Faithful

2019.

Reeling, I entered it being a funeral coffin.

That’s what I called myself for months, because that’s what I felt like after I miscarried our fourth baby.

I hated myself, my life, my enemy, my world, and my God.

Everything felt like death surrounding me.

I laid in bed, day after day, night after night, crying.
Hating.
Wishing.
Struggling.

I personally knew God’s goodness. His faithfulness. But at that point, I wrestled with why we’d lost another baby. Why He’d let this one die when I cried out for Him to save.

Enter God.

From January 10th until January 19th, He took me, His highly-visual Daughter, on a series of imaginings. Through a whirl of fictional situations, so vivid in my mind I had to write them down. He whispered to me a title and encouraged me to add names. He showed me a place in outer space and asked me to share in the conflict. Who was good, who was bad. And at the end of ten days, I knew.

I had a story perfectly etched of 40 days in the life of an orphan.

I started writing.
In the middle of the miscarriage pain.
In the throes of hormonal angst.
In the vastness of confusion.

I became focused on writing only, and I hated anything that got in the way of it. (Especially the sleepless nights that meant I wouldn’t be able to write well the following day.)

Then, something amazing happened.

Midway through the first 50,000 words, my review of what I’d written came to a halt in realization. I was my main character, and God was the father-figure. He was holding me in it all and helping me heal. Same as the father-figure helped my orphan chara.

Everything shifted for me.

From hate to understanding.

God stood with me in my pain.
So intimately and carefully, He’d helped craft a story to lovingly draw me into my healing.
Healing—not just from the miscarriage—but from my insecurities.
I cried more.

I’d been seen.

And I was held.
Loved.
Kept.
Known.

It was beautiful in a way only a loving God could give.

Speed up to December 31st of 2019. Here’s where I ended the year:

  • The hormonal-crazy of the miscarriage completely gone – yay!
  • God expanded the story from 40 days to 40 years
  • God brought me a bosom friend to co-write
  • Co-writer and I wrote 431,073+ words in one year

Y’all.

God met me that January where I lay, angry, bitter, sorrowful, and lost, and gave me what I needed, and stayed.

It’s so like Him to love like that.

So very like Him to meet me.

So very like Him to meet you.

So very like Him.

“I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.
” Psalms 31:5 (NLT*)

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*Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Inspiration Series 01

Inspiration has been coming at me in a rush this year, so I’m feeling the need to do a blog over the ones that stick. I hope this series has some nuggets of “inspire” in it for you. 

Today’s bit inspired me to keep working on the things the Creator has outlined for me to keep my hands on.

Part of the reason I follow Love and the Outcome is because Jodi does such a beautiful job balancing her life as a Daughter of God, wife, mother, music artist, and master social media encourager. And when she doesn’t, she’s real about it and shares the pathway. The why, how, what, and trust she exudes is worth gold.

So, here’s the bit:

Mmm. So good.

Hit me right in the “Barbie schedule.” (My non-God-directed calendar plans. Pretty, but not up to Daughter Code.)

It was a friendly nudge to return to God weekly and daily to check what He wants going on.

Many hugs, y’all.

 

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My Passion

From a young age, I’ve seen the world through eyes easily delighted.
Knowing there is a Creator has only intensified the delight, because I can see Him behind beauty of all kinds.
Behind light.
Behind order.
Behind details.

If strings from each and every year of my short life were tied to one thing,
it would be to my delight shared with the Creator.
He shows me something—points to it like a Father, or a close friend—then we look at it and I tell Him how beautiful, or cool, or awesome, or fascinating it is.
Rinse. Repeat.
A strange waltz.

Sometimes what He shows me can’t stay just between us.
That’s where my waltz with Him becomes something for others to see: I write.
Like a drink offering, I pour it out.
Raw,
gutsy,
funny,
painful,
peaceful,
healing,
I take what He gives, birth it out, and share it.

If I try to keep the stories for myself, they burn my chest.
They roil in my stomach.
They churn in my mind.
I can almost see them.
Almost touch them.

I’ve learned, though, if I will listen to God’s leading and
put it into something I can share, He will allow me to feel the relief of the after-birth.
The peace of creative-pushes being complete.
The wonder of watching other people draw near and experience Him.

