Faith, Miracles Happen, Uncategorized

Lent 2018, what I learned from fasting from posting to social media and our second vehicle…

I’d like to say that I waited so long to share my experience from Lent this year was due to self reflection and waiting on the Lord…But that would be a lie! I have no amazingness to share with you except that it did bear fruit.

I gave up posting to social media kinda on a whim. I had just been pondering my need to post and wondered if I would have withdrawal from posting, I mean did I need to really share/over share so much about our life????!!! Big fat NOPE, my posting was not meaningful, and it was certainly not for the purpose of why I have a Facebook. I chose to buy-in with this platform is to connect with people in life I cared about, this is my why. What I make for dinner and ever random thought is not hidden in the agenda, it was obviously becoming a flesh=issue for me personally. So for 40 days I refrained (for the most part.) I don’t count the prayer request about our bank information being stolen (the enemy was throwing punches left and right) or the final respect to one of my most favorite evangelists, Billy Graham, totally understandable!

Life lesson: Life will go on without social media. Not documenting play-by play for people is totally good for the soul and for time! My friend’s still remember me despite the lack of me popping up on their feed!

So since Easter I have paused to think about what my purpose in sharing is, will it be a memory I want to revisit the years to come?

Would I roll my eyes at it’s context if it weren’t mine?

Am I self-seeking?

So basically I post 90% less! Shameful!

Coincidently during this time our van “Big Blue” also received it’s last $40 oil change before the attendant let me know just.how.dangerous it was to drive. Apparently we were a 1-0 on a scale of 1-10. The blessing is it was brought to my attention before making my trip to Houston alone with the kids! Thank you Jesus!

Here is the bigger growth, I felt content in the very inconvenient circumstance of a 6 person family with a 5 seater vehicle. Was it easy? Big Fat Nope! But did I throw a tantrum, lash out from frustration, or covet my neighbor…No I really didn’t, not to boast of myself. Really these are all things I am guilty of pre-accident. Unfortunately, there was a time I would believe the lie that maybe my marriage was the reason for our financial woes. We weren’t doing it right! Lie! I knew God would provide, I did not know when but we chose to be grateful for preventing another accident with the van, we chose to work together and up our communication, and most importantly we prayed for God to work things out at some point!!!!

ANd he did! On Good Friday we were able to bring “a new to us” van home. Blessed does not adequately describe gratitude!

So on to the next test, the following week myself along with many other teachers learned our school is closing. As much as I wish none of us were facing this time of uncertainty, I also know God is faithful! I will enter into the season of job hunting with eyes wide open seeking out God’s will, direction, and most importantly HIS peace!

Whatever we face we will do it together and trusting the outcome!

So cheers to a fruitful Lent 2018! What did you fast from?redeemed

New to Waco, Uncategorized

Falling in love with Waco, TX while falling just a little more in love!

cameron p

We moved to Waco, TX summer of 2017 and it wasn’t for the Silos (Sorry Chip and JoAnna) we moved under what most would consider pretty strained circumstances, but God all but put a burning bush or brightest blinking lights over Waco, TX. There was no denying an open door, and a closed one behind us.

We are in awe at how God has changed our heart towards this small but big town.

Truth is we are falling deeper in love exploring the quaint little shops, the trails and history-rich architecture that Waco provides. And the FOOD, the FOOD TRUCKS!!! For the love!

If you are visiting Waco here is a running list of places to see, do, eat! Other than the #1 spot in the US currently, Magnolia Market, here are some sweet spots. The Magnolia cookies are as big as your face and are worth the line that wraps around the bakery.

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#1 Lula Jane’s

What we love: The atmosphere! Everything on the chalkboard menu! Everyday Tuesday-Saturday something unique is served up fresh! If you happen to be there and the summer sandwich is on the menu or if the veggie burger is still available, you will not be disappointed!

Describe it: Quaint*Fresh*Grandma-ish*Wholesome*Delicious

#2 Cafe Cappuccino

What we love: The flavored coffee such as raspberry chocolate, Italian sodas and spilling off the plate sweet potato pancakes. I add pecans with a side of sauteed veggies, my honey loves the omelettes. They know us as regulars and provide excellent customer service! Bonus funky murals adorn the outside of the building in the heart of downtown Waco.

Describe it: Eclectic*Affordable*Fresh*Cafe Love*Breakfast*Brunch*Lunch

#3 Dichotomy

What we love: You will immediately feel cool or hip when you walk in here. The hubs and I have met here to have a discussion over discipline for the kids or escape the kids…We also worked across the table together laptops up and an excellent drink coffee or adult beverage your choice! Bonus: One of the best views of downtown Waco is upstairs from the balcony!

