No Matter What

Wow! I cannot believe that 2016 is almost behind us.

2016 has brought some very high moments and very low moments for me. 2016 has also brought lots of learning curves. Through all the learning curves, God has shown even more faithful than before.

The passage that I have held so dearly this year is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

With every stanza is a story of something I have walked through this year. As I prayed and reflected on this year, I read on in Ecclesiastes 3,

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” (verses 9-14)

At that moment, it hit me. When I look at 2016:
I see hurt, but God sees His plan.a
I see pain, but God sees rejoicing.
I see defeat, but God sees victory.
I see broken, but God sees mended.

A dear friend and mentor of mine told me recently to say “no matter what” I will still trust God. That has echoed in my head over and over again.

No matter the outcome, I will trust.
No matter the pain, I will trust.
No matter the scar, I will trust.
No matter what happens, I will trust.

And let me tell you…easier to type than live. It has been a daily minute by minute battle for myself to completely trust God no matter what. Some moments I do better than others, and that’s ok. God is always there to remind me that there is a time to learn. I want to learn with no one other than Jesus.

As 2016 closes and 2017 begins, live with the “no matter what” mindset.

No matter what 2017 brings, I will trust God.
No matter what 2107 brings, I will walk in truth.
No matter what 2017 brings, I will worship.
No matter what 2017 brings, I will be a witness.

Join me, with them No Matter What mindset.

Here’s to 2017!

XOXO,
Marcy

shock. loss. Hope.

There is no way I’m pregnant. With 2 kids already and 2 jobs, another baby was the last thing on my mind. It must just be stress making me feel this way. But, ok I will take the home test. Positive.

Ok, maybe that was wrong lets test again tomorrow to be sure. My heart was racing, my stomach lurching, as the pale, but definitely visible, second line stared back at me from the bathroom countertop. I’m pregnant. Surely this must be a mistake. My youngest is about to be 6 months old (at the time).

My first thoughts were for our youngest. How can I possibly give her the attention she needs if I’m distracted by months of morning sickness and worse — a brand new baby? Then our oldest, how can I turn her world upside AGAIN?

I was in shock. I didn’t know what to think. Everyone around me was happy, while surprised, when they heard the news. Still, I couldn’t shake the sorrow.

Yes, I want more kids in the future, but now? I knew the life growing inside of me was already part of our family. I just needed time to get used to the idea.

As time went on, I began to come around to the idea of 3 kids and 2 jobs. As the sickness started to lessen, so did my feelings of anxiety. We would figure out the schedules and the money and all the other details a family with three kids always does. I was even starting to enjoy the idea of three kids running around together making messes, sharing stories and filling our home with giggles.

Then at 10 weeks, IT happened. I began to loose the baby. We fought. We fought hard to hold on to this baby. But God had different plans. I had a miscarriage.

I felt so guilty. Guilty over not wanting this baby to begin with, guilty for all the times I prayed with bitterness about the pregnancy and afraid that maybe all my negative emotions had caused this little life to leave me. Which is NOT true! A miscarriage cannot be explained sometimes – and even more so in our situation. However, we know God has a better plan. We don’t see it and we might not understand it, but we have to TRUST it.

Through the chaos of emotions my body reacted negatively and I ended up spending most of my night in an ER. Thankfully, the LORD was there every step of the process. He gave us the perfect ER Doctor. He lead us right where we needed to be. He allowed the right medical attention given to me at the right time. He designed our bodies so well that my body can heal itself after the past 10 weeks.

Our Angel Baby is now sitting at the LORD’s feet. Our Angel Baby now has an even better life than I could ever imagine. Our Angel Baby will never have to worry about sin, temptation or worldly desires. Instead, our Angel Baby will walk the streets of gold and forever worship. Nothing better than knowing your children are with the Father. Still it hurts, but there is peace with the Father.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2

Knowing that God has a perfect plan for our lives gives me an indescribable hope for the future. I think I will always get sad when I look back on this time in our life, but I will continue to rejoice knowing that God works for the good of those who love Him. You could spend your whole life asking why something happened, but you will never have any peace until you give it over to God. His plan and his timing are far better than anything we can imagine for ourselves.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

I may not understand the situation now, but I know who HOLDS the situation.
I may hurt, but I know who HOLDS me.
I may be confused, but I know who KNOWS all the answers.

Our Angel Baby will forever be apart of our family.
We love you, Angel!

Hope

You may remember a blog I wrote about our current political state (here). How we as Christians need to be a Noah in today’s world. As I was thinking more about Noah’s situation and the situation we are in now I began to see a major difference. The difference being Noah had his Hope in the LORD. Do we?

As a Worship Leader, one of my favorite songs to sing and lead is “In Christ Alone.” The song’s first line is, “In Christ alone my hope is found.” Wow!

My hope is not in my kids.
My hope is not in my job.
My hope is not in the future.
My hope is not in my church.
My hope is not in my worldly possessions.

