Chapter 3 | Learning and Relearning

3.01.2016
I know we say this all the time. But goodness time is flying by. 
I am not even sure what happened to February. Let alone what happened in February. 

It all seems like a blur. But I know a lot of good came from this past month. 

In the end of Jan I took a bold step in obeying God and joined a group at crossroads for young adults. 
And to be honest it wasn't something I was excited about. But through that group already I have met some great people and I am excited as I continue to step in trust what God is going to do with me. 

Feb also gave me a week of sunshine and rest. I got to take baby G to Florida for 5 days of sunshine to visit her grandma. But in turn it was nice to just relax a bit. Not think about life.

I think as I reflect back on February one of the biggest lessons
God is teaching me, that just because I learned it once doesn't me I have it figured out.
 I have to continue to learn and relearn the same thing over and over when life kind of shifts.

February was also the month that a guy entered the picture.
And to preface this is all still very NEW. Nothing serious. But I want my story to be told.
 And I don't know how this is going to play out. But its part of my story. So I am going to tell it.

In the midst of me REALLY giving my dating life over to God this guy entered into the picture.
And to be honest I was such in a GOOD place with God, that I didn't even know if I was ready to embark on dating again. But I said yes. And the story so far has been fun and exciting.

But at the same time there is hardship. Because when we live a life that is following God there are sometimes just hard steps. In our world it's so easy to compare our story with others.
Because my story is playing out different then I thought or it's looking different then others.

But God is showing me that he just wants me to be thankful for what he has given me.

This is the thing, I have been crying out for, this thing that I wanted so badly. And yet I am sitting just crying about the next thing. And I know this comes from the world we live in. Not being content in what we have. BUT what if we changed that. And be THANKFUL for this part of the story. Enjoy the moment we are in. Because as I sit in looking for the next thing, and comparing my story to someone else I am not seeing that God answered a prayer. Even if its looking different than I thought, playing out different then I thought. HE HEARD me and answered me.

So then it hit me. Isn't that how the Enemy works. To turn the beauty into something we can't see.
To not see the blessing, but only the things we don't have....

So I am learning to look harder for the blessings and the beauty God gave us.
Instead of the hardships and the things I don't have.
Learning and relearning this over and over.

that NOW moment

2.19.2016


I finally feel like I got into a grove of what it looks like to trust God with dating life. 

My Best friend Abby said the other day after I was playing it super cool about a guy, not worrying or stressing about the what ifs, she said "who is this girl, this use to be the crazy about guys girl." And it hit me. A lot has changed. And it hasn't even been that long of a time. But it's really nice.

Its that feeling like when you go on vacation, that you kind of give up control on schedules and life, and you just enjoy the time that you are in. You don't get caught up in the what to I need to do now, what do I have to do next. You just enjoy NOW.

And I am finally in that NOW moment. 
The peace I feel in knowing I don't have control nor do I want it is amazing.
And I don't have to worry about the what ifs or whats going to happen next because I KNOW that God has control of it all. And I just take one step at a time and say okay this is feeling like the right thing, and really the only thing I need to do is check in with God and say okay I feel like this is okay if its not the path I am suppose to go down give me a sign, or just end it now. 

I don't know whats going to happen at this moment with this guy. 
But I do know that letting God have control of this is painting a very different picture of what my dating life looks like. And for the first time ever I am really enjoying the slow process of this.

Its been a slow ride. But as I look back, if it wasn't so slow. I wouldn't have been ready.
I wouldn't be in this place I am now. This place God has brought me to.

Trusting & Joy.

2.15.2016
"oh the joys of those who TRUST the lord" Psalms 40:4 

This year the word I picked for myself is TRUST. 
And as I read my devotional today, and that verse was used, it really spelled out
 what trusting God looks like, even more then I thought I understood. 

And it made me realize all the benefits God blesses us with, when we just trust him. 

I realized God WANTS to bring us JOY, but he can't do that until we make the choice to trust in his plans he has for us. And sometimes I know just trusting him can be so scary!
Especially if you don't feel super close to him in that moment. 

