It’s sunday evening, and I’m lying in bed at home alone on my heating pad. I’ve been here pretty much all day, and I just looked up long enough to see a text from my mom that let me know this time 2 years ago we were on the way to meet Camp + Asher for the first time in Ethiopia. Two years ago.
The day I became a mom. As I re-read that post I wrote on the day that we received our double portion, I couldn’t help but be reminded of God’s faithfulness. I needed that today. A part of my endometriosis (and infertility) is that every month there is at least 1 day that I am forced to stay home, mostly in bed. The bleeding is so heavy that I’ve felt lightheaded and dizzy when I get up out of bed, and somedays I just am so over it. I want to have “that moment” again. I want to be in a place ready to receive the good gifts God wants to bestow on me. Most of the time I feel unworthy. Today, I rebuke that I want to start praying and claiming Gods promises for me.
Over the past 5 years of our infertility/endometriosis journey, I have been prayed over many many times. I can recall every single instance someone prayed for healing over me, and those powerful moments in prayer with my brothers and sisters around the world will forever be etched in my memory. Last Sunday as I was visiting my good friends, the Gibsons, church with them, I felt led to go to the front during prayer time to ask for praying for healing. again. I told the two precious women who were praying for me, that I’ve been asking God to heal me for a few years, and even though he hasn’t physically healed me yet, I still have faith that He is able to! One of the women, after I finished, said “so you want us to pray for you to have a baby?” and I said, no, I mean that would be a great bonus to the healing work God could do in my body but that wasn’t what I was requesting prayer for. After the prayer time ended, she looked at me and said “I know what I heard”.
As I walked back up to our seats, I thought about what she said and as we continued in worship, I felt the Lord giving me new faith. fresh faith. and fresh eyes to see that I CAN indeed ask for a baby in prayer. I am not saying I deserve a baby, or that I feel like God has promised me a baby, but I felt like that day in that church He gently spoke new faith to me. He spoke his fatherly love to me. He reminded me that I don’t have to feel this guilt I feel when I think of asking for such a thing in prayer. I’ve been so focused on my physical healing the past few years, that maybe I’ve lost sight of the true desire of my heart.
Tonight, as I sit in a quiet house eating my pesto pasta in bed alone, I am reminded that no matter what happens – if God heals me by way of a baby, or just by his miraculous works, I am a mom. I do desire to keep being a mom, and whether thats a mom biologically, or if we adopt again, I will keep mothering. As I said in that first mom post, it IS the best job. It’s not always butterflies and roses as I suspected (did I tell you we’ve been potty training this weekend?) but it’s the best job. I am beyond honored to be Camp + Ashers mommy. Today, I want to celebrate that gift.
photos by the lovely + talented Alison Holcomb [and they are the biggest gift ever]
so fun to get to guest post over at The Root Collective’s blog today about our purchasing power.
go check it out here. and get you some #Ottomademyshoes flats handmade in Guatemala here.
Purchasing with purpose. This was a term that I had no idea what it meant 2+ years ago, but now it has become a frequent term on my blog, pinterest and just overall lingo. See, I used to buy things just because they were cheap. Especially jewelry, accessories and shoes. I didn’t really know any better. Then I was introduced to Noonday Collection, and The Root Collective among other amazing companies that create beautiful pieces hand made by artisans.
hand made! this just astounds me, that instead of using my purchasing power to buy something that was made in a factory across the world, I can use my purchasing power for good! I can say no to purchasing “cheap” things, and instead use my money and voice to purchase items that I know are ethicically produced.
I know now when I wear my Root Collective flats, that somewhere in Guatemala, Otto’s hands touched them and created these beautiful works of art on my feet. When I wear my Noonday paper beads from Uganda, I picture Daniel, Bukenya and Caleb and all the work and heart and love that went into making that necklace special and unique.
You see, as consumers we have purchasing power! We have the opportunity to spend our money on something that reaps rewards all over the world, not just in my closet. Think about this….how many times have you given money to someone in need? You know the parable – you can give a man a fish, or teach him how to fish…this purchasing from these artisans….it’s teaching them how to fish! When you use your purchasing power for good, you are sending them a message too: YOU MATTER!
