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loved and known

You were standing in the stairwell and noticed the sequins reflecting from the sun all over the curtains. You were fascinated and loved the sparkle they created.

You have always loved anything with sparkle. You love to dress up with costumes, fancy dresses, high heels, jewelry, and head bands. You also love make up and nail polish and often asks me why I don't wear makeup or fancy jewelry. You love singing and dancing and often live in a world of imagination. 

Big sissy is now in 7th grade; an age when many girls are wanting to try make up. She has no desire for make up and dress up clothes were always itchy to her. She asks me why people wear high heels and doesn't understand the purpose for them. Her fashion choices are much more simple and modest. She is devoted to soccer, dreams of playing in college and seems to enjoy most any sport she tries; while she also sings beautiful melodies and plays the guitar and ukulele. 

We can't predict what baby sissy will grow up to prefer, but it's fun watching you all. It's so important to me as your mother for you each to embrace what makes YOU unique. What makes YOU feel alive. For you to understand that God created you each with your own story and beauty. That you are loved and adored in soccer cleats and shorts or a dress and heels. You are loved running hard, spinning on a dance floor, playing in dirty, singing melodies, or quietly reading a book. That clothing, haircuts, sports, hobbies, and careers do not define us. 
I want you to be your own definition of strong. Your own definition of beautiful. 

I pray that you will know your true identity is in Christ alone. And that your strength comes from Him. You don't need the world's affirmation or definition of success. What you need is the light of Christ shining through you always.

Seek Him first and be the unique individual He created. Above all, I hope you never forget, no matter what, you are so loved.


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rainbow promises

I captured this image this week with my phone one afternoon after a quick rainstorm we had here in Florida. I always love how rainbows remind me of God's grace and presence.

Last week one afternoon I was having a bit of a pity party. I had been fighting a virus for about a week and then I sprained my ankle while out in the rain getting groceries. At almost 6 months pregnant, I just felt defeated and tired. I was having trouble seeing the "rainbows" in my life and was focusing more on all the negative.

And then I listened to a sermon from Matt Chandler. It was from a series entitled Recovering Redemption, How Christ changes everything. Matt said, 

" Don't begrudge the difficult days. Don't hate them. God is working in the mess.--He will never lay on you what He will not bare up with you"

It's amazing how much I needed to hear those words at that exact moment. It's easy to believe them when everything is going right, but sometimes in the midst of trials we need the reminder. We need to hear that we have not been forsaken and that there is purpose in every single trial.

I am reminded once again of James 1:2-4
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

Yes, these times of trials...they are when I am growing the most. Not in the easy days. These days are filled with God seeking moments; bringing me closer to Him. And for that, I find joy. I am grateful for His rainbows all throughout my life, reminding me I am never forsaken.

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