Tag Archives: family

The Struggle is Real but So is Jesus!

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the She Speaks Conference and it was aaaahhhhmazing!! This conference was an on time, God appointed and God ordained oasis sent during this season that I refer to as the “tumble weed” season.

The year 2016 has started out as the weirdest,  with a series of rapid fire events for my family and I. I began the year full of hope and awe as I had 3 speaking engagements lined up and I was so very excited about them all! But then in March things changed and instead of scheduling inspiring events, I was scheduling my daughter’s surgery.  Nothing serious thank God, but when it comes to your kiddos, it’s always serious! Well, not long after that I go to visit my doctor about this excruciating pain in my right side and low and behold the culprit is a pesky kidney stone that’s apparently wreaking havoc and must be removed, via outpatient surgery! Are you kidding me?! I have 3 kids and a husband, I can’t afford to be down but by the grace of God, I survived as did my family and recovery was quick although quite uncomfortable. Next in line was the most unexpected and challenging event yet. My dear husband was holding our son, Caleb now a year old, as he was walking down the stairs. Well Hubby’s foot slipped, causing him to fall down the stairs, yes with baby in tow and in order to protect Caleb, he shifted his weight and landed all 200 plus pounds on his left leg and ankle. Well praise God, our little Caleb was fine, just terrified, but Hubby, as I looked down at his foot which was turned unnaturally to the left, was not fine.  It was so bad that I had to call an ambulance just to get him off the stairs and to the hospital. This fall resulted in broken leg and ankle and yes, surgery was needed! This was a challenging two and a half month recovery as everything and everyone depended upon me. Needless to say, it was definitely God who saw us through this.

During the time of Hubby’s recovery, I started feeling this burning, stinging pain in my right breast that just wouldn’t go away. So, I decided to go have it checked out.  I didn’t think it was anything to worry about because my rough and tumble son loves to pounce on his Momma and he always seems to land on my right breast. Go figure! Well, my doctor gives me an unexpected diagnosis, a cyst . Well, I almost lost it but I guess she in all her experience diffused the bomb that she saw was about to go off! She orders an ultrasound and mammogram and sends me on my way. Now, in the midst of this news, may I mention that also in this tumble weed season, our finances are stretched to the max and have been for years.  So on top of the surgeries, there’s the strain of dealing with a very tight budget in which every single penny is accounted for. As I was leaving my doctor’s office, the tears came in like a flood and I had to pull my car over for a full on snot session! I called my friend and I couldn’t talk because I just couldn’t stop crying! This was the last straw, I couldn’t take anything else happening.

Well, God, in His infinite wisdom knew all this would happen and that I would need a much needed mommy break, made a way for me to attend She Speaks via an account I set up using Go Fund Me. I’m still blown away by the overwhelming love and support shown to me by friends, loved ones and strangers! This was my first time attending She Speaks, and also my first time since having a family that I’ve driven anywhere over an hour, alone. My first hotel stay alone and my first time attending a conference alone.  Needless to say I was so stinkin’ excited and beyond anxious to get away and get a break.  Most of all, I was anxious to get away with God.  It’s hard to find quiet time in a house full of children and plus I had questions, and my heart was hurting because there were and still are some things going on in my life right now that just doesn’t make sense! So, my goal for attending She Speaks was to have a one on one with God and He was going to have to tell me something! This tumble weed season must end now! Where oh where is the oasis in all of this?  Well, my oasis was She Speaks.

God used this time away from my normal hustle and bustle, this conference, to not only give me rest but to serve some reminders. He reminded me that He still sees me and knows all that I’ve endured and am still enduring. He sees my heart and hears my cries and has bottled up every tear. He’s heard my prayers. He’s taking great care of me and my family.  He reminded me that the condition of my heart and my family’s heart is most important to Him, and that comfort would come in different forms and at different times. He, in a way that only He could, confirmed my calling and affirmed my ministry through this wonderful woman of God, Cindy Bultema, and He also gave me a wonderful new GodSisterFriend, Michelle of Displaying Grace. He gave me rest among His daughters who were there and understood me. I didn’t have to explain a thing. I rested, I laughed, I rejoiced, I prayed and I cried and ate all the dessert my little heart desired!

So, even though I’m still in my tumble weed season, it doesn’t seem as dry because I have the wonderful and timely encouragement that I received from She Speaks and the gracious friends that I’ve met there and I don’t feel alone anymore. Most of all I know that even in the driest seasons, Jesus is real, no matter how hard the struggle is and He’s always our living water that never runs dry.

