Dec 24

The Unwanted Child

I think it’s easy to think of the Christmas story as a warm and fuzzy one. A story of a mother and a father birthing their treasured baby in a manger.

Rewind a bit for a second, Mary and Joseph weren’t married, and they were scared. Mary was so confused at how she was even pregnant due to the fact that she was a virgin, and Joseph felt betrayed and wanted to end their relationship. Truly as we look at it, Jesus came into the word rejected even by his own parents. They didn’t want him or the mess at first, but they were faithful.

This reality has caused me to think a lot this holiday season about our culture. Now this is a controversial topic, but stick with me here. I live in Alabama, and the senate race made huge headlines here. I remember talking to my husband the night before about how I was so confused, because we were debating one candidate who was pro- abortion at some level, and one that had a bad record with women.

The thing that got me the most was how numb we were to these terms. I stood in the shower the morning of the election, and I was crying asking him how did we even get to the place that our children will hear words like: abortion, assault, rape, unwanted pregnancy, and think that these are just common terms.

they. are. not.

It baffles me, but it is horrifying to me that it is even allowed to murder an unborn child. Wanted or Not.

Jesus wasn’t wanted y’all.

I wasn’t wanted.

I can say this, because I am adopted from a teen mom, who did not want me. It was a noble thing that she did by choosing life for me, and I will forever be grateful to her for carrying me and being willing to give me to parents who were in a position to take care of me, but I could have been aborted.

Take it a step further now, I had a baby who was not wanted by the world. Her name was Mary Anna, and she was not healthy, and the doctors offered me to end her life and “press the reset button”, but I chose life for her. And I will never regret that choice.

There were people of faith who questioned my choice to Keep Walking with an unknown pregnancy, but thankfully the Lord captured my heart and gave Dan and I the strength to do the right thing.

It has always been a heavy issue on my heart, and ever since I had Mary Anna, it burns within me deeper. Even if a pregnancy is unwanted, there is always a choice. We are gifted these tiny bundles whether they are cells or full-term babies to take care of, and they are still lives y’all.

And if you have had an abortion, I do not judge you. There is mercy at the cross. We all carry shame, and Jesus’ love is bigger than our shame. It is. I promise.

and be thyself our King of Peace

I pray that we make a change in our country, and in our world. That we don’t look at life as if it is convenient or lacks baggage, but that we look at it as life.

Thank you to my birth mother for choosing life for me. Merry Christmas.

Thank you to my parents for adopting me as your own, and teaching me to choose life for my baby girl. I love you both dearly. Merry Christmas.

Thank you Dan for never wavering in your faith and choosing life with me for our baby girl. Merry Christmas.

Thank you Mary Anna for giving me the strength to speak out for those unwanted babies. You are my angel. Merry Christmas in heaven.

Let’s Keep Walking together. Merry Christmas!

The Christmas story:

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you. But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”

Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?”

The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth- even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called child’s. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38

The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So her husband, Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.

But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Now all of this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

See the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave bright to a son. And he named him Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-23

passages chosen from She Reads Truth- advent study

Be Brave this Christmas. Even when it’s messy.

Keep Walking.

Dec 15

Legacy

I’ve thought a lot lately about how I want my kids to remember their childhoods. Dan and I were raised very differently, and we spend a lot of time talking and praying about how we want to raise our miniature people. The thing is that our life is literally chaos right now. Like a friend said to me recently: Kari it’s okay to admit that your life is just crazier than most right now, because it just is. I am a giver, so it’s hard for me to slow down and take very often. I am also super type A in a super chill kinda way. Sounds weird, but its the truth.

So with this season of super close in age toddlers, a new business that we feel so overwhelmed with most days, a blog that I feel called to write more on, two websites, t-shirts, dogs, a power bill, dinners, and the list goes on…. I have realized that my fuse has been short, and although I swore I would never yell, well sometimes I just do.

Like the other night when I was going on 48 hours of single parenthood, and William didn’t nap, and the shower curtain fell on my head about the same time that William pee’d on the floor. You bet. I yelled. Sure did.

But then I curled in bed with buddy, and I told him exactly what was going on. I told him that I missed daddy, that I was tired, and that it was hard to open daddy’s new office. As I held his sweet little hand, I apologized, and told him that I didn’t always make the best choices either, and that’s how I was able to forgive him when he wasn’t kind too.

He told me: It’s okay mommy, I love you, and I miss daddy too.

