How's your serve?

This past Sunday we heard a message on Volunteering within the church. Serving each other.
Sure, we always need more volunteers, more hands to help “do church” and more people willing to step up. But there are lots of reasons (see excuses) that we don’t step up to serve within the church.
The thing is this…we are all called to serve. Every last one of us, whether we really want to or not.
Joshua 22:5

5 Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
We are called to serve God. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus paid the penalty (death) that we all deserve as a result of our sin. We deserve death and life away from God. God can not bear to be in the presence of sin. He hates it. And nothing we can do will “earn” our way back into His presence. There is no way we can ever be good enough. But God loves us, so He sent Jesus to pay the penalty of our sin. Once we believe in Him and trust Him as our savior we are assured eternal life in Heaven with our God. Because of this wonderful sacrifice we should want to serve Him and those around us. Serving God means we are obedient to Him and what He has called us to do. It means we honor one another, we seek to do God’s will and seek to bring Him glory in all we do.
The Bible lists lots of spiritual gifts, but the one thing we are all called to do is to serve. It’s not optional. This can be a tough pill to swallow sometimes. We all may have a different gift, but sometimes those gifts are big labels we hide behind. We don’t want to serve in a certain ministry or with a specific group of people because we don’t think it’s our “gift”. Are some people better teachers than others…probably, but does that mean we shouldn’t try or be willing to step up and try to learn or even help? Definitely not.
I’ve been pondering lately why people are hesitant to serve within the church or community. I think one of the reasons is that we don’t know how or where to serve. There’s this thing in church…it’s the untrue belief that those who are coming to church have it all figured out, life is all roses and we don’t need help with anything. Let me tell you nothing is further from the truth. Every person sitting in church has problems, most of us have a colorful or at least semi-colorful past and none of us have life figured out. But it’s this belief that we’re supposed to have it down that keeps us from telling others when we need something. The truth is though, when we’re unwilling to ask for help, when we’re unwilling to be real with those around us…we are robbing others of the opportunity to serve us and we’re missing a blessing. We’re too busy being proud. So we need to be willing to ask for help and we also need to be willing to look around for ways to serve those around us. Keeping our heads up, our ears open and our mouths shut helps us find ways to serve others. We hear someone say that they’re going on vacation for a week…can we serve them by mowing their lawn while they’re gone? Look around…there are lots of places to serve.

Another reason we’re hesitant to serve is we’re afraid. We’re afraid of what someone else might think of us. When we’re serving God, what man thinks should mean very little to us but let’s be honest…we’re all a little afraid of what everyone around us thinks. When I first started playing drums in worship band I was paralyzed by this fear. Could I play drums? Yes. Was I the best? No, but I could do it. Did I like playing? Yep. But why then, did I not want to play on Sunday morning, why did I nearly faint from panic for the first several months I played? Because I was afraid…I was afraid that I would mess up that I wouldn’t hold the beat and that people would talk. I was afraid of what the worship leader was going to think of me and what the congregation was going to think of me. It wasn’t until several months in to it and I’d messed up a couple times (which I totally agonized over for the rest of the week) that I realized what they thought didn’t really matter. I was going to do my best, but I wasn’t there for them. I was there because I had a talent that God had given me, our church had a need and I was called to serve. And better yet, even though I’d messed up, my church still loved me. They didn’t even bat an eye really…we might have gotten a little off beat but we made it through and no one disowned me.

