In the Midst of the Storm

Dear Friends,

Lately I have found myself in one of "those" seasons. You know...when your heart is overwhelmed by circumstances out of your control...Maybe you're struggling with your job, maybe a relationship seems to be falling apart, maybe you have a family member not walking with the Lord, maybe someone dear to you is hurting...physically, emotionally, mentally. To be honest, it feels a little strange to write to try to encourage, while my own heart is feeling this grief so deeply. Maybe this will turn out to be my very own encouragement...who knows!

But...deeper than the grief and louder than all the noise in this world that surrounds, this truth speaks to me. That His mercy is greater than our mess and He will come to fill those hurting places deep within. His strength is made perfect in our weakness and He makes beauty out of ashes.

And so....with this heaviness in my heart, I want to try to encourage with truths that I know to be so true...to whomever reads this:

I know that though everything is shaken, He will not be moved
{He is unchanging}

When the winds and waves crash all around, He whispers softly, "Trust Me."

"You will keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." (Is. 26:3-4)

He extends these truths to all of us....me, in my ache and confusion...and to you, in whatever storm you're facing.

Standing, with arms stretched out, the winds howling in my face, and the waves crashing around me, screaming..."Father, YOU ARE GOOD! And YOUR MERCY ENDURES FOREVER. You. Are. Good."

Your mercies are new for me and will sustain me through this storm...today...and the next day...and the next.

I will magnify You and exalt You over my circumstances. You are all I see.

I will trust Your heart towards me and know that you will not give me more than I can handle.

I will worship you...Praise Your Mighty Name...place my hope in You...no matter what...over and over and over again. Until I am completely undone and at peace in your presence.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)

The Lord invites us to encounter Him so deeply. In the stillness. In the quiet. In the secret place. He desires for you to draw near to him, so He can draw ever near to you. He is after our hearts...so that we will be wholly surrendered to Him.

I seem to have been through storms like this many times in the past few years with my family and with my husband, and I've seen the other side of it, where there is peace and restoration in my soul and with those around me. But sometimes we have to walk through storms (more than once) to truly grasp what that sweet intimacy with Him looks like. And honestly, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Don't give up, dear friend. He will see you through.


The First Snow

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? -John Boynton Priestley


Just Do It

It's Tuesday morning and I've been up since 5:30am. Husband and I...well, actually, just I, decided that we needed to start working out again and the mornings are our best option in this busy season of life. We both have gym memberships that we're paying for and we haven't gone since before we were married....so I made the decision to ask a co-worker to keep me accountable and text me in the mornings. From there, I will do the very grueling  job of waking husband up (he's not a morning person) :-/

Today was day one and although I feel good physically, I'm also pretty tired...and constantly hungry. It'll take some getting used to; to get into the habit of working out every morning and eating more throughout the day, but once our bodies have adjusted to waking up so darn early, I think we'll be a lot more diligent with it!

The Lord says in 1 Corinthians that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, that it doesn't belong to us (it's God's) and we are to honor it. I have taken that scripture to heart and after doing much research and praying, Husband and I made the decision (over a year ago) to change our eating habits as a whole. Not only did we cut out junk food and soda, but all processed food with artificial products, coloring, or high fructose corn syrup. We made the change for the betterment of our insides and now, it's time to take care of the outside! (I would recommend watching Food Inc. to gather more info about what you are putting in your system.)

I want to live a healthy lifestyle and I am determined to take care of the body God gave me. So, thus, another adventure begins in our lives! Husband thinks I'm the craziest person ever...and I might be ;) but I know that it's something we need to do and it'll be so worth it!

Just Do It


Answered Prayers and Life Changes

The past few weeks have been so crazy in James and I's lives....in the best way possible of course! Let's see...where to start....

Before we got married, James and I started having discussions about if the Lord wanted us here in CO or not...we asked each other a lot of questions about what we desired for community and didn't really feel at home at the church we were attending. We explained our feelings to our parents and some close friends and left it at that till after we got married and settled into married life. Shortly after we got back from our honeymoon, we realized that our community was scarce and those deep friendships we were longing for just weren't quite there. We started praying that God would open doors for community here or that he would open doors for us to move. Of course my heart automatically went to 'Let's move!'...I wanted an adventure, a new city, new state, new everything. That's what I kept praying and hoping for. Even to the point of not wanting to make any more friends here or see any of the friends I did have. I just wanted my husband and a new place to live. 

Two months after marriage, James ended up losing his job at Chromatic Technologies Inc. due to a lot of mis-communication and poor decision making on the management end. Both of us knew he wouldn't be at that company long and it was only the beginning of where the Lord would use James' designing skills. The day he lost his job, he went over to his parents house to start looking for another one. He spent hour after hour, day after day, looking everywhere for a job. I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to start looking out of state; I could always find another job or maybe Rachel's Challenge would let me work from home. I had it all planned out! James and I talked about it and decided he would start looking in other cities. He applied to jobs in Denver, Seattle, Connecticut, New York, and a couple other places. We were both very excited to see where the Lord would lead. Two weeks later, James got a phone call from a place he applied to here in the Springs. He was asked to come in that day for an interview, the next day the company sent him a test project, he completed it, and the day after that, on a Saturday morning, James got yet another phone call from the company asking if he could start Monday morning; he, of course, said yes! We were so thrilled! I looked at him and said, "I guess the Lord wants us to stay here."  He started that Monday morning for 3GEngagement as their Graphic Artist and they have kept him so very busy. He's really enjoying all the projects he gets to work on!

