Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Remembering God's faithfulness over waffle fries and Chick-fil-A sauce

I almost started crying as we walked into Chik-fil-A after a full day of driving from our home in Michigan to our stop in North Carolina.
Erick and I were on our way to South Carolina. For a vacation of sorts.
We were planning on spending some time in Charleston and then heading to what we like to think of as our second home in Columbia, SC.

Almost two years ago now we set off on what was probably the craziest thing we have ever done as a married couple.
Or it sure felt crazy at the time.
We packed up our apartment and kitty and moved to Columbia to attend a Bible college.
In a lot of ways to just actively seek God's will.
We wanted to be flexible.

We only ended up living there for about 6 months.
And there were a lot of hard moments in those 6 months.
 A lot of tears and homesickness.
But there was something else in all that as well.
Something that I had experienced many times before in my young life but never on such a deep level.
The faithfulness of God. 

There was something about walking into that little Chik-fil-A that brought a surge-- a complete rush of memories and emotions to my mind.
It felt like I was coming home. Even though home was technically 800 miles away.
It felt comforting. It reminded me of the deep faithfulness of God that Erick and I experienced during those 6 months.
And so my eyes became misty as I dunked waffle fries in Chick-fil-A sauce.

I wrote a lot of our experiences down in a journal during that time. 
I did not want to forget.
As I so often do forget the amazing acts of God on my behalf. 
And I knew that someday I would need to remember.
I would need to be reminded that He has not ever left me. And He is always near. 

You see, I cannot remember ever  praying as hard as I did during the time leading up to our move and all through it. 
In some ways those simple prayers of faith were basically me declaring that I knew God had called us to go.
I didn't understand it. 
But, I knew He was leading us regardless.
He would have to be our provision and make a way. Because we were about to attempt the impossible in the world's eyes. 
Erick was quitting a job he had for five years in a bad economy. We needed to find a place to live in a 3 day trip. We had no jobs lined up. And both of us were going to attempt attending college again.

Friends, I cannot recall how many times God blew doors open. Every need was meant for us to get down there. Every single one.

There were times that the rent was due and we didn't have enough. 
And right at the last minute we would receive a random check in the mail.
Or we needed groceries and somehow God provided them. 
A package would come in the mail. 
Suddenly we would receive an encouraging note with Scripture. 
It was supernatural provision. It was our faithful God. 

You see, I am convinced of something. 
If God has led us to do something and we are obedient to that. 
Regardless if we have all the answers. 
Regardless if we understand the logistics.
I believe He will work it to completion.
He will meet us there in our weakness and lead us through. 
He will be faithful when we are faithless. 
He will hear our broken prayers in the night. 
He will make a way.
And someday in the future, possibly over waffle fries, we will be able to look back and say: 
"Remember when God did that?"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

some michigan love::::influence network

Welcome fellow Influence Members! I am so glad that you are here!
AND I was absolutely thrilled to read about the theme of this link-up hosted by the Influence Network.

It is no secret that I love my state. And I really do enjoy talking about it. 
I grew up in Michigan. And it's no surprise, I still live in Michigan.
Many Michiganders (yes, we have a name for ourselves) fondly refer to our state as "the mitten".
You know, because of the shape and all. 

I grew up in a very small Michigan town. We are talking two stoplights here people.
Since those days there have been a couple stop light additions. But, it's still small. 
If you are assuming that I grew up frolicking through the woods and running through fields and shoveling snow half of the year....you would be right. 

I grew up constantly being outside and my younger brother and I found our entertainment in taking trips to the library (among other odd adventures).
True story.

Simple beginnings. Maybe humble ones. 
But, I wouldn't change that for anything. 
I believe that I have deep appreciation for my state and God's design in creation and exploring it all because of where I grew up. And how I grew up. 

Fast forward to now: my husband and I live about a half an hour south from where I grew up and a half an hour north from where he grew up.
That's right. We have strategically planted ourselves in the middle of both of our families.
And really we enjoy many of the same things about where we live:
Michigan sunrises and sunsets. 
Our Great Lakes and the beaches that surround them.
Every quaint and unique town along the way. 
Should I mention we (as in Michiganders) have our own island? 
We love the heavy white snow in the winter.
And the colors of the leaves in the fall. 
Matter of fact, we are stoked on having 4 distinct seasons.
We love biking down trails and walking through woods.
Quite simply, we really love our state and all that it has to offer. 
It has been an adventure growing up and living here.

I am looking forward to reading more about where YOU grew up and the state you call home!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A smorgasbord of topics. And some pictures.

Happy Monday all! 
Hopefully your weekend was relaxing. 
Erick and I enjoyed a slow weekend. And that is definitely how we like them as of late. 

Here are some snippets from my Instagram....of life lately around these parts. 
Including: a quick day trip we enjoyed exploring northern Michigan, all the kale that needs juicing, and the short lived (but ever so lovely) lilac clippings from Erick's grandparents. 
I am determined to have a lilac bush of my own someday. 
It's on that running list one keeps in their head if ever a house is in the future. 

Add to the above plenty of shots of what I've been drinking lately. 
Feel free to voice your stance on how to brew coffee in the comment section. 
I attached this question to the mug shot above and it seems the majority rule in favor of french press. 
But, you could change that. 
So, as you can see, this is officially the most random post.
Full of a smorgasbord of topics all crammed together.

With that out in the open: how was your weekend? 
And remember to vote for your coffee preference. Because I really do want to know. 
No really, I do. 

annnnnnndddd if this wasn't enough fun you can always visit my instagram here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

So, what's the heartbeat?

I wish you could see the notebook that holds all things related to this blog.
I wish you could see all the scribbles and scratches and arrows and giant lines crossing words and sentences out. 

Over the last month of taking time off and seeking the Holy Spirit about why I write here I came to the conclusion that I'm not sure I know the heartbeat of my blog. 
What makes it tick? What inspires me to write here? 

A heartbeat is what determines if we are still alive, no? A heartbeat puts us among the living. 
And in some metaphorical ways I suppose we could view the heartbeat as the center thing
The meaning behind it all that pushes and moves us forward.

So, when I couldn't nail down the pulse to this space, naturally I was concerned. 
Naturally, it all felt a little lifeless and dead. 
And I am sure that I am not alone in writing that I want to be imparting life-giving encouragement through this space. 
I want there to be a heartbeat behind it all. 

I put together a space that looked and felt more aesthetically pleasing to me.
And I hope it is to you as well. 
I have prayed over this space the last month.
And I really felt the heartbeat of this blog being drawn out of my own. 
The very things that God has been growing and teaching me.

The heartbeat:

To encourage women (and myself) to view our lives as a gift from God. And as a result, to live intentional lives of celebration in whatever season we are planted. 

I am choosing to do this by celebrating the blessings in the small, everyday things, encouraging discussion, and taking joy in the story.

I hope you will join me.

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