His pleasure is in us doing this “together,” and we are.

Yes, my passion is telling the stories God has given me to tell.

 

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You, Husband

To: My Mister
From: Forever Yours
Note: Forgive My Rambles on You

Do you remember the first time you saw me? An actress of a receptionist, I wondered if you’d see anything worthy in me, but I was so jaded, I decided later I didn’t care. Months later, your eyes were still on me, wanting to see my heart. Even when I didn’t recognize you as marriage material, you didn’t miss it. You came after me. You tell me I’m worthy, and I finally believe it. Mister, you are good at seeing people. I’m so grateful for that.

Do you recall our first huge fight? We were both so full up with emotional energy I wondered if we would ever come down from orbit. You ended up in the living room, I ended up in the master closet. But not for long. Why? Because you came after me. Carefully, gently. Willing to be wrong. Willing to be broken with me. Willing to forgive. Willing to work through it. Babe, even when you are right, and I’m wrong and being stubborn about it, you never get haughty or puffed—you reach out with love and grace. Who taught you that? I will always be grateful for how you come after me emotionally.

img_2507
My Husband takes pictures of statues of historical figures at the Bible Museum

Do you know the way you do things—simple things, funny things, serious things—it blesses me, all your quirks. How you are a kid with me: my playmate. How you laugh: nerd laugh! How you eat: my man with steak. How you run your fingers through your hair when your mind is a million miles away figuring out the latest puzzle. The way you hold your guitar. How you throw a sheet across the bed to make it: tucking corners in with a vengeance. How you pump the gas, always concerned with if I’m comfortable while you are attending to it. How you can’t stop talking to me when you are excited about something: I’m your closest confidant. How you pet my arm when I’m talking about something and you need to break in and interrupt, but you don’t want to hurt my feelings. Oh, the way you vacuum, load the dishes, throw the trash, sweep a mess! You might as well melt me like butter on a stove.

A thousand special things create you, the real you that I see every day.

I appreciate them all, but I can never seem to say the right thing to convey it. Imagine that. A writer that struggles to find the right words for the one she loves the most.

Maybe that’s the truth of the mess, the heart of the matter?

You are so perfectly suited to being my husband, my best friend, my playmate, that I’m lost in it all.

You’re a dream to me, Mister.

And I value you far beyond all these dreams.

The Creator gave me you, and I freaking love you.

Happy Birthday. 

Here’s to more years for you and I to explore, laugh, love, cry, grow, see, do, and create together.

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Stove-Top Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

I posted a pic awhile back on my Insta about homemade pumpkin spice latte, and a dear friend asked for the recipe. Figured a post with all the info would be best for sharing and sharing and sharing… Lol!

Ingredients:

4 c Milk
2 c brewed Sprouts Pumpkin Spice Black Tea; strongly brewed (This tea contains: black tea, rooibos, cinnamon, ginger root, lemon peels, cloves, nutmeg…… If I don’t have the tea on hand, I just put in the above without the rooibos tea, because I much prefer black tea by itself)
4 tbsp Canned Pumpkin (add way more for a heartier pumpkin flavor)
3 tbsp White Sugar (I use straight dark brown sugar)
1 tbsp Brown Sugar (Again, straight dark brown sugar)
2 tsp Vanilla
1 Cinnamon Stick (Powdered cinnamon is fine if you don’t have sticks on hand)
6 Cloves
6 Peppercorns (I smash my peppercorns or add more for more of a kick)

Instructions:

After brewing tea, add tea and milk to large pot.
Begin to warm up to medium heat s-l-o-w-l-y.
Add pumpkin (heat pumpkin in microwave some to make it easier to stir), sugars, and spices to the large pot and stir in using a whisk.
Cover and heat, stirring often often OFTEN until combined and really hot.
Remove any large spices, stir one more time and serve.

This won’t stay good over 6-8 hrs, so drink up!
(And watch for the sludge at the bottom of the cup. That’s the only warning I’ll give you. Lol.)

Yummy pictures can tag me on Instagram or Facebook.
Hope you enjoy!

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