The #1 Key

Last Thursday I had another Animal Phys. exam that I studied my butt off for. I ignored every other aspect of my life (except hygiene) to study for this exam. You see, I made a 42 on my first exam. And I used to be ashamed to admit that, but not anymore. I studied as best as I could and I learned the information…after having a few exams like this in other classes, I have come to the conclusion that I am a terrible test-taker. When my professor slides my test in front of me, it doesn’t matter how many hours I studied or how well I know the information, my mind goes completely blank. My heart races, the words jumble, suddenly I feel as if I’m reading Japanese. I’ve prayed to God for my study efforts to please pay off. I stopped praying that though and now I just pray for a calm heart and peace of mind.

This Thursday I took my second exam in the class. The same thing happened- words jumbled, my mind went black. I took some deep breaths and really tried to focus. I finished, turned the test in and left feeling defeated. I walked to my car wanting to cry (I cry a lot 🙂 ) As I was driving, I started thinking “God, why? I hardly spoke to my husband this week because I was immersed in my textbook. I woke up early to learn this stuff, I put in the effort, Lord.”  And my thoughts spiraled into a complete pity party. In the midst of all of my whining and self-loathing, God said to me “You don’t even know how you did yet. Calm down.”

It’s so easy to think up false situations for ourselves. To become wrapped in something, a reality, that doesn’t even exist! Isn’t that crazy?! I don’t even know if I did bad, and I’m sitting here wanting to cry. It’s so ridiculous. But this is what happens when we spend too much time in our heads.

As I kept driving, I thought to myself about how crazy and dramatic I was being. I decided to switch gears. I told God that all I wanted to do that day was to make someones day. To do something nice for someone else. 

My last post offered 10 ways you can get happy, but I left the number one thing out: If you really want to be happy, get outside of your head (your problems, your wants, your needs) and focus on others.

A friend of mine were talking about happiness the other day and she said something that really rung true to me. She said “The reason we get so depressed is because we are too focused on ourselves and not focused enough on helping others”. I find this to be true.

I had a conversation with two ladies (different instances) who’ve expressed that they feel they aren’t being fulfilled in life…like there is something more to what they’re supposed to be doing. They want to help others but don’t feel as if they are in a place to, or they don’t know where to start.

I think a lot of people think this way, like you have a certain something to start helping others, whether it be money, time, a gift, a calling… whatever it may be that you feel you are lacking. This is not true! <–And I say this with excitement 🙂 You have everything you need! Isn’t that great?! The told this to the woman I was talking to, and she nodded and said “Yeah, you’re right I do.”

Today I want to help you open a whole new world. Clink this link, watch the video, enter your information and get started today helping others realize their dreams like I do. http://raymajones.ws/

(source)

So you, reader, also have everything you need to make someone’s day. This blog is supposed to be about how I let my light shine during all of this life change and busyness, so now I will tell you 🙂

Be aware of your surroundings-always. 

This means that no matter where you are- grocery store, driving to work, walking on the greenway- you are always looking for an opportunity to help others. How will you know there is a homeless man digging in the trash at Wal-Mart if you are only looking for a place to park? You can be the 50th person to drive by a person who is having car trouble, or you can be the one to stop and help. You can see a turtle in the road and drive right by, or you can take the time to go back and move him out of the street. Kindness extended to animals is still kindness.

Get out of your comfort zone. 

Because that is still about you, and this life isn’t about you. I used to be the kind of person to shy away from someone who needed my help. It made me uncomfortable, so I didn’t help them. This is so silly! Do you think Jesus didn’t help others because he didn’t want to intrude or he felt uncomfortable? No. Talk to people, find out more about them. Give them an encouraging word or a smile. Look them in the eye. You’d be amazed at how many people, especially those less fortunate, just want someone to talk to. They just want to be heard.

Don’t make it about you. 

So Thursday, after I made a goal of doing something nice for someone else, I drove to the Wendy’s drive-thru. I wasn’t hungry, I don’t even eat fast food, but I got in line anyway (right before the speaker where you tell them your order) and I sat and waited for someone to pull up behind me so I could buy their order. I sat there and sat there. Surprisingly, no one showed! So I laughed and drove home. I saw a fuzzy caterpillar moving across the driveway, so I stopped to get out and move him into the grass. My husband, whom I hadn’t had a lot of time with, wanted to watch football, so we did. I spent the rest of the night lying across his lap and saying things to make him laugh. For example, every time one of the teams scored a touchdown he had to say “Doo-doo fish cheese bread”. It’s stupid and ridiculous, but it made us laugh. His mood had changed from when he came home from a rough day at work. He seemed happier…so I think I made his day 😉

Here are some ways that I let my light shine, I hope they inspire you!

