Friday, March 29, 2013

Gods plans > my dreams

A few weeks ago I posted a picture on my Instagram of a saying that I really like. I tend to go read it when I'm down about the future, or worried about which way God wants me to go. 



Today I had some time to go run errands and work on some things at the house. When I went and got Lincoln's sheets out of the dryer and started making his bed this prayer popped into my head, "God, I'm so thankful that Your plans are better than my dreams." That sent my mind into a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. Gratitude. Relief at the fact that my life didn't turn out how I planned. I mean think about it, what 16 year old says, "Hey, I can't wait for next year when I get pregnant and become a mom at 18, then finish high school and go to college while raising a child and working full time!" Looking at that statement, it sounds ridiculous. But looking at my life, it's reality. As a 14 year old, I had dreams of playing college softball at UNF. Fast forward to 17 years old and sitting at a doctor's office, pregnant. But when I look back at how my life could be now, Lincoln really is the best thing that could have ever happened to me. God wasn't surprised when Linc came along, and He wasn't shocked that I had Lincoln at 18. No. It was His plan. And no, it may have not happened biblically, it may have not been done by God's standards, but I have no doubt it was His plan. And it was the best plan that He could have had for my life. I think God gave us hearts to dream, and that's a great thing, but when we consider our dreams greater than God's plans, we're missing it. By a mile. A really really long mile. If God can breathe the world into existence, if God can hold the whole world in His hand, don't we believe and trust that God knows our circumstances, our heart, and will do what it ultimately best for us? No, it may not be what is easiest. I'm sure it's much easier to be a college student whose parents pay for everything and all they have to do is go to school. (No, I'm not putting down college students. I promise.) It may be harder to be a single mom, go to school full time, and work full time, but God knew it is what is ultimately best for me. I have more joy in my life running with God's plan that I ever would have as a college softball player. His plan brings joy in the end, it brings peace. He has a plan. It's not to make your life harder, or to upset you.. His plan is great! His plan trumps any dreams you have! And when we take God's path for our life, and follow His plan for our life, His plans are always better than our dreams!

God's plans > my dreams

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. [Jeremiah 29:11]

Saturday, March 16, 2013

God's Timing

If you're friends with me on Facebook then you've probably seen a pretty big announcement I posted on there earlier this afternoon. If not, here it is.. I got into nursing school!! But the funny thing is, this is a God sized story in which He deserves to get all the glory!!

The story starts back when I started my application for the May program. The deadline for applying was February 1st and I got my application all turned in. I was so anxious about waiting the 6-8 weeks to receive a letter saying whether I did or I didn't get in. I kept praying about it thinking that God would clearly give me an answer and I would kind of know what the outcome was going to be. Instead of a clear yes or no, God kept asking, "Will you love me as much if you don't get into the program?" Well let me just tell you, that scared me. I felt like that was God telling me I wasn't going to get into the program. So I prayed harder and tried to answer that question with a yes. 

On the fifth of this month, my dad walked in the front door with a letter from the nursing program. He woke me up and I was somewhat in a daze. When I read where it was from I immediately jumped up and tore it open. Long story short, I didn't get into the program. To put it lightly, I was devastated. I spent a good part of that day crying and worrying what was going to happen now. Basically they advised me to apply again, so I decided I would. Later that day Linc and I drove to mail some of my books back and every single song on the radio played something that settled my heart. God kept reminding me of the question that I answered yes to. I was reminded that my love for God shouldn't be determined by what He does or does not do for me. So I got my application all ready to be turned in and took the nursing exam again. So today Pearce, Lincoln and I went to the school to turn in my application. Finally I had studied God's Word and spent so much time with Him that He reminded me that He has a plan and it trumps anything I could ever come up with. I was finally at peace with God's plan to not have me in nursing school in May. I even left the school today feeling confident I would get it for the Fall.

Fast forward to later today.. I got a voicemail asking if I was still interested in the program. I called back and the head of the nursing program informed me she had a spot for me in May! 

And yet again, I am reminded that God always has a plan, it's always better than I could imagine, and when I have faith everything always works out! He is always good, and is always faithful. When I calm down, have faith in Who He is and what He's doing, everything works out for my good! So this girl starts nursing school in May and I am so excited for this new adventure!

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. [Psalm 37:4]

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I'm in Love

It's 12:18 am. I'm in Lincoln's room right now in complete darkness other than the computer screen and his Toy Story night light. Watching him sleep and dream and thanking God for this wonderful child who calls me Mommy. It's funny to think that I answer more to Mommy than I do to Carrington. Two years ago this time I had a big belly and I was putting finishing touches on a room for a baby I had never met, but even then loved with all my heart. Funny how the room that had a crib and a changing table is now the room that has a Buzz Lightyear bed and holds my almost two year old while he sleeps. It's so crazy how God's plans aren't usually ours. But His are always so much better than ours. He's an angel, my Lincoln. An angel sent by God to change my life and my heart. To teach me strength and wisdom, and how to love. Really love. There's something so perfect about a child sleeping. The word grace comes to mind. Why? I really don't know. But in the emotions of watching my angel sleep, and listening to his breathing, grace comes to mind. Grace.. because I didn't deserve for Jesus to die on a cross to save me. Grace.. because I didn't deserve to become Mommy to this sweet child. It's so amazing looking back at all God's brought us through in just two short years. In one month my child will be two. Where did these past two years go? And what was life like before I had him? Heck if I know. Not a life full of joy or unconditional love, that's for sure. This adventure is not one I planned, but it has been better than anything I could have ever dreamed.

