Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Another post about waiting..

On the last day of May of 2017, when my baby son was placed into my arms for the first time, my heart felt like it could burst with joy. The months and months of sorrow and pain fell away and our struggles with infertility and miscarriages were like a distant chapter that we hoped to never revisit. 

But as our son grew and I delighted in being a mother to him, a desire for another baby naturally filled my heart. He would be the best big brother is a thought I have often had. He is four years old now. A tall, inquisitive, dinosaur and sea creature-loving boy with a big smile, a mischievous streak, and a tender heart. And I wish he had a little sister or a little brother. 

The pain of my second journey of infertility feels almost embarrassing to share with others. After all, we have a child. So many others never experience that gift. Perhaps I should just be content. And there are many days when contentment and peace fills my heart, when, looking at my son and thinking about our lives, I smile, grateful for the blessings from God. 

But there are other days. Days when a longing fills me for another child to know and love. Boy or girl, I don't really care. Just another little one to cuddle and care for. Sometimes, the longing overwhelms me and I cry. Other times, it just softly tugs at the edge of my mind, not quite painful, just a light touch that reminds me of what I'm missing, of what does not exist and may never. 

I'm getting older too, the constant battle against the grey in my hair a reminder of that truth. Time is not a friend to my hopes and dreams. Yes, adoption is an option and one we have talked about. But as anyone who has gone through it knows, it is not a simple process. Whether you foster to adopt or pursue other adoption avenues, there is so much to consider. I've learned that my heart is fragile at the thought of another loss, even if it is the loss of a child I barely know, or have never met, depending on the type of adoption. 

But if there is anything I have learned about seasons of waiting, it is this: in the middle of the ache, hope can still exist and even thrive. 

As I write these words, it is early December. Advent season. Although I grew up in church and have always enjoyed the Christmas season, celebrating Advent in an intentional way is fairly new to me. This year though, I've been thinking about it often. Advent is a season when Christians of many different denominations reflect, whether in private or with their church family, on the time of waiting for the Christ child to be born. 

In a brief advent devotional that we did together as a family the other night, the key word was "hope." I learned something new from that study. Hope in the Bible is not focused on future events that might look possible to us. No, true biblical Hope is focused instead on a Person, in God Himself. And Hope in God is never misplaced. 

As I pondered this, I thought about how during Advent, we imagine the waiting of God's people for hundreds of years for the Christ to come to them. They were waiting and hoping literally for God Himself to visit them...And He did- in His time, in His way, for His glory and the good of His people. 

And so here I am, in a season of waiting again. It seems to be the story of my life. But that's all right. Waiting is not meaningless when I'm waiting with Immanuel: God with us. 




Friday, October 22, 2021

My experience with covid

 A week ago, I was starting to come down with what I thought was a cold. James had been sick with the same "cold" for several days but was recovering. I went about my day as normal, but by the next morning, I was feeling worse.By the next morning, Saturday, I was miserable. My symptoms were sinus congestion, a sore throat, a general feeling of not being well, and some fatigue. I didn't have a fever and I wasn't coughing much at all. But my husband strongly encouraged me to go get a covid test and I agreed.

When the results came back, I was shocked that it was positive.

Back home, I started to process the news. As the day went on and I continued to feel pretty bad, I felt some worry. What if I got really sick and also what about my husband and son? I was most worried about Matt since he has bad asthma. I felt fairly sure that James was actually recovering from his own bout with covid. 

Over the next day or two, my sore throat went away but I started to cough a bit. By the early part of the new week, I lost my sense of smell. It was such a strange experience. To not be able to smell my morning cup of coffee, or even a very strong bottle of spicy  cinnamon scented essential oil..it was just odd. Thankfully I could still taste food.

For self care, I started taking vitamin C, vitamin A and D, and Zinc. I also took a suggestion to drink tonic water with quinine. I mixed it with juice and thought it was pretty good. I also sipped lots of hot tea with honey and drank many cups of water. For my cough and congestion, I took dayquil and some other cough syrup as needed occasionally. At night I took nyquil. By mid week that week, I was starting to feel much much better.

