Setting Aside Your Dream

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One year ago my life changed forever when I saw the faint pink line on the pregnancy test. Since I had graduated college only 6 months earlier, being a stay at home mom had never even crossed my mind. I’d worked 5 years to obtain that expensive piece of paper. Surely, I’d use it right? Wrong.

I’m hanging out with my friends at God-Sized Dreams today. I’d love it if you would join me.

 

He Knows What’s Best For Me

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At only 3 months old my daughter is a pretty determined and stubborn kid. She also has this talent of downing a bottle in like 3 seconds. When the bottle is empty she still keeps trying to suck that liquid gold out, and heaven forbid you take the bottle away if she hasn’t unlatched.

She’ll get mad and start screaming. She doesn’t realize that sucking on the bottle with only air coming out will give her a tummy ache and hurt her. She’s blind to the consequences but her dad and I are not.

I relate to my daughter so much because like her, I tend to be pretty controlling. I want every detail of my life drawn out with every step carefully plotted. Maybe even with a contract attached to it that says in big bold letters, NOT SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  I am unaware of the consequences and I tend to forget that in reality, my life belongs to God.

Like my daughter holding onto that bottle, I tend to hold onto the plans I’ve made and then I get upset when God changes them. I tend to forget how much pain I cause myself when I try to take matters into my own hands.

This past year God has changed all of the carefully drawn out plans I have made. Let me clarify… He didn’t rearrange them or tweak them a bit. He spun them 180 degrees, flipped them upside down, ripped up the contract, and dropped the ones I had made off the face of the earth. I handled the change about like my daughter. Maybe even a little worse. I walked into the new and unexpected season kicking and screaming.

My God loved me through my stubbornness. He wasn’t impatient or mad. He simply held me close and taught me a lot. When I mourned the life I wanted and walked into motherhood afraid of the unknown, He gave me peace and reminded me that everything was going to be okay.

I will never know what pain may lie ahead due to my carefully drawn out plans because God did what He knew was best. He guided my life the way He wanted because that’s what a parent does. My daughter is the gift I never knew I needed.

Motherhood is hard and scary. There’s times I am so overjoyed at her growth and theres times when I want to pull my hair out. I’d be lying if I said that at times I didn’t struggle with staying home. In those moments, I seek God and trust that He will give me the peace I need. Over and over again, I find myself saying, “Where you have me is enough.” I am learning to give up control and seek God before even making plans.

This is my new mantra: Lord, help me approach life with the confidence that You know what’s best for me.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. I’m doing this new thing called #soulseedsaturday. It’s a little bit of encouragement for your soul while you take on life like a boss. If there’s a specific topic that you could use some encouragement, I’d love to hear about it! You can post it in the comments or contact me here.

P.P.S. I am booking speaking engagements for 2018. I know right??? It’s here already! If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

 

The Gift of Family

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I had just moved into a new town and was about to start my freshman year of college. I was in-between jobs due to the move and had used up all my savings on bills. My first paycheck was about to come in so I was holding out hope that my gas tank would last a few more days until it could be filled.

Most cars tell you when you are low on gas. I didn’t realize that my ghetto 1993 Chevy Cavalier didn’t so I found myself stranded on the highway completely out of gas with no one to call.

This is what it’s like to be an orphan. There’s no parents to give you a couple bucks to tide you over. No place to crash rent free with a full fridge. No extra car to borrow if yours breaks down. No place to go on holidays, and certainly no one to celebrate achievements with.

You learn to fend for yourself and plan for everything. At the age of 18 years old I knew how to change my oil and the breaks in my car. At one point the antifreeze container broke so I went to the salvage yard to pick up a new one and borrowed someones tools to change it out myself.  You are constantly on edge and questioning everyones motive because as much as you hate to admit it- you are vulnerable and you can be easily manipulated.

I want you to take a second and think about all the things your parents do for you. Think about everything they taught you. Now take all that out of the equation. That was my life. I learned what I could and did my best to survive.

November is National Adoption Month. I am so lucky to have a support group when there are still many who don’t. There aren’t enough words I can use to express my gratitude towards God and His faithfulness. He gave me parents at the age of 21. The past 3 years have been so wonderful. I may be a little bias but I think I have the best parents in the world.

If I need any help they are only a phone call away. No more being broke down with no one to call. No more having to know anything and everything about my car. I enjoy holidays and look forward to spending them with my parents instead of working. I don’t even have to air up my tires anymore. There’s so much freedom that comes with knowing and utilizing support.

This holiday season I am going to sit with my family and thank God for all He has done. I am going to watch my little girl experience the holidays for the first time and smile knowing her life will look way different than mine. I’ll hug her close and thank God for the gift of family.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. Today’s my mom’s birthday! She really wants 40 little girls in poverty to grow up to be fiercehearted women. She’s teaming up with compassion and would love for you to team up with her too! You should head on over to her website and say happy birthday. If you feel led, maybe even sponsor a kiddo. 🙂

 

Here I am Lord Use Me

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Two girls sit down on the couch with a cup of coffee and reminisce about life. They talk about how they both expected to be in completely different places. Both equally determined and hard working individuals who are in completely different life stages. So different, yet so similar. They relate to one another and acknowledge that a healing cup of coffee and the simple words, “This isn’t where I wanted to be” is good for the soul.