Hug/say ‘thank-you’ to those that do you a service (for me, I make sure to acknowledge the janitors in the Biology building)

Befriend the quiet person (in my case, it’s in class/lab, it could be in your mommy’s group or a neighbor, anyone!)

Realize that a life is a life –move caterpillars, worms out of heavy walking areas. Move turtles out of the road. Take a stray in if you can. Respect nature.

Feed a hungry person- the man digging in trash at Wal-Mart is a true story. He enjoyed McDonalds that day 🙂

Make someone laugh- no matter what it takes. Sometimes I make funny faces or do funny dances to make others laugh, and it puts me in a good mood too!

Be thoughtful– if your neighbors father dies, send cookies and a note expressing your condolences. Let someone in the store in front of you, even if they have more than you do. Hold the door for others. If you see a person struggling carrying something, drop what you are doing to help them.

Help others– any way you can, without being prompted. Help someone jump start their car, help a person in a wheelchair make it over a curb, give give give.

See your family– don’t forget about your me-maw that is in the nursing home. I take my me-maw magazines and nail polish when I visit her. When I can’t get to the city to see her, I write her letters describing things that are going on in my life. She doesn’t write back, but my mother tells me “the letters light up her life.” and that is awesome. Don’t forget the old and gray, they are the true treasures of this world.

(source)

These are just some ideas, you can shine your light any way you want. And you have all  of the tools necessary to do so. Go! Get out there and make someone’s day!

Here is to our growing hearts and to spreading the love ❤

xoxo,

Stacey B

10 Ways to Get Happy

This week was the worst. Well, there were good things like getting a 100 on a lab paper and a 99 on a cell physiology exam. But for some reason, my professors were trying to make me snap by loading me down with work. Work that I deem ‘busy work’..which is the worst kind of work.

This week I had another big lab paper due, two assignments due on the same day, an exam to study for on Thursday, and I somehow managed to get behind four chapters in Animal Phys, which is the class that I’m doing the worst in. So all of this worry and anxiety seeped into my little heart and I couldn’t sleep, think straight or hardly even function.

The fact that I’ve developed the new habit of leaving the fridge open is evidence that I’ve lost my mind. I never leave the fridge open, but this past week it’s all I do! Every time I walk into the kitchen, the fridge door is ajar and I’m all “Oops, I forgot to close the fridge again.” Craziness.

I had insomnia for four days straight, which is nothing when compared to the weeks when it used to take over…but even four days is enough for me to sit up at 2 a.m. and cry into my fluffy robe…over nothing and everything at the same time. Thankfully, the assignments got done (like I knew they would), the lab report finished, the test taken, and I’m now only behind two chapters in animal phys. I wanted to do a blog post about ways I handle stress and try to lighten the load. I figure if these things work for me, then maybe they would help you when your little ol’ heart is heavy too 🙂

1. Hug your husband. Tight. For like, five minutes straight. Tight like a boa constrictor (“Hug him like a bo-a constricta” – to the tune of “Shake it like a Polaroid picture”) and don’t let him go no matter how much he squirms and gasps for air to breathe.

2. Literally, jump around. With your kids, your dog, your hamster..whatever other live being you have in the house will work. This is a good song to get jumping around too 🙂

3. Do a puzzle or flip through a magazine. Do something that lets you zone out, even if it is for just a few minutes. Jason and I used to be really big into puzzles. Instead of coming home and sitting in front of Big Bang Theory, we would sit at the table and work on a puzzle together. It gives you convo time with your loved one and it’s an activity together that doesn’t involve just sitting in the same room staring at a tube. (Let it be know that we watch Big Bang Theory after we’ve had enough puzzle time) 🙂

4. Bake. I freakin’ love to bake. It makes my house smell good and I love making things from scratch. I like to give Jason the stare-down as he takes the first bite, my eyes wide and my face so close to his that he can feel my breath on his cheek. (Haha! No, I don’t get that close…most of the time). 😀 This week I made homemade (dough and everything!) cinnamon rolls. And they were amazeballs.

