Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It never came...after all that hoping and praying..

What is this snow stuff again?
:)

Even though I must have asked God a thousand times for it, He always know what is best for us.
During our move we didn't have to pay any attention to snowy roads, shoveling, and bitter cold temperatures.


I love to know what's coming.  If someone gave me a sheet of paper with all the events of that day i'd be pleased.  It's nice to know what to expect and decide as each event happens how I feel about it but simply knowing what is to come would put me at perfect peace.
Unfortunately little in life really works that way not being in my favor. 
See, the Navy doesn't tell you a 10 year plan on where you will be and when.  They can change their minds rather quickly and you're left scatter brained as you try to plan a move or get used to the idea of your man being gone for such and such time.
Once those orders finally come you have a sense of peace being able to take care of all affairs that need to be in order for a smooth transition but it doesn't change the fact that this military lifestyle is hard on the family.

We have lived a somewhat normal life in 2011.  Darren was home most of the time but that didn't change the long hours or the fact that I never do know when to expect him home. He leaves early and comes home late with the occasional 3:00pm surprise arrival.  It's funny how even though he has been home we have had a hard time connecting.  I get a very drained husband because his job is just as intense as when they are out to sea.
He is trying his very best right now to make time for Garrett and I and cares for us but goodness if I woke up at 5 and worked all day by the time that I arrived home at 6 or so i'd want to kick those feet up and not do anything!

The Navy is a bittersweet career.  There's no getting around it.
I can't change it and i've accepted that this is where God has led us. So i'm working on changing my attitude towards what can't be changed.  I really don't gripe too much about the navy but I do complain about things that stem off because of it. 
Don't see family much
A very tired Darren
Loneliness
No permanence
and a few others.

I want to learn to have an attitude that was like Christ's.  He didn't have permanence either and he dealt with all the things I am feeling now which is comforting.
I wish that i'd taken time to dig up some passages in the Bible to support this but that's for another entry another time!

I really don't want to live a life being discontent. That's no way to live!  I believe that there are times we can change our circumstances but sometimes we simply need an attitude adjustment.


So why did I want snow so bad this year?
Because it's what i'm used to.  I'm familiar with the crisp air that accompanies the soft flurries and it's beautiful to me. 
Because everything this year has been unfamiliar to me and I craved something that I knew.

I had a baby and that was new and scary for me.
I dealt with marital conflicts that seemed over my head at times
I learned that I hadn't really accepted God's grace in my heart, still working on that.:)
I moved into two different homes
I only saw my family a few times
The church I attended is nothing like what I have experienced in all of my 22 years of going to church.
It's different..but i'm trying to understand that different isn't bad..it's just different.

God didn't send me a familiar snowfall this year..instead he sent me my familiar savior, Jesus Christ.
And i'm marveling at the peace I have in knowing my King is the same as he always was.
Thank you Lord for remaining constant in my not so constant circumstances!
Laura



 










Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." — Helen Keller


Sometimes I have to wonder why God allows me to walk through what seems like unnecessary junk.  Conflict, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and more.  Why can't he use that mighty hand and direct me around  those trials so I can go on my merry way?

But it is necessary.  

I wish that I had everything figured out.  I wish that I was a picture of perfection but I'm not. I'm really a messy individual but can I tell you in the midst of all my faults God's grace has never felt so wonderful. 
Am I the only one afraid of going unnoticed. of not being heard or validated?
Because sometimes God's still small voice doesn't cut it and I want more.  
I want to belong. 
to a family
a group of friends
a church
a hobby
a job

I want purpose and to be validated for the work I do.  
Feeling small hurts.
But here is what I've learned.
God needs to take me through this time of feeling small because he's going to use each experience, each hurt, and lesson to draw me closer to Him and ultimately to bring himself glory.

Laura


"A thousand times i've failed still your mercy remains'






Monday, December 19, 2011

We've moved!

Welcome to our new home!
I love it. 
I don't think i've ever been excited about a home quite like this before.  
It's hard though.  
I know that we'll be here for a year for sure but we don't have year(s) here and that is hard for me because I want to become attached to this home and fix it up like it is my own.  But the reality is we're borrowing this home for a time and although it's good to enjoy it, it isn't permanent. 
I will of course take you along with me as I make this home ours and we will enjoy the journey together!


I had to get some lights and fancy red bows on this home even if it was simple.  
                                               



Garrett is enjoying this new home very much.  He has been exploring all the extra space but he doesn't like when he loses his mommy.

We don't have a gate yet and for the time being he really hasn't gone around the stairs much but i'm sure in the coming months he'll want to climb up.




Garrett met Santa for the first time! I'm enjoying his first Christmas and all the little things that go along with it.
He did really well and didn't cry. :)  

I haven't taken a lot of inside pictures of our home yet but once it starts to come together in here I'll share! I'm not the best decorator but I still love to fix things up in my own way even if it doesn't look right. My mom and sisters have the gift of interior designing.  Where are they when I need them!?

