Becoming the Lesson

Becoming the Lesson

Reflecting on being sick 24/7 just 7 months ago with HG #hyperemesisgravidarum. There were times I thought it couldn’t possibly get worse…

For 9 months I couldn’t stomach WATER 💦 . Water!!! I ate oyster crackers to try to stop the nausea and drank iced Gatorade a capful an hour just to get it down (until my mom forced me to eat and drink only to throw it all up) 🤢🤮.

I tell you the test of my relationship with God was unreal. (I talk direct – in reverence but really direct – to Him, like Your words says, X…ummm… guidance please.) But no physical healing (that I was aware of) came.

Nine months later, as soon as I gave birth, I could eat a cheeseburger an hour later like nothing happened. I still cry to this day about the suffering I felt and sheer spiritual impotency. Trust.

I had to go through the lesson to BECOME the understanding: LIFE IS WILD. He’s our companion. There are opportunities for Him to give an outcome agreeable to you at that moment, and then there are times when there’s more (a unique purpose).

For me HG was an understanding about life. This place is wild (crazy stuff’s going to try to take you out, but you’ll also see it in all its splendor). Same as when Jesus lived. It was made that way due to the fall of man. But we can trust that our lives lived with Him have hope. The opportunity to change circumstances is there. We just need to ask. And we can trust that if there’s another plan going on, He’ll always be with us. That’s it. Sobering. Truth.

Without Him, you’re left searching endlessly for a relief that is temporary and ultimately ravishes you. Creating emptiness was the mission of my sickness, physically, mentally and spiritually. It was intended to destroy mercilessly and entirely. But God, my Companion, He got an earful. And He made my horrific days less bad with a random good thought, or a family member or friend coming by…stuff like that.

So, whatever you’re going through (or have been through), look over those moments. Close your eyes. You’re in the jungle beautiful, and it’s teeming with great and awe-inspiring things, both tame and beneficial but also vicious and dangerous. Hold out your hand. Go with your Companion. Ask away. The jungle won’t change into Heaven. Neither will you outgrow needing to know how to survive. Walk with your Guide confidently knowing that whatever may come He’s overcome.

Mommy Guilt

Well well … I wondered when you would show up. With my Go get ’em personality, I’ve managed to fill my days up with fun, educational, and wonder-filled activities – and with starting on new dreams. And because I have decided to not work myself into an early grave as they say, I have managed to also do a really good job of resting and doing restful things. This is my new life as a mom without outside work commitments.

But oh, if I thought that I could outpace the terror of Mommy Guilt, I was totally and utterly wrong.

I will admit. It had an opening.

Usually whatever the day brought, I just went with it. Of course, having a 7-month-old means that you don’t get to set your own schedule or agenda. Still I owned it. I confidently moved in knowing that I am not in control.

However like I said, all it needed was an opening…

It’s hard to believe that you’re doing a great job when it’s all boils down to you just feeding and sleep. That’s what my 24 hour commitment boiled down to, just two words: feeding and sleep. It’s hard not to believe that when you’re not producing any real results.

She’s growing healthy as a direct result of what you’ve done. I told myself this, but the echo of those two words continued and continues. I spent a second too long entertaining them, believing in their truth.

So today, I was filled a palpable, toxic, noxious feeling that I wasn’t doing enough.

It hasn’t passed… I’ve been shopping, keeping busy, doing baby time at the library, reading, playing, singing, dancing and doing just about anything so that I don’t have to deal with going on the offensive against Mommy Guilt.

I’m resilient, but Mommy Guilt tends to overwhelm.

The Faith Gift… What’s Inside?

Have you ever trusted someone? I mean really trusted?

I’ve always thought about Faith like a movement, something that was like a super motivator to move you forward. Or, as a substance of the thing you hope for. But I’ve never seen Faith as a gift.

However today, going on this journey through building and believing for new dreams, I have a freedom that I haven’t felt before. I’d like to call it life invincibility (I’m literally laughing as I type that), but it is much more simple than that.

Faith is a gift with gifts inside

Faith gives you protection, resources and peace that you don’t have to strive for. You don’t really have to make an extra request for these things; they just are part of the package when you have Faith. With Faith you know the Father hears you, will help you, will supply all your needs, will give you favor with men, fight for you, hide you, and prosper you.

