In This Season

Have you ever desired something so deeply, and then doubted that God desired to answer your prayer?

I grew up with an older brother, and loved every minute of it. Loved being the “baby girl” of the family, loved having a protective brother who was big and strong and incredibly annoying sometimes, one I would boss around as if I were in charge, only to be put firmly in my place with a good noogie or a kidnapped baby doll being held for ransom, followed by a hug and adventure in the backyard. It was the life I was given, and it was the best. Even as a young girl I knew that someday, when I had my own kids, I wanted to have a boy first, a big brother for all of the other siblings who would follow. And so I prayed for that, for years and years and years, always hoping that a boy would come first.

Fast forward to June 24th, 2016, as I am sitting in my bathroom at 3am staring at a surprisingly positive pregnancy test (an unplanned, but very much wanted surprise). As I sat there taking in the full meaning of those two pink lines, my immediate fear was that this baby would be a girl. Not because I have anything against girls (I am one, after all, and quite enjoy it. Girls are amazing.), but because the dream of a boy first was rooted so deeply in my soul and I feared the Lord would choose to teach me contentment and surrender through giving us a daughter first.

Over the next few weeks as I processed my fear and worked through it with the Lord, I realized that at the core my trouble was a disbelief that God wanted to answer my prayer. I had fallen into the lie of thinking that in every situation of my life God wanted me to struggle, to grow me in faith through giving me the exact opposite of what my heart desired, surrendering my own will to His and finding contentment in Him.

The truth is, God does often choose to work in that way, and He has many times in my own life over the past decade or so. There are times and seasons when we grow more fully by learning to trust God’s goodness and character in His “no” responses – surrendering our own heart’s desires to His. The problem lies in beginning to think that is the only way He works, which is what I had begun to do. A father who only says no is not a good father, and neither is one who only says yes.

For all of July, August and September, I consciously worked to give up my desire for a little boy first, convinced that because having a boy first meant so much to me, it would of course be a girl, still doubting the Lord’s desire to answer my prayer. Although I still wanted a boy, I convinced myself it was a girl so I would not be disappointed when the gender was revealed. So, when September 21st came and I laid on the table with the ultrasound wand on my womb, I fully expected and was prepared to hear “It’s a Girl!!”.

I was not in any way expecting to see clearly with my own eyes – no words spoken – that this baby is most definitely a BOY. 100% a boy, not even a question. My immediate response was shock, disbelieving it could be true. I wanted a boy so deeply, how could it not be a girl??

Oh, me of little faith.

Over this past month I have been reminded that God is a Good Father, who desires to give good gifts to His children. Just like with any earthly father, sometimes “good” is in saying no, knowing that it is for the best of the child. Other times, “good” is in a joyful yes, delighting to watch as a heart’s desire is fulfilled.

I am realizing that this season of life for me is one in which the Lord is choosing to grow me through answering many, many prayers with a joyful and resounding YES. I am also realizing that having walked through seasons of experiencing God’s goodness through his “no” answers is making this season richer, more beautiful and special than if I had only experienced his yeses. 

We are not meant to live in a world where we get everything we want. A gentle and loving “no” is a precious gift, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment. What a loving and generous God we serve, a good Father and faithful Friend in every season of life. Although Christian and I would have rejoiced and been thankful had our baby been a girl, we rejoice and are thankful and humbled for this boy, our son.

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Happy Easter!

Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!

I love celebrating the greatest day in history. Jesus defeated death, conquered sin, and rose from the grave to give us life! We cannot do anything on our own to earn salvation. Nothing. We can only choose to trust that Jesus did what we could not, place our faith in His sacrifice and substitution on our behalf, and walk in grace, forgiveness, and joy all the days of our life. Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!

This Easter was spent in Richmond with the family, and we had a fun time together this weekend!

Happy Easter from my family to you!
Happy Easter from my family to you!

 

Thankful Thursday: January 3rd

Welcome to a new year on the blog! I had a wonderful break from blogging over the holidays while the family was all in town, but I look forward to seeing what the days of 2013 will hold and sharing them with you on here as we continue the adventure. 2012 was a big year full of change and transition as I left my job, moved back to the east coast and welcomed my first nephew to the world! As the new year begins there is already much for which to be thankful…

1. A new year. I love the beginning of a new year; the sense of a fresh start and anticipation at what the Lord is going to do in my life in the coming twelve months.

