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A Life Update

Sunday, July 14, 2019

January is the last time I've written. I'm not sure I even realized how long its been. I feel like before I know it I'm turning the page in my planner to the next months calendar and it just feels like it's flying.
How I have a two year old already is beyond me.

If I'm being truthful, deep down when I've wanted to sit and write, I'm just not sure the words have been there.  Truth would be for me to tell you that I thought I knew what I hoped I would be writing about, because in my mind I had it all planned out.

Last July, I wrote a blog about 'Praying Through' and my journey at that point in not having all the answers, my struggles and where my heart was.
Almost one year later, and I can honestly say the last year did not pan out as I would have thought or prayed in many ways.
And I still don't have all the answers I was praying about.
I will be honest to tell you I think some of the whispers of the enemy have kept me from getting on here to write and share.

Fears have crept in.
Lies have tried to take over the truth I know deep in my heart.
Satan's crafty hand has made me doubt the beauty in the waiting.
But God is Faithful.
and oh, how patient He is with me.

I'm not sure that its been until the last few months that I would say I've come to a place where I am thanking God for the doors He has closed.

When on paper, certain things have looked so appealing, like it would be 'just the answer we needed' or the 'job' that would make everything better, His plan is better than anything I thought would work.

It would take me too long to share over the last year  all thats happened in my life, and in my hearts process of hoping, dreaming, and then accepting what life has brought.

To simplify the last 12 months or so, I would say it goes something like this.
My husband, who is incredible at his job, great with people and truly has a gift when it comes to hands on- skills in the clinic and in the operating room, had been looking to further his career.
There's many ways he could do this with his Bachelor's degree, paramedic license, and experience in the operating room.

More than once, various opportunities presented themselves, with almost promising words, only to have the door shut. More than once.

A 'dream job' that was a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity that, many would kill for, came his way. And might I add, they sought him out on this one, making it that much harder, when this door closed.

While all of this is going on,  Andrew has been working full time, and at home, still continues to be husband and father, and taking a final pre-req that was needed to apply for a nursing program at a school in Orlando.
Juggling all of it without complaining.

I'm not sure nursing was the back up plan, but after time and prayer, and various conversations, this seemed like something to pursue, and while it took 2 full semester to finish the class, turn everything in, complete orientation and all that's required, an application was completed.

If you know anything about nursing school, it is no doubt competitive to get in.

Another time of waiting, and in this waiting period, all these doors I explained above, were shutting right and left. I must say, some not so hard, and others, felt like a slap in the face.

I have to tell you, as a spouse, loving my husband and knowing how incredible he would have been at any of these opportunities, I wrestled with God.
I feel bad for questioning all I did, but I'm human.
Why? What do you have for him? What are you doing? Are you even listening? Why would you let someone seek him out specifically for something that never comes along, and that door just shut. Do you even see Andrew? Do you hear me? When are you going to come through?

What I haven't told you yet is that deep down in my heart, my struggle has been so much bigger than a job, finances, and life just 'coming together.'

You see, I'm about to let you into some of the deepest things in my heart.
Part of my praying through a year ago, involved the expansion of our family.
Andrew, even before Eleanor, patiently let me get where I needed to be in so many ways before we added to our family. This was a process for me, that I have written about before.
I cannot imagine our life without her.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that in God's perfect timing, He chose her for us,  and the very day she would be born.

Those of you who know me, know that I am practical. In many ways to a fault.
I realize there will never be a 'perfect time', 'enough money', or a perfect scenario to have a baby. I have lived this now, and I hear it from everyone around me.
But in my heart, I want nothing more than the confidence to know we will be able to take care of and provide for all that God entrusts us with.
For me, it was getting to a place in my heart like I did, prior to have Eleanor ,where I felt peace about the decision to expand our family if God saw fit.
Maybe it shouldn't be a process, but for me, it had been, and was, but I had gotten there.
Months of prayer, writing on my own, asking God for His peace.
I got there.
Hopeful, excited, nervous about the unknowns in it all, but I had peace.
Finally feeling like I could say okay, this is it, trusting God that if He saw fit, He would bless us with another baby.

The closed doors.
The timing.
Confusion for me.
Hard conversations I dreaded.
Once again, God was faithful.


Not long after the door closed on the 'once in a lifetime' job, Andrew got an email that he got accepted into Valencia's Accelerated Nursing Program to become an RN.






God's open door.
It flung wide open.