DSCN6589

5. Know when to step away from whatever is stressing you out. In my case, it is schoolwork. I’ve been getting up at 6 or 7 every day this week and trying to catch up in Animal Phys. I will work on it for about 2-3 hours and when my brain literally starts hurting and I find myself rushing through the material, I stop. I go do something else, whether it is blog reading, cleaning or dancing with my broom, it’s something else. It gives my brain time to soak in what I’ve just read and learned without driving myself crazy. Most of the time. Sometimes all it takes is an hour and I’m like “Gahhh! I need to get out of here!”.

6. Find good wine. 

???????????????????????????????

This is a local (Vale, NC) wine that is awesome. This family-owned winery is actually where Jason and I got married this past May 🙂 Wine is good. Yes, very good indeed.

7. Exercise. Four years ago I went to the hospital with severe chest pain only to be told I was having a massive anxiety attack. The doctor asked me what I do to calm down and relax, I answered “I exercise.” He said “No, what do you do that is relaxing?” I replied “I exercise.” He suggested that I find other things to do besides exercise when I’m stressed out, and then he tried to prescribe anxiety pills…no thanks. Granted, back then I didn’t really do a lot of relaxing things. But today I do puzzles and all the stuff mentioned above, and so I think exercising when I’m stressed is OK for me. Actually, it’s wonderful. There is nothing like going for a run when you have so much steam to run off. I find myself working harder and kicking butt at my workouts when I’m super stressed, and I always finished feeling a little better..with a little better perspective on the things going on in my life.

DSCN5072

And if you can run in the woods, well, then it’s pure heaven 🙂 Which brings me to my next stress-reliever…

8. Go be in the woods, or around a bunch of trees. Nature makes everything feel a lot calmer (unless your standing in the middle of a tornado, where… it’s actually pretty calm…so..nevermind). The quiet, the birds, the squirrels rustling the leaves, it is the best kind of therapy there is. I found myself in my back yard a lot this week. Bird-watching and cow-watching 🙂

???????????????????????????????

9. Have lunch with your mom. This Friday I had lunch with my mom and it was wonderful. She is such a great lady. We talked and talked about what is going on in our lives, how God is moving in and through us, I think getting together helped both of us this week. We were able to encourage each other and just be there to listen to each other. It was so nice ❤

10. Have a doughnut. Or fries. Or that fast-food, unhealthy item that keeps popping into your head when you pass by the establishment. For me, it was a doughnut. It’s usually fries, but this week I kept thinking of doughnuts and so I got one. And it was awesome. Even if it doesn’t involve food, indulge in yourself a tiny bit. Splurge on dinner out, go get a nice sweater, paint your fingernails a different color, download a new song to your iPod, do something that makes you happy without regrets. Though, I do kind of regret downloading that Miley Cyrus song. I don’t even like her it’s just so dang catchy! Don’t tell anyone. Thank you.

Hope your week was great and your weekend even better 🙂

xoxo,

Stacey

Thankful…

…for nature (always)…

Photo0109

…for husbands that are expert fort builders…

DSCN6582

…for dreaming…

Photo0119

 

…for my health. I’ve been kicking butt in my workouts lately and have noticed a real difference in my muscle tone and energy level. Giving 110% really works! I’m thankful for the beautiful runs I’ve had this week and the great music that keeps me going in the gym when I want to give up…

 

Photo0117

 

…for thrift store finds! This comforter was marked down from $85 to $20! Score!! Goodwill is the bomb 🙂 I also found a brand-new, tags-still-on, dress from Target that is super cute. Don’t mind if I do…

Photo0122…for the Word…(John 1:9-14, NIV)

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

God has planted something in my heart. It was actually planted a long time ago, but it’s only now being revealed to me. Doubt about this plan has weighed heavy on me all week, I’ve been thinking “I can’t do this, I don’t have the means or the knowledge. How will I do so-and-so? Where do I start?..etc, etc.”

