7.25.2017

Waiting Waiting



This season is really interesting. Mark and I feel so exhausted each and every day. Not physically exhausted but emotionally and mentally. I know many of you have moved cities so I know there is a huge community that can totally relate.... but wow I didn't expect this. This overwhelming feeling just hanging onto me.

I am living in this tension of feeling released, excited and called to what's next and at the same time trying to remain present, tie up relationships, see people and overall leave well. With these two desires at odds with one another and so many things out of my control I am left feeling stressed and anxious.

The amount of sweet church people asking me who is taking my place and what will happen when I go and not having an answer for them is draining. I want to provide the answers and help but I can't. That is up to the church leadership and not in my control. On the other side, I want to know where we are going to live, settle down and make deep roots in Gravenhurst but that is also outside of my control. The housing market is a lot different up there without a lot of options and that is making me anxious. How do I pack, what is going to go in storage? Do I need storage? Where will I work? Should I pursue more weddings and get more serious about this side hustle-passion job or should I look for work that is stable and secure hours? 

These two popular verses that I have had memorized since I was little always ring loud in these overwhelming excited but sad kind of days. Many people quote Matthew 11:28 and know it well. It says: "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest." Most people stop there and declare that over their lives as they sit on the couch and watch nextflix. However this verse isn't talking about phyiscal rest but this spiritual kind. If you keep reading the passage it says "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 

Now that is something we can preach over ourselves. Jesus is saying to come to him. To literally sit at his feet and stay there. To spend time with him (not watch nextflix) and to commune and be with him.  When we do this we find rest for our souls. True rest. Rest that actually matters and is life giving. This is the rest I need in this season of feeling so many emotions and trying to leave well but being excited for what's next. 

The second verse I've been speaking over myself is found in Matthew 6:27. It says so clearly and just makes me giggle at how timeless the bible is. "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?" Gah, convicted every time [and I speak this verse out loud most days and still get convicted of it...this is an ongoing struggle].

Jesus is so great and sometimes speaks so clearly. Can I add a single hour to my life by worrying about so many things out of my control? Nope. But I do. I get up from the feet of Jesus and start striving again, start trying to do work in my flesh rather than work from a place of rest. 

So here I am telling you I'm flawed and so in need of Jesus. I need his rest for my weary overhwelmed soul and I need his words to remind me that worrying solves nothing. That popular Chris Tomlin song "I need thee oh I need thee, every hour I need thee" is so true. I am in need of Jesus in this season and every season. The nice part is that I know this season has an end. Just four or so more weeks and all the boxes will be packed, A house will be found and I will be typing these blogs in a new town. But while I wait, I will continue to speak these verses over my life and praise Jesus for his faithfulness and goodness each day.

If your are going through a transition season know I am right there with you. Speak these ever popular verses out loud over your life and believe them, sit in them, rest in them. 

XO
Maddie

7.17.2017

WE'RE MOVING


I never thought I would write this blog post. I am known as an Elmira-snob. I literally love this town with my whole heart and want to see my family and kiddos grow up here. Both my parents and Mark's parents are here and all of our siblings live close by too. I want Jackson to go to the same elementary school I went too. This area is comfortable and in my opinion so dang cute.

But God. He knows best. His comfort is better than any comfort I could get from my little town (that actually isn't so little anymore).

After much prayer we sensed God calling us somewhere else. While seeking where God wanted us Mark came across an amazing associate pastor position. He loved the job description and the way they valued everything we valued in ministry. Then after some more research we found out that we knew the head pastor, who we love and think very highly of. He is a great leader and just got really excited about the "what if's" and "what are the chances that at this exact time he needs an associate pastor and Mark needs a new position." I told Mark not to apply since it was too far away but he did and I am so thankful he did.

After countless hours of prayer and seeking God's heart, visiting Gravenhurst and then church, meeting the elders and having supper with the Pastor and his wife we drove the two and a half hours home just in awe of God. He is so so good. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. God opened the doors when they were closed and did His thing. If you get one thing out of this post I want it to be that God is working still today and that He cares. The timing wasn't how I had expected it, but I've learnt by now that it is never with the Lord. His timing is best and if we would have looked years ago this opportunity wouldn't have been there.

So here I am. Giddy, excited, expectant, scared, nervous, overwhelmed and already tearing up at the thought that I can't have family dinners multiple times a week. My family are my best friends and the people I want to hang out with. Jackson had full time childcare between his grandparents which is the most amazing thing and such a neat thing to have rich deep realtionships with his grandparents. I'm nervous to make friends again, scared about trying to find a place to live but overall so at peace. I know this where God is calling Mark and our sweet family and being in God's will is the only thing I want.

I was saying to Mark this week that I just love Jesus so much. Jesus really is my best friend and I am so in love with Him. We chat all the time and through these last couple of months it's been really tough but Jesus has been so present so gracious so good. I told Mark that if Jesus calls us anywhere in the world we would go, happily because all I want is to serve Him; to give Jesus away because I 100% believe He is the answer and the HOPE this world needs. And if I believe that, my life needs to be an example of that. So although my worldly comfort is being stripped from me and leaving my family and cute town will be sad it is nothing compared to the excitement I have of doing this for Jesus. His will be done, not mine.