And I’ll tell you, those fears are from satan. He wants nothing more than to keep you from serving your church, your community and those around you. It’s sinful to succumb to that fear and to let it keep you from being obedient to Christ.
Perhaps the most touchy reason we don’t want to serve is because we are too caught up in our own self to be of much service to anyone else. We are selfish, we like to think of how others should be serving us, how uncomfortable serving others might make us and to be honest we are too proud to really do it.
Sometime we think a job is beneath us. I don’t know very many people who enjoy scrubbing toilets, changing diapers or even mowing the lawn. But all of these things can be ways we serve each other. Is there a spiritual gift named in the Bible for changing diapers? No. But I will tell you, to the mother who is able to sit in worship because someone else is willing to care for her children for an hour, it is a gift. A few weeks ago, someone served me in the most unglorious way I can think of. Titus got sick and barfed at the end of the buffet line during a fellowship meal. I was holding Zeb and chatting with someone and had no idea what happened. By the time Gabe came to get me and let me know, one of the fathers in church had cleaned up after Titus and scrubbed the carpet. I was humbled (and embarrassed). The dad was most gracious and willing to serve our family in that way. And I’ll tell you it wasn’t the first time someone willingly, and believe it or not, cheerfully cleaned up after one of our children got sick in church.
Sometimes we just don’t want to serve others (insert two year old whiny voice here). Tough. I went to church with a lady who didn’t particularly enjoy leading children’s worship. She enjoys kids but she doesn’t really dig serving in this way, but she does it anyway and the children are none the wiser. She does it because she has the ability and she is being obedient to God’s call to serve. She puts on a smile and teaches every couple of months. And her smile isn’t fake, it is real because she is cheerfully serving God and not man.
When I used to sing on worship team there were some weeks that I didn’t care for a song or two we were singing. It wasn’t that I couldn’t sing it but rather I didn’t care for it, it wasn’t my style. But I also knew there was a lady in our congregation that really enjoyed the song. It was one of her favorites. So we sang it. We were able, we were called and we were obedient. Had we decided to avoid singing it because we didn’t care for it we would have been selfish and would have denied her ability to be blessed by worship that morning. Sometimes we have to bite the bullet and choose to serve how God calls us to serve and not how we would rather do it. We should joyfully serve Him and look for ways to bless others…even if it’s on our “less than desirable” list.
Serving isn’t just about doing stuff, it’s about ministering to one another. It requires us to be humble. We have to be willing to swallow our pride, serve where, when and how we are able. Serving isn’t about getting glory and recognition for ourselves, it’s about bringing glory to God. I think you can glorify God by cleaning toilets as easily as you can by feeding the poor.
Service to others is a part of loving one another within and outside of the church. It’s part of building relationships with others. We are much more likely to have a genuine relationship with someone when we are willing to serve them and look for ways to do so.
Learning how to serve takes time. We can’t just have one lesson on it during a sermon, or Sunday school or even during Life group and expect it to take hold. It’s something we have to cultivate every day and every moment we’re together. Teaching your children how to serve can be as simple as helping them learn to hold doors open for those around them. It teaches them to be aware of the needs of others and meet those needs. We do it when we don’t want to, when we’re grumpy and when we’re already frustrated. But…we are called to do it. We do it because God asks us to. And as we serve others, we find that we’re blessed as well.

So I would challenge you…how can you serve those around you? Are you listening to what people are saying about where their needs are? Do you have the ability to do something to serve others, even if it’s something you’re not thrilled about doing? The question really is…How’s your serve these days?


Five Minute Friday — Rhythm

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1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on the word:::


I wonder if I’ll ever find it. If I will ever feel like I’m walking in time with the rhythm that plays in the background of my life. I always feel just a bit out of step…with everything and everyone around me.
Some days it feels like I’m trying just to keep time in this crazy world. These 5 boys, the life we live now…here at home. It’s a new rhythm for me, this being home…holding down the fort while we wave good bye to daddy. I turn around on the porch breathe deep and start again. I wonder if I can survive the day, if we’ll all survive…our hearts intact.
We sway together to the rhythm of our life here. We adjust and we move…dancing to the beat of new baby, school, neighbor kids and new town. Our year here and we’re just starting to feel like we can even begin to tap our foot to the beat and maybe even hum a bit to the tune, but in some ways still not familiar enough to sing at the top of our lungs. Free and wild.
I pray for grace to mother these boys. To teach them, to discipline, to grow them…I pray for mercy. I pray that I will be faithful to what God has called me to be and do. I pray too, that my failures, my insecurity and the piles of baggage I bring with me doesn’t bog us down and drown us all.
And I am thankful that the God of the universe, the creator of the world…who saw fit to place these children within my care and place our family in this dusty little town…that HE is the conductor of it all…HE wrote the music and orchestrates the beat of it all. I am thankful HE sets the rhythm and all I have to do is follow…

