won’t be like this for long.

it won’t be like this for long.

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that song, you know, the country one, came on the radio the other night as I was driving away from just putting my babies down after a long long day.  I needed out, I needed space and time without two toddlers hanging all over me, scratching me, biting me, pulling my hair and threatening to rip a hole through my ear.  I was beat up, exhausted, and at my witts end.  ever felt that way? 

 

then that song came on the radio as I was driving to meet my friend for a glass of wine.  and I cried.  I let out the ugly tears.  and I was also encouraged.  it WON’T be like this for long, and yes one day they will be all grown up and gone and that breaks this mamas heart.

 

even in the hard days, the days where you have scratches all up your arm and your daughter now thinks that it’s her job to spank her brother, I can know that this is just a phase, and it won’t be like this forever.  they won’t always run around half naked at the food truck trailer park, and try to go swimming in a water feature, and run away every time I call them.  they also won’t always want to hold my hand, sing me the birthday song over and over, and give me kisses on the mouth.  so tonight was a reminder that I need to CHOSE to enjoy every moment,  the good ones and the hard ones.  Being a mom is the best job, and I don’t ever want to take this gift for granted.

sure, somedays most days I might need a little of this…

image copy 2cheers to raising babies, and knowing that this phase [good or hard] won’t be around forever, so let’s enjoy it!  live well, play well, love well, forgive well.  chose to enjoy every moment!

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BE the change.

The week before I left for my Uganda trip, I had the honor of participating in challenge day right here in my city, with a group of freshman students.

it was powerful.  it was amazing.  it was emotional.  it was freeing.

It was a place I got to be myself.

I might have gone into the day pre-judging people simply by the image they were potraying, but I left a different person.

sitting around, knees to knees, with a group of students I had never met before, I learned something.

no matter our race, our gender, or our age…we all struggle.  and if you really dig deep and open up to answer this question, “if you really knew me, you’d know…” you can find you all have a lot more common ground than you think you do.  I walked into the room that morning being a stranger, and left a friend.

there’s so much power in speaking life into each others dreams.  and dreaming big!  dreaming confidently, like your dream has already come true.

our words mean so much…with them we can tear down, or we can build up.  I want to always be someone who speaks life into young peoples dreams.  I want to encourage and affirm the big big dreams young people have on their hearts.  if we are for them, they are for themselves!

Be-the-change

I also learned that I can be the change.

so often I want to influence people in a way that causes them to act.  which I still stand by, I don’t want to just inspire you, but inspire you to action.  but I think a lot of my life I’ve held that responsibility.  like somehow it’s my job to make you see things differently.  like it’s my job to be perfect so you will know god.  but ya know what? IT’S NOT!   MY job is to BE the change.  for me to lead by example.  to lead with vunerability.  it’s not up to me to change your mind.  it’s just up to me to change MY mind, and act accordingly.

what do you think it would look like if we ALL just decided to BE the change in our neighborhoods, our churches, our schools, and our places of influence?

read more about Be the Change + Challenge Day  and see if it’s something you can help bring to your local community here.

Melissa Blair - Sister. Over here. I hear you. Thank you for this reminder and ALSO…I am leading our youth girls on Sunday and I LOVE the transparency and movement of the Challenge Day…I think we will get the party started here. I love you!

Wynne - ou should TOTALLY get challenge day going! it’s an amazing thing girl. love you!

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lighting candles + american blogger trailer

A candle doesn’t lose it’s flame by lighting another candle” – anonymous

beautiful and humbling words spoken from my dear friend, Casey last weekend from the stage at Hope Spoken.  I cried telling her on Sunday that those words meant so much to me.  You see, SHE has been that candle for me.  I can’t even believe that God intertwined our paths in early 2003 when she picked me as her little sister in our sorority at Baylor.  We laughed this weekend that God was probably laughing back then, just seeing us standing around at a frat party and Him just laughing and shaking his head like, “you girls don’t even know!”

I’m so thankful that Casey has been one of those friends that has LIT my candle.

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she has been a beacon of light to me in this whole blogger/instagram world.  She has encouraged me, answered all my dumb questions, pushed me to be braver, and held my hand at times when I was scared or hurt.

She took a chance on me, and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders in me sharing the story God has written for me.  I can’t thank her enough for giving me the honor of sharing my story at Hope Spoken, and for sending her hubby way out to west Texas to interview me for his American Blogger film!!  Seriously, so much love for you + Chris and the way you are lighting so many candles across the world!

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American Blogger Official Trailer from Chris Wiegand on Vimeo.

The American Blogger trailer is HERE!!!  [you might see Chris in my studio at the beginning!] check it out + visit http://www.americanblogger.com for more details of the early June iTunes launch!!

