Tuesday, January 29, 2019

"Hate your Father and Mother."

This past Sunday I looked over during worship and saw one of our friends with his grandson. They both had the biggest smiles on their faces. It was the cutest thing, and while I was filled with joy at watching them, my heart sunk. I SO LONG for that to be Eden and her grandparents!

But a thought occurred to me as I watched them and wallowed in my longing. It was almost audible.

"Hate your Father and Mother."

Which I acknowledged as a reference to Luke 14:26.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (ESV)
I have always had difficulty with the verse because I love so deeply. I understood it as in comparison to my love of Christ my love of my family looks like hate, but it always bothered me a little.

But sitting there in the "pew" chair feeling sad that I wasn't closer to family, I had a realization of what that verse meant. Doing ministry is almost equivalent to "hating" my father and mother.

God has us here in this place for a specific reason. He has a plan for us, and that plan has us here. Tanner is now Ministry Leader of the Youth and is working alongside of the Youth Minister while he works on his Bible degree through Harding University's online program. I am still involved with the youth and the women's ministry as much as I can be with our delightful baby girl.

I can not do what God has called me to do if I am caught up in longing to be somewhere else. If I am preoccupied with wishing that I lived closer to my parents (or his parents), I can not spread the love of Christ to those around me.

So, as much as I want to be closer to my family, I will be happy with the times I can see them and choose to focus on where I am and what God has for me to do. He put me here for a reason and I know he has big plans for me and my family. I just have to remember to focus on HIM first so that he can use me to spread his Kingdom.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Another New Chapter

On October 5th, 2018, a new chapter of my life started; the chapter titled "Mom".

On November 30th, 2018, I opened a sub-chapter: "Working Mom".

As of February 1st, 2019, I start yet another new sub-chapter: "Stay at Home Mom".

Honestly, it's a lot of changes in such a short amount of time! I LOVE being Eden's mom, and I am very excited to be able to give her my full attention every day. (Not to mention, the house will be in better shape and we might actually get to have people over! :P ) But there is a part of me that is grieving a little.

I've been the Office Manager at Riverside for the past 4 years. FOUR YEARS! It's the longest I've ever held a job and I have loved it. So, leaving it, without moving or anything, has been a harder pill to swallow than I thought it would be. I know that the decision to stay home with my baby girl is the absolute best decision, and I will never regret it. She is the most important and the very best job I will ever have. I just find myself needing to grieve end of my Office Manager chapter.

Being that my personality is what it is (a social enneagram 4 with a 5 wing for those of you who know the enneagram), I struggle with the concept of identity. So for the past four years, Office Manager at Riverside Church of Christ has just been such a large part of my identity that I'm struggling a little to make the shift of it no longer being part of my identity at all. I find myself wondering who I am (besides Tanner's wife and Eden's mother), and where I fit in the world now.

On the other hand, I feel shame for feeling the need to grieve. Like I said earlier, being home with Eden and being able to give her my full attention all day is the best thing I will ever do. It's the best decision I will ever make. Being her mom is the most important job I will ever have. So, I find myself feeling like I shouldn't be sad at all that I am leaving my job at Riverside. I should be only ecstatic that I get to be home with my little girl!

I think it's that I really didn't expect to feel sad. I didn't expect to need to grieve. I thought that I would only be excited to begin my career as a stay at home mom. So this sadness just hit me like a ton of bricks, and I've been suffocating under it's weight, trying to reconcile the feeling ever since.

The new Office Manager is going to do a fantastic job. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that God planned this all out perfectly. There is no other way to explain it all. I just have to come to terms with these feelings, grieve the ending of one chapter and celebrate the beginning of a new one. I have to tell myself that it's okay to grieve the ending of a chapter. As long as I don't forget to celebrate the beginning of the new one. Because the last chapter was a wonderful chapter, and this new one is going to be a GREAT chapter.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Immense Love

I was always told that there was nothing like a parent's love. I knew it was true, but I was never able to fully grasp it.

I married Tanner 6 years ago. I love him with all my heart! My love grew for him every day we have been married (and still does). I couldn't imagine loving anyone with more intensity than I loved him. Eden proved me wrong.

