Faithful Friday: Wholly Surrendered

28 February 2014

I've often asked God why me! On so many occasions I've felt as though things were not just out control - but out of my control! I'm a type A personality bathed in OCD. The real kind, the kind where you don't know if you turned off the stove and drive all the way back home twice to check. The kind where you vacuum just to see carpet lines. The kind where you yearn for control and constantly think about being in control, even if it’s only control over the remote.

Many things in my life were out of my control. My lack of a father, finances, and then the big one - infertility. Out of these issues spawned a control monster - tyrannical Charity, who was going to make sure that everything and everyone stayed in line. I did it for a very long time and it wore me out. I was hitting my head against the wall wondering why nothing ever worked out the way I wanted it to. Again I would ask God why me? Why was I fatherless, why was I under financial strain, why was I worn out, and now why couldn't I have children? 

I got my answer and I heard it over and over until it really sunk in. It was all so that I could let go! All he wanted me to do was LET GO! Release my cares, worries, and life to his control. To allow my weakness to display HIS strength. He wanted me to listen for his voice that was there to guide me on this journey. He wanted my full cooperation to surrender, he wanted me to release control - to be wholly surrendered.

I've been living this surrendered life since January and it's not easy. The biggest hurdle on this journey has been getting over myself. I often blame the devil but honestly he gets too much credit - I’ve been standing in my own way. I allow my head to be filled with doubt. I frantically search google for answers. I am the one who doubts that God could have a blessing this huge in store for me. Considering how he has delivered me from so much before the devil should not be able to convince me of anything contrary to God's mighty power, provision and love for me! 

This week I was told by the Holy Spirit to step out of the way! He told me to stop bringing up the past to God, stop reminding myself of past failures and disappointments. He told me that God knows all that and he doesn't need me reminding Him every five seconds about what I've been through - HE was there with me! It was time for me to let go of the past and all the bad experiences it contained. If my hands continued to hold on to the past there would be no room in them to hold "the PRESENT".

If God's voice couldn't be any clearer he led me to this scripture in the book of Isaiah and if that doesn't scream "stop beating a dead horse" - I don't know what does.

Sometimes I get so afraid of this new journey that I have to scare myself out of trusting that God is doing something new. Sometimes I feel like what God has given me isn’t for me and that if I hold on too tight it’ll be snatched away. But in my heart I know that's not true - I wish I could just turn these emotions off.

Before my appointment last Saturday I was so worried I could hardly sleep I prayed for peace and finally fell asleep. Hours later God woke me up and told me that everything would be great and that I needed to trust him. As I walked out of my apartment on the way to the doctor at 5am the sky was still dark, the sidewalks were covered with fragments of ice and it glittered with every step I took. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. In that moment I knew God was speaking to me, both in my heart and in nature - reminding me that he was there and that he was paving the way before me and dusting it with glitter.

Im serious this time, I am giving it all up. I am breaking up with Dr.Google, Mr. Worry, and Negative Nelson. I want peace and the only way I can get that is by being Wholly Surrendered. There is nothing foreign to God about making a baby, he's got this!
Your Turn: Is there an area of your life that God is asking for your complete trust? Are you finding it hard or easy to surrender? 

February, You Get No Love!

26 February 2014

February is the shortest month of the year but some how it's felt like the longest. Not only were we slapped with snow more times than we can count but we are also at twice the amount of record snow for our state. There has been a salt shortage which I pray has been rectified as we are expecting snow today - like any minute now.

I am pretty sure you are tired of hearing me complain about the winter so that's not what this post is about. This post is about how I have been surviving this wintery mess. So here are my favorites for the month, these items have helped get me through this brutal February.

First I'd like to give a shout out to JESUS. He's definitely brought me this far because it's been rough around here lately. This month I finished the study on Gideon, I've mentioned how this study has helped me in a tremendous way. I've learned to embrace my weaknesses and to see them in a whole new light. The study was written by Priscilla Shirer and I highly recommended it. If you haven't read the story of Gideon in the bible please read Judges chapters 6-8.

There hasn't been a single colorful thing outside since everything is covered in snow. Unfortunately I wasn't unable to find a spring colored winter coat so I alternate between grey and black on a daily basis. To bring a little color in my life I have been wearing this matte red lipstick by Rimmel. It's not drying and it's long lasting. It cost about 5 or 6 bucks and I wear it almost every day.

