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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I will praise You always

I feel like God really doesn't get enough credit in this world. In fact, I know He doesn't. When things go wrong, people are quick to blame, question, and doubt. But boy when things go right, the me-god is praised and the Big Man gets some credit.
 
Even in the roughest waters and darkest valleys, God deserves all the glory and praise. I strive to see the silver lining in everything, simply because of the Hope I have.
 
 
+ We finally received some answers and an action plan for my MIL's cancer. Starting this summer, she will undergo treatments that (we hope) will knock this type of cancer out for good. Even though the end results aren't guaranteed, we're praising God for this new option.
 
+ Opportunities to further yourself in your career and education are blessings. Not everybody has the luxury to attend college right out of high school and obtain their dream degree. Heck, college isn't for everybody. But when you work hard in your career, while taking classes when you can, the pay off is so much deeper {speaking from personal experience}. So thankful for Hunter's company and their desires to invest in him and help him grow career-wise and educationally.
 
+ This life is nothing more than a vapor in the grand scheme of things. We insist on celebrating life and all that it entails. So grateful to have celebrated another year of my dad's life yesterday.
 
 
+ Although we have no idea where God wants us, what He has planned for us, we're resting in His peace and sovereignty. Just the fact that we're resting is something to be grateful for. In the midst of resting in the here and now, our spiritual walks have grown immensely. Our hunger for His word has returned with a vengeance, and we've remembered the beauty in seeking Him rather than seeking the approval of others. We do have to say though - thank you, thank you, thank you to brothers and sisters in Christ who have held us accountable, who have encouraged our spiritual walks, and have prayed for us. Please know that we cannot begin to express the love and gratitude we have for your life and friendship {you know who you are}.
 
Happy Wednesday friends! No matter the circumstances you are facing, know that you are loved by Him. And you are so desperately being prayed for by us.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

To-Do's

Happiest of days today! After celebrating the beauty of Easter yesterday with our families, I can't help but to feel refreshed and renewed. And so dang grateful to see some sunlight. It literally rained non-stop from Friday thru yesterday evening. All that rain sure does make the grass and flowers pretty {and the pollen all gone - praise Jesus}.
 
With the change in weather, I've been bitten by the "project bug". Yep, I literally have a list a mile long of things that I want to accomplish this spring and summer. And lucky for Hunter, all projects pertain to the house... Yayyyy! {I know he's rolling his eyes}
 
 
Just to give ya'll an idea of what I've got planned (and to give myself another checklist), here are some of the items on the list of to-do's:
 
+ Backsplash in our kitchen - we really do use the heck out of our kitchen and it can get pretty messy sometimes. Plus, hellur pretty walls right?
 
+ Repaint the door frames and front door - just typical wear and tear on those bad boys requires a fresh coat of paint. It also doesn't help that our dogs have decided the back door is a fun chew toy....

+ New blinds for our back door. Again, dogs are the culprit.
 
+ GARDEN - I'm most excited for this one! I'll plant a couple different types of flowers but my main goal is to plant a couple different easy to grow vegetables. If I can manage to keep them alive, then I'll add more to the garden next year. Start small, less heartache in the end and less money out of the pocket.

+ Creating our back patio area into an oasis. A small oasis, but an oasis nonetheless.
 
+ Paint the guest bedroom - I'm going to regret this one.
 
+ Remove satellite dishes - so when we had satellite for tv, they decided to place the dish in the most inconvenient and eye-sorest spot possible. Fun fact if you're looking at switching to satellite: They don't remove what they placed there if you cancel it. Thanks, DirectTV. Since we've done away with cable in general, those bad boys are getting ripped out. 

+ Remove a towel rack in our guest bathroom {replace it with a cuter and more efficient one}, paint a small wall {accent wall} in our guest bathroom.

+ Lay down wood flooring - this is the biggie. We have tile throughout our entire house, with the exception to the bedrooms. Those are carpeted and with dogs, it's just gross. I'm already not a fan of carpet anyways {allergy freak} so dark wood floors are going to be put down. And I will swoon, swoon, swoon.
 
I've got a few other little things on the list but these items will do for now. Wish us luck! More importantly, pray for the hubs to survive. Ha! I'm sure I'll share in the adventures because maybe, if we're lucky, we'll become famous like Chip and Joanna Gaines. I can dream. Also, anybody want to donate to our fixer-upper adventures?! {Totally kidding, maybe.}

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New Adventures

I mentioned on Monday about some peace we've had with a decision that was made, and of course, had to leave ya'll hanging. I'm not a fan of cliff hangers so I thought to myself, "Self, you can't leave these people hanging. You wouldn't like it either."
 
