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Lately

I haven’t been writing much lately. I was really, really motivated to keep my blog going…then I just kinda forgot.

 

Our daughter turned one, we celebrated 3 years of marriage, and I turned 27!! Is it just me, or when you turn the odd numbers…doesn’t it make you feel SO much okder?!

we are expecting a blizzard today which I’m borderline nervous about. Since when does Kansas get blizzard warnings?! Luckily we did all of our grocery shopping yesterday, so we have nothing to do but wait for this storm!

In the morning…when I rise…

“In the morning, when I rise, in the morning, when I rise, in the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus…”

I repeat this song. Pretty much all day.

To be blunt, I’ve really been struggling lately. Like bad. I feel anxious, unworthy, unloved. I know it’s not true, like really, I know. I’ve just let the enemy speak lies to me, and since I haven’t been in Gods word as much as I should, those lies speak louder than HIS truth!

“Let me bear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my head is barely above my pillow as I wake up and anxieties attack me. Fears overwhelm me. I’ve barely grabbed my daughter out of her crib before I have decided this is going to be a horrible day, and I will live as a prisoner in my own mind.

I came across this verse today and exclaimed “YES!” This is the truth I need. This is the truth I CLAIM.

Jesus, let me HEAR in the morning of your steadfast love. Not the enemy. Not my fears. Let me hear of YOU!!

Worry

“Your worry and fear is causing you to lose out on the blessings of this life I have given you”

That’s what I heard God say one day. I’ve always struggled with fear and worry. 85% of what I worry about is probably not even going to happen. For example, my husband won’t text back right away while he is at Home Depot, so of course I immediately assume he is, you know, DEAD.

Anyway, there have been seasons in my life where I have totally let fear and worry take off. To where it will ruin my day, keep me up at night, disrupt my marriage, I can barely even pray because my mind is so focused on the things that could possibly, maybe go wrong.

My husband tried to help me, he prays with me, speaks truth over me, but sometimes I just can’t help it.

One day I was driving, probably worrying about something, and I heard the still small voice say “your worry and fear is causing you to miss out on the blessings of this life I have given you.”

Then it hit me. I’ve been so focused on worry, and fear, that I wasn’t even able to live in the present moment. I wasn’t even able to live life fully. My brain felt so cloudy.

You guys, I don’t want to be like that.

I want to be so full of joy people just know that there is something different about me, and no not to give glory to myself, but so I can point them to Jesus and say THATS why I’m so full of joy

I want to be so focused on Jesus that the stuff I’m tempted to worry about DOESNT EVEN MATTER because I know my Jesus is going to take care of me. Without a doubt!!

I want to spend my time reading God’s word and growing closer to Him…not worrying about finances or anything like that.

Most of all, I want to spend time praying about the things that I’m fearful of. I want prayer to be my first reaction. Not sit there for 30 minutes overthinking a situation before I run to the throne.

A wise mentor once told me “take it to the throne before you say it out loud”

….take it to the throne

You guys, we have this option! Jesus wants to hear our prayers. In 1 peter it says “cast all your anxieties upon him…for He cares for you.”

First of all, we can cast all of our cares to Him, who wants to carry that burden for us, then it goes on to say …for he cares for you.

You guys, that is really really awesome.

So let’s pray more than we worry, let’s enjoy the blessings God has given us, instead of worry. LETS LIVE A LIFE FULL OF JOY!!!

Until next time ❤️

To my husband

Dear matt,

Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for loving Jesus more than you love me.

You know I came from a broken home, with a really broken relationship with my dad. There was a long time that I had no faith in men. I didn’t want to get married. As all of my friends were getting married I was never jealous, I can remember thinking “that better never be me….”

Thank you for praying with me when I’m anxious. When we are sitting on the couch and I’m telling you what I’m struggling with you immediately start praying with me. You give me bible versus to look and claim.

Thank you for being so selfless. When I’m tired, even though maybe I got more sleep than you, you tell me to go take a nap and you’ll keep Ruth. Not only that, I often come downstairs to a clean house and fresh coffee brewing for when I wake up.

Thank you for sharing the responsibilities of Ruth. The more moms I talk to, the more I realize that’s actually pretty rare. You’ve never made me feel like she has to be “my” responsibility.

Thank you for loving me like Christ loves the church, thank you for always being your best for me, thank you for putting our family before your career.

I prayed for you for a really long time. I am so thankful to be yours. You are better than I prayed for.

I feel like I fail you a lot, like I could be better, but you’ve never made me feel like that. Thank you.

Joy

Choose Joy.

I feel like that phrase is everywhere. On t shirts, bookmarks, decorations. The truth is, choosing joy is way harder than it seems.

