Friday, February 27, 2015

Lets Have Coffee

Goodness, I can't express how thankful I am that Friday is here and the weekend is just hours away! It has been a really, really long week around here, mostly because my nights were filled with plans and commitments and left little time to just relax. Last night though, I changed into my pj's the second I walked in the door, crawled into my bed at 4:45 PM with a good book, and didn't leave (except to pee every 25 minutes because PREGNANCY) til this morning. My husband is a saint and he even brought my dinner to me in bed and it was exactly what I needed.

Usually I would tell you some highs and lows of the week, but today I just want to share with you something I read in Lara Casey's book, Make It Happen. Before I do so, if you haven't read this book, it should be up next on your list because its rocking my world. I usually shy away from books like this, partially because I haven't always known what my dreams and passions actually were, and I felt some shame for that, like something was wrong with me. Anyway, that is something I've been working through and this book is so encouraging, so practical, and so authentic I can't put it down. Sorry for the ramble train. What I wanted to share with you was this quote:

Whatever you are going through right now, if it's humbling you, making you pray, bringing you to your knees and making you feel like you cannot do this alone, maybe there is a reason-a glorious, beautiful reason. -Lara Casey, Make It Happen

When I read this the other night, I felt my eyes instantly well up with tears. Not in a bad way, because life is certainly sweet and we've been overwhelmed by the Lord's goodness over and over lately, but because pregnancy, it absolutely brings me to my knees daily. I've never been as aware of my need for God's wisdom and grace as I have been the past five months or so. There are so many things I cannot control, so many adult things we are in the process of doing, so many unknowns and countless decisions we have to weigh and it is overwhelming and scary but I have found so much peace in knowing that this baby I am carrying was God's child before He was mine and that God has perfect plans for his life. 

When I've found myself stuck in fear, grasping on to whatever I think I can control and plan and organize into going my way, I can surrender it all to a God who never fails and who's love for us is real and unchanging. I've been reminded how to pray really big prayers, prayers that seem impossible and I'm trusting God with our life, with our finances, with our baby, with our careers, with our marriage, and everything else because I know this to be true: God has it. He's got this under control. Whether or not life goes according to my plan and my desires, I know God ultimately is in control so I can relax, knowing I don't have to be.

Linking up with Jenna and Rachel for the Coffee Date Linkup!

Monday, February 23, 2015

6 Ways to Balance Productivity and Rest

I tend to operate in extremes-either I have a really productive day at work and totally kick ass, or I get almost nothing accomplished yet still feel exhausted at the end of the day. The same goes for my weekends-I either refuse to touch the overflowing basket of dirty laundry and ignore the dog hair collecting in the corners of the hardwood and stay in my pi's all weekend, or I race around running errands, shopping, meeting with friends, and doing house chores that I feel exhausted by Sunday evening. As good as the restful weekend with nothing but a Netflix binge on the agenda sounds, it actually leaves me feeling more stressed and overwhelmed when Monday rolls around and I don't have any food in the house for the week or any clean clothes for work. I am the type of person who doesn't function well in a mess, but I also hate housework which proves to be quite the problem.

Lately I've been trying to find a balance between productivity and rest. A productive weekend does make my week go smoother, but especially now that I am pregnant, I also have to find time to rest and recharge to avoid that end of the week burnout that so frequently hits me. What I have learned though is that while I absolutely cannot do it all, if I do a series of small things, I feel a lot more peace in my home and office.  Here are six ways I balance productivity and rest, especially on the weekends.

1. Set priorities
Each weekend, I make a mental list of what I absolutely have to get done, and a list of what I'd like to get done. Things like grocery shopping and laundry are a must do every weekend, and we always have church Sunday mornings. Those things generally are my priorities, but I also choose a few chores that I'd like to get to, but won't beat myself up if they don't get done. This past weekend, I managed to do most of the chores except the bathrooms, so I will fit those in early this week. As long as I get my must do's done, I give myself grace to rest if I need it and rest easy knowing the other things will still be there tomorrow or the next day for me to do.

