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Five Minute Friday no.7

Have I told you lately how happy I am to be writing again?

To be creating again?

To feel like I’m living again?

It’s Friday so I am writing a Five Minute Friday post!!  If you like my FMF post today and want to read more of them, head over here to the little linky party!  Last week I wrote for five minutes actually a bit longer than 5 minutes on the word moment, feel free to check it out!

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Today’s word is repeat!  Alright timer is set really gonna try and stick to just 5 minutes today READY. SET. WRITE!

Last night I had such a great time I wish I could repeat it!

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Yesterday was my 7th November 1st in Hungary and FINALLY this year I did not repeat the cycle of letting myself down on this special day.

November 1st is All Saints Day, and here in Hungary the cemeteries are beautifully lit up with candles and decorated with flowers on this special day of remembrance.  I have SOOOOO WANTED to go walk a cemetery on November 1st in the evening and take some pictures EVERY YEAR…however every year I say to myself that I will do it and every year I didn’t make it out to a cemetery…NOT this year, this year I got to check November 1st evening cemetery stroll off my bucket list!

So many parts of the evening were worth repeating!

Agnes being babysat, so I could enjoy the cemetery stroll and have 2 hands free to photograph…SO WORTH REPEATING!

Laying down in the dirt to get just the right shot with my camera…SO WORTH REPEATING!

Walking and talking with an old friend to other parts of the city to snag just a few more cool photos…SO WORTH REPEATING!

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Doing something that I have always wanted to do…doing something for me you can go ahead and think I’m weird all you want because strolling through a cemetery after dark was doing something for me…SO WORTH REPEATING!

Feeling carefree and enjoying the company of a friend and just enjoying a small moment in life last night was so needed and I am inspired to do more things that I have promised myself I’d do!  This post is a lot lighter than many of my others…maybe that’s because I feel lighter…I am learning to love myself and feel normal and good in my own skin…and I am learning to do things for me!  Don’t worry I’m not about to shirk all responsibility and I’m not farming my child off to babysitters galore, but I am willing to have repeat nights like last night, because they bring me joy and joy is always worth repeatingdon’t mind my super long run on grammatically incorrect sentence

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Enjoy some of my fave shots from last night’s adventure!

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Let’s have a chatseepoo

I had so much fun hopping back into this space last Friday that I thought I would come back for a few minutes while my little angel girl sleeps in this morning.

Am I the only one who has to have little chatseepoos (it’s a word…made up possibly…but it’s a word) with yourself at a constant?

Like I tell myself, “self!  Stop thinking about that one thing!” or “self! Leave that person alone they don’t want to hear your problems.” followed by “self, you really need friends, try to be normal and cool with people” or “self!  You are SUCH a WEIRDO!” or “self, why can’t you get your act together?” or “self!  WE GOT THIS!” followed by “self!!!  We are making the wrong decision, let’s doubt doubt doubt”….

If you missed my Five Minute Friday Post last week, go give it a read yes I know I barely deserve a single reader with my extremely poor attendance here over the last 6 months and you will find a little nugget of info there…basically crisis hit hard here over the last 6 months and with that my brain has been on CHATSEEPOO OVERLOAD!  All the “whys”, “whens”, “what will happen nexts”…all the “worries”, “doubts”, and “super crazies” have been in FULL FORCE!

This morning I’m drinking my coffee, all alone not completely alone, my Jesus is here with me, in silence except for the city construction sounds coming in through the windows and I’m just pondering how to work out this chatseepoo problem I’m having…cause let me tell you, it IS a problem!  No one’s brain should be on this kind of roller coaster ALL THE TIME!  UGH!

While I have by NO MEANS arrived yet, I have found some ways to turn the coaster off or at least slow it down some in my brain so I thought I’d share them with ya!!  I mean I gotta give you something after all this silence.

