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I've acknowledged that change is good. Even though sometimes it's hard, it is good. 
I was trying to clear my mind earlier after some much needed prayer time and found myself looking through our family photos throughout the past few years

I was brought to tears to see how far we've come and not only how much God has blessed me with my family but the work He has done in me as well.

 I have changed so much as a person since becoming Micah's wife. He helped me slow down and appreciate the small things. He helped me change the way I thought about myself and showed me to love more openly. We grew up together seeing how I was only 20 when we wed and many changes in our lives have since taken place. He has helped make me a better me.

 after becoming parents we realized there will always be constant changes in our lives. 
from just the two of us to our family of four
from diapers to pull-ups
baby food to table food
from two naps to one nap to no naps
teething pains to growing pains
from learning what love really meant to loving more than we ever thought we could

there is just always something changing in our lives and the lives of our babies that we have adjusted to the inconsistency of life

then there was this past year or so, where I felt I was going to be swallowed whole by my struggles and ended up being strengthened by the Lord instead. I have changed more in this past year than I ever expected to.
my thoughts, my relationship with God, my choices in life
all change. all good.
Micah and I were discussing recently how with every new season with the kids there has been some refinement happening in our hearts.
God has helped us learn to be more patient, to show grace even in the times of frustration, to have strength in the times of adversity and to learn that sacrificial love is just what it is... an expression of Love. 
I feel as if God placed these little angels on our laps so that we can have a deeper understanding of HIS love for us. You can't help but love the Lord even more once you have children of your own. Because you realize the Love you have for these sweet beings and the Love that God had for His own son, only to have him sacrificed for our sins on a cross, is an overwhelming thought. 

 So many scriptures I know and love have taken a hold of my heart in a new way since becoming a mother. I comprehend some better than others now and cling to others that I once just thought about. I love that those scriptures take on a new meaning with each change I go through in life. It is just another example that the bible is truly the "living" word
we are constantly changing, most times for the better
I'm so grateful to be a different person than I was nine years ago
my heart has been softened and my will has been broken
time and time again

lately I have seen changes in Elsie and was attributing it to her growing up and testing the boundaries but knew in my heart it was her acting out for the attention she was used to receiving and was now lacking
you see though I've been good about not checking emails, orders or even talking on the phone much while they are awake, I have been distracted.
 God has blessed me beyond measure with the success of my hoop art in my shop
but it has taken on a whole new meaning for me
this once therapeutic outlet is now turning into validation for who I am
these pieces I started out with were based off scriptures, hymns or affirmations that blessed me during a very difficult time in my life and I wanted these same pieces to be able to bless others in return

but now, it has started interfering with my family time
me time
but most importantly God's time
 even if I put off creating until after the babes go to bed it cuts into my time with Micah
He watches TV or reads next to me while I embroider
I'm not fully "present" with him

and though I'm with the babies in the sunroom I've lately been packing up orders and drawing up new creations
again I'm there but my thoughts are elsewhere

but worst is my morning quiet time with God, it has turned into waking up with good intentions of going online to do my daily devotions only to get distracted by new orders or emails requesting custom pieces
 You see Micah and I thought we were showing the kids God was a priority in our house by going to church and praying throughout the day with them. Loving God and singing praise songs is fine & dandy but taking the time to help them understand God's love and mercy by reading His word together is something we weren't doing

we tried to do this in the past but just decided they were too little to sit still and listen as we read

that was just a lame excuse for not taking the time to figure out how we could make God a priority on their level

putting off and declining orders, though hard has been so good

having time again with my family has reignited my passion to create freely and have decided to change the format of my shop
I've decided to no longer recreate pieces but create "one of a kind" hoops instead, so that way I can constantly be creating instead of trying to keep up

I didn't want to do that at first for fear of losing business but know in my heart it's what I need to do.

after praying about it this morning I felt a huge relief as I decided to make a permanent change in my heart
to get back to reading daily, spending quality time with my family, to focus much less on my shop and more on being the wife and mama God has called me to be
I'm so grateful God revealed this to me in the beginning stages of all this new shop business because I would have hated to look back and see what I would've missed out on with my sweet family or more importantly what scriptures or messages God had for me while I was busy checking on emails instead.

in the end my shop doesn't even matter and only true happiness can be found in God anyway. I want to live a life according to Him so that my children will see Him through me, not just my crafty skills. Once they're grown I want them to be able to look back on their childhood and pray that I was a testimony of God's love, much more than a mom trying to be successful in her own ways.

though I love, Love, LOVE embroidering so very much, I've decided I won't let it consume me
Heb 4:29 says "our God is a consuming fire"

and I know I'd much rather him consume me more than anything else.


Anonymous said...

Oh such a beautiful post. I think our time with family, friends, work, ourselves, God, is something that we all struggle with. The most important thing is finding balance and it sounds like that's what you found-keep it going!! You have such a beautiful family!

Elisha(: said...

what a BEAUTIFUL post!!! I adore your blog.. for many reasons.. but especially for your pictures!! these are all so gorgeous, and sweet. <3


Heather @ Glitter and Gloss said...

Good for you, Nat! I so admire you!! Praying for you and your sweet family.


RaNaeLuvsEwes said...

Hi Nat thank you for sharing your struggle I too am searching for balance and reading how you have come to peace with things is inspiring I appreciate your honesty and for you sharing your relationship with God with us- Thanks.