Stirred not shaken.

I’m writing this from a plane. Seat 18B to be exact. Right in the middle. Of my plane. Of my row. Of my flight even. And of course, to be posted later, whenever it just feels right.

From NYC to NC.

To say I don’t enjoy flying would be a touch of an understatement. I fear it. I fear the take off. I fear the flight. I fear the landing. I fear the waves of anxiety that crash over me, holding me down a bit longer each time. I fear that the phone I’m typing this on will run out of power leaving me without the worship music that is currently keeping me from being taken over by the fear of hearing every change in noise that occurs in the cabin.  I’ve sat here, eyes clenched shut tightly for the past 45 minutes with the words of this post circling around in my head, wishing I will be able to recall them when I am home and cuddled up with my laptop. But I’m not letting fear take this one away. Because I know it is not God who places this fear on me. Rather it is He who fills my lungs with air after my fear has pulled it out of me.

You see, I struggle. Horribly. And quite honestly, shamefully. I serve the King of Kings, The Lord of Lords. The creator of all that is and was and ever shall be. And yet I, am filled with fear.

I recently found myself realizing how great victory is often preceded by great struggle. When I am brought down with fear, I have no choice but to look up. I look up to a God that is able. Able to take my fear and turn it into a reminder that I am in His presence. Because while it is always so terribly easy for me to feel shaken with fear, I am finding that my fear can stir me instead; stir my nerves into passion, stir my shaking and sweaty hands into the tools I use to write a message like this, stir my spirit from one of fear to one of praise. They say you can’t control what happens in life, only your reaction to it. And I’m deciding that I want to live a life where fear stirs my spirit alive. I want to quit a life of being shaken. While I’m not quite optimistic that I’ll ever enjoy flying, I am more than optimistic that if I ask God to take my two-hour flight and stir my soul so that I may spend that time in His presence, He will prove to me that I can even find myself being thankful for this time in flight, for this time where my heart is filled with His spirit, and His faithfulness.  Because as only He can do, He can take my troubles and turn them into triumph. He can use every air pocket that we hit as a reminder that even when we fall even just a little (though it may feel like a lot) He is there to catch us, to steady the wings, to calm the fear and to stir my soul with praise and thanks.

I will be stirred, not shaken.

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Farewell 2013.

2013

Psssst. You can check out last years farewell here.

When I initially thought of writing my little 2013 farewell I thought I might do a highs and lows recap of sorts – a highlight of the peaks and pits of the year. What I realized as I began listing my moments was that 2013 was the year where each low met its match with an unfailing high. 2013 was a year filled with great optimism, and even greater moments in between the milestones. 

In 2013…

In 2013 we moved… twice. (I, in fact moved three times, if we’re getting real technical and including that month I moved back home with my family to start my job while Clint wrapped up life in Raleigh). And it was unbelievably stressful and hectic and overwhelming, and on one particular weekend there in late February we had a mere seven days left on our lease and no idea where we were packing up our life to go . I cried… a lot. But after packing up all our stuff, unpacking it, then packing it back up 2 months later and unpacking it again, we’ve been blessed to finally have found ourselves in the place we had been yearning for, for so long… home.

In 2013 I finally stopped looking for jobs… because I found one. I started the year exactly how I ended the later half of 2012, searching and applying, searching and applying, searching and applying, and beginning to get awfully good at throwing over the top pity-parties for myself. After many, many months, I found the one, and it found me, and we’ve been pretty darn happy together ever since. It’s kind of like a match made in CareerBuilder heaven. I’ve been blessed to find a job I love.

In 2013 Clint celebrated his two-year work-anniversary in November… and subsequently quit his job. But only because he had an even greater opportunity awaiting him. An opportunity that doesn’t involve being out-of-town 20 out of 30 days of the month, or working until well after-hours the nights he is home, and it even means I can take back that little nook in my family room that’s only ever been the “home office”. He’s been blessed to be able to walk away from one experience and seamlessly into a new one that holds great promise.

In 2013 we celebrated a year of marriage… and I was attacked by yellow jackets to mark the occasion. On our anniversary we truly put “in sickness and in health” to the test (which actually, was not even in our vows) but “I hope others see His heart and love in the way I care for you” is, and boy did I realize on our anniversary, the day after I got stung, and the day Clint was supposed to head out-of-town for work but chose to stay with me instead, that my husband loves me with a love so strong it could only be a love that was gifted from God.

In 2013 we also celebrated eight years of being together… and had ourselves a little photo fun. I had actually wanted to do first anniversary pictures but as fate, and the yellow jackets, would have it, it was a pretty good thing I didn’t schedule to have those pictures taken. Instead we opted for an eight year anniversary shoot. You can (and SHOULD) go check some of those pictures out HERE. Because these photos show exactly how we spent the greater part of 2013. Together, and in love. I’m so grateful for this time of marriage with Clint – the time in between newlywed bliss and parenthood, the time of just the two of us.

2013 was a year filled with blessings and with that,
2014 will be my year of greatest praise.