  • 1. Fill your brain with something truly good that can drown out the noise…the only thing I can find for this is the WORD OF GOD.  Seriously, I open my Bible and just read…sometimes a verse on days when I can’t get my fingers to open that Bible cause I’m stubborn and hurt, I simply read the verse of the day on my phone…in fact this sweet lady that I have yet to meet has been sending me a verse a day ALL SUMMER sometimes I read a chapter, and then some days when the noisy roller coaster has gotten out of control I just read till the noise dulls.

I was discussing some of this yuck I have jumbled up in my head with my sweet friend Lizzy last night and I realized as I was talking it out with her that there was a major common denominator in the jumble…ME…yup I said it, most of the yuck revolved around ME…who hates me?…who doesn’t love me anymore?…will anyone ever love me?…did I do something to that person?…what will I do next with my life?…who will be mad at me about it?….the list goes on but at the center of all the doubts and worries was ME! YUCK!  TOO MUCH ME in one little space!

I have self admitted that getting into the Bible has been a challenge for my hurting heart this Summer, but I am coming to a place of surrender yes, I said coming…not perfect and still very much hurting so it is a work in progress and during those times that I cave in and let the word wash over me a little more of me fades away and a little more of the worries and doubts fade away with me….

  • 2. Write it down…You see what I’m doing here…I’m writing it down.  I have this journal that my SIL gave me for Mother’s Day…CAN I JUST STOP AND GIVE A SHOUT OUT TO MY SIL!!!  She loved me and cared for me all Summer, girlfriend had my back on Mother’s Day, my birthday, and my anniversary this Summer!!  GO CHELSEA!!  …the journal says Trust the Lord right on the front maybe I should just read the journal title several times a day…it would be a great starting point for my sitch and I have been writing in it for a few weeks now…if you know me I am a journal LOVER and I normally write my heart out in my journal DAILY, I write my prayers out, I write lists in crisis here things are not normal but for the last 6 months journaling just hasn’t happened.

I told my sweet friend Lizzy that I am going to need to burn this journal when it is full…it has the good, the bad, the ugly, the embarrassing, the wow did a teenage girl write all this, look at those doodles the heart cries, the dreams, ALL. THE. THINGS. because I just wrote ALL. THE. THINGS. like all the cool instagramers and bloggers, do you forgive me for my 6 months silence and promise to keep reading LOL.  This journal has pros and cons lists, grocery lists, scripture copied right out of my trusty blue Bible….and let me tell you, it is HEALING my heart!  Getting back in this little old space is healing and life giving too!!

  • 3. The silliest way I am helping myself deal with this chatseepoo problem I am having in my head, is by having CrAzY, OUT LOUD, spare no feelings, chatseepoos with the Lord!  That is right, I’m having chatseepoos to deal with my chatseepoo problem….but guys, I’m taking the ME out and directing the convo at my Jesus…He has really thick skin and the BIGGEST heart for me so He can take it, and He takes it much better than I do, and He wants to take my burdens.

So….this last one looks kind of funny, especially to the Hungarians I pass on the street (I can only imagine)….I am this crazy American girl, speaking English quite loudly as I power march and push a stroller with the cutest little brown girl inside around the city.  I guess you could call it prayer…but I’m not kneeling and my eyes are definitely open and put your judgy thoughts away for this next statement I sometimes depending on the day OFTEN use profanity, yup you got me WICKED SINNER!

Aren’t we all just wicked sinners though?

Isn’t that why Jesus came?

Um!  HECK YES IT IS!

And He loves me!  He wants to heal me!  He wants these chatseepoos in my head to cease!  And He wants the chatseepoos to continue with Him!  He is the lover of my soul!  He can take it…I definitely can’t take it…so glad He can…so little by little not promising everyday, all day, cause let’s be real, I’m human and did I mention IN CRISIS?!?! I’m gonna read His chatseepoos to me in the Bible, I’m gonna write out my chatseepoos in my journal and sometimes here for you lucky or maybe you’re feeling not so lucky readers and I’m gonna keep on marching with my Jesus and chatseepooing (and there I made my made up word into a verb) his head off!!