One girl is married with a child on the way. The last day at her “job” is only a few short days away. Never in a million years did this girl expect to be a stay at home mom. She loved working outside of the home and still has that desire but in this season, it isn’t financially possible. The thought of working to pay for daycare and missing out on all of her child’s milestones just isn’t worth it to her, and it isn’t what God has called her to do. 

The other girl is single and is a blessing to everyone she she comes into contact with. She has a heart for others and a strong desire for community. Her Friday evenings are typically spent socializing with friends, unlike the married woman who typically stays at home watching Netflix with her husband. She thought she would be married by now with one or two kids. Instead she’s single. Even though she’s pretty social, that longing for a husband still pops up every once in a while and sometimes it’s hard to ignore. Even in the middle of a social engagement.

Two girls with polar opposite lives and yet, they still manage to be close friends. They both thought they would be walking in the other persons shoes. They lift their coffee cup up to heaven and say confidently, “Where you have me right now is enough.” They refuse to believe the lie that each other’s “job” or stage of life is more important. Titles mean nothing in the kingdom of heaven. Instead they refill their cups and hug each other. They talk about God’s faithfulness in their lives and are reminded that He will continue to be just as faithful.

Life is full of bittersweet seasons. You know, the ones where you are excited for what’s ahead but sad that it didn’t look the way you wanted. Maybe you’re even scared and afraid that you aren’t qualified to do the task God has asked you to do. I’m learning that it’s okay to feel that way sometimes. It doesn’t make me a horrible person and it doesn’t mean I love God any less.

This I do know: The Lord is faithful and His plans for our lives are better than we can ever imagine. In the moments of confusion, happiness, and even when I feel sad because something didn’t go the way I thought it would I will find a friend, grab a cup of coffee, and confidently say, “Here I am Lord use me.” 

~ Lovelle ❤

#MomFails Don’t Disqualify Me

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It’s 4 in the morning and there is no hiding the bags under my eyes. After dealing with a child that was screaming her head off all night I just couldn’t take it anymore. In fact, her screaming was about to cause me to scream.

I was  angry because I couldn’t understand her needs. I was upset because I felt like I just wasn’t cut out for this whole mom gig. I felt guilty because in that moment, I was wondering if there was a return policy…

It didn’t matter how many times I googled, “reasons a one week old cries” I couldn’t seem to find an answer that would help my daughter calm down. So… I gave up. I promptly laid my child down in her crib, turned on the video monitor while making sure it was on mute, closed the nursery door, and went to our bedroom to wake up my husband. “I just can’t do it” I told him as I shook him awake. “You deal with it.”

He got up and went to console our daughter who was screaming bloody murder at this point and he closed the bedroom door. I covered my ears because I just couldn’t take the crying anymore. The moment I heard that door click I just lost it. I screamed into my pillow and cried about as much as my daughter was crying in the other room.

As I look back I can’t help but laugh. My poor husband woke up to not one, but two crying girls and let me just say, he handled it like a champ. In that moment though, there was absolutely no laughter involved. Just guilt because the adversary loves to hit us in our weak moments.

For some silly reason I thought that putting my daughter down meant that I had abandoned her. I associated seeking help with failure. I didn’t realize how quickly the adversary would fill my head with lies. I guess I thought there would be a week or 2 of peace before the battle??? I was wrong, completely naive, and not prepared at all.

In my weakness the Lord is strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10). As I step into motherhood this verse has a whole new meaning. I’m learning to look at my #momfails with grace.

  • Putting my 3 week old down while she’s screaming will not cause her to be emotionally scarred.
  • Accidentally hitting her head lightly on the faucet while attempting to put her in her bathtub is not abuse. It was an accident. She will be okay.
  • No, I am not my biological parents. My child is so loved and with God’s help, despite my many #momfails (and more to come), my child will turn out okay.

So… Where do I go from here? Well, I’ll start off by treating myself to a pumpkin spice latte since I’ve successfully kept my daughter alive for 3 and a half weeks. Those little successes in life matter too. Then I’ll keep holding on to God’s truth.

I’ll make sure to remember that in my weakness, the Lord is strong. When the Adversary tries to feed me lies, i’ll quiet my spirit and listen real close for God to whisper his truths deep into my heart. In your moments of failure my prayer is that you do the same.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

God is in Our Suffering

 

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On August 28, 2017 after 16 hours of labor and an epidural that decided to stop working towards the end, we welcomed our precious little girl Eula Ellen Myers into the world at 9:03pm. She was born exactly 3 years to the day that I got adopted and gained a family. The Lord is so good. Our chunky monkey weighed in at 9 pounds 4 ounces and was 21 inches tall.

Two days into parenthood our little girl was up all night not feeling well. She cried for hours and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I’ve been through a lot of pain both physically and emotionally. I’ve walked a dark road full of abuse with a pain in my heart that I don’t even know how describe. I have memories in my head that are full of suffering and agony. I thought that I had learned how to handle any pain thrown at me.

