Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."

Saturday, January 3, 2015

a new year. a new chapter. welcome 2015.

As I sit and reflect on 2014- I am not really sure where the time has gone and how it could possibly be 2015?!  Reagan and I are grateful to welcome a new year - needless to say 2014 was a hard. rough. trying year for us.  We are ready to embrace change and see where God will take us in 2015.

Since August, I was consumed by my Child Life Internship that finished the first week in December.  The hours were crazy and with things we had going on in our personal lives- somedays felt impossible and that the end would never be in sight.  Though, on December 5th I completed the internship- 632 hours later.  It was a huge sigh of relief and I was so proud of myself for accomplishing this goal.  I learned so much over those 15 weeks.  I now in a waiting period to be approved for my Board Certification test for Child Life and pray that God opens up a Child Life Specialist job here in San Antonio (the Children's Hospitals here have been going thru a lot of changes- so I am a little anxious about finding a job).  Though, in the meantime, I will be studying for my Child Life Specialist exam, studying for more teacher certification exams, and continuing to sub while I pray God opens the door He wants me to walk thru.  This whole career thing causes me so much anxiety, but with all the other crazy life trials we have been thru this year I have learned more than ever that God goes before you and knows exactly what you need and when you need it- so I am clinging to that as I wait patiently for the Lord to provide.

Reagan has been busy with work and grad school online with Texas A&M.  He made a 4.0 his first semester- whoop! and is loving his classes.  He was invited right before Christmas to attend a 1 week leadership training course with the big bosses of his company- and while he was there found out that he will be receiving a promotion in the new year- God is good!  He was completely taken aback by this, but so excited at the same time because he will be putting to use things he is already learning in grad school.

Sweet Lyla (our precious pup) is doing great- we are so blessed by this pup.  We are really wanting to get her a puppy friend in the new year but we cannot decide on a breed. She has definitely made the worst days better with all her cuddles!

There were several moments in 2014 that I questioned whether we would make it to 2015.   It was beyond rough friends.  But I know more than anything, the only reason we were able to make it thru was by God's grace and loving mercy.  He carried us thru some of the darkest days, and placed the most genuine, God loving and fearing friends in our lives who carried us thru and prayed for us when we didn't have the words.  I will never be able to repay them for what they have done, so I just continue to remind myself to show and tell them how much they mean to us and how much we love them.  Cling to the people God places in your life- because they are there for a reason.  They laughed with us on the good days and held us and cried with us and prayed for us on the bad days.  These are our people, and we are so incredibly grateful to God for them- we are definitely better because of them.

As I sit here in 2015, I have decided that my phrase for the year is going to be "walk in God's grace."  God's grace is the only reason why I am where I am today.  He has heard my prayers and my cries over this last year, wiped my tears, and clothed me in His grace.  I want to continue focusing on His grace and love throughout this next year, and spend time in His word continuing to learn about Him and His unfailing gracious love.

My prayer for 2015 is that I live intentionally, love well, focus on the things that matter most, embrace where I am, discern the voice of God, let go of trying to control what I can't, pursue and date my husband, remind those who mean the most to me how much I love them, and live in the moment- the here and now.

This is a new year. a new chapter. a time to let go of the things I no longer want to hold onto, and embrace who God is molding me to be.  This is a new chapter of my book, and I pray this year I allow God to write the story as I walk with Him thru the day to day.  Because more than anything, in 2014 I learned that Jesus is all I need.  When I am broken, He is enough.

Praying you all have started 2015 will full hearts surrounded by people you love.

This is a new year, embrace what God has in-store.