During this whole time, my husband did come down with something similar to my symptoms. He got tested-twice-for covid a few days' apart. Both times, it was negative. After two doctor's visits, including a chest xray, the doctor concluded it was not covid but probably another respiratory virus. He is still recovering from that with lots of rest and some medicine. I am relieved that he did not have covid at least.

It is now a week and one day since my first  symptoms began. My sense of smell is coming back, my sinuses are mostly cleared up and my cough is almost gone. I'm still fatigued. This afternoon, I slept for several hours. I try to do housework but find I can't do much before I feel weak and tired. So I'm pacing myself.

As I think back over the last week, I do not take it for granted that my heath is being restored. I've known people who lost their lies to this awful virus and others who were very sick and are still suffering lingering issues. Some were relatively young. So I don't shrug my shoulders and pretend I wasn't worried because there were moments this week when sober thoughts would flood my mind. 

As far as my opinions about the vaccine, I won't say much. Only that I believe it serves a purpose. I had been vaccinated with only the first dose. This was for many reasons that I won't delve into here. But I do believe that part of the reason my case may have been so mild was because of that decision to at least be partially vaccinated. I also believe possibly that's why my husband never got covid. He has been fully vaccinated.

During my quarantine, to keep busy, I read a long historical fiction novel, have watched too much TV, taken short walks on the trail that runs literally right beside our house along the woods, napped, sat in the sunshine when the weather permitted, and I've even done some writing for a free lance project I'm actively working on-and I even got paid for my work this week. It was a good feeling to know I could still contribute in a small way financially even while in quarantine! 

As far as my family, it was very difficult to try to stay far away from them. Most of the time, we ended up in the living room together during the day. It was just too much to try to stay away from my young son, especially when my husband also was not feeling well and we both needed to rest. Some might criticize us for not isolating from our son but we felt it was possible he had already had covid. We don't have proof though. We couldn't send him away because of the chance he was contagious. He was considered in quarantine with me per the health department's instructions.

 I have two full days left of my quarantine. I'm looking forward to going for longer walks, seeing friends, going into stores even, and just getting back to some type of normal. Most of all, I'm happy to be alive and thankful for each new day and praying for those who's lives have been forever changed by this virus.







Friday, October 15, 2021

Discovering I love Walt Disney World

 

A few weeks ago, I went to Disney World for the first time. Well, technically the first time, i was inside my Mom's womb. But as far as my first trip to Disney World that I remember.. this trip was it.

Now, a few weeks removed from the trip, I find myself looking back and remembering mostly the fun we had and already hoping very much to return someday! This blog post will be just a few highlights of our Disney Trip. I will not attempt to cover everything we did. 

I also will try to throw in a few tips as a first time visitor to WDW for those who may be planning their trip. Keep in mind I am no expert by any means on the subject of Disney traveling. There are dozens of excellent websites and youtube channels out there for well informed, detailed trip planning advice! A couple of my favorites are  Blair Lamb's youtube channel and the Disney food blog (which also has a youtube channel too) So just think of my tips as simply the ramblings of a Disney newbie who has already decided she will return someday! :) By the way, those two sites have no idea I'm recommending them nor will they probably ever haha!

Back to our trip.. 

As a bit of back story, this vacation would not have been possible without the loving generosity of my Mother and Father in Law. The group going on this trip totaled six people: five adults (my in-laws and brother in law, my husband and me), and our four year old, James.

