Friday, January 13, 2017

Letting Go of My Plans

     Three years ago today, I heard the words "I'm sorry. There's no heartbeat." Losing that baby has been the most difficult path God has asked me to walk. 


     Then this past Sunday, Ryan spoke these words in his message. "The plans I make are limited to my understanding and selfish desires. God's plans are greater. We have to be willing to let go of our plans." 


     Tears rolled down my cheeks as I realized His plan for our baby is so much greater than any thing we hoped and dreamed for her the few weeks, I carried her. 


     God has been working in me all week about letting go of the disappointment, hurt, and even anger I feel because I did not get my way. I didn't get to keep her. 


     Honestly, I cannot see how His plan is better than mine. But I trust that it is because in every other circumstance in my life, His plan has been better. Every. Time. 


     His plan is better in this loss too. Maybe this part of the journey is about growing my faith in Him and trusting His goodness because I cannot see how much better His plan is. 


     Today has been the most peace filled day I've experienced in the past three years. I'm so thankful for God's goodness and grace to me as He works to transform me to look more like Jesus. I'm thankful for His grace and mercy as I work on surrending my plans to His. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ringing In 2017

        This is the first year Joshua has ever had a three day weekend over the New Year holiday. We enjoyed a quiet family weekend at home.

     On Saturday, we ran errands before the Alabama game. After the game and dinner, we popped popcorn in our new popcorn popper courtesy of Aunt Kourtney and Uncle Coty. The boys have been enjoying trying out all the seasonings they bought to go on the popcorn. Then we played Mario Party 8 on the Wii until just before midnight. Then at midnight we had our sparkling apple cider and gummy bear toast before heading to bed.


     Sunday morning we headed to church for worship and heard a great message about the importance of using the Bible as a guide for our lives. We enjoyed a lazy movie day and made brownies for Daddy.


      On Monday, we ran more errands which included a trip to their favorite store-Home Depot. Then we finished packing up and putting away Christmas.


     The boys and I were sad to see Daddy go back to work on Tuesday. We always enjoy when he's home with us. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Different Circumstances

     This morning as we drove to a friend's house for a play date, we passed a field that had a lot of men in jeans and hoodies standing around by the side of the road. The boys asked what all those men were doing, and I explained they were waiting, hoping someone would stop and hire them to work. One of the boys said they hoped they got work soon so they didn't have to stand in the cold. I explained that if they did get a job to do, it may very well be an outside job. I told the boys all of them would be happy for a job, even one in the cold, because they would earn money to take care of themselves and their families. Then we talked about how thankful we should be that our daddy has a job to go every day, and he makes enough money to take care of our family. And he gets to work inside where he is protected from the weather and safe. I hope the image of those men on the side of the road stays with them. That when they think of them, it prompts the boys to thank God for the things He has provided for our family. 

     It was a good reminder for me as well. In the 13 years Joshua and I have been together, we both have always had good paying, steady jobs. In the past, we may have struggled financially because of unwise choices, but we always knew we had a job to go to. We've always known when our next paycheck is coming and how much it's going to be. We've always had everything we needed and been able to get most things we've wanted. 

     I'm humbled as I think about those men. We've not always made wise choices nor have we've always been faithful to do with our finances what God has called us to do. And yet He has been overwhelmingly good to us in this area. 

     I hope the image of the men on the side of the road stays with me as well. That it prompts me to thank God for His goodness to our family. It is only God's grace through His goodness that has allowed us a different set of life circumstances. May we always be thankful for His goodness and grace in our lives no matter the circumstances we are in. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Fearless

     As I reflect on 2016, I realize how much I wrestled with fear this past year. A lot of that was due to the amount of uncertainty and change our family went through. I realized that fear caused me to run ahead of God to take care of things on my own. It also caused me to drag my feet for fear I wasn't receiving the correct message from Him. In reality I was fearful of the unknown, failure, and my own inadequacies.

     As I prayed about what I am to focus on this year, the word fearless kept coming to mind. I need to wait on God and His perfect timing. I need to move forward courageously when He makes it clear to me what I am to do. 

