Friday, May 12, 2017

f o u r t e e n.

I am now the mother of a fourteen year old boy. How is that even real life. Wasn't I just giving birth to him? Wasn't I just married? Wasn't high school just yesterday? What universe is this?

It's cool. I don't actually wish to go back to those days. I kind of like where I am. I like that I'm past the birthing and nursing stage (if you didn't hear, we just weaned this week. wahhhh. and also, yayyy!).

Anyways, back to this teenager business. He's fourteen and I have all the words and none of the words, so I'll just leave you with some images, mkay?

Happy Birthday, Taylan. We love you.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

ten on ten // may 2017.

What is this, you say? Well, it's Momma participating in Ten on Ten two months in a row! Who have I become?! I've been hoping to feel inspired to pick up my camera again. I think my overall mental well being is definitely helping want to do so more. Serious. It's crazy what anxiety and depression can do to a person. It affects eeeevvvverything. All the things.

Anyways, I shared my Ten on Ten on my insta yesterday, too. Lost a lot of followers. EL OH EL. Not that it matters terribly, but it is funny.

So. Here are my photos for the day:


finding Jesus + summa time.

So. Are you like me? Do you approach the Bible with this attitude: What am I going to get out of it today? What word is going to be spoken into my life? Also, where is my devotional, because I can't read my Bible without one. What's God gonna give me?

This was my story. I wanted to know what I was going to get out the Bible every time I read it. What was going to be spoken to me. What thing was I going to take away. And every time I cracked 'er open, I had to have a devotional or I was sure I wouldn't understand anything, or even receive anything that day.

I am absolutely not saying devos are bad. I am absolutely not saying we shouldn't be seeking the Bible for answers, because duh. We should be. (But I'm not talking on that today, it's a completely different subject than what's on my mind.)

All I'm saying is I was taking a me me me approach every. single. time. Every time, guys.

And I have a very good friend who is wise about things Bible related. (thank God for putting her in my life). Well, we were chatting one day about Jesus-y stuff as we usually do when we meet together, and she said something that has stuck with me and changed the way I'm approaching Scripture this summer and forever. She said, "When I started looking for Jesus in the Bible, that's when everything changed." Whoa. My mind blew. the. heck. up. I'm pretty sure I was stone faced in the moment, but that one statement stuck with me and rattled around in my mind for dayssssss. Weeks. We were currently in the middle of a major Bible study with our women's group and I was currently in the middle of the busiest season EVER so I'll be honest here: I didn't exactly always crack open my Bible simply to read it.

Now that my world has calmed down and I have had time to really think and ponder things. Now that I've stopped for hot minute and turned my heart back to the Lord. Now that I've slowed my roll (yeah, um, I googled to see if it was roll or role and we're going with urban dictionary's roll. I'm not a nerd, you are). Okay, so now that I've slowed my roll, I am taking time to seriously read the Word, with intent, because I wanna, out of zero obligations, but out of pure desire. Holla! I'm a little gangsta at heart. Sorry, not sorry.

But for the reals, here's my summer challenge for me (and you, if you wanna):

Read the Bible to find Jesus.

Do not: read the Bible solely for a word or to get something out of it for me (or someone else).

Crack open that sucker and seek the Savior.

Do not: crack it open because of how I'm feeling that day. (emotions are not truth givers).

Dive in everyday and see where the Lord can be found.

Do not: dive in looking for answers (unless there is a real situation that calls for it, that's different. I'm not talking about that today).

That's what I'm doing. I'm looking for the Holy One in the Word. I'm simply building my relationship with Him by seeking Him and letting Him speak into my life through the scriptures that all point back to Him anyways.

Daily, I journal a prayer before I even dive in: God: Open my eyes to see you. Open my ears to hear your Words. Open my heart to receive your truth. The verbiage varies on the daily, but the heartfelt prayer is still the same: less of me me me, more of you. Then I jump into my Bible. I've further challenged myself to read the Bible without any tools (devos or Bible studies or what have you). I will google for things I want to dissect, or seek a knowledgeable human to help a girl out, but I don't start with anything. I just want my readings to be pure: pure in seeking Jesus. I don't want to come to my quiet time only hoping for things He can give to me. I want to come to quiet time giving my ears and eyes and heart over to finding Jesus and falling more deeply in love with Him.

I want this summer to solely be about opening my Bible and saying Where my Homie at today? 


Tuesday, May 9, 2017


So. If you don't know the whole story, here it is: I co-run a women's group/ministry/thing in our church here. And we put together (with the help of an amazing team) an early Mother's Day event this past Friday. We had all of our speaker set and ready to go, the line up was nailed down. But then. Then. My partner in crime (or just women's ministry) called me on Monday and said..... "heyyyy, soooo, you're speaking, bye." Okay, maybe not exactly in those words, but that's how I remember it because I was shell shocked. Whut. I mean..... whut?! Say it again? I'm speaking? I hate you.

So. I mulled it over for a day, and the Lord very quickly gave me something to speak about. So I said yes to this first-time-to-ever-speak-in-front-of-people-with-a-mic situation.