Self is pretty wise.
 
No, we're not moving. Nor are we having babies through pregnancy or adoption (yet). Nobody got a new job. And yes, we're still married.
 
It's actually quite the exciting news we have, a bit unnerving because of the unknown, but nevertheless we're resting in God's guiding hands on this one. Let me back up a little bit...
 
A couple of months ago, we received a letter from the County Commissioners' Office notifying us that a wonderful condominium complex was in the works of receiving approval and being built right next to our neighborhood. We thought, "Great! Our property value will rise and will only help this house sell one day." We were invited to join in on the meeting where they vote on the building plans, but like almost all of our neighbors, none of us went because we were under the impression that this could only be good.
 
Our wise HOA manager decided to go and sit in on the meeting as our representative. So glad he did because when he returned, we discovered that the condominium complex being built is part of the re-entry program we have here for homeless and transients (people coming out of prison).
 
Here's where the hypocritical, ugly, snobby Christian came out (I'm still ashamed of myself). Our immediate response: UGH GOD NO!! WE CAN'T LIVE NEXT TO THOSE PEOPLE. WE'VE GOTTA MOVE. CALL THE REALTOR! CALL FRIENDS! WE'VE GOTTA GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!!
 
So Christian, right? And then we were served a nice dose of humble pie (it didn't taste good, if you're wondering). We realized that it's so easy for us to GO into other communities to love and serve on others; it's so easy for us to GO to another country to share the Gospel there. But when God BROUGHT the need to our backdoor (almost literally), it wasn't part of our plan. The reason it's so easy to go and seek others is because, at the end of the day, you can leave it. You can come home to your nice things, your comfortable routine, all the pretty prettiness. Am I right?
 
 
I know we appear clinically insane to some folks, but we're actually really excited about this {now}. God is bringing an opportunity to love on others, to support them in their efforts to get back on their feet. They are already facing so much condemnation and judgment from society - we do not have the authority to make those judgments. Judge your brother/sister, you will be judged by the Creator (Romans 14:10). And good news for us, we have a couple of friends who are part of the re-entry program and they are helping us to take the necessary steps to educate ourselves on what to expect, not to expect, etc.
 
So friends, we ask for prayer. Prayers that as more develops, we will remain at peace with our decision. Pray that God will use this opportunity to really bring people to know Him. And honestly, just pray that people don't get mean and nasty about the whole situation. We were there in the beginning, and it's not very nice.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Celebrations, oh my!

This past weekend was full of firsts, celebrations, and victories in many ways...
 
+ We celebrated this little cutie's birthday on Saturday with a "Pow-Wow" theme and it was precious. His mother is officially hired to do all of our kids' birthday parties. Happy birthday, Abel! Mr. Hunter and Mrs. Kelly love you so very much!
 

 
+ A high school friend of Hunter's got married this past weekend and it was so wonderful and beautiful. He also really enjoyed seeing some old faces and being able to catch up. Fun fact, Hunter's high school graduation class was whopping total of 20 people - 10 boys, 10 girls. Compare that to my 500+ graduating class... Ha!
 
 
 
 
+ Now that spring has sprung, house projects are underway! We have a tree that overhangs our fence in the backyard and, of course, drops tons of leaves. With the accumulation of leaves and wet ground, we were having quite the mosquito problem. We decided to tackle that this weekend and ya'll, I'm pretty sure we have been breeding the Zika virus in our backyard. It was awful! But our backyard is looking better already!
 
+ I have to say, Hunter and I have really come to have a lot of peace in our hearts about some decisions we were needing to make and with other personal things in our lives. I will share soon one of those decisions (no, it's not a baby) because honestly, we need prayer. And we're excited + nervous. How's that for a cliff-hanger?
 
Happy Monday folks! It's a coolish day here in north Florida but the sun is shining, birds are tweeting, and pollen is thick as all heck. But the good Lord woke us up this morning so let's embrace it all.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Faith and Expectations

Over the last few weeks, there seems to be a recurring theme in my life:
 
Discipleship.
 
I've had the utmost privilege to join in on a small group with just 3 other women coming from all different backgrounds and walks of life. We try to meet weekly to not only do life together, but also to dive so deeply into scripture. As you may have already guessed, the theme of our studies is discipleship.
 
 
How ironic is it that God has placed this theme in my life? His timing really is impeccable.

I've learned that in order to be a disciple, I need to be willing to BE discipled. That's been a bit of a learning curve for me because I've always expected somebody else to fill my spiritual well with the biblical stories, juicy tales, and holier-than-thou experiences. God really put me in my place and pretty much slammed me with an epiphany...