2. Family and the holidays. There were 10 of us all together in my parent’s house for Christmas this year, including my grandparents from Arizona, and with the addition of Logan it was such a sweet and special celebration. And for the first time since 2003, I didn’t leave right after Christmas to go to a conference. It was different not being with 2,000+ college students on the 31st, but good at the same time.

3. Heated seats. My mom’s new car, or Land Yacht, as I call it, is fabulous, and I love that the back seats heat up just like the front. It’s the small things in life.

4. Lightroom Photo editing software. I got the newest version of Lightroom with some of my gift money from Christmas, and it is so fun learning how to use it. Like my camera, I still have a long way to go, but the amount of changes and improvements you can make to photos are wonderful.

5. Blog tutorials. As I am learning how to use my camera and the software, it is great to find so many helpful blog posts that share tricks and tips that it would have taken me forever to figure out on my own.

 

happy new year

Thankful Thursday: November 22nd (Happy Thanksgiving!)

I love Thanksgiving. You may notice that I love a lot of things. Welcome to my world. Anyway, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, right after Christmas, which is the best day of the year. 🙂 I also know, though, that today can be a challenge to make through with a smile on your face. There are days when it is a hard fight to be thankful in the midst of circumstances you wish were different.

The pastor at the church I visited on Sunday touched on this during his sermon, and I loved his perspective on thankfulness when life isn’t turning out how you pictured it. His specific example was singleness (always a timely message for my heart to hear), but it applies to a myriad of situations. He said that we can both acknowledge the heartache and at the same time proclaim Christ’s abundant sufficiency in our life.

What a beautiful picture that paints for a dark and broken world. Our heartaches hopefully remind us of our desperate need for Someone to be our rescuer, to give us hope that there is something greater, Someone worth living for who eclipses anything this life brings. If you’ve never met Jesus before, this perfect, magnificent, Someone who has come as our rescuer, today would be the best day in the world to start a relationship with Him. He longs for you to repent of your sin and allow Him to make you brand new from the inside out.

Last year my parents were in town for Thanksgiving, and we compiled a list of 100 things we were thankful for as a family. I was reading back through it yesterday, realizing that the vast majority of them are still what I am thankful for this year.

There are a few items to add to the list for today though.

1. Groupon/Living Social. So many great deals! Birthday and Christmas presents galore for oodles of family members!

2. Logan!

Logan, my precious nephew who has stolen my heart completely. Hard to believe he is two weeks old today! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. My mom!

Mom, who celebrated her birthday this week. And delicious, delightful fancy dinners!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Family fun. 🙂

A family who laughs a lot, and does awesome things like this to the newest member of the clan. Hahahaha. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Christ, my sufficiency.

 

Happy Thanksgiving! I pray that today you are surrounded by family and friends, and are experiencing the matchless grace of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday: November 8th

Much to be thankful for today….

1. Logan Matthew Franklin. Born today at 1:42pm. 8lb 7oz, 21.5 in long, chubby and perfect! Thankful for this little boy and his presence in our family!! (more pictures below) 🙂

My handsome nephew Logan! Look at those cheeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Free car washes. The Jiffy Lube where I get the oil changed in my car includes a free car wash with every oil change. Pretty sweet deal.

Inside the car wash!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. This passage of scripture. I’m reading through Jeremiah, and this is one of my favorites on the nature and character of God. A great reminder of the One in control in the midst of the election.

Jeremiah 32:17-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The freedom to vote. It is so easy to take for granted our ability to give our voice in choosing who leads our nation. As I left the polls early in the morning on Tuesday, I was reminded that even though we vote, the creator of this beautiful sky is ultimately the One who puts people into power and takes them out. No matter what the next 4 years bring, our president and our government are not in control, and one day, they, like all of us, will stand before the throne of God and give an account of their life and choices, and will be held accountable as leaders for the choices they makes. Because of that, we need to pray for them to lead in wisdom, repentance, and humility.

Sunrise on election day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Skype! Since I had to be at work today on Logan’s birth day, my family skyped me in so I could be there for the ‘welcome to the family’ party. I’m also thankful for cameras on phones, so I could capture these gems:

Dad holding his grandson for the first time!
Mom holding Logan for the first time!
My brother and his son. Joy!