I am beyond tired today and have been going going going since last Thursday.  I am sitting down for the first time since then.  It feels nice to rest.  We have had our hands full with this move and it didn't help to have a heavy heart from disappointment. Moving is not easy and having family far away makes it even more difficult.
But it was great to have people from Darren's work come over to help us move and my friend Crystal was more then willing to watch Garrett.  

I was surprised by the people who did help as well as by the ones who didn't. Sometimes we have to learn hard lessons through experience.  I must have talked to my parents a handful of times seeking their wisdom as I was dealing with a situation i'd never had to face before.  Thankful for godly parents who know me and can encourage me/teach me still after all these years.  

Anyways we had a bit of a surprise the night we moved in.  The heat was broken and as the temps read 47 degrees I was not happy.  Please understand that going on 3 hours of sleep, exhausted from moving down three flights of stairs, and wanting to protect my baby, I was not in the happiest moods.  I had expectations of moving in and getting things done right away but instead we bundled up and sat in Garrett's room that evening near the space heater.  
Thankfully the heat has been fixed and is working fine now.  I am much more cheerful and this home is all decked out for Garrett's first Christmas!  
I am bad during transitions.  When my home is all over the place I can't stand it! Can you relate?
I love knowing where everything is and that it has a place.  Trying to put everything away and balancing what we spend without going overboard isn't always fun.  
I still have much more work to do at the apartment and maybe two more loads to bring over.  Almost done though! 

I love our quiet neighborhood.  I look forward to taking Garrett on a walk soon and being able to bake later in the week.  It's time to crank out some good ol' Christmas cookies, puppy chow, and more. 
Alright well as this post is all over the place so am I and it's time to finish up a few more things and then get some sleep!
I hope you're enjoying this week. 
:) 
Merry Christmas
Laura

Friday, December 9, 2011

I love to look through pictures and hoped you might too!

He is planning his next move ha, such a busy boy!

He crawls all over and walks along the furniture which is very tiring as the chaser.

But he's too cute.

I'm finding that my quiet times don't need to be long to be good.  This morning I grabbed my smaller bible and found the story of Paul and read in 2 Corinthians 12, about How God's grace is sufficient for me as it was for Paul. Thanks Nicole for passing this along to me yesterday!

He had a blast during breakfast this morning and was cracking me up.

Last night at 8:30 I decided to do some more Christmas baking while I watched Christmas movies! Chocolate dipped pretzel rods, don't mind if I do. :)


white chocolate!

Don't forget this important step..shortening to go in the choc. chips when you melt them.
It's possible I almost ruined the first batch but fortunately I remembered half way through melting the choc. chips.


I enjoyed decorating them.

Don't forget your pretty plate! I bought this one at Target for $2.00

And another pretzel goodie.
preheat oven to 350 degrees and place pretzels on your tray with the unwrapped rolo on top. 
Stick in the oven for 2.5 minutes and then take out and quickly place another pretzel on top to make a yummy treat.  You can also top it with an m'm, or nut. If you can try to place the tray in the freezer to cool and harden the chocolate for about 10 min.


BUT be warned..my freezer spit them all over the place. ha that was a cooking fail! I opted for the refrigerator instead.



So there's a little peak into one of my joys, baking!



Here is the current status of our apartment, very much undone and not safe for a child.





Garrett, you will always be that tiny baby in my eyes, love you sweet boy!

He is my happy helper.
:)


~*~

Have you ever found out something from someone that just rocked you to the core?
I never want to be so prideful that I don't understand I too am one step away from sin.  I don't want to be ignorant to the schemes of satan either.  He's cunning, confusing, and as I've always said really good at what he does.
I've recently read through a book that was such an encouragement to me. It explained a few things in a way i'd never heard and drew me closer to God.
Then yesterday I found out the man who wrote the book had been engaged in an affair for a number of years. My heart ached and I was disappointed.  
So when I crawled into bed and was still discouraged to the choice of finishing out the last chapter of this book he wrote I decided to take it to my Heavenly Father.
We hashed over my own failures but how God has still used me, we remembered King David who was as God called a man after his own heart but still had an affair and had a man murdered.  Then I started to listen to God as he reminded me that i'm not to look to men because they will disappoint.  My God is the faithful one and men will fail (myself included) but he stretched his grace to an even further place in my heart.
Grace for others.

Ann Voskamp
God appoints people who do disappoint – to point to a God who never disappoints.

This is what I read this morning...pretty amazing!

So that's where God and I are traveling next in this journey of healing and restoring.  How I know this will be hard as he tweaks an area I will have to give to him with complete abandon.  My expectations of certain people and my lack of grace for when they fail.  I'm ready though. :)


~*~


We are approaching our move-in and move-out date and i'm excited.  We could definately use a few more hands to help but i'm not going to worry.  I'm soaking up this last week with a dishwasher and am preparing for a future of washing dishes daily. :)
Well i should get back to cleaning.  Hope you are having a great day!
Laura


Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
Proverbs 27:6
 A friend may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but it's often for your own good. It's better to be told truth then be told sweet words that send you into your own ruin.
~*~
Oh yes we're going there today..