The one thing my pastor said a long time ago that has been stuck in my mind is: “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

Today in church, pastor talked about how the enemy doesn’t want the material things that we have. For instance, if you are struggling financially, the enemy doesn’t want your money. What is he going to do with money? He doesn’t want your home or your family…he wants your confidence in God. So this week, when God revealed all these things to me I started getting super excited with God, like “Oh my gosh! Yes, I will so  do that, Lord! I can’t believe you are going to use me that way!” I was almost jumping up and down in my seat (while driving), because his vision is so great and I’m only little ol’ me. 

As I let it sink in what He was asking me to do, the doubt started coming in. The second-guessing started coming to me, I lost my confidence. I hunkered down in my seat, no longer smiling from ear-to-ear but feeling guilty that I couldn’t possibly carry out His plan.

And it’s so great that we serve a loving and patient God because we are so wavering and fickle in our faith. This past week, he put at least 5 people into my path that all reaffirmed what the Lord had shown me. He used others to speak truth back into me and to give me my confidence back, that’s how much he loves me. He didn’t move on to someone else, he patiently pulled a friend in and reminded me of who He is and that yes, I am, indeed, chosen. 

I am chosen. 

Pastor talked about guarding your confidence today. Trusting in his calling for you, whatever that may be. There will be moments of doubt, confusion, setbacks, and inconsistency, but you are still called. And your confidence should not depend on your circumstances, it should be in someone  and not something. 

Photo0123

So, this week my friends spoke truth to me. And I love how when I doubted, God still pulled me in and told me “Yes, you are the one. Not someone else.”.

My friends got excited for me, which got me excited again..and I still am. I’ll tell you about it in due time 🙂

I’m thankful for my friends and family..and for all of you who e-mailed/responded to this post. I’m feelin’ the love and I’m so glad it helped some of you ❤

Love you all to bits,

Stacey B.

 

Homestead: In Progress

Hi! Happy Friday! A lot of folks have asked for pictures of the house, so here are some I threw together this morning, with commentary on what we hope to do in that particular room. What you aren’t seeing: the office, 2nd bedroom, two bathrooms, laundry room, walk-in closet (it’s just a closet), and the garage 🙂 Those rooms are so in progress that I didn’t feel like they were worth sharing yet. We’ll start with the outside:

Front yard:

???????????????????????????????

Plans: build sidewalk/walkway and put a light out by the well so we can see at night.

Front porch before:

DSCN6476

After staining the wood:

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

The stain we chose shows dirt, but we really like the way it looks with the chairs, ect. We hope to paint the front door the same red as we are the barn, and add a sentimental knocker to it…maybe with our last name on it? I also hope to find some plants to frame the door and add some greenery to the porch! Let’s go inside…

Living room:

???????????????????????????????

Still a lot to do in here. Hanging pictures, buying some furniture, getting pillows for the window seats, ect.  I have yet to hang any pictures anywhere in the house. We haven’t painted anything either, but we’ll get there! We have this table set up, before walking into the dining room, as a place to put our keys and phones when we first get home. The artwork on this table is switched out almost every week. The two red bins house the many pictures I have yet to hang up 🙂

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Moving to the dining room:

???????????????????????????????

I have plans to make the wall (the one with the one lonely picture is hanging on it) a gallery wall of landscapes that are kind of like that (wood frame, painted…). We are also reupholstering the dining room table chairs this weekend, taking them from stained blue plaid to a lighter color (cream, tan?) or maybe a fabric with a hint of a pattern. There is a dining room door that opens to the back yard as well. On to the kitchen…

???????????????????????????????

Sooo many things we are going to do in here! Replacing the plastic white cabinet knobs with oil-rubbed bronze ones (like in the picture below). Install tile floors, redo the counter tops in black granite and add white subway tile backsplash.

white-kitchen-black-knobs

We pretty much plan to redo this entire kitchen one day..but I am loving my kitchen until then! It’s the biggest I’ve ever had and has so much storage space! And having a kitchen window that looks out onto the cow field doesn’t hurt either 😉

???????????????????????????????

Hallway that leads to the side porch and laundry room:

???????????????????????????????

Plans: add a runner on the floor,  paint, hang pictures down the hallway, and replace blinds with a cute fabric shade.

Going to the master (other side of the house, we are skipping the office, other bedroom and guest bathroom)…

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Plans: buy an iron bed frame, new bedding, new tables and lamps. Add a floor length-mirror somewhere. Paint, hang pictures. Change out the ceiling fans for better quality ones, and create a reading nook on the other side of the room. Add a reading chair with floor lamp. Make it cozy and sentimental…

Master bathroom:

???????????????????????????????