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Five Minute Friday no.6

To say it has been a hot second since I wrote in this little space is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!  Today like every other Friday since I last wrote here I saw the Five Minute Friday word and I decided I would make this my MOMENT!!  Today’s word is moment, hahaha.  My last Five Minute Friday post was on April 27th, and just 2 days later my world was literally turned upside down…leaving me speechless…leaving my heart unable to write…how fitting that almost 6 months later the FMF word is moment and my healing heart is ready to take a moment and get some things out on paper or on the screen in print, LOL.

I love this five minute writing prompt each week and am hoping to continue doing it each Friday again…every Friday there is a new word that several bloggers write about for five minutes…then we share our posts in a linky party…then we get to read what we each thought about the same word…SO FUN!

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Okay, so I like to follow the rules…it’s just in me…so I am going to set my five minute timer and try to stick to the time as I write what’s on my heart today!  I hope you enjoy it!  Then head on over here and read other people’s posts for today’s FMF…mine will be linked up there too!!

MOMENT.

I have been distant from the Lord for more than just a moment…it has felt like an eternity actually…but in reality He has been right here with me, carrying me, not judging me, loving me, and waiting patiently for me to talk to Him even if my talking is more like angry yelling or crying.

It doesn’t matter what the pain is that occurred in my life these last 6 months…we all have our moments of pain right??  So I’m not going to discuss specifics of the pain at least not now because I want others to be able to put their pain in the space I am talking about and relate to this moment I have had today.

My closest friends have seen a weird side of me lately…at least I imagine they think its a weird side…I have had this stand off with the Lord…I have been mad and frustrated and not wanted to seek Him or listen for His voice in all the mess I’m in…I have even sent some of my friends desperate messages asking them to pray that I would get my act together with Jesus.

This week I have been bargaining with the Lord about “if” I start to put all my trust in you and seek you, do this for me…and let’s just say I have ended up in a few muddy puddles with that kind of bartering hahaha (story to be told at a later point).

side note, my 5 minute timer just went off, but I am going to keep writing cause I haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet…I haven’t told you about my moment with Jesus this morning

Gonna get real with you for a second and admit something…this little old girl here, me, the missionary, Jesus loving, women’s Bible study leading, mama hasn’t cracked open her Bible much in the last 6 months…Oh, I have at times, begrudgingly opened it and read it without emotion or feeling…but to say I have opened it with a earnest seeking heart is not true.

This morning though was different…not entirely begrudgingly, but a little less closed heartedly, I opened my trusty Bible and actually tried to hear from the Lord don’t let me lose you there, trying doesn’t mean that I am working to have a relationship with God, He gives me that freely and He faithfully met me and we had a moment!!  TOGETHER!

Okay, maybe I should set my 5 minute timer now as I begin to actually write about the moment we had hahaha…see how squirrely a write gets when their “pen” has been broken for months?!?!

I was reading in John 2 and verse 10 came alive to me in a new way (don’t you just love when the WORD OF GOD speaks to you in a new fresh way)!

“And he (this is the Master of the wedding feast) said to him (the bridegroom) ‘Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior.  You have kept the good wine until now.'”

~John 2:10

I re-read it and literally said out loud to the Lord and wrote in my journal “Lord, have you KEPT the good wine for my life?…are you turning water to wine right before my eyes and making a miracle for us this far into the wedding feast of my life??

This miracle we see Jesus perform of turning water into wine happened because there was a “crisis” at the wedding feast, they had run out of wine now isn’t that a crisis, LOL….and right there in the crisis, when they were freaking out Jesus did something AMAZING, in that moment He produced the GOOD WINE!  In these last 6 months of silence on my blog, grieving in my heart, and weirdness on the outside (thanks friends for sticking by me in this awkward time) I have felt CRISIS, WE ARE OUT OF WINE AND THE WEDDING FEAST ISN’T OVER!!

And in a moment this morning….

In a sweet moment with my Jesus….

He revealed to me that the GOOD WINE is yet to come….