So today it happened again. I was up late baking for some extra money for some Christmas orders that I received, and Dan’s super stressed trying to get the final things done with the clinic. I somehow managed to bake 13 mini pumpkin loaves, dress both kids and myself, and pack lunches and head up to the clinic to deliver sandwiches to daddy. We got there, and it was a bit crazy, so our visit was pretty short.

I was driving home with more butter and cream cheese to bake some more, and my head was hurting, and I just was feeling spread thin. This song came on:

I’ve had this on repeat lately, because this song y’all. I mean it’s the gospel. And I heard some noises from the back of the car, and little William was singing along. He only knew a few words here and there, but to hear his little voice singing “EMMANUEL”. WOW! A few tears began to creep down my cheek, and it hit me.

I want them to remember their mommy and daddy as real and raw. I want them to see us mess up, and I want them to see us asking them for forgiveness. I hope that our house is one of grace and willingness to meet each other wherever we need to. In a world full of filters and botox and murder and hate,  I hope that under this roof they feel no reason to be anyone, but who God made them to be.

Behold, behold the One our Love has come.

Behold, behold the One our King has come.

Emmanuel.

I hope that they feel the freedom to know that the King who came doesn’t expect us to carry all of this on our own, and that we leave a legacy of love and laughter and mess and hugs.

This pressure to be everything for our friends or kids or spouses is just unattainable, and I am the worst at this.

So cheers to more grace and recognition that our King has come.

Keep Walking.

Defeated death, He broke the grave

Our hope returned, the lost are saved

We lift our voice in never ending praise.

Dec 08

Discouragement

I was sitting in the floor, and the kitchen was a mess. William was playing with his doctor kit, and Mary Kathryn was rearranging stickers in a basket. She would take them out one by one, and then she would put them back in one by one. William was giving me a “shot” and listening to my heart, and I asked him:

buddy do you want to be a doctor like daddy when you grow up?

W: I don’t

me: that’s ok, you can be whatever you want to be…. what do you want to be buddy?

W: I don’t want to grow up mommy, I just want to stay little and home with you.

me: sobbing

W: walks away onto the next thing….

I kept sitting there for a little bit longer. Frizzy hair, stretched out nubby old sweater, leggings, and my warm socks. I wasn’t super hungry, so I was eating leftover pepper jelly for dinner, and in walked Dan….

He couldn’t find me, and I waved around the sofa from the floor, and of course he asked if I was okay, and I said yes that I was just enjoying the moment. I found a new husband/wife duo that I liked, and their Christmas music was on in the back ground, and it was a sweet moment that I wanted to soak up.

Discouragement.

It’s what’s getting us right now…. Our robbery happened, and it seems like we just keep getting hit…

robbery,

asthma attacks

car breaking down

tight finances

workers everywhere

a lot of time apart

loneliness

a new (ish) city

Christmas without our baby girl

It starts to get to you….

We love Paul David Tripp, and we heard a sermon a long time ago about discouragement, and how it is Satan’s greatest tool to get a follower of the King off track. I know it’s happening, but it’s hard to fight it.

I will raise up shepherds over them who will tend them. They will no longer be afraid or discouraged, nor will any be missing. This is the Lord’s declaration.
Jeremiah 23:4

Testerday someone stopped by to say hi, and she asked how we were, and I was doing the typical: oh we’re good lalala… thing that we all do. And then I was like well, this and that happened, and then I started crying. It hit me. The discouragement of the ways that Satan is trying to knock us off path right now. Satan is real, and he’s an ASS y’all. He knows where to get you, and he’ll keep doing it.

As I sat in the floor watching my littles waddle around, I was reminded that I just can’t let him win. I can’t. I have to keep preaching it to myself, because the other day when I walked almost 6 miles and my legs were numb, I wasn’t feeling super positive polly.

He grew up before him like a young plant
and like a root out of dry ground.
He didn’t have an impressive form
or majesty that we should look at him,
no appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;
he was despised, and we didn’t value him.
Isaiah 53:2-3

I read this is my Advent devotional today right after I drug both of my kids in the rain to the clinic, where we have TONS of work to do, and I pulled in and literally hit our other car {that is literally dying and we can’t afford to fix it right now} with our only car that works. Yes. I hit it.  I didn’t turn wide enough. Dan came out. I looked at him, and I burst into tears, and said: we just can’t catch a break d. So now that car is in the shop, because it sounds like the wheel is going to fall off.

We are so close to opening this business that we feel very called to do, but we have no income, because that’s what it takes to start a business, and we feel attacked. Alone. Discouraged.