I didn’t have a perfect life growing up. I mean none of us really did if we are honest. But I did go through a couple years where life was just really, really hard. My parents got divorced, and nothing really was going right after that. I was depressed and struggling to make it through high school, I barely had any friends, our entire family was sharing one car, and I could go on and on. I was too scared to ever be excited about anything, because that would probably go wrong too.

When I was 18, just graduated high school and I literally had NO friends that stayed back to go to community college, I knew I needed to change. I was tired of being depressed, I was so tired of being fake. I wanted joy. People at church had it. But I felt so far from even seeing a glimpse of joy.

I knew joy wasn’t circumstantial. So I could have it, even though from the outside looking in, maybe I didn’t have a reason to be joyful.

So I turned to God’s word. I can remember googling “verses about joy” and memorizing them. Writing them on my hands, on pieces of paper I would carry around. Anytime I could I would open my bible to the psalms.

Slowly, I started to change. I truly realized what Hope was. Memorizing and reading Gods word brought me so much joy. I was so happy all the time. Even if NOTHING in my life could go right, I knew Jesus was on my side, and most of all, I knew I had eternity to look forward to.

I wanted to write this post because my blog name is literally choosing joy. It can be hard, and it’s not always natural. But claim joy, pray for joy, be joyful. It’s one of the amazing things that sets us apart from the world. And just maybe others will see a glimpse of Jesus through your joy. ❤️

Our love story

Okay, I LOVE hearing people’s love story. Seriously. It’s my favorite.

If you’ve been around me personally, you’ve probably heard me say things about how fast mine and my husbands relationship went.

I mean, it did. We definitely put the Duggars to shame.

Here it goes…

Currently we’ve been married almost three years. I absolutely LOVE BEING MARRIED. MAtt is amazing, and I truly feel like God hand picked him out for me. He’s 30, I’m 26.

So back track. We met 7 years ago at church. We were in a small group together, and ironically became members of legacy at about the same time. He jokes that he was always leading me. (Awwwww)

We didn’t really talk honestly. We knew each other and that was about it. Fast forward, that life group became too big so it was split into two. We weren’t put in the same group. So we didn’t really talk for a couple years. About 4 years later I saw him at a church event. I went over and said hi and invited him to the life group I was co leading. He came and we started a friendship.

So the crazy part of this story was that I was supposed to be going to Bosnia for 2 years. I had already gone for 3 years, and was planning on returning. I truly felt like God was calling me there.

About a month before matt and I reconnected I was praying, I was starting to REALLY have doubts about going to another country for so long, I kind of pushed that aside. Everyone knew I was wanting to go back. How was I even to bring it up? “Ugh I thought I was called to something…and was wrong.”

So I prayed. I was confused and the only thing that I could think of praying was “God if you want me to stay here, show me who my husband is.”

I really don’t pray like that. Like ever. I don’t bargain like that. To be honest, I was also really content with being single. I mean I was planning on moving to another country…alone.

So anyway, Matt and I reconnected, and he started asking me out for coffee. We would get together for coffee and literally talk for HOURS. I’m talking like seven hours. Just about life, our dreams, Jesus, the Bible. Everything.

I was so confused at this point. I had never had a boyfriend, and here I was about to leave the country, and this guy comes out of nowhere. He was perfect for me. He loved Jesus. Everything I had ever wanted was HIM.

After a few coffee dates he told me he liked me. Not only that, he showed me the list of qualities he wanted to find in a wife. I’m not going to lie. It was me. Everything. It was me. Spontaneous, mission and I reached minded, wanted to be a stay at home mom. All of it.

Well, there was still this big trip I was supposed to go on. He still wanted me to go. He encouraged me to go and that he would wait for me. I knew he would. At this point I was so confused. I knew what I had prayed.

So, we decided to fast and pray together. We wanted to do what God wanted.

The day we were fasting we were both led to read 2 Corinthians 1. Where Paul was going to go back to Corinth a second time…and God changed his plans.

Just like me. I was going to go back to Bosnia a second time…but my plans got changed.

He is faithful.

We knew we wanted to get married. We knew we were going to get married….so our motto was “why wait?!”

So we didn’t. Six weeks after we were officially dating we tied the knot at a courthouse.

It was perfect. It was us and a few friends and it was perfect. It’s all I wanted.

Side note-I’ve always said I wanted to elope…and I once said that in a group where matt was before we dated. He’s said that’s what started to spark his interest in me. 😂

I get asked a lot if I regret not having a wedding. The honest truth is no. Not at all. I just wanted to be with him and never cared about a big wedding.

I always tell people if you want a wedding you should do it. You only (hopefully) get to do this once. Only elope if you know you won’t regret it.