Since losing weight I have been trying to see how certain foods affect my weight. I do not believe I have a gluten allergy however I did notice certain foods cause more water retention for me. So I have been keeping this journal as a way to keep up with what I am eating and to see which foods I should avoid. It also helps me to focus on getting out and meeting small goals like fitting into skinny jeans. Which I am happy to report I have been wearing for a few months now.

Coconut Chai Tea, it's cold and I need tea. I drink several cups of this daily - without sweeteners. I absolutely love loose tea and I think it goes further than the individual tea bags. If you'd like to try some without breaking the bank check out Mountain Rose Herbs or pick up this Coconut Chai from Bed Bath and Beyond like I did.

Washi Tape. I have been crafting, well not really. I have been sending tons of note cards to friends and sometimes I use the tape to make cute address labels. One day I will be crafty I know it. This washi tape was found at Target it's Scotch brand. However etsy has a huge array of washi tapes for great prices, if you can wait on shipping that would be the most affordable place to buy.

Oh my Frankie Journal. My sweet friend Meg was the one who recommended this beauty to me and I love it. I have been using it to keep up with every part of my life including blogging. What I like most about are the daily calendar spaces which I have been using to keep up with my word of the year and how it's manifesting in my daily life.

You guys know how I feel about plastic or at least I think you do. Well like I said it's been really cold and I decided to ditch paper cups from coffee shops too. I invested in this little glass coffee cup that was made in Australia. It's called the JocoCup - honestly I've felt so much better about having tea on the go so often because I am not contributing to the landfills at all. I was using mason jars but after way to many burnt hands and spilled tea I decided to get this little cup. I'll share a complete review on this cup in a few weeks.

Micron pens. These things have become my daily go to for writing. I can use them to write in my bible without bleed through our tearing soft pages. They also come with different nib sizes so they are perfect for calligraphy which is on my list of things to learn this year. If you buy them in the store they will rip you off they are nearly twice the price at local retailers. Order them on Amazon for a steal.

My eternity band. When I lost all my weight a few months ago I was supposed to get my ring resized but then I started to think against it because I was praying to be pregnant in the up coming months. So my finger was naked for quite some time. My sweet husband didn't want me walking around without a ring on my finger so he gifted me this sweet little ring to hold the place of my other ring.

Your Turn: Do you have any faves for February? Any favorite people, clothes, books, places? I'd love to hear about them.

Dating Yourself

24 February 2014

So many times we get caught up in the routine of every day life. Work. Family. Friends. Church. School. Small Group. Husband. Kids. Appointments. We do this routine for months or maybe even years before we finally become burnt out without a clue why.

After talking to a few friends and family members the running theme was trying to find a way to break free from routine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with routine but sometimes we let our routines consume us. Sometimes in the midst of routine we lose ourselves. People often express this need to decompress by saying "I need a vacation", vegging out to hours of tv, or thinking they need more sleep. You might actually need a vacation but more than anything you need to have your needs met. Your need for rest, spiritual revival, peace, or adventure.

In realizing this, I am making more of an effort to carve out time for ME. I know it may sound selfish but I assure you there is nothing wrong with making sure your needs are met. In fact I find that I am better at handling my routine and serving the needs of others when I take care of myself. Thursday I noticed that I was feeling more tired than usual and easily annoyed. After spending time reading my bible I was reminded that I needed to take time for rest.

God rested after creating and he wasn't even tired. We are humans, yet we tackle the world and our to do list like we are gods. So in effort to do better and be better on Saturday I added myself to my To Do List. I managed to find 35 minutes to take time out for myself to get a pedicure. It's amazing how a small act of self care can revive you.

Years ago I read a book that encouraged self care, I said it was something I wanted to do but never got around to it. This year I am determined to do things for myself - I date my friends, my husband, and my family members. So I can surely date myself. Dating yourself doesn't have to cost money. In fact I wrote out a list of 20 things I like to do an many of them don't involve spending a thing.

Self Care List

FUN Things

  1. Read
  2. Listen to Music
  3. Watch A Movie
  4. Travel
  5. Go to the Beach/Picnic
  6. Painting & Crafts
  7. Walks/Sightseeing
  8. Bargain Shop
  9. Girl's Night Out
  10. Gardening
  1. Decluttering
  2. Baking
  3. Getting My Hair Done
  4. Bible Study
  5. Mani/Pedi Time
  6. Exercise
  7. Eating Healthy
  8. Waxing
  9. Writing
  10. Drinking Tea
Your Turn: When was the last time you did something nice for yourself? Make a list of 20 things you could 10 for fun and 10 that make you feel better. What would be at the top of your list?