American Blogger Poster 001 - Casey Profile with Flag WITH CREDITS 4200x6300

Kari - Wynne, I’m so proud of you & your big heart to share your story! You’ve touched the heart of so many bloggers! I can’t WAIT to see the film!

Wynne - kiki! you are amazing! thank you for all of your encouragement and cheerleading!!! YOU are a candle to me too my sister! love you!

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best stories

God writes the best stories.
Let the redeemed of The Lord say so!

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What I heard over & over again last weekend at hope spoken were the stories god is writing for our lives. Some people know the story, some are still afraid to say them outloud, some are yet to realize the god sized story happening in their lives… But regardless, God is the writer of the stories.

I also heard over & over again that sometimes the places God takes us & the story line he writes for out lives is one we would never pick.

I can say that. My story, the parts that I shared last weekend, was titled “the story of the unexpected”. Because Gods story line in my life has taken in unexpected turn. His ways are higher than my ways, his thoughts are higher than my thoughts – ish 55:8 says. His ways! Not my way, but his.

I also walked away from so many tear stained conversations knowing and believing that even though we wouldn’t always chose the parts of our stories that include pain, loss, darkness, heartbreak, betrayl… We wouldn’t trade them for anything. Because it’s during those seasons that God draws us nearer to him.

Hannah Singer said in her story, “sometimes he causes the darkness to last bc he needs us to be closer to him”

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["draw me nearer by Hope Handmade, gifted to me by Hope Spoken]

God doesn’t waste anything!

There’s a time for everything. A season for all. I’m still unpacking all that Lauren Chandler preached out of psalm 107, but if you have a few minutes flip over there and read it.  There are seasons of desert, folly, and storm. He uses all of these seasons! Nothing is wasted.

Honestly, I feel like I’m about to enter a season of storm. My spirit can’t decide if I’m already in it, or if it’s coming. I think God is preparing my heart and showing me even now that he is with me. That if a storm hits, it’s him who graciously allows it. He tells me not to worry, and that he will give me grace for the moment.

He tells me it will just be another opportunity to cry out to him. He is with me. He will lead me one step at a time.

I still have so much to unpack from Hope Spoken, but I am so grateful for the time spent with some of my favorite people.  Family, college friends, Midland friend, Africa + adoption friends, sweet internet friends, and new friends that I didn’t expect to connect with.  It was full of  love, laughter, tears, late night conversations, candy, coffee, and Jesus.

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grace - He DOES write the best stories! amen and amen!!

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declaring what we love

one of the ways we grow up is by declaring what we love” – Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine

If I could sit in a cafe with one writer, it would be Shauna Niequist.  I love the way her stories evoke so much emotion in me.  The way I feel like, “yes, that’s me too!”.  I love the way I can relate to her, and the way I aspire to connect with readers like she does.   I’m excited that I will actually get the chance to sit around the table with Shauna at Hope Spoken this weekend.

There are so many prompts in this book that I have taken and ran with, but today as I sit at the Amsterdam airport traveling home from a 10 day DREAM trip to Uganda with Sole Hope, I want to focus on and declare what I love.

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I love people.

I love connecting with people, and connecting people to each other.

I love to travel and see new places, meet new people, experience new cultures.

I love to tell a good story through photography + writing.  I love the way my camera allows me to connect with people.

I love relationships, and hearing peoples stories + dreams.  I love dreaming with people.

I love quiet mornings with Jesus and coffee.

I love freedom and redemption.

I love to be outdoors enjoying Gods beautiful creation, almost like I’m breathing him in.

I love to worship.  Alone with my headphones on, in a corporate setting, or with my little family.

I love being a mom.  being a wife.  being a sister.  being a daughter.  being a friend.  I love being a part of my little family, and a part of the bigger family of God.

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what about you?  what do YOU love?

“one of the ways we grow up is by declaring what we love”

 

 

paige - somehow i missed the entire hopespoken gig until it was sold out. i am SO sad–you have no idea–to miss this! how awesome that you’re speaking there!! i have buddies heading there & i think it’s so cool they’ll MEET you! you will bless so many!!
mucho love my friend, you truly love well!!

Courageous Love - i love this so much and i SO love that you get to go to uganda! i went to uganda in 2008 and it was the best trip i had ever been on. you are going to be so blessed! i’m new to your blog, but am so excited to connect and get to know you better through your little space on the web!

xoxo, autumn // courageouslove.net

Sarah Pikop - I love the family I have had for so many years & the new family bonds that have grown – for my existing family & for my BIG family of friends! I love how God reveals himself through people! I lovehow God has been so patient with me & that He’s taught me how to open up to Him by opening up to the love of those around me!

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