When this whole journey started in Dec 2015 for me, when God was really banging on the doors for me, saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. You can't keep up with this and still claim to trust me, because you aren't. And the moment that I felt that, it was hard, because I really did feel like part of me trusted God, but in the steps I made I wasn't. And it was even hard to KNOW that, that voice was from God, because I wasn't in a true place of relationship with him at the time.
To be quite honest I had pushed God pretty far away, and decided I was going to do things my way. 
I was very much in a state of rebel. Like God if you aren't going to make it happen then I am going to go out and do what I want with who I want and I am just going to have FUN. 
And I made some REALLY bad choices in a very short amount of time. 
And I craved things of this world more then I craved God.

And I know it talks about somewhere in the bible, when you keep doing something over and over again that's not of God plan that he kind of just gives you over to the world. 

And for me that's such a scary thing. 
But that is where I was at. 

God was saying you can do your thing Sara, but you can't keep crying to me that 
you are hurting and alone when you know I don't approve of this, 
OR you can change your ways and get back on my path and we can figure this out together. 

At the time I wasn't going to God asking him for advice, calling to him in times of need. 
I was doing what I wanted how I saw fit and pushed God so far away. 

2015 was a rough year. And I didn't handle things well. 

But there is so much in this story of trust he is teaching me slowly.
And I am excited as this year goes on, and I walk in a place of TRUST and see what God is going to
 bless me with. I mean I already have seen some fruit of moments that I have been trusting in him.
And I think some of those things are going to turn into something pretty great, that I can't wait to share. Because one thing I know, GOD is a GOOD GOD. And he wants to bless us. 

Chapter 2 | Gods Grace

2.02.2016


I saw a quote yesterday that said "Feb 1st Chapter 2 of 12" And I really liked thinking about the year in chapters. Because man things move fast, weeks and months start to blend together and all of a sudden its the end of the year and I can't remember what happened in Jan.

We also live in a world so consumed by the NEXT thing. That we forget to look at the now. 
Or even how far we came from the past. To look back and see what we have become. 

As I look back at the last month and the shift God has moved in my life
 I can't help but smile and give THANKS. 

Has it been HARD? Sure has.
Have I shed a LOT of tears? Sure have.

But in EVERYONE of those moments God has been present 
and he has shown me such LOVE and GRACE.

Have I messed up? Sure did.

But through each of those mess ups God has taught me something and I didn't give up.

And I kind of just want to scream GOD IS A GOOD GOD.

As God is teaching me about HIS love for me, and letting HIM pursue me, its been my battle.
The thing the enemy uses to fight with. And this has been my greatest mess ups.
Letting BOYS control how I feel vs. Letting God control how I feel. 

And part of that is learning to find other things to fill me up and give me joy, other than men boys.

I spent years with men boys being my source of joy and happiness. 
Or I thought that was the thing that was going fill me up. It's like when a boy would flirt with me or want to take me out for the night those things would fill my cup, but the minute it was over
 and they didn't even try to pursue me, my cup was empty again.

  Because it was this fake version of joy, happiness and feelings of love. But this is how I spent YEARS thinking happiness was. And God is trying to show me so badly what TRUE happiness and joy is. What it's gonna look like when a MAN comes along and really peruse me.
What it looks like for HIS love to be enough for me.

And so many times I fall for/accept these fake substitute.
And then by fault I'm not agreeing with Gods plan, with his love.

BUT Gods grace is so amazing. And I feel so lucky for that. God has been shwoing me a lot of what his TRUE grace looks like. And I am excited as he keeps giving me words, visions and signs of that.
And he continually takes my hand and teaches me more.

I am excited as I enter into chapter 2 to see what he does. 

Weeding the garden

1.12.2016
After having some waves of emotions this weekend God gave me this thought....



I think there's a lot of moments the enemy plants these seeds. And sometimes it's hard to realize
 those seeds were planted. And the actions I take, than water the seed and this big weed grows.
 And all of a sudden the garden is over grown with weeds. And it's hard to see the beauty of the garden when there is all these weeds. And so you weed the garden and you can finally see all the beauty again. But you didn't search hard enough and there are still a few more weeds hiding.
 And you keep watering your flowers thinking the weeds are gone, but they are still there
 and are growing. And it's not till they are big again that you see them. So you have to weed again. But this time it's less because you did the big sweep before.