Winter Woes

21 February 2014

I've have said many times before that winter is my favorite season. After a long an brutal winter and more snow than I have ever seen in my life I think I need to reevaluate that statement. I was talking with some random people on the subway about how we escaped the snow last winter. Then I said as much as we complain God sure does make it beautiful - he knows exactly what the earth needs to keep going. Everyone simultaneously agreed saying giving different reasons why they thought God gave us snow. I admit that blankets of snow covering the buildings and trees is a sight to behold.

At this point I am trying my best to enjoy this last month of Winter. I am trying my best not to complain. I just want to get out and enjoy life again without Jack Frost. Below is my imagine of magically beautiful icicles. God is a master creator there is no doubt that nature boast this every time I walk out of my door.

Your Turn: How is the winter treating you? Are you excited for spring?

This Friday I am linking up with my beautiful friend Aimee from Dear Harper Blog to bring you Find Beauty Friday. The purpose of this linkup up is to find the beauty in your life, capture it, and share it with others. Share your beauty by linking up below.

Dear Harper

How I Found My Church

19 February 2014

It's been nearly one whole year since finding my new church. When I first moved to the city I stayed home and watch service live from my church in Florida. My meniscus was torn so it was really hard for me to hobble outside and track down a church. Once I became more mobile the itch to find a church became stronger and stronger. I missed the fellowship that came with physically being present in church. I missed hearing the music live. I missed being among other believers worshipping God with all their hearts. I missed being live for a good word from God.

During my time at home I did grow closer to God because I had to seek him out. I felt so far away from him so I read my bible more for myself, looked for devotional material, and tried online bible studies. All that was great but there is nothing like physically being present in church with other believers.

Before I found my last church I drove around to various churches that I'd seen and attended their service. I found more churches that I disliked than ones that I liked. That method took me weeks and this time around I was not willing to waste any time. I only wanted to visit churches that I though were a good fit before walking in their doors. I wanted to find a church, get involved in service projects, and join a small group. Here are a list of things that helped me on the way to finding my current church.

How to find a Church

Pray about it. After visiting so many churches and having none of them compare to my home church I remembered to pray to God for his help. I ask him to remove my bias for my home church and help me to see a new church with fresh eyes. I wish I had prayed about it sooner because I don't think I gave many of the churches I visited a fair chance.

Ask Your pastor. Most pastors are well networked, I asked my pastor for recommendations of churches he was familiar with in my new city. His recommendations helped to steer me in the right direction - ultimately it's still your decision but pastors can help.

Google. Don't be afraid to google the type of church you are looking for whether it be baptist, catholic, or non denomenational. I summed my church search up as "Contemporary Christian Churches in NYC".

Ask Friends. Since I was new to the area and mostly stuck at home I didn't have many friends but my husband did. He asked a few of his friends and we checked out their churches too. Unfortunately none of their churches were the right fit for us so we continued to search.

Check their Website. Many churches now have live sermons and worship via online streaming. Their websites also boast their church resume, and mission statement. Sometimes reading and watching will give you a better idea if this is a church you want to visit.

Visit. After making your list of churches via friends, pastors, or google check them out. Make a plan to visit one new church a week until you find the one you like. Try not to visit on Holidays or around special events. You want to get a feel for how the church will be on an average Sunday morning.

Ask Questions. When visiting churches be sure to have a list of questions to ask the welcome staff. I asked about small groups, night church, and service projects since that what I was interested in. It's important to ask about youth church, child care, parking, dress code, member contribution and whatever else you believe would make or break your search for a church.

Test Drive. Before you commit to a church test drive the ministries and small groups you are interested in. Before my husband and I had joined our new church we went out on a service project with them to clean up the city. That experience serving the community with this church sealed the deal for us, we had found our new home.

I am so glad that I approached looking for a church differently this time. I took my time and I also didn't allow anyone to pressure me into choosing or committing to a church right away. I know that God was leading our search for a new church - in the process I was even rebaptized.

Your Turn: Do you have an tips for finding a church? How did you find your current church?

Unfair Favor.