This “crisis” of running out of wine that I am in (and people, let me be real with you…I am very much in crisis and that isn’t going to change in a moment)…could it be that He is turning water to wine for me and the master of the feast is going to taste it and say “usually people bring out the good wine in the beginning and leave the inferior wine for when the people have already had plenty to drink, but you my friend have saved the best for late in the party!!”

In our sweet moment together this morning I said to Jesus (much like His mother Mary said to Him at that wedding feast long ago) “I have run out of wine, Lord!”…

What a precious moment I had with my Lord this morning….it has left me with a bigger sliver (still kind of a sliver, I’m still in crisis here) of hope for my future…this sweet moment made me remember His plans to prosper me…and NOT to harm me….His plans to give me a future!

Could it be that right now Jesus is asking the servants to “fill the waterpots with water…right up to the brim” so that He can turn that water to wine, SO LATE late is a relative term here because Jesus is NEVER late in my wedding feast???

 

 

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Switch-N-Ditch~Toothpaste Edition

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Hey!  Hey!  Hey!! Long time no write!  SO SORRY!  I’ve just been over here LOVING my essential oils and travelling the world with my little lady, leaving very little time for blogging….I know, I know, excuses, excuses….sorry.  I will do my best to blog more frequently as pumpkin and I get settled into our vacationing life we are currently living.

Over the last few months I have fallen completely in love with my Young Living essential oils, and each month I have been switching over to different Young Living products as well!

I’m currently swooning over the Thieves toothpaste!!  I have tried other natural toothpastes in the past and just couldn’t get past the “natural” taste.  This toothpaste tastes good!!  I know, I know, you shouldn’t pick toothpaste for its taste but it does go in my mouth so it is a factor!  Beyond the taste, the paste works!!  My teeth are clean and I’m not using harsh chemicals to clean them!  WIN!  WIN!

In doing some oily research, I read that orange oil can naturally whiten teeth.  I started putting a drop of orange oil right on my toothpaste and brushing with it.  I feel like I already see a difference (this coffee drinking mama could use a lot of whitening) but sadly I didn’t take before pics….maybe I will take some today and take new pics in a month to see the progress!  I must also say that adding the orange to my brushing makes my mouth feel even FRESHER!!  Bonus-my teeth aren’t sensitive to hot and cold because I have been using those white strips that literally strip your teeth.

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I’m so in love I literally ditched all my other toothpastes and won’t be going back!  I love making good healthy decisions for my body and my family!

Want to give this natural, chemical free, amazing toothpaste a try???

Want to try whitening your teeth with orange oil instead of chemical laden whitening strips???

What if I told you there is a way to get your hands on a tube of this toothpaste and a bottle of orange oil for FREE?!?!?!?!  Just by making on of the best decisions for you and your family’s health?!?!?!

Here are the deets:

Head on over here and get yourself the “BEST KIT EVER” a.k.a. a Young Living Premium Starter Kit and I will personally send you the toothpaste and orange oil!

*must be a new Young Living member

**offer available for the first 5 people to get their Premium Starter Kits ONLY, so jump on it, what are you waiting for!

***offer  can be redeemed with the purchase of ANY Premium Starter Kit (oils, Thieves cleaning kit, Ningxa Red Kit, or even MAKEUP kit)

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Mamahood Series~A Still Waiting Mama

Welcome to the Mamahood Stories guest blogger series!!  I have asked several special mamas to write posts for this series and I really believe they are going to encourage you and build you up!  My wish is that as you read these posts leading up to Mother’s Day, you are encouraged and exhorted to love on other mamas, waiting mamas, and women longing to be mamas!

Today’s post comes from Latonya at www.abbainterpretstime.com.  Her faith in the Lord is inspiring!  I am sure her story of the journey she is on will encourage you today!! She is learning about God’s goodness and blessing in the season of waiting.  If you are waiting on something today, take heart, and give this Mamahood Story a read!!