That's how I feel about my life right now. I did this big sweep of weeding the garden. And changing old habits and adding new ones.  But there are still a few weeds left. And they grow fast out of
 no where and I have to remember to take them out before they suck the life out of 
the beautiful flowers. And sometimes those weeds are hard to get out. 
And you think I will do that later the garden still looks pretty. 
But if you don't deal with it now tomorrow there will be 3. And the next day 6. 
And before you know it the garden will be full of weeds again.

Honestly the past few weeks while I have been WAY MORE happy then in the past, 
there are moments when the wave hits me and I deal with some sadness. But in those moments, it is where God has really spoken to me and I can hear him so clearly. It's like when a child gets frustrated and a parent picks them up gently and speaks to them about how sometimes it doesn't go our way. 
But we can learn through this.
 
I still have a lot of weeds that are rooted in me that I am trying to get rid of. 
And that takes time. When I thought they were gone, that I had pulled them out
 I realize that the roots of the weed was still there and I have to work harder to get those out.

This weekend there were so many times the enemy planted these thoughts in my mind about guys
I have dated. Like "oh you remember how fun that moment was, or remember how GOOD he made you feel." And it's all these lies. All these men brought me to tears. None Pursued me. None treated me right. All of them used me. And if we are being honest I used them sometimes too. 
All of it was so unhealthy. But I believed the enemies words too many times in the past.
 I believed that was how it was gonna be. I believed that is how I was suppose to be treated.
There's still moments my mind is like you NEED someone to flirt with. You NEED someone 
to talk to you. And these are moments I have to retrain my brain and say nope I don't NEED that.

Because I know what I NEED is GOD

God was always chasing me. Persuading me. And yet I kept looking the other way. 
Looking for something in this world when God just wanted me to look at him, so he could pursue me.

There are a lot of things that have changed in a short time. Habits I am changing, instead of running to find a guy when sadness washes over me, or the feeling of being lonely. I am running to God. Letting him speak words of truth into me. Learning what his love feels like. 
It's not always easy. Nobody said chasing after Gods plan was easy. 
Most of the time its HARD, BUT those moments when I can clearly hear him and
 I feel his presence, those are the moments I know why I am chasing after this life.
 Those are the moments that I know that this is WORTH it. 

More and more I long for moments alone. Moments I turn on worship music 
 and listen for Gods truth. Guys I LONG for these moments. I want these moments, I crave them.
And that's a BIG change. And I am thankful God has pursued me and is giving me life again. 

Music has been a awesome way God has spoken to me.
While listening to these prayers he has spoken so many words of truth to me.
And this song this weekend was so powerful to me that I needed to share. 

"Come Alive (Dry Bones)-LAUREN DAIGLE"
"Through the eyes of men it seems
There's so much we have lost
As we look down the road
Where all the prodigals have walked
One by one
The enemy has whispered lies
And led them off as slaves

But we know that you are God
Yours is the victory
We know there is more to come
That we may not yet see
So with the faith you've given us
We'll step into the valley unafraid, yeah

As we call out to dry bones
Come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts
Come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes
Let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive

God of endless mercy
God of unrelenting love
Rescue every daughter
Bring us back the wayward son
And By your spirit breathe upon them
Show the world that you alone can save
You alone can save
   
So breathe, oh breath of God
Now breathe, oh breath of God "

I feel like I can finally breathe again. God really has given me new breath and given me a new life.
I am so grateful for that. 

xoxo -Sara

Learning About Love

1.06.2016


I have been learning a lot of truth about Gods love for me this week. Not just learning it, because I have been raised in church all my life and always knew God loved me no matter what,
but there are a lot of times I don't really UNDERSTAND it or truly feel it.

And as I write this I kind of laughed thinking for years I dreamed about THIS KIND OF LOVE, thinking it would be from a man. For goodness shakes I tattooed LOVE on my wrist.
My thoughts were consumed of LOVE. And I know that a love from a man
will come one day and I will have a beautiful story to write.
But right now the LOVE I am understanding and long for
from God is a pretty great feeling and story I am writing.

There is this song I have been listening to the last few days and it says
"Stir in me a love that’s deep
A love that’s wide
A love that’s sweet
And help me Lord to never keep it to myself
And if my heart should dimly burn
And if my feet should fail to run
Call my name and I will come right back to You

There’s no fear in love
I want to stay close to You
It’s really that simple"


The shift that has happened is kind of crazy to think about. The song is so true for me, more than anything right now I just want to be close to God. Hear more from him about his Love.
 