Why? Because I want to touch base with an issue we are all going to run into. 

Here is what i'm hearing from a majority of woman.
*I can't find good friends
*It's hard to make girlfriends as an adult
*I can't connect with woman around me

sound familiar?
i've been there!
Have I mastered becoming a great friend, no
Have I made mistakes and hurt friends? sadly, yes!
(Thank God for his grace though.)

However, He has laid a few things on my heart about friendship and I wanted to share.

I don't have it all figured out because lets face it, humans are tricky and try as we may we're plain ol' selfish. When you put two imperfect people together you will eventually have a few snags or perhaps a big one that ends the whole relationship. 
Normally I'd say that I could get along with pretty much anyone. I can find a lot of good in a person and i'm thankful for that. But lets face the truth..there are a handful of people that i've come to meet that drive me nuts. Do you know what i'm talking about? 

They are either miserable and pretend otherwise, Or they are miserable and let everyone know.
But either way being miserable is hard to be friends with. 

But I hear it time and time again from these same people how people are walking out of their lives. I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them and say 'do you really not know why!?'
 THEN they are adding to the mess with status' on facebook about what a bad friend so and so was for ditching them and there are tons of others chiming in about how awful that person is and sugar coating sweet words that sounds something like 'you don't deserve that' or 'you're wonderful!'
...um wait a minute.
(Can you see why facebook can be more then annoying at times?) 
It's fine when we have a bad day and need to vent or are going through a chapter in our lives that we're struggling but a never ending negative attitude is hard to deal with for anyone.
Let me tell you that i've been the negative friend and I've had some pretty amazing people stick it out with me but I can tell you that it was hard for them.

 
We have different temperaments and each of us deal with things differently. It's not fair to expect a woman to have to make friends with another woman who is lets say negative.  They're constantly posting on facebook about this bad thing or that bad thing and they don't want answers or help, they want to complain.
If you're anything like me if there's a problem you want to fix it and move on.  If not then I admire your view on a more patient approach to let things run it's course.  But I can't take the constant negative spirit because it brings me down!  Selfishly I want to surround myself with woman that are joyful. Now I didn't say happy.

Joy is this constant hope and a content spirit no matter the situation.
For example:
My cousin's wife miscarried recently after being far along. I didn't know how she would respond but when she wrote a note praising God still I was blown away by the attitude she chose.  She responded gracefully and with love in her time of mourning.
She didn't add it to a list of wrongs been done against her instead she placed it in Christ's hands.


Do you see what I mean? Isn't that the kind of friend you want to be around?
But then I've met many woman who have been wronged or are going through bad situations and they hold onto their pain and throw up their card every time you start to question their attitude...
They want to stay unhealed. They have a right to be angry or bitter. They don't want to give God whatever it is that's hurt them.
To stay friends with a person like this wears you down eventually.

 I have met people who feel bad about walking away from this kind of friend and they carry a lot of guilt in their choice. I'm one of them!
So i've asked myself recently if it's wrong to walk away from someone? Is it ever God's will for us to move ahead with our lives?
Here's what i'm learning..
In some cases, it's okay to leave, you're not a bad friend to commit to walk away and simply pray for that person because God did not intend for you to be hurt. 
We can look to Matthew 10:14 where God instructs his disciples that if a place or person does not welcome them or listen to their words (the good news of Jesus Christ) that they are to shake the dust off their feet and leave.
Read that entire chapter if you have a minute because it's message could probably be taken a few different ways but honestly it's simple.  Jesus wanted his message to be spread but knew that some people's hearts were hard and wouldn't accept truth.  Later in chapter ten he says to them, v16 'I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.'  God knew the kind of world that he was sending us into.  He cares for us deeply and the idea of his lamb among wolves doesn't sit well with him but it's the result of the Fall.
How can we apply this to our friendships now that go sour?  If you are loving a friend and trying to help them and they turn you away then I believe God wants you to move along.  It's always my desire to live peacefully with everyone but that can't always be the case. There are people who are hurting that need to hear about Jesus and it's not worth sitting with a person who has already chosen to be hard to God.  Be gracious though and walk away with caution, don't do anything that causes you to sin.
Here is my experience with what I call a good friend.  I've been confronted with truth by a friend before and it hurt really bad. It bruised my pride mostly, but oh did I need to hear what she said. I respect her all the more for what she did because I know it's hard to approach a friend in love.
  I have also experienced a friend who knew I was about to make a bad choice and said nothing, didn't stop me and I walked straight into one of the worst decisions i've ever made. Although at the moment my friends sweet words justifying my choice made me feel good and I thought she was a wonderful friend you can bet that now I look at her and realize she was not the right kind of friend.

