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FAITH

Amazing Grace

Posted in FAITH
on April 21, 2017

When I started this blog, I had big plans.  A long list of goals, and high expectations.  I wanted to be a consistent source of encouragement, truth and love.  I’m about as Type A as they come, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way we plan, and I am slowly learning to roll with the punches.  To be quite honest, the last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind.  The exciting part is that we sold our home, bought a new one, moved, and have begun remodeling (stay tuned for renovation posts).  But I have also needed to take some time away from blogging to work through the emotions stirring inside me.  I’ve been struggling with my own imperfection.  Feeling less than.  Comparing who I am to the mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter that I long to be.  I’ve experienced shame and guilt that has been unmatched at any other time in my life.  I’ve been facing the reality that I can love more, give more, spend more time with the Lord, serve more, be more kind, more patient, live in the moment better, and be less judgmental and less selfish.  I recognize the countless ways that the Lord has shown me how I can serve my husband, my church, my family, and my friends better, yet I continue to fall so short.  I would begin to make improvements, only to find myself disappointed every time I failed.  Things got dark a few weeks back, and I desperately needed to get out of my own pity party.  Every inch of progress seemed to be followed with a mile of mistakes.  I’ve discovered that it’s one thing to agree that God’s grace is wide enough to cover all of our sins, and another to believe it.  To acknowledge it and to live your life accepting the gift of freedom that we have been so graciously given by Christ’s death on the cross.  For the first time in my life, I decided to seek help, and I went to see my pastor.  My eyes swelled with tears as he gently said, “Skye, it sounds like you need a big ‘ole dose of God’s amazing grace”.  And he couldn’t have been more right.  Friends, I think we all could use a little more grace for ourselves in our lives.  I think sometimes it’s easier for us to dish out grace for others than it is for ourselves, and I encourage you to take it from someone who has been there: it can be detrimental when you don’t allow that grace to flow into your own heart.

I have chosen to be a mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend who lives her life shining Christ’s light, loving others, and sharing God’s truths.  I will no longer live out of fear of what others might think, or in fear that I am not deserving of Christ’s love.  I have been living in this disappointed little bubble for much too long.  Our society is so focused on “self”, but joy isn’t found in self, it’s found in God and our never-ending pursuit of Him, not perfection.  In John 13:34, Jesus calls His followers to “Love one another, just as I have loved you.  By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  If there is one thing that I have learned, it’s this: the lasting effect of time with the lord radiates a beautiful joy that draws people near.  Loving others as Christ loves us makes forgiving easier.  It’s more natural to be kind, patient, forgiving, humble and generous. Have you ever run across someone you’ve never met before, and after spending just a few short moments with them, knew that they were a Christ follower?  Christ’s love is contagious, and whether or not we, as Christians, choose to show it has a huge effect on the watching world.

Spending daily time in prayer has brought me closer to the Lord.  I’ve been reading His Word with the intent of deepening my relationship with Him, rather than studying each sentence as if it were a textbook.  Attending and serving at church has also given me a greater understanding of Christ’s love.  And most of all, accepting His AMAZING GRACE, because I am so far from being perfect, yet he loves me.  Imperfect me.

I’ll leave you with these words that Brennan Manning shares in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel.  I hope you find them as truthful and encouraging as I have.

The Good News means we can stop lying to ourselves.  The sweet sound of amazing grace saves us from the necessity of self-deception.  It keeps us from denying that though Christ was victorious, the battle with lust, greed, and pride still rages within us.  As a sinner who has been redeemed, I can acknowledge that I am often unloving, irritable, angry and resentful with those closest to me.  When I go to church, I can leave my white hat at home and admit I have failed.  God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am.  Because of this I don’t need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him.  I can accept ownership of my poverty and powerlessness and neediness.

Love + Hugs,

Skye

Present Over Perfect | Book Review

Posted in FAITH, READS
on November 9, 2016

I had the opportunity to attend a conference this past weekend where Shauna Niequist was speaking.  She has a way of making you feel like it’s just you and her, sitting across from one another, sipping on a hot cup of tea and sharing good conversation.  She spoke right into my heart.  Shauna shared stories of her faith and how she has grown over the last couple of years, deciding to live in the present, and choosing to live a life of purpose and fulfillment.

At any given time, I’m in the middle of three (okay, really five) different books.  Shauna’s newest release, Present Over Perfect, is one that I’ve opened on several occasions.  I’d meditate on one or two chapters at a time, really allowing the words to soak in and to start applying some of the principles into my daily life.  I assure you, it is covered from beginning to end with highlighter, underlines, stars, and page ears. Continue reading

God Meets Us Where We Are

Posted in FAITH, MARRIAGE
on October 30, 2016

One of my fondest teenage memories is snuggling up by the campfire with my love, day dreaming about getting married, living in our own home, having kids and growing old together.  I had always envisioned us living a few miles away from our parents in the same small town that we grew up in.  We’d get a dog, and we’d spend our weekends with family.  We’d go to the same restaurants, have the same friends, shop at the same stores, attend the same church, and celebrate the same holidays the way we always had – with family, playing games, eating good food and laughing.  I found comfort in routine and predictability. 

