Genuine, Beloved, and Cozy

Ya’ll,

I am being ridiculously lazy this morning. And I am not ashamed. The coffee pot is half emptied, and I am the only one who is drinking it. I thank the Lord every single morning for my peaceful, quiet mornings spent with Him. In His presence. His moment in time. I take my coffee mug back to our bedroom, I cozy up with all three puppies, and I write out what my heart aches for the Lord to know and to hear. Even though He already knows what my heart longs for. There’s just something about talking and being quiet with the Creator of the universe, while sipping on the precious gift of coffee He gave us. It’s cozy, in a big way.

The Lord cannot be fit into a human box of understanding. The ability to come to Him whenever, wherever, proves daily and constantly that we are beloved. He loves us to the ends of the universe. He loves us unconditionally. You know how you feel when your husband, your wife, your mom, your dad, your siblings, your family, or your close friends wrap their arms around you and hug you tightly? Do you feel warm and loved and thankful? I surely do. I imagine cozying up every morning with Him and the puppies and warming my hands by holding my coffee mug, to be semi the same as that. We are beloved. Beloved and cozy.

Genuine. There are so few times and moments when we come into contact with a genuine soul. This world is filled with fake and pretend, and it breaks my heart. I know it breaks our Lord’s heart. The Lord has brought His faithful, genuine, people to my life to show me what a life given to the Lord fully really looks like. And that, folks, is genuine. Again, I reference what my Uncle Sean said when we visited recently. We, as believers, only have two rules. Love the Lord, and love your neighbor. We are beloved. We should genuinely love everyone in return.

Those three words; genuine, beloved, and cozy, were on my heart this morning. In the craziness of the holiday season, don’t forget, amongst the chaos, to find moments to be cozy with the Lord. The reason for the holiday we celebrate. Don’t forget that you are beloved by the Creator of… every single thing. Don’t forget that the Lord is genuine in His love for you; let that genuine love pour out of you this Christmas, so those around you will know whose you are. So that they will know that they are beloved.

Till next time!

Forward

Ya’ll,

Life is… I have no words to describe what life is. There are too many words that could fit the job as a descriptor. You know how the Lord puts people, places, and opportunities at your feet and you can either acknowledge them and melt into His provisions, or you could stress out and dread making one more choice, one more decision, so you just freeze and do nothing? I have been frozen. For a month. I’m finally coming out of it. Now we move forward. I come back to life. Like trees and flowers in the Spring time. But it’s FALL and THERE ARE PUMPKINS EVERYWHERE. So, an even better time to wake up from a hazy, frozen soul sleep.

Let me tell ya’ll a little story. Will’s momma and I were not initially the kindest of people towards each other. It is really hard learning new roles of life. I have no doubt it was hard to learn that Will was going to be moving forward and leaning on his wife instead of his mom. It was hard for me to learn that it was ok to let down my guard once the Lord began healing our broken relationship. Now, we’re moving forward. We’re moving into a truly divinely sweet relationship; one of grace, forgiveness, laughter, and adventure. I could not be more thankful that we can smile and giggle and give each other looks when someone else is talking… our husbands… and know exactly what the other thinks. It’s SO fun, ya’ll.

My Mother-in-Law has had a rollercoaster life. She’s strong; she’s always up for adventure and new things; she’s silly and just wants to be loved. I’m honored she is letting me come into her life, her heart, her home, and her secrets.

She was a nurse. She cares for her husband. She aches for the moments they get to share and love on each other. They’ve been through a lot, too. The Lord has worked and moved mountains in their marriage, their words, their thoughts, and their times spent together, and apart. I am honored I get to watch them grow in His love and goodness and blessings and promises. Moving forward. It is what we have to do in this life, right? Moving forward… not letting ourselves become frozen humans because our focus is not where it should be?

My Mother-in-Law has started a fun business. A business that allows her true passions and loves to shine, through the way she spends her time. She’s no longer stuck behind a desk, or running around like mad for someone else. She’s prioritizing her time. She gets to spend quality time with those she loves, instead of only being able to give the leftovers of her time and emotions. Her joy radiates. I’m honored I get to be a part of it.