I've ran into a few situations with people where I cared so much for a friend and saw the choices they were making were really hurting them.  I didn't know whether to say something or keep quiet.  There is a big difference in speaking something in love and judging and I have to be careful.  When you see a person hurting it may be appropriate to stay quiet and pray, or sit and listen to them, or be available to sit quietly with them saying nothing, but there may be a time for gentle reminders of truth.  It requires much prayer!
And girls if your friend throws you under the bus..move along unless she comes around. Don't feel like you need to earn back trust for being a bad friend because loving a friend is not being a bad one.  God will deal with your friend in a gracious way but it's not his will for you to get hurt.

So lets go one step further and girl talk some more...

What about those questions i've seen over and over about our lack of connecting with other woman?
I think it's our desire to be known by a friend.  Have you ever had a best friend that keeps your secrets and loves you still after knowing them?  Or the kind that brings over your favorite coffee drink just because?  How about the friend that is willing to sit and talk or sit and listen? 
Women need friendships..desperately.

I have a load of wonderful woman that have filled my 22 years. They're amazing God loving woman that have helped me to be the woman I am today.
I recently have met a fellow navy wife who asked to be a mentor to me. I love her so much and was really excited that God blessed me with her!
It starts when someone says i've been there too or i'm walking where you are now.
I find my best friends are those woman that love God deeply and know His love because they show it to me every time we're together.
I walk away from lunches with them and have a sense of peace or a restored soul.  I am ready to go back home and love my boys and serve God all the better.
Yet as much as I've been blessed there have been times i've walked alone.

I don't know where you find yourself right now. Maybe you have an abundance of friends or maybe you're walking in the valley very much alone. 
Is the problem always us or is it simply a season we're in with no close friends?

I want to throw this out there.  Maybe God needs to get us all by ourselves to speak to us at times.  He needs to remove certain people in our lives so that it's only his voice we're hearing and not someone Else's.
 
But dear one, you were made for relationships..not to walk through life alone.  God intended us to walk through life together and I believe when we pray he will bring friendships.  You have to give quite often because like any relationship it requires us to be selfless. (keep that in mind)

lastly..

I want to tell you about my Amy. I thank God for her all the time and know she was an answered prayer.

I call her 'my amy' and i'm not sure why but when I see her in church coming in I think 'there's my Amy!' and I get very happy.
I prayed for a friend and God brought me the most not girly girl, blunt as can be, sport nut (i mean that in the best way!), and honest person i've ever met.
But oh man do I love her!
When I met her she had just experienced a great loss.  She lost her two babies in a miscarriage. We met in a bible study and week after week I came to respect her.  She was honest and real about her loss and it was refreshing but still heartbreaking.  Over the months we were able to get together and talk which  was not something Amy did often but God continued to use her. 
She is my coffee buddy and a good one at that!
There's no expectations in our friendship and that's what I find is amazing.
If we don't talk for a week or if we miss a text there's no hard feelings.
If one of us sees another friend there's no feeling of resentment that we weren't included.
It's peaceful.  And I love having a friend that doesn't expect me to be a certain way but takes me as I am and yet still encourages me to grow.
Did you catch that?  Yes she likes me but she is not afraid to share with me when i'm out of line..she doesn't sugar coat but tells it as it is and I love it!
Everything I see her she makes me laugh so hard. 
Pray specifically for this kind of friend because laughter, truth, and a real God loving woman is a huge blessing in life!
I know Amy may just be in my life for a season but I am so thankful that God blessed me with her.

Keep praying God would help you be a good friend and don't expect too much, we're imperfect people and need Grace.
Until next time,

Laura

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The clock read 5:30am and I hopped out of bed.
Wait..rewind!

Me+wide awake cheerfully+5:30am=NOT A NORMAL OCCURRENCE!
but it's true..I woke up super early after going to bed at 7:45 last night. Life is good. :)

There are some amazing things that happen in these early parts of the day I realize now.
I see my husband off to work, I spend time in the quiet with God, hear a sweet message by Chuck Swindol, and drink fresh coffee!
AND I am able to see God's handiwork in the mix of the pink and purple sunrise this morning.
Life IS good!

As soon as this little munchkin wakes up we're going to get dressed and take a morning walk. I'm sure those are pretty fantastic as well.
 
We opened stockings this morning. An old tradition to set them out December 5th and I love it! Christmas comes all month of December this way. We all were awake this morning and we enjoyed seeing what each other had in their stocking.  I picked a few things out for myself too! Cake pans, a candle, cotton candy, and a few other things.
We had fun. :)

Unfortunately i've become a victim in my own home. There was this terrible..i can hardly bare to mention the name..silverfish bug that was scurrying around in the early parts of the morning VERY unwelcome. I tried to kill it but it flopped away after my failed attempt to whack it.
:)
Did you know I have serious bug-a-phobia??
I thank God for people like my father in law who is fearless of spiders, or the way my grandpa Bacon can smack a cockroach with his bare-hand. What brave men! (I'm truly in awe)
So if i never am blessed with a baby girl at least I will have men to take care of the constant bug dilemma our world faces.
so you must realize that my new prayer is that when Jesus and I meet up in heaven I will rejoice not only in the fact that I am Home at last but that this home is bug-free!

