Tag Archives: trust

A Family on a Mission {July’s Dreamer in the Spotlight: Melissa Seilhan}

26 Jul

I stumbled upon Melissa Seilhan’s blog, For Better or Worse, a couple months ago and immediately started going through several of her posts about her family’s journey to be missionaries! Talk about trusting in God! I knew that I had to feature her and her family!

Fortunately, Melissa agreed to answer some questions and share more about her experiences, faith, and blessings!

1. How did you find out about the Family Missions Company?

Several years ago, a friend gave me a book to read called Go, You Are Sent! by Genie Summers. The book tells the story of her husband’s overnight conversion from Atheist to devout Catholic and how they then sold everything to become missionaries for the Lord. Genie and her husband Frank later founded Family Missions Company to train other lay Catholics to do what they did. I read the book cover to cover in no time and longed for that kind of “blind” faith and simplistic lifestyle. My husband thought it was just plain crazy, but God had planted a seed and would later lead us right to Family Missions Company’s door.

2. What are some of the ways that God has let you and your family know that this journey is His will?

After reading the book, we began cleaning out our lives and began living more simply and more devoutly than before. I began homeschooling our kids a year or so later, and we began to do more corporal works of mercy in our local community and began reading about the lives of the saints. We began to have a missionary heart without knowing what exactly what was happening. That’s when God began sending Family Missions Company into our lives repeatedly. Everywhere we went we’d run into someone with FMC or someone that would tell about us something about this organization. We found out that FMC was the host of a very popular Middle School summer camp called Faith Camp and that they owned the retreat center that would be used for our parish youth retreat.

After my husband made a Cursillo, sitting next to an FMC missionary ALL weekend, we decided to check out their Wednesday night prayer meeting that we had been invited to several times before. After going a few times, our kids begged us to go on a mission trip. We eventually signed up to go on FMC’s Pentecost Trip to Mexico for a week instead of taking a family vacation that year. While there, we all began to feel the call to become full time missionaries.

As we began to pray about it after returning home, God continually confirmed this call through scripture like Luke 18:22 and Matthew 19:2. We’d open the Bible to similar passages over and over again. We’d go to Mass and the homilies we’d hear would confirm exactly what we’d just prayed about. Our daily meditation books and apps would constantly be about “Following Him and Proclaiming the Gospel to All Nations.” Passages that we had read and heard at Mass our whole lives began to jump out at us in a new way. We realized that “selling everything, giving to the poor, and following Him” was not just a suggestion or something for His apostles to do way back then. It was what He was literally calling us to do right now in this age.

Once we knew that we were indeed being called, we began to ask “How?” Then we began to get the scriptures about “trusting God to care for all your needs” in our personal prayer time, in our mediation books and apps, at prayer meetings—just about everywhere. But even though we knew what we were begin asked, we still hestitated and wanted more signs and bigger signs. That’s when someone randomly offered to buy our house and land without it even being for sale. After the initial shock wore off, we chalked it up to “coincidence.” So, He sent several more people the next week to randomly tells us they’d be interested in buying our house if we ever decided to sell it. That’s when we called our pastor!

We spent the next year continuing to pray personally and as a family for God to show us the path we needed to take. We sought spiritual direction from two other priests besides our pastor. The signs and wonders continued to appear and things just kept falling into to place too perfectly to be anything else but God’s work.

3. Last summer, you wrote a personal post on your blog about how using the “pill” nearly destroyed your marriage. That obviously took a lot of courage to share. How did that time in your life influence you and your husband’s decision to become foster parents?(Congratulations on the adoption of your son!)

That was the hardest blog I’ve ever written. It took several months to be able to actually click “Publish.” But I knew it was something that the Holy Spirit had been prompting me to write for a long time. The “pill” and later my husband’s vasectomy caused numerous problems in our marriage. We had both wanted a large family with lots of kids, but listened to the “world” and not our hearts when making several medical decisions when we faced difficult times. Even though we had confessed our sins and received absolution numerous times, we still had not forgiven ourselves even though God had. We constantly prayed for healing and for some way to feel whole again.

Like the recent signs leading us to missions, the Holy Spirit led us to become foster parents with numerous signs—people, books, movies, newspapers, and even a giant billboard. The more we prayed about it, the more signs He sent. But the one thing that kept holding us back from fostering were all the horror stories of these “bad” kids coming into your home and exposing your kids to who knows what. But God never stopped calling us, and we never stopped praying about the call. As we took the foster parent classes, we had to constantly remind ourselves that He knew what we could handle and what our three kids could handle. We just had to trust in Him completely.

