Monday, November 9, 2015

I Believe

I believe.

Those two words are so simple, yet so profound. Those two words are life changing, life saving, and life giving. Without those two words, my life would probably look much, MUCH different than it does now. Those two words are my daily compass, my gut check, my end all, be all and my promise that no matter what happens today, tomorrow or decades down the line, I am spoken for, I am loved, I am held and I am His.

Heavy. Heavy is the one word that I would use to describe how I feel lately. My heart is heavy. My mind is heavy. My chest just feels...heavy.

Over the past six months, I've watched someone I love tremendously battle a serious illness and there was such a feeling of helplessness. I've watched a dear friend struggle through the even more serious illness of her precious child, all while trying to sort through and navigate through a very real and altered "normal". I've given my all through my work and found myself tossing through sleepless nights wondering if it'd be enough. If I was enough. And most recently, I've found myself sitting next to hundreds of coworkers, waiting to see if our positions will survive the budget crisis facing Illinois. Some of us will not have jobs at the end of this month, regardless of how much our employers wish they could keep us. Heavy. That one word is ever present for me and so many others right now.

As I stood in church yesterday, a wave of emotions flooded over me. It was heavy, but it was also LIGHT. For the first time in weeks, I felt as though I couldn't breathe, not because of the heaviness, but because of the lightness. Everything that I had been carrying was caught in my chest, and for the first time in awhile, there was hope and there was promise. There were two small yet HUGE words that delivered so much. I believe.

In those moments as we sang out to God, I was reminded how much I take for granted my belief and what that truly means. I DO believe in God our Father. I DO believe in Christ the Son. I DO believe in the Holy Spirit, Our God is three in one. I DO believe in the resurrection, that we will rise again, for I believe in the name of Jesus.

It is because of these beliefs, that although I may feel heavy, I do not need to allow that to consume me for I'm not alone in these matters. The God, the Father who I believe in is with me and always has been. I am held. I am loved. I was fought for for an insurmountable price. In Him, there is a rise after every fall. There is redemption following our failures. There are great wins following our loses, and there is always, always hope. I just need to remember to believe. And not just to believe inwardly, but to declare it. To sing it. To stand shoulder to shoulder with others who believe with me. And to repeat it. And repeat it again.

I hope to remind myself every single day, no matter what lies ahead, that there is freedom and LIGHTNESS and hope in the declaration of my beliefs and in the name of Jesus. No other two words carry as much weight, do they? They are the perfect type of heavy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Spooktacular Halloween

Who goes there???

Have I mentioned how much I love Halloween? From the candy to the festivities to any excuse to dress up and decorate my home, it all just makes me oh so happy. I hope our Munchie grows to love it as much as I do, because this momma will be dressing up for a long, long time. Embrace it or be embarrassed by it. The choice is yours, kid.

With us being in New York last year for the Hubs' NY City Marathon, we missed our first Halloween in our new neighborhood which meant this year I sort of guesstimated on how many kiddos we'd get. I knew there were a lot of kids in our area, but how many, well, apparently I had zero clue.

Armed and ready with "tons" of candy (or so I thought), Little Debbie Halloween cakes, glow bracelets and small rubber duckies for the littlest of ghosts and goblins, I was READY. For approximately the first 30 minutes. When my neighbor said they've gotten between 200-300 kids in 2.5 hours, I laughed. He was not kidding.

After taking our un-cowardly lion to a few houses, I hopped in the car and ran to buy 8 more big bags of candy, which was still not enough. If you came to our house in the last 30 minutes of trick or treating, my sincerest apologies. I hope you enjoyed your gluten free crackers, Mardi Gras beads, and anything else I could rummage from our pantry. I was one knock on the door away from handing out, K-cups, y'all.

Next year. Next year I'll be ready and we will dominate this holiday like the Halloween bosses we are. There will be mounds of candy, cakes and non-food treats. We've got this.

And although I've already started to brainstorm costume options for 2016, I have to give a shout out to the Hubs who didn't fight me on throwing on a scarecrow costume so we could escort our little lion to the neighbors' homes and then to a party later that night. He's a good sport and that lion of ours, he loved handing out candy and roaring at the kids at our door.  And I loved having our families over for chili, cornbread and pumpkin bars. Is there a better way to spend a cold, rainy Halloween night? I do not believe so.

I hope you all had an amazing evening of costumes, candy and creating memories together!

 Welcome to our home. Knock if you dare.
Happy Halloween from the Oz crew!

This little lion has my heart.

That tail though.
"Roaring" at the treaters with grandma.

Off to see the wizard!
How could I pass up this shirt?
No truer words.
Until next year...