With Love,

Monday, August 11, 2014

life can get a little crazy

our world has been crazy. crazy busy. jam packed full. with stuff. that sometimes i wish could be erased from the calendar - and the only worry in the world i had was spending time with my husband. but that's not life. far from it.

busy may not even really describe our summer. i don't even know what the word would be. our plates are full. really beyond full. our bodies are tired- and most days we wish there were more hours in a day.

we were able to cram in a couple of trips - really only one we were able to take together - oh Chicago how we enjoyed you! the others were work related (for the hubs) and i took a family vacay with my parents to Destin - it was beautiful but would have been even better with my partner in crime by my side.

on top of reagan being crazy busy for work- going here there and everywhere. and out of town what feels like more times than none. he also has me to deal with - and i can be a handful at times... along with grad school as a fightin' texas aggie. honestly i do not think that man knows what the word rest means. i am proud of him beyond words- and grateful for all the long hours he puts in and the hard work he does for our family. he truly is such a blessing to me.

so i try my best to keep up with reagan's schedule- all the while getting prepared for my final child life internship that starts august 25th. eeeek. i am excited and nervous and scared all wrapped into one. and if starting an internship wasn't enough - i took a leap of faith and applied to grad school - a masters in counseling. double eeeek. i may be crazy. but i thought what the heck, now is the time to pursue dreams - reagan is so busy i might as well be equally busy, and then when we are all done we can go on a really awesome vacation! haha.  i won't find out if i got in until the spring- but i was proud of myself for at least taking the step to apply- which was a lot for me. like big. God is moving y'all- and that makes me smile.

its funny, because as we sat and talked the other night- after not seeing each other for 2 weeks (hardest 2 weeks ever) we laughed because we honestly can't believe where God has us right now. so many new beginnings. so many unknowns. and to be frank... we both thought we would have a child by now. (seriously going on 9 years together in November and married over 4 years- we have known each other for a loooong time)... and as much as we both want that, i am not sure that is what God has for us right now. and honestly some days that makes me super sad. and other days i am totally okay with that. because i know that one day that dream of ours will come true. and we will get to hold our precious bundle in our arms and that will be pure bliss. more than anything this summer i have learned to trust and to just jump all in because God's ways are perfect. and my plans are so imperfect. and messed up. He knows. and that's what reagan and i keep reminding each other- He knows. He knows our hearts. and our desires. and what makes us happy and sad. He knows- and i have to trust that in his amazingly awesome and perfect plan everything will be as it needs to be when He is ready for us!

so we are trusting. and taking baby steps along these crazy journeys and continuing to share the desires of our heart with not only each other but our sweet Lord- because he cares so much. and i am grateful for that.

we are grateful for new opportunities. more time to date each other and focus on our marriage. more time to invest in others. more time to love people within our church. more time to laugh with friends. and more time to strive towards goals we set long ago for each other and ourselves.

i am grateful God chose me to do life with this man. it can be a little crazy. but it is our story- and i am seeing God in so many things. and that is beautiful. when you truly stop and admire the work of God, i am blown away.

so when you think of us- say a pray for all the craziness that is our life. for us to be bold and brave in our new journeys. and for us to never take our eyes off Him - because He is all we need to make it through to the next great thing He has in store for us.

love you all bunches.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

God Knew.

time has gotten away from me and it has been a while since I have had the time to sit and write - i have definitely missed it.

i don't even know where to begin.

for the past couple of years i have been on a journey/stuck in a season that has not been easy. i have been filled with worry, doubt, anxiety and a whole other mix of emotions. i have doubted myself, and i have doubted the plans the Lord had for me - i was stuck in so many ways and it was a horrible feeling.

i knew deep down in my heart what my passion was for my career- and that was in child life but since that dream was not coming to fruition and very hard to come by, friends and family started throwing things at me in which they thought i should do so i would have a career (looking back now i knew they were only trying to be helpful and wanted to see my happy, but it was hard hearing all their ideas and made my even more stressed and doubtful). but before long i started allowing their opinions to sway me and i found myself saying.... maybe becoming a child life specialist is not what God has for you, it is such a hard career to get into, maybe there is something else - and with that i started trying other things in hope that maybe a door would open and i would know what i was supposed to be doing...

i tried re-applying to nursing school - but did not find peace in that decision. i tried taking my teaching certification exam (thru my alternative certification) to become a teacher and my scores came up short yet again. i applied to countless jobs that i did not receive any calls back from (and one that i did, but reagan and i kindly said we were no longer interested - another story for another day). no doors were opening and i felt inadequate, embarrassed, a failure, and honestly most days just broken. i had no clue where my life was going and it was hard for me to see the success of others because i was so broken in my journey- i felt like the Lord had nothing good for me. which I knew wasn't true... but I just didn't know what His plans were for me and that was frustrating. and stressful. i had no control over the situation and I had to surrender and give it all to Him.