Mikarose — A Review

I don’t know about you, but trying to find a modest dress these days that still looks stylish is pretty impossible. Not only that, but try to find one that is pregnancy or breastfeeding friendly and you’ve narrowed your search even further.
I was so excited to be able to review a cute, modest dress for Mikarose recently. Mikarose is a clothing company that specializes in modest, elegant and fashionable dresses, skirts and attire for women. The goal of the company is to provide a wide range of modest dresses without sacrificing style or comfort. The clothes they sell are also very reasonably priced which is another bonus.
I have been a Facebook follower of Mikarose for over a year but have been pregnant most of the time and didn’t really think their dresses could accommodate my pregnant belly. Knowing what I know now, I look forward to wearing their dresses during pregnancy. As most moms know, if you’re breastfeeding a baby you’re pretty much stuck with pants/skirts and a separate top…dresses are almost always out of the mix simply for ease of nursing the baby. Not only that, but if you do manage to find a dress that allows you to nurse a baby it isn’t usually the cutest thing in your closet. So I’ve got to be honest I was a little skeptical when I was asked to review this dress. I thought  “there’s no way I’m really going to be able to nurse comfortably in this dress”.
I was sent the Valerie dress (see it here) to try out. It comes is dark brown or red (which is currently on backorder). I am always a little hesitant to order clothes online because I’m not sure how they’ll fit, especially just a few weeks after giving birth. I ordered the size suggested on their website and found that the dress fit beautifully. I was also a little concerned about how the dress would fit length wise because I’m shorter than your average person at 5’2″ but I really liked where it fell on me, which was about mid-calf.
As a post partum mom, I’m always a little self-conscious about my mommy tummy right after the baby is born (Zeb is about one month old). I liked that the Valerie dress had a bit of rouching around the tummy and helped me feel like my belly was camouflaged a bit. The dress overall was very comfortable and I wore it to church on Sunday.

The moment of truth came for me when the baby woke up and was hungry. Was this really going to work? The beauty of this dress is that there is a little hook and eye closure on the front where it crosses across the body. I was able to nurse easily after unfastening the hook and eye. I use a cover when nursing as a general rule but was pleased with how easily I was able to feed Zeb and the amount of give in the fabric to be able to nurse comfortably. When I was done feeding the stretch in the fabric let it return to it’s normal shape without looking like I’d completely stretched it beyond where it should have been.
Their clothes aren’t just for pregnant and nursing mamas. They’re for anyone wanting fashionable modest clothing at a reasonable price. I was very impressed with the quality of this dress and Mikarose will be one of my new “go to” stores when I’m shopping for myself.
Perhaps the most important thing about the whole thing is that I felt pretty. I was able to wear a modest dress, that allowed me to nurse, and still be stylish all at the same time. I was delighted. I had several compliments on the dress throughout the day and as most of us know that is a huge deal to a new mom.

As a special deal for my readers, you can get 10% off your order at Mikarose by using the coupon code blog2013 when you check out.
You can visit their website at or their Facebook page at
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free from Mikarose. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Five Minute Friday — Afraid

Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how to play along:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you {and if you love us, consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks to say howdy}
It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:


I have been afraid. There are so many things that I am afraid of.
I afraid that I’m a failure. Since we’ve moved here, the gravity of being a stay at home mom and being responsible for raising our children has set in. While Kerry is here and supportive, much of the time it falls on my shoulders…the discipline, the teaching and the responsibility. Oh the responsibility. What if I fail? What if someday they grow up, look back at this home they grew up in and despise it. Worse yet despise me?
I’m afraid that in the last 8 weeks of this pregnancy something terrible, unthinkable will happen. That I won’t be able to hold this sweet child and that the grief of losing another baby will yet again spill down around us and that it will destroy me.
I am afraid. It worries me in this new town, new group of people and new church that I will never quite fit right. That I will be like a puzzle piece jammed in the wrong spot. It’s so hard to relocate and find your “spot”. There are times when I agonize over words I’ve said or not said, things I’ve done or not done and over who I am. I worry that I’ve offended, not welcomed enough or hurt feelings without knowing. I’m afraid that I won’t be enough. For anyone.
Satan knows my fears. He knows how to attack and preys on those fears and those insecurities. It is so easy to go down that path of worry and fear…it’s easy to be terrified of all the things I’m not, can’t be, won’t be. But I’m reminded…The Lord is my light and my salvation, why should I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, why should I be afraid?
And again :

Isaiah 41:10

10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

God reminds me again and again He is in control. He calms the waves of the storm, He knows the hairs on my head, He bottles my tears. He cares, He loves and He knows. I am so glad I can go to Him with my fears. He loves me like no one else can. He holds my future and He knows. I pray often about my worries and beg forgiveness for picking them up again instead of leaving them at His feet. He brings me peace.
I may be afraid, but He is not. I am so very thankful for His love and His protection.

The Best of 2012

I’m a little behind in my reflection of 2012 I guess. I saw this survey a couple of days ago and thought about my answers. Kerry and I were asking each other what our best memory of 2012 was, but it was hard to come up with a big monumental moment or memory. Instead, it was the memories that were built and the lessons learned in the small moments and corners of our lives this past year. The way God revealed Himself to us in moments of despair, feeling lost and scared. But here is my attempt to answer the “best of 2012” list.
The best recipe you couldn’t not make again?
Crazy Chicken. When I first tried this recipe I thought for sure the boys wouldn’t like it, but they ate it up and ask for it regularly. They love it!
The best book you couldn’t put down?
1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp I rarely re-read books, but this is one I’m picking up again as the New Year starts and am reading again. I am also doing the devotional and would love to start the small group study in our church this spring.

Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent. I’ve read this book before, in fact several times, but I delight in reliving the stories of this midwife and she shares her experiences and the lessons she’s learned.

The best song that you just couldn’t get out of your head?
Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave. I get lost in this song.

The jeans that fit best? (It’s paramount never to wear pants that hurt…)
I don’t wear jeans very often. So I’m going to go with my maternity jeans right now. I’d really rather wear a skirt.
The tool/gizmo/idea that worked best?
I have totally enjoyed my Kindle fire but to be honest, the thing I’ve enjoyed the most since we’ve moved is the pull out cutting board in my kitchen. One of my favorite things ever.
The risk that returned best? (It’s why angels always say it first: “Do not be afraid.” You never start living until you stop fearing.)
Quitting my job before Kerry had found employment to support our family. Without a doubt, turning in my resignation was the scariest but most freeing thing I have felt in a long time. Right up there is the “risk” of trusting God with our family size. We experienced major hurt losing two babies in 6 months this last year, but God used those losses to teach us so much and we risked TRUSTing Him. We find ourselves now 27 weeks pregnant and are thankful for everyday.
The best laugh?
My boys bring so many laughs each day. I can’t narrow down just one, everyday is filled with another quip or comment that has me in stitches.
The best living?
In the moment. For God in everything we do. Our days are sweetest when we spend every day bringing glory to Him.
The best thing you didn’t want to do — but you did anyway? (Happiness comes to them who pursue hard things.)
Move. I was excited for what God had in store for our family, but I didn’t want to leave the family we made in Pueblo. It was tough and it took some adjusting (it still is), but God called and we answered. Here we are and we are blessed.
What was the best habit?
We started the year reading the Proverb of the day as a family. By far this has been a highlight for our family, reading together and praying as a family. It’s been a wonderful blessing.
The best holiday?
Christmas. As my husband said “You can’t celebrate His first coming without being prepared for His second coming.”
The best gift?
The gift of life, both those still living and those who we learned so much through their death. And most of the all the gift of salvation.
The best sacrifice? (The best way to have more is to give more…)
Raising my children. This is where I’m called, I’m supposed to be here, but the selfish side of me wants something different. I have learned that the best sacrifice is to lay down my desires and be obedient to what God has called me to do. In doing so, it turns out I am blessed beyond measure and it ends up not being such a sacrifice after all.

So… what was the Best of Everything 2012?


This last week Kerry and I went to a pastor’s get together for 3 days. We met lots of new people (well…everyone has been *new* to us in the last month or so). It was refreshing…and surprising.
It felt so good to connect with other families who have been where we are. Who have relocated their families, taken on pastorates in unfamiliar places and tackled tough stuff. We were joking about how we were probably going to be the only “weirdos” (ie family with lots of kids and homeschooling) at the event. Funny thing…everyone started introducing themselves and we heard “we have 4 kids and we homeschool” or “we have 5 kids and we also homeschool”. I felt myself feeling more comfortable and connected with those sitting around me. I was thankful.
I hadn’t realized how much I have missed, in just the 4 weeks we’ve been gone from Pueblo, the connection with others. Adjusting to being a full time stay at home mom, Kerry working outside the home and being in a new community and church has been harder than I expected. It’s been lonelier than I thought it would be (there I said it, something hard for me to admit). We’ve been very “busy” but it still feels very alone sometimes. Being able to sit, laugh and talk with other moms and wives felt good. I told Kerry on the way home that the the fellowship probably did me more good than listening to the speaker.
This weekend also made me realize other “connections” we share, some happy and some sad. As I near my “mark” with this pregnancy, the weeks where I lost Lily and Knox there are moments when I start to get anxious. I try not to worry, I pray and I trust, but there are moments when it creeps in. I’ve also started to show a bit more this week so Kerry and I decided to announce our pregnancy to a group of strangers when we introduced ourselves the first night. (In truth, it felt good to say it and to not have everyone wonder if I was really *that* fat). But in our down time, for whatever reason, I found myself in the middle of a conversation about the babies I lost and the baby that we are expecting. I shared our story surrounded by women I had just met, women who cared for me when they barely knew me. They prayed for me and I felt loved.
The surprising part for me, though was as the next two days unfolded, the mothers and fathers who came to Kerry and I and talked about their own losses. The grief and hurt they suffered. I stood there, I was so grateful that they shared with us. I was grateful to hear the stories of how God had carried their families through and delighted in the joy they experienced when they were able to welcome a healthy baby after their losses. In the evening I sat and prayed for each of them. I was astounded at the thread of grief that connected so many of us, but also the grace and the blessing God has given. I didn’t have words of comfort, words of wisdom or explanation, but I had words of a parent who has walked that trail too. It was a time to remember and connect in a way that I don’t think any of us would have expected at the beginning.
I have been thinking lately about the connections we left behind, the ones we’ve made and the ones to come. I’ve been thinking about the threads that tie us together with those around us. It is a beautiful thing that God is making, weaving our lives together through events that often make us feel so alone, but He ties it together to make something glorious.

Five Minute Friday — Wide

This is where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.
Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::


Sometimes a word is just too big. It encompasses too much for me to write, I have a hard time finding words to fill the space. Wide is that word to me.
I can’t put the significance into words for me. Wide, His arms spread wide, held there by nails. Paying the price for my sin and my wrong so that I could be redeemed. I should have been separated from Him…I deserve it. But He loved me enough to send His son to take the punishment in my place.
I have believed it from the time I was small. I have learned to trust it, really trust it, in the last year or two.
I think often of the trials this last year has brought for our family. Family confrontation and abandonment, the loss of our son, then our daughter, the upheaval of interviewing for a job hours away from what had become so comfortable. Now here I sit, in our new town, new home with a new church…at times feeling lost. My life has changed so very much in such a short time. I am learning a new role in a place that is different. When I think about “before” here, it seems so far away and I long for comfort of normal, known, close.
I have relied on the hope that I have in Christ to carry me through so much. I am so thankful for the hope I have in Him. I’m thankful to know that when I have moments when where I’m supposed to be seems so very far away that I am right where He wants me. Where I am reliant on Him for what comes next, for my peace and my direction.
His arms are always wide open. Waiting to hold me, comfort me and remind me that He has me every step of the way.

