel more confident and my clothes fit. So the money is worth the confidence! I have paid gym memberships for years and never go so this works for me!

Goal 2: community. 2020 taught me to be vulnerable and be brave with people. I already joined a water group, Bible reading group and Camp Gladiator and hope to continue to step out with people. I have thought a lot about what people would say at my funeral and I hope they say “she was love”. My quote last year was “How do people feel about themselves in your presence?” I hope it is something positive!

Goal 3: get a foster care placement. This involves finishing the paperwork and application process so lots to do to reach this goal.

Goal 4: most important read the whole Bible this year. Growing closer to God and bearing more fruit that shows the light of Christ is always top priority but often my calendar and time does not show it, so accomplishing this will be huge for me.

Goal 5: continue to grow myself as a writer through this blog! Writing is my thing that I know God has gifted me to do and I pray to use this gift for His glory.

Taste the Shark

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One of the things living during a pandemic has taught me is that life is short so live it. We worry so much about tomorrow that we often fail to enjoy today. Life changing lesson taught to me by a man that was about to die is to “enjoy the sandwich”. Creative way to say appreciate the moment rather than looking toward the next big thing. For our family, that involved taking a vacation that was probably not in our budget but filled us enough to remember why God put us together. We are family and God is using us to grow each other and be Christ to others.  Well for us that meant trying a fishing trip!

To see God’s creation on water is a sight to see! On this particular day, the storms were coming so the water was restless but we pushed through safely to experience the new memory as a family. I understood Peter’s fear in the storm…I prayed a lot on the boat! Prayed for calm (He answered), prayed to not get sick and prayed for God to share his creatures. He answered BIG with my son catching a Bonnethead Shark. What a memory for ALL of us!

As a scuba diver, I think I loved the shark most of all. Seeing sea life up close and personal and then hearing all about it from a biology teacher on the boat…day made! We would never kill a creature for the fun of it, so we googled recipes to eat it. I know we were all uncertain…but we each took a bite…it was delish!

Big finale to the highlight of our trip and a huge testimony to God’s love for us and how real the Bible is in our daily lives. That storm on the water was real, Jesus slept through it then taught us all about faith and trust. I will never read that story the same. Thankful we experienced this new thing together…when given the choice…taste the shark!

Resolve to know that infertility can be a blessing…

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Is infertility a good thing?….Heck no, it sucks!  I despised waiting month after month to see if I was pregnant….hoping for two weeks then crying for the next two only to start the cycle again.  It got to the point where discovering my cycle had started became a sweet relief because at least I could stop hoping and resume normal living.  The worst feeling in the world is to be so out of control of something that is so normal and easy for others.  I had plans, a calendar, a kit, a timeline and month after month I had to rearrange and restart the future.  Sitting in a doctor office with a title I can’t even spell, so I willl abbreviate RE, was embarrassing.  You felt sympathy for every couple in there knowing you all shared a horrific common bond: you can’t get pregnant on your own.  It was a miserable time in my life so I am not saying I enjoyed it, but looking back being infertile is one of the things I consider a blessing…

Why is it a blessing?  Glad you asked:

#1 It is the exact reason I began to blog.  Before Lupus and infertility, I did not have much of a story to tell.  Nothing about me set me a part or made my story important.  Enter disease and a non working reproductive system and now I am interesting!  I never knew there was such a large world of writers that had experienced or were experiencing the same heartache and same struggle that I was going through.  I began to lean on their stories and cling to their comments.  Their likes inspired me to write more and my anonomity helped me to be real and open and it felt good.  Infertility gave me the chance to be a writer again and reconnect to a passion that I had lost.

#2 Infertility gave me empathy.  I was like most women clinging to birth control until the exact month I wanted to get pregnant then getting off it and expecting to see positive lines.  Month after month after month then year after year it all showed blank.  I now empathize with couples that it is not easy.  I feel for couples like us that just don’t decide one day we want one more or to go for a girl this time.  I don’t assume anything anymore and I learned to celebrate big with those that are successful and cry genuine tears for those that are not.  I understand women that struggle with conceiving children in a very unique way.

#3 Infertility brought me closer to God.  I learned patience, I learned timing, I learned I was never in control and the delicate system of our bodies is too much even for science to explain it all.  I clung to his promises and faithfully believed that I was not alone and my prayers were being heard even if the answer was not the same thing as mine.

#4 Finally, it led me to adoption.  I never considered adoption my last resort…I just never paid attention to it before.  When the door was finally closed to conceiving naturally then I opened my heart to another option.  An option that I did not consider because I did not think it was my calling.  Time after time, God dropped hints and signs, but I am so stubborn in my own plans that I kept telling him, “Shhhh…”  Finally, I stopped praying to get pregnant and began praying to create our family.  The timing was perfect for God to lead us to our son.  The boy I was meant to parent all along  and the reason I was born.  Our son is amazing and a promise fulfilled in every picture we take that I am living the dream. The affirmation of every decision I ever made that led us to him…our child…the perfect one for us.  Infertility made me listen to that calling and to stop trying to figure it out.  It shut the doors that I kept open with my foot because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. 

If I had another life to live…I would do it again if it led me to the adoption of our son.  Infertility did not destroy me.