We all drove a few hours north to the Cincinnati airport because that's just how the airline prices worked out. After spending a night in a hotel near the airport, we were up well before dawn and took the hotel shuttle to the airport terminal. The flight down ended up being a very pleasant experience. We had those little screens on the back of each seat and we could watch movies or play fun little games like tic-tac-toe, word searches and more. It helped the time go quickly and in no time, we landed in Orlando. At the airport there, we found the very long line for the Disney Magical Express which is the free bus service to all of the Disney resorts. (Although I heard that service is ending next year..sad face. Hopefully they will replace it but I don't know details.) Anyway, after being in line for what seemed like forever but was probably only like 45 minutes, we got on a bus that had cute Disney character pictures all over the outside. The seats inside were nice and plush and the 20 minutes or so that we drove to our resort was quite pleasant. 

We stayed at the Pop Century Resort. This is one of the "Value" resorts which means it is near the lower end of the price point for a Disney resort. But I am not kidding when I say I totally loved the resort. From pictures, I wasn't sure if I would but in person, it was so cool. The resort has a retro feel. There are four or five sections and each one has a different decade as its theme. Our rooms were in the 1950 decade section. The buildings in our section were painted a light purple. Statues and silhouettes of memorable things from that decade decorated the buildings and grounds. I especially loved the giant "lady and the tramp" statues near the pool outside of our building. 

We were able to leave our luggage and go get lunch in the onsite dining area. The food service at Pop Century is a mix of grab and go items and cafeteria style foods. Our first meal there we ordered burgers if I remember right. They weren't bad.

We took off after lunch and found the bus line for Magic Kingdom. It wasn't long before we pulled up in front of that park and we got off the bus. 

I have to be honest, by this time, all of us were more than a little tired. We had all been up since around 4 am, a long morning of travel and figuring out where to go and what to do etc.. made that first afternoon at Disney kind of long in my opinion. Plus it was just plain hot. We did get some good pictures that day in front of Cinderella's castle and a few other spots, rode a few rides including jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain (I screamed the entire ride!), saw a show or two, and ended the evening with dinner at Diamond Horseshoe which was a very good, family style meal. We did see most of the castle fireworks as well afterwards before heading back to the hotel for a night of rest.

The next morning, rejuvenated from a decent night of sleep, we ate breakfast then headed to Animal Kingdom. This was a pretty fun day. We rode several rides and enjoyed the animal safari. But my favorite two things were a show with birds that flew low over our heads, and the lion king show. That last one did make James cover his ears as he thought it was too noisy. But I loved it. 

Animal Kingdom overall seems easier to walk around in and I think we covered basically every area in the day. We ate supper at Flame BBQ which was delicious. Back at the resort, James wanted to go swimming so Matt and I took him. It was a lovely night and we enjoyed relaxing in the large pool after a long day of fun.

The next day was EPCOT day. This was probably my favorite park we visited. For one thing, we got to ride the skyliner there from our resort. The skyliner is so much fun and even though I'm a little scared of heights, I was fine with it. The views were great and it just felt so nice to breeze over the treetops. 

Along with that fun experience of the skyliner, I also loved EPCOT's rides for the most part. we got to go on the Frozen theme ride first thing and I loved that ride. It was beautiful and mostly a gentle boat ride but it also had a couple moments of excitement thrown in. We all liked it I think.

Another favorite ride of mine from EPCOT was Soarin'. I actually rode it twice. Sadly, it scared James pretty badly the first time. But the second time, he stayed with his Grandparents and I went on it again with my husband and his brother. If you haven't been, it is basically an IMAX movie but you are in a seat with a lapbelt and the entire row lifts up into the air so your legs are dangling and you feel like you are hang gliding. They even change the scents in the air depending on the scene you are soaring over. When we "soared" over an ocean scene, there was a smell of  ocean breezes. And when we went over a herd of elephants lumbering in the Savannah, there was a fresh grass scent. It was a super cool adventure.

Besides rides, we also sampled some yummy food  and browsed the shops throughout the world showcase. This might have been my favorite part of the day. For one thing, as evening came, the air grew cooler and there was a perfect breeze. And it's just lovely as you walk or sit along the water near the world showcase. 

We headed back on the skyliner and went to bed.

