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“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

I heard a story of a man who was a missionary in Africa where the land was so fertile that anything planted in the earth would grow abundantly. He went home to Ireland for a visit and was amazed at the beauty and delightful fragrance of the roses that grew on the Irish East coast. The missionary decided to take some of those roses and plant them in Africa. They grew and grew, but for some reason held not the wonderful fragrance that they had in Ireland.


When the missionary went back to Ireland he asked why the roses there had such a potent smell, and he got his answer.


It was the cold east wind.


Having lived in Ireland I can understand what this east wind is like. It comes from the Celtic Sea and blows a damp, cold, and harsh wind that you have no choice but to brace yourself for.


The roses that grew in Ireland experienced a pressure that the ones in Africa did not have to endure, and the results were astonishing. They became more vibrant and beautiful, and without that harshness, they would have never held those beautiful characteristics.


As believers, there are trials and hardships that we sometimes face. There are times I am so burdened with struggles that I even forget the Lord’s presence, but I found this story to be so encouraging. Yes, life can be difficult, but what is the Lord doing with it? He is using these trials to grow us and the result is a life that will be a pleasing aroma to the Lord.


I once walked past a flower shop in Ireland on a cold, windy, rainy day and the fragrance was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I wonder, through the difficult circumstances and hurdles I face, is my life a pleasing aroma to the Lord? He is using the pressures we face to purify and mold and shape us. He is doing a work that we cannot see and through the pain, and the struggle, and the trial, He is forming a beautiful you.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

One of my favorite things to do with my family is movie night! We layer a couple comforters on the living room floor, and bring out as many pillows and squishy stuffed animals that we can find, and watch whatever Abigail will let us (usually Frozen or Tangled). For this movie night, we made it a little extra fun by making homemade pizzas to eat while we watched! These nights are just a little extra special for Abigail, and I admit, for me too!

After becoming a mom, I have noticed that part of me became a lot sillier, but there's another part that actually became a lot more serious. There's so much that goes into parenting that it can at times feel stressful. I find myself carrying so much unnecessary weight on my shoulders that it can be easy to become overly serious.

All that to say, I am learning to take things one day at a time, to cast my burdens on the Lord, knowing that He cares for me and my children more than I ever could, and I'm being intentional about having fun and making the effort to make ordinary moments extra special for my family.

The time goes so quickly, and I want to soak up as much as I can.

I posted this text on my photography instagram a few weeks ago (June 23rd) when we were transitioning Abigail from her crib to her twin-sized bed. It's a reflection on where my heart was during that time, and so it's something I wanted to place here on my blog for my own reference.

One of the toughest things I have experienced as a mom is transitions. Weaning Abigail from nursing was way more difficult than I ever thought it would be. Currently we are experiencing a big transition. Finley has grown out of her bassinet, and so it is time for Abigail to get a new bed. Finley is taking over the crib, and Abigail is getting a big girl bed. ⁣ ⁣ As I put Abigail to bed in her crib last night for the last time, it had me feeling a bit emotional. She really is still just a baby, but at the same time she is growing, and it is not my job to keep her from growing up. God has placed me and Jacob in her life to raise her to know and love God’s Word, to equip her for the calling God has on her life. ⁣ ⁣ It’s hard to see her get older, even as little as she still is, but I believe God is going to use this girl in big ways, and who am I to hold her back?

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