Describe it: Cool*Coffee bar*Adult Bar*Hangout*Chill*Funky

#4 Cameron Park Trail along the River

Walk, run, or chill! Take the fur babies, take the family, take your love! On our to-do list is rent a paddle boat, take the boat tour, or paddle boards this summer. You can bike, fly a kite, feed some ducks, enjoy the sunshine and outdoors! We have frequented this trail several times since moving to Waco. There is also a strip of food trucks on the University side of Cameron Park.

#5 Spice Village– This collection of shops is a one-of a-kind! So many things to explore. I have visited this mosaic of shopping with my bestie that came to visit and with the hubs. Had the best time with both of them! There truly is something for everyone. We laughed so hard at the collection of socks, knick knacks, awed and admired the decor, boutique clothes, and other treasures!

cameron park

marriage, Struggles are Real

We still do…

Oh my word this man!!!!

This. Man! He may look like he is grabbing my boobs (And He definitely is!) but he has my heart! (teenagers were mortified by their daddy’s hand placement, ha!)

We are a special kind of crazy-in love! ️

Lesson # 728493 on why I love my husband! 16 years of bumps, bruises, and all out brawls, but we still do…

He is a coach, I am a coach’s wife (if you are one, then you know)

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Our life is juggled by the seasons, literally (what sport is in season?!! and there we will be) and spiritually!

There was a time I thought he loved video games more than me.

Loved sports more than me.

Players/athletes more than us…

It took years to see the unhealthy thinking!

 

Truth is he is a talented coach and it is his ministry. Supporting him in his passion is incredibly important to his confidence as a man and leader of our home! It took a series of events for me to see. As much as I hated to share him with the players, parents, officials, other coaches, and ________, I also knew I was/and still am his biggest fan!

 

We rode the bus, traveled with the team, with a baby on my hip, one in the stroller and one clinging to my shirt… it was rough but I learned I would rather be there than wondering what the score was. Before he started coaching we were in youth ministry and we worked for a children’s home. (Oh the stories of our 4 years there!) God was blending his youth ministry calling with love of all things athletic.

*side note when we were dating and falling in love Chris would volunteer coach tennis with my dad (who was a  HS tennis coach at my alma mater)

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I had 3 children under the age of 5 and I felt what I would describe as my love-tank was on empty. I was running on fumes in the love area. This was before the “cake” illustration but God was working on us both. Chris was asked to help coach football and run the weight room. This was in addition to our house-parent duties. He loved it! He came alive and spoke into the lives of these young men. However, there is sacrifice with a dedicated coach…I felt alone.

So in an attempt to help him see what he was missing I made a plan.

 

-God has a sense of humor!

 

Secretly I packed bags for the kids and I made a plan to leave while he was at practice “teach him a lesson” I was only going to visit his family 3 hrs away with a note on the counter… (drama)

The jokes on me because I learned the lesson.

I told God, “Ok Lord when he leaves today for practice we are leaving!”

3:00 rolled around and he had made plans for another coach to cover for him and we went to the park.

Mind you no one, Not a Soul knew my “plan” but God!!!

We had a great time as a family, I even made a few snarky remarks about practice and he didn’t take the bait but said he wanted to spend time with us.

So the next day I said, “Ok Lord today when he goes down to practice, we are leaving and all he will have is that letter telling him that we need to be a priority!”

 

And then 3:00 rolled around and our time into Ft. Worth “town” had run long and we were not back in time for practice.

I just started laughing watching the clock and he reached over and grabbed my hand as we drove back.

I was convicted! God showed me the plan he has trumps my plans!

I am so very grateful for the Lord in this lesson!

After about 2 weeks I pulled the bags out from under the bed (secret spot 🤣) and confessed to Chris my big selfish plans.

We both cried.

We made a few compromises, hashed a few things out and most importantly grew deeper in love!

 

Be mindful of a few things…things I’ve learned the hard way…

Pray for his passions!

Pray for his direction!

Let God fill your cup!

Be careful what you TELL God! The joke will always be on you!

Be mindful of the spirit trying to intervene when we are veering away from God’s will!

Laugh *Love* Learn* Lean on each other!