The next day was Hollywood studios. We again rode the skyliner which was awesome. Matt and I opted to head with James to Toy Story land first. James was quite grouchy on this fourth day of our vacation and it was all we could do to convince him to ride any rides. But he finally tried the alien saucers and loved it so much that we ended up riding it three times. He also liked toy story mania. We explored Galaxy's edge some as well, including drinking some fun juice at the cantina. 

Some other favorites from Hollywood Studio day were riding the Mickey runaway train ride, going to a Disney Junior themed song and dance party, watching a very good Beauty and the Beast show, and eating a delicious supper at Mama Melrose Italian restaurant. It was maybe my favorite meal of the week. And walking outside afterwards, it was so lovely near there with lights around a nearby fountain and again the cooler, breezy air. The weather really overall was lovely for most of our trip.

Our final park day, we actually split up. Our little three person family unit went back to Magic Kingdom. The rest went back to Hollywood Studios. We headed our separate ways with plans to meet up for supper.

Our second day in Magic Kingdom was wonderful. Arriving in the morning gave me a fresh perspective and we just had the best time together. We rode nearly all the rides in tomorrowland, had lunch nearby, rode more rides in fantasyland and adventureland, and just enjoyed the atmosphere. 

Around 5, we headed back to the resort and rested for a few minutes before meeting up with the others and heading to the bus to Disney Springs. Disney Springs is like a giant outdoor shopping district with tons of restaurants as well. We had reservations at Planet Hollywood. We shopped for a bit then went and ate. It was a fun place and we enjoyed ourselves. 

Later, we took a bus back to Pop Century and turned in for the night. I should note that our room, although somewhat small, was very nice. Matt, James and my room had two queen beds, one of which was actually a murphy bed (but quite comfortable), lots of creative storage, and everything was nice and updated. We had zero complaints about our room.

The next day we were heading for home. But our flight was not until the evening so we had several hours to kill. We didn't have park tickets for that day so we opted to return to Disney Springs for a few hours. We shopped, walked around, ate lunch and then headed back to the resort to catch our magical express to the airport. Thankfully, our flight went smoothly other than a slight departure delay. 

We arrived in Cincinnati and took the hotel shuttle back to where our cars were parked and said our goodbyes. It had been a nice family vacation for the most part.

 Then we headed for home. It was very late and we were exhausted so after about an hour or so of driving, we stopped for the night at a hotel. We got into our room around 12:30 am I think and I am pretty sure i was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow or close to it.

The next morning, we drove the remaining couple of hours home. It was so good to see our dogs again and be back in our home but already, I missed Disney. 

Here are some tips that I'd say I learned from my first real trip to Walt Disney World:

1. If going with a group, be ok with splitting up for at least part of the trip. This was helpful I think because there were so many varying interests and it helped to be able to say, you do your thing, I'll do mine and we'll meet up later. Not every day was like that but it was nice to do some days together and some split up in my opinion.

2.  Bring a water bottle that will keep your drink cold. I don't know the name of mine but it did a really good job of keeping my water ice cold all day. There are lots of brands to choose one from. Artic, yeti, etc...

3. You can get free cups of ice water all over the park. Ask for a couple of those cups when you are running low on water and pour into the aforementioned water bottle. :) 

4. Your muscles will hurt. Prepare for that! For me, it meant having ibuprofen handy. I found that after a couple days of nonstop walking for miles, my back was killing me. I switched shoes but it did not matter, my back just hurt no matter what footwear I had on. Taking a couple ibuprofens helped tremendously. So I'd highly recommend having some on hand. Because you will hurt. 

5. If possible, bring or rent a stroller if your child is any age under five. (Or even older maybe). We were very glad we rented a stroller for James. Not only did it give him a break from walking, but the UV protected awning was a huge help with keeping him from getting sunburned or just too hot. He would crawl up in the stroller and pull that shade down when he was sick of the hot sun. It was amusing in a way. Just in general, the stroller was helpful too for hauling things like my water bottle in the provided holder, or bags in the spot underneath. But the stroller was also a pain when getting on and off buses. You had to fold it each time and sometimes I'd forget to take something out and things would go rolling. One time, I had a mandarin orange stashed in the stroller. It rolled off when I folded that thing. Oh well.. 

6. If you can, plan well in advance and have a general idea of what you plan to do in the park on specific days. This is a tip I think I would utilize if we ever go back as a family of three. Honestly, I did not put much thought into which rides I knew for sure I wanted to ride, or which food I  wanted to try etc. But having gone once, I know now that I would want to have a bit more of a detailed daily itinerary in mind for any future visits. For instance, in the future, I would probably want to loosely map out which section of the park to start with and where to go from there. 

7. I'd probably also want to build in relaxation times where maybe during the hottest times of the day, we could go nap or swim for an hour or two before heading back out to the park. Maybe not every day but certainly maybe once or twice I think that would be very nice. 


I'm sure I'll think of more tips later but for now, there are some highlights from our Disney vacation and some tips.

Have you ever been to Walt Disney World? What would you add to the list?







 


Monday, May 10, 2021

Our (memorable) getaway to Pigeon Forge January 2021

 Months ago, my husband and I started daydreaming about taking a little trip for our anniversary. (Because we got married right after New Year’s, it has usually been difficult to save up money for a getaway so close to the holidays. So we have only done a getaway for our anniversary one time and it was our first anniversary. ) As we discussed planning a vacation, we went back and forth between leaving James for a couple days with relatives or friends..or taking him with us. We finally landed on the idea of inviting someone to go with us who could double as babysitters and vacation buddies. It didn't take us long to ask my younger sister and her husband. They are expecting their first baby in a few months and we figured it might be fun for them to get away as well. They readily accepted our invitation and we all excitedly made plans. We found a cabin with wonderful reviews near Pigeon Forge. We began to plan a few fun activities to try together during our time in the area.

We actually ended up booking our stay the week after our anniversary for two simple reasons: lower prices on lodging and much smaller anticipated crowds. Departure day finally came and we set off on our two hour drive, arriving at the cabin just minutes before my sister and brother in law arrived as well. We happily greeted each other then explored the cabin. It was adorable. Conveniently located within walking distance to the Pigeon Forge parkway, it was tucked away on a quiet side road and situated on a spacious lot next to a babbling little brook. The cabin looked just like a Lincoln log house. It had an inviting wrap around porch and  a green metal roof. Just inside the front door, a festive Christmas tree twinkled merrily in a corner by a double sided stone fireplace in the living room. On one side, the fireplace provided heat to the inside. On the other side, it warmed a set of chairs on the outside porch,  providing a cozy spot to sit and sip a cup of coffee.  A small, well stocked kitchen, bedroom with a king sized bed, full bath and laundry closet were just off the living room.  Beyond the living area, an enclosed porch housed a dining table and another double sided gas fireplace dividing the dining table from a game area complete with a foosball table and pacman arcade game. Just off this back porch area, a hot tub was tucked into a private corner outside.Upstairs, an open room held a pool table and queen sized bed. Just off of this open area was another bedroom with a King sized bed. Next to it was a bathroom.  

We chose our rooms. Our family of three took the upstairs space with its two beds. We thought it would be perfect for us and our son. My sister and her husband took the downstairs bedroom. I took a few minutes to visually check for bugs or other unwelcome critters but my casual perusal yielded no negative results. Satisfied, I was happy to settle into our charming cabin.

The rest of the afternoon and evening flew by. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Old Mill, a fun game together back at the cabin and lots of conversation and laughter. We put James to bed around 8 and visited some more before all heading to bed as well. That was when our bad experience began.