As I held my precious baby girl in my arms and rocked her as she cried, my heart hurt in a way I didn’t know was ever possible. With tears streaming down my face, I kissed her chunky cheek and whispered into her ear, “I’m so sorry Eula. I love you so much.” I prayed hard that the Lord would help my little Ellie feel better. I learned in that moment that nothing is more painful than watching your child suffer.

Thankfully, the next morning was better. Ellie’s tummy wasn’t upset and she slept peacefully in my arms. As I watched her beautiful eyes flutter in and out of sleep, I realized something that will forever bring peace to my heart when my past tries to come back and haunt me. The pain I experienced while watching my little girl suffer was the same pain God felt when He watched me suffer growing up.

I looked at my little girls fingers and toes. I gently kissed her little head and thought about the miracle God created inside my womb. She’s a gift I’ve been given and I’m so blessed to be her momma. I thought about all that she’s going to get to do and the amazing family she’s surrounded with.

I thought about what she’s not going to have to experience. She will never go without love and will always be raised to follow the Lord. She has an amazing daddy that she has wrapped around her finger and an adopted family to look up to. Her daddy’s family loves her so much and are such great example’s too. God has given her a new legacy. She will never have to walk the road I walked. There will be so many new experiences we get to do together. Trips to the zoo, family vacations, and maybe we will get to take our first trip to disney land together one day. 

This won’t be the only time I will watch my child suffer. She’s got her own heart, body, and mind that I can guide in the right direction but in the end, she will make her own choices. She will get sick and she will get scrapes. She will fall down hard but I will raise her to get back up and keep trying.

I didn’t realize just how much my pain hurt God until I experienced it myself. Somehow, that realization makes me feel a lot better… When I was going through abuse and hardship I had always told myself that I wasn’t alone but now that I’m a parent, I actually believe it.

~ Lovelle ❤

Learning Through His Faithfulness

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The more stable I become, the more I miss the days when I had no one but God to rely on. The days when I saw God perform miracles right before my eyes. I remember like it was yesterday, taking the last sixty dollars that I had to my name, putting my hands over my eyes, and quickly putting that money in the tithing bucket before I could change my mind because I trusted in a God that was bigger than my paycheck.

I remember the fuel sign coming on in my car just a few short days later and the panic I felt in my heart because college classes and jobs don’t cater to your gas tank. I remember the loud and passionate prayer I said with a hand held high not caring what people were looking at me as I drove because I believed in a God that answered prayers. A God that taught me not to be afraid of how I appeared in front of others when I sought after Him whole heartedly.

I remember the blanket of peace that covered me in the midst of the unknown after that heart felt prayer on the way to my house. I will never forget the person that handed me a $50 gift card to a gas station when I arrived, “just because” and the shock on their face when I explained that moments before my gas tank was on empty. They felt led to give me that gift card but they had no idea how much I really needed it.

Like a parent the Lord provided for me. Often times, literally handing me what I lacked. Using His people to impact me and show me that He heard my cries. The days of intense struggle are behind me and although I’m thankful, I find myself putting God in box. Like a “Pick 2 meal” at my favorite restaurant, I find myself choosing the paths that look best at the time and saying a quick prayer of thanks later.

I miss the Lovelle that consulted God before doing anything. The girl that felt so small in the big ol’ world she lived in but knew the fire in her heart for her beloved Father defined her. The girl that chose joy in the midst of some of the worst situations because she knew that joy was a gift from the Lord that and it’s here to help us get through tough circumstances. I was once a girl that took every curve ball life had thrown at me with ease because I had the armor of God latched on tight and I believed in the power of it.

Like a dandelion in a field full of luscious flowers whose petals have been blown away by a brisk wind, so has the fire for the lover of my soul. Replaced by a different kind of knowing. A knowing that doesn’t require so much work. Luckily, I serve a God who sees the best in me. Not for what I lack, but for what I can be. He doesn’t let me settle for a life absorbed in my own selfish security. Slowly, I’ve seen Him transform my heart and give some of it back.

He shows me through situations that force me to depend on him (even when I sometimes walk into those situations kicking and screaming). I feel it in the little kicks from the miracle inside my womb. I see it through the tears of joy that come from my adopted mom who’s been given the experience birth when she didn’t think God had those plans in her life.

I feel the seeds of the Holy Spirit spouting up  in my heart like flowers in spring time. I find God in the daily lessons where He ever so softly touches my heart and reminds me of what really matters. Taking my life in His hands, as if it were clay, and molding it the way He wants.

Breaking habits, I shouldn’t have and changing my thoughts so that they reflect Him. I see Him change my heart daily so that He can use me the way He sees fit even if I don’t feel so usable. Slowly but surely, I’m feeling like my old self again…

 I’m thankful I serve a God who doesn’t settle for a relationship that goes one way. He teaches me His ways and reminds me to rely on His faithfulness alone so that my heart is no longer divided between this world and who He is.

~ Lovelle ❤