Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016: The Year of Action

As the year is coming to a close an abundance of conversations that I have had in 2016 are flooding my mind.  I have been surrounded by a group of incredible people who are actively walking through a year of movement.  For many of us, we heard the Lord speak in 2014 or 2015 about plans that He has for our lives and for some reason 2016 has been the moment that He decided to say, "Go. My time is now,"  and we are listening.

2015 could be defined as a year of waiting and patience for me and my family.  The Lord spoke and gave me indications that things would be changing in the future but 2015 was our calm before the storm.  While we waited the Lord moved in big ways with our surprise second pregnancy and that time was spent taking care of me, our developing baby, and our household.  We saved money, we paid down debt, and we prayed.  Both Jake and I felt the Lord stirring in our hearts with regards to our jobs but the Lord kept us in a holding pattern.  Then 2016 arrived. 

Right before Grady arrived we decided to forego running our own business in exchange for a consistent schedule and paycheck for Jake.  Grady arrived in April and then in September the Lord abruptly called me to act.  It was time.  It was time for me to follow His leading and the stirring that had so strongly taken hold.  He was calling me to something new so we jumped.  We jumped into the unknown in a big way and you know the rest of that story at this point. 

Even more interestingly, in the past 12 weeks I have been surrounded by a community of women who have also been called to action.  For some of them this has been a long time coming, for others, it was a shock to the system and the Lord is calling them to simply trust.  I have gotten the opportunity to witness behind the scenes movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of so many that I can comfortably say that 2016 has been a challenging year.  I can only imagine that this means that big and holy things are in store for 2017! 

God's people are on the move.  They are moving on behalf of their family, they are moving on behalf of their children, they are moving on behalf of their health, they are moving on behalf of their community, they are moving on behalf of God.  These are people walking through times of uncertainty, times where the only guarantee they have is that the Lord is for them.  For many of us, the only thing that we can count on is our faith.  And can I tell you something?  These people are bold and confident in our God.  We know that because God is for us, no one can be against us.  No one. 

I am inspired every single day by these people.  They challenge me to be bolder, stronger and more passionate about what the Lord is doing in my life.  God's people are under pursuit.  He created us, He has chosen us, He has equipped us and now He wants to use us.  His time is now and it is our time to show up. 

Today I write because I feel that someone needs to hear this.  Someone needs to know that they are not alone in being called to big, important, holy things.  2016 has been a year of action but more importantly, it has been a year of obedience.  Blind obedience.   

Is the Lord calling you to something?  Can you feel him doing the heavy heart work within you?  If so, trust him.  Trust that he has your very best in store.  Trust that he has HIS very best in store for you. 

I know in my heart there are others like us who have heard and know that God has called us to bigger things.  He has planted the seeds over the past couple of days, weeks, months or years, and now he wants to see them grow. 

Today I challenge you to be bold.  Know that God is for you.  Know that He has walked your upcoming path and He is defeating the opposition.  He gave his life, are you ready to give yours? 

Our time is now.  For God's sake, move. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016


As part of my new job, I was asked to give my testimony to a group of women.  Some of the women know me well and others are basically strangers.  To think through your own personal testimony in order to present it to such a dynamic group of people takes a lot of consideration, humility and oppenness to the Holy Spirit leading you.

As I prayed through it over a few weeks, one word continued to flash in my mind.  Enough. 

In each of the large moments of my faith walk God has used that word in one way or another to challenge me, prompt me, converse with me, or convict me. 

My first big trust move was trusting God when He told me to take a break in my relationship with Jake.  He simply said, "Release him to me.  I love you enough."  We went on a break and here we are now.

The next move was taking a job in central Illinois just minutes away from Jake's hometown when we were on above mentioned "break" and God said, "do you trust my plan enough?"  Here I am living in central Illinois and raising my sons in the same county Jake grew up in.  To top it off, my parents now have a home less than a mile down the road from us.

After marriage we walked through infertility and God simply said, "am I enough? Am just I, enough?"  Time and time again we told the Lord he was enough.  Infertility became a cross to bear and a way to minister and reach out to others.  As a result, we have our beautiful son, Camden, and in the future this walk is going to provide an opportunity for generosity that right now we can barely wrap our heads around.

After infertility we became unexpectedly, naturally pregnant, and God asked, "is my healing enough?"  I had to actively release infertility as my main cross to bear in order to fully walk in the grace and miracle of our second pregnancy with Grady.  God moved in my heart and told me that I would love this son just as much as Camden, even though their pregnancy journeys were entirely different and taught different lessons.

When it came time to leave my job just recently God asked me, "do you trust me enough?"  He called me to step out in full faith and without a safety net.  Within the weeks after leaving my job He revealed to me, and the Holy Spirit moved in awesome and powerful ways to bring me to what I am doing now. 

It has taken walking by faith on a daily basis to trust that God will provide for our needs but as I have written before, I didn't realize what an incredible root money and materials had within me until now. 

For a SHORT time, I have struggled with what it means to live paycheck to paycheck, to not be able to buy my kids the things that they need right away, and to figure out any and every way possible we can cut monthly costs and reduce debt. 

Yesterday, I woke up in my warm bed, fed my kids breakfast from a small array of OPTIONS of food they had for breakfast, changed into a clean pair of clothes, and sat in my living room while my kids played with their numerous toys and had the audacity to sit, mope, and feel sorry for us.

Since walking away from my career I have had the spectrum of emotions from pure joy to doubt to uncertainty to guilt. 

In talking with Jake last night I admitted that my stress doesn't come from money being tight or a lack of usual finances, my stress comes as a result of my guilt.  I feel guilty that I made the conscientious choice to make my family walk through this hard time because I chose God's will.  It felt like there was a level of unfairness in it all. 

Jake's response and the reason he has my heart was, "honey, we don't have it hard. We have so much compared to so many people in the world. This is not hard. We are fine." 

Yesterday afternoon God also put in my path a documentary on Hillsong UNITED called the I Heart Revolution, which showed what REAL hardship looks like. 

By the end of my woe is me day God said one word, "Enough." 

This time it was said in a parental tone with the underlying message of, I am tired of your complaining.  I am tired of your doubt.  I know you see what I am doing almost every day.  You are not suffering.  I will give you enough.

I can't help but take this into the Christmas season and keep saying it to myself over and over again.  All of it.

I love you enough.
His plan is enough.
He is enough.
His healing is enough.
I trust Him enough.
We have enough.

May these words speak to you in the way they need to this Christmas season and may you know and trust that Jesus is enough.  Always and forever.  Enough.