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yes&amen.

Friday, November 2, 2018

yes&amen.





I wanted to write a blog post about something that was near and dear to my heart, but I didn't know what that was just yet. I happened to look down at my hand where my ring that said "yes & amen" was. I started to think about why I had gotten that ring and what it truly meant, and thought that that was a perfect topic.

The ring is based off of the verse:
"For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory." 
2 Corinthians 1:20

One of my favorite songs to worship to is Yes and Amen by Housefires. If you've never listened to it, once you're done reading this, go give it a listen. All you'll want to do is hit replay over and over again, I promise. My favorite part in the song are the lyrics: "I will rest in Your promises, my confidence is Your faithfulness". I think it's one of my favorite worship songs because if you really take apart the words, you really get to know who God is, and what His promises are. And where and what you're really able to rest in. 

If you've read my other posts, or know me personally, you know that this year hasn't been easy and there's been a lot of medical issues going on personally. Well during the hard times, it's hard to remember all of these promises and how good God really is in the midst of the trials, as much as I want to turn my eyes to that, it's really hard sometimes. When I thought about this post, I was thinking of what God's promises are and what they aren't. What He's saying "Yes" to and what He hasn't promised at all.

So my mind is usually filled with lots of overthinking and fear and doubt. You know, the things that should be far away from my head. One of the thoughts that comes in when I'm talking to God is "Hey God, can You please never allow me to have a seizure ever again? Can You please give the doctors all of the answers I need to get rid of all of these issues? Please". But that's one of the things that God doesn't promise at all. He has never said "I will fix all of what you think are issues and you will have the life you have always dreamed of." He has never said that. He wants to give us even better than that, we just can't picture that right in the midst of everything. But what He has said was "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Genesis 28:15). God promises that He is always there for you, and He promises to always be right by your side. He never leaves you, ever. And He never will, because of how much He loves you.

Another thing that He promises us is that He has a plan for us. See Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Nowhere in this does He say our specific plan, that's why it's called faith. To 100% lean on the Lord, with everything you have. He doesn't say "Maddie, this is when you'll have a seizure and this is what the doctor will say about this and about that." If that's the way that it went, I'm pretty positive that I'd be more stressed out and filled with more anxiety, because I'd know when something that I'm afraid of would be happening. So this just shows me that I need to constantly be thankful for everything that is going on in my life. Whether it's something that I would have asked for, or something I would never have wanted in my life. Be thankful always, because God always has a plan for your life and everything happens for a reason, even if you never find that reason out.

I wanted to share this because I know someone reading this needs to hear these words as much as I need to keep reminding myself of them. I also wanted you to know that I wrote this from a perspective of having gone through this, and still currently going through it. I haven't conquered it, and it takes time to do so. But just keep pushing and remind yourself of His constant promises and that He is always there for you, and so am I, so comment below if you need to talk.

I love you guys and I'm so thankful that you've decided to read my blog! Have a great day!
-MYJ

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

sista sistas.


sisters are just built in best friends, so having three of them makes life so fun.


this picture was the first one of all four of us together.
when I was three and a half, my first sister Claire was born. we grew up just the two of us for awhile and made a lot of memories and had a lot of fun times just us. then our parents decided that it was time for another sibling. but this time it was going to be different, my mom wasn't going to be pregnant, we were going to adopt. adoption is a huge part of my family, in many different ways. one, we adopted twice, we are involved with a foster kids camp called RFKC (Royal Family Kids Camp) which I absolutely love, and a large amount of our friends have adopted or foster. 

so when we decided we wanted to adopt, our close friends, that also live in our neighborhood (another God thing), were fostering a brother and sister and told us that their biological mother was pregnant again and that they couldn't take another kid right then. so my parents thought about it and didn't really have in mind of "starting all the way over" with a baby so they started to pray about it, and decided that it was what God wanted us to do. so February of 2013, Piper-Mae came into this world and made Claire a big sister for the first time, and me a big sister of two!

here's a picture of newborn Piper-Mae, ugh she was so precious. my favorite part about her was her nose and how little and round it was, and of course, getting to snuggle her all of the time.

fast forward five months and Piper and her two biological siblings were adopted together, such a God thing. the picture below is a picture of us three sisters on her adoption day.