Change lighting fixture, counter tops, add tile, add towel hooks, paint it a bold color? Depends on what the bedroom looks like. Buy blinds, hang curtains for privacy. These are makeshift lace curtains that are doing the trick for now

???????????????????????????????

What you aren’t seeing: The other bathroom attached to the master, the “reading area” as I’m calling it, and the walk-in closet. Let’s go to the barn/garage.

This is what the barn looks like outside:

???????????????????????????????

Before we cleaned:

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

After we cleaned:

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

This area needs a new roof. We are hoping to put one in this year, rebuild the shelving, and turn some of this space into a chicken coop. This will also be where I keep my gardening items. Still lots to do here…

The field! Grass is growing! It looks 1,000 times better since we moved in!

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

We hope to build a garden out here next spring. We also want to add in a tire swing, a lounging swing and possibly a fire pit for bon fires. Let’s go look at the backyard…

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

The backyard is bordered by two different cow fields, and is home to deer, owls, lizards, coyotes, and other animals I’m sure! I always tell Jason that the land we have is awesome, and the house is just a great bonus that comes with it 🙂 I love being outside. The picture above are the two doors that lead to the backyard from the dining room, the other from our bedroom. We are going to connect this one day to make a back deck that spans the back of the house. We’d like to have an outdoor eating/entertaining area and a hammock so I can read outside in the late summer evening 🙂 Can’t wait till that happens!

And here is my still-alive basil and cilantro plant on the side porch. Haven’t killed it yet!

???????????????????????????????

We have a ton of plans for this house and its so nice to know that its ours and we can take as much time as we need to. But seriously…three things I’m really itching to do:

1. Print and hang some wedding photos

2. Tear. up. this. carpet.

3. Build fires with the husband, and cozy up with he and the animals in the winter.

All in due time, all in due time. Thanks for joining me! Love you guys and I hope you have an amazing weekend!

xoxo,

Stacey B.

Oh- before I go…a song that has been super relevant to my life lately. It feels like God is calling me to do something (like he has for a while, I just don’t listen sometimes). It’s pretty scary, it’s big, it’s grand, it’s not impossible. This song has really spoken to me this week. Consider this MOMM (music on my mind) :

Scars

I saw my dad for the first time in 4-5 years this past Friday.

I realize as I write this that yes, everyone has “daddy issues”. Issues that are shoved down, hurt feelings that are put away in the pit of your stomach until one day you just don’t feel them anymore. And you’d like to say that you don’t think about those hurt feelings but they are always there and come up in many different forms.

I almost didn’t write this post because I was worried if my dad Googled me that he would find my blog and read it. But I’m learning that I have nothing to hide and only scars to bear. To show.

My father was my idol when I was a child. I thought he was the smartest, funniest, best-looking man in the world. I talked about him proudly, I looked forward to going to his house every other weekend and holidays. He took us to museums and zoos. He told the best bedtime stories that always ended in tickling frenzies. I loved my dad. Especially since, out of my three sisters, I take after him the most. Looks, sense of humor- he gave it all to me.

tire

I was driven to please my dad. I wanted his praise for everything. I tried to impress him always. Sometimes I’d spend the week before his visit memorizing how to spell big words just in case he gave me one of his spelling bees on the drive back to his house. One time I ate two plates of ribs so I could show him how big and grown-up I was. But it was never enough. If he found me reading using my finger as a guide, he’d say “What? You can’t read without your finger guiding you?” If I laughed loudly or made a silly joke in a restaurant he’d roll his eyes and say “Have some class.” (I was eight.) But I still thought the world of him. I only tried harder…

After my sister and I turned a certain age, he acted like he didn’t know what to do with us anymore. He would take us to rent movies, and when we were done watching them we found our own entertainment. I could sense that my sister and I were more of a burden on my dad than anything else. Like we interrupted his life with our presence every other weekend.

He stopped coming to get us when we were around 12-13. I guess he thought we didn’t mind, which, let’s be honest- at the time we didn’t because it wasn’t the same anymore.