2. Don't overbook
Its so easy to want to fill my weekend days with brunch, coffee dates, shopping, cleaning, and blogging. Whenever I do this, I always regret it. One of my goals this year is to be intentional about building my community, so I love getting together with my girlfriends or our couple friends, but I try to actually look at my calendar before committing to something to make sure I am not spending all weekend running from one activity to the next, leaving me less time for rest and less time for those "must do" chores.

3. Set a timer 
This is probably my most used tool for getting things done quickly. I will set the timer for fifteen minutes and de-clutter the downstairs before bed, or on Saturday mornings I will set it for an hour and clean as much as I can in that hour. Its amazing how much one person can get done when they're not distracted by the TV, texting, and social media! I make myself work hard til the timer goes off, and then either give myself a break or sometimes I call it good for the day.

4. Divide and conquer
Ronnie and I both work full time, and he is also in school, and I babysit a few nights a week and want to devote time to my blog so for us, we usually split the chores somewhat in half. I usually grocery shop, he cooks. He does the downstairs floors, I do the laundry. He does the outside chores, I do the vacuuming. It works for us, and sometimes I help with dinner or he does a few loads of laundry to help each other out, but by dividing the chores up, neither of us spends an entire day doing chores but the house doesn't get neglected either.

5. Disconnect
One of the best things I can do for myself (but don't do enough) is to disconnect from social media for a day, or even a few hours! Not only do I have more time to get the things done on my to-do list, I also find myself spending my free time engaging in conversation with my husband, reading a good book, or doing another activity that fills me up instead of leaves me feeling discontent and lacking like an hour of social media scrolling often does. Its embarrassing how much time I waste laying on my couch after work scrolling my social media apps. One day an hour passed and I was just thinking of all the things I could've used that hour for, things that likely would've brought more joy or fulfillment than social media does!

6. Do one small thing each day
Ronnie and I clean the kitchen almost every night after dinner, otherwise it would get out of control real fast with the amount of cooking we do. I also try and do one load of laundry or do a small chore like dusting or cleaning the toilets each day, that way when the weekend comes, we don't have an unmanageable list of to-dos.

I love a good day of pjs and TV binging, but I try and balance them out by getting some of the things on my list done before or immediately after a day like that so I don't have an entire week of trying to play catch up to all the things I neglected. Do you have any tips for balancing productivity and rest on the weekends? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On My Kitchen Table

 I am so, so excited to share with you guys our new kitchen table! I had been hunting for a new kitchen table for months and months, but was having a really hard time finding a table that I loved that was in our budget. I was really drawn to the farm house table style with the wood top and white legs, and I randomly came across Treasure Valley Table Company on Facebook about a month ago.

They are located outside of Boise and make custom built tables for a really reasonable rate, far less than what I would pay to purchase from a retail store. I decided to send Ronnie a picture of one of their tables and see what he thought and once I got his approval, I contacted the shop owner and asked him if he could paint the legs of the table white and when he said he would, I did a happy dance because I knew I was getting the table of my dreams! For a little more they added on a bench as well.

Please excuse the lack of additional chairs-I actually just picked up four chairs for twenty-five dollars off a Facebook Buy/Sale/Trade group and will be sending them off to the same guys who made the table for refinishing, and then I'll be recovering them with some cute fabric. I'll be sure to show you the finished product in the next few weeks! Luckily, the bench is perfect for Ronnie and I to sit at together, and the only company we have over regularly loves us enough to not mind our fold up chairs in the meantime.

I already am in love with having a table that fits our space and our style of home decor. Our old table was nice, but it was too small and the room didn't feel finished. Ronnie and I found ourselves eating almost every meal on the couch, or sometimes at the bar, but now that we have a table we love, we've sat here almost every day together. Its where we discuss our days, plan out our weeks, and talk about our long term dreams and plans. Its where I blog and sit down with my day designer, planning my week. It creates a space for bible study, journalling, and prayer. I already can imagine sitting around it with our best friends at dinner club, and having our little guy join us once he is old enough to sit in a highchair. 

