The Fragile Seasonality of Life

I snapped this picture one fall between the change of seasons. It made me reflect on the seasonality of life.

These three trees represent distinct seasons, all beautiful in their own right. As one tree stands naked, it is ready for a season of rest and preparation to carry its new leaves. As one tree stands tall and vibrant, it glories in its beauty and blesses all who stop to notice. Yet, it prepares to release its leaves as it journeys into the next phase of life. And the evergreen. It doesn’t hold quite the seasonality of its friends, but it’s a constant steadiness and reminder that regardless of the season, beauty and goodness remain. In the harshest of winter, this evergreen remains unwavering. In fact, when the world around it is covered in snow, I appreciate the beauty of the evergreen more than any other time.

What a gift life is. What a glory to see our Creator at work day in and day out.

Our family is transitioning into a new season. I started blogging in 2008 when our family moved from Georgia to Virginia. We had 2 and 4 year olds and one on the way. We moved to a state where we knew no one and had zero family nearby to help us. That was one of the greatest adventures and seasons of my entire life.

In that season I learned how to rely on God to provide for me in new ways. We learned how to build life and community on our own. We leaned into each other and realized that home is where we were all together. That was when God opened my eyes to seeing Him in all of life. Suddenly, I saw God in the ordinary, mundane moments of life. I began writing about them. God birthed a writing ministry.

Two and a half years later, the Lord moved us from Virginia to North Carolina. I didn’t want to leave. We had a 2nd grader, kindergartner, and a two year old. God gifted us a house that will forever be my favorite house. It shouldn’t have been in our price range, yet it “somehow” was. I grieved hard leaving Virginia.

North Carolina became my favorite state ever during our next six years there. God did it again. He showed us that wherever we are, He is there with us. Each move He surrounded us with the most amazing friends, church, and community we could dream of. North Carolina felt right in every way and I secretly hoped God would open a door to let us remain forever.

In His kindness and goodness, He moved us. Again. Six years later we moved to Omaha, Nebraska. It was a hard earned promotion for Steve. His first General Manager role with Manheim Auto Auctions. This move goes down as one of the clearest God moves I’ve ever witnessed.

God gave me a dream before Steve was offered the position. God knows me well. Before I could say yes to moving to the middle of the country to a place I had to find on a map, I needed to know….know that God was in this move. Within 48 hours our house had 3 offers and we placed an offer on our new Nebraska home.

That season I’d started homeschooling my boys. God allowed us to grieve and leave our beloved school nearly a year before we had to leave the state. He’s so good.

Another adventure ahead, we moved to Nebraska in 2017. Our boys were 7th, 5th, and 2nd grades. We made friends immediately. We found our sports teams right away. Our church home became the one and only we visited on our first Sunday in Omaha. Nebraska has my heart in a way no other state does. Again, God has proven to me over and over, He has amazing people all over the world He created.

For years Steve and I have had a heart for young marrieds. We always said we’d love to lead a young married ministry. When we moved to Nebraska, God literally filled our life with young married friends. It wasn’t an official ministry. It was our life. Our table and home became filled with people who became our closest friends.

Nebraska is where I watched my boys grow through elementary and middle school into high school through young adult. Sports, jobs, girlfriends, businesses. Nebraska is where we really started to travel as a family. Years of going on epic adventures around the country. So many priceless moments.

Back to the trees. I see them and I see the ever-changing nature of life. While our seasons change, God remains unchanging. He is fully faithful through each stage and transition of life. I trust Him fully.

Our family is on the move again. Well, some of our family. This move will quite possibly be the hardest, but it’s also one we have prayed for and dreamed of for all the years Steve has been with Manheim.

We are moving to Nashville, where Steve will be the GM for Manheim Nashville. Steve’s been with Manheim for 25 years. He started moving cars on the lot at the Atlanta Auto Auction making $9 an hour. He’s the hardest worker I know and the most driven man I could pray for. God has blessed him and opened doors only God could open. God gets all the glory.

I would love to share more about God’s story through Steve one day. It’s a beautiful testimony.

16 years ago, I was pregnant with Andrew and on a work trip with Steve. We were dreaming about what auction he would want to be a GM at. It was Nashville for both of us. I remember Steve telling me that would only be a dream. But we love to dream and aren’t afraid to place our dreams at the foot of the cross.

Steve and I are still processing the fact that God said yes to this dream. We are also struck by the perfect timing.