17 February 2014

When I chose my word for the year. I never imagined the journey that I would be on right now. In just two short months I have realized how much this word is going to mean to my life. I have had to surrender to more than I counted on surrendering to.

Recently I finished a study on Gideon, I mentioned before that he is known as the leader of the army that God shaved down from 32,000 to 300. God took things away from Gideon so that he could replace them with victory - and to make sure no one else received the credit. My story and journey towards IVF is starting to look a lot like Gideon's battle. Over the years I believe that I needed money and the perfect weight to make IVF a success. I worried about finances, I worried about hormones, I worried about finding a good doctor all the while God was waiting on me to SURRENDER my worries to him. He wanted me to include him in the process, to trust that he could bring me through, to believe that he was more than capable of making it all possible. In process he stripped me of all the things that I thought I needed. He wanted to show me that in order to achieve victory I didn't need money, the perfect weight, the right hormones or the right doctor all I needed was HIM.

As I waited longer and longer - days, weeks, months and years, I became discouraged. Not discouraged to where I didn't believe in God but I believed that because he hadn't answered in the time that I was expecting that he didn't want me to have what I was asking for. I moved on to other things, shifted my focus - surely that's what God wanted me to do?! He wanted me to throw myself into books, small groups, healthy eating and losing weight - anything to distract me from the real issue at hand. NOT!! God didn't want me distracted from my problem or focused on it, he wanted me to focus on him. I finally got it! God wants me to look to him to fulfill me, my desires, my wants. and my needs. He wanted me to forget all the things that man had told me about my life, and to believe that he is the only one who knows for sure where I am going and where I have been.

After praying for so long and asking God to speak to me he has. When I sat down and listened he has had so much to say. He has show me tremendous favor and even though it goes again the natural that I was expecting I realize now that the power of God is not limited to the natural, he can also work in the unnatural. Just like he worked in Sarah and Abraham's unnatural pregnancy he can work it out for me. God is preparing me to received the gift he has waiting for me outside of the natural order of things. This journey towards IVF has left me feeling conflicted. I am both grateful, concerned, excited, and scared to move forward on this journey. I have surrendered to the idea that it's not what I can do but what God can do.

God has removed all the things that I could have possibly given credit to for our IVF journey. We didn't have the money, I wasn't at my perfect weight, I didn't retest my hormones, and I hadn't looked for a doctor. One morning I got up and made the call to the doctor's office he had place on my heart, and in 5 days I will be starting medication for my first IVF cycle. The money appeared, my hormones are perfect, my weight is not an issue and my doctor is fabulous. I can't give credit to anyone but God for this miracle that is going to produce my victory.

All the events that led me to this point confirm that no one but God could have put us here. God has made me wait because he was preparing something special for me. He's shown me over and over again that he's a promise keeper, he has turned what looks unfair into favor - even when I had doubt.

The time is near and I am holding his hand to move closer to our destiny. I am surrendering.

P.S. I will not be updating about our IVF journey via post often but if you want to keep up with where we are in treatment. Click on the Project Baby FixIt button on the right. Your prayers and support are much appreciated.

Your Turn: Did you choose a word for the year? How is that word manifesting in your life?

Then & Now

14 February 2014

My husband and I don't have the conventional love story. We were two opposites that God placed into each other paths, in a grocery store. I told you all earlier this week that it wasn't love at first sight, but when I did feel love for him - I knew he was the one. My heart didn't flutter to confirm it but I felt peace with every decision we were making to move forward in life together. The biggest confirmation was when he proposed to me. I didn't give him an answer I immediately said I had to ask my mom. Little did I know he had asked my mom and she had already agreed. So once I knew that she was on board I knew that I could agree to his proposal. Nine months after he asked me to marry him, four months after I turned 18, and one month after my high school graduation we were married.

I know it sounds crazy, and from the outside looking in it looked crazy. But I am a firm believer that God always knows what he's doing and our love story is being authored by him everyday.

Our marriage has changed over the course of 8.7 years. We have changed, grown up, moved away and learned that happy marriages take work. For Valentine's Day I wanted to take some time to look at our marriage and consider all the elements that made it strong then and what makes it even stronger now.

What made us strong then:

Prayers. Our pastor and his wife covered us in prayer often. They encouraged us and reminded us that every marriage experienced hard times. They were an example of a godly couple and God sustained their marriage for 42 years.