PS: Treasure Valley Table Company didn't compensate me in anyway for this post. I just love my table so much, I wanted to share! If you're local and looking for a table, I couldn't recommend this locally owned business more! The guys behind the company are the nicest guys who delivered this to us at no cost when we couldn't get a table and have patiently answered my questions about care and maintenance. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in knowing how much I paid for the table. It feels tacky to announce it on the blog, but I am more than happy to tell you over a private e-mail.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Maternity Fashion with Aro & Company

Being pregnant has meant that I have been on a never ending hunt for clothes that are stylish, affordable, yet fit my growing bump. Although there are a few maternity options out there, I've been trying to invest in pieces that I will want to wear even after the baby is here. I've found a lot of really great non-maternity pieces from Aro & Company that make me feel beautiful and help me embrace my changing body during pregnancy, but I will still be able to rock after I am no longer pregnant. Its easy to want to throw on a baggy, shapeless top and yoga pants, but I always feel the best when I get dressed in cute clothes and put some makeup on.

This dress is so, so comfortable to me, and it is stretchy enough that I can fit into it with a baby bump, but I know I will definitely be wearing it all summer long after baby boy Rasmussen arrives! It also is perfect for work with a little blazer or a cardigan thrown over it.

I also love this gorgeous maxi with the light pink Kimono over top, especially lately because the weather has been absolutely gorgeous here in Boise. It in the upper fifties yesterday, which is so unlike Idaho in February but I am celebrating and enjoying it while we have it! This dress is perfect for a bridal or baby shower, which I have a few of those in my calendar for this spring already. 

This bow tunic is probably my most favorite non-maternity top to wear right now, because its stretchy enough for my baby bump but it has enough shape to hug my curves. The bow detail in the back is just adorable, and this is literally the softest shirt I've ever put on my body. I would live in it if I could!

I just sized up a size in all of these tops and dresses so I could continue to wear them as I grow, but I can't wait to have comfy and cute things to wear after I have the baby as well. Whether you're pregnant and looking for stylish clothes to dress your bump, or you're not pregnant, definitely check out Aro & Company for adorable, affordable fashion. Aro & Company is generous enough to give one of you lucky readers a gift card to their shop, which is full of new arrivals and sale items. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All entries will be verified. Winner will be chosen randomly via Winner will be selected and notified on Tuesday, February 23rd. Winner will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information for the giveaway, you are providing it soley to Brittany Rasmussen and Aro & Company. Your information will not be sold or distributed. If you have any questions, please contact me. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Oh, HEY Friday!

Its the best kind of Friday-one where the weekend ahead is three days long! Not only that, but its going to be an extra sweet weekend because its Valentines Day! <3 Today I am sharing five things that make me really, really excited.

My Valentine <3 

O N E | Our new kitchen table was delivered last night. We had it custom built from a local builder, and it was an absolute steal not only cost wise, but quality as well. I knew it would look good, but when they set it down in my dining room I squealed with joy. I snapped a pic for Karissa and my mom, but it was dark outside and it hardly did the beauty justice, so next week, I will share more about it. I had breakfast sitting at the bench they made us to match it and I just could picture having our friends over for dinner club, and this time next year having a little baby boy sitting in his highchair around the table with us. Ahh!

T W O | This year, Ronnie and I are going out to dinner tonight, and I am putting on a dress and curling my hair and all of that jazz. My mom and I found a super cute black maternity dress on clearance last weekend, so I am breaking that out and a red lipstick and going on a hot date with my hubby. He won't tell me where we're going though, and I also have a mystery place I have to be at 3:30 PM today, so I am really looking forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve. Tomorrow, to carry on our Valentines Day traditions, we will be ordering a heart shaped pizza and relaxing together.