Five Minute Friday — Connect

ow, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::


I sit here surrounded by boxes and clutter, noise, dirt and children who feel the chaos around them. I think about pulling out of our driveway for the last time in 10 days. Saying good bye to the place we have called home for the last 5 years. The home where we brought Zeke home and the place where Titus was born.
And I wonder how we will connect in our new place. It’s funny though, I wasn’t worried about it when we moved here. But now, as I look at staying home full time with our children, moving to a new town where my husband will assume a new role in a church and wonder.
Connection is so much more than shaking hands and saying hello. It’s being surrounded by people who “get” you. Being able to be vulnerable. Connections are built over time. They are built by sharing experiences, heart aches and joys.

In between

I rarely like being in between (unless I’m in between my children).
We are moving in less than a month. I started packing about a month ago. I walk around and ask myself if we can live without *this* for the next 4 weeks. If I decide yes, then I throw it in a box. (Actually it’s much more detailed than that…future blog post). But in reality it feels like I spend some of my time wandering around contemplating what lies ahead for our family.
Daydreaming of how I’m going to decorate our new home, what it will be like to be a stay at home mom, and all of the unknowns. As I drift from room to room packing, I also reflect on what each room in our home has meant to us. I stand in our living room downstairs and remember the cursive letters that used to be the border on our walls as Gabe and Otto learned to write here, sitting at a card table. I remember the guests who have stayed under our roof and our first Christmas hosting all of Kerry’s family and we got the stomach flu…we were so thankful for the 3 bathrooms. And the bathroom in our bedroom is even more special. It is where our son Titus was born, my VBAC after 3 c-sections, my victory birth, my shock and awe…my last live birth almost 2 years ago.
Each room I pass through thinking about where the possessions will go in our new home and what has happened to our family in each room over the last 5 years. I am living in between the two. I vacillate between the future and the past, stopping momentarily in the present to pack a box.
Life in between.


We will probably be moving in the next month or so, which means I am packing up our household of 6.
The last time we moved we only had 2 children and moved just a couple miles away so it wasn’t a huge “pack and drive” kind of thing, more like take a load in the car and hope nothing breaks. This time we’re moving significantly farther and with significantly more stuff.
I wish there was an easy way to go about it. I want to be organized about the whole process so if I need something I can find it easily when we get to our new house. I also want to make sure that I utilize the help I have when we get there. In my mind I envision having a “master plan” list that shows which rooms each bin/box goes into so we only have to touch it once. We’ll see…
As I’m packing I’m thinking too about baggage. The “stuff” that one carries around for years sometimes. Baggage shapes who we are. Sometimes baggage boosts us up to reach our goals, sometimes it weighs us down so much that we never move. Regardless though, we all have it.
I have been sorting through bins from my childhood and adolescence the last couple of days. There are times when I read notes to and from friends and I laugh. I laugh at the silliness and the nicknames we had for one another. I have found things that I wrote to help me cope with difficult times at home. I read love notes from boyfriends and the one boyfriend who became my husband. I cringe sometimes at the person I was. I feel wounds being re-opened because I remember the hurt, the anger I felt back then and if I’m not careful it can come sneaking back up and leak out into my life now. I can remember the black I felt so often years ago.
I have looked back the last couple of days, I have laughed at pictures from my high school years with my boys. I’ve told them stories of the friends I had and the things we did. We laughed at how young daddy and I looked when we started dating. But…I’ve kept the journals and poems I wrote tucked away for later when they’re older and I can explain what was going on in my life then. But I can look back and can see how I’ve grown because of and in spite of my baggage. I can see that God used those experiences and my baggage to shape who I am today.
Most of all though, I am reminded of His grace. I am reminded that even then, He was guiding my steps. Much of the baggage I carried early on, I have left by the wayside. It no longer attaches itself to me, it no longer adds weight to my shoulders. But this last week I was reminded just how much baggage I used to carry and how far I have walked away from it all.
And I am grateful.