That same week, we were invited to join two dinner small groups, and I was invited to join a girls weekly Bible study! Community. Just what we had been praying for! One dinner group is for young marrieds and the other dinner group is one with friends we've been wanting to hang out with for quite some time. Such great people in both groups! And the girls Bible study has been really good for me. Just what I've been needing to help restore a lot of hurts from relationships with women/girls. James has also had the opportunity to meet with a mentor and hang out with more guys...which has been so good for him!

Life seemed to be going great and our prayers were being answered! I really couldn't think of how it could get better. Well...a little over two weeks ago, my brother came over to hang out and brought over a puppy that one of my mom's dogs had. The mama dog had a liter of 6 Golden Retriever/Labradors, 4 black, 2 golden. Lord knows that I've been wanting a Golden Retriever girl puppy for yeeears. As soon as Tanner got out of his car with that little girl, I fell in love. Truly, it was instantaneous! We played together, I wore her out, and she fell asleep on my lap. It was a sad moment saying goodbye to her. I looked at James and said, "That's my motivation to find a new place for us to live!" (if you didn't know, we are currently living in a basement apartment at a friends parents house and had been talking about how we would like to move). 

Because I am who I am ;) and we both knew that we didn't want to stay in the basement for long and we told our landlords that it would only be a temporary living situation, I asked James if we could seriously consider moving. We spent some time praying about it and James gave me the okay to start looking for places. We figured out how much we could afford a month and I began my search. It was slim-pickens for what we could afford in a good area, but I kept looking and came across one that I liked. I found the ad on Craigslist and was kinda hesitant...only because Craigslist can be sketch at times. A day later, I got a response that the townhouse was still available and that if we wanted to look at it, we could. James and I took an afternoon off for lunch on October 4th, saw the townhouse, and knew it was home. The landlord was really nice and the place was the perfect size for us! Right before we left, we were handed the application and told to think about it and if we wanted to apply, to email the application in. As soon as we got back to the car, I asked James if we could apply. He said yes! The next morning, I sent our application off and prayed that we would get it. Sunday morning (the 7th) came around... I woke up to an email that said the landlord picked US out of 4 applicants!! I woke James up with much laughing and screaming and jumping! In just a matter of days, we got a perfect little townhouse to rent, a place we can call home (for a while at least)! And the best part about it is, the landlord allows pets...so we get our little golden puppy (another blog will come soon with more pictures)!

Meet Miss Molly
Our new little home

It's evident that the Lord wants us here. He's opened door after door, with so much ease. He's answered our prayers, He changed my heart about moving, and we've had such a peace through all the changes. I told James that life has been so painfully hard the past few years that I've forgotten what it's like to truly be joyful deep down and see good things happen in life...good things that we've prayed for! 

James is happy and busy at his new job, we have great community, we're moving into our new little home at the beginning of November, and we're adding to the Carton family! 

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus and watch Him lead!



Saturday was my wonderful husbands 27th birthday! He told me weeks ago that all he wanted was a day to spend with me! Usually for his birthday I try to plan some surprise, like last year... We celebrated birthday week which was a blast! I took him to see his favorite comedian, Jeff Dunham, he got presents all week long, and it all ended with a birthday dinner party with all his close friends! This year, I did nothing :) He wanted a day just me and him...that's what he was gonna get! Of course I had to spoil him with presents, so I bought him new clothes, which he needed and wanted (and he liked everything I picked, woohoo)!

We went to dinner at one of our favorite places, Cheddar's, and then went to see Taken 2!

This was the first birthday we celebrated as husband and wife. We've celebrated a lot of birthdays together, 6 to be exact, but this year was so much more special! I love my husband and am so so thankful for the leader he his. He challenges me to be a better person and isn't afraid to point out where I need growth. We're not afraid to talk about the hard things in life and be real with each other. He's vulnerable with me, and I'm vulnerable with him, and you know...It's a beautiful thing. 

27 is going to be a great year for you my love! The Lord is going to do so many great things in your life. He's going to continue to grow you into the leader you desire to be, the husband you desire to me, and the friend you desire to be. I am blessed beyond words to know you, love you, be married to you, and do this thing called life alongside you! You're amazing :) I love you more times infinity!


Autumn Colors

A couple weeks ago, husband and I drove out to Cripple Creek to see the changing of the Aspens. It's absolutely my favorite thing to do this time of year. The drive was gorgeous and we had such great conversations about life and how we want to make the drive a family tradition once we start having babies!

A hidden path we found

Autumn Leaves

Beautiful Aspens
Colorado My Home Sweet Home
Husband is a great photographer
Colorado truly is a beautiful state and we are both so thankful we can call it our home! Soon...it'll be a Winter Wonderland!