T H R E E | We just found out that our tax return was more than we were expecting this year, and that is a huge blessing to us. Before June will be replacing my two door car and upgrading to a family car and the tax return is really going to help us with that purchase. I am so thankful!

F O U R | I am getting ready to make some big changes to the blog and I am going to be working with the lovely Rachel from Oh Simple Thoughts. We have a virtual date early next week to start putting my dreams and plans into action, and I can't wait to share more with you guys. I have been itching to make some changes and I've finally taken the plunge. Stay tuned!

F I V E | Today I only work til one pm because Ronnie and I get to go to the doctor to see our little baby boy! They asked us to come back for a recheck of his stomach, and instead of being anxious about it, I am just thankful we get to see his sweet self one more time. After my appointment, we're both off the rest of the day and don't come back to the office until Tuesday. PRAISE.

I am signing off now because I have big plans to tackle my to-do list at the office for the five hours I am here! I am knee deep in auditing a project and am trying to get caught up, so I plan on listening to to the Serial podcast to keep me motivated and on task. Have a wonderful weekend, lovelies!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 Ways To Avoid A Tax Season Nightmare

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TurboTax, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TurboTaxACA

Tax Season is officially upon us, and bloggers all around are frantically gathering receipts and adding up their income from advertisement programs and sponsored posts, while wondering exactly qualifies as a business expense. Or maybe that is just me, maybe most bloggers have all that together and don't feel the stress that tax season brings to so many. My first year of blogging, doing my taxes completely overwhelmed me because I didn't have a clue what I was doing. Luckily, I've learned a few things about how to have a smoother tax season and I am going to share those with you today.

1. Keep ongoing records of your profits and expenses. 
I use a spreadsheet from Northern Belle Diaries to track every penny my blog makes whether its from a sidebar ad, sponsored campaigns, or money from Google Ad-sense. On the same sheet, I write down expenses such as the cost of supplies for a sponsored post, any money I invest into my blog like a new design or business cards, and any fees associated with my blog. Keeping an ongoing record saves me from a huge headache at the end of the year because I don't have to try and remember what I did months ago!

2. Keep receipts for everything.
I believe that if there's no receipt, it didn't happen. I keep any business related receipts in an envelope in my Day Designer planner, and if I buy something online, I save a copy of the receipt in my Google Drive folder specifically dedicated to that tax year.

3. Start gathering all of your documents in one place as they start to come in. 

My husband and I received some documents by mail and some electronically, so I stored everything related to my taxes in my Taxes folder on Google Drive. I scanned all the paper copies in so it was all in one spot, and I was able to see if I was still missing an important form. This year we had three W-2's combined, plus a handful of 1099s and other forms such as our mortgage interest form, school payments, etc. Once I was ready to do my taxes, they were all right in the same place so I didn't have to hunt around for anything.

4. Know how the Affordable Care Act affects you, your finances, and your taxes. 
Whether you have insurance or not, there are changes you need to be aware of. 2014 is the first year everyone in the US is required to have health insurance and you must report your health insurance status on your 2014 taxes filed in 2015. The Affordable Care Act also imposes tax penalties for those who aren't covered by insurance.  Luckily, TurboTax simplifies this process and has already done the work so you don't have to stress. TurboTax just asks you questions regarding your insurance coverage that you're required to answer, so you can be confident your taxes are done correctly. If you're not sure on how the ACA affects your taxes this year, be sure to go to to learn more!

5. Do your taxes early, and let TurboTax make your tax filing process simple and painless. 
The earlier you are done with your taxes, the sooner you can sit back, relax, and enjoy that tax refund! This year, we've already completed ours which is the earliest we've ever done them and it feels SO nice to be done. Usually I procrastinate tasks that I think are going to be challenging, but with TurboTax, it doesn't have to be a nightmare! TurboTax can walk you through the new changes required by the Affordable Care Act, and you are able to file for FREE  before the 16th if you have a simple return (1040A/EZ), and get your maximum refund.