after this special day, we just soaked in the sweetness of it being us three. a couple months went by and we found out that the biological mother was then again pregnant. because of Piper being so young, and us just getting her for forever, my parents decided that we weren't going to adopt right then. well so we thought. when April of 2014 came around, little Lucy-Belle was born. a couple days of her being in the hospital, the parents of the oldest two siblings went to go visit her and sent a picture of Lucy to my parents saying "mommy, daddy, come get me". my parents felt like that was God tugging at their hearts and telling them to go get her right then, so they did. and they brought her home to be ours for forever. 


this was little baby Lucy right after she got to her forever home.
eleven months after she was born, we FINALLY got to change her last name, and make her ours for forever! this was our family on her adoption day!


after this special day, we were finally able to enjoy being a family of six, all with the same last name. then soon again afterwards, we found out that the biological mother was pregnant again, and we knew for sure this time that we were not able to have another kid. so when we were trying to figure out a good family for this fifth baby to join, the oldest siblings family knew of a family that had been wanting to adopt. they mentioned it to them and they were totally on board to adopt a baby. come that August of 2015, baby Sadie was born and soon after that she was adopted by this family. and guess what?? they also live in our neighborhood, just one God thing after another. 

then after this, the bio mother had a baby boy, and a family from our church adopted him. go Jesus go!!! then after this she had a baby girl and she is currently in the process to be adopted. 

I wrote this post because I wanted to share how God moves, and how he has moved specifically in our family. I am so grateful for all of my sisters and that my youngest two sisters are able to have a forever relationship with their six siblings. 

here are some pictures of the siblings together




thank you for reading, enjoy your week!
-MYJ
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Monday, October 15, 2018

T-R-U-S-T


short and sweet.

the definition of trust is to "believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of".

the season of life that I'm in right now, I have been learning a lot about trusting and relying on the Lord, and that He has got it all covered. before I entered this season, I thought I knew how to trust in Him fully, I really did, but I was wrong. you don't know, what you don't know, until you're faced with whatever it is and needing to use it to get to the other side.

if I were to count, I'm pretty sure I would have a lot of people in this life that I trust, and that I can look at and just tell whatever to and trust them to help me with it. but why don't I do this with the One who created me and is always there for me?? I know that when it comes down to it and someone asks me "do you trust in God?" I would say "of course I do, He knows what He's doing" but when I'm actually in a situation where putting that to work, my words don't always follow through with my actions. which I don't like admitting, but it's true. 

so what I'm here to say is that trusting doesn't just happen over night, no matter who it's in. and it takes work, especially with the Lord and when something hard comes up unexpectedly. but start now, right now. that way whenever you're faced with something tough, you're able to handle it in the way you would with an easier situation.

oh, and don't forget when you are in a spot that you like and enjoy, to actually trust God and don't just assume that you already are. and thank the Lord for whatever point you're at, because He'll bring you through it, even when it feels completely impossible.  

-MYJ
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Sunday, October 7, 2018

clothes, clothes, and always more clothes


one of my favorite things in this life is clothes, but also to stand out and be different with and in them! sure I like other people's clothes, but I really like to get clothing pieces that not many other people own, just to get the opportunity to be unique and myself!

if you look like everyone else, how are you supposed to be noticed? God made you original and unique, so why not include that in the way you dress too?


FAVORITE THINGS TO WEAR:

so I love overalls, like adore them, I mean it's one outfit put together for you, so why not?? I of course wear athletic shorts and a t-shirt sometimes, but I really like going out in at least jean shorts and a cute casual shirt with it, like stripes or something :)! oh and I also really enjoy dresses, fancy or not, there's another outfit all in one! on to shoes...first off I love my Crocs (yes, that's plural), 99% of people don't like them, but I hope you still like me because I wear them almost everyday :)! I also love platforms, sandals or sneakers, and Birkenstocks of any kind, especially for their comfort! I don't wear a ton of jewelry, but I do like accessories! I love what are called "fall hats", but I wear them whenever ;)! my favorite things are bandanas, they are the best and you can basically wear them wherever you want, as a headband, around your ponytail, around your neck, your waist, on your purse strap, just to name a few... my other "usual's" are my three rings and my Shark Leash watch that I love!