This is when I stopped seeing him. We’d still talk on the phone and see each other here and there. I saw him when my sister had children, I went to visit him when he moved into a new house. And then it just stopped. We stopped talking and I put it to the back of my mind. Every now and then my mom would say “Well, it takes two to have a relationship.”

So eight years ago, I thought “Yes, I should try to know him and see him.”

We went out to lunch and he talked about my sister the whole time. He clocked in his ‘dad card’ for the hour and left. Probably feeling satisfied to have done a fatherly duty that day.

Then four more years pass and I meet an amazing man that I want to marry. I e-mail my dad and tell him about it. We actually talked on the phone once. I sent him the invitation, made sure that he would be there to walk me down the aisle, he says “Yes, I’ll be there.” The week before I got married, he didn’t respond to my e-mails or texts.

I knew then.

He wasn’t at the wedding. No card, not voicemail, nothing. I tried to e-mail him the week I get back from my honeymoon and his e-mail had changed. All this time I am trying to forgive and honor this father of mine. To take the higher road. I let it go. I shoved it down. Things were fine…

wedding

Sometimes you know there is this void in your life. And sometimes you feel guilty for even feeling a void when you have someone like God, who is the ultimate Father. Part of you longs for a pat on the back from your human father..for praise and love. For “good job”‘s and “I care about you”‘s. Even though this person has caused you hurt and pain, your expectations of him are still as high as they were when you were seven. 

Friday morning I knew I’d be seeing him for the first time in four years. I acted nervous all morning, wondering what he would say to me. Imagining him coming up to me and apologizing for not coming to my wedding. Picturing him tell me what a crappy dad he’s been and how he’s so proud of me. I expected it, I longed for it.

Well, the next 3 hours were spent with us avoiding eye contact, not talking. I introduce him to Jason, finally. He doesn’t ask anything about my husband or me, or our life together. Right before he gets in his car, he shoves a piece of paper at me and asks for my address. I write it down and he walks away.

That’s it.

I felt like the biggest idiot in the world at that moment. I felt the lowest I’ve ever felt. All of these things start running through my mind. I wanted to shout “What do I have to do to get your attention? For you to notice me?! For you to WANT to know me?!” It’s a bad feeling when you are someone’s daughter and you feel like that person could care less about knowing you or anything about you. When they are able to walk away from you without a hug or ‘I love you.’. And then I felt angry at God. Like, “God, I know you are my ultimate Father, but I need the one I have on Earth to be here for me physically! Why can’t you just put him into my life? I need that encouragement and parenting down here!” Get off of your throne and console me. Come down here and embrace me. Look me in the eye, and tell me you love me!

But God says “I will. I promise you that. It won’t be here and now, but one day I will embrace you as my child and give you all that you’ve missed from your father. But not right now.”

This past weekend in church, our pastor talked about suffering and how we all have scars to bear. How some people say “Well, if God is good then why this happen?”  or “Why’d he allow me to have cancer if He is so great?”. Pastor said it may be that God wants to take our weakness (scars, hurt, pain) and use them to strengthen you. To pull you through something so terrible that when you come out of it, you’ll know that it could only have been God.

My heart was crushed, my expectations wiped out once again by my earthly father. I felt so tired of hoping for our relationship, for trying, for expecting him to want to know me. I still do. I’m still raw from it. Instead of pulling down my sleeves though, I’m going to roll them up so that all can see these wounds. I can pray that God will use them for good one day. I have faith that He will.

In fact, He’s already revealed to me how he will use these scars:

I never wanted children. The idea didn’t appeal to me. I was a nanny for 7 years and I felt like I had already risen three children. My heart was hardened on this matter. My husband, when we first got married, agreed.

And just in this past weekend alone, he came to me and said that he (Jason) does want a family one day. I thought on this for a while, actually all day yesterday and the day before. In my rawness, my wounds still visible from Friday, God spoke to me. He showed me children that I’d love dearly. He showed me happiness and life with my husband and our family. He told me that he would take those scars and stitch them up. He would shape them into something new. That he could use this pain and hurt to create in me the best mother he knows how. He can wipe away the wounds with the love that I will have for my children. The hugs and kisses that I will give my kids. The praise and thankfulness that I will express when I have them.

concert

He showed me the world-changers that my kids will be.

And I believe him because everything is for His Glory. And so I said “OK”.