I had a moment the other day while I was getting ready,
I looked in the mirror and laughed because I realized how happy I was.

Truly understanding and trusting God has brought this happiness to my life.

I thought giving up my control of dating and letting go of the long line of men I had to talk to was going to be awful. I remember a moment before I let it all go, I was so unhappy even with all these men I had and my two room mates/best friends said "honestly Sara you are better off without all these men." And I got upset and was like no way, I get lonely and I HAVE these guys to talk, to at least distract me from that feeling. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if I had NO men to talk to. Honestly even writing this sounds so silly. Because it wasn't making me happy.
 It wasn't bringing me joy. But I kept thinking maybe this time will be different.
While I was totally disobeying God.

I spent years of having men in my life consuming my time when I was bored and lonely.
And I let them distract me from what God wanted from my life. What he is showing me now.

And then I stripped it all away. And I realized the joy and happiness
I could experience because all these distractions weren't in my way.

And I can finally understand and trust in Gods love for me.
It's not always perfect, I still have moments I long for something else.
 BUT I can now push that away quicker and realize that's not Gods plan.
And chasing after Gods plan and his LOVE is sooooo much better than chasing after men.

So I am going to keep pushing on. Learning from Gods love. Leaning into that truth.

xoxo -Sara

A Honest Letter as we enter 2016

1.03.2016
 
This year I feel like has started out a lot different than other years,
 mainly because I think I made some big bold steps before walking into this year...

Life is kind of funny. I spent most of 2015 dating. A lot. Wanna know something honest?!?
 I went on 16 first "dates" in 2015. And talked to wayyyyyy more men than that. And towards the end of the year I hit a brick wall. Things spiraled out of control more than I want to admit. And I had to say enough was enough. Actually God said ENOUGH! I knew for a long time that I was suppose to give up control of my dating life to God and I didn't. I was never patient enough, 
I didn't trust that he knew what he was doing and honestly I wanted to just have fun.

Because if we are being honest here following Gods plan isn't always fun. Nor easy. 
And I thought doing things MY way would be better, easier and just fun.

I was WAY wrong.

I honestly have no idea what 2016 is going to look like. But I do know that I am giving God control over my dating life and trusting in him that things will happen the way it's suppose to.

This is a really hard thing for me to announce to the world because in the past I have tried and failed. But I really do believe this time is different. And I know the path won't always be easy and there will be bumps in the road. But I know that because God has control of this, that this isn't impossible. 

I know that sometimes I will have to take this day by day, 
and that God is good for this, he's going to give me the tools I need to get through this.
He is going to give me the strength when I feel like I don't have anymore.

Also in the last couple of weeks of handing this over to God I have had a clear vision of what God wants for me, I have heard more from him in the last weeks than probably all year, and the peace that I have at some moments, while giving this to is undeniable
The moments he has showed me, through other people of what his plans are, 
ARE REALLY EXCITING GUYS!

I have ENJOYED time ALONE. 
Like this is unheard of. This is coming from the girl that spent HOURS
 dating and HOURS upon hours talking to men all day. 
Filling my days with shopping or things so I wouldn't feel alone. 
Just so I wouldn't have to sit in this unhappy place of being lonely. 

I don't really have a list of resolutions for this year.  Other than Trust God in all this.

 I want this blog to be a place I tell my story and the other great things
 God has in store for me this year. So I am vowing to write more on this blog, about my story. 
I have a feeling its going to be a pretty good one. 

I can't promise it's always going to be pretty. And I want this to be a honest story of Gods path, 
the good, the bad, sometimes ugly, BUT also the goodness of what it looks like when we trust him.

This is a NEW year. And mostly I am really excited to see where he takes me this year. 

I hope you will follow along and keep me in your prayers. Because I am gonna need some of that!

xoxo-Sara 


PS. Thanks to my dear friend Katie @ www.laurakatie.com for snapping the photo of me!

Worthy of more than this.

12.20.2015
It's no secret if you know me that I date a lot. I have had fun with dating.
 

But it got to a point that I realized that all these men I dated this year was where I was getting my worth from. I let them determine my worth. And that's not something I am proud of. 
And when time after time these boys didn't care about me. Didn't value me. Didn't persue me. 
 It crushed me more and more. More then it should have.
 Because I let all my worth come from if they liked me or not. 
And when they didn't, each time it got harder and crushed me more.