     To both wait on God and move when He tells me, I need to be fearless. For me, fearless means studying His Scriptures daily-looking for and living the application to my life He reveals to me. Fearless means being confident that God holds the bigger picture and is working all circumstances for my good and His glory as I am faithful to Him. Fearless also means relying on Him to equip me for the work He has called me to do. And remembering any work accomplished in my life is done through Him and His strength. I can't accomplish the work He has called me to do on my own. If I could, I wouldn't need Him. 

     God has also brought this verse to mind many times as I have prayed about this upcoming year. 

Wait patiently for the Lord. 
Be brave and courageous. 
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. 
~Psalm 27:14

     I am committed to fearlessly waiting on the Lord, accepting what He wants me to do, and faithfully pursuing His call in 2017.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Stripped Down Christmas

     I've been struggling this Christmas season. Fighting sadness and grief without necessarily understanding why. If I were to be honest with myself, I'm sure there's more than one reason. All of which, I'm sure, are rooted in the fact I haven't gotten my way because God's plan is different from mine.

I've had to ask myself some hard questions.

Who I am looking to to bring me joy?

Where I am looking for peace?

Where have I placed my hope?

If I stripped everything about Christmas down to the baby in the manger, would it still be Christmas to me?

     I wish I could say the answers are Jesus and yes. While pointing others to Him, I've struggled to keep my eyes focused on Him. I've battled the desire for pity parities rather than focusing on every blessing He's given.

     Last night as I laid in bed with tears trickling down my cheeks, this verse came to mind:

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see 
the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."
 ~Psalm 27:13

     The baby in the manger means hope rather than despair, joy rather than sadness, peace rather than grief. Jesus is the goodness I experience right here and now. When everything around me feels meaningless and disappointing, Jesus brings meaning and satisfaction.

     Christmas IS the baby in the manger. Without Jesus, everything else is empty tradition.

     Maybe it's time for me to strip away my idea of Christmas and get back to just Jesus.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Feelings Can't Be Trusted

     I am reminded again today how untrustworthy feelings are. Earlier this week my heart was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for all the Lord has given me.

     The last couple of days I've wrestled with insecurity and rejection. It's so easy to wallow in self pity. But wallowing will feed the insecurities racing through my mind. 

     Feelings are always changing which is why they can't be trusted. The most successful way to battle insecurity and rejection is with truth-God's truth. 

     So I read and prayed through Psalm 139 and Ephesians 1:3-8. Such rich passages of Scripture reminding me how loved and valued I am by my Creator and Savior. As I soak in the truth of His Word, I am overwhelmed by the peace only Jesus gives. 

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”~John‬ ‭14:27‬ 



Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Well Lived Life

      This morning we celebrated the well lived life of my precious friend, Elizabeth. It was so evident how much she loved and encouraged every one who came in contact with her. No words will ever be adequate to describe how much she means to me and how much I love her. 

     I feel like I've lost my way a little bit without her. Joshua​​ told me as we were getting ready this morning, "It's okay, Kaydi. It's just hard when people have run the good race and fought the good fight. And they finish before you." He is so right. I love how every person who spoke today pointed back to Jesus because that's what Elizabeth always did. 

     I want to be the person who runs the race well, who fights the good fight, and points people back to Jesus. I will be forever thankful for every memory I made with my precious friend, Elizabeth. The last lunch date we had back in June, it was so evident to me she was in pain and she hardly ate at all. Yet our conversation was filled with her concern for me, and God's faithfulness to her. She assured me I didn't need to worry about her. God would take care of her. And He did. Elizabeth received her healing and reward. 

     As we drove home today, I thought about when she had her stroke on June 23, 2014. We weren't sure then if she was going to make it. I had lost our baby girl, Liana Elise 14 weeks in the pregnany in January 2014. I just remember telling God, You took my baby. Please don't take my best friend too. I need her. And God was kind enough to give me two more years with Elizabeth. I had two more years with Elizabeth's example of living well, running the good race, and fighting the good fight. Two more years to learn from Elizabeth what it means to encourage and truly, selflessly love others. 

     I will spend the rest of my days trying to live out the lessons God taught me through Elizabeth. 

“I have fought the good fight, 
I have finished the race, and 
I have remained faithful.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:7‬