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It’s difficult to calm the storm around you when you have a storm within you. #kvministries #breatheconference2014 #imagine&become #nofilter

It’s difficult to calm the storm around you when you have a storm within you. #kvministries #breatheconference2014 #imagine&become #nofilter

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A sneak peek of our first day in Colorado. || Kris Vallatton Breathe Conference 2014.

A sneak peek of our first day in Colorado. || Kris Vallatton Breathe Conference 2014.

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Week 20 || I have been overwhelmed with the reality of this growing baby.  It is a crazy beautiful visible reminder of how fearfully & wonderfully made I truly am; each of us! || I am still battling with an all-day-sickness but am choosing joy!  ||! This week we got a crib & dresser.  It’s becoming more and more real. || thank you for your continued prayers and support! #babysvobodny #pregnancy  (at Baby Svobodny)

Week 20 || I have been overwhelmed with the reality of this growing baby. It is a crazy beautiful visible reminder of how fearfully & wonderfully made I truly am; each of us! || I am still battling with an all-day-sickness but am choosing joy! ||! This week we got a crib & dresser. It’s becoming more and more real. || thank you for your continued prayers and support! #babysvobodny #pregnancy (at Baby Svobodny)

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Come, all who are thirsty, and drink from the fountain.

Come, all who are thirsty, and drink from the fountain.

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Our first year of marriage, as many of you know, consisted of life in our oversized apartment for 5 months before being swept away.  We opted to move to Little Cormorant Lake to live with Beau, Lauree, and Richard for 1 month.   Ten months later we are pregnant with our first child anticipating the gift of our own home.  While 14 months have quickly come and gone, anticipation to be a mother has always been steadfast.  Since day one of marriage I desired to be blessed with the title of Mom!  

So naturally, the news of conception brought tears and much celebration!

Week 1-4

I moved to St. Paul the first of June to start the journey of graduate school. While this was exciting, anxiety provoking, and uncomfortable - I was determined to go for 1 year to complete the advanced program to get my master’s degree.  After having the second dream that I was pregnant, I finally broke down.  I knew it was our time to be parents.   

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We’re PREGNANT!!

Week 5-8

Nausea started full fledge.  From the moment I woke to the moment I went to bed I was hardly able to keep food down.  I had anticipated being pregnant since I was a little girl.  What it would be like to carry a child, how special a woman’s body is, how fortunate I am to be a women - and the nausea was slowly stripping me from the excitement of pregnancy to exhaustion, discouragement, and weakness.  

Upon discussion with parents in the Vineyard and prayer, we decided that we would doctor through our pregnancy.  Dr. Rebekah Tompkins at Sanford Health was a natural choice.  I nannied for her the Fall of 2010-Spring of 2011.  She pursued her dream of being an OB/GYN after her mother lost her life giving birth to her.  A passionate advocate, a woman of the Lord, and a gentle-spirited inspiration to Dylan and I it just felt right!  We had a 6 week ultra sound just to be sure things were on track and get to the nitty-gritty of self-care!

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Poor quality but a glimpse of the heart-beating, incubating baby!

Week 9-11

I started losing weight.  Eating small meals, commuting from the Cities to Audubon every week, and wrapping grad school up became physically and mentally exhausting on my body.  I have struggled to keep prenatal vitamins down.  I’ve consumed far too many lemon drops, too many cups of lemonade, and my newest perfume has become peppermint oil lathered on my temples, forehead, behind my ears and on my wrists!  

Nausea is in business all day.  I’m down 9 pounds, in fact.  I believe that if I wasn’t experiencing nausea, though, I would have a harder time believing it’s real.  Well, besides that my body has started to change!  So I am embracing the nausea and making 3 statements of gratitude every time I am physically sick.  The Lord is so good and we are so excited.  