This coming weekend is important – health insurance open enrollment ends on Sunday, February 15. This is the last chance you’ll have to purchase insurance to avoid a penalty on your taxes next year. You can check out to learn more about your health insurance and taxes, including finding out if you’re exempt from the tax penalty. While you’re at it, don’t forget to go to to file today for absolutely free before February 16 if you have a simple return (1040A/EZ).

These five, simple tips have made filing my taxes a painless process and something my organized, type A self actually kind of enjoys. Even with the changes that the Affordable Care Act brought this year, thanks to TurboTax I was able to easily complete my taxes in one sitting and now am just waiting for our tax return to show up in my bank account.

Have you done your taxes yet for the year? Is it something you dread or look forward to each year?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Weekly Allowance Revolutionized Our Finances

2015 brought a lot of upcoming changes, dreams and plans, the biggest of this being the anticipation of welcoming our son in June of this year. It turns out that tiny humans cost an awful lot of money between the baby gear they need, hospital and medical bills, daycare, etc. In order to be prepared financially, we took a hard look at our budget and decided it was time to cut as much unnessecary spending and get serious about saving. By the end of January, we had put more in savings than any other month in 2014, and I can point to the one thing that has helped us do that: a weekly allowance.

Each Friday, I set aside $25 dollars for me, and $25 dollars for Ronnie. This is our "allowance" per say, for us to spend on whatever we want. I mostly spend it on coffee and lunches out with friends, and Ronnie usually saves his for bigger purchases. This amount might seem big to you or it might seem small to you, but for us, it was an amount that was realistic in our budget that would allow us to contribute more to savings while still having money for our own personal interests/likes. I also set aside an additional $50 dollars every other Friday, on paydays, for date nights that Ronnie and I can use when we want to go out to eat, to a movie, etc. The money in both our personal allowances and date night allowances does get to roll over if we don't use it as well.

This has absolutely changed our finances in a huge way. First of all, we both are 100% more cautious and careful about what we buy if we know its coming out of our allowance. One week I spent most of my allowance during the weekend, so I had about seven dollars left, and I was incredibly picky about what I bought. Before we had an allowance, I hate to admit that I wouldn't have stopped to think about grabbing an extra coffee or buying myself a small treat. But when you have a limited amount to spend each week, you naturally consider every purchase through the lens of "is this REALLY worth it?" 

Setting our date night allowance also has freed up so much extra space in our monthly budget. I didn't realize how much we were spending on eating out because when we did eat out, we didn't go out and spend forty dollars on a meal, so it never felt like we had a problem. What we did do was spend twelve dollars here, ten dollars here, and so on. We were especially guilty of this on the weekends when it was just easier to run out and grab something to eat or order in. With our date night allowance, it allows us to still eat out, but we definitely consider it more carefully if we know we might be out of date night money until our next payday. Our first week on the allowance system we did spend about $40 dollars on dinner and then we had to cook meals at home for almost two weeks, and it was tough! It really taught us a valuable lesson though, and now we eat at home even more than we did, and we plan ahead if we know we want to go on a nicer date versus a couple trips to Chipotle and Chick FilA.

These two simple changes to our budget absolutely changed our finances in a huge way. The principles and lessons I have learned from having a limited amount of money to spend on "luxuries" is something I carry over into all areas of our finances. We didn't realize the amount of money we were wasting on things that weren't necessary until we put a limit on them, and struggled to not go over that limit. It teaches us to live on what we have, and sacrifice in the now for a long term reward.

Monday, February 9, 2015

21 Week Bumpdate

I haven't taken a lot of pictures this pregnancy because I have had the hardest time getting motivated to get in front of a camera! But my bump is really visible now, and I actually look pregnant and not just like I have a food baby so that makes me excited. Now that I am (just over) halfway through my pregnancy, I decided it was time for our first bump date. I was 21 weeks on Friday, so I am a little past the halfway point which is so exciting. I feel like my pregnancy is flying by, but then I start feeling like I still have forever to go.