there were several times on this journey i can remember being on my knees both alone and with reagan praying for clarity. praying for me to have peace in my career and the calling that God had for my life.  there are times i can remember God gently reminding me to trust him and be patient - but it was hard when i felt like there was no end in sight. i was weary and burdened and i just wanted this journey to be done. i wanted my door to open. and i wanted it now. not 6 months from now. not a year from now. but now so this stressful journey could be over. once and for all.

all the while thru this journey God was refining me- thru bible studies, thru friends, thru sermons, and thru prayer. He was molding me for what He knew i needed to be.  most days i could not see it- because all the junk was blinding me, but looking back i had to go thru it all to be where i am today. more humbled, diligent in prayer and truly able to rest in my Savior and His plans.

He is faithful. and thru the yuck He provided me with an opportunity to substitute teach and love on children - which is my passion. it was not a glamorous "job" most days, but it kept me with kids and i was surrounded by people who loved me and cared about me... and from that avenue i made some incredible friends that i am so grateful for.

He also provided me with the opportunity to volunteer with a Child Life Specialist whom i adore and learn from her. she taught me how to love. be in the moment. and to think on my toes. she taught me that kids just need to be loved, and sometimes we feel like we don't know what to do because we have never seen this case in the hospital- but God knows and He will give us what we need. my time with her was humbling, filled with laughter, and i learned a lot. better yet - i have a friend who shares the same passions i have- i hope God will allow me to be on her team someday... it would be nothing but the best.

and even thru it all - the crying, the unknown, and the worry.... He provided me with the greatest opportunity- and that was applying for the Final Child Life Internship here in San Antonio at a Children's hospital. I never thought the day would come, but it did. and i was a nervous wreck getting my packet together. i worried it wouldn't make it there on time, that i had forgotten to include something, or that i wouldn't even be considered as a candidate... but God knew.

i waited for a phone call - and never got one. and i thought i am never going to get an open door and i will always sub. what a life. and then the call came. the hospital asked me for an interview. and i happily agreed. this is what i have been waiting for. this internship. this is the last piece of the puzzle i need before i can sit for the state examination and become a child life specialist. my life has been waiting for this moment for so long.

i was nervous leading up to the interview and the day of. but i just continued asking the Lord for His words during the interview and that if this was His will for my life that the door would open. the interview was late in May and it lasted over 2 hours. they asked me everything under the sun. looking back at the interview- there were times i felt i didn't have an answer when they asked certain questions and then all of the sudden the words just came and started flowing- that was the Lord. without a doubt. He knew just what i needed.

i left that interviewing praying this was my opportunity and thanking the Lord for being there with me. i left with a smile knowing i did my absolute best and that whatever happened would be the plans the Lord had for me. i was resting in knowing that He would take care of my every need. it was scary to give it all, but I knew if He had brought me this far i only wanted the best He had for me, and if this wasn't it there was something much better waiting for me. because God knew just what I needed when I needed it.

i waited weeks for a call. and as time passed i thought to myself - so many people applied for 2 intern positions what are the odds one of those spots will be given to me?! during the weeks of waiting, reagan and i considered what our plan a.b.and c. would be just incase i did not get the internship- the unknown and the wait was the hardest part of it all. but we just kept trusting in the Lord and giving it to Him. because He knows what we need far better than we do.

well yesterday the call i had been waiting for finally came. and with shaking hands and a shaking voice i answered the phone. it was the hospital and they were calling to tell me i had received one of the two intern positions!!!!!! words cannot even express how i felt in that moment.  my response to their offer was - Yes! Absolutely! I am honored!  i was fighting back tears on the phone with them and then i just let them flow.  i fell to my knees, overcome with emotion and just thanked the Lord. when i hung up the phone i cried uncontrollably. most of them happy tears. but more than anything it was gratitude to the Lord for carrying me thru this long season. there were so many days i thought i couldn't do it anymore and the Lord carried me. my God did that for me because He knew I needed to be molded and shaped so that I could get to yesterday and see the beautiful open door He had for me. my heart is still overcome with emotion. and thankfulness. and just pure awe of the amazement of the Lord and what He can do.  He knew all along just what i needed.