Support. My mother threatened to sue us if we got a divorce, ha. Honestly she supported us however she could and encouraged us to do life together. Whenever things got bad between us she reminded me of why I told her I wanted to marry my husband in the first place. She would say Charity do you remember what you said when I asked why you wanted to get married? And I would answer yes I said because he is my best friend.

Commitment. More than anything my husband and I were committed to each other. We believe we were soul mates. We were also committed to proving all the naysayers wrong about our marriage. We were 18 and 24 when we said I do and so many people didn't wish us well and hoped our union would fail. They still haven't been able to say I told you so.

Love. Even through the ups and downs, financial strain and then infertility our love was alive. What the bible says about love is oh so true. My marriage proves that to me every day.

GOD. When we weren't close to him I know he watched over us every single day. His love guided us through the years until we found a deeper relationship with him.

What makes us strong now:

Order. Who's you might ask? Well God's of course. My husband and I try our best to live according to his standards for a husband and wife. I stepped down from my leadership role several years ago and have since learned how to be a wife who submits. I have to admit him leading and me following isn't as bad as I thought it would be, he's a great, generous, and loving leader.

Faith. In the earlier years of our marriage we believed in God but didn't follow his word closely. Now we keep his word close to our hearts and our bibles at our fingers tips. We prayer together and for each other. Our faith has brought on an intimacy would could have never imagined.

Forgiveness. A marriage cannot thrived when you harbor feelings of unforgiveness. There is so much freedom in forgiving the person you are spending the rest of your life with. Once I learned to forgive my husband and myself I began to see our marriage in a different light.

Honesty. We kept things from each other before - feelings, desires, and heart issues. It sucked the intimacy right out of our marriage. Now we talk about any and everything nothing is off limits.

Contentment. Over the years I have learned that I needed to accept my love story and marriage. They will never be the same as someone else's, my husband won't always do what someone else's husband does and thats okay. We are different and so is our marriage comparing just steals joy.

Differences. My husband and I are different in so many ways. Our differences however bring strength and balance to our marriage. We complement each other just the way God designed us to.

Trials. We have faced so much in the time that we have been together. While we were in the midst of each trial it seemed as though it had the power to tear us apart. With each trial passed we realized that they didn't destroy us they made us stronger.

Our marriage is far from perfect - but it's strong and it's ours. Happy Valentine's Day.

Your Turn: What makes your marriage or relationship strong? If you aren't in a relationship what do you think is essential to having a strong relationship?

Thank You Santa!

12 February 2014

It's February, and we've almost forgotten about Santa to move on to Cupid. But I am still really enjoying my Christmas gifts. I only got a few gifts this year and I am okay with that as I was thrilled to make Jesus the focus of this season. However a few gifts made their way into my home for Christmas and I am totally not complaining.

got the iPad that I had been mulling over for months. 

And to top it off I got two vegan cookbooks. 

When it comes to gifts I am a pretty practical girl. I really like tangible items - homemade or store bought is fine as long as they were purchased with me in mind. I think I am pretty easy to shop for too, I drop tons of hints. For example before my birthday last year I was dropping hints to my parents and my husband about what I wanted. I had a blender, mixer, and new shoes on the brain. I'd talked about the items and sought opinions from them too. So when my birthday came I was thrilled to know that they had decided to get me those gifts. Way to be subtle without being pushy! Ha!
For Christmas I didn't drop any hints. My husband must have stalked my Instagram or talked to my mom to see what I wanted.

These are awesome gifts and I am so surprised that he thought to get them. But he's really blessed because I am an easy to shop for. On the other hand my husband is totally hard to shop for, he never knows what he wants and always says he doesn't want anything. So when gift giving holidays come around I get totally stumped on what to get him.

We have never been big about exchanging gifts for Valentine's day - we give gifts at random. Last year for Valentine's Day we were in two different states so I sent him a box of his favorite treats. This year I hadn't decided on getting him anything because we've had so much going on. Then last week things lined up for me to get him a little device he'd been talking about for a while.

Since I am such a practical person I find it hard to shop for a technology nerd like my husband. I know that I am not alone in finding difficulty in shopping for others. Here are a few tips that I find useful when it comes to shopping for that person in your life that never knows that they want.

  • Listen up. Your person may mention things earlier in the year, write these things down. If they are feasible refer to your list each time you need to get him/her a gift.