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My husband and I married after 9 years of dating. We got married on December 1, 2007. The Lord told me to get off birth control in January 2008! Wait, what? We had plans to start our family after 2 years. Why do I have to get off now? So, after talking to my husband, I decided to go off in March 2008. Well, now I understand why the Lord told me to get off…..Let me tell you about my journey in waiting (for babies).

So, after a year of being off birth control for over a year, we realized that something just wasn’t right. In 2009, we decided to go to the fertility doctor to get tested. My tests came back normal, my eggs and entire reproductive system was fine. My husband’s test however, was a totally different story. The results revealed….Male Factor Infertility (MFI). MFI has many factors that can contribute to this form of infertility. This can be from low sperm count to abnormally shaped sperm. In humans, it accounts for 40-50% of infertility. This diagnosis shocked me and stung like nobody’s business. I just never thought this would be something we would have to deal with in our marriage. We were both hurt; however, we knew that God had a plan. Knowing this does not mean we didn’t cry or even question God, why. It just meant that He must have an amazing miracle He wants to birth through us! I never once blamed my husband or had thoughts of leaving him. I was more so sad for him, sad for us. I didn’t want him to go down this dark hole and not come back! Not sure what to do with this information, we decided to rest on it for a while, pray, and seek the Lord for direction. This was totally out of my control. From someone who likes some form of control, this was pretty hard to grasp. But deep down, I knew God was in control. His ways and thoughts are not like my own. His plans are better than anything I could ever imagine or even conjure up.

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About a year after the infertility diagnosis, in 2010, we decided to go and seek the fertility doctor’s help to try and get pregnant. I thank God for putting this in place to help grow families. Getting that help does not mean you don’t trust God. Because honestly, getting procedures like IUI and IVF is still God’s hand at work. We decided to do our first IUI on May 6, 2010. That fertility treatment failed! We decided to try another IUI procedure on July 22, 2011 at a different facility. Another FAILED attempt! After this IUI, our doctor advised us to move on to IVF because that would be the only way we would have a child. That lit a fire in me! I was determined that I would prove them wrong! The Lord confirmed it to me shortly after that we would not have to go this route to get pregnant.

I remember thinking at the beginning of each year that this would be the year we would get pregnant with our miracle baby (babies)! We have gotten countless confirmations, countless prophesies, countless advice, and plenty of “Just relax and let it just happen!” Let me give you a little nugget of wisdom. Please don’t say JUST RELAX to any couple trying to conceive! Please and thank you! I promise you will thank me later for that wisdom! We know we need to relax, ummmkkkay! Alright, off my soapbox and back to this post.

Year after year went by and no miracle baby! My excitement was wearing thin! “Lord, how long?!?!?!” You said You would do the miraculous! He answered me and said, “Tonya, I never told you WHEN. But will you still trust me?” Wow! When I thought about it and looked

back in my journal, He never DID say when! Ugh! Ok, God. It’s all about how I wait on this journey. Will I just sit here, feel sorry for myself, and die……. or will I get up, pursue Him, and actively wait!?!?! I chose to W.A.I.T. I chose to allow my Abba to Interpret Time for me. Now, I’m not saying I don’t get weary in waiting. Every day I wake up and say, “Lord, I thank You for waking me up to miracles today! I thank You for waking me up to revelations, wisdom, knowledge, etc. I decree great and positive things over my day, over my life on a daily basis. I look for the miracles every day! It may not come in the form of babies yet, but I see miracles! What’s changed? My perspective, my attitude about waiting. Waiting is not meant to be negative. It’s a time to truly focus on God and building yourself up in Him. This time is for laying up treasures, in Heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21) The treasures you will find are priceless and makes the waiting easier. I promise!

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Seeing so many of my family and friends celebrating their pregnancies are exciting for me, but it also reminds me that I’m still waiting for my promise. I’m not the person who won’t celebrate with others. I know it’s a miracle every time a life comes into the world. Certain holidays are hard as well. I’ve learned that it’s ok to grieve for the moment, but don’t stay in that grief. Worship, pray, and praise your way out! Call a friend or family member who has walked your journey with you.