Her business provides time. Time for others to laugh, smile, to breathe, and to relax. Folks get to be creative, and silly, and meet new people. Her business is KimmieB and Me. Visit her on Facebook. She would LOVE to meet with you, visit with you, over paint and coffee. We bond with coffee, too. Coffee is the magic of life. Amen?

Forward. What a key word to life. A frozen heart, mind, and soul are not what God promises. He promises joy in the midst of suffering, direction in times of question, and comfort in times of need. Though God promises a difficult life when we follow His ways, His path for our lives, what other choice do we really have? I love Will so much… I followed him to an island in the middle of nowhere; sold everything, left everyone. To move forward. Forward in our hopes, dreams, and callings. If we love the Lord as much as, even more so than, we love those we call family, friends, our people… shouldn’t we move forward just as easily with Him to forward His hopes, dreams, and callings for our lives?

I’m preaching to myself right now, ya’ll. Trust me. It’s been a difficult month; we’ve made more decisions, had more questions, and more late night giggles this month than we have had in a VERY long time. But the Lord is working. He’s always working things out for the good of those who love Him. Move. Forward. Yes, Jesus, I get it. Thank you.

Till next time!

Rainy Test Day

Ya’ll,

Today was test day for Will. I have a love-hate relationship with test day, because it means one part is over, but then there’s the waiting to find out the grade. Always waiting to find out the grade. Med school is so hard. You can try with all of your might to get through it, but at some point, you get knocked to your knees wondering what just hit you. Seriously. Will learns so much information every single day, that I wonder where he’s going to put the information from tomorrow’s lectures. He’s my superhero. Test days mean one thing is down, but can’t be forgotten. There are two more tests, including the final, and we’ll arrive to three weeks of peace, beach time, conversations, dinner with friends, and quality time together… without reviewing or studying or talking about medicine.  Praise. The. Good. Lord.

I admire Will, ya’ll. He works so hard. He’s smart. Insanely smart. He says things that are so over my head I just nod and smile. But he can teach it to me in a way that makes my English brain understand. It’s really true what they say, you’re either a math/science person or an English/History person. I can talk about Jesus and Edgar Allen Poe and all the wars of history all day long… but helping Will all day review HURTS MY HEAD. He’s going to be a wonderful doctor. I’ll be a wonderful helper. The Lord knew what He was doing when He made us for each other, to be sure.

Tests keep coming, though. No matter how much we think we’ve conquered one block of information… another block of information comes like a dodge ball to your face. Reminds me of life, don’t ya think? No matter how far we come… there’s always a test. No matter how good life is, how stable it is, how peaceful and fun it is, there’s always another hurdle. Another test. Another ridiculous thing to conquer. I thank the good Lord He brought me Will. He makes tests and hurdles so much more okay.

Sometimes we forget the lessons. Sometimes we remember them always. But if we really learned the lesson, wouldn’t we remember it always? Perhaps those we only kinda payed attention to are the ones we forget so easily? I know sometimes I need a dodge ball to the face ( insert eye roll here ).

 

Till next time!

 

 

Back to the Island

Ya’ll,

Let me tell you a little about our island. The airport always shuts down when there is a storm… or just a little rain shower. It had been raining all day yesterday on the island, and I just knew all day that we’d get to the island and wouldn’t be able to land, which would mean we’d have to head back to Puerto Rico until the island airport decided it was safe to reopen. Island. Life.

So many people were praying over my journey home. Even folks who never pray anymore. People will show you they love you; ya just have to keep your heart opened to it. The Lord has shown me so often who was meant to be my friend, just an acquaintance, or just a passerby.  In my experience, if someone genuinely has the feeling or desire or love to pray over me… that is one of the dearest people in my life.

My sweet taxi driver was there waiting for me, the first friendly face I saw when I landed. He told me he was even praying for me. He didn’t think I’d make it, but when our plane came into view, he said, the skies just opened and there we were. The moment I walked into the airport, the bottom fell out again. The Lord answers, ya’ll.

