I left 3 hour triple baby shower [these babies have all safely made their way into the world now! praise God!] dinner before the tears started to flow. It’s such a weird thing. When you’ve been walking with a group of girls for 3-5 years, and they know you and they know your heart and your desires. they know your struggles and your heart ache. they want what you want almost as much as you do. they want to change the hard stuff, they want to make it better. they love me so fiercely. they don’t know what to say sometimes, so sometimes they don’t. and sometimes they step out on a limb and send me a message just to see how I am. I’m sure they feel nervous to do that. I would feel nervous about that too, if it wasn’t something I had walked through or been walking through. but when they do, I am so grateful. I can feel the hurt in their hearts for me. I can feel them empathizing with me. it’s nice to know I’m seen.
it’s hard. having been trying to conviece for 5 years. there are always seasons where everyone and their dog is pregnant, and this is one of them. I have way too many stories of crying in the bathroom at parties and dinners, just trying to hide and be alone. then I have stories of friends finding me in the bathroom, and praying with me and letting me hide out until the tears dry. 5 years of this. first round of kids, then second, and now we are on to round 3 for lots of my friends.
it’s weird. it’s weird because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. but at times, I feel sorry for myself. I’m learning a lot about dealing with grief, and loss over what could have been. I’m learning that it’s OK to cry out to God, and to tell him I don’t think it’s fair, and to be mad. he can handle it. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but I think because I feel sorry for myself I perceive everyone else to feel sorry for me too. but they are right there with me. they are confused, and sad, and hurt, and they want it to be different too! they want what I want!
when friends announce they are pregnant, at least to me, sometimes they say it in a I-feel-bad-i’m-pregnant kind of way. and I know their heart, I know they are trying to protect me and let me know that they hate it for me. that they wish I was pregnant too. but it makes me feel worse sometimes. I AM excited for them. I AM excited about new life! I DO want to celebrate. but it’s just their weird thing, because yes I am also hurting inside. I am also asking, “why not me” to myself. I am questioning God, and telling him it’s not fair. I know in my heart the truth – I know his timing is perfect, I know there is purpose in my pain, but that doesn’t mean that it still isn’t hard. not every day. but some days, it’s hard.
I’m grateful for this journey, I really am. I’m grateful that I can now for the rest of my life, empathize with other women who are going through this same struggle. I’m thankful that my pain could be my platform. I’m thankful that my heart can be broken and hurt and sad alongside other women, and at the same time I can encourage them, and relate to them in a new way. I’m grateful that this journey has only brought me to a greater dependance on HIM. I know full well that we are NOT in control, he is. He is in control of it all and He alone is the author and giver of life.
sometimes though, I just want to get in my car after dinner and drive around town before going home, and stop at random parks, and cry. ugly cry. I know the truth. I know I am loved. I know my friends + family are for me, and they are with me. but there are times in this journey that must be walked alone. and I’m walking it.
this story won’t leave my mind, so I’m bringing it to you today. a story of hope, and healing, and justice being done.
do you remember when I told you about Jamie? beautiful Jamie, who was walking, and laughing and singing with us around the table in Kigali?
This is her story.
and this is not ok. this everyday violence is what plauges third world countries like Rwanda, and hurts beautiful people like Jamie. it is NOT OK.
but IJM is doing something about it. the took her to safety, they helped her get prosthetic legs, they spoke into who she was and how she is beautiful and loved.
they got her counseling, and helped her find a home with other children with disabilities.
their lawyers convicted her abusers.
and they placed Jamie in a rehabilitation center where she learned to walk again!
“I thank God that he makes a way when there is no way”- Jamie
these people in this video? they are my friends. they are fighting the everyday injustices every day in Rwanda. and WE can be a part of it. Sign up to become a freedom partner with IJM, and help IJM give 24/7 care to their clients around the world!
Happy middle of the week friends! Just wanted to pop in and say hello, and say I have loved hearing from you the past week! I love hearing what some of your favorite pieces are from the new Noonday fall line – and wanted to say congrats to Danielle Martino for winning the ruffled make up bag! She also will get some yummy Rodan + Fields product from my long time friend, Nicole Binniker [who has also become a Noonday shopper!] If you haven’t had a chance to make it to a trunk show this season yet, you are going to want to do that! If you don’t know who the ambassador is in your area, go to this link + scroll to the bottom to find “connect with your local ambassador”. The home office team will connect you, it’s that easy!