My hope IS in Christ.

In Matthew 14:29-31 it says, “”Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”” (NIV)

When Peter stepped out of the boat he had hope, but then he began to see his circumstances around him and began to sink. As Christians we are called to GO and make disciples. When we step out of the boat (we have an amazing experience with God) we are normally strong and ready to go. Then the human side sneaks in and shows us what is around us (our circumstances) then we loose that hope. God calls us to never loose sight of what he has for us.

Just like he grabbed Peter immediately, he will rescue you as well. Notice, Jesus waited for Peter to call out to him. He is waiting for you to call out to him. He is ready to rescue you, you need to acknowledge you need a Savior (saving).

I see this in my own life all the time. My 3 year old will get into a mess and I wait patiently until she calls for my help. Yes, I tried to warn her that she would get stuck under the coffee table, but she wanted to get under there still. Once she tried on her own and figured out with her own strength she can’t make it, she called and I immediately ran and rescued her. She knew I was there. She knew I could help. She had hope in me to get her out.

Jesus wants us to have that hope in him. I know circumstances get in the way. Life is hard. We are never promised an easy life. Call out to Him. Let Him be your hope.

Let me leave you with the lyrics to my favorite song: “In Christ Alone”

In Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Trying Threes

A note to my oldest daughter on the eve of her THIRD birthday-

Everyone calls this the Trying Threes years. However I expect nothing less than more awesomeness! Abigail Hope, you are truly a JOY! I love everything about you. I love how you love others. I love how you love your sister. I love how you love me. I love how you say, “Momma, you’re my friend” – it melts my heart.

You are truly an amazing young girl! You always have a new story to tell. I love how you use BIG words and always know exactly what you’re telling me. You truly keep your daddy and I on our toes :). I have watched you become the BEST big sister! You smoother your sister with kisses and complain that she’s “hurting your ears” all in about 60 seconds. Oh, life with you is more fun.
You love going on walks. Lately you HAVE to hold Toby’s leash and even let it go just to laugh at him because he got scared the leash was going to get him. You love to do chalk on the driveway. Your leadership skills really shine through when mommy doesn’t use the right color. You love to play pretend. Everyone in our family has had our share of Doctor check ups lately. You love music. One thing about you, sweet girl, you have always loved music! And now you are CONSTANTLY singing. You sing church songs, songs from TV shows, and our personal favorite Donut Man Songs! I LOVE my daily concerts! You love your daycare. You are constantly asking me to go to daycare. You love your teachers and your teachers love you. It blesses mommy’s heart to know you love daycare. You love to play hide and seek – especially with your aunts. It sometimes takes forever to find you, but the next round you’re back in your same spot only for us to find you quicker and tackle you with tickles. Oh the cackle! You LOVE to laugh! You love to “twirl” until you get dizzy. Once you have finished twirling or putting on a show you always take a bow. Oh how precious are these moments.
My precious one, don’t grow up to fast. Never stop loving. Never stop shining a light for Jesus. Never stop being my baby girl.
You are a bundle of joy to us. It’s been 365 days times THREE that you’ve been out of my tummy. And yet you’ve been in our hearts since before we could see you on a Sonogram. And farther back than that, you were in the mind of God and HE loved you even before we did. And ultimately, sweet girl, you are His, first and foremost. May your kisses and your dances and your language and your good looks and sense of humor always be aimed first and foremost towards the heart of God. May you always seek to give Him pleasure before your own. To bring Him joy before you seek Your own. May every ounce of your creative wit and will, and passion be bent towards – surrendered to- Jesus, before any other person. May the game of hide and seek be one you never stop playing as you grow in prayer and learn to find God in His throne room.

We are proud of you baby girl. These aren’t the Trying Threes Years…. We look forward to some very, very Thrilling Threes!

Happy Birthday, my Booger Bear.

IMG_7285

Time to be a Noah in Today’s World

Everywhere we turn we are being bombarded by politics. TV. Street signs. Social Media. Billboards. You name it – it’s there.

You have one side of people supporting one candidate and others tearing another one down. It is constant.

Yes, I know our country is in trouble.
Yes, I know what is going on.
Yes, I voted.
Yes, I know what is at stake.
Yes, I’m concerned.

With all that said…what good is ranting or debating politics? We will have the same outcome whether I chose to “show how human a candidate is” or not.

While we sit, debate and follow every step of every candidate we are neglecting the truth. No matter what happens. No matter who represents what party. No matter who is in office come January. No matter how many primaries. No matter what… GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE!

Trust me I worry as much as the next person, however there is a fine line of being educated and knowledgeable and being OF the world.

Think about Noah. During his time so much was going on around him. There is no doubt in my mind he knew exactly what was going on in his town. He was educated but he was not OF the world. He did not participate in the worldly things, instead he built an ARK! He sat and quietly listened to the Lord’s voice and obeyed. He would talk to those around him but never condemn them for what choice they made.