So, where are we now on our journey? Glad you asked! We are still trusting and believing God for our children. He has given me two names, so I know we will have at least two kids. We haven’t gone to get anymore testing or fertility treatments in about 6+ years. God will do it when He sees fit! Until then, we actively wait! December of last year, He told me that 2018 will be my year of praise! I am praising God for what He has already done on our behalf and what He’s going to do! Whenever I’m down, I must get into a mode of praise!

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Whatever you’re waiting on, whether it’s children, whether it’s marriage, a dream job, or direction, please don’t give up on it! If you know God said it and has confirmed it, stand on it, and remind Him of His word to you. He always keeps His promises. Let me tell you, it takes some prayer equity and a lot of patience to truly rest in the promises of God. So, how do you plan to wait? After reading this, does it give you some hope that waiting can be a good thing? God is so amazing! He will surely take care of you in your season of waiting! He strengthens you when you don’t even think you have anything left to give! His strength allows you to FLY! So……SOAR!!

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Thank you for reading these Mamahood Stories!  If you missed the first the second postthe third postthe forth, or the fifth post in this series go give them a read!  It was my pleasure to share all these lovely stories with you! 

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Mamahood Stories~A Step Mama

Welcome to the Mamahood Stories guest blogger series!!  I have asked several special mamas to write posts for this series and I really believe they are going to encourage you and build you up!  My wish is that as you read these posts leading up to Mother’s Day, you are encouraged and exhorted to love on other mamas, waiting mamas, and women longing to be mamas!

Today’s post comes from Sweet Candace Sanner!!  Candace and I were pals when we were little girls and through marriage we became cousins!!  She is mama to three girls and one boy (two of the girls are step children) and she mamas them well!!  I’m so delighted to have Candace on here today sharing her beautiful thoughts and words on step parenting!

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Let’s be RAW, I mean REAL, let’s talk STEP-PARENTING!

Step-Parenting is HARD and surely not for the WEAK, there is no other way to say it, but it can be very rewarding! When I started out on this journey I was on a high, cloud 9. I had one biological child, two biological children in heaven from miscarriages and I was gaining two children that I did not birth. I thought no one and nothing could stop us from being one big, happy, loving family, boy was I in for a reality check. People do not tell you the many trials and hardships you will face in your marriage, your home and individually just by taking on this role of an *over-night new parent*.

Things I know now that I wish I knew then:

PROTECT your marriage relationship. You need to constantly invest in your marriage, read books, take classes, go to conferences together to strengthen your bond and continue to grow together. The most recent one we did was “The Art of Marriage. Do not wait until there is difficulty; guard your marriage right now. Because the devil is out seeking whom he may devour and without a constant investment and constantly choosing TOGETHER to bring God into your marriage, man will crumble. You have to be a united front and work together as a team there is no other way to be successful in this very challenging lifestyle.

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Ephesians 5:31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”

Never stop DATING each other. There will be times, chapters in this journey where everything around you may seem like it is falling apart and the moment it starts trickling over into your marriage is the moment your foundation starts to crack. It is so important to keep dating and setting time aside intentionally to just be happy, laugh and spend one on one time with each other kid free, detail free, no phones. Reminding you why you CHOSE this person to walk through this journey with.

Ephesians 5:28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Be prepared to have this unexplainable love and willingness to take a bullet, climb mountains, take ridicule and be emotionally beat down for the sake of these children that you did not birth. You will grow to love them unconditionally and be willing to die for them in a moments notice, NO MATTER WHAT and you won’t be able to explain it or care what the reason is. But when your “kids” get attacked or become hurt at different times in their life you will have this passion and drive come over you that will make you stop at nothing to protect them from whoever may be causing them pain and sometimes, most times, it is their own family! People may even judge you for that kind of love and stance toward children that are “not yours” but it happens and when it does you have arrived; you have officially become more than a step-parent you are an “additional” parent. Those children may not know it yet, and there are times that can be the hardest part, but one day they will see just how fortunate they are to have more than just two parents who love them like no one else on this earth. Becoming a step-parent is so much deeper than just stepping into a child’s life, you take them on as your own and dna doesn’t come into play. There is no his or hers, or step, there is simply OUR” children.

Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

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No one will ever fully understand the sacrifice or your family dynamic unless they themselves have a blended family, so be careful who you confide in and befriend. Because there are times you will feel lost and alone and reach out to anyone that will lend an ear but unless they lived it or are living it, they will not get it. Those individuals though their heart may be right can guide you in a way that just doesn’t work for your family or your marriage. Look for trusting, morally sound, Godly individuals in similar situations or join a group because there will be times you will need some encouragement and someone who just “gets it” but doesn’t tear down.

Philippians 4:6-8 “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”

Take time for YOU. I understand this is easier said than done. I for one thought for the longest time I could handle it ALL and people who went out, or did things alone or without their family were crazy. But in the end, what I found, is not taking some timeout time for myself was making ME crazy. Now everything in moderation folks but you need to have something that is a healthy, safe outlet for you and that brings you joy in that time alone. It could be soaking in a bath, working out, taking the dog for a walk, whatever it is that brings you a few minutes to catch your breath and be alone. It is so important that you take care of you so you can give your family the best version of yourself.

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Proverbs 31:26 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

Becoming/being a blended family is very challenging but it is a very precious and beautiful thing. There will be unique challenges that typical families do not face. There is no way to be prepared for them all but keep in mind you and your spouse are on the same team.

Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Stay tuned for more Mamahood Stories!  If you missed the first the second postthe third post, or the forth in this series go give them a read!  I am really excited to share all these lovely stories with you! 

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Mamahood Stories~A Persistent Mama

Welcome to the Mamahood Stories guest blogger series!!  I have asked several special mamas to write posts for this series and I really believe they are going to encourage you and build you up!  My wish is that as you read these posts leading up to Mother’s Day, you are encouraged and exhorted to love on other mamas, waiting mamas, and women longing to be mamas!

Today’s post comes from Karena Burgess from The Whole Body Baby Plan.  We met in a blogging Facebook group and I am so excited to have her here today!  Her story is inspirational and I hope you enjoy it!!  When your done reading here, head on over to her space and enjoy reading some more of her posts!12Q

“Mr and Mrs Burgess, we regret to inform you that your baby will no longer be coming home in 2-weeks as we had anticipated. Would you like to continue the adoption process? You see the mom….. blah, blah, blah…” I heard nothing else in that conversation. I was devastated in such a way I had never experience before and this time, this straw was the last one that literally broke the camel’s back in believing we would eve become parents.
This was not our first adoption, nor was it our second or third adoption attempt. But this was the closest we had come to bringing home a baby.
About 5 years into our waiting to be parents, the idea of adopting was constantly presented to us. At the time my husband and I were youth pastors and we also did free financial classes in our community to help others break free from the bondage of debt.
We encountered people from all walks of life and they all said the same thing, why don’t you adopt, you’d make perfect parents. We had kids who would sleep over at our home from time to time. We did 24 hours rock-a-thon and game nights, but at the end of the day, it was short lived and we were still childless.
In the background, we were doing all manner of treatments, diets, prayers, surgeries to conceive. Desperately hoping and praying that something would stick and we would be able to at least adopt one of the children that we had encountered who currently didn’t have a home.