Our event was called BRAVE. And we had four women speak briefly on what it means to be brave in their current stage of life. All four women were in different life situations (fresh out of high school, blended family, new grandparent). My stage is: married with a bunch of kids. Aaaand, here's what I had to say:

When I was 7 months out of high school, at the tender age of 18, I married Toby. Brave was moving away from the familiar and comfort of home to be an air force wife in a brand new town 8 hours away. Brave was navigating a new marriage when I wanted to go back home to where my family lived. I even sometimes wondered if we made a mistake. Instead, I stayed and pressed on and we grew into adulthood together. That was over 16 years ago.

I started going to church with a new friend during Toby’s first deployment. I came to know the Lord. And Brave was asking him to come to church with me, repeatedly, even though he often said, “probably not.” Eventually, he started saying yes on occasion. Soon, we were baptized together. And today, we are living proof that the Lord works in the hearts of those who are unsure of Him. If this is your story, hold on, married friends, there is hope.

Three years into marriage, we had our first baby. I was 20. Brave was starting a family without a support system, like our parents and grandparents. And super bravery was getting pregnant again eight short months after the first one was born! If you're in the trenches of tiny ones in motherhood, hang on dear mommas, you can do this.

Fast forward to 5 1/2 years ago. We had four boys by now, the baby was about 10 months old and we were gearing up to move here, to Odessa. I suddenly started struggling like I never had before. Postpartum depression hit me for the first time. We moved about two months later, and I found out I was pregnant AGAIN two weeks after we got here and we were both surprised because we had decided we were done growing our family! The postpartum then became prenatal depression, a term I never heard before. I struggled the whole pregnancy, even after he was born. When he was two, I felt the fog lifting a little. THEN, because I’m fertile myrtle, I became pregnant with another surprise baby. (and yes, I DO know how that happens). This time, the prenatal depression actually kept me in bed most of my pregnancy. Brave was telling my husband and kids that I cannot do life. I cannot cook, or clean, or grocery shop. I can’t human, I can’t function. Brave was letting go of an ideal I created in my mind of what I should be doing day in and day out. Brave was letting my family help me. And sometimes, brave was simply getting out of bed.

About six months ago, my eyes were opened to something I had been in denial about: I was still struggling with postpartum depression. I had been wondering if running away alone would be best for my family. I wondered if I was damaging my kids because I still wasn't functioning well in day to day life. Brave for me, was calling a doctor and seeking medical advice, saying out loud that I needed help. If this is your story, sweet mommas, you are not alone. There is hope.

Over a year ago, the Lord asked me to be BRAVE and step out of my comfortable, introverted bubble and seek a partner to start a women’s Bible study group with. That partner was Jessica Phillips. And we’ve been going non-stop ever since that day. And right now, I am in a season where God is silent. He is not giving me direction. He is not giving me a next step. He’s just not speaking to me. And I believe it’s because my “next step” is actually to stay exactly where I am: to keep co-leading SheTribe, to simply be with my family this summer, to remain just where I am in this season of life. Brave is having faith, that though we live in a fast-paced, what’s-next, kind of world, I am to keep that faith and trust that the Lord is there always, and has not left me. He is simply asking me to be still and stay the course, be faithful to him. He’s asking me to keep going. If this is your story, dear ones, be brave where you are, remain faithful, and keep going.


This is (a portion of) my BRAVE story. It's so important to tell our stories, to say, "see? I overcame. There is hope. The Lord never left me, He carried me. He is good. He is faithful." Please, never be afraid to tell your story, sweet ones. Never. 


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

life lately // april 2017

Just sharing some random things going on around here in photos.

We'll start with this adorable creature. I made those leggings for her well before she was born. They have never really fit right because crochet leggings just don't stay up like stretchy cotton. But it's cool, she can rock them with her boots! And I feel like she just tops it all off with that pony tail. Can you believe she's finally getting longer hair?! I'm so school-girl-excited!! I want to fix her hair now that she sits to let me do it!! But it still needs a little more length before I can do anything crazy, like braids.

She has this little fort with a slide, and while she LOVES to slide, she won't go down it alone, without holding my hand. BUT she sure as heck will climb down that ladder backwards!

And here's my garden. I'm growing some edible plants and probably some trees (though I plucked the potential trees on some sound advice). I photographed these last week before I had some more sprouts pop up, which I'm SUPER FREAKIN' excited about! Last year, I literally COULD NOT with my garden. I was some coming off post-partum everything and though I spent time into growing seedlings, I just couldn't get beyond that and take care of them.

This year, I feel a thousand times more capable of doing things, so a garden is priority this year for sure. I have radishes, new potatoes, trees (jk, I pulled them), cukes, zukes, pepps (is that annoying? when people shorten words? it is, right? it's fine, though.), melons, carrots, lettuce, spinach, green beans, and some herbs. Holla! I'm ready for them to be ready already. I have zero patience. Grow, dangit!!! (Also, I should mention, my thumb is not green. It's brownish. So there's really no telling what's actually gonna grow and survive long enough to be consumed.) (Also? When the heck do you pull stuff out of the ground? When are those root veggies ready?)

trees, but I've since removed them.

More of this peanut in her new LuLaRoe dress. *swoon*
Her baby bestie has the same dress. So. Clearly she needed it, too. And her baby bestie's momma was so generous to gift it to us. I lurve it. It's technically her Easter dress, but we had to snap some photos of her in it!!

And lastly, Jonyn's 8th birthday!



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