  • Check their Amazon shopping cart, you'll have to be super stealthy for this one.

  • Take them with you to shop. Let them browse and pick things they like and then purchase them on the spot.

  • Ask close friends or family members for gift ideas. Somebody is bound to know what they want.

  • Don't exchange gifts, take a class or go on an adventure together - save yourself the headache.

  • If all else fails make their favorite meal. This works with my hubby 9 times out of 10.

Your Turn: Are you easy to shop for? Do you have any tips for shopping for the loves in your life? Do you and your Valentine exchange gifts? What are your plans for Valentine's day?

It Wasn't Love at First Sight

10 February 2014

This is the week of Valentine’s day. And we are going to be seeing all these stories about the great loves of people's lives. We will be reading about how people fell in love with their spouses instantly and had a connection right off the bat. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t happen that way for everyone.

I am madly in love with my husband now - head over heels in love with him. But we didn't have that starry eyed moment because it wasn't love at first sight. 

At least not for me.

So many romantic movies make us think that all love stories start that way. By doing this they set us hopeless romantics up for failure. We assume that when we have met the right person we will know it in that moment. We think that it’ll be some instantaneous feeling, some flutter of reassurance or a great bang in the sky. Im here to say that might not be your story. If my husband hadn't pursued me with fervor I don't think we would be married now. I was naive, I thought I would feel butterflies, I thought my mind would automatically know he was the one, and I though my heart would ache for him all the time, but it didn't.

It was actually the complete opposite. I never saw him in that light, I didn't see him as my soul mate, and I didn't give his advances the time of day. My husband is charming, quite attractive, but he was not my type. After months of advances and advice from my grandma I finally took him up on the offer to have dinner together. Even then I still saw him as only a friend - I was way to caught up in making sure he was my type and never once thought if he was the type of guy God wanted me to marry.

Eventually he wore me down and we got married otherwise I would not be writing this. It's been nearly 9 years since I became his Mrs. and although the love at first sight notion is romantic I am totally okay with it not being us. In a way I believe that our marriage has grown stronger because of it. Since I was a shallow teenager when I got married, not being enamored with my husband before marriage helped me to learn a lot about his heart. I was able to see him for who he truly was - we talked about life, family, and God. I learned so much about him and the combination of those things along with him becoming my best friend helped me to fall in love.

I want you to know that.....

love looks different for everyone.

love can be found in the strangest places.

love changes over the years.

love even though it may look effortless, takes work.

love will find you.

It wasn't love at first sight then, but I am overwhelmed with love each time I see him now. Love at first sight isn't wrong or better it just wasn't us.

Your Turn: Was it love at first sight with your husband or significant other? If you are single are you expecting love at first sight, or are you okay with letting the love grow? 

Have You Seen My Feet?!

07 February 2014

This winter is beating the northeast like we stole something. We've been plummeted with snow and single digits temperatures since late November. The only time we haven't seen snow or low temps was during the Super Bowl weekend. I joke that God must really like football because the temperature was perfect and the sun shined everyday leading up to it. Then the day after? Cold air and lots of snow. We have been hit with two snow storms this week alone, and we expect to be slammed by another on Sunday. 


I am up to my eyeballs in snow.

I have cabin fever.

I want to see my toes again.

I want to see my feet again

I want to see my knees again.

I want to not have to thaw my hands every time I get instead my apartment.

I am wishing for spring.

So instead of capturing the snow I've capture the only thing that in my apartment that reminds me of warm weather besides my husband - this prickly cactus. If you don't have any succulents buy some to remind yourself of spring, just beware of the thorns.

This Friday I am linking up with my beautiful friend Aimee from Dear Harper Blog to bring you Find Beauty Friday. The purpose of this linkup up is to find the beauty in your life, capture it, and share it with others. Share your beauty by linking up below.

Dear Harper

I've Got Money For You!

05 February 2014

Hey my loves my  I am helping my sweet friend Susannah celebrate her 2 year blog anniversary. It's her blog birthday but she's giving away an awesome prize of $200 to one sweet winner. Enter below.

Simple Moments Stick is Two

Today, Simple Moments Stick is two!  Birthday parties are the best way to celebrate but, since we can't all get together to party, a group of twenty-three bloggers teamed up to offer up an absolutely AMAZING prize!!!

It's a $200 Paypal Cash Giveaway!!!

