Category Archives: Marriage and Family

The Gift of Family

adopt

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

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

Use Me

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

 

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

HeIsStrong

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

 

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 ❤

 

When The Struggle Is Real

burdens

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

The future I had so eloquently planned flashed before my eyes and dissolved in an instant as I looked at not one, but two pregnancy tests that had results I did not want. “This can not be happening.” I said to myself.

I looked up and saw my astonished husband with a hint of excitement in his eyes. The one dream he had treasured in his heart for a long time had come true. Not in the timing we thought but the big digital letters that spelled out PREGNANT couldn’t lie. Our life was about to change drastically.

I would love to sit here and tell you I was so excited about this news. I wish I could say I took it well, jumped up and down praising God for this gift not all women get the chance to experience but that would be a total lie.

When I entered this new season I came in kicking and screaming.  Graduate school, my crazy unrealistic idea of financial peace, and all the other dreams I had of working a job outside of the home were gone. They were replaced with the thought of staying home because babies aren’t cheep and momma’s need to take care of them. Like my amazing mother does for me, I knew that I had to accept putting my desires on hold to give this child the best life possible just like Jesus did when he died on the cross for me.

It’s surprising I know… I wasn’t happy that I was pregnant when I first found out. I was actually really ticked off. My face and my words couldn’t hide it. The fake, “thank you’s” when the news broke brought a lot of skeptical looks and not a lot of people knew how to respond. I got a bunch of, “I’m sorry. You are supposed to be happy’s” silence, and awkward stares.

The adversary tried his hardest to trap me with guilt. Children are a gift from the Lord right? I had seen first hand how hard it is on women to look at those negative pregnancy tests month after month and not be able to carry one of their own. I knew the pain my mom and dad felt while enduring 10 years of infertility. I knew first hand how it felt to not be wanted and here I was doing the same thing to our future child…

So here I am ten weeks later (a little more stable) and a lot more excited. We are gonna have a baby!!! I ALMOST believed the lie that my feelings made me a horrible person. As I spent time with Jesus He held me close, listened to my feelings without judgment, and spoke truth into my life. He also brought a few people who had been there to help me through this crazy process.

These lies right here are why I am writing this post. This is for the person going through a similar situation where your reaction isn’t resonating with society. This is for the child of God who never fully embraced how they REALLY felt Friend, I give you full permission and guess what??? So does Jesus.

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
– Luke 22:42

Yes, our wonderful Savior who entered this earth; cried out to God because He wasn’t necessarily happy about the huge request that God was asking of him. God got him through his doubts and questions without judgement. He even did it for me, and He will do it for you too.

I grieved the future I so badly wanted. I cried out to God asking for help. With one test our future became so uncertain. I REALLY needed Him to change my heart and in time He did. He didn’t tell me that I was wrong or a horrible person. He sat there with me in my selfishness and unrealistic expectations, accepted my truthful feelings, and held me close.  My hope is that by reading this I can do that for you too…

It’s okay to not be happy about life hitting you like a ton of bricks. It’s perfectly normal to not have the “correct feelings”. When you embrace it, God can start working on your heart and draw you closer to Him. I promise, when you tell God how you REALLY FEEL, He WILL will be there to listen.

~ Lovelle ❤

Adoption and Marriage: Five Things I Have Learned in the Transition

season

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy on my “seeds to sow page! This photo was taken by Marina Bromley.}

A little over a year ago my life changed dramatically {in a good way}. I went from an extremely long season of being alone with no one to having amazing parents and a husband and it’s been quite the transition. I have had to learn a lot and I have had to take a step back and really acknowledge what’s important to me.

1.) It’s not about me:
I used to live a life dependent on myself which caused me to just think about what is best for me. Now that I am married, I have realized that one of the best things I can do for my husband is put him first and not expect anything in return. My husband is already amazing at that and this has really helped both of us transition {especially me} because selfless love is biblical and it creates a very happy and loving environment.

2.) I don’t have to simply survive anymore:
I got a phone call a while ago that put my stress level on high. My car had a couple recalls which meant it would need to spend a whole day in the shop. How am I supposed to get to work? If I don’t work I can’t pay the bills. If I can’t pay the bills then I will be homeless, carless, and hungry.

One look at my husband calmed me down. I realized I had switched to survival mode but I wasn’t alone anymore. I used to have to be dependent on my car and I used to have to fix problems myself but now I don’t because I have people that can help me and want to help me. What a relief!

3.) It’s all about the little things:
My mom surprised me with coffee at work on one of the longest and hardest days. It was a simple gesture but it meant the world. It’s little things like family dinners or my husband taking some time to help me clean the house. It reminds me that I have a team of people encouraging me. I may not see it sometimes but they truly believe that I am capable of success.

4.) Family comes first:
Before my husband and parents came into the picture I had a completely full schedule. Over full to be exact… I have learned that above all else, family comes first which means leaving my schedule open so that I can spend time with them. Things change and people will constantly come in and out of my life but my family remains and I need to cherish every moment I have with them.

5.) Normal is just a setting on the washing machine:
Coming from an unstable household really influenced what kind of environment I want.
1. No arguing in front of kids
2. No yelling.
3. We don’t fight, we discuss

The list goes on and on… One day my husband looked at me and said, “Lovelle, some of your expectations are kind of unrealistic.”

It turns out my past had haunted me so much that it caused me to become unrealistic about my expectations. No family is perfect. No home is perfect but that’s why Jesus came. He is full of grace and forgiveness that is abundant.

Our family is full of imperfect people but our God is better than that. As long as we put Him first then we will get through whatever trials come our way. Transitions are a part of life. I will gladly admit that I have a long way to go.

This year has certainly been hard but it is totally worth it. It’s through the trials that I learn and develop. I am so grateful for a patient and loving God who is with me every step of the way. What trials are you facing? What is God teaching you in this season of life?

~ Lovelle ❤