I cannot tell you how proud I was/am of Andrew. I will have to write another time about this process, what it looks like, and specifically how God has provided for our every need during this season.
He started this program in May, and He will be finished this coming April.

While His closed doors were not easy to accept at the time, He had a plan for Andrew.
He's showing us daily, through His provision, that this is where He wants us.
While the no to what seemed to be the 'best thing'  was hard to accept. And at time confusing, it has now been made clear to us , that in all reality, the no, was God's way of protecting us.

We can see it for what it is.
I thank God for the closed doors, because what I thought was best, was not His best.

As far as my heart, and all I just shared, the open door for nursing school means, that sometimes the plan isn't a no, it just means wait.

The waiting.

He's changing me. He's creating a deeper/stronger faith within me.
I am living day to day, trusting God to provide for our every need and to meet us where we are.
I'm not sure I would ever choose to be here on my own because it feels so uncomfortable, but it's so good for me.

I don't know how it will all pan out,  but I know that God will be faithful.
It's taken me almost 6 months to be able to give voice to all of this.
Not just on paper, but even in my own mind.

As I sit here writing, I am overwhelmed at all the Lord's done in the last year.
I am so thankful for a husband who works hard to take care of us, sacrificing in many ways right now to get through school, while still working full time.
I am thankful that He follows the Lord's leading and guiding.
That he did not let the closed doors define him, but instead, trusted in God's plan, and His time.
I can't wait to continue to watch His plan unfold in my life and in our family.

"I can see the promise, I can see the future.
You're the God of seasons,  I'm just in the winter.
If all I know of harvest is that it's worth my patience.
Then if you're not done working, God I'm not done waiting.
You can see my promise, even in the winter.
Cause you're the God of greatness, even in the manger.
For all I know of seasons is that You take your time.
You could have saved us in a second, instead You sent a child."










Rest

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Since I've had Eleanor, I've learned more about the worst 'rest' than I think I ever wanted to.

I will say, prior to having her, I knew what it felt like to be tired, but I didn't realize just how much I took time for granted.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade having our sweet girl for the world, but it changes everything. 
Being a full time nurse practitioner, wife, mom, friend, and worship leader does not come without its challenges in balancing time. Can I get an amen from anyone? Sometimes it feels like a circus juggling it all.

My type A personality at times struggles to shut "off." 
I don't think even when given the time that I slow down easily, because if something isn't accomplished that day, or if I can not highlight anything off my list (anyone else feel amazing when they get to check the boxes or highlight things off the list?!) I often feel it is a wasted day, but that is far from the truth.

Eleanor has a way of bringing things into perspective for me. Simple things like going to the park, bring me back to reality to remind me what's truly important. It's amazing how playing blocks with an almost 2 year old for 20 minutes can change the way you see the world.

So for me, I'm learning that 'rest' doesn't always translate to 'sleep' although a good nap every once is awhile is always welcomed. Im finding that within myself I have to practice this as a discipline in order for me to be the best me. It's is very difficult for me mentally to shut my brain off from all the choices I make on a daily basis for patients, to stop thinking about all the things in my inbox that need to be signed off, or not to keep stressing about the mounds of laundry piled up at home waiting to be folded. 

So what am I learning?

I'm learning that there are more important things than a clean house.

I'm learning that the work will always be there, and as long as I'm doing my best each day, I have to leave it at that and trust God with the rest.

The screen in my hands what feels like constantly, can do more damage than good and sometimes I need to have enough self control to just put it down for awhile. (This one really hits home and I feel conviction even writing this one. I know I'm not alone.)

Being present with Eleanor during the time I do have with her, is the best thing I can give her. It never feels like enough, but when I have it, she deserves my undivided attention.

Sometimes, it is okay to go through an entire day without checking anything off the  to-do list. 

Sometimes you just have to be spontaneous and say "yes'' to things more than you say "no." 

Balance is everything. It is hard. Without God's help, I will never be able to do this well. 

Finding rest mentally is crucial for me. I have to consistently bring myself back to the truth of the scripture. Resting in Him, instead of constant worry/stress.

I am certainly a work in progress, and this is an ongoing lesson but I pray that each and everyday I am making strides to be more like Jesus in my mentality, and my ability to practice resting. To just 'be' as His words commands us to "Be still." 

I'm thankful today for a husband who knows how important this time is for me, and watches our sweet girl while I take a little time for myself. 

If this resonates with you, I'd love to hear from you. How do you rest? What habits or practices do you have that help you to do this better?



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