But I took a step back and realized this is not how I want to live my life. This isn't how
 God wants me to live my life. So I made some bold steps and was really honest with
 some friends and said enough is enough. I can't live this life anymore.

And so I'm making some bold steps to say I am worthy of so much more. 
 God has amazing plans for me I know that and I know it's not always easy to follow Gods
 plan but I want that for my life more than I want my own desires to control my life.

So I'm deciding to make some bold steps as 2015 ends and we move into a new year. 
I am ready to dig deep in some hard stuff God is showing me about me.
I know this isn't going to be easy.
 So if you are the praying type I would love all the prayer I could get. 

Thanks!

xoxo-Sara

This Seaon Of Time

9.15.2015


In this season of time when I have a baby in my life again. It makes me long for that a lot more. 
Yes I want to meet a man. And fall in love. Get married. 
But what I am realizing is my heart really wants this life. To be a mom. 
It's all I have ever really wanted in my life. 
Everything else just seemed eh compared to how I felt about being a mom. 
And I am so grateful for where my life has taken me. But I can't help but wish for this. 
For my life. And it's hard playing this role to Gracie sometimes when I so badly want it.
 

Let me start out by saying yes I know I'm young. 
Yes I know everyone says when you stop looking it will happen. 
Yes I know all you married people think my single life is better. 
Yes I know God has a plan.
 

But with all that I am still allowed to have this desire. And I am happily living my life.
 But this desire is still there. Even underneath all this epic journey I have been on this summer.
 

As life started to get back to normal this fire inside me started to get hotter. And what use to be this fire more so to have a husband has really shifted to this fire of how much I want to be a mom. 
And maybe it's this new time with a sweet baby and the fact my birthday
 is coming up and I'm gonna be another year older.
 

And while I still feel very young. And am very young. I want to have a baby. Be a mom. 
And I know women have them well into there 30s and I still have time.
 

But as I went on a date with a guy that is only in Cincinnati for a year I thought about gosh I could have so much fun for a year. But a year would be wasted. And would I look back in a year and see how much time was wasted or could I just enjoy the time if things went well.
 

And to be honest I would be bummed in a year of I was still very single. And I don't know how to live in this place of having fun but also going after what I want. Because I don't just want a fun year.
 I want a fun year that ends in something long term.
 

And yet I am still proud of myself because I know the feelings that I have are very different then they were in my early 20s. My thoughts now are more logical and less dramatic. 
Yes I am a girl so I still have plenty of dramatic thoughts.
 

But now it's more just thinking about what I really want.
 

And like I said. I have a very happy life. It's not always the most exciting if I'm being honest. 
Minus this summer abroad. But I am happy with my simple life. 
But that doesn't mean I don't want more. And I know I am allowed more. 
Because God didn't give me these desires to make me frustrated I know that.
 

So I sit and try to process out these desires and feelings and thoughts without them getting me bummed out, but how I can live this life and have this desire.

A week in Italy. Cinque Terre+Forte dei mari

8.15.2015
We have taken lots of little trips in the last 8 weeks I have been here. 
But the plan was always to take one big trip. 
And we all decided on Cinque Terre and then Antje planned for us to stay
 two night to relax at a more beach area called Forte dei mari.
Before even coming Randall had told me about Cinque Terre 
and after seeing pictures I was REALLY excited to go. 
And with out a doubt it was the best views I have seen. 
But the few days there were not what any of us planned it going. 
Lexi slid 30ft down a cliff, luckily only leaving with a few scratches. 
Kenzie got stung by a jelly fish while we swam from our boat to the shore. 
Which was also eventful, as it wasn't the easiest swim and
 Randall was worried me and Antje were going to drown on the way back. 
But still with all the drama. We are all able to laugh about it all.
And we made a lot of great memories together. 
And after LOTS of walking in Cinque Terre it was nice to get 
a couple of nice days to relax on the beach and by the pool for two days in Forte dei mari. 
I am sad that this is the last trip with these people. 
While traveling with kids is never easy I am glad I have gotten to travel with these girls! 


These girls have changed my life. And while I am sad to say goodbye to them in a few days 
I am SO VERY grateful for the chance of a lifetime going on this fun adventure with them!
 
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