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

Michelled & I, She Speaks 2016

Michelle & Me!

Lysa T., She Speaks 2016

Lysa Terkeurst, President, Proverbs 31 Ministries

Cindy and I, She Speaks 2016

Cindy Bultema & Me!

 

 


38 Things I’ve Learned In My 38 years of Life

lifelessons

  1. God is….(whatever you need Him to be :-))
  2. Guarding your heart is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
  3. Health is definitely wealth.
  4. People are people are people.
  5. You can only change you!
  6. Sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing and sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing.
  7. No matter how much wisdom or wise counsel you give, ultimately, people will do what they want to do.
  8. People will ask for your advice and still go do something stupid.
  9. Guilt can always be seen on a person’s face.
  10. People, situations and some circumstances are seasonal and that’s perfectly fine!
  11. You won’t always get what you give.
  12. You can’t put your expectations on others.
  13. You are responsible for your own happiness.
  14. No human will and isn’t supposed to “complete” you.
  15. Pain can definitely become your purpose.
  16. Not everyone is your friend, they’re really an acquaintance.
  17. A person will avoid telling you things because they know that what you’ll say isn’t what they want to hear.
  18. Life sucks sometimes but it could be a lot worse.
  19. Sex outside of marriage never satisfies and it never will.
  20. There’s no such thing as perfection on this side of heaven.
  21. Being different is a great thing!
  22. People really are a blessing or a lesson, geez!!
  23. Always  check your circle!
  24. People will dislike you for something that’s in their own heart.
  25. It doesn’t hurt to smile 🙂
  26. Sometimes the best thing you can do is listen, nothing more, nothing less.
  27. It pays to be observant.
  28. You get along better with perfect strangers sometimes better than your own family.
  29. You can’t want greater for another person more than they want it for themselves.
  30. Truth will repel those who aren’t ready/willing to hear it.
  31. Kindness always wins.
  32. It’s painful to check yourself but so very necessary.
  33. Children have selective hearing!
  34. Marriage is work!
  35. Family definitely doesn’t always mean biological.
  36. Learning from others mistakes is priceless.
  37. Loving others is risky but beautiful.
  38. The only way someone can steal your joy is if you allow it!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon


Who’s Your Hubby?

Is one of your greatest hopes, dreams, wishes…marriage? Finding the perfect hubby, having the perfect kids, perfect family? Well, what if… God’s plan is for you to stay single?  What if His plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) does not include marriage? To never marry a man, never have sex, but to be forever married to Him only?

We are all married to Him, if we have surrendered our lives to Him, but what if you are not supposed to marry, could you handle that?  Are you in a place in your life right now where you could actually say that you have totally surrendered all your hopes, wishes, and dreams to God and trust that whatever He has for you, you know that it’s for your good, He will see you through it and you will ultimately be satisfied with it as long as you keep your eyes on Him?  Have you become so engrossed with the picture of marriage and sex that the thought of letting go of that dream and trusting God with it makes you want to break down and cry?!  Even as a married woman, I still have to lie all of my hopes, wishes and dreams down at His feet and say, Lord, not my will, but yours! Married, single, widowed, divorced, we still have to trust Him and fight for our purity, fight to stay faithful to Him and His Word. Trusting His unconditional, undying, indescribable, all encompassing love for us! Whoo! Honestly, I feel as if I need Him more now in marriage and as a mom than I ever have!

It’s not easy! It’s not easy being married and I know that it’s not easy being single but see when I was single; I didn’t know God, not like I know Him now.  If I knew Him then like I know Him now, I would have known my worth, how loved I am and how precious, beautiful, worthy and awesome I was and am in Him! I’m not saying that you won’t have days where the hormones won’t try to take over but at least you know that you have God and He will help you to deal with those hormones, urges, and temptations.  Now, if you have not surrendered your life to Jesus then, unfortunately you are left to fight those battles on your own, and as a woman who fought them on her own, you will lose! Life is messy and crazy and without God, it’s downright scary! I couldn’t go back to a life without Him; He’s just too good to me!  He is still my husband and He loves me in ways that my husband in his human nature is incapable of. So husband or not, you will still be married to God, the lover of your soul, and that’s not a bad situation at all!

For he loves us with unfailing love; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD!
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Be blessed and encouraged,

Shannon


%d bloggers like this: