We are moving.

It has been a long process getting our house ready to list. It’s never easy to think about leaving a home that holds so many memories. Our first home, where we came home from our honeymoon, we had our first big fights as a married couple, brought home our babies, rocked them at night, watched them play, take first steps, so many firsts. The only home my children have known.

It’s been hard on my 3 year old. She can’t grasp the concept of what is going on. We will be staying with relatives until our new house is ready.  Trying to explain all of this to her has caused her to say some funny things. “I don’t want a new house” “I don’t want my own room” “I want this house” “Why are you packing my stuff?” “Now my room is not perfect” I giggle a little because she is so passionate when she says these things.

But, I have tried to understand what she might be feeling.  Her safe place is gone.  The comfort of home is being packed up one item at a time. We are moving twice within 6 months, it’s overwhelming. She calls our house “Mommy’s house” so in her mind we are getting rid of mommy’s house.

Last night on our way home from visiting my parents she told me she didn’t want to move, she wanted to go to Mommy’s house. Out of nowhere I told her, “Hannah, my house is wherever you, Sadie and Daddy are.” That wasn’t a thought out line, it was from my subconscious, from my heart. It’s probably the truest thing I have ever said. My home is where they are. Not in the walls or the roof, the carpet or the cabinets.

I can be like Hannah when it comes to God.

When God brings change into your life it can be hard. We get so comfortable where we are that the thought of moving on is paralyzing. In the moment it is hard to understand that where he is taking us is so much better than where we are.

Hannah doesn’t understand that our new house is going to have a bigger back yard for her and her sister to play in. She doesn’t understand that we are going to have a bigger kitchen so that we can cook together. She doesn’t understand that we will make new memories and that the new house is “better” than our old house.

In the same way, you don’t understand that God is enlarging your territory. That he is bringing you more blessings. He is giving you more opportunities to serve him and reach others for the kingdom.

Our house is where God is. As long as he is in us we will always be right where we need to be. Our heavenly Father cares so much about us. He knows that change is hard.  The preparing and waiting can be overwhelming, but the reward at the end is greater than you could imagine.

Where is God taking you? Are you trusting that your new house is better than your old one?

God, help me trust you and your plans for my life. Help me to not hold so tight to what I have now that I make no room for you to take me to bigger and better places. Let my house be where you are. Amen.

For the past few weeks I’ve been drinking watered down Gospel. I’ve been feasting on the lies from the dark side. I’ve been craving the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I’m not playing the blame game. I could try to act like it’s someone else’s fault that I haven’t been experiencing God lately but it wouldn’t be the truth.

How often do we blame others for our issues? If I’m honest, way too often. I don’t want to be responsible for my own hang ups because I might look like a failure.

When it comes to my Christian walk I can’t blame anyone but myself.  Sure, there are leaders and individuals in ministry that speak into my life or deliver the word to me. But, if I don’t choose to take in what they say or if I let it go in one ear and out the other that’s my fault. I can’t hold them at fault.

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Why am I not getting the connection?  God has been so faithful to work things out for my family in the last month.  There have been a couple details that didn’t work out like I had hoped. Instead of thanking God for the details that did go right, I got hung up on the ones that didn’t.  When I should have been full of praise I put distance between me and God. Have you ever done that before? By the time you realize what you are doing you’ve put more room between yourself and God than you ever intended.

We sang a song yesterday at church that has been stuck in my head since we first started practicing it. It’s a simple, yet powerful song.

There is power in the name of Jesus                                                                                                    there is power in the name of Jesus                                                                                           there is power in the name of Jesus                                                                                        To break every chain                                                                                                           break every chain                                                                                                                break every chain 

I’ve been singing it over parts of my life. There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain of doubt, to break every negative attitude, to work out every detail, to plan the perfect path, to heal Sadie’s heart. There is power in the name of Jesus!

When I was able to let go of the way I thought things should have gone and focused on trusting God with each situation this weekend, I felt his presence again. I closed in the gap. He was always standing there, giving me everything I needed. I had chosen not to accept it.

If you feel like you’re sipping on watered down Gospel or filling up on the lies of the devil, stop blaming everyone else around you. Take a good look at yourself.  What is it you’re doing to put that divide between you and God? When you identify that thing remember, there is power in the name of Jesus, to break EVERY chain!

Life can be quite disappointing at times.

We make plans and they fall through.  We dream about life changes but the details don’t work out.  There is a never ending list of things that can disappoint us.

Do you ever feel like you have more disappointments than other people?  I know I feel that way sometimes.  It seems like if there is a possibility that my plans won’t work out, they don’t.  I am very cautious about getting my hopes up about certain things because I don’t want to feel the sting of disappointment.  When I look at other people, they seem to have it so easy.  I wonder if life ever disappoints them.

I know better though.  Every one has plans that fall through, dreams that don’t come true and disappointment.  Just because I don’t see it, doesn’t mean they don’t experience it.

There is one thing my husband and I are planning for right now.  We have had a couple times that seemed like this dream would be a reality sooner than later, only to have it fall through.  The first time I was very disappointed.  I wanted it right here right now.  I didn’t like hearing not now or maybe never.  The most recent time I had a twinge of disappointment, but mostly a peace that this wasn’t the time.  I believe God is working it out just perfectly and that when his timing is right it will all fall into place without question.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9

Disappointments can be God’s way of protecting us from things that are not in his plan.  Even though it may sting, we need to be thankful.  God’s plans are always better than ours and usually are more than we could have ever dreamed of on our own.

The next time you experience a disappointment remember this: everyone feels this way at some point, be thankful, and trust that God’s ways are better than ours.  Dust yourself off and get ready for the next thing God has in store for you.

Heavenly father, help us not rely so much on our plans and dreams that we get overwhelmed with disappointment if they don’t become a reality. I trust that your ways are better than mine.  Even though it might sting at first help me to see how you have something better in store. Amen.

I see you. I know how you feel.

You are going after a dream with little confidence. You put in your time, you do the work, and you give it your all.

But still, you hear this whisper {or maybe a yell} telling you that none of it matters. No one would miss you if you stopped. What you are doing isn’t making a difference.

I feel you, world changer in the making, I really do.

See, I have this dream, a BIG dream. I want to write a book one day.  Every dream starts with a small beginning and a lot of work. So, I started this blog and a Facebook community page. I share my heart and my struggles. I do the things I feel are the right steps.

But you know what, I have a lot of doubt. Will my 13 subscribers and 80 Facebook fans really miss it if I didn’t write or post anything else? I can name a couple people I know would be disappointed if I stopped because they are encouraging me to continue, not necessarily that they enjoy my posts.

The truth is, if you are just starting to chase after your dream people might not miss you if you quit. That might sting a little. I know it does for me.  Everyone wants to feel needed, wanted, or important especially in the area of their dream.

I’ve been realizing that just because they wouldn’t miss me now, doesn’t mean they won’t miss me in a few years if I continue.

If I quit now I would never get any more followers or subscribers. I wouldn’t know what might have come of this little blog.

If you quit now, whatever your dream is, you are robbing yourself of the possibilities. No one becomes successful over night. Your role model put in a lot of work to get to where they are.  You will have to do that, too.

So, when you are feeling low about your contributions and contemplate quitting, don’t buy the lie that they wouldn’t miss you because you aren’t good enough. They might not miss you in this moment, but use that as fuel to do better, do more, make a bigger impact.

What you are doing towards your dream is amazing.  God needs you to do that thing he has called you to.  But he also needs you to do the work and hang in there to get to that place. He believes in you and so do I! Don’t be afraid of doing hard work to make your dreams a reality.  Keep growing, keep learning, keep chasing your dream.

Because one day, they WILL miss you if you quit.

I have noticed since becoming a stay-at-home-mom my “value meter” has been a little off.

I have begun to value myself based on the successes of my children, the appearance of my home, and the happiness of my husband.  When all of these things are doing great, I feel great. When my daughter plays nice with a stranger I feel proud, but when she is bossy to a little girl she just met I want to hide behind a tree (after I correct her of course). When my house is spotless {HAHA!} it makes me feel like an excellent homemaker, but when I can’t keep up with the laundry and the dishes I feel like a failure.  When my husband is happy and content at the end of the day I feel accomplished, but if he’s not I feel guilty and discouraged.

My value is tied up in these things. In my mind, at least. But the truth is these things are not in my control 100% of the time.  To base my value on things I can’t control is setting myself up for failure.

This week I’ve done a few things that have made me feel so good and they have reminded me that I need to be more conscious of where I find my value. Here are three practical things I have done this week.

1. Start a project. When you are losing yourself to your busy life, start something new. I know that sounds kind of crazy, add something else when you’re so busy, but it’s true. When you learn a new skill, perfect a hobby, or do something you’ve been meaning to do for years it does something for your confidence.  I have been painting my table and chairs this week. It has not been easy with 2 toddlers and it has taken a few days more than it might take others, but I’m so pleased with how it looks. I know I have done something that has brought value to my family, but ultimately it has reminded me that I am valuable. I have more to offer my family than meals and hugs.

2. Take care of yourself.  Sometimes I go more days than I care to admit without taking a shower. But it is honestly hard to find the time some days, or it’s less stressful to not take a shower than it is to make sure the girls aren’t getting into mischief while I’m showering. Eating healthy can go out the window, too, if you aren’t careful. I just want what is quick when I’m by myself with the girls. But this week, I have made an effort to make time to shower even if it means not picking up before the therapist comes over and I’ve been more conscious of what I eat. These things might be small to some but they boost my confidence because I know I’m running my life, my life is not running me.

3. Make time for yourself.  This one is still a work in progress but I’m getting better. I usually write after the girls go to bed, when I’m worn out from the day. But I want to start scheduling a couple hours a week to get out of the house by myself to write and focus on me. It’s selfish. But that’s ok. You are still a person too, and even though there are tiny humans and a husband at home that need you, they need you to be happier so do what will make you happier.

There are more things that I need to work on to get my “value meter” back in check but these three things have made a huge difference for me already.  Ultimately my value is not even in the things I do, or the things that make me happy, but being confident in myself helps me keep my focus on God the one who tells me my value.

Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31 

What do you do when your “value meter” is off balance?