Jacob and Zachary have decided to stay in Omaha. This is their home. Jacob has built a business here. Zach is in flight school. They both have girlfriends and lots of friends. They are 18 and 20 years old. This is the natural time of life to launch into life. They will live together and continue to build life here. The good news is we will be back to Omaha lots!

I know God will tenderly care for my heart the day we leave Omaha and leave an enormous part of our hearts here. I also know that we have such deep friendships here that my boys will be cared for and loved so well. They are mature, wise, and amazing young men. They are ready. And God will care for each of us.

There will be a time where I feel like the naked tree in the picture. My heart will hurt and I will enter a season of resting in His Presence as He prepares us to carry our new leaves in the next season. I will wait on Him and allow Him space and time to heal and work.

At the same time of feeling grief of leaving, I’m elated and filled with joy on the adventure ahead. I’m so grateful we’ve been given this opportunity. I’m so excited about the life we will build in Nashville. I’m thrilled to see God do amazing things all over again.

I’m grateful for a life filled with adventure.

Move #4 coming soon! Stay tuned for more!



When God told us to open our eyes

A year and a half ago, I prayed a prayer out of a prayer book for Andrew. It was a prayer against learning disabilities. As I prayed, I repented of accepting something as a life sentence that God could heal. I confessed my unbelief and prayed on his behalf for complete and total healing.

We claimed his sound mind. We claimed victory ahead of time.

That very night, Steve and I lay in bed reading when Andrew walked in upset saying he just wanted to be able to read like all the other kids.

We laid hands on him and prayed for healing. After we prayed Andrew said his body felt tingly from his fingers all the way up his arm. I felt the Lord say, “Go read.”

I know I repented of unbelief that morning, but I felt it still there. Surely, God didn’t simply snap His fingers and cause Andrew to read. Or did He?

I walked Andrew back to his room and reached for a book on the bookshelf, Devotions for Beginning Readers, and opened to the middle.

The title read: Open Your Eyes. The first line read, “If you want to read a book, you need to open your eyes.”

Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes to see the wonderful things in your teachings.”

At that point I had chills over my entire body. I knew the Lord was speaking. Andrew would be healed. All connections would be made. And I planned to claim that healing for him.

The following morning I sat with the Lord and wrote out what had happened as well as my prayer for Andrew.

Here’s part of my prayer journal on that day:

“Andrew will be an avid reader. Lord, let us walk out our healings by faith. May we pick up our mats and walk.”

Everyday we’ve picked up our mat and walked since that day. It was one year after this incident the Lord led us to vision therapy. It was one and half years later to the exact day that reading finally clicked for Andrew.

Andrew is 10 years old. The Lord faithfully did what we believe He told us He would do.

It didn’t come in our time. In came in God’s time.

The healing didn’t happen overnight, it happened over time. Day by day, God healed Andrew. He used doctors and therapists and homeschool. But mainly, God connected the disconnects and that is what we’ve been praying.

A few weeks ago Andrew had an appointment with the doctor at his vision therapy office. Andrew passed tests he couldn’t even take when we first started. The change has been miraculous and a total answer to prayer.

I stand in complete awe of God.

I shared on Instagram last week this:

When we started this school year and when we started vision therapy Andrew could only handle reading a page at a time. He read aloud then I’d read aloud a page. We took turns. He’d have to use his finger to track the words, he’d skip lines, I’d have to hold the book so he could track.

Y’all!  He’s reading chapter books totally on his own!!! And he’s able to report back to me what he read. And because his brothers have read these dozens of times they can verify.

He’s devouring books now and is in love with reading. We’ve told him for years that when God healed his vision processing issues, he’d fall in love with books. And we are seeing it.

We’ve prayed for these moments since he was in preschool when we knew something was amiss with how he processed information.

God is so faithful.

And now we enter our last 3 months of vision therapy. He needed this boost to carry him forward.
I had to share this update with you. So many of you have been here on this blog with me since Andrew was a toddler and preschooler. You’ve walked this road alongside us. You’ve traveled to different states with us. And some of you have even been here when this blog was Be Still then later Barefoot Walks. It’s been a long time, friends.
So many of you I feel such a bond and closeness to because I’ve shared some of our most personal journeys and triumphs. I continue to be amazed by your loyal readership. In a world where there’s so much to read online, you still show up. I’m grateful you allow me to share with you.
I added a new page to the blog. It’s Good Stuff. Just like the name implies it’s all my favorite things I think you’d love too. Check it out. I have much more I’ll be adding in the coming days!
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