the last piece of my journey starts in August and i could not be more thrilled. this is what i have needed for so long to be able to start my career as a Child Life Specialist - and it is here. for this day i have prayed and many times never thought it would come, but it is here. and i could not be happier.

this summer my prayers are that i relish in this internship and soak up every moment - because the 15 weeks are going to fly by and i don't want to miss a moment. i pray for it to be a smooth process in submitting all the documentation needed to take the Child Life Certification Exam - so i can become an official Child Life Specialist. and i pray that once December comes that the Lord will open doors for a job to be available for me in Child Life at a wonderful children's hospital.  these are my prayers and i know without doubt God will help me thru each one. He is good. and i have seen His goodness in more ways than one.  and He knows just what I need. all.the.time.

thank you to all my friends, family, and my sweet husband who have loved me and prayed for me thru this difficult journey. i could not have done it without y'all. and when i didn't have the words to pray- you all prayed for me and for that i will be forever grateful. thank you for being my prayer warriors and helping me get thru this season.

for now i am going to enjoy my summer with friends and family. spend time with my Lord. and prepare my heart for all the children and families i will meet at the hospital come August. i pray that the Lord will use me in a mighty way. and i am confident that He will. because He has brought me this far. and i am grateful that i will be able to live out the desires of my heart daily - that is what i have always wanted and the Lord filled that desire.  He knew just what I needed before I ever knew.

wow!! look what God can do. far more than i ever thought or imagined.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Monday, March 31, 2014


i meet with a group of women every wednesday night. they make me a better me. they push me to be better. to follow after God. to pray with deep desire. and to love like God has called us to.  they were purely God sent. and i don't know what my life would be like without having them encouraging me. loving me. and pushing me towards God's best the past couple of years. i am beyond grateful for them, their friendship, and their love.
this semester we decided to do the study, Stuck by Jennie Allen. y'all... WOW. is all i can say. it is pushing me. changing me. causing me to stop and think. and wanting me to give more of my stuck places of life to God. it is teaching me that with God... i am complete. enough. that His ways are perfect. that my life is not my own. that surrendering is the first step of obedience. and that by taking up my cross and accepting His grace daily, i am living a life of obedience.

this study has my mind boggled at times. each chapter is exactly what i need in this season. i am humbled. and on my knees in prayer that God would move thru me because of this study. every week, Jennie knows exactly what i need to hear and read. it is such a beautiful thing to read each page and see how God used her in her stuck moments to write this study. it is beautiful. and raw. and real. and just what i need. and i want her to be my friend, because she gets me. understands my thoughts and my heart. and i get her and i love her heart because of this study.

my prayer tonight as i finished the chapter for this week is that i would allow myself to die to Christ daily. that when i find myself buried in worry. fear. and anxiety that i will stop and surrender my thoughts to God and ask in prayer for Him to take captive of my heart and my thoughts. i want to be more like Jesus. i am only here for a short time. and in that time, i want to live out my faith to the fullest. showing others what it means to be a follower of Christ. i am not perfect. far from it. but i want to be better. i want to put Christ first daily, and die to myself. i want to let go of all my stuck areas so that i can experience the grace and love of God tenfold. it takes willingness... to move. to jump off the ledge. to go where others may think is weird. to be brave. and to live like i know Christ is calling me to live.

i am ready to allow God to move. and to call me for what i was made to do here on this earth.  He is good and i know the plans He has for my life are perfect in every way. so now is the time to allow God to stretch me and make me uncomfortable so that i can become more like Him. so that i am able to love like Him and extend His grace to those around me.  i am ready. my prayer is that each day i start with Him and stay focused on Him - because i know my days and life will be that much more fruitful because He is in the center.

are you ready to take this journey with me? it may be uncomfortable... but i know it will be so worth it.

"For we know that our old self was crucified with (Christ) so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin -- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." - Romans 6:6-7