So Danielle, you can put your Rodan + Fields broad spectrum powder + lip shield in your Noonday ruffled makeup bag!
I also loved reading through all of your submissions for why you want to win my copy of Jen Hatmakers revised and expanded, Interrupted! So many of you ladies are seeking, and searching and excited that God is opening your world view and wrecking your comfortable christiantiy. and I want to encourage you, even if you don’t win this book – head over to amazon, or barnes + noble and get yourself one! better yet, get two and pass one along to a friend? The winner of this book is Grace Cho. Congrats friend!
I just love that when God is speaking to me, He is so obvious. He’s poured into me so much this week through His Word, through ASK CBS ministry, through Mid Cities girls night, IF Equip Galatians study and I’m so thankful. It was just what my soul needed to recharge and be filled to overflowing again. I hope this encourages you to seek the Lord, to ask Him to fill you, ask Him to put people and ministry opportunities in your path that will draw you closer to him. He is faithful, and he will do it.
This weekend I’m headed outta town for the first ever Royal Daughters Glampout in Fredricksberg, Texas put on by the Beloved Society…led by my dear friends Alison + Beth. If you are a mom or a wife and you are cautious to leave your family for a weekend – let me just encourage you that it is time well spent. There is something about leaving all the daily duties behind, and getting in your car, or on an airplane, and driving away from it all for a few days. I can speak from personal experience – but it only makes me a better wife and mom. Getting away to be refreshed, spending time in Gods word, fellowshiping, eating yummy food, and late nights in jammies talking with your girlfriends…it is for sure food for my soul.
So I can’t wait for the glampout, and Jenna’s yummy food, and fancy dress up night, and sitting around the campfire, and breathing in the hill country for the weekend. Me, Wendy, Jody and Sarah will be taking off from Midland Friday and I might be counting down the days. There’s also something special about getting outta town with the girlfriends you do life with in your community. I haven’t gotten to do this with most of this crew yet, so…lots of stories to come I’m sure!
I hope you all have a happy weekend! I might be popping back in this week with an encouraging word, or I might not see you until next week that’s what the freedom of the last week of summer means right?
In December of 2011, I first told you about this book that was wrecking my thoughts and thinking. It was called Interuppted, and it’s written by Jen Hatmaker. I did a little review on it here, but basically what you need to know is God used that book to speak to me at the beginning of my life “interrupted”. Stephen + I had just gotten home a few months earlier from our first mission trip to Africa, and our dossier [to adopt] had been in Ethiopia just a few short months. I was for sure searching, and seeking, and wondering what it really meant to live missionally. To live wrecked, interrupted, and gloriously ruined. I remember having a lot of questions, a lot of fear, and wondering how to live now that my eyes had been opened – and Jen’s book let me know that we weren’t alone out in those waters. As I said in 2011, reading this book & starting to pray about living missionally has already started to transform my thinking.
Enter July 2014, I was in Rwanda with Noonday + IJM sitting next to said author as she told me about her revised and expanded version of Interuppted. I knew right then I needed to re-read it. It was an honor to sit in that coffee shop that day and tell Jen that her voice has been one God has used in my life, and in our generation, to unlock scriptures and teaching for many.
If you have, or even if you haven’t, read any of Jen’s books – I would say (and she says too) THIS is the one to read. Without this book, she couldn’t have written 7 – this was the “prequel” as she says to 7. This book is her heartbeat. The revised + expanded version has so much to offer – not only new material but notes from her husband Brandon and much more. I mean the title just grabs you: Interuppted: when Jesus wrecks your comfortable christianity. It’s the story of God taking the Hatmakers and plucking them out of ” complacent, comfortable, safe Christianity” and dropping them into “the deep end of struggle, injustice, brokenness, and a hurting humanity”.
Has God done that to you? Has he opened your eyes to the hurting world around you and you just don’t know what to DO with it? Have you been in church all your life, like me, but missed some key scriptures about the poor and oppressed? You aren’t alone, sister. Let this book help mobilize you, educate you, convict you, and push you out towards what you are called to do.