So logistically (everyone has been asking this) we will start the very end of August and hopefully move in somewhere then too. I will look for work once we are settled and I know the area/jobs etc. We would like to only have one vehicle to keep our costs down but I am praying for a job that is part-time where Mark could watch Jackson and I work a couple evening shifts and could take a car. We will see though what comes of this. The church has committed to two years and so have we. We will see what happens and go from there.

One last thing to add that I want to remember. I haven't seen Mark this excited in so long and it is just the most beautiful thing ever as his wife. So will you pray for us if you think of it? I am so messed up and can always use prayer! Pray for this transition and that we would leave well. And pray for Calvary Baptist. That Mark would be the pastor God wants him to be and I would be a great pastor's wife, whatever that means. I honestly have no idea still.

Thanks for journeying with us. Thankful for your readership and your interest in our little life.

XO
Maddie

7.12.2017

Dear Jackson //Thirteen + Fourteen Months






Dear Jackson,

I thought I was done writing these letters to you. My goal was to write you letters for a year but I want to remember. I know parents say they will never forget but oh man, your momma is super forgetful and needs to write everything down. Just ask your Dad, I can't remember any of our dating history so here I go again. I will write you letters when there are things I want to remember.

Right now, you are in the must fun stage. From the moment you wake up to the moment to fall asleep you are moving (and moving fast) and exploring the world. You won't sit still. This makes my momma heart sad sometimes because I just try to snuggle you or hold you for a bit but oh no you have to see and experience the world. I can actually watch your brain working as you open and close doors and touch and feel everything. You live in wonder and I just adore watching you learn and experience this world. Speaking of opening and closing doors this is something that I want to remember. You are obsessed with doors. We rented a cottage with the Hockney family in early June and there were 6 doors on the main floor and you were in love. You walked around in circles just closing the doors and then asking for them to be open.

You are still obsessed with the vacuum. I think the vacuum and the vacuum stick is still your favourite toy. The first thing you do when you come home from childcare is look for the vacuum. You also love looking in the pots and pans. If anyone is cooking anything on the stove or running water/doing dishes you need to be held. You must supervise all of these tasks or else you throw a fit. And boy can you throw a temper tantrum. You scream pretty loud when you get frustrated and can't see what we are cooking. It is cute but also super difficult to get anything done. Normally one of us is doing the dishes and the other is holding you up right beside watching the whole time. Productivity isn't at an all time high but hey this is parenthood!

You are still sleeping great! After a rough start in life you go to bed anywhere between 7-8pm and sleep anywhere from 5:30-6:45am. You also still do two naps about 1 hour in length each time.

Everyone comments on how little you are! Most people call you a "little man" and I couldn't agree more. You are tiny. You don't have chunky legs or rolls on end. You are petite and I am so in love with you and the tiny baby you are. I have no problems with you as my little man. You haven't hit 20 pounds yet but you do eat so much. I think you just can't gain weight because you move non stop all the time. I tried to weigh you this week and you were 18 pounds.

You love your blanky and have started carrying it around with you.

You also love reading books now. You will go grab them from your room and carry them around and pretend to read them, it is just awesome.

I can talk you normally now and you will understand. It blows my mind at how children grow up and learn and having a front row seat on your sweet life is the best gift. You get things now and learn new things everyday. I will go tell you to brush you hair and you will find a hairbrush and start brushing your hair and then come and brush mine!!! It blows my mind- how do you know what a hairbrush is and how do you remember where I last put it? And how do you know it goes on your head and then to come to my head? You understand so many words and it is a really cool season being able to talk to you like an adult and have you understand.

You eat OK. You decide what you want to eat and whine when we do not get your food fast enough. You love eggs, mangos, raspberries and homemade mac n cheese. You do not like meat. The only meat you will eat is bacon and well that doesn't really count as meat.

You love going for walks anytime but your Daddy and I try to take you for walks most evenings where we process our days and try not to talk about work. You talk to yourself and babble along super happy and content with life. You also adore the park. You love love watching people and the slide is one of your favourite activities. You also discovered the sand box at the park and that has been a game changer. You get super dirty but I'm all for a bit of germs and dirt.

You are doing great at childcare and love going to your Grandma's and Grammie's + Pappa's house. You are one lucky boy to have your grandparents taking care of you. I know this may not be for forever but am cherishing this season. You do so well and love going to their houses bu it's been really tough on me. I want to be the one teaching you everything and seeing you do all your things. I know that that isn't possible and its good to see Momma work but the mom guilt is a real thing.

Jackson, you have a personality that is so caring, so curious and you are so determined. You love people and love your family so much. You are such a sweet boy the way you blow kisses and wave at everyone you see. What a complete JOY it is to be able to be your Momma. There honestly isn't a day where I don't thank Jesus out loud of his goodness but entrusting you to be for such a time as this. I know we are only on this earth for such a short time compared to eternity but you are my greatest earthly gift and I am so thankful for the opportunity to love you like Jesus and point you towards him. He is the very best.

I love you my sweet baby,
XO
Momma

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