When is Daddy Coming Home?

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Being married to a traveling husband is hard, no doubt, but a firm family foundation takes some of the edge off. When my husband took a job in public accounting last January, we knew the traveling was coming, we just didn’t know how hard it would be for Ella. For me, it was harder the first year; we had to make a lot of adjustments. It was like our lives were put on hold those weeks he spent away. Now that Ella is getting older, it’s getting harder for her. She doesn’t understand why daddy has to leave for weeks at a time, and she constantly asks, “When is daddy coming home?”.

Now that I’ve bashed the traveling, I am here to say that it’s possible. It’s not always fun and some days are harder than others. However, we are blessed that Evan gets to come home most weekends, and this year, his employer has cut back on his travel. Thinking about families with fathers fighting wars in foreign
countries really puts things into perspective; we are truly blessed.

How do we manage? We stay busy! This is where my four jobs play a role. After work, our nights are filled with dinner dates with girlfriends and mommy-daughter time. We take this time to spend with friends, which helps to free up our weekends for when daddy is home. We also live on Facetime, and we make a lot of sweet gifts to cover daddy’s desk.

When Evan is in town, we spend as much time together as we can. The traveling has truly made us cherish our time together, and we don’t waste a minute of it. Even if it’s just hanging out at the house or going for a walk, it’s together!

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When Daddy comes through the door after being gone for a two week business trip, the best part is the excitement that fills Ella’s face. There is nothing like the love of a little girl for her father. We don’t love the traveling, but we make it work. Our family is full of love, and we continue to build on that every time we send daddy off. Our hugs are a little tighter, and our prayers are a little strong during this time.

 

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Right Where You Are

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I started taking a weekly class at my church called, “How to build disciples.” During the class, we focused on our testimony and why it is so important. While taking the class, I began to pray that God would give me the opportunity to share my testimony, and he answered that prayer.

It was in this same class that I met one of the sweetest people I know, Sarah. She told me about a ministry she started with a friend that focused on outreach to seniors and foster home youth. She expressed to me that she wanted to be able to relate to foster home youth, and it was like God was tapping on my shoulder. I then asked if I could share my testimony with her, and before you knew it, we were both in tears. This was the first time I shared my testimony with someone.

She then invited me to an outing they were having for the kids and asked, if I was comfortable, would I share my testimony with them? I couldn’t say no; this is exactly what I asked God for – an opportunity to tell my story. He provided on his end, and it was my turn to do the same.

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These kids touched my heart, more than they’ll ever know. They were just like me when I was 13 in a foster home: lost, scared, and alone. I can only hope by sharing my testimony with them that they begin to have hope for their own lives. I’ve had the opportunity to go back and visit with these kids. They are simply amazing, and they’re extremely grateful for everything this ministry has done for them.

Right Where You Are Ministries, Inc. is a local, nonprofit, ministry started by Sherri Iacobelli and Sarah Todd, two of the kindest people I’ve ever met. They have hearts bigger than a giant and are fantastic role models for me and my walk with Christ. This ministry focuses on helping people right here in South Carolina. RWYA ministries has paired up with a local hospital to provide Baskets of Hope to pediatric patients receiving a diagnosis of cancer and children in shelters. They plan many outings for these same children to try to bring back something normal to their lives. They also made baskets for flood victims during the flood here in Columbia. They outreach to the elderly in many ways. This past Valentine’s day weekend, we got together to help take baskets to widows and homebound seniors. We had such a great time spending our afternoon with such sweet souls.

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“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24

To get more information or to see how you can get involved please go to

http://www.rwyaministries.com/

Or visit them on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RWYAMinistries/?fref=ts

 

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A New Level of Confidence

Today was check-in day with my trainer. I sent her the same information I do every week: measurements, weight, pictures, and an update on my diet and workouts. She then sent me a side by side comparison of where I started and now. Wow! What a difference.

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It’s true: you are your own worst critic. Through this process, I have questioned myself on many occasions. I felt like I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, but when I saw that photo, I completely changed my mind. The picture from three months ago didn’t even look like me. I was truly blown away by the difference.

I’ve always been extremely self-conscious about my body. Never in a million years did I see myself telling my trainer she had my permission to post my picture on social media. Today is different. I am proud of my success and change. I allowed her to post the photo, and the positive feedback I received was just as inspiring as seeing my transformation. I received several texts, private messages, requests for more information, and sweet words of encouragement.

I loved it. My confidence has shot through the roof. Today, I walked out of the house not only feeling content with myself, but truly feeling good about how I look. It is such an amazing feeling, and I never want lose this confidence.

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Who I am

I want to start by saying thank you to each and every person who has taken the time out of their lives to learn a little about mine. I know how valuable time can be, so it truly means a lot. For me, this is where I can express myself and write about everyday life. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I’d love for you to share yours with me on any of the blogs. Honesty is always the best policy, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

I am 25 years old with a rambunctious three year old daughter and a hard working husband. We live a nonstop, eventful life filled with adventure, tragedy, good times, and bad times. I wont hide my scars, and I’ll face anything that comes my way head on. There is nothing my God can’t bring me through, and I share my experiences with others in hopes that they can realize that too.

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Faith In Everything?

Faith In Everything is as simple as it sounds. Like most, my life is extremely busy. I currently have four part-time jobs. I’m a preschool teacher, nanny, waitress, and high school official for girl’s lacrosse. I feel like God has called me to give and serve, so in my spare time – whatever that is – I volunteer for charity events and serve on missions with a local ministry. On top of all of that, I felt led to write. When I was little, I dreamed of being a journalist, that was until I realized I was the worst at spelling. Oh how grateful I am for spellcheck.

