Wednesday, June 22, 2016

When dreams die

I've been thinking a lot about dreams lately. I'm a planner, and I love to dream. Dallas and I's favorite dates involve sitting somewhere alone talking about the future and dreaming about where we'll live, what we'll do and adventures we'll take. One of our all time biggest dreams was to live on a piece of land and raise our kids out and away with room to roam and explore. For them to have places to dig and climb and fish and roam. Simple. Kind of like how the two of us grew up. Me in Illinois and him in Oklahoma.

We finally took the plunge toward that dream nearly two years ago. We found the perfect location, a builder and we sold our house. It felt surreal and so exciting to finally get where we were going and raise our kids in our vision for their childhood. It all seemed like it was falling into place, but in reality WE were making it happen. I can honestly say that I don't even remember praying all too much about the decision. It was something we really wanted, and we went for it.

It ended poorly. The very day we were set to close on the house Dallas's company announced it's closure in our location, and he lost his job. We were rerouted to Houston just weeks later, and now we live in a giant suburb the size of Philadelphia outside of the 4th largest city in the Country. On a postage stamp lot where I can wave to my neighbor from my kitchen window while we both wash dishes. There is no living out and away here without a 2 hour commute to his office. He's on the road as it is for over an hour each way, morning and night. We are as far out as it gets in terms of realistic options. And by in large, we love it. We love where we live, the friends we've made, our school, our neighbors, his job, this city. WINTER! It's been a pretty incredible experience for our family, and we have been so thankful for the opportunity and the blessing of being where God has us.

I promise this is not a pity post.  Just that every once in a while I still have a dream in my heart that I feel will never really be realized. And now I'm processing what to do with that. To adjust my idea of the way I thought we would raise our kids and be okay with a different plan for all of us. In reality I know that I know that God's dreams and plans for our family are so much better than my own. And I want to be in His plan for our lives, and not my own. But I'm in this weird and hard place for me where I feel like I can't dream anymore. I'm scared to dream. It seems pointless. And it's such a big part of who I am, and it's been so strange that for the past 11 months I have not dared to dream. Not about our future, about a career for me, about where we may end up. I just stopped seeing the point, and would rather not experience the fall out of a dream not being realized, I guess. And this makes me sad.

Dallas and I talked about it a few weeks ago and decided that maybe the answer is to have dreams that are eternal, and not of this world. Dreams that will change the lives of others. Kingdom dreams. Dreams that God puts in our hearts that we can't escape or fall away from. Most of my past dreams are selfish dreams, involving only my little family. That seems reasonable considering pretty much anyone can just uproot and move wherever they want and make it happen in this day and age. But I don't want to do that. I want to be in His Will and fulfill His Dreams for our lives. God's presence and intervention was undeniably evident in our move here. We asked and He answered. To have stayed where we were would have been disobedience. So if I start redirecting my dreams, maybe there will be a shift in my heart as well. I truly want His dreams to be my dreams. And I certainly don't want to try make anything happen outside of His will. Why would I even want something that He doesn't want for me? Or isn't in His plan. But can I just say..what an amazing God we serve. That even though we make mistakes and try to do things without Him, that He still rescues us and protects us, and corrects our path. I'm so thankful for that.

So what's a dreamer to do? I've decided that on sad days I will be thankful for the dreams that I never even knew that I had, but that have now been realized. Like riding bikes to school every day with my kids, our neighborhood swim team, having a million kids in the streets to play with in the evening, hour trips to the beach, being in some of the best schools in the Country, being close to the best doctors for Rhett when we needed them, having a pool to spend fun family time, being here on our own to adventure and explore with our little family. Having healthy kids. We've grown leaps and bounds through this experience, and we've grown closer together. My prayer for us is that our old dreams and ideas of what our life would look like and how we would raise our kids would truly die. Die so that my heart doesn't feel like we missed it. And that God gives us new dreams. Dreams that make our hearts excited, even if they are scary or seemingly impossible. His dreams.

And it's okay. It's okay when a dream dies. It may be unexpected or alarming, but maybe it's just the biggest blessing in disguise. Maybe God has to take you to a whole new place to give you some perspective. And that's a good thing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


So, we are Texans now.  I'll make a really long story short.  We sold our house in Broken Arrow last fall, moved into a rent house while we built our dream home for 8 months, Dallas lost his job the day we were set to close on the new house, he searched for jobs for 6 weeks, he was was then miraculously offered his same position at his company but in Houston, and three weeks later we moved to Texas. And now we are Texans. And it has been a whirlwind. God has been in this each step of the way. It's an uncertain industry he's in right now, but the oil industry is not our provision and never has been. God is our provision and always will be.

Through all of this I feel extremely blessed. Blessed to have the opportunity to take a step back from what was normal life and see all that I was missing out on, keeping up with and not accomplishing. I was reading past blog posts the other day, and nearly every one of my posts started out saying something like, "Life is busy", "Busy, busy", "Busy as usual" and so on.  This isn't how I want to look back raising my kids. I want to soak them in, take it slow and enjoy them. I have missed so so much the past few years. Having my own agenda and own plans for things really stole my time. I don't want to miss opportunities with them.

The great thing about being in a new place with not a person we know is that there are zero expectations of us. We are loving that. Loving the long days and long weekends and all of the one on one time. We took a much needed break from sports this fall, and I'm almost dreading our return to basketball in November. I love sitting down in no hurry after school with my boys to have a snack and go over homework and site words. I love sitting out in the driveway watching them ride their bikes and play with the neighbors. I love having little baking helpers, and popping popcorn on the stove with them every Friday night.  Sitting down to dinner with no tv on and getting the low-down on their day. It feels like we've stepped back in time, almost.  To a simpler time.  We are going to try our very hardest to not get caught up in the busyness that stole our family before.  We didn't even know what we were missing, but we were definitely missing it.