I went into our bedroom first. That was when I saw it: a small bug crawling across the fabric headboard. I froze, then quickly grabbed a tissue to kill it. As it lay in my hand, my stress level shot sky high as I realized it was indeed a bed bug. I went and got Matt and he agreed that was what it was. In that moment, I felt all of my happiness and excitement plummet. We stood there, whispering, trying to decide what the best course of action would be. It was so late and we had no idea where we would go if we packed up and left.  Finally, Matt decided to call our cabin's owner. She was horrified and apologetic but there was little she could do that late at night. She did offer to pay for us to move to a hotel room, but with our dogs, we didn't know where to go and we hated to wake our son. We did, however go wake up my sister and her husband and showed them the offending bug, and by this time, we had also found yet another one. They had some experience dealing with bed bugs and didn't find any in their bed. We all agreed to stay put for the night, just not sleep in the King bed upstairs of course. I moved to my son's side in the queen sized bed-which I checked quickly again with thankfully no sign of bed bugs- and Matt moved downstairs to the sofa. I slept very little that night. My mind spun with frantic worry and my heart was sad and frustrated by this situation. I was glad when morning finally came even though I'd probably slept four hours at the most. It’s hard to sleep with visions of bed bugs crawling across your skin.

The next day, we were all glad to leave the cabin and its problems and go out for a nice breakfast at the Applewood Farmhouse. I sipped lots of coffee and tried to let my worries fall away. Thankfully, the cabin owner called Matt as we ate. She relayed good news: an inspector had found zero evidence of bed bugs in any room except our upstairs bedroom. We all were relieved. Later that day, an exterminator came and treated that room and I finally felt like I could relax.  We had a good day shopping and visiting with each other and then we finished the day with a TV show and went to bed. 

The next day was our most enjoyable one. Matt and I went on a kid free breakfast date in the morning. We went to Five Oaks Farmhouse kitchen-our first time eating there, and we loved it. The food was delicious and we enjoyed the atmosphere. We spent a couple hours talking and dreaming about the future, something we always enjoy doing together. Then later, all five of us drove to Gatlinburg and rode the tram to Ober Gatlinburg. It was a wonderful time.  Later that night, we relaxed again at the cabin. 

The next morning, as we packed up to go home, I was horrified to discover another bed bug again on that same headboard. We packed all of our luggage and dirty clothes into trash bags. I have never been so glad to get home from a trip as I was that afternoon when we pulled into our driveway. We took our shoes off outside before entering the house. Next began the mountains of laundry. We left all of our luggage on the porch and brought it in by small increments to immediately unload it into our washing machine. We used the  hot water setting and ran the dryer on high heat. All of our other surfaces, including the luggage, James' toys, our shoes, and more, I generously wiped down with rubbing alcohol which is said to kill bedbug larvae. I did laundry late into the night. 

Looking back, I learned some important lessons from this terrible experience. One, my fear of mice which has always been high, is NOTHING compared to my fear of bedbugs. I will gladly take a cabin with mice dropping here and there over a cabin with bed bugs from now on. Secondly, I will NEVER go into a cabin or hotel room again without a thorough inspection for bed bugs. I know what to look for and I will also not leave dirty clothes on the floor or store suitcases on the floor or on the bed. (Thankfully, the cabin had a set of metal barstools upstairs which worked great for keeping our suitcases off the floor.)

Thirdly, even bed bugs do not have to ruin good memories. I found myself thinking often, "why did this have to happen?"We had been planning and dreaming of this getaway for months. All through the stress of 2020 with COVID, the dream of going to a lovely cabin for a few carefree days had more than once buoyed our spirits. Yet, in the middle of our plans going awry, I had to admit I had put my hopes in what this trip could do for me. It was not going to bring me joy. I had to find joy elsewhere. Perhaps God allowed the bed bugs to show me that I can find joy in Him no matter where I am. As frustrating and stressful as that situation was, it was blessing because it reminded me that God alone is my true hope. It's easy to sing songs about God being my hope. But when that truth meets real life experiences, the truth of what I really believe comes out!

