Monday, October 31, 2011

October's Round-Up

I cannot believe October is over. Goodness gracious! I hope you all have a fun holiday Monday! Here's some catch-up links for the highlight posts of this month. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Part 4 // In Every Season

**If you're just joining us, please read the intro and Part 1 & 2 & 3 to this story. Trust me. haha.
-Intro//In Every Season
-Part 1 & 
Part 2 & Part 3

I'm afraid God won't let me have a baby. I use to be sad, but now I'm just frustrated and angry. I know my anger is a sign that I'm not trusting Him, but I know He sees my heart. He sees my hurt and I know He's ok with me being angry at Him for the time being because, well, He's God. Patience and love and kindness and understanding are who He is. 

He's my God. And my love for Him and knowledge of His power far outweighs my fears.
I know He sees me. I know He hears me and I know He loves me. Oh how He loves me. I know He has been planning these very moments since the beginning of time.

So today I will cry and tomorrow I will wake up and do it all over again, knowing that my God loves me too much to let me suffer in vain. There's a lot I don't know and there's a lot I can't know. But what I do know is that He always has a purpose, despite the fog of pain and sorrow. 

There is something beautiful coming. More beautiful than I could ever dream. That much is true. And I'll be reminded of that, every 33 days

~ ~ ~

Be encouraged dear friends, your fears and sorrow and worry is normal, but don't let it overbear you. Our God is much greater. He is much stronger. He is much higher than any other. Our God is healer and so awesome in power. He's our God.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Part 3 // In Every Season

**If you're just joining us, please read the intro and Part 1 & 2 to this story. Trust me. haha.
-Intro//In Every Season
-Part 1 & 
Part 2
Infertility is such a depressing word. My heart still flinches a bit when I see it because it makes me feel so inadequate. What does that word mean anyways? Does it mean can't have kids or might not be able to or we're not sure but let's run some more tests. 

This is all new to me so I'm trying to piece the vocabulary puzzle together as we go. In our story so far, infertility means the loss of something, whether that is an actual baby or the ability to have one.  

Since May, I have cried on and off, mourning what my body won't give me. Not the kind of crying you see in the movies with her makeup still on and just a couple of shed tears. No, this has been a season of compulsive, ugly crying. I've had my share of binge eating and not eating at all and thought for sure Ty was going to take me to counseling. Poor guy. He's trying so hard. And he's doing such a good job. On Tuesday when it was for sure we weren't pregnant again this month, he brought home Oreos because he knew it would make me smile, even if for a split second. 

Though he see the effects of it all, he cannot wrap his arms or head tight enough around what my body is feeling. Mostly because there is no sane way I can explain everything to him. Most of the conversations have gone like this: 

[Me sobbing] "I don't know why...I thought...we did everything we were supposed body...I know God's in control...I just feel...I don't know why...I'm still crying..." 

What I was trying to say was that I know in my head that my God is in control. 
I'm not afraid of never having a family. I know we are going to adopt children whether we can have our own or not. But I am afraid that God isn't going to let me experience the miracle of life growing inside of me. I am afraid that the one thing I have asked of God persistently since high school, He might not let me have. 

I am afraid He'll say No.
And I don't want Him to say no. 

To be continued.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Part 2 // In Every Season

**If you're just joining us, please read the intro and Part 1 to this story. Trust me. haha.
-Intro//In Every Season
-Part 1

I was afraid for October to come so quickly. I felt like I was doing everything right. I changed my diet, I calculated cycles, cut out most of my caffeine in take and started working out. Tried to sleep more. But I had this nagging feeling that October would come and go with no sign of pregnancy. So I tried to stop thinking about it. That's what everyone was telling me, right? 

There's always those who have every good intention of being helpful and hopeful. They say things like, you know it took me a year to have my first, or I've heard once you stop trying, it happens, or just try and stop thinking about it and relax. My response is always appreciative and optimistic because I know they are as much at loss for words in this awkward conversation as I am. 

But everything in me wants to hold their faces in my cupped hands or kneel before them and beg, Tell me how. 
Tell me how to relax and stop dwelling on it. 
Tell me how to not let it consume my every waking moment. 
Tell me how to not interpret every stomach ache and twitch and temperature rise. 
Show me how to not weep and cry and sob every 33 days. 
Tell me how to not curse my inadequate body or my genetics. 
I'll do it. I promise. Someone please just tell me how. 

But they don't know either. 
Even the precious couples that have been through this war. They just survived. There was no rhyme or reason. They just did. And we will too.  

To be continued.

Part 1 // In Every Season

**If you're just joining us, please read the intro to this story. Trust me. haha. Intro//In Every Season**

October is a celebration month for me. 
For the past 5 years I've started my tradition of listening to Christmas music, October 1st because it gives me a good solid 3 months to get it all in. 
October is also the 5 year mark for my baby sister to be cancer free! Not actually a baby anymore, this girl is the most beautiful miracle of my life. Her life is proof to me that God's will is way more perfect than my own.

And I've needed that reminder this October.

This October marked one year of trying for Baby Mo #1. 
Month after month of negative tests or that dreaded monthly mess, the tears and sobbing have become uncontrollable. My heart has never been so broken before. To me, it's different than the heart break after a relationship break-up because it happens every 33 days, as if on an ungodly timer.

Every 33 days my broken heart gets smashed just one more time.
Every 33 days my hope builds just high enough to feel like I get thrown from the Eiffel Tower.
Every 33 days I lay on the bathroom floor, grasping my stomach, begging God to let this one stick. Just. This. One.

In May, I went to the Dr. to make sure everything was ok, expecting her to say something like, "Everything looks good, just keep trying sweetie." But instead I got, "Your hormone levels are out of balance and it looks like you may be having chemical miscarriages." [Definition: An egg that fertilizes but never attaches to the wall of your uterus.] At first, I was confused, not really understanding what she was telling me, and then I wished I could turn back time and run out of that office before those words could ever spring from her mouth. The rest of the appointment all I heard was, "Try til some tests...see a specialist...anything else I can do for you?

No. There's nothing else thank you.

I never thought I'd be the same. I thought my body would never recover, that my heart had long left my chest, and my mind would never function on normal again.

To be continued.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In Every Season...

Hello friends. 
There has been something brewing in my heart and my life that I've been wrestling over to make public for a long time. It's a story. It's a sad story with a happy ending yet to come. It's a story I vowed to God that if He wanted me to, I would tell the world about. 

This isn't a story I wanted to tell. It took me a while to even write it down because then it would make it real. I don't want it to be real. But I know there is someone out there that needs to hear it. And since I am a big believer in people telling their stories for the encouragement of others, I will tell mine.

This isn't a pity party. I often say that broken people can seldom relate with someone who isn't currently broken. Broken people relate with other broken people, so that's what this is. I really wanted to wait til I was on the other side of this messy part of my life, but I know that's not the best state to be in to communicate the emotion, desperation, and yet the hope I have. 

In every season, God is still God and I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship.

Over the next couple days I will be adding to the story because it's much too big and emotional for me to put it all in one post. It will total 5 parts. 

Part 1 will post tonight. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

Writing Prompt: Being Bold

This is what I'm writing on today:
According to the Webster Dictionary, bold is defined as: fearless before danger; showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit; standing out prominently. 

So what does the word bold mean in your life? 
Write on my friends! And share if you'd like :) 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

A New Idea: Live JM Sessions

Happy Saturday! 

So I'm thinking of doing a live video streamed blog session with my JM readers. 
What do you think about that? 
It would be either a Q&A session about anything pertaining to JM or on a specific topic that you, the readers, would like to be addressed. 

Here are the facts:
-It would be live via internet video streaming.
-It would be interactive.
-It would be new and a little innovative for JM :)
-It would give me a chance to personally connect with you and you with me!
-It could be cool.

Ideas of subject matters we could do:
-Your questions answered about blogging
-A worship leading workshop
-Mini Devotionals, going through a book on a specific topic
-Your marriage/lifestyle questions answered
-_____________________________________ [Fill in the blank]

Yay? Nay? Thoughts?