I am learning more and more each day that God is way more good than I could ever even think up. Who knew the rest and freedom that I’d have just be having faith in Him.

So, it’s time!

Time to trust Him. Faith is a gift with so many benefits. Imagine the possibilities!

90 Days of Fun, Food, Family, Friends and Faith

Hi Y’all, I wanted to share something so personal to me. I’ve needed to do this for a long time, but I’ve been working on other areas. So, now that I finally have the time, I wanted to share this journey with you.

Tomorrow I start my 90 Days Grateful!

Yes, it involves fitness and upping the ante on the healthy eating because I’m trying to do something my for my future self.

But, it also includes pausing to appreciate just how far my family and I have come. And a new perspective. And the truth about this here life (whew the ups and downs!)

So, if you know me you know I’m already at day 90. I say cheers to the fun, food, family, friends and faith we’ll see along the way!

Pause Mode

Pause Mode

Taking a break from being a mom with outside, competing work commitments, or in other words…. I’ve become a stay at home mom. I thought the transition would be easy. But it is hard. I’m type A personality.

I’ve done enough to beat myself up for not launching my book, my lifestyle brand, haha, helping my husband with his start-up. Now is the time to embrace pause mode. The energy, the time, the focus all needs to change. I can get those things accomplished but I first have to re-freaking-lax.

So…

Pause mode is the permission you give yourself to chill out so that in this new space, you aren’t held in bondage to the approach and thought patterns that may or may not have been necessary to survive and thrive back in the day. Pause mode gives you relief. You can pause and find what works for the now that will bring about a bright future.

As I write this my daughter is sleeping on my lap after having nursed. Do I move to get something done or not? 🤔

Wrong choice.

I feel like enjoying tea at a coffee house. Time to turn on the Jazznova, make some fenugreek tea and light a candle. I have the latitude now to thoroughly enjoy my moments, whatever they may be, working on business, projects or anything. And that is the good life.

Welcome Baby!

On Sunday, 12/17/17, Natalya Elli Kramarius was born, 6 lbs and 13 oz, 19.25 inches and early, at 36 weeks and 6 days. She was born at 1:13 pm. We thank Jesus for walking with Greg and me through this whole pregnancy, HG, and life changes. We thank our family, sons, sisters, bother-in-laws, moms, dad, grandmother, aunt, cousins, and friends for the support. We love you!!

We’re all in 

I realized today that I have 62 days left in my pregnancy journey. It’s been an incredibly hard one. But I have learned so much about myself, and my relationship with Jesus has been strengthen. 

I had the pleasure of feeling some ninja kicks the other day from my sweet little unborn child. I laughed and filmed it. I had to watch over and over; it was so marvelous. Then she would just rest peacefully without the slightest movement.

I began to think about her perspective and if she even was aware that she was inside me. She feels movement, can hear and now can discern between light and darkness. But does she know that she is enveloped in a loving and caring environment that is meeting her every need? 

Unaware of the completeness of Love

It made me think of how I had been dealing with sickness and how I felt my life was moving in an unknown direction, of how I felt left alone all by myself in a place where I could only feel, hear and partially see but had no clue as to what was actually going on. I had considered that my life was much like hers – but that she was at rest. 

Could I possibly believe that I too was carried and covered in safety? That whatever was happening on the outside around me was under God’s sovereign and protected hands?  Could I once again trust in the 100% guarantee: 

He works everything out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose

On the outside of the womb

I rubbed my belly. With this new perspective, could I be all in despite what I couldn’t understand going on around me? I would try; no, I would believe. I am in His safe and loving care in this world as much as I was, and my daughter is, in the womb. We are always cared for, always protected, always nourished, always brand new in Jesus. 
Believe today and be all in! 

“How” is the next 

Can you see it? I wanted to shout it to myself as soon as the thought popped into my mind. Have you had enough? How many more times?

I am my Father’s daughter. I write. I speak. I think. With clarity, I envision the future and it becomes real. I hope and find the beauty in humanity. I am the I am’s.

But there is so much to learn. So many, many things to upend in my mind about how to live this life.

Case in point: I spend everyday looking for that perfect second home. Every day. And today after Bible study, I looked again. Then it hit me!

You keep building up the vision, but you don’t ask Him how.

Well I’ll be! How many times was I going to keep reimagining my goal, recasting what I’m hoping and working for? How many times was I going to just look, just have the vision without asking God how to achieve it? When was I going to start asking the real questions about how I could achieve what I wanted?