I was able to listen to Chuck swindol preach about Jesus this morning. He is one of my favorite teachers.  The man is wise and humble. 
He spoke about the importance of knowing who Jesus was.  We were flipping through the book of Matthew quickly but I discovered a few new things about Jesus this morning.
1. He was rejected by the people from where he grew up. They said 'isn't that the same Jesus that we knew?
2.His own family was embarrassed by him when he began his ministry.
3.When Jesus stood before Pilot behind closed doors he was incredibly bold to this governor.  He was not intimidated by Pilot. 
4.Jesus did this all for me..God allowed his own son to walk in the place where I was meant to walk.

This message will never fully be comprehensible to me, but it makes me surrender my will and allow Him to sit on the throne in my heart.
If you have time I encourage you to read through the gospels this month. And if you can only pick one, then try the book of Matthew. Read it like you've never seen or heard it before. Let yourself learn new things..never fall into the mindset that you know it all. 
Allow God to show you more.


I hope you are having a wonderful morning!
Praying that you would enjoy this day. :)
Laura

Monday, December 5, 2011

Have a seat :) I'd offer you something to drink but my home is currently undone accompanied with a fresh scent of cardboard. We are on low supply of food and drinks this week.  But please make your way in and sit down for a minute. 

We're moving across town into a beautiful rental home. I've never actually owned a home but from what I hear it's wonderful.  We're simply borrowing a home for this year and getting all the comforts of one without the stress of home ownership! Isn't that a great deal?
Today I was able to tape a few boxes together and pack away some areas we won't use for the next week and a half.  It's always amazing how much you accumulate over the years. I am a firm believer in having a place for everything and I crave a neat home! But strangely i'm not anxious with this mess because it's an organized mess! Those are the best kind :). 

Oops! I almost forgot to turn on my pretend fireplace! It came along with our cable service and I jumped with joy when I found it.  (seriously, i leaped into the air, picture that!) It's beyond fake and I have a grin every time I turn it on but it's the small things in life like a pretend fire that make me happy.

I woke up this morning after what was such a deep conversation with the Lord last night and I was refreshed.  I'm currently learning Grace right now.  You have to understand that for as long as I can remember this has not been something I accepted for my life. I was never hesitant to tell other people of God's grace but no that wasn't for me! Do you realize when you are a perfectionist like myself and living life trying to pay God back, having high expectations for yourself and others it leads to brokenness.  You are never good enough and when years are spent with this mindset there is bitterness and anger because this idea of God that I created was really hard to please. Life isn't enjoyable when you are daily not living up to what you think you ought.   God wasn't fulfilling because I wasn't understanding Him.  Having low self esteem for what seems like an eternity didn't help either.  But here we are and I'm learning for the first time about God's grace, about who I am in Him.  Last night I became very aware of the hard work it will be during this healing process.  I'm having to change a mindset that i've had since before high school.
It's a miracle to me the way God is changing me. 
This morning I remembered the life of Paul (in the bible) and how he had praise for God continually. He lived in a constant joy.  I began to pray for a heart like Paul's.  That I would to learn to be content in my day to day life.  That I would understand not everyday will be at the peaks of a mountain but that I would continue to look to Christ.   
Often when we talk about becoming saved we think it's an immediate change of our lives as though God is going to change everything for the better that moment.  We want to believe that as a christian we now will have an easy life with no pain.  How sad it is when you come to the reality that hard situations happen to even the child of God.  That in fact you aren't well liked and what you believe is nice for you but just a fantasy in the opinion of many.  But knowing that God has a plan and that he is enough is where you begin to grow as a christian.  Accepting his love and grace as a sinner is the most freeing thing i've ever experienced. 
Have you ever been there too?

Jesus came as a servant.  He didn't make a grand entrance and he had no reputation.  I will never stop learning new things about his time spent on earth and will be amazed with each new thing I learn. 
I'm grateful that my God is strong, humble, and full of GRACE. We talked through the concept of how his yoke is easy and his burden being light. (I'm living that right now)

I don't know what God's will is for my future but I am not afraid to dream now.  I am not putting myself down or letting satan continue to have a hold causing me to live in bondage.  God created something beautiful in each one of us and it's a shame when we tear it apart. 

I have to get back to packing and then come through my promise to little Garrett that we'd take a walk! Have a wonderful day dear friend!
Laura




Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tonight I went for a run and had a great chat with my Heavenly Father.  I probably looked like a crazy lady running with a gigantic smile but I couldn't help it.




Here is a picture from when I was younger.  I was super happy and I remember smiling a lot. I loved Jesus and not in a cliche, say it all the time kind of way but I really loved this Jesus that I heard about all the time. 