Photo Credit

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh Snap it's Friday

Photo Credit

Happy Friday friends!
With Halloween coming up, everyone's blog posts were super fun to read this week. I tell ya, there are ridiculously creative people in this world. Like Katie from the Red Velvet team. She made a mother-daughter costume that is to die for. [Skunkboy Creatures]

If I got one of these hand-made pillows, I'd be so torn between the Cali one and the Bear Constellation.   [Love, California]

For you brave bloggers out there that need some tips & love (and especially you that are taking my blog course), Sometimes Sweet wrote a post on finding your place in the world of blogging. Good stuff. [Sometimes Sweet]

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this penguin story yet. You? [abc News]

What's on your agenda for the weekend? I'm making sure to stop in for this BOGO deal at Forever 21. Any other 21 fans? [Forever 21]

I've had quite a few of you email me and ask how I knew I wanted to write. That's a whole story in and of itself, but I did find these 10 Ways to Know if You are Called to Write written by a nation-wide, highly esteemed author pretty impactful. Thought you might too :) [Mary Demuth]

Happy Friday! Drink some hot cocoa! It's finally cold outside. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dear God, Teach Me to Love

Today I am wrestling through the vastness of God's love for me and how I can bend that out towards others. I know it can only be done through humility, compassion, and gratitude. 

Do you wrestle with this too? How do you see it play out in your life? 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Born to Fly

Born to Fly -- Sara Evans
This was my song all throughout high school. I sang it over and over and over and it even made it into my graduation montage [remember those??]. I have always been a girl who lives off the ground. Always dreaming about what could be. This weekend, our pastor titled it The Architect of Vision: one who dreams the future. 

I dream the future a lot. Much to my demise. I can't help it. I love my life now. I love living in the now, but I can't seem to keep my mind here. 

Lately my prayers have been about keeping me grounded, grateful, and gracious. The magnificent thing about dreams is that they create this hope and excitement, but the curse of them is that sometimes they breed discontent. I'm not discontented yet, but I can see my thoughts going that way. I must stop them. Mostly with gratefulness and graciousness.

Hmmm, maybe I'll turn this into a series. Yea?

Happy Tuesday! Kari Jobe's new single is out! Get it on iTunes. 


Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Feature's Links

Photo Credit

Hello friends! Today I'm doing a mixture of links instead of whole sites like I've done in the past for Friday Features. Because there are so many good sites I've been reading with interesting, motivating, and adorable stuff. Enjoy! :) 

-In my dreams I live in houses like this. Yes, plural, houses. Down the Rhein River
-Awwwww. Summer love.
-I wanna have a party just so I can order these plates. Maybe I'll order them anyways. Sambellina
-I'm in baby mode right now because of my sister. How adorable is this girl's shoppe? Mallory, Baby Shop Owner
-Ever wanted to know your love language? (Aka, the best way you understand love.) Here's the test! Super insightful. 5 Love Languages Test
-This is my Fall Holiday staple. So freaking good. Sweet Potato Casserole

Happy Friday! I'm eating crepes. What about you?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Practice Makes Permanent

Everyone says practice makes perfect! But a wise friend once said, "Actually, it only makes perfect if you practice the right thing. You can practice the wrong thing...therefore, practice makes permanent." 

True that.

But the act of practicing is an action word, therefore does that mean that it's intentional? Like you intentionally wanna do well in a certain area or skill. Can practicing be unintentional? Or is that just a bad habit? 

I feel like I'm learning a whole new world of practicing. You grow up thinking practicing is limited to intentional actions and new ventures or hobbies: music, schooling, sports, etc. But I realized tonight that you pretty much have to practice life. And sometimes you practice the wrong thing and have to RE-practice it right. 

So I figured I'd document the 2 big things I am currently practicing wrong [and working on practicing right] and 2 big things I'm practicing right. 

Practicing Wrong
-Housekeeping. I've tried and tried to get a routine down, but I've been practicing it flippantly and sporadically. Therefore, 2 years later, I'm still cleaning flippantly and sporadically. 
-Reading. I wish I read more but I'm not a super good reader. And I am not a good reader because I get bored easily. And I get bored because I read slow. And I read slow because I don't read a lot. And the cycle comes full circle. That's a tough one for me to admit. I use to LOVE reading. Like, a lot. But practiced not for so long that I lost it. 