I'm rambling. But here's my heart. I love my son. Unconditionally. Forever. I love him with every single piece of my heart. And I am so grateful out of all the women on the earth that God chose me to be his mom.

And now I think I'll go climb in his bed and snuggle with him for a while. Goodnight, friends.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Thoughts

Looking back, I haven't posted much of my opinion, but I've been wanting to write this blog for a while. This is going to be my opinion on teenage pregnancy. I think it's really easy for someone who has never been through it to look down on the moms who are teenage mothers. It is easy to criticize the concept of being a teenage mom. But today, you're going to hear from someone who is living it.

But first, I need to say a few things. My son, Lincoln, is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I got pregnant at 17, and had him at 18. Linc is such a miracle from God and I know that God had great plans sending him to me and has great plans for his future. Being a mom is the highest honor I could ever have, and being his mom brings incredible joy to my life. Don't mistake anything I say in this blog for me regretting having him. I have never and will never regret having him. And if I had to do it all over again, I would.

I know that paragraph will confuse some people and it may seem like a contradiction with what I'm about to say. However, it is not. Many people claim that shows such as 'Teen Mom' glamorize teen pregnancy. I would have to disagree. Teenage pregnancy is not something to strive for or plan. Seeing as how many teenage dads bolt, many teenage moms are left to raise a child on their own. Raising a child, trying to finish school/go to college and working is not easy by any means. I can imagine even when married, learning how to care for your newborn is difficult. Add in the fact that you're only 14, 15, 16, 17 years old and it becomes increasingly more complicated. If you've ever watched Teen Mom you've seen a LOT of crying scenes. That is NOT acting. Teenage parenting is rough.

The worst part about teenage pregnancy? The child is who suffers the most. Children born to teenage parents have a higher risk for living in poverty. In addition to that, most children born to teenagers do not have two parents together. That is no way is fair to the child. No child deserves to suffer because a teenager was careless.

But here's where mine and Lincoln's story comes into play. I fully believe that things happen. But when things do happen, you need to grow up and take responsibility for your actions. If you choose to keep your child, you better have a serious plan in place to take care of that child. No child should be pushed off on the grandparents or any other family. I believe that unexpected situations can be turned into good, if you decide to make them that way. This still doesn't guarantee an easy life though. Lincoln lives in a wonderful home, I am financially supporting him, he is not lacking anything (just ask anyone who has been to our house), and he is so happy. My life isn't easy though. I wake up in the morning and go to work. I come home after work and spend time with him until he goes to bed. When he goes to bed I stay up doing homework, sometimes until 3 or 4 am. I am tired 99% of the time, and it's a rarity that I have any alone time. I've mentioned on more than one occasion to people that I wish I could videotape the hard moments. Some nights I'm so tired I cry, hard. So many nights I'd like to go to sleep but I can't because I've got to do school. Although I am not a teenager anymore, I was when he was born. It is doable, but it is not easy. God can change any situation and make it a good one. Lincoln and I have been blessed with amazing family and an even more awesome and gracious God. He has gotten us through everything.

God blessed me with an incredibly amazing and wonderful little boy. He is my everything and I am so thankful that God knew what He was doing. I'm thankful for the journey we've been on the past three years. And I can't wait for the next 70!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Faith

It's been a rough week. In fact, it's probably been one of my worst weeks in a long time. But it has also been a good week. A week for grace and faith. I grew up in the church and for the most part, I've had an easy life. I didn't have hardly any responsibility until I was 17 and I have had the love of an amazing, God given family. This week has taught me something incredibly important. It is so easy to say I trust God when life is going easy and you can hold yourself up on your own. When your strength is sufficient to get you through the day, it's easy to tell God that you trust Him completely. It's easy to tell God you trust Him with money when you have a high paying job that promises promotions. It's easy to tell God you trust Him with your heart when nothing is going wrong. It's easy to say you trust Him with your kids when they do nothing wrong (in a dream world, of course). It's easy to tell God that you trust Him with your health when you've never had any concerns. My point is, it's easy to "trust" God when everything is going right. But what about when you can't find a job? Or what about when you lose a loved one and you don't know how you'll ever recover? Or what about when you can't pay your bills? We all like to claim that we trust God but the fruit of a mature Christian is having full trust in God when things aren't going right. When you don't know which way you're going to turn or how something is going to work out. And in those moments of confusion when you really need clarity, that's when God grows your faith. Because a strong Christian doesn't get that way because life is always perfect. A Christian gets stronger in the valleys, when they have nothing but to lean on God.

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, "Go, throw yourself in to the sea," and it will be done. [Matthew 21:21]