Not now, but one day…

God’s going to use this just as he can use your scars. He is always on your side fighting for you. For those of you like me, that need that physical here-and-now praise from your genetic father and don’t get it…just you wait. One day, you’ll be able to run to your real Father..to the One whose love you don’t have to/ever could earn. To the One whom gives his love to you freely. You are already the apple of His eye.

I kind of laugh now, though my face has been covered in tears pretty much all day today..because the pain is still real and we still have to cry a little. To feel the hurt a little, but I can’t wait for God to use this!

My future children are going to be loved so much. They’ll never doubt it, they’ll never have to…it will be obvious. And if going through this is what it takes, it is so WORTH IT. 

You can watch the sermon on suffering here:

http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/scar-shaper?autoplay=sermon

Thanks for sticking with me through this post. You are loved ❤

xoxo,

Stacey

Coyote Patrol

Hi there.

I’m just gonna jump right to it and tell you – we have coyotes at our house (and they freak me out).

Their favorite time is to yip and howl is between 12:30-3:30 a.m. And I swear they sound like they are right by my head! They can’t be that far away!

Actually, I know they aren’t because there was an “incident” the other night.

A few nights ago, around 10:30 p.m. I was doing my nightly routine of taking Marley out before bed time. First off- our front yard is super dark at nighttime. Like, can’t see your hand in front of your face dark. All you hear are crickets and the occasional mooooo from a cow. So I go out there with a flashlight usually to  keep track of the dog.

Anyway, on this particular night the moon was super bright so I could see everything. So, I’m standing in the yard (robe, slippers and all) when my dog starts barking and acting skittish. I look to where she’s barking and see a coyote emerge from in between our two cars. Marley barks, runs back to me and barks again. The coyote trots, not runs, but casually makes his way past us and into the woods.

It was the most frightening moment of my life. The fact that he was acting so normal and not afraid made me afraid. After he ran into the woods, I ran into the house and said “Oh my God! A coyote was just in our yard!!”

We’ve known they were around for a while because they make an awful lot of noise at God-awful hours of the morning. The cows on both sides of us get really freaked out, and understandably so.

A couple weeks ago it was very early in the morning and we heard a lot of commotion coming from the pasture beside our house. Cows, coyotes, moos and yips. When a coyote yips, it’s very unnerving. It sounds menacing and evil to me, it just creeps me out.

The next day we found out that a pack of coyotes had gotten a young calf in the pasture beside our house. This made me really sad. I love animals (even the coyotes) and I know it’s nature, but to be eaten alive by a coyote does not sound like a good way to go.

With all of that said, I’ve now put myself on “coyote patrol” 😀 It sounds dorky, but I like to think I make a difference! Ha.

Every night before bed, I take my flashlight and Marley and walk the perimeter of our house and front and back yard. If you’ve never shown a flashlight into a dark field of cows only to see a billion eyes blink back at you, you haven’t lived. It’s eerie to shine a light out there and just see eyes watching you.

Last night at 12:30, coyotes were making a bunch of noise, so I jumped out of bed, flashlight in hand and ran into the backyard. I stood out there for 20 minutes before I went back inside. I shone the light into the pasture, made sure there weren’t any non-cow eyes staring back and then I went back to bed.

I don’t know how long this will last, but I can’t stand the thought of another calf being eaten alive if I could do anything to stop it.

I’m ridiculous, I know.

Moving on…

Today I saw the sweetest thing! Marley and I were in the back yard, and there is this one young female cow that is interested in Marley. Maybe it’s because my dog is black and eats grass, so she thinks it’s another cow?? Haha, I dunno. But the cow was coming toward Marley, I made Mar sit. The cows and Mar’s noses touched each other through the fence as they greeted each other! It was the cutest thing ever. A great way to start my day.

My husband also warms my heart.

This past Saturday we were riding to Lowe’s for more wood-stain. I’m disgusting and have my crappy clothes on to paint. He looks over and does a weird smile. I say “Why are you smiling like that?” He replies “Because I just like you a lot.” ❤ ❤ D’awwwww. Love.

Anyway, I hope you guys have had great moments too this week. I wanted to tell you about our coyotes and the cows. I hope to have a house-related post soon..about our updates, projects, etc.

Happy Wednesday! xoxo,

Stacey