Many of us go through life scrolling through posts and pictures of the life we envision for ourselves. We don’t even know that we just keep looking at things but aren’t taking one single step toward what we want.

I want to know how.

So, today… My prayer is I John 5:14. Look it up if you want to know the promise given to the askers and how seekers.

Peek A Boo

Hands over eyes… Peek A Boo! This game automatically becomes a part of parenting. You play it over and over again, and each time the baby thinks you’re gone. And then you reappear. Squeals of excitement ring through the house. 

I’ve done it with my child. And you probably have too or will do it some day. There is nothing like knowing someone you love and thought was lost is not actually gone, but instead still right there. 

Much in the same way, as I think about Easter and Jesus’ death and resurrection, I can see how each and everyone of us has the innate sense that something is not right about the loss of life, the loss of a loved one, someone so dear. Death itself is such a painful experience that leaves such gaping holes. 

Life is not a word that ends with death

But what if that sense is not just something that is part of life. Rather, it is evidence that we know life is not a word that ends with death. 

God has no ending. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He has no limitation, especially not death. When you understand that, you can be assured that He can give and take life as easily as breathing. So, why so much pain?

As a consequence of the fall of man, sin and death became our ailment. 

That’s not where the story ends

But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story! Your yearning for life doesn’t have to be left unfulfilled. Your mind doesn’t have to be beset with grief and sadness. You can yearn for life. You can cry out for life. You can look and find newness. 

When you understand that pain and death here was never supposed to be, and that it is okay to long for life, you’ll find solace. And knowing that you share a similar God-given trait with Jesus, the desire for life, it should give you comfort. 

Now here’s the real kicker

Peak A Boo! There is no real loss with God. Jesus created all life and none of His sheep, you and I, will be lost. The event of death…Yes, we should rail against it because it is our nature to need and desire life. However, if the physical event should happen, we also know that just like His own life that He laid down and took back up again, life never dies. 

Thank you God for Jesus and His resurrection. 

Happy Easter! 

Let’s go fly a kite

There comes a time when you start to see everything you were taught unravel. You see it like bands being unknotted. And the tension that was wound inside, the tension that had become just part of living, eases from those cords and wistfully seeps away. 

Who are you?

I’m more than words can capture. I’m definitely more than your finite eyes can see. 

Today something happened. I watched an odd little movie in church about the author of Mary Poppins. I cannot yet explain how I got to such a place of desperate need, but by the end of watching the movie clips, I only wanted to be free… Free from the burdens of the past, those that others had placed on me. I just wanted to be the child who had dreams of wonderful things. I wanted to be me, full and free. 

See, the movie was painting a picture of a woman who desperately wanted to preserve the happiest part of herself and her past, but she was unaware that by embalming her childhood in the story of Mary Poppins, she had deprived her now self of any life. 

The great Walt Disney had to fly out to speak with her, telling her that he too experienced a painful childhood, and that he had change the way he looked at the past.

Behold, I will do a new thing

So there I was, uncomfortable in my skin, looking for someone to come tell me that the pain I felt was real and that there was relief from all those burdens. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever been there… It’s something uniquely human that doesn’t happen too often: the ability to see your big picture, and to see it with all the shades of colors that have painted where you are and are going. Have you ever desperately wanted that picture to change? 

I am a new creature in Christ. 

We’ll, in that moment, I could see my whole portrait. And it hurt. It HURT. But I didn’t want to cover it up and just keep it moving. There it was: the pain of the past, mine, my family’s, this nation’s, imputed all on me. 

You know what is interesting? That picture of the me in pain was actually very stoic. Mona Lisa smile. Preserved. A masterpiece fashioned for display. I wonder how many others feel this way but shy away from being vulnerable, from being desperate for a new life? 

Be free

I actually walked up to a stranger just to tell her I hurt. I needed. I wanted freedom. She tenderly obliged by telling me to mark this day, the day when I was given peace and was made aware of the schemes to keep me from seeing that life is meant to be lived now. It was like she was saying that for yourself and for all those who are living the pain that once burdened you, it is meant to be lived now! 

Oh man, I want to thank her for her boldness! I mean I didn’t see everything in detail after that, but I could feel peace. It was clear. I am free. Sweet and at rest, I walked out of that building knowing that something had changed. 