God knew the world condition at the time of Noah. He knew that He would need someone like Noah to make a difference. Noah saved humanity!

Don’t you think that same God knows what is going on here? Don’t you think that same God is calling out to us to make a difference?

God has us here and now for such a time as this. God has prepared us to stand on the Gospel of Truth and point people to Christ. Why be of the world when we were called to be NOT of this world? Why get caught up in debates when we can change hearts?

Today, I challenge you to take a step back and find out why you are here. Instead of pointing out human error in the candidate, pray for them.

America. We need Christians to stand up and LEAD this country. We need to be the salt and light of this world.

God has prepared us for such a time as this.

Motherhood

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.
Motherhood is not for the weak.
Motherhood is not for the perfect.

Motherhood IS for the strong heart.
Motherhood IS for the brave.
Motherhood IS for the broken.

When I was a little girl all I wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. I found myself constantly playing house, playing with dolls, taking care of anyone younger than me (whether they wanted to or not…it’s a miracle my sisters didn’t lash out more), and my heart yearning for a family that I would have one day. What I wish I could go back and whisper to that little girl is, “Don’t grow up to fast. Hold tight to the baby dolls. Enjoy TODAY and NOW. Your time will come.”

Now here I am in my mid twenties with 2 precious babies that are MINE! I am a MOM. The title “Momma” is my favorite title I wear. It is also the most challenging. From diaper changes to late night fevers. From snacks on the go to spontaneous cuddles. From the numerous bottles in the sink to loads of laundry. From the “why’s” to the being smothered with kisses. From car seats to Mickey Mouse.

Motherhood is wonderful and hard all at the same time. The best thing? I’m not alone! God is right there every step of the way. He is there in the cuddles. He is there in the diaper changes. He is there in the dark when it’s just me and the baby. He is there when I loose my cool. He is there when I’m not my best. He is there on the hard days. He is THERE!

I have my good days and my bad days. And the best news is God wants me on my good and bad days. He wants my smiles, my joy, my frustration, my anger, my HEART. He wants it ALL! I don’t have to get my act together to be accepted – I am accepted the way I am – mess and all!

Today I feel God saying, “I’m here. Just come. Let me hold you when you feel like you can’t go anymore. Let me be your strength when you are weak. Let me be your joy when you have none. Let me be your cheerleader when the to do list has gotten way to long. I’m here. Just rest in me.”

Let that sink in your heart. He is there when you’re alone. He is there ready to love on your heart. He wants to help you – let Him.

Here’s to the Mommas who want to have it all together, but don’t. Here’s to the Mommas who love their kids and want the absolute best for them. Here’s to the Mommas who just can’t go anymore. Here’s to the Mommas who love being Momma.

God is there. He is meeting you where you are now. Lean in so you can hear His heart beat. Lay back and let Him hold you. Just be held today.

XOXO,
MarcyIMG_5415

JOY

2015?!?!?! Where did 2014 go? If you are like me, 2014 seemed to go by in a blink of an eye. Well, some days at least. This past year has been full of ups and downs and in some ways I’m glad it’s over, but in some ways I’m not.

With 2014 over, that is one year gone that I will not get back with my daughter. Watching her grow everyday over this past year has been amazing. She has come SO FAR even in the past 2 months. I feel like the sports fan that is on the edge of their seat just waiting to see what will happen next in the game, because I am always on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will happen next with my daughter. What will be the next word she says? How many steps will she take unassisted this time? Oh, how much she has grown!

With 2014 over, that is means it is time for a new start. That does not mean, however, only the New Year do we get a new start. No, actually in Lamentations 3, it says “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease! Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to SHOUT from the mountaintops (well the clouds – there are no mountains in Texas people)! Each day is a new start.

However, with a New Year, new things come to mind. How can I be a better Image Bearer (or Mirror Image) of God in 2015? As I was praying and seeking what I could change the phrase: CHOOSE JOY kept coming to my mind. I now understand that this year, no matter what comes my way I will CHOOSE JOY! Just because I have said I’m going to CHOOSE JOY doesn’t mean life will be a walk in the park…no it just means I am going to have to make myself CHOOSE JOY even when everything else around me is going to say the opposite. There will be days when I don’t “feel” joyFULL, but those are the days I will lean on the fact that Jesus gave me my JOY.

This reminds me of a song I use to sing in Vacation Bible School. It goes like this:

I’ve got Joy down in my heart – Deep, deep down in my heart (Spell It)
J-O-Y down in my heart – Deep, deep down in my heart
Jesus put it there so nothing can destroy, destroy, destroy it
I’ve got Joy down in my heart- Deep, Deep down in my heart

Did you catch that? JESUS put it there so nothing can destroy it! I CHOOSE to live in JOY this year. Stand on HIS promises this year and know where TRUE JOY comes from! Join with me! Let’s make 2015 a joyFULL year! Let’s help each other CHOOSE JOY and never look back.

Happy JOYful 2015!

Marcy