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God is Able - Hillsong

[Verse 1]

God is able
He will never fail
He is almighty God
Greater than all we seek
Greater than all we ask
He has done great things

[Chorus]
Lifted up
He defeated the grave
Raised to life
Our God is able
In His name
We overcome
For the Lord
Our God is able

[Verse 2]
God is with us
God is on our side
He will make a way
Far above all we know
Far above all we hope
He has done great things

[Chorus]
Lifted up
He defeated the grave
Raised to life
Our God is able
In His name
We overcome
For the Lord
Our God is able

[Bridge]
God is with us
He will go before
He will never leave us
He will never leave us
God is for us
He has open arms
He will never fail us
He will never fail us

[Chorus (x2)]
Lifted up
He defeated the grave
Raised to life
Our God is able
In His name
We overcome
For the Lord
Our God is able

For the Lord
Our God is able
For the Lord
Our God is able
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDlMZhkMopo

Christianity and Psychology - Todd White

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Stragglers

I have been thinking a lot about young adults and their hearts.  It’s just an awkward time of wishing away singleness for marriage, wishing away marriage for singleness, wishing away babes for parties, and wishing away hard sought after careers for college.  And something continues to strike me when I look around me at my “young adult” peers - so many are lonely and don’t “fit in.”

I hear common themes like, “I’m so content in my singleness!” and “I don’t have community, no.”  And I am just as guilty of this, aside from my singleness of which I cannot claim.  Sometimes I fully believe that we can choose to be lonely.  For me, for example, my past experiences found myself choosing loneliness and wondering why no one was choosing me?  I would question where I fit in and what that would even look like, but didn’t take action.  I didn’t do anything to seek fast after community, fellowship or friends.  I wished away a season of singleness and adventure for a season of employment and community.  

Even so, as I realize the sheer beauty of MAKING community and growing life together I am recognizing how even that can feel like a click at times.  I have been thinking a lot about the Vineyard in Detroit Lakes.  Recently, Dylan and I were asked to participate in conversation centered around what it would look like to start a young adult ministry there.  While many of the participants were members or regular attendees of the Vineyard, I saw the stragglers.  It wasn’t a visual straggler so much to me as it was the “I am extremely lonely” exhibited through whispers, secrets, exaggerated laughter and even hand-holding-and-skipping behavior.

One thing was sure to me - many felt excluded and many felt unwanted.  

But the one thing that has broken my heart since that meeting was thing - one girl approached me after the meeting, one of the girls I’d watched as a straggler, asking for support.  She doesn’t know me aside from a one-night encounter with her when I just simple truths of who she is in the Father’s eyes.  The first thing she said was, "I’m considering leaving the church, I’m excluded here.  I’m lonely."  

My heart broke for her but exploded in such revelation.  Just because we call church and whatever happens in the walls of church MINISTRY doesn’t mean that LOVE doesn’t come first.  So no matter what a straggler looks like, sometimes we find that it’s US.  That we’re the desperate one choosing loneliness and crying out for love, affirmation, attention, a hug, a letter, or someone to just be intentional with us.  Love Does. 

So I ask myself in a season of feeling similar to a straggler seeking community, fellowship, and even more intimacy with the Father - what does that require of me?  How can I embrace the season I am in NOW and not wish it away for something else?  The grass hasn’t ever been greener on the other side.  

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Week One

Maybe you can relate, sometimes your heart explodes out of your chest with very little description.  Words cannot describe your intense throb.  

The first week in Saint Paul cannot be described in words.  I can try to share emotions and that’ll have to sum it up.  Monday - THE WEEK - was incredibly tough; driving from the lake to a small apartment in the City where I found myself consumed by tears, sadness and ache.  A journey I wasn’t yet prepared for was set right before my eyes.  The week progressed more intensely than even my emotions on Monday.  You see, sometimes the life we plan for ourselves just isn’t it.  

I reflected on the week with concerns of regret; shame for not listening, guilt for not being obedient when I was shaken up or uncomfortable, insecurity for exhibiting the uncomfortableness with anxiety and not peace, pride for not trusting and even sheer excitement for the realities of this entire journey.  A journey of being stretched.  Maybe that’s the theme; this, my daughter, is a season of “stretch” into something renewed, something pure, and something clean. 

While no words can adequately summarize the week, I am again staring at the empty walls of this apartment.  A freedom of emotions, a fulfillment of silence and an awakening of the spirit is just the jolt I needed.  

"Be Still & Know" - He wasn’t persecuted and hanged on the cross so I could sulk in my pity.  He not only created me perfectly but designed every piece of me to be still in His presence, to honor him in the silence, and to overflow of Him in the chaos!  And so - as I embrace this season of being stretched and grown - I dance in the goodness of my Abba. 

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"Beloved, our great and pressing need today is to give ourselves to waiting upon God, because waiting time is never wasted time."

— shereadstruth.com - Nehemiah Day 2