Size of the baby: About the length of a carrot

Total weight gain: About 13 pounds-yikes!

Gender: A little prince

Maternity clothes: I am really starting to embrace the maternity clothes. I can still make a few pairs of pants work with my BellaBand, and long/flowy tops still fit, but maternity clothes are much more comfortable and more flattering. I had to buy some new tank tops for under my shirts and some workout clothes because I wasn't fitting into my pre-pregnancy workout pants and the tops were too short.

Movement: Over the past two weeks I've felt him move at least every day, but the movements are still subtle. Usually when I first get to work he is super active, and when I lay down to go to sleep at night I can always feel him. The doctor always comments how active he is when we get an ultrasound or she uses the doppler, and always asks me "Can you feel that?!"

Sleep: I have slept wonderfully this pregnancy, except for waking up at least once a night to go to the bathroom. I can't believe how frequently I have to pee!

Nursery: The paint is done, and last weekend Ronnie and I built the dresser (I built the drawers!) and he also built the crib last week with the help of his friend, Dale! My mom and I picked up a mattress for the crib and a sheet because we were dying to see how it looked all put together. The last big thing for the nursery I need is the glider. I have started collecting some fun decor pieces and can't wait to start putting it all together.

Craving: I haven't been able to get enough fruit! Every day I bring a fruit bowl to work with pineapple, blueberries and strawberries and it makes me so happy. A couple of weeks ago I ate an entire pineapple myself in 24 hours. #noshame

Symptoms: Maybe TMI but I have to go to the bathroom SO MUCH. One day I was working on a project at work and I kept having to stop what I was doing, get up and walk to the bathroom and I was so irritated! I timed how often I went and it was every 35 minutes! My mom and I went shopping today and she couldn't stop laughing at how often we had to stop for me to pee! I am thankful that is my only "symptom" right now.

Exercise: Last week I made the decision to get back into doing some form of exercise. I've always been the type of person who needs it for my mental well-being and took the first 15-16 weeks of pregnancy off because I was so sick, but now that I am feeling better, I want to stay active throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I only managed to workout twice, but I feel good about it and this week I am shooting for three times.

Ronnie is: Tired of building baby furniture. HAHA. Kidding, but not really. Little does he know, the fun has just begun!

Looking forward to: Dinner club with our friends tonight, Valentines Day dinner reservations, and a spa day next Monday with my mom. In April one of my best friends is coming into town for my shower too and I am already counting down the days!

Best moments: Seeing the nursery start to come together and finding out another one of my girlfriends here in Boise is pregnant!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Flourish Linkup

I haven't had a whole lot of extra time in the past five or six months to explore new blogs, but this week, I unexpectedly had some more free time than I was anticipating and I discovered another blogger named Brittany who blogs at The Kardia Blog. She's hosting a link-up today that really speaks my language and I needed a blog post topic today, so here I am, writing about flourishing creatively.

10 Things I Am Grateful For

1. Our sweet, healthy, growing babe who we get to meet in just 19 weeks
2. Friends who have gone before me in the journey of motherhood
3. Flannel PJs
4. An interesting and challenging career
5. God's provision
6. Cozy coffee shops
7. The Serial Podcast to get me through those monontonous tasks
8. Vulnerable and transparent conversations
9. Teeny tiny baby flannels and moccasins
10. Prayer

I will flourish creatively this year by...

Consistently writing out my thoughts, prayers, fears, anxiety and praises in a journal. I love looking back at old journals and seeing how I processed life events, big and small. It gives me so much hope to look back and see the prayers God has answered and the unique ways He did so. Along these lines, I want to make notes of scriptures that I cling to during certain times in my life by writing dates near them in my bible as another way of reminding me of God's faithfulness and provision.