Practicing Right
-Writing. I write pretty much everyday, a couple times a day. I have never written this much in my life, but what they say is true, the more you right, the more naturally it comes to you on the big stuff. My 4 different daily writings have helped out a ton with this. 
-Singing. You can never be too good to practice the things that come naturally. I sing everyday and really workout my voice once or twice a week. 

I wanna be good at life. I wanna took look back and be able to say I did the best with what I had and gave it my all. I don't feel that way entirely yet, but I hope to get there. Practice right? ;)

What's your take on this practicing perspective? 


Monday, October 10, 2011

How Do We Break Free? // She Seeks Follow Up

Today I wrote over at She Seeks on the topic of Breaking Free. As a follow up, I wanted to give some practical things we can do to begin to break free, writing prompts on the topic, and other resources you might enjoy. 

What does breaking free look like?
Breaking free can be one of those things that takes your entire life. For most of us, it will. But the key is to remember that there are little victories we have, as children of God, that begin and further that process. 

For example, for the girl who is stuck in an eating disorder, her real prison is insecurity, not the disorder. The disorder is just a failed attempt to break free. But she can begin to break free from the insecurity, but gaining victory over the disorder. She will still have moments where she feels inadequate or not good enough, but she is no longer a slave to her body. 

Another example would be the girl who is blinded by fear. She doesn't accomplish anything, or go anywhere, or dream big, or even vocalize her dreams and passions because she is afraid of failure. But she can begin to break free from that fear by, talking. Talking about her dreams and passions and desires for life. Her goals and callings she feels God has placed on her heart. She will still have moments of paralyzing fear, but she now has truth to spring her forward. 

I am both of those girls. And I know there are many more of us out there. So don't be silent. Let's  talk and help each other break free

Journal/Blog Prompts
-What is it that you are a slave to?
-What is it that is keeping you from exposing your bondage to someone [that you trust]?
-What would you do with your life if you felt utterly and completely free? No holds, no guilt, no shame, just pure freedom. 

Posts to go a little further:
We're Free...Now What? Part 2
Dear Fear.
Retreat Session Pt. 1: Broken People
RePost: It's Crafted for You
What I Feel vs. What I Know.
Inexplicably Incomprehensible
When the Saints


Friday, October 7, 2011

#Friday #Follow // Music Edition

1. Christina Perri [Acoustic album]
I have never really been a huge fan of this girl, but when I heard her acoustic album, I was amazed. Her voice sounds so much more emotional and raw in these tracks. 
2. Taylor Swift
If you don't know already, I am on Taylor Swift's side. Though she gets a lot of flack for not being the best of singers, this girl knows how to entertain and captivate her audience. More on that here 
3. Jon McLaughlin
Thanks to my friend, I now know about Jon McLaughlin. I had no idea who he was until she got to sing a duet on his album. [Get her song on iTunes! "Maybe It's Over"] His voice is smooth and his song variation is will have you dancing and crying in one hour. 
4. The Civil Wars
So good. So very good. Some of you might remember Joy Williams from back in her Christian Pop days, but this girl has pulled a completely different feel in her music and vocal style. If you like folk/country/Alison Kraussy, you'll like this duo. 

Happy Listening! What are you doing this weekend?


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bottoms Up @ She Seeks

"To drink or not to drink?" As Christians, is there a black and white answer? What does Scripture have to say? My friend and co-author at She Seeks, addressed this issue on Monday with a very real and conversational entry. Here, I follow up with a video on my thoughts. 
Video @ She Seeks: Bottoms Up? [Go Here] 

What do you think about Christians and alcohol?

*Please keep all comments respectful as opinions will definitely vary on this subject.

Happy Thursday friends! 



The Legend of a Visionary

I cried last night when I read this. Not because I knew Mr. Jobs or that I even felt super connected to him, but because this somewhere there is a family, mourning the loss of their father, husband, grandfather who left this life way too early.