Now this post does not mean that I will congratulate barren women everywhere or speak on behalf of increasing infertility for all the joys it will bring.  Never.  But, I hope to encourage women that infertility can be an opportunity to turn something tragic into a triumph.  Don’t let infertility define you and when you get the chance, be a rock for others to empower us to continue looking for healing.  Infertility takes a lot, but it does not take everything.

•http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)
•http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About

To women everywhere on Mother’s Day

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CMom

Cmom2

</p><p>To all women everywhere…I feel you today.  I feel the young girl that laughs at the motherly responsibility and thinks “no way I love my sleep”, I feel the new bride that just wants to be selfish with alone time with her husband,  I feel the five year wife that wonders when her husband will commit to trying for children.  I feel the barren woman that feels guilty that she can’t create a child for her husband because he is not to blame for us not conceiving, I feel the lonely woman that feels broken and rejected and constantly questions should she keep trying or move on,  I feel the woman praying for her husband to consider adoption since she wants to parent a child and believes God has a bigger plan than conception, I feel the woman overwhelmed with paperwork because there are so many details to making an adoption complete.  I feel the hopeful mom praying her book was enough to be chosen and feels unworthy everytime a day passes with no phone call, I feel the woman frantically nervous if she will be able to connect to a baby that she has never met and will it be “her” child…finally, I feel the woman that meets the first mother of her son and together they create a plan of how we are going to give this child the best.</p><p>There are a lot of women that I cannot relate to with the positive pregnancy test, the first ultrasound, hearing the heartbeat, going into labor etc…but there are quite a few women that I feel exactly where you are at.  I have been there, too.</p><p>

A year ago, I was so hurt and bitter because it was my third year of infertility and I still wasn’t a mother. At the time, we were at the early stages of adoption, but still so far. I remember thinking everyone feels sorry for me because I don’t have a baby, but I am old enough to be a mom. I want women everywhere to know that you are not alone and this is a season. No matter where you are in your stage of life, you are loved and we are connected in that someone out there has been there, too.

The good news is: Love never fails. If you are not celebrating Mother’s Day today then know that you will if you want to. Anything is possible. I have no regrets about letting go of conception even though it is hard to imagine not carrying a baby or seeing my inherited traits in a child. However, I know that our adoption was never plan B…it was the Plan A that I could not see until I gave up what I thought was best for me and learned to trust God.

Feels so good to celebrate this first Mother’s Day…you never get another first Mother’s Day 😉

Marriage Today

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Well, well, well…turning thirty three will be here tomorrow.  I don’t mind growing older as long as I grow wiser.  This year has provided me some wisdom…to say the least!  I enter thirty three a different woman.  When I turned thirty two, I had no idea I was infertile.  When  I turned thirty two, I felt tired, but thought I was healthier than ever.  I had no idea I had an autoimmune disease or the effects of its presence on my body.  I considered myself wise at thirty two, but I had no idea!

Recently, I was beginning to feel bitter and uncertain about our path of infertility.  Looking around, so much emphasis is placed on biological genes.  Our world is designed to say things like, “She looks just like you.” “You are tall like your daddy.” “I know your dad so you must be smart”  I have said all these things all my life and I say them everyday in my classroom.  I began to fear if the adoption would fill the hole in my heart or if I was reaching to fix a problem that cannot be fixed.  I began to question if this was God’s plan or if we were making it His plan.  I prayed about it and talked about it, but the emptiness was still there.

I think God allowed me to listen for a while and hear only silence.  Then recently-He spoke.  A prayer warrior out of the blue, messaged me encouragement.  I stumbled upon the book of James which spoke of adoption, perseverance, and patience.  Then we were contacted by Marriage Today to film the story of healing in our marriage for their national banquet.  I had contacted them over a year ago to share how their ministry helped in healing our broken marriage.  In 2011, they were not interested.  In March of 2012, they contacted me to do the story and we were not interested since we were still struggling with our infertility.  Flash forward to October 2012 and the time is perfect.

We are honored and anxious to share our story with the nation of how we were 60 days away from being divorced when God began to change our hearts.  It is weird to share your biggest failure with the world, but we know our story will impact other couples as much as it has impacted us.  Anyone in our close circle will know we appeared finished.  Thankfully, God was able to speak to two broken hearts and the key is: we listened and obeyed.  We are here today because of that obedience and because of Marriage Today’s resources of how to start over.  Our marriage is not like what it was…it is twenty times better.  It needed to be for us to endure the trials we have just conquered.  Many marriages would break under the stress we endured, but ours thrived.  We grew stronger and closer as we leaned on God’s promises that He was not done with us yet.

Our child will benefit from our transformation and the legacy of a loving marriage that we will leave behind.  We are witnesses that mercy and grace can make anything new and forgiveness is powerful.  We could not have been the couple we are today without that season of growing.  It was a harsh season, but just a season and seasons change!

The good news is: I am so thankful for our renewed marriage.  We are far from perfect, but a much better example of Christ’s love than years before this trial.  I will take the bad first three years to get to the amazing last three.  Little did we know how much we needed to be knocked down to be built back up.  Thankful we did not give in when it hurt most.  We are a miracle that we are still together and we believe firmly this was all part of His plan to prepare us for this journey we are on today.