It has now been a few months since we came home and  there has been no sign of any invasion of those nasty creatures so it looks like we dodged a bullet. I'm grateful that we stayed with my sister and her husband who not only were super calm and "chill" about the situation, but had been through it themselves and had good advice for us. I could not have asked for better vacation buddies to go through it with!

So there you have it, our very mixed bag getaway adventure! I don't think we will be staying in any cabins or hotels anytime soon! 



Thursday, May 6, 2021

Even Then

 I wrote this poem/song today. I hope it’s a blessing to you all! 


When the world says all the work I do is not enough,

When my mind says my failures must have chased away your love,

When my heart is a reflection of the troubles of the day,

Even then, Help me say


That all the strivings of my heart

Will never fill the empty part

Where you belong.

And when I work, or when I rest,

Or when I fail to give my best

Your cross reminds me I’m secure and I’m accepted-even then.


I can never fall away for I am held secure

Yes I know this truth but still I walk in fear.

When this inner conflict tries to drag me from your Grace,

Even then, I will bow and I will say


That all the strivings of my heart

Will never fill the empty part

Where you belong.

And when I work, or when I rest,

And when I fail to give my best

Your cross reminds me I’m secure and I’m accepted-even then.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Layers of Spring

Today, as a light rain fell, my son splashed happily in puddles, his new yellow rain boots contrasting cheerfully against the greyness of the day. I sat on my porch rocker to watch him and I looked around our yard. I noticed how the redbud trees are subtly beginning to show their lovely purple blooms. I noticed how the dogwood tree has some round buds on its limbs. And I thought about the gradual nature of Spring. 

One day, the trees were bare and the grass was brown and dead looking. Then, little by little, nature began to awaken. Daffodils were one of the first things to bloom. Their blooms add splashes of sunny cheer here and there around our yard and in the woods around the campus. We were gone for Spring Break and when we returned home a few days later, the bare branches of our three forsythia bushes were vibrant with their yellow flowers. So lovely! Next, tulips are blooming and Bradford pear trees. And so on..

But it was all gradual. In layers. And it made me think of spiritual growth as I sat on the porch today. Often, in times of weariness, I am tempted to believe that there is no growth in my life. That because I am not where I ought to be, I am not growing at all. But Spring reminds me that change is often subtle. Things may not seem to be moving but they are. 

So, as sure as Spring is here and is continuing to arrive day by day, I know that I am being sanctified moment by moment and day by day. 

At salvation, I was gloriously changed, but I will not be glorified until that glorious day when I look upon my Savior. Until that day, the Holy Spirit is changing me. Sanctifying me. It is not an overnight change. But I pray I will rest in the hope that what He began, He will complete. 

I pray you rest in that Hope as well!

Happy Spring!






Sunday, March 7, 2021

Exciting news!

 Guys, I know it sounds cliched but.. I'm literally trembling with excitement. I just got word that a project I'm part of will soon be published! The title of the book is Life Repurposed and it is a collection of stories by women of faith. 


The editor of this project is a woman named Michelle Rayburn. I've never met Michelle but she is a published author and blogger. She posted in a Facebook group for Christian writers and I responded. She was looking for several writers who would submit a story about God at work in their life. As a new writer, this opportunity sounded amazing. I emailed her a testimony I had written years ago regarding my struggles with pregnancy loss. Several weeks went by before Michelle reached out. She had selected my story as one of her chapters! I was so moved and grateful.

Fast forward to today when she emailed all of her authors to let us know the book will be released very soon! She also created beautiful promo graphics, including this one with a quote of mine:

My excitement at seeing a dream of being published come true is mixed with many  bittersweet emotions. It will take time I'm sure to sort it all out in my mind but I wanted to share what's going on.

Here is a link back to Michelle's website where you can read more about the book and bios of all of the authors, including yours truly. :)

https://michellerayburn.com/life-repurposed-book/

Have a blessed day!

-Ruth