Oh how things change!

This week I’ve found myself recognizing how much I’ve changed over the past five years. I still think of myself as a 20 year old kid, but when I think of all the changes, I realize I am, in fact, a 25 year old married woman with a toddler. Some of my favorite things now are things that I NEVER would have guessed five years ago that I would love them as much as I do. For example:

*I love and look forward to early mornings with my coffee, Bible and husband
*I love anything with avocados (that’s a big deal for this picky eater)
*I love running and am currently training for a full marathon, but I couldn’t even run 3 full minutes when I started
*I love my fixer-upper farm house in the middle of nowhere. Correction: in the middle of a town with a population of 357 people
*Im perfectly content being at the farmhouse with my little family and not even starting my car for at least 3 days in a row before I start going crazy and need an outing
*I love using power tools
*I actually enjoy milking the cow (occasionally :), having chickens that run loose, having horses and cows right outside my window, and watering my garden
*ok, I may not actually ENJOY driving the tractor but I love that I know HOW to drive a tractor and rake hay

I never could have predicted any of those new loves, but Im so thankful for the life I live and the people I get to live it with. I wouldn’t trade my time with Charleigh and Cody for anything in the world. With so many current plans and ideas up in the air right now, this week has been a great reminder that my God is still in control, that He knows me better than I know myself and He has a plan much better than mine to give me hope and future. The lyrics from “Me Without You” by TobyMac fit me perfectly…

“I’d be packing my bags when I need to stay
I’d be chasing every breeze that blows my way
I’d be building my kingdom just to watch it fade away
It’s true
That’s me without you”

I have a slight tendency to dream big, change my mind and plans a million time and expect everyone around me to not only keep up with my current scheme, but also support it. I’m thankful that with age is finally coming a little God-given discernment that my mom has been praying for over me with Philippians 1:9-10 since I was little:

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ…”

Why pray for only a glass of water when God promises to give rivers, fountains and pools of water?

Isaiah 41:17-20

“When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them.  

I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.

I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus.  

I will give them fountains of water in the valleys.

 I will fill the desert with pools of water.

Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.  

I will plant trees in the barren desert – cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir and pine.

 I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means – that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.”

I love these verses in Isaiah and couldn’t help but be overwhelmed this morning about just how great my God is and how he continually pours out blessings that we don’t deserve.  When we’re thirsty, He doesn’t just give us a glass of water….he opens up rivers, fountains, and pools of water for us! I can look back at my life and see countless, specific circumstances where I was praying and searching for only a glass of water, not knowing how much more God was trying to give me.  

Yesterday Cody and I were talking about the summer of 2008…again 🙂  The summer that we both ended up at a random ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I only wanted a summer adventure, but what I got was a godly husband, a beautiful daughter, and a heart for Jackson Hole.  

For the past four years, we’ve been dreaming about going back to Wyoming and investing our lives into the town and people that we can’t get out of our head.  We’ve been praying and planning and now we’re seeing God open doors for us to possibly go back this summer.  We by no means have all the details worked out…I mean, can you really just pick up your family and move for 3-4 months every year?  It doesn’t seem like a mature, sensible thing to attempt, but we just can’t let go the idea.  For now, I’m simply encouraged that God knows the plans that He has for us and that they are far greater than our own, regardless of what that plan looks like and how well it “matches” mine.

That summer of 2008, I was offered jobs at two different ranches, both equally appealing.  I can’t imagine what my life would look like now if I had picked the other ranch and never met Cody.  I’m so thankful for a God that is weaving together even the seemingly insignificant decisions in my life to make a beautiful masterpiece.  And thankful that I can trust in His promises for our future and that He is always faithful. 

Hello world!

A blogger. I remember laughing at Jenna on Ben’s season of the Bachelor when her occupation was listed as “blogger”. And yet, here I am…a blogger.  It seems like my life is full of contradictions like this…I loved growing tomato plants this summer but I don’t eat tomatoes, I like to have money to do whatever I want and go wherever I want but I complain that my husband works too much, I don’t let my 1-year-old eat or drink sweet things but I could live on junk food, I want Christ to be the center of my life but I can go days (or weeks) before realizing I haven’t opened my Bible…why is it so easy to get distracted from the things that really matter in life?  I feel like we’re kind of at a crossroads in our life right now.  We’re trying to pinpoint our dreams and goals and then figure out the best course of actions.  Actually, it feels like we’ve been trying to figure out the best course of action since we got married and, in the mean time, three and a half years have passed us by! My husband and I were talking the other night about the countless plans we’ve made that (Praise God!) haven’t worked out…we could list off several things immediately that we thought we’re some of our best ideas ever and now looking back we can recognize them as terrible ideas.  Our families think we’re fickle, but looking back at the past 4 years I have NO idea why they think that! 🙂

It feels like now that we’re in our mid-twenties (yikes!) we should have a little more figured out because time goes so fast!  We can’t keep waiting to figure things out…my husband always reminds me that when Jesus gave his final command to “go and make disciples”, the literal translation is “while you are going, make disciples”.  We can agree that our ultimate goal is to make an impact for the kingdom of God.  Do we know what that looks like on a daily basis? Not yet, but do we have to know that before we start trying? No way!

I’m finishing up my bachelors degree online with Liberty University and one thing I’ve learned recently is about the verse in Psalm 37:4 that says “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart”…this doesn’t mean that God will give you everything single desire, but it does mean that if you are living a godly life, he will give you the right desires in your heart.  So for us, today, we’re focusing on learning how to live godly lives so that somewhere down the road, we have the right desires to figure out the plans for our lives.  In the meantime, we just keep moving, dreaming, throwing out ideas, and trusting that God will continue to guide us as we continue to seek Him.

I want this blog to mainly serve as a record for us to look back at and see the progress we’ve made and the things the Lord has done in our lives.  I also want to use it as a way to maintain my own identity separate from being a wife and a mom.  Don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE being a wife and a mom…my sweet Charleigh girl is one of the biggest joys of my life! I want to raise her to be confident in who Christ has made her to be…I don’t want her to grow up wishing there were things she could change about her appearance or personality because God crafted her perfectly – He doesn’t make mistakes!  I want to help her figure out her talents, likes and dislikes, passions and goals, but how can I expect her to grow up with a heart for the lost, poor and sick if I am only ever focused on my own little world with my perfect little family?  I want to be an example of a woman who takes everything God has given me (talents, passions and resources) and use them to the best of my ability to change the world for Christ.

I want this blog to be a virtual scrapbook of our constantly changing lives, and finally, I want this blog to be a starting point for my two business ventures: Dancing Zebras and Juice Plus+.  Look for more information to come on these two things! 🙂