WHERE I SHOP:

I am one for name brands, just because of what they make and for the quality, but like never ever for full price...because who has money for that?? not me! I will totally wear things that aren't name brand, for sure! I shop at thrift stores such as Goodwill and Uptown Cheapskate, I love way discounted clothes and reused clothes! but I also love Target, I mean who doesn't? I love the brands Anthropologie, Free People (definitely not free), Madewell, ROOLEE, and Clad & Cloth, again, just to name a few! but only do I ever buy from these stores if they have discounts, or if I find their brands at a discounted store! 

if you have an Uptown Cheapskate near you, and you have clothes you don't wear anymore, go sell them your stuff! they don't always take everything, but most of the time they'll take the majority of it and they either give you instore credit or cash! I always take instore credit and build mine up, that way when I find something there that I like, it's like I'm not even spending any of my own money (:

if you have questions about how to piece things together for an outfit, always look on Pinterest, it's a life saver! and if you want, just go for it, wear it, you probably look awesome in it!


I wanted to show some of my outfits that I put together for this post...so here they are!!



here's my favorite thing, overalls, these ones are from Gap, paired with a comfy striped shirt from Target, Birkenstocks, and a super cute purse from Anthropologie with a bandana also from Target


 this is a really cozy sweater with some black boot cut jeans, both from H&M, and a super cute bandana, I think it's from Target but I kind of forgot..., and then some heeled booties also from Target


 this is a casual black tank top dress, from Old Navy with a hand me down shirt ;) and some super comfortable Target shoes

this is a green jumper from ROOLEE, with a long sleeve shirt from Francesca's underneath, to go on top is a black "fall" hat that was a gift, so I'm unsure of where it's from, and then platform sandals from Target of course ;)

oh and this is just a picture of my favorite pair of Crocs that I just wanted to share

remember, you were made in God's image, so who cares what you look like in that outfit you're unsure about! just rock it out!
also remember, never pay full price for anything...unless you have the money, and it's really really worth it!
try out something new, because who knows you might end up loving it!
and don't dress for anyone's approval, you don't need it!

know that I love you, and I so appreciate you reading this! if you ever want to go shopping together, just let me know! ;)


-MYJ
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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sad & Hopeless to Smiling & Hopeful






Anyone ever felt stuck? Felt like there was no reason to smile at the time? Had/has no idea what was/is going on? If you answered yes to any of those, then we can relate. 

Long story short...in January of this year I ended up in the hospital. My mom found me unresponsive and immediately called 911. Nothing like this has ever happened to me or in my family. When we got to the hospital and I finally came out of the confusion, the doctors assumed that I had had a seizure, which I had never had, so everyone was confused. Everyday since then, I have had a ton of tests done, doctors appointments, a trip to the Mayo Clinic, and just recently a surgery. 

Now this post isn't supposed to be all about me, or for everyone to feel sorry for me because that's really the last thing that I want. I want everyone to keep reading and hear how God has been with me through it all, even when I didn't believe that.

For anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a planner and an overthinker. Well in this situation, I didn't plan for this to happen, nor did I know what was going to happen next, and also, my mind was constantly racing (and sometimes still does) of what could happen next and what would end up being wrong with me in the end.

God didn't call me to worry or be anxious about any of this, "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" Philippians 4:6 (ESV). To be completely honest with you, this was not my first thought, or my thoughts for awhile of going through this. I did pray for things to get better and for my body to be healed, but very rarely did I find myself opening up my hands and giving it all to Him. Like I said, I'm a planner, so in my mind I knew what to do...yeah right. 

I found myself becoming so filled with worry and doubt so consistently that it was overwhelming. The Bible even says in Matthew 6 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (v. 25). Now let me make one thing clear really fast, I am still not 100% clear of all of this and I definitely still struggle with trusting God fully in my situation, so I'm still writing about a place that I find myself in sometimes. 

So many times I want to go back a couple of months so I could change the way that I handled what happened and that I could trust God with it how I should have. My friends, whatever you're going through currently, or will go through in the future, trust God fully. No matter how hard the storm, He knows what He is doing, I promise. Even when you think God has abandoned you, He hasn't. Trust me, I have been there. When you see Him moving in the people's lives around you, and are questioning why He won't move in yours, you just need to open up your eyes a little bit more. He is moving in your life, it may just not be in the way that you want it. I didn't want to still be battling whatever is going on inside my body, but I am. And it's for a reason, a purpose, and a good one for that matter. 

You have a Heavenly Father who loves you, He adores you, and He wants you to be close to Him and trust Him with all that you have and are going through. 

Whenever you begin trusting Him it will get easier. No not your situation necessarily, but the point of view that you see it through. Think of how many lives you can reach through this, or how many people are going through the same thing you are, and are struggling with finding a way of believing that there is a way or a reason to smile. 

Find the person. Find the reason to smile. Because there is someone, and there is always a reason to smile, so do it. 

-MYJ


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