A Letter on Her 4th Birthday…

She turns 7 tomorrow. SEVEN.

And 3 years after this post I still feel the same way.

Tiffany Anne Pollard

To Esther’s Matka,

In another place, Matka would mean Mom. You are her Mom. Some define Mom as “the one who puts her kids before herself.” 4 years ago today…you did that.

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In another place, I would be cradling love in my arms with total fear in my heart. Praying you’d stay firm in your decision. 4 years ago today…you did that.

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In another place, she would run to you when she felt pain. But love sometimes means taking the pain on yourself. 4 years ago today…you did that.

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In another place, we’d still be anxiously begging our phone to ring with a referral. Hoping a brave birthmom would choose us. 4 years ago today…you did that.

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In another place, you’d give up sleep and time to be with her. You’d long so deeply for her happiness that you’d make big sacrifices. 4 years ago today…you did that.

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In another…

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Reckless…

Father,

It’s Monday.

I’m not gonna be a great Mom. Not even a good one.

I’m gonna be a reckless one.

One who loves hard. Laughs loud. Surprises her kids with joy. With smiles. With memories.

Why?

Because reckless is the farthest description of my weighted life.

Count. Consider. Count again.

No spontaneity. No surprising joy.

So today. Just today. On a cold Monday.

Father, help me to live recklessly free in Your reckless love.

Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.

Ann Voskamp

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10b

The Impossible Temptation

I’d just finished pouring over Hebrews 4:15.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Then this question from Jen Wilkin…

“What temptation are you currently battling that you want to believe is unique to you and impossible to resist?”

Easy.

It’s pushing and pushing and going and going and never (EVER) resting.

But if Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are” then surely He faced this. Right? Surely He saw the crowds and had the urge to ignore exhaustion and keep healing. Keep fixing. Keep doing. Right?

But He didn’t.

“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. BUT he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” (Luke 5:15,16)

You guys…Jesus rested.

Today. Whether your schedule looks like a walk in the park or a run in the circus, REST.

We have a Savior who rested. A Savior who isn’t disappointed when we say no. Or log out. Or mark that item off the calendar because it’s JUST TOO MUCH.

Let’s stop striving so hard. Pushing so hard. Trying to earn something that was bought on the cross.

Let’s “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. “ (Hebrews 4:16)

“I’m TRYING”

Every morning this week Alexa’s woke me up at 5:30 from her purposefully placed location in the bathroom.

This morning, with eyes still closed, I responded audibly with “I’m TRYING.”

Because those 2 words characterize my whole existence.

Trying to be a good wife.

Trying to be a good Mom.

Trying to be a good friend.

And this trying is “trying” me. Stealing my joy. Causing me to lash out at the kids. Making me fall into bed every night exhausted.

My journal ended this morning with these words…

“Father, help me to stop trying. To start resting. To ‘be still and know that You are God’.”

All trying stops at the foot of the cross. With the words, “It is FINISHED.”

Because grace has won. We can rest.

And today, that’s what I’ll do.

“Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do. Let go of trying to control. Let go of my own way. Let go of my own fears. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks.” (Ann Voskamp)

Why I started working and how I’ve changed…

2 years ago I started planning Disney vacations part-time.

To be fair, it was either start working or have another baby.

I thrive under pressure. On the brink of the destruction. About to pull my hair out.

To be clear, it’s morphed into much more than Disney since that first day. Cruises. All-inclusives. Resorts. You name it.

And I love it. Really. I do.

To be honest, I love it so much it sometimes consumes me.

How can I help families save more money? What can I do to generate more clients? Where will my next vendor event be?

To be transparent, I often worship work.

I want to be the best. Hit my goals. Get good reviews. There’s no second place in this success-driven brain I’ve recently uncovered.

To be real, the past couple weeks have been hard. Full on confession.

God, I hear you. I’m sorry. Now what?

To be specific, I now have 5 “non-negotiables” for work.

And no, you’re not privy to all 5. Because some of them are pretty personal.

But I’ll share one…

“I will measure success by JOY, not numbers and GIVING, not getting.”

If 2021 ends with our family happier but my overall sales’ numbers lower…Success.

If 2021 ends with huge contributions but less big vacations…Success.

To be certain, “Aslan is on the move.” In my heart. In our family’s trajectory. In the future of my small business.

And I’m thrilled to be along for the ride.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

You can follow me on Instagram to see how things unfold (And unfold they will)…