This man changed the course of history, and we got to watch. Many people are saying he was the Thomas Edison of our time. It's totally true. He completely revolutionized the way we work, play, and communicate. My communication with the world all happens on Mac products. 

But the craziest thing about Mr. Jobs, is not how he changed the world, but that he changed the world. 

He saw years ahead of his time. He had vision. He had drive. He dreamed of a world where people would communicate with style and ease and productivity. 

But it started in a garage. With a buddy and an old computer. 

So, today I'll be mostly inside my own head, thinking what dreams do I have that I am  deeming as impossible or too crazy? What visions am I seeing that I hesitate to share or put on paper? 

I want to be known as a visionary and leaving a mark on this world. But as Mr. Jobs demonstrated, I can only do that by looking forward. Always thinking how I can make the world better to the best of my ability. 

Today, I am both sad and inspired. Probably like the rest of the world.


{Photos from]

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Writing Prompt // What's TMI in the Blog World?

I have a brainstorm book that I write any and all ideas in. Crazy, scary, mushy gushy, political, familial, marriage related, writing related, you name it, I write it. However, I don't always complete those thoughts.  Remember how in elementary school, the teacher use to tell you, "Sweetie, there are no wrong ideas." [Or was that questions?? Both!] Well, there are. There are some very, very bad ideas. 

We all have them in our lifetime. Some a little more permanent than others. But where was the breakdown, I wonder, from the initial thought, to the execution of it, to the realization of just how bad it was. 

All this is leading up to today's morning pages prompt: 

How much is too much in the world of blogging?

I ask this because I have read hundreds of blogs in the last year and have found a sea of variety in writers, styles, and focuses of blogs. 

-Some people are very private with their private life [family, friends, loves, etc] and others just lay it all out there [exactly what it means]. 
-Some readers are offended or bored by the inner-circle stories and others feel more normal, connected, and encouraged.

There is a balance, but where is it? 
Can you be too personal? 
Too open? 
Too gross?
Too explicit?
Too conservative?
Too narrow?
Too _____________________?

Your thoughts. 


Photo credits: left + right

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Morning After // Marriage

Last night Andrew taught on Marriage Myths. Things we hear about marriage that just are not true. His wife did a blog series for me a couple months ago on these myths. Read them here if you're interested. {Marriage Myths Series

Quotes from the night:
"Marriage is meant to be a mirror of Gods love For His people."

"Marriage is not the solution to our discontentment. It will not fulfill you the way you think it will." [Reference Phil 4]

"The most powerful marriage is when two independently powerful [powerful in the sense of God-seeking] people get married. Together they more powerful in God's kingdom than they are apart from one another."

"We can show people a tangible version of Gods love IN our marriages. But you can also do that in other relationships too!" 

4 Marriage myths:
1. For if for your happiness.
No, it's not. Rather it's for our holiness. Revival & restoration rests on humility both in marriage and in the Church. If you wanna be free to serve Jesus: stay single . If you wanna become more like Jesus: get married.
James 4:6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.
1 Peter 5:5In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.
John 4:24- Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 

2. We need to keep our spouses humble.   
We are not called to humble anyone. Our job is to encourage + bless other people. We think by withholding encouragement, because of someone's pride, we are helping them. But more times than not, they r bragging because they lack encouragement. 
Eph 4:29- Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Hebrews 3:13- But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

3. You will always be in love.
As love matures, mystery lessens. And that's ok. Dating is based on a love that is teased by mystery. As ur love grows, it's tempered by time. Christ looks at us, knowing full well the deepest darkness of our hearts, and commits to love us thru. Marriage should mirror that.
Ephesians 5:21-33- Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
1 John 4:19- We love because he first loved us.

4. People don't change.
The danger of this myth is that people do change. They change as time and life seasons. Loving ur spouse thru their change (for better or worse) will look differently but is imperative to ur marriage.
Colossians 3:12-14Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Have questions? Get answered on our Facebook page

See you at next week's Forum: Live Q & A about all things Single, Dating, and Marriage related. 

Happy Monday! Smile @ someone today. 


^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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