I still love and adore my husband. He is the BEST. But when I look at our daughter, our Eden... my heart literally feels like it is simultaneously melting and exploding! There was no way to fully understand the love a parent feels until you are one, holding your child in your arms. There really is nothing like it. And, to be honest, it wasn't until she was in my arms that the love I had for her fully manifested.

Of course I loved Eden while she was in my womb. I whispered that I loved her to my growing belly frequently. My heart grew when she wiggled and kicked and when we saw all her movements during the ultrasound. But when she was put into my arms, when the little person growing inside me was suddenly in my arms, it was like my heart burst. She was here. She was alive in my arms, looking at me with sweet newborn eyes. There was a nurse by me tending to her, Tanner was next to me as soon as he cut the cord, but all I saw was her. All I felt was her delicate skin against mine. It was love as I'd never felt it before. Due to all that went on, I still didn't grasp the magnitude of it until a few days later, when I wasn't fogged by pain meds or in a completely sleep deprived state (thanks to my parents for letting us get some much needed sleep 💗). Still to this day, I'll look at her and feel my love for her grow exponentially.

How much greater is God's love for us! He is our heavenly Father! He MADE us! He knows WAY more about me than I know about my daughter. Being Eden's mother has given me just a GLIMPSE of the immense love He has for me. I mean.. wow. There really is NOTHING like the love of a parent. And there is certainly NOTHING like the love of God. He IS love. Just wow. 💛

Monday, November 5, 2018

My Little Eden

Dear Eden,

Right now, a month ago today, you were born and placed into my arms. I cried when I held you. You were so beautiful. My heart burst at that moment and it hasn't stopped. Each day you've grown more beautiful, and each day my love for you has grown. Your father and I love you so much! I love being your mom. You are also loved SO immensely by your whole family and our church family. They couldn't wait to meet you and you were immediately adored.

You're growing so fast! Last week you were 10 pounds 3 ounces! You're 3 ounces shy of having gained 2 whole pounds! You're also getting so good at lifting your head up, and you give the best after bottle cuddles. I am absolutely loving watching you grow. You're coos are just the cutest and you're smiling more and more every day. You have so many expressions. I often find myself wondering what you are thinking or dreaming.

I thank God for you, Eden. I hope that you feel all of the love that we have for you. Though it is insignificant compared to the love God has for you. Never forget just how much you are loved by Him, or by us. (I know there will be times in your life when it doesn't seem like it because we are just being "so unfair", but even then, we love you with all of our heart.)

Love Always,
Your Mom 🖤

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The 2018 Whirlwind Roller Coaster

I've probably said it a million times and I'll probably say it a million times more.. Time FLIES!

This year has just been a whirlwind so far. And it pretty much all started in February when Tanner found out that I was carrying our first child. ^_^ We are so excited! Since then it's just been crazy town! (And I'm not talking about my emotions. :P )

Of course we hit a bump in the road early on.. we found out I was pregnant on a Monday morning, and Friday evening we found ourselves in the emergency room. Apparently, I had a pocket of blood near/in the placenta and it was draining. Thankfully, the doctor told me it was completely normal and that most women have them and never know they do as they don't always drain. They did an ultrasound and baby was right on track and all was well.

This Thursday will mark 25 weeks of pregnancy! We found out about a month ago, that our baby is a little girl. We are SO excited! Eden is already so very loved and cherished, and we can't wait to hold her in October. ^_^

In between all of this was the women's retreat, preparing for camp next week, my 26th birthday was this past Friday, we had our gender reveal party the weekend before that.. it's been a wild roller coaster!

But in it all, Tanner and I hold strong to God and know that he is with us and is providing for us. He is taking care of us and our beautiful baby girl. All is in his timing and his timing is wonderfully perfect.

I hope that whatever ride life has you on, that you hold fast to the one who made you, the one who knows every detail about you and loves you more than we can comprehend. He will take care of you and provide for all your needs. All you need is to trust him, lean on him, and know that his timing is perfect.