Your purchases are powerful because they give them purpose! The power of having purpose is POWERFUL! I’ve sat in enough homes of artisans all over East Africa to know that their job is the one thing that gives them purpose, it’s the thing that gets them up in the morning, it’s the thing that provides for their family. It gives them HOPE, and a FUTURE, and there is nothing better than using our purchasing power to give purpose to the women + men all over the world who handmade these beautiful adornments we wear.
so what do you say? How about next time you are tempted to head to your local mall and pick up a $3 pair of earrings, how about instead think of how your purchase could be used for good? Let’s do it!
Like I said last week about our trip to New Orleans, it’s a fun family tradition. My parents have been coming here every year for over 30 years with their best friends. Every time they do the same thing: eat and antique shop. They stay at different hotels, and their restaurants vary but one thing remains: Friday lunch at Galotoires. It’s quite the experience if you haven’t been. There’s only one seating time: 11:30 and you have to get a “line sitter” to stand in line for you starting at 7:30 am. Everyone comes in their southern best, and it gets rowdy in there! It was fun during “happy birthday” for the entire restaurant to erupt in song. I love celebrating my dad. I love being with my family. I love being a part of their tradition, and I hope that me and Stephen have traditions like this one that last over 3 decades. There’s so much to be said about having friendships that last, and friendships that include travel and fun adventures! I was proud to be a part of my dads big 6oth!!
have y’all heard of this amazing boutique called Altar’d State??? Y’all, my small west Texas town hardly has any amazing chain stores or boutiques [like, we don't even have a GAP anymore] but we have an Altar’d State! The first time I went in this store, I immiedeltly fell in love. They were blaring good [christian] music, yummy smelling anthro-like candles, friendly staff, clothes, accessories, shoes AND gifts. Seriously this place is a one stop shop. What I love most about this store is the fact that they GIVE BACK.
They give a portion of overall sales to local + international charities, and each store has a specific charity/cause they work with and that a portion of that stores sales goes to! They also have their own brand, that gives food, clothing and shelter to kids around the world. This dress is an Altar’d State brand and it’s quickly become a favorite for my spring/summer wardrobe…
partner it with some of my favorite Noonday Collection Annie’s Feathered earrings, and Rubik’s jade necklace and some stacking bracelets and I have a complete look! All “purchased with purpose!”
that is what I like to call MY STYLE!
**I was not compensated for this post, I am purely a huge fan// photos by the lovely Erica Sledge Photography
[I shared some "beach trip necessities" with you yesterday from a trip we took late 2013 to the Cayman's. I found this drafted post, and even though we are months behind...thought I'd post. hey, it's summertime! plus, my encouragement at the end is fitting for me now. preaching to the choir here! ]
I can’t think of a better way to start the year of BEING ALIVE off, than to start it at the beach with my family. Just in case we have not established this yet, I am a summer girl. I love to be barefoot, my naturally wavy hair doing it’s thing, windows down, sun on my face, and preferably in the water. A little break from the cold in the middle of winter, was much appreciated from me. We were blessed immeasurably by Stephen’s family with the trip of a lifetime to the Cayman Islands for my mother in law’s 60th birthday! 5 adults + 4 kids traveled across the international border and entered into the place of magic, aka the Caymans. My husband and his family have been coming to the Caymans for years + it’s a very special place to them. This was actually my 3rd visit to the island, all with Stephen and/or his family!
Since this space serves as an online journal of sorts, I will leave you with images from our epic week ringing in 2014, Cayman style!
This trip gave me a reason to unplug. To disconnect. to enjoy Gods creation, and to quiet my soul. Each morning started off with a cup of coffee on the screened in porch of our 3rd story condo overlooking the palm trees and the ocean that seemed to never end. Bible + journal in hand with no time frame, I soaked in every minute. There’s something about lazy mornings that I absolutely love. I wrote with my actual pen + journal [as opposed to my computer]. I wrote my best memories from 2013. I wrote my goals for 2014. I dreamed.
I encourage everyone to make space and time to BE STILL before God. to stop sleeping with your smartphone, and take time to breathe in gods beautiful creation and be in His presence.
here’s to living alive in 2014.
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