Tell your painful past that you made it

You are breathing, and come what may, your mind will be free. You are set free! 

Fall. Change Colors

Fall. Change Colors

That’s how God sees you. If you’re changing or things are changing around you, you look radiant to Him. Your beauty is apparent. Don’t feel defeated through change! 

Trees give off a vibrant display of perfect timing. Tangerine oranges, reds, yellows and dark purples. They change. Staying planted, they usher in the next act of unknown and deeply rooted growth. 

I am like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in its season. My leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever I doeth SHALL prosper. 

All the keys to my heart

Recently, I got an opportunity to tell most of my loved ones in person… I’m engaged! Even now, typing the words make me smile. It is everything I ever wanted. Here is a small window into why…

A key

My love and I are free. We intentionally try to live free spiritually, financially, every “ly” you can think of LOL. Instead of a dumb, ridiculous massive ring, my fiance and I bought a house together. We prayed and saved, and we finally bought an investment. Oh, the experience Ladies of communicating with the one you love about money! Done God’s way, it was still up and down, but oh the fruit it bore!! We got so blessed. 

My ring is beautiful. A radiant band that reflects the light. My key is beautiful. I chose both and hold each dear to me. 

No use chasing the world when God has something better in store

See, when we have it, we’ll get it. I learned long ago, having gone through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, that I want to live now like no one so that I can live later like no one. Use cash, avoid debt if you can, and get free by paying off your debts. It works! 

I love living free! Nothing like it. The world wants you paying off a ring when you should be buying houses and land. Ha! Bondage.  

I’ll keep sharing this journey so you can see that God’s blessings are real. Love you Sweetheart! Xoxo

Saplings and Seeds

Tree-Sapling-Landscapes-Nature-Nature-Palm-Plant-E-9711

Check your saplings, find the seeds

I had been sitting outside one morning pouring over plans and dreams and hopes and to-do lists: a book, the work, businesses, a home, wedding plans. I was stewing in frustration because although I have been trying for such a long time, I have not seen the final results. I was getting pretty wound up when all of a sudden I was moved to consider that the faith I had in God may need a modification. Sure, I have faith, but there was too much going on. So, would I have to prioritize? But what? And when?

I just laid back. Then I began to observe the beauty around me, the saplings and mighty, deeply rooted trees that were towering above. The wind, as an easy friend, blew through the trees, as if to whisper to each, “Come here, and let’s go this way.”

It hit me that all those trees were like the things I prayed for and were working on. The small ones, they were the dreams that I had just started to walk in faith for, and the taller trees, those with branches that extended far and wide, they were the ones that had been nurtured to maturity, the ones that were ready.

Then it was clear. I have many dreams, and I am believing God for each one. He had grown my faith for a home for my family. It is the dream I have been working on for at least the last eight years. And there it was standing high, grazing the blue sky, its leaves frolicking in the wind. It wasn’t that the other, newer dreams weren’t important. It’s just that this dream was ready.

Faith has a pesky way of making you think differently

So, I pulled out my phone and looked again on one of those find a house websites. I casted off the “you just looked last night” comments that quickly came to the surface. And the second house just would not let me go.

It was a home that belonged more in the English country side than in our big city. It was a far cry from the large, two-story “bells and whistles” house that we wanted. You know the one with the open floor plan for entertaining. The one you could sit and dazzle yourself into a fantasy with plans for this furniture and that decor. No. The home looking at me had two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a quaint living room with a fireplace and was less than 1,000 square feet. As I looked at it, it was looking at me, saying I’m not what you’ve been looking for, but will you take a closer look?

It was just a seed. When we hopped in the car and buzzed over, we were shocked at what we saw. It was still the same house, but it was more than we could have asked for or imagined. Lots of land. Room to build and grow. Walking distance to schools. That house was the one.

Your faith grows first, then you find the seed 

In everything in the Bible, it starts with a seed. Your faith is a seed. Even a mustard seed amount of faith can move a mountain. Then, we have to find the seed that the faith produces. A baby Messiah. A scrawny boy with a rock becoming a king. A virgin birth. God starts with the thing that does not look like anything so that it can bring Him glory and you the benefit. We have to check our saplings and find our seeds. In them is greatness, the answer to your prayers, and the fulfillment of the thing you have been hoping for.