Savannah And Mason
In 2012, I was sitting at my desk after I had finish teaching a group of college students how to   take care of themselves in the combat zone when it came to hygiene. These students were my “grown up” children. They relied on my judge and encouragement daily, and I poured into them like my own. But still on parents weekend, I was introduced to their parents as “mom away from home”. Parents loved that their children were being taken care of, but at the end of most work day, I would go home and cry.
Lord, I want a baby. God I’m desperate. What’s wrong with me? What did I do or didn’t do? What needs to change in me?
If I have found favor in your sight, please make us parents. My paraphrase of Exodus 33:13
After one of those desperate prayers, I got a phone call just after a class that there were a set of twins that needed a place to stay.  I was shocked. I was on the defensive too. I asked all the right questions: “Where are their parents (in jail for felony against them), where are the grandparents, (one sick and the other don’t want the babies), how did you hear about us (you guys are always helping people, can you help these babies out)….. The list of questions went on and on for about 15 minutes. I told the lady this is weird, but it all seems legit… however I need to speak with my husband and see what his opinion was on the matter.
I called my husband and his response was not what I had expected. And within 24hours, we were parents to two 10-month old boy/girl twin babies! ❤
Yay! 🙂 Praise the Lord!  I wished the story ended there.
Over the next several weeks, we met the grandmother who was looking for help with these twins. She didn’t want them separated and her health was failing quickly. She chose us from talking to a few people in the community. Before that time we had never met. At the time we were not even foster parents.
She was so happy we were going to take the babies, she suggested we adopt them permanently and we were all too happy to jump on the ball to get the process rolling. So we hired the best lawyer in town.
In the mean time, we took time off our day jobs to child proof our home, painted and renovated the extra bedroom that we had shut off because it was so painful to look at an empty room everyday.  Suddenly this room had two cribs, lots of diapers, toys, baby monitors, the works. In the process of the sudden drop off, we were still in the process of adopting other children and we didn’t stop the process, because at this point we had a firm date that baby was coming home.
We didn’t want to disappoint a child, so we continued. We made enough money to support a family of five and our home was big enough and family support was robust.
To keep this set of twins, we had to become foster parents for 3-months and we jumped in with both legs. Finished all the paperwork and all set for babies to change their last name when we received a letter in the mail saying that we have to appear in court because suddenly a family member has surfaced who wants the kids.
What the…..????
We spoke with our lawyer and the grandmother who was too busy and didn’t even come to visit the kids since birth suddenly wanted to be foster parents for her now 15 month old twins.
This was a serious difficult time of my life. Through court battles, we lost the babies and several years later, we still get phone calls on the medication that’s needed for them. Every year we celebrate their birthday. We cried, but we figured out how to move on slowly.
Several months after this failure, we got another dreaded phone call. We were so sure we were gonna have this baby in our home, that we went ahead and gave him a name “Samuel”.  Samuel was alive because his mom was raped and she didn’t take care of him. At 2 years old, he still wasn’t even crawling. But that was okay with us, cause we were going to love him into his destiny.  “Mr and Mrs Burgess, we regret to inform you that your baby will no longer be coming home in 2-weeks as we had anticipated. Would you like to continue the adoption process?”
I was devastated! There we were with two certain adoptions falling through right before our eyes. For no logical reason. Thousands of dollars gone, two empty bedrooms, and no babies. None!  I was numb. I couldn’t function. I took time off work. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I could no longer continue on with the adoption process. I just couldn’t.
We decided that we were going to trust the Lord in a whole new way. We were going to wait. No more surgeries. No more adoption paperwork. No more planning. We were just going to enjoy each other, travel more, visit more orphans, but as for ourselves, God would have to fight for us.
In 2016, about 4 years after that dread phone call, we gave birth to our miracle baby 6 days before our twins birthday. Yes, God has a sense of humor!
Today we still celebrate the twins. We still pray for baby Samuel and we are now biological parents to a baby girl who was sent to us from Heaven. Jesus Christ gets all the glory. He made a way. He opened the doors that no man could shut and shut the doors that no man could open.

I’m super grateful to be a mom. I pinch myself often and I continue to pray for others to have similar breakthroughs in their lives. If you are still waiting for a miracle, don’t quit! Don’t give up. You may need to press into your relationship with God a little more, but whatever you do, don’t stop praying and asking Him for His favor on your life.

View More: http://megansmart.pass.us/karena-burgessfall2017

Stay tuned for more Mamahood Stories!  If you missed the first the second post, or the third post in this series go give them a read!  I am really excited to share all these lovely stories with you!