May 23, 2015

God's Grace

I woke up this morning feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and grace.  Something was just right.  Travis laid next to me, Lucas was still asleep, the sun was shining, and the birds chirped outside.  I'm so grateful today for God's peace that's surrounding me.

Then it made me realize that it was simply a choice that I had made.  I woke up telling myself that it was going to be a good day.  I, ME, ALICIA... I have the power and choice each day to have either a good day or a bad day.  Yes, bad things may happen.  People might make me mad or hurt me.  Traffic might upset me.  My shoes might be missing.  But I have a CHOICE, every single day.

I'm going into a situation tonight where I might deal with people who tick me off.  And I'm reminded this morning that I have a choice of how I respond.  I can either respond negatively or show them grace.  Today, I will choose the same peace and joy that I felt this morning.  I am determined to have a wonderful day!

What about you?!  How do you respond to life, on days when it's hard to remember God's grace and peace?

April 23, 2015

These Past Five Years...

April 24, 2010: Travis and I committed ourselves to each other in front of our friends, family, and God

May 2010: We purchased our home

2010: I co-founded Family Outreach Community Center

December 2010: We discovered we're expecting

May 2011: I received my Bachelor Degree

August 2011: Lucas was born

2012: Travis started our vinyl business, Lightning Designs

February 2013: I was diagnosed with brain cancer

June 2014: I finished all my cancer treatments and chemo and claimed CANCER FREE!

April 24, 2015: Today, we celebrate five years of  marriage and ten years of dating!  WOW!  These past five years have truly been a rollercoaster!  We got married, purchased a home, both started small businesses, had a child, graduated college, beat cancer, and have grown so much!  We've had our joys and our struggles, peaks and valleys.  We found each other as two na├»ve kids and are growing into Godly adults.  I'm so proud of the man he is, and I am beyond blessed to be his wife!  I'm looking forward to the next many many more years of marriage!!  I love you babe!!

February 5, 2015

Being Content With The Unknown

In the beginning, after my brain cancer diagnosis, I decided I needed to learn as much as possible about the disease.  I signed up for all sorts of brain cancer information, blogs, forums, etc.  I thought it would help me deal with it, hearing others' stories and experiences.  I quickly realized, however, the opposite held true.  Their stories, the data, and the information terrified me.  All the information overwhelmed me, especially when two pieces of information contradicted. In these first few days, I had allowed brain cancer and all the information to consume my life.  Rather than me determining the power I would allow the cancer, I had instead allowed it to give me fear.  

Then, I gave it up.  I no longer claimed the brain cancer in my life.  Almost like a switch I flipped, I began saying and believing that I was now fine with whatever happened.  I released all the control that I once held so dear.  For the first time since my diagnosis, I was perfectly content with living for years or dying tomorrow.  I had FINALLY given my whole situation over to God- Body, Soul, AND Mind!  

And that's where my break through occurred!  I no longer proclaimed my status as a cancer patient.  Yes, I was going through the process, the chemo, and the motions of a cancer patient.  But mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, I was totally at peace not knowing what the future held.  

That's the place I remain in today! Although I now claim myself as "cancer free," I am completely content knowing that cancer could creep it's way back in at any time.  I don't claim or desire that, but I'm choosing to not worry about the future.  Rather, I live each day to the fullest!  

Is there something in you life that causes you to worry and fret about the unknown?  Maybe it's not cancer and the same situation as mine, but I pray that you find the strength to release it to God.  Use my life and story as hope that you too can overcome anxiety and worry.  Be thankful for the days you do have, rather than fearing the days ahead by trying to figure it all out.  

Ladies, give up control!  Just live life!  :-) 


January 6, 2015

God's Path, Not Mine

I'm a natural long-term thinker.  I enjoy planning and figuring out the next steps with every aspect of my life.

Something became clear today with my daily Bible reading, though.  I've read these verses about Jesus' birth many many times: Angels came and told Mary she would be with child, Angels told Joseph to take her as his wife, the Magi came and blessed him with gifts, they fled Herod's wrath, and they ended up in Nazareth.  Yada yada yada... sometimes when we read these ever-so-familiar verses, we're tempted to just skim them, rather than really soaking up the meaning God has for you.  Today, something in these verses really stood out and shook me, though.

Matthew 2 starts with the Magi visiting baby Jesus and his parents, and how they disobeyed Herod and didn't return to tell him of Jesus' location.  In verse 12, an angel appeared to Joseph just simply saying "Get up.  Take the child and escape to Egypt, for Herod is trying to kill him."  That's the only part of the story that God revealed to Joseph.  That's it.

Then Herod issued the decree to kill all the male babies under two.  Joseph was revealed another part of the whole plan when the angel came and said "Get up.  Take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."  Again, the whole story wasn't reveled to Joseph, but he simply obeyed and left with his family.

Then, on his way, he heard that Herod's son was now the King and an angel appeared again in a dream directing Joseph and his family to Nazareth.  Joseph again obeyed and listened to God's call.

Wow.  Prophesy after prophesy was fulfilled in this story.  Obedience and God's display of complete control and provision was displayed. I really feel like God opened my eyes as I read this story today!  So often, I have this need and desire to be in complete control of my future, mapping out each chapter and step that I should take.  Rather than having the faith of Joseph and relying on God to direct each step, I tend to plan so rigidly that I often miss God's perfect path for my life.  How about you ladies?!??  Are you with me??

I truly believe, though, that with much training and study of God's Word, and connecting to Him through daily prayer, we can overcome this need to rely on our own plan. Ladies, one of my goals this year is to just simply be.  I desire to fully open my heart and mind to His calling, rather than my own plans.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." -Psalm 32:8

With love,