On that joyful day I got up and professed my faith in front of my church family and was baptised. It was incredibly special to make this choice on my own and understand the meaning behind it. I was smiling ear to ear because I loved Jesus deep in my heart!



High School! Here I am with my big brother :). But again I was happy and loved Jesus as my relationship with Him began to grow and I started to understand the meaning of what it is to serve God and have a relationship with Him.


And to portrait this last year.  I have loved Jesus still, even more then ever before.





From a tender heart I share this with you,




Philippians 2:5-11

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.




A sob crept up quickly in my chest and I let out a cry.  My hand flew to my mouth to silence but not fast enough, with eyes shut tight I announced to my King that I loved Him.  It's all I could say but He knew the rest.  For it was his grace that led such a hard heart to break into a gooey slobby mess all open and raw.  But He didn't plan to leave it that way, no he had plans and when he knelt beside me lifting my chin reminding me that He had been waiting and planning a way back to Him all that time.  He took hold of this heart and let the junk come pouring out and took it in his hands nailing it to the cross so long ago. Asking me to stop carrying around the guilt of sin and accept the gift of Grace.  He told me it's been forgiven that freedom was mine and how his yoke was easy.  Oh the wonders He could show to me! So I continued to offer my heart completely to Him with hope for the future.  I wanted to become less and Him to become greater in that moment.  He showed me where I went wrong and asked if I'd be willing to do the hard work while He helped me back to health. 
I wanted to lay flat on my face and not move but to bow before my savior, King, and the one who came and died in my place.
He gave more then I deserved.  He took a wretched sinner and has begun to restore this broken soul.
Like a flood breaking down the barriers I had up and rushing through to the corners of my heart joy, love, and hope are being replaced where once bitterness, anger, low self-esteem, and brokenness showed their ugly faces. 


He's doing wonderful things in my life friends, I wonder if you know Him too?


Life was meant for more then what the world offers, of this i'm convinced.  I praise God for blessing me with 22 years and the privilege to get to know Him no matter where I've been.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.


Isaiah 32:18
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.



This week I've found myself in such an unexpected place.  But here I am and never have I felt more free in Christ. But not just a feeling, a deep understanding stretching from my mind to deep within my heart.
I've been smiling from a heart full of peace because God has been healing.  What was once gone, God is bringing back to life. What a healer He is!
If I've ever loved God it's nothing to how I love him after this week. 

Jesus came and healed the broken and sick people and he continues that to this day. Seeing how God is restoring me is a gift and I believe He is a big God worthy of all this 'awe' I have for him.
 
So here I sit with coffee in hand enjoying life.  What a relief it is to be able to honestly say that!
Today, I am in 'undisturbed places of rest' and it's amazing.

He has orchestrated events to occur which led me to this point.  On my car ride home this morning, after a wonderful morning with two beautiful ladies I was praising Him with a grateful heart for letting me not walk through the hard stuff alone.  For the first time I actually believe God being capable of amazing things.

~*~
Tonight we are going to a Christmas party for Darren's work! Garrett will be spending some time with a friend of ours and I refuse to be a worry-er! He is in good company tonight and will be spoiled with attention.  I'm looking forward to dressing up and going on a date with my husband. The Navy can be loads of fun! :) No sarcasm there, i mean it!

I started packing last night and taking down pictures on the wall.  It's beginning to look bare in here but i've decided to leave the Christmas decorations up until the last possible moment!
I am looking forward to this Christmas in our new home!

Well I hope you have a wonderful night!
Talk to you soon!


Saturday, November 26, 2011


Romans 12:19-20
 (NIV)
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”



A part of blogging that I dislike is that there is no one stopping you from posting too much. It's a blank page waiting for anything that's on your mind. There is no going back on what you say either.  So far in the years of posting i've had a limited number of entries I regret. For example maybe I shared a little too much or lost my cool.  
Unfortunately my last post was definitely one that I woke up the next morning kicking myself for.  Please forgive me!

I read the verse above this afternoon.  I had been struggling with a conflict and didn't know how to best handle it. I realized God continues to love me aside from all of my issues and even though I tried to justify a decision I made the other day as time went on my heart grew colder and my choice didn't seem to line up with what I knew was in God's word.  It led to a conviction that i had this afternoon to continue to love.
To live well is to have loved well i'm learning.
We are going to hurt each other because we're human but being able to love despite how we feel is God loving through us I believe.

It's a gift to be able to let go of hurt feelings.  I don't want to be a girl that holds onto grudges or refuses to forgive.  That is just not me!
I'm thankful for these lessons today.


Being a mother is such a fun job.  Of course there are moments someone is pulling my hair out (did you catch that?!) but overall it's a rewarding role.  I have this incredible little person in my care daily.  He is growing and becoming more independent and discovering the world.  I don't know if you have been around children much but they are fascinated by the most simplest things.  You develop an appreciation for the small things as well as you're following them around.  Who knew a Kleenex could hold my attention for so long! Or that bouncing a ball off the wall would result in a little man laughing his socks off practically! 
I can't wait for the years ahead for him.  I make sure to tell him it's a good thing God has given me an abundance of patience because he is too busy.