I’ll never forget that day.  The day that everything changed.  I felt the Holy Spirit’s presence like never before.  He was telling me to speak up.  I almost laughed at what He was telling me to say.  Never in a thousand years had I imagined such words coming out of my mouth.  It warranted action, and change.  Two things that made my heart race and threw me into a panic.  Every inch of my brain was telling me to ignore this feeling.  But instead, I listened.  And I spoke.  Continue reading

The Thief of Joy

Posted in FAITH
on October 24, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Have you ever fallen into the comparison trap while scrolling through your Instagram account.  Have you found yourself saying things like, “I wish I looked like that.  Her children are so well behaved!  Look how clean and beautiful their house is!  I wish my husband would do that.  If I only had her job…”?  I get it, it can be hard not to think this way when it seems like everyone else has it together, and you’re curled up in the corner of your closet, hiding from your kids, you have three day old hair, crusted with spit up, and you haven’t changed out of your yoga pants in who knows how long.  I’ve been there.  I think we’ve all been there in some way or another.

How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?  John 5:44 (NIV)

Friends, we have to remember that the images we are seeing on social media of tidy homes, happy children, pretty outfits and delicious, perfectly plated food are the best moments in other’s lives.  Who want’s to share a picture of their baby’s blow out all over the couch, or the bottle of biofreeze that your child thought was a popcicle (both of which have happened in my home).  That wouldn’t be pretty, right?  So, we must remember that 98% of the time, social media is simply a creative outlet for individuals.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as we realize that’s what it is.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we encouraged others and showed love through our actions AND our words?  What if we chose go out of our way to compliment others and celebrate their accomplishments alongside them instead of using jealousy or comparison to tear them down.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  Romans 8:28 (NLT)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Joy is not a feeling, it is a decision.  It is in the darkest night when the light shines the brightest.

Let’s be intentional about choosing joy.  Let’s focus on contentment and loving others.  Let’s not forget that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Love + Hugs,

Skye

Adjusting to Life as a Family of FOUR

Posted in FAITH, PARENTING WITH A PURPOSE
on October 18, 2016

Sweet Mamas,

Life looks a little different these days, and I can honestly say that my heart is SO FULL.  All of the fears and worries about becoming a mama of multiples have been put to rest.  I thought I’d dig a little deeper into those feelings and share how life has changed now that I’m a mama of two.  I hope that you find this post encouraging in whatever season of life you may be in.  I’d love to hear your stories too, so please share below!  If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last two years, it’s that it DOES take a village!  I am convinced that the need for community and oxygen go hand in hand.  We’re in this together, sweet mamas!

Continue reading

Scripture to PRAY Over Your Children

Posted in FAITH, PARENTING WITH A PURPOSE
on October 1, 2016

Nothing gives me more peace than praying for those that I love, especially when it comes to my babies.  I never truly understood what it meant to worry until I birthed my first babe.  I started babysitting when I was eleven years old, and by the time I became pregnant at age 22, I was sure that I knew the ins and outs of being a mom.  I was confident that motherhood would be my ‘thing’ and that I would know exactly how to embrace this new blessing.  After all, I had been fixated on this whole motherhood thing for the last two years (a story for another time).

Then my son was born {insert all the HORMONES}.  While words cannot describe the instant and unconditional love that I felt holding my sweet newborn for the very first time, I was quickly flooded with all the emotions that came with being a first time mom.  I became fearful that I would not be able to live up to God’s plan for me as a mom.

Dear mamas, I have found that the absolute best way for me to release this fear is to pray over my children.  Our church (mecklenburg.org) has been so gracious to create a class called, Second Steps, which is designed to teach parents how to raise Godly children during the transition from baby to toddlerhood.  We were provided with invaluable resources that I will forever hold close to my heart.  I would like to share some of those with all of you.

Protection

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”  Psalm 91:11 (NIV)

PRAY:  Father, I pray that you would command your angles to guard (your child’s name) every day.

Knowing God

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”  Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory both now and forever! Amen!”  2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

PRAY:  Father, I pray that you would reveal yourself to (your child’s name) so he/she knows you intimately. Continue reading

FOR THE TIRED MAMA

Posted in FAITH, PARENTING WITH A PURPOSE
on October 1, 2016

I think of you.  I think of you in the late hours of the night, and before the sun rises in the morning.  While I am nursing my littlest babe, you are on my mind.  There’s something comforting knowing that there are mamas all around the world up at the wee hours of the night, when sometimes it feels like you’re all alone.  Exhausted beyond measure, and alone.  But, you’re not.

With my first, I was up every two hours for the first eleven months of his life, nursing him back to sleep.  While I loved nursing, and the bonding time with my babe, I was so tired IT HURT.  This time around, little Theo started sleeping through the night at a mere eight weeks old.  This was something I had prayed and prayed for, and I truly believe that the Lord provides us with what we need, exactly when we need it.  But, sleep or no sleep, being a mama is TIRING!

So, I’m here to ask all of you… How do you recharge?

And in regards to helping your babe sleep through the night… What has worked for you?  What hasn’t?  What would you do differently next time?  I love your feedback, and you never know what might help another mama!

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. | Isaiah 40:31

Run to Jesus, sweet mama, and find rest in Him.

Love + Hugs,
Skye