Susannah1Blogiversary 1Blogiversary 2Blogiversary 3

1.  Susannah from Simple Moments Stick
2.  Amy from The Silver Lining
3.  Kotryna from Girl with a Movie Camera
4.  Becky from Rebecann's Random Thoughts

Blogiversary 4Blogiversary 5Blogiversary 6Blogiversary 7

1.  Sarah from Life as Always
2.  Sybil from Peace it all Together
3.  Wendy from Effie Girl
4.  Elena from Cropped Stories

Blogiversary 8Blogiversary 9Blogiversary 10Blogiversary 11

1.  Jayda from Avocado Grove
2.  Erin from Simply Just Lovely
3.  Ginny from My New Favorite Outfit
4.  Kelly from Sparkles and Shoes

Blogiversary 12Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetBlogiversary 14Blogiversary 15

1.  Jamie from Handling with Grace
2.  Charity from The Word of a Nerd
3.  Julie from Tidbits and Scraps
4.  Stephanie from Just a Little Bit Louder

Blogiversary 16Blogiversary 17Blogiversary 18Blogiversary 19

1.  Elizabeth from Oak and Oats
2.  Lisa from Mostly Lisa
3.  Caroline from In Due Time
4.  Stephanie from Army Crafter

Blogiversary 20Blogiversary 21Blogiversary 22

1.  Jenn from Quirky Pickings
2.  Amy from Taking Steps Home
3.  Ashley from Have Chashley, Will Travel


03 February 2014

Last week I found myself feeling overwhelmed on the inside and underwhelmed in my apartment. I had nothing to write about, nothing to talk about, I felt like I was emotionally stunted.

I woke up at 6:30 am every single day and began to pray in a semi conscious state. It was quite unusual and I couldn't understand what was going on. I had quiet time, ate breakfast, journaled, ate lunch, watched a little tv, ate dinner, took a shower, prayed and headed to bed.

I repeated these steps every single day until it dawned on me, I was homesick.

I know your are probably thinking aren't you home? Haven't you been there for a while? Shouldn't you be over feeling homesick? 

The answer to all those questions is a resounding YES! Yes, NYC is my physical home. Yes we've been here for a while. Yes, I thought I was over feeling homesick - I didn't know it could come back.

I also believe that home is where the heart is. My heart of course knows it belongs here with my husband but I think it's decided to stay in Florida. After all who could blame it? There weather is warmer, the food is hearty, and the laughs are plenty.

When I realized that I was feeling a little blue. I began to think of ways I could move beyond this funk and fall back in love with this city, this weather, and my apartment again.

Here's what I came up with.

1. Get out of the house. I hadn't left my apartment in a few days in preparation for up coming work.

2. Don't Just Go to church, fellowship. I always find joy, renewal, and peace when I attend regular church service or small group meetings. My small group has started meeting again for the new year I am excited to begin our new study next week. I committed to not just running out when service or group is over but sticking around again to fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. After our last group meeting a sweet friend invited me to lunch I usually say no but this time I said yes and it was just what I needed.

3. Spruce up the place. Before leaving to Florida my husband and I deep cleaned our apartment so there wasn't much to do when we came back. I decided to take a little trip to my favorite place, Ikea. I picked up a few succulents and new pillows to spruce up the place.

4. Highlight the Good. I journaled about all the blessings that God has given since my husband and I left Florida and all the ones that we are expecting. I wrote about the people I met and the places I had gone since living in this bustling place. It was a good reminder of the many things I had to be grateful for.

5. Bake. I haven't baked a single thing since being in Florida. Baking is my therapy. I have a some new recipes up my sleeve and I can't wait to try them out and share them with you all.

6. Worship. Nothing makes a house a home like a good Holy Ghost party. This week I blasted my favorite songs and just worshiped God for all that he's done and continues to do for me.

7. Surrender. Not only is that my word for the year but it's exactly what I needed to do in these moments where I am feeling emotionally and spiritually weary. My heart knows that we are beginning a new chapter in our life and I am nervous about being so far from our support system of family and friends. I was reminded during my quiet time to surrender those feelings and myself completely to God - because he would be all that we needed.

I am now feeling restored and excited for the week ahead. Glad to be cured of the latest bout of homesickness.

Your Turn: Have you ever been homesick? How did you cure it? Have you ever moved away from your support system? If so how did you deal?

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