Today my friend Amy sent me a text asking if I wanted to have coffee and it was such a great time.  I always love to see her because she makes me laugh hard every time! ..and i love to laugh. We're looking forward to the bible study her husband and her will be hosting. 
It's fun to have a coffee buddy! 

Now it's time for me to hit the gym.  One day when i'm in heaven i'm going to be super excited to not have to work out! Have a wonderful evening!

I tried uploading pictures but am having some issues. The pictures are loading sideways? (Help)
   
 







Wednesday, November 23, 2011

*We're sitting on her couch talking through what's occurred in her marriage and as the words come out i'm brokenhearted for her.  She said she was going to leave her husband and I couldn't bear it.  We met many times after and I encouraged her to stay but she left him.

*She thinks i'm wrong when I say to be careful with that man who in her eyes is only a friend but I know it could lead to more. Our friendship was broken for a painful time.

*I warn her that that guy she wants to date is bad news because I know him personally.  I want to protect her from him.

*I tell her that she is beautiful and gifted and I don't want to risk hurting her but am honest with how her negative spirit is not doing her any good.  I try to bring her to my God.  I want her to find healing. She doesn't receive it well.

*I get a phone call and she wants to kill herself.  She says that she can't deal with life anymore and I talk her through one of the most difficult calls i've ever received.  She now is living but still very lost.

*We sit across from each other in a restaurant and she tells me her husband isn't good to her anymore and I plead with her and call upon God to give me the right words.  She moves across the states though and leaves her husband.   

6 different woman.  All wandering down a path I know all too well and I want to protect them I want to lead them back to safety.  Some of them ended up getting upset with me and it crushed our friendships, others simply nodded their heads and moved along with their plans.  I had a valid desire to see them restored back to living life well.  But as these different woman have come into my life brought by God I have to ask what am I doing wrong?  Is being a good friend simply nodding your head and watching them mess up? I don't know..


If I disobeyed my parents corrected me.  I hated to be told that I was doing something wrong because I wanted them to always praise me and think I was wonderful of course. :) (that would be the pride in me!) But I NEEDED their correction and structure to become the woman I am today. My parents are the first people to love me for who I am and show compassion but they are also the first ones to confront me when i've lost my way or am headed down a sinful path.  I'm grateful for that..I see life different because of them. 
I have grown up with a God who corrects me constantly.  Oh, but the way He loves me is like nothing i've experienced before.  There have been moments he seems to crush me only to build me up into a more loving, tough, strong woman. 
When my husband confronted me about my constant negative comments awhile back and how i was better than that, It hurt me! How dare he tell me that, who was he to say something so bold, but then I thought and I knew that was the Lord saying, 'Laura, you have been negative, you aren't happy' and I knew they both loved me and wanted me at my best.
When done in love criticism can be used for building a person up.  I have been developing quite a backbone and not a hard heart to people.  I'm thankful for this!
I'm going to make mistakes and say too much but as those that know me will claim that 'laura cares too much'.  In my heart there is a soft place for woman and this desire to see them thriving and loving God and other's well. 
But I am faced with this truth tonight;

They are human.  Real woman with real issues and I am not God.  I don't have the power to fix them or patch them back up.  I will do my best to love who God brings in my life but I will certainly not allow a person to pull me down in hopes that I can help them. I will listen to my spiritual gut when it says back away in peace and don't say a thing. 
I hope that I can learn to be the best kind of friend to those in my life.  I pray for healthy friendships and authentic ones at that! 
I have been blessed with four sisters (two are in laws but goodness they're definitely sisters to me!) and they have been through more life then me and are walking me through the times i'm not sure what i'm doing!  I'm blessed because of them.
I have two mothers who care for me.  My momma is the best thing to happen to me I like to tell God! I realized i'm just like her in so many ways.  I never appreciated her when I was in high school, but now as I get older and love her deeper and deeper I realize she is exactly who I want to be like and i'm proud to say that. 
I have a mother in law who has done nothing but love me since the day she met me.  We're able to chat on the phone and keep in touch.  We've had many hours of conversations that have shaped me into who I am today.  She is the example of a loving mother that I'm so thankful for!
Then I have these friends over the course of my life who stand out. Mentors, school friends,from church camps, Church friends, the navy, and random people i'vei've already had enough meaningful friendships to last me a lifetime. 
So when I feel crushed by a friend my heavenly father takes me hand and turns me around and points me back to all the ones in my life who he has lovingly placed for a purpose.  Then He reminds me of his love for me and my need to trust that he is big enough to deal with the people I hurt for. 

One day I will find a healthy balance when conflicts arise with certain friends.  I pray that God would continue to let my heart grow warmer and not cold (Matthew 24:12) and that i'd have compassion with an understanding that sometimes all I can do is pray for a friend and be there.