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Struggles are Real

How a picture of cake saved my marriage

E01B4218-D3C5-4E40-9BE2-B19483A8E88BIf I had a nickel for every time I thought about divorce…
Shameful I know but my acorn app would be stocked with more acorns then I will ever admit! While I am confessing I threatened divorce and manipulated my poor husband in ways that literally break my heart now.
We were young (no excuse), newly married(not an excuse) and walking through the fire of trial (still no excuse). Almost a decade later and I am so grateful for the stubborn loyal man God gave me! The first seven years were extremely difficult, stories I hope to share in bite size pieces.
Changing point…
Chris (my love for the last 19 years) was gifted The Purpose Driven Life and journal and I was emerged in a Bible study that I can’t remember the name. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I do remember the illustration explaining how my relationship with Jesus mattered like the most decadent cake you can imagine. My marriage is the frosting and the adornments of fresh fruit or sprinkles are my children.
My happiness is also my responsibility and no one can or will be able to fill the void in me like my relationship with Jesus!! 💡
Our ship (marriage analogy) shifted directions and avoided collision with a glacier and sinking.
I thank God everyday now for the change in current that lead to a healthy and loving relationship! It took years of dying to or personal needs and learning to love unconditionally.

I almost believed the mainstream talk shows that were promoting that divorce was “healthier” than being in a less than ideal marriage. Things aren’t going as planned, the arguing, the disagreements, better for the kid, the financial struggles, etc… Beyond grateful God showed me who was in charge of my life, reminded me of the vows I committed to, and gave us just enough hope to cling to!
If you are passionately in love with your soul mate, count your blessings and never ever take it for granted!
If you are struggling and fantasizing about nickels 🤭 I mean divorce… cling to hope! God can steer any ship and he can even emergency floating device if the water has begun to capsize your boat. Guess what he can even give you a new one!
Keep your vows scared!
Remember no one can “make” you happy! Not the home, not the physical appearance, not the numeric balance in your accounts…You and your relationship with the Lord is the answer. The other things fall into place once that is healthy!

Protect your marriage!

Now here is this disclaimer my marriage was not unhealthy in the area of abuse, if that is your circumstance please get help! We were just selfish! But we were both actively hanging on!

If you have lost a marriage my heart breaks for you but at the same time I know God can taken broken and make it beautiful! He restores! He rejuvenates!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the struggle now that I am on the way out of ruts in our marriage. I am so grateful to see where my flesh (selfishness) and my sin almost deceived me in my decisions. That I would be better or happier without the man you gave me! I was wrong for making it an idle and I died to all those fairytale dreams and made your will first. Thank you, I praise you! Lord please touch those that are in those valleys, those that are losing hope and feel irreconcilable differences is the answer… We say no, make a way where there seems to be no way! Make our hearts new, I pray for my spouse from head to toe, go before them, soften their hearts towards you! May their walk with you be greater and most important in their life, trusting our love will grow in ways we can’t imagine! Thank you for what I am learning, how you shape me because of my marriage!

In Jesus precious name,
Amen!

Recommend:
https://www.amazon.com/Pillow-Talk-Couples-Drawing-Closer/dp/0849996627

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage

Faith

Managing my broken heart…

What a way to start a blog?!! But it’s honest, it might not be fun or inspiring but I do believe good things come out of brokeness! Here I am for reasons I may get to share, but honestly I am praying the Lord  resolves some before I even write about them. My journey has many mountains, mudslides and mishaps. ( I almost named this blog that 🙂 I am a mom to 4 children, 3 of which have a genetic disorders, I was a young mom who felt the strain of worrying about surgeries and finances. It took years of an unhealthy marriage to learn what unconditional love truly meant, we made it out of some of those valleys bruised and broken but oh how our faith grew! Miracles we were gifted through heartbreak. Beauty from the ashes.

Loss, we have felt loss with a miscarriage, where in my brokenness I sat by the toilet and cried for the baby lost. We have lost kids we ministered to to drugs and accidents and even though they were not “mine,” they had a place in my heart. I have a heart for adoption that I was born into more on that another time.

We have lost jobs, and things, and credit scores, and even friendships… There was even a trial in life where I almost lost hope. This is the deepest of loss, to lose hope!

Sometimes in life you will begin a journey only to later find you were not going to see it to fruition. For some it is a marriage that succumbs to the battles of vows. Others it’s a picture perfect image in your mind of a lifelong career.  A calling that doesn’t work out? Here is where I am today sitting at the table managing my brokenness and confusion once again. My solution is not to build up walls or pretend it’s not broken or even blame anyone…I put my big girl panties on and I decided today is the day I learn to blog!!!!

Where are your broken pieces? What will you chose to do with them? Thanks for joining me here where I reflect, be transparent, and live beautifully broken!

XOXO,

Jennifer

Isaiah 43:18-19 

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”