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In every area of my life, whether it be working or serving others, I have passion. I take pride in everything I do. I hope to use my blog to inspire others to keep chasing their dreams. Feel free to comment, like and share.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

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It’s not me, it’s you

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I get it: everyone is busy these days, but at what point do we cut ties with our friends? After having a child shortly after college, I saw a dramatic drop in the amount of friends I had, but I was okay with it. I get that peoples’ lives change and sometimes you just drift apart. I don’t, however, understand how someone is so busy that even a simple response to a text message is just too much.

I am constantly working and trying to keep my ship afloat, so if I take the time out of my day to send you a text or an email, have the courtesy to do the same. I am not asking for a lunch date next week or to hear every detail of your life, but I honestly do care how you’re doing and would like some sort of feedback. By the way, a “like” on Facebook does not count!

I know life can get tough and sometimes you might not want to share what’s going on, but I don’t think that’s a reason to shut someone out. To me, this would seem like a good time to grow closer to the friends you have instead of pushing them away.

I truly value all of my friendships, that’s why it’s so hard for me to let go. Thus, why I keep bugging you in hope of a response. However, I can’t continue to invest in a friendship with no return. It’s not fair, and quite frankly, its exhausting.

No one wants to be the friend on the outside looking in, so today, I am breaking up with you. It’s not me, it’s you. I wish you no harm, but I can’t continue to waste my time on someone who can’t even spare five minutes. As hard as this is for me, I know it’s what’s best. I am over driving myself crazy wondering why you don’t have the time. Who cares? You’ve made it clear you are busy, and I will respect that. I won’t, however, continue to inquire about what is going on in your life. I will always look back and love the times we shared and laughs we had. Enjoy life, just know it goes by quickly.

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Do you even work?

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Today, one of the little girls I nanny, Kameron, asked me, “Why don’t you work as much as mommy?”. After having a good laugh, I responded with, “I do. Probably the same amount”. She then asked me where I worked and what I did all day, all while sitting in my classroom after my students left for the day. At first, I was taken back. Do people really think I don’t work? However, the more I thought about what she said, the more reassured I became: I am doing the right thing with my life.

I have always believed if you have a job you truly love, you’ll never work another day in your life. While that might not be true for all of my jobs, it is for most. I love what I am doing. How many people get to say they wake up every morning to play with kids. When my kids enter the classroom in the morning with arms open wide, I know I am in the right place. When I see their smiling faces light up after I tell them how well they wrote their name, there’s no place i’d rather be. It really is the little things that make such a big impact on my day.

So maybe it doesn’t look like I am working, who cares. I truly think I am making a difference in their lives, even if it’s just for a short period of time.

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Luck or Love

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Almost everyday I hear someone say, “good luck”. However, I am not convinced that “luck” is anything more than a placeholder when offering words of encouragement to someone. A good friend once told me his take on the word, and it made sense. He pointed out that God isn’t one to just let things play out; he has a carefully crafted plan. Why would he leave our lives to chance or luck? The more I thought about what he said and the deeper I dig into God’s word, I’m convinced that luck isn’t real.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Before breathing life into me, God mapped out my life. He has preplanned everything that is going to happen, so how can something happen by luck or chance? If I win the lottery, that was God’s plan, not luck. It is by God’s love that good things happen to us.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I try to avoid saying things like, “good luck”, not because I think something bad will happen to me for using it, but to keep myself aware of the fact that nothing happens without God already setting it into motion. Through God alone our lives unfold, and we need to give him back the credit.

I constantly hear people questioning God. “Why would God let this happen?”. When things go bad, we are quick to “blame God”, but when good things happen, we want to say it’s luck. If you think he allows the bad, why would he not be in control of the good? You can’t have it both ways. If he controls one, he controls both. God’s plan is always greater than our own, and we have to remember that, when times get hard especially. I believe God allows the hard times so we remember to lean on him. Don’t forget that our God is a loving, omniscient God. He knows what is best for us and has a plan far better than our own. Our God loves us. It wasn’t by luck that he created us.

 

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Focus on healthy, not skinny

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All too often I hear girls say how they wish they were “skinny”. By who’s definition do they want to be skinny? If it’s Barbie Doll skinny, let’s hang that up. Not only is it unrealistic, but it’s very dangerous. There are healthy ways to get yourself in shape. Starving yourself will not be on that list. I am personally on a diet, and it’s very flexible. Yes, I have to cut back on sweets, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to treat myself. Nor does it mean I can only have 800 calories a day. If you think starving yourself will help, look at the research that proves this is not a positive approach.

Set realistic, attainable goals when it comes to losing weight. If you think you can lose 20 pounds in a week, think again. Losing weight and actually keeping it off takes time and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it is totally worth it. Also, eating healthy plays a role in not only your physical health but your mental health as well.

But don’t stop there. Eating healthy is only the beginning. Make sure you’re keeping your body active. Don’t over do it. Take rest days as your body can only take so much. Any trainer will tell you how important it is to give your body rest. Working out 7 days a week can really take a toll on your body. Now we all know eating healthy and exercise are important, but don’t forget another important key step: Sleep. Your body needs sleep, and a good amount of it. When your body has time to rest, you recharge and are ready to tackle the long day ahead. If you’re making sure to make real efforts in these areas of your life, you wont have to worry if you’re skinny enough, because being healthy is far more important. Your body will start to look good and feel even better.

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