Each day with these babies is a gift that God has given me. It's not always easy, but it's easier when I remember that they truly are precious gifts.  It's my job to be the best momma I can be for them, and sometimes that means putting my plans and my expectations and agendas on the back burner.  I've decided to stop making so many plans. They never work out how I expect anyway. I was thinking today that if God's plans become my plans then I can be okay with anything that ever comes our way. His ways are higher than mine, and He knows the plans He has for us.  Society tells us we need our time, our thing, a dream to follow or pursue.  For me, I think I just need to rest in His thing and His dream and be their thing for my kiddos. Sometimes (all the time) being a momma is all about being selfless, and putting my things on hold for the ones who need us most. It's so worth it. 

It's good to be back.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Terribly Thankful

I want to start this post by giving all glory and honor and praise to God.  He is merciful, and miraculous and I truly love Him!

On October 31st I went to the doctor with a simple list a symptoms and physical issues to ask about, and I left confused and terrified.  After blood work that day I got a concerning result that needed attention.  I would love to say that my first reaction was just to seek God's comfort and step out in faith and understand that He is in control.  Instead, I cried a lot and imagined the worst possible scenarios.  I would burst out in tears at the sight of my children.  I was a mess. About a day later God stepped in and I felt Him impress on my heart that if Rhett's testimony hadn't increased my faith, how could I expect Him to use it to increase the faith of others.  Of those who didn't even see what God did in my son's heart, and the miraculous healing that could only be done by God.  I instantly felt convicted and put my total faith and trust in Him.  From that day on peace and comfort have surrounded me.

The past few weeks have been a battery of tests...Luekemia, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Ovarian cancer, Cervical cancer and double breast lump biopsies.  4 CT scans, X-rays, ultrasounds, needles, blood work, disgusting drinks.  You name it, I got it.  My blood was tested for all sorts of things like aids, hepatitis, Chronic Epstein Barr, tumor markers and who knows what else.

From these tests, my surgeon (who is monitoring my lymph nodes) has no answers.  All that had been found were some cysts, my liver and spleen are enlarged, reactive lymphocytes in my blood and that elevated result in my blood work (that cause them to continue looking for something).  Last week at my visit she farmed me out for more tests and shrugged her shoulders and said, "Do you want to retake the blood work and see what happens?"  I agreed.  The next morning I got the computer generated test results back showing that my elevated level of 86 had gone down to a completely normal level of 18!!  I couldn't believe it, but I totally could.  I was laughing and crying and calling my family as fast as I could.  The surgeon called me herself later on to let me know this exciting news! All I could do was praise and thank God.

I had an appointment with a doctor this morning to check out one of the cysts that was found, and his guess is that I likely have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome following a pretty extreme case of Epstein Barr I experienced last fall.  I could not be happier with that assumption.  In fact, I'm thrilled with it.  I am also happy to report that I gained 4 lbs in one week, which had been a struggle for months, and happened to be the same week my elevated blood work came back normal.

God is so good.  Even if this was nothing from the beginning, the peace he provided is miraculous.  I feel in my heart that He touched my body.  I feel like he heard the prayers of the prayer warriors who were on their knees petitioning God for my health.  I am overwhelmed just by the thought of how much He loves me.

I wanted to share this with you to tell you that God loves you and He answers prayers.  James 4:8 says "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."  You guys, the devil is looking for any and every opportunity to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus is sitting next to God petitioning for us.  He paid the price, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are Healed (Isaiah 53:5)!  We have access to the throne to ask for healing.  Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Amen and Hallelujah!  If you don't know Jesus, but you want all of this, I want to share it with you!

Love you!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

House Tour

We said goodbye to our home yesterday.  It wasn't as sad as I thought it would be, but I did get emotional saying farewell to our neighbors.  We had some of the very best neighbors ever at this house.  Salt of the earth.  Hard to say goodbye, but excited about where we are going.  

Here's a tour of our home.  Memories to last a lifetime..

 Some sweet pictures of the kids playing in their rooms

Bye-Bye Utica Street.  Thanks for all of the memories!  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hattie's Birthday {letters from momma}

Dear Hattie,

We love you so much.  It's been two fast years since you joined our family, but somehow it feels like we wouldn't exist with out you. You are a daddy's girl on all accounts, but you still love your momma to rock you and "read animals" at bedtime.  Your brothers adore you and have quickly become your best friends, playmates and protectors.  I'm not sure who they would even be without you here.  You are the most loving, inquisitive, determined, strong-willed, funny, entertaining, confident and serious toddler I've ever known.  I'm so excited that God chose me to be your mom, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my days loving you. You are God's perfect creation, and He had a plan for you before you were even created.  I don't know if I've ever shared this story with anyone, but before I was even pregnant with you the name Hattie was put on my heart. Then, when I found out I was pregnant, I prayed a prayer I've never prayed before.. I told God that if it were in His Will, I'd like a baby girl please:).  You are everything and even more than I ever hoped or imagined you would be.  Thank you for making my secret dream come true.  I love you to the moon and back.


First day of school

Big huge boys

2nd Grade

Daddy captured a rare hand-holding moment

He got the teacher he wanted!!


Our boys

Hattie and I miss these boys so very much during the day!