I've been putting my expectations and faith into the wrong dang thing! I have been putting my faith and expectations into brothers, sisters in Christ to fulfill my spiritual well. And of course, they can't, so I'm let down and left feeling entirely drained and bitter.

What a concept, right? And there was nothing that really triggered that thought process. No deep, theological sermon; no article centered around the good Lord; and certainly no brother or sister telling me otherwise. It was simply one of those moments when God caught my wandering attention and convicted me.

And wouldn't you believe that my hunger, thirst, yearnings for His word and His truth have come back almost two-fold? It's as if I can't get enough of what I read daily. I need to know more, want to know more, can't stop won't stop. HA!

Where are at in your spiritual walk? Is there something I can be praying about for you? Dearest brother and sister, know that you are not alone in your walk with God. Know that in this life, sanctification is a lifelong process that's painful, wonderful, ugly, and beautiful all at the same time. But let's put our faith and expectations into the One that can easily handle it, rather than the finite beings around us. Sound good?

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Sine Die #wedidntdie

My goodness, it has felt like eons since I've written in this here space. Last week, was the final leg of the race in the Florida Legislature sessions. Whooo it was a doozy, but really so much fun! Just to kind of catch everybody up, I guess...
 
+ Hermit life is what it was all about last week. Shoot, I didn't even do any of bible studies. Sorry 'bout that. Ha!
 
We were all smiles Friday
 
+ We celebrated my MIL's birthday with her friends Saturday night and we'll be celebrating her actual birthday (today) with dinner tonight. Happy birthday Allison!
 
+ Hunter and the pups survived without me. We did try to include some late, late night dates to the FroYo shop not too far from our house. Healthy and yummy? Sign me up!
 
+ Speaking of healthy - of course with last week being non-stop, I didn't get to grace the gym as much (read: not at all) but that all changes today. We've been kicking butt in the healthier eating lifestyle. Go team Welborn!
 
+ Uhm, is anybody else weirded out by the fact that it's still pitch black when you wake up at 6AM to get ready for work? I woke up at 7AM yesterday morning and was so confused about the whole thing.
 
+ ALL THE WARM WEATHER!! That is all...
 
 
Happy Monday folks! Enjoy the day, embrace the moments.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

{Revelation}

Image MapSo I've briefly talked about my current struggle/wrestle/adventure with my spiritual walk. As I'm navigating through this really interesting time, I'm learning quite a bit about myself through a lot of self-reflection and conviction.
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Image MapDo I like it? No, but they don't call it "growing pains" for nothing.
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Image MapI believe every Christ-follower has a duty to be transparent because duh, #we'realljackedup, so I feel I should share with you my latest discovery. Are ya'll ready? It's not pretty...
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Image MapI feel like I don't belong in church (as in a place of worship, not necessarily talking about a body of believers).
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Image MapThat is currently something God and I are wrestling with and it's taking a lot of me not pointing the finger at others, but rather turning that accusing finger on myself. It hurts, I don't like how it makes me feel, and what's worse? I'm really struggling with it.

I saw this the other day - and oh how I wish I could feel that.
 
I struggle with the ritualistic, mundane, the-same-every-week routines that a church puts forth.
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Image MapGod says, "You're there to worship Me, not for Me to entertain you."
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Image MapI struggle with the prettiness and sitting in a building when I know there are people outside those walls needing Jesus now more than ever.
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Image MapGod says, "You need this time with brothers and sisters in Christ to ready yourself for those outside these walls."
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Image MapI struggle with the hypocrites and back-stabbers and liars and the too-good-to-deal-with-people-different-from-me folks.
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Image MapGod says, "First, you're not here for them. Let Me take care of them. Love the hard to love, sweet Kelly. Secondly, you're no different from them. You have done all of those things yet I still love you so much and I see you as a saint that sometimes sins."
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Image MapCan I get an amen real quick? And a Band-Aid for my boo-boos?
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Image MapSo friends, pray for me. Not so much for my heart to soften because I know that will come with time, and I can already see that God is softening my heart. But pray that I don't allow myself to be content with the fact that I don't like church. All that does is build up bitterness and resentment, and that's just plain ugly.

I will say this - I've been getting a pretty regular feeding of humble pie thanks to sweet friends and family who have been lovingly inviting Hunter and I into their small groups, to worship with them (however that may look), and who have been continually praying for us. Know that your prayers are being answered and are so deeply appreciated. All we ever want is to bring glory to God in everything we do!
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Image MapDo you have any prayers requests? How can I be praying for you?

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