Reading more books outside of my comfort zone. I have a certain type of book that I gravitate to and will always love curling up with when I need a little break from reality, but I want to explore more books that challenge my mind and my heart. 

Staying active for my mental sanity instead of for weight loss purposes. For the first time in my life, I've realized that I've believed the lie that working out is something you do when only you want to lose weight. I never knew I believed that until I got pregnant, and found myself making excuses to skip the gym. The first 15 weeks I was miserably sick, but then after that, I was out of the habit and found myself thinking "why bother?" Working out has always been a mental release for me, and I've always been the type of person who needs those endorphins. After a few days of skipping a workout, I find myself feeling a case of the blahs, not wanting to do a whole lot of anything besides binge on Netflix. This month, and the rest of the year I am focusing on getting exercise, even if its just a walk at lunch or a yoga class so I can be more balanced and clearheaded in other areas of my life.

Simplifying, and removing our home of unnecessary clutter. As we've started making preparations for baby, I've noticed just how much stuff we have in every single room of the house. I found a storage tote full of old sheets and pillowcases that I haven't even opened in years, but I still couldn't bring myself to get rid of it, just incase I needed them someday. Every room in our house is full of stuff that doesn't have  a home, and the doors are just pulled shut, out of sight, out of mind. This year, I want to get rid of all that excess and live a more simple and organized life. I've found that often, my heart reflects the state of my home, and when my home is chaotic and messy, I feel like my life is chaotic and out of control itself.

What the word flourish means to me...

When I think of flourishing, I think of blooming where I am planted. It means that instead of thinking and dreaming and wishing for that "next season" or for circumstances in my life to change, that I am making the absolute best of the season I am in right now. It means to be practicing gratitude, and having a spirit of love and servanthood to everyone around me: my husband, my family, my coworkers and my friends. Flourishing means seeking out ways to grow in every area of my life.

The Kardia

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Inviting God In

Lisa said it best in her post yesterday, that she's been feeling some messy things. Messy is a good way to describe some of the things I've been feeling myself, and I've been trying to sort them out while knowing its okay to not feel put together 100% of the time. 

This whole having a baby in a short four and a half months is starting to hit me, and with all the excitement and joy it is bringing to my life, I also have started to process how drastically my life has already has, and is going to, change. I've been confronted head on with the reality that I am going to be a working mom, when I always have thought and dreamed that I would be a stay at home mom. I've battled a lot of fears about how to do it all, how to be a wife and a mom, a career woman, a friend, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a woman. I've worried about how my friendships will change, once we aren't in the same stage of life anymore, and worried about being left behind or forgotten. I desperately long to have some of my been there, done that best friends who are moms already nearby instead of across the country.  Above all, throughout all of these transitions and fears, I've felt desperately alone. It sounds crazy, typing that out because I have a loving husband, a supportive family, and great friends near and far, but I've felt isolated and stuck in all of these messy thoughts by myself.

After processing through a lot of this with Lisa, I realized that I hadn't invited God into these areas of my life. I believed the lies that the things that were causing me this anxiety were either too small to ask of God, or maybe too big and too impossible for Him to be changed. Last night, through one small gesture, one text message, I realized that maybe God was just waiting for me to invite him into the mess. Waiting for me to give up trying to carry it all on my own, and take him for His word when He says He will give us rest when we come to him. 

Minutes after I spent some time in prayer talking to God about all of this, a sweet friend who I haven't seen as much as I'd like lately reached out to me and asked me to go to coffee. Turns out, she was processing through her own things that were quite similar to what I have been processing, even though we're in different stages of life. It was one small text message, and its one date for brunch that left me with a feeling of hope, of peace knowing that God does care for us even in the smallest details. Over the past few weeks I've felt like God has been silent, but now I think that the truth is, I haven't given him control of these areas of my life and wrongly believed I could "sort it out" myself. One text, at the right time, reminded me just how much I need Him, and how incapable I am of doing this life on my own.