The Year I Found Me

The Year I found Me: Daughter of the King

My birthday is this week, Friday to be precise. I turn 35. Goodness that sounds so old, 35. I remember when my mom was 35, I was 13…I think I planned a birthday party for her. I was always planning parties for people, still do. It’s taken me a few years to be OK with this new age…fortunately, it’s just in time. I feel like at 35 I’m finally willing to live my life on my terms, that I’ve finally found myself.

The Year I found Me: Daughter of the King

So much, too much, of my life has been lived in fear. I never really lived my teens or early 20s, I was too responsible. Too scared of pissing off my parents. And I did nothing. Now, I sit and think about all the things I didn’t do, all the things I wish I had done. The girl I wish I would’ve been, rather than the girl who was too scared to do anything.

Those few risks I took, the limbs I went out on, all turned out pretty good…and yes, Matthew was one of them.

A couple of years ago I realized something: That while I am a wife and mother, I am first myself.

I existed as Me, long before any of those other titles came to be. I was created as a Daughter of the King; Only to Him do I owe any explanation. That moment, that realization, has set me on the course of living my life with less fear. I had to STOP ignoring who I was or in 20 years I was going to wake up to an empty house and wonder what I was supposed to do with my life now.

The only title I have had for all eternity is Daughter of the King, and it is only to Him and for Him, that I am bound to live my life.

Can I tell you what a freeing concept that is?! That I don’t have to sacrifice who I am for what other people think I should be. God created me just as He wanted and needed me to be; the talents, the interests, all of it. All that is me was created solely for the purpose of bring Him glory.

What does that even mean?! It means I can stop stuffing down who I am and what I like and what my interests are. It means that I am free to be WHO I AM in my roles as a wife and mother. It means that I am not JUST A MOM, but an individual, created uniquely to live this life for him.

A friend was recently chided for writing a book, that somehow as a wife and mother it was not “good” for her to take time away from her husband and children to write a book, and I loved her response:

I smiled and told them that way back when, God reached in and tugged at my heart. I chose to live my life for Jesus and not for my children. Any legacy left here for them, is because He has my heart and gives me my focus. My children are just living in my surrender. Wholly and completely given to God.
When my children leave, God is still my first love.September McC.

Before I belonged to anyone, I belonged to Him. When everyone is gone, I will still belong to Him.

God is the only one who has the final word on who and what I am. No one else in this world has any right to tell me that they think my energies are better spent a certain way, that I’m not permitted to be who He created me to be. If I am right with God, that is all that matters. If I am following His lead, that is all that matters.

That weekend trip to Dublin…it was something I desperately wanted (and needed). It was crazy, I knew people would think I was crazy, irresponsible even, but I knew it was a GOOD THING. I knew it was something that God had put together just for me, to learn that I was His, and the He had freed me to live the life that He planned for me.

So, these next few years, I’m hoping you don’t think I’ve gone off the deep-end or that I must’ve lost my mind. I haven’t. I am just living the life God has for me, pursuing the interests and paths He has laid out, and BOY! do I have a lot of time to make up for.

The Invisible Library {a Review}

I really wanted to like this book…REALLY WANTED TO. I tried, twice, to get into it and I couldn’t. I don’t know whether the problem was me or the book, but it just wasn’t grabbing me at all. It’s the kind of book that should be right up my alley: Books, dragons, different worlds, mystery and mayhem.

I feel like the author is spending too much time setting the story up. It started really well. I blew through the first 30 pages in 15 minutes, because it was THAT good. The next 30 have taken me 2 weeks. I’m hoping to come back to this book. Maybe the next time around it will grab me.

The Turquoise Table {a Review}

*The following contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here. 

This book! All the love for it! I remember when this movement started, of painting tables turquoise and inviting the world into our lives, even if just for a few minutes. I painted my own turquoise table several years ago and haven’t looked back!

From Amazon 

A simple way to connect your neighborhood, your community and build friendships.

Are you consumed with a busy life but unsure how to slow down? Do you desire connection within your community and think, “Absolutely, but I don’t have time for that” or “I can’t create that”? What if there was another way through it all, a way to find those moments of peace and to create a time for honest, comfortable connection? What if meeting neighbors and connecting with friends was as simple as showing up and being available?

Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin Schell put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community and it can change in yours, too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you:

  • Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table
  • Simple recipes to take outside and share with others
  • Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods
  • Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting
  • New ways to view hospitality

Today, Turquoise Tables are inviting individuals to connect with each other in nearly all fifty states and seven countries. Ordinary people like you wanting to make a difference right where they live.

Community and friendship are waiting just outside your front door.

First off, the pictures and paper, the cover and book as a physical thing is gorgeous, exquisite! Turquoise is my favorite color, throw in beautiful photography and delicious sounding recipes and it’s a guaranteed success! Best of all is Schell’s story and heart for inviting the world into her home, through the simplicity of a picnic table.

Her writing is captivating and draws you in to community with her, as you follow along with her search for community. The pages fly by quickly, filled with stories of other Turquoise Tables and how a step in faith led to incredible blessing; not just for the one person, but for a whole community.

Kristin’s book is everything wrapped up all in one place, that will give you the tools and the motivation you need to become “Front Yard People” who seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus right in their own neighborhoods.

*I received this book for free from BookLookBloggers.com in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

Peter – TWO YEARS OLD!

The “baby” is no longer a baby; he’s officially a toddler now! Peter, we wouldn’t change you for the world, and we couldn’t imagine our family without you! Daddy and I are so incredibly thankful that God heard our prayers for just one more.

  • He’s weighing 30 lbs
  • Measuring 35 inches (no growth spurt in the past month-we had hoped he’d shoot up a few inches)
  • Most of the details from last month are still the same
  • The rest of his two year molars are in
  • Had his first dentist visit and HATED IT! Screamed the entire time and refused to let anyone look in his mouth
  • Just in the last few days is words have EXPLODED…so many, it’s crazy!
  • If Daddy’s around he wants NOTHING to do with Mommy…he wouldn’t even take a nap for me the other day, because Daddy was home and hadn’t put him to bed.

From now on I’ll only be posting about him every 6 months, until he’s 5.

She’s Still There {a Review}

I think one of every moms biggest struggles is with not losing themselves. Now, I don’t mean the not being able to pursue their interests and such, but really LOSING themselves…having no identity beyond being a mom. That they truly forget who and who’s they are.

From Amazon:
She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst

What’s a woman to do if her life is not taking shape the way that she thought that it would? What happens when she looks at herself in the mirror, lingering just a little longer than usual and realizes that she no longer recognizes the person staring back at her? What does she do when she sees that, somehow, her life has drifted away from all her original hopes, dreams, or plans?

Speaker, blogger and writer Chrystal Evans Hurst wrote this book because she was that woman. One day she realized that she had somehow wandered away from the life that she had purposed to live a long time ago.

Chrystal since discovered that this moment of awareness happens to lots of women at different seasons of their lives. Poor decisions, a lack of intentionality or planning, or a long-term denial of deep hopes and dreams can leave a woman, old or young, reeling from the realization that she is lost, disappointed, or simply numb.

And she just needs encouragement.

This woman simply needs someone to hold her hand, to cheer her on, and to believe with her that she is capable of still being the person she intended to be or discovering the girl she never knew was there in the first place.

Chrystal uses her poignant story of an early and unexpected pregnancy, as well as other raw and vulnerable moments in her life, to let readers know she understands what it’s like to try and find your way after some missteps or decisions you didn’t plan on. In She’s Still There Chrystal emphasizes the importance of the personal process and the beauty of that path as it is shared authentically from one girlfriend to another. It’s a book of “me toos”, reminders of the hoped for, and challenges for the path ahead—to find direction, purpose, and true satisfaction.

Fantastic, right?! I know I feel that I’ve lost a lot of myself over the last 10 years. Chrystal does a superb job of telling her story, while at the same time making it YOUR story, showing you just how and why you have these feelings. How God is there with you, looking to draw you back to him, as a daughter, not just as a wife and mom.

Chapter by chapter Hurst takes you down the path of discovering who the girl is inside you, with helpful reflections, questions, and points of action to move forward and reclaim yourself and God’s purpose for you.

I received this book for free through BookLookBloggers, in exchange for my honest review. You can read my disclosure policy here.