I’ve loved re-reading this book, as the Lord is not done with us. He is continually wrecking our lives for Him and His glory and it’s books and writers like this one that help push us out the door. I don’t have it all together, I have so much more to learn, and God has so much left to speak to me. Reading this book 3 years into this journey He’s called us on, is even more confirmation that the best is yet to come.
Until reading this book, and hearing Jen speak several times, I hadn’t ever heard someone be so real about our interpretations of several scriptures talking about the poor. This is what I mean…
“hey, here’s something crazy: In the Word, poverty, widows, huger – these are not metaphors. There are billions of lambs that literally need to be fed. WITH FOOD”
I know reading this book will open your eyes and your heart to understand the scriptures we’ve read over and over, even deeper. It’s not easy, y’all, but it’s important. Will you take the challenge and pray about what could happen when we fully surrender, and allow Jesus to completely wreck and interrupt our lives?
I’m giving away 1 paperback copy of Interrupted today – simply comment and tell me why you want to get your hands on a copy of this book. Winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday.
|Jan Hatmaker is the author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and A Modern Girl’s Bible Study series. With a heart for her generation, she speaks at conferences around the country. Jen resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Brandon, and their five children. To learn more about Jen and follow her blog, go to www.jenhatmaker.com.
I have this constant need.
it’s a need for time + space. but, I know I’m not the only one that has that need. we all would probably elect to add more hours to our day if it were humanly possible. but the good Lord gifted us with 24 hours in each day for a reason, and so that’s the time frame we get to work with.
I don’t want to say it’s not enough, because of the aforementioned gift from God, but some days it feels like it’s not.
the days are long and the years are short
– right? just about every time I think about that quote as a mother of little ones, I get a little misty eyed. for the love, I know the years are short. most days that makes me really sad – longing for time to slow down, time to stop, and my babies to be babies forever. but to be honest, the days right now seem very long.
yesterday I didn’t leave the house, or get out of my pajamas per say. my sweet husband came to our rescue earlier than most afternoons, and gave me some time to find my own time and space. and for that I am very grateful.
friends ask me every day, “how was Africa”. it’s such a loaded question, and one I cannot answer in the form that I would answer a “how was your weekend” question. I want to tell them, and some days I have the energy and space to do so, and some days (like this day) I just said ” I don’t know. I haven’t had the time to process”.
I’m learning so much about myself, and what I need and where I thrive. I love to be around people – I love to be creating, and connecting, and sharing stories and life. I feel alive when I’m traveling and trying new experiences and going on adventures with my family. I like to mix things up, and always have something to look forward to, something to dream of.
earlier this week, my sweet Asher didn’t want to nap so we cuddled on the couch, had some popcorn, and watched Tangled. I had never seen it, but pretty much cried through the whole thing. I love the part at the end where Rapunzle + Eugene are in the boat about to see the lights and she says something like “what if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?” and Eugene says, it will. she responds, what if it is, what do I do then? …” well that’s the good part I guess, you get to go and find a new dream”
This year has been full. major full. dreams fulfilled – amazing experiences and trips, Africa twice, the opportunity to share the story God is writing for my life – and now…now I feel like it’s all over. I cried over Tangled I think because it made me realize it WAS all I expected. and it’s over. but the good news is… I can go out and dream a new dream.
Where it gets tricky, is I am still processing and thinking and living through the dreams I’ve been living. I still want to tell those stories, and share lessons learned, and make photo books of the past few months. I don’t want it to be over – yet I’m ready for the next dream. it’s a weird place. I want to tell you more about it. I want to write about it because writing is my form of therapy. Even if no one reads, I would still write. Writing helps me see more clearly, express my thoughts in a way I can’t do when I speak or think them. I just started Aly Vesterfelts new ebook, writing to find yourself, and I love it already…
“Writing is healing. Writing is cheap therapy. Writing can help you find yourself. That is what brings me back to this terrible, treacherous, incredibly painful, slowly-but-surely process day-after-day. Not the number of copies I’ve sold. It’s the knowledge that writing is intrinsically valuable. I tend to get out even more than I put in. “
so here’s to two more weeks until my kiddos are back at school + this mama has her brain back. I crave that time alone, in a coffee shop, with my fingers on the keyboard. I have so many stories to share. life to dissect. feelings to feel and experiences to process. hang in there with me, will ya?
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