Sometimes I do begin to wonder if the Lord is listening. I pray all the time about everything. Little things, life changing things, friends, family, how the day will go, etc. Sometimes I wonder if I pray about too much, but if the Lord is our Father like the Bible tells us, then He’d want to talk about everything, right? As a Father should? Perhaps I just don’t hear Him as much as I’d like, or get to be a part of the answer. But then there are the times that He opens the sky and lets us land on solid ground. I swear I could’ve knelt down right there on the tarmac and kissed the ground. But it was wet. And I had linen pants on. So, I just thanked the good Lord and finally believed that He was going to get me home to my sweet husband that night.

As I sit here watching the rain fall through the palm trees, listening to Amos Lee Pandora, I just can’t help but to be reminded of His promises of love and provision, which should be all that we need to remember that He wants the very best for us. He opened the skies and parted the rain clouds so that I could know and remember it. He opens the darkness so that Light will shine in on our days of worry, longing, and doubting. He’s the perfect Father. He’s the perfect example of Love, Goodness, and Truth.

Ya’ll, I am so glad to be back on our little island. As crazy as it is… it ain’t as hot here as it has been back home in Mississippi!  Another reason to praise the Lord! I did enjoy the Southern food, a little too much probably. I’ll be hitting the gym this weekend for sure.

Till next time!!

Goodness

Ya’ll,

I want to start off by saying how wonderful it is to know that there are people in your life sent by the Lord to lift you up, to laugh with, to vent to, and to be vulnerable and scared with. When we came to this island, we jumped into this life without any regret, except that we were leaving all of our friends and family, and our PUPPIES. But when you let the Lord lead you 100%, He provides in ways you couldn’t even imagine! He’ll also give you another puppy, which is wonderful until the ticks find your pirate puppy!

It took a semester or so to get our bearings and learn to be content with island life. Ya’ll… island time is SO real, and frustrating as all get out. I’m not a patient person. And I’ll never pray for patience again, because once you say that prayer… situations just happen to arise to test ya and make ya prove you want to be more patient. Now, I look out our window and see the African Tulips, the palm trees, and all the fruit trees, and I can’t help but thank the Lord that we have been given the opportunity to live this life, to live in the Caribbean, to journey through med school with some pretty awesome folks. It’s a slow life, to be sure. Slower than life in the South. And we move quite slow in the South. We savor dinners with friends, conversations had with respect and courtesy. We honor the Sabbath and bless the hearts of those mowing their lawns on Sundays. Life here sometimes reminds me of life back in the South. Sometimes. Like how hot and muggy it gets, but there’s AC back home, so I no longer feel sorry for those folks sweating back home. Sorry, ya’ll. Also, tons of places shut down on Sundays here, like Chik-fil-a. Gosh I miss Chik-fil-a and their honey biscuits and lemonade.

Being forced out of your comfort zone is the way to go. Neither one of us were satisfied with the pattern of working 8-6, dinner at home, picking up the house, laundry, then collapsing in the bed at night without having a real conversation with each other. However, having a dishwasher to do the dishes will NEVER be taken for granted again. We got so involved with the rat race, that we forgot we didn’t want that in the first place. It’s so easy to get to that place. Can I get an amen? We forgot we wanted adventure and a relationship that was deep and personal and intimate, one to be savored at the end of the day. We forgot our marriage was the main priority. The Lord recognized it, and brought us to the only place we would’ve remembered those things. IN THE MIDDLE OF FRUITIN NOWHERE. He knew we wouldn’t change it much without a super crazy big push. Sometimes we need those pushes to remind us of our dreams and longings. Do we listen to those nudges? Or do we put our head down and forget to look up and live a life worth living? Life is so short, ya’ll. Leaving home was the best thing we ever did, for our marriage, and for our souls.

We just spent two hours at brunch chatting and visiting with the sweetest couple known to man, and we never would have met this amazing couple if we hadn’t come here. It’s so fun to watch God work. He brings people to you when you need them. He gives you the strength and confidence and clarity you need to do what He is calling you to do, to survive in the places He takes you.

Time for more coffee and a walk to the beach. Till next time!