I wonder if you struggle with the same thing as me? 
Thank you lord for having enough grace for a girl like me!

~*~

Moving on!
Can't wait to post about thanksgiving :)
I did make a pie! and we are looking forward to a nice dinner with friends. I have Garrett's 'first thanksgiving' bib all ready to go and can't wait to spend it with my two boys. 
I sort of made a big meal tonight because I was in one of those cooking moods but my husband barely touched his meal and has been asleep since he got home.  That is the life after most duty days. :)

So here is what I'm thankful for;
My husband
Garrett Hudson of course!
My great big family who are my favorite people
Friends!
Having self-control when it comes to food
My sweet savior who I love more and more each day.


okay, it's your turn! I could go on forever..
What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I love to bake.  
Not being in the kitchen much since having Garrett wasn't intentional but as the holidays approach out came the apron, bowls, chocolate chips, and rubber spatulas! I'm all settled into my kitchen and am comfortable following along recipes once again.  It's ironic that i've chosen baking to be a distraction from snacking during the quiet afternoons when i'm starving! Thankfully i'm not a dessert lover or i'd be in trouble.

The man of this house has a sweet tooth though and it's my hope he is satisfied once again with all the baked goods.  

sugar cookies!





homemade frosting!


Decorating these brought back sweet memories of my childhood.

Garrett was having fun with the laundry basket.  I was holding on, don't worry!

He does own pants but has been crawling out of them literally so after the 10th time putting them back on we decided to let him be.


His personality has us cracking up all the time now.

Did I mention he is keeping us busy while he climbs up onto EVERYTHING?




Today my mom's famous brownies came to be in my home! It was very exciting.







(My cookbook)  Although I still love my cookbooks and they're getting plenty of my attention again.



I can't wait for tiny little hands to help unwrap all those carmels one day!

















They smelled wonderful.

~*~

Yesterday I made fudge for the first time! 

And this one last picture gave Darren and I a good laugh.  He was pitching in this past Sunday doing laundry and mixed a red tablecloth with the towels and as we've possibly all done, this was the result! Sorry Garrett..you now have pink wash cloths. :) 
Laughter was a gift though and we hunched over from it.

~*~

Diet, weight loss, healthier..
I'm not sure what to call what it is i'm doing but I'm feeling better with my choices when it comes to food, and working out.
I've downloaded an application that allows me to track calories during the day (There's an option to scan a bar code on food!).  Also i've been running, drinking a ton of water (96oz), and have finally sealed the deal with an amazing accountability partner.  I am trying to be more educated with taking care of my body.  My friend encouraged that I shouldn't stress about losing weight and her words were exactly what this girl needed!  This week I feel at peace with the desire to be healthy.  I don't feel deprived from food or depressed because the scale doesn't read the right number.  I am making wiser choices and there's peace found in doing that.

I hadn't realized how much I was snacking throughout the day from stress and boredom.  I came to the realization that I want to look good for my husband. I want to honor him and be at my very best.  In the same way I don't want him to lose his love for God he doesn't want me to let my physical body go. I can respect that. There is such a fine line with this particular issue but i'm learning.

The sweetest thing in going down this new path is that i'm not alone.  People struggle with weight all the time and it's not easy.  But I have some really amazing people walking me through.  There is one friend named Beth who every time I see her tells me that i'm looking skinny! That is a confidence booster for sure!  Being encouraged has always been a motivator personally. 
So there's the latest on that :).

~*~

My heart was racing as I approached the church.  How was I to teach a group of girls about self-worth and beauty when it is one of my deepest struggles.  I'm one of the most insecure woman out there.  But the other leader asked that i'd lead since she wouldn't be there.  Preparing for this lesson was eye-opening and for that i'm glad to have been able to have the opportunity. 
 I wanted to tell those beautiful girls that it was going to get easier.  That the pain of not seeming to measure up to our culture's standard would eventually fade and that they'd have strength each day to remember where God's word reminds them of their unique one of a kind design.  But I hadn't even come to accept those truths yet.  I wasn't believing God's strength would be made perfect in my weakness. 
They spoke with such raw emotion and pain that I knew all to well. But the words came out of my mouth that God took great pride in them.  We jumped into 1 Samuel 13 where God chooses David to be king because of his heart.  We finished the night off with a little book that has warmed my heart time after time. ('God thinks you're wonderful' by Max Lucado).  I hoped that these girls walked away with the hope that they are not alone and there is a God who thinks they're one of a kind.  It's hard to be a woman in a world that is so cruel especially to a woman.  I recently read an article written on a Victoria Secret model and how she prepares for a shoot.  In the weeks ahead she essentially starves herself and she works out twice a day.  Moving ahead with my day there was a sense of peace in knowing that there is joy in raising a son, cleaning a home, having relationships, and investing my time into others not only myself.  I don't need to compare myself to a model..I am unique and was made for more.  I am thankful for a healthy balance in my life right now.
Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

~*~

Have a wonderful Evening!