Yet, Jesus came down to earth and was despised and rejected, and he took all of this on himself, so that we could know what true love is. True love that died for us. True love that teaches us how to Keep Walking, even when it keeps hitting you where it hurts. True love that reminds you to sit on the ground and cry, because some kids don’t live long and some will grow up and leave, but you just snuggle them while you can…

Keep Walking.

Dec 06

Big Momma

So…. Dan has this thing going for him. Well not really. Well it depends on how you look at it.

He’s really brutally honest, which is great and all. Don’t get me wrong. I am so over fake and put together and that crap that people like to work hard at, but there is a line people. Dan sometimes crosses it, and the story goes this way…

me: I mean Mary Kathryn is such a little momma these days
{insert random stories of the kids from our day}

dan: yeah she really is…

me: I was thinking how much MK and I were alike today…

dan: yeah… so, if she is a little momma, then does that make you a big momma?

WOW….

Moments like that happen often living under the same roof as D. Or leaving dinners or wherever, and me explaining to my very intelligent husband why what he said came off the wrong way.

Well, we make a good team. I always say that he’s book smart, and I am common sense smart. We don’t really overlap much on our strengths either.

Just sayin…

Anywho, that’s all I got for ya. Just one more encouraging story from our house to yours. Know your strengths, and know when not to call your wife a big momma.

Merry Christmas.

Keep Walking.

One more chocolate muffin please and thank you.

Dec 02

Robbery

So, I think I said this, but we are opening our very first business. My husband is a veterinarian, my dad is a veterinarian, and I have been told that I can be an honorary veterinarian, although I think these people are NUTS for going to school that long. But whatever, i’ll take the title. I can give some pretty sound advice after all my years of over hearing my dad on the phone at the dinner table, and my summers working the front desk at his office, and the launch of our marriage being vet school for Dan.

Well, we are a few weeks from being opened, and money is tight, and budgets are having less wiggle room, and we walked into our little clinic yesterday morning ready to work hard. My parents were taking our kiddos for the weekend, and we had long lists of things that we could accomplish without a 3 and 1-year-old {which is how we’ve built 95% of this practice is with one or both of them with us}, and we realized that….

we

had

been

robbed.

yep. robbed.

Someone the night before decided to walk out our back door and take things that were ours as assume it was okay to claim them as their own.

insert cuss words.

It was rough. Emotionally. Physically. Financially. Rough.

We cussed, cried, stared at each other, argued, were short with our words, and the list goes on. And then in the middle of it I looked at Dr. Dan and said this:

okay stop. we either trust God or satan and right now we aren’t trusting God. HE has called us. HE has good things in store. Satan wants to destroy that, and we can’t let him. Let’s claim this for good right now.

Now don’t go envying my attitude quite yet. I am pretty sure we debated punching the robbers in the face many times and still continued to cuss off an on through the day. And if I am honest I woke up just ANGRY today. At some point during the day my phone buzzed the verse of the day on my screen, and I was about to “swipe up” to get rid of it, and I stopped with my dirty yoga pants and socks with a hole in the toe and read this:

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14

This is the truth. Not the lies that we’re fighting. Not the violation of someone stealing our things. Not the loss of confidence. Not the anger. Not the cuss words. Not the excess chocolate we ate last night.

I’ve been praying over my mission right now. I am here to walk beside and support Dan as we endeavor into our new business together. It’s a whole family decision to do this, because it’s going to take all of us. Even the littles being drug to the vet clinic like I was growing up. But I realize that my loss and my heartache has prepared me for these moments.

I spend a lot of time in my writing talking about my loss of Mary Anna. God used that for HIS purpose and plan. And as I keep walking, I realize that we grieve things every day…

our to do lists

our hopes

our perfect life plans

our friendships

and marriages

our houses and cars and sofas

our robberies

We most of all lost our steam yesterday. Our vision. Our goals. And y’all we can’t do that.

We just need to be still. He WILL fight for us.

But the thing about battle is that you either go guns blazing, or you let someone fight for you. I tend to be the guns blazing kind, and then have the regress and put a sock in it, and remember that this isn’t my fight. And frankly I don’t want to be the commander in my battle.

So here it is y’all, as we enter Advent tomorrow. Don’t keep fighting. Let Him fight for you. Sure, I mean some might disagree, but let it out, eat some chocolate, 3 lattes, cuss some, punch a pillow, whatever you need to, but remember that this isn’t our fight to do alone.

Keep Walking.