4. What advice do you have for others who are trying to discern God’s calling for their life?

Be open! So many times in our lives we miss the opportunities that God puts in our path because we have made our own plans and are so set to follow our plan that we can’t see what he’s laying out in front of us. I used to be a major control freak. I like to have everything planned out and on the calendar ahead of time. I like to know all the details ahead of time before I make my decision. This does not work if you are following the promptings of the Holy Spirit! I have found that what I have planned usually is NOT what He has planned for me. This is very scary for me, but I had to learn to trust and be open to whatever is set before me at the moment.

We need to constantly pray for God’s will in our lives, not for Him to give us what we want or what we think we need. I promise that His plan is always so much better in the end even if it’s a lot harder than your plan. That’s one thing we’ve learned. He never asks us to do anything easy or comfortable. Everything seems hard and nearly impossible at first, but keep praying. And when you pray for His will, ask for signs and wonders. He is always faithful and will send them. You just have to have an open mind and heart to see them. They can be found in the strangest places—a commercial, an ad, social media status, random people. And if you’re stubborn like us, He may even send you a billboard of your very own.

Also, find a spiritual director, preferably a priest/pastor, that you can trust. Go to them, talk to them, have them pray for you, with you, and over you. And pray for them. Ask the Holy Spirit to give them the words that He wants you to hear. Many times our priests gave us the answers before we even asked the questions. If you are truly open to His will, He will not only reveal it to you, but give you what you need to follow it.

5. Do you have a favorite verse, song, or book that you turn to for inspiration and hope?

I have several favorites of each. The verse that really helped us change the way we viewed the world and the way we lived our life, the one that eventually led us to where we are now, is Romans 12:2. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” The less we conformed to the world, the better we were able to see His will.

But the verse that we rely on heavily lately is Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” We cannot follow His will without His strength, and if He is calling you to something, He will not only give you the strength you need, but everything else you need also.My first “go to” song when life gets tough is “Lay It Down” by Needtobreathe. I’ve cried myself to sleep playing that song over and over at night. I play it softly when I just need some peace about something. And I blare it when I’m excited to be able to give it to God and be done with it! The other song that I go to often is Matt Maher’s “Lord, I Need You.” I could sing that all day and sometimes do.

Thanks, Melissa! You and your family are such an inspiration to all of us! I look forward to seeing how God continues to use you and bless you!

***

If you are interested in supporting the Seilhan Family’s upcoming two-year mission, you can donate online or you can mail a tax deductible donation to Family Missions Company, 12624 Everglade Road, Abbeville, LA 70510. Write “Seilhan Family” in the memo line.

 
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Dear NFP, Let’s Be Honest.

23 Jul

rings

Dear Natural Family Planning,

Let’s be honest.

Sometimes I don’t like you. You frustrate me.

Like when I was so worried about getting pregnant right after the birth of my second daughter, that my husband and I didn’t get close, if you know what I mean, for about five months. Needless to say, this was not a fun time.

Or how my cycles have a very short infertile timeframe each month.

I hate how ignorant the majority of the medical community is about you. Sometimes it makes me feel embarrassed, like when the OB/GYN’s nurse asked me if you were like the Rhythm method. Or, even though my doctor knows I’m using you, she still tells me at my follow-up delivery appt. to use a condom until my period returns to make sure I don’t come back into her office with a surprise pregnancy.

But you know what, NFP? More than you (or rather, factors surrounding you i.e., my lack of knowledge, my body, others) frustrate me, I’m so thankful for you!

I feel blessed that my husband and I cherish and value the time we get together. I know that our odds for separation decrease significantly because we use you. I know that we’re being open to life if that is God’s will, even though we’re not trying to have another baby at this time.

I’m grateful that I’m not putting any life-destroying chemicals in my body that could also cause serious health complications and even my death. I am confident in knowing what’s normal for my body and would be able to detect any unusual changes or symptoms. I also know that if Adam and I feel that God is calling us to have another child in the future, it will be easier for us to achieve pregnancy. Thank you for being a method that embraces my femininity instead of trying to suppress it!

I’m thankful for people who have been able to develop methods using science and technology for more peace of mind. You are definitely not the rhythm method! I want to use you accurately (which, thanks to using the Marquette model, has been easier than ever), so that I can show people that you are good, smart, and 99% effective at avoiding pregancy. But as much as I want to do that, I’d know that a baby conceived during a typically infertile time would be a miracle and blessing from God.

I’ve been blessed with two beautiful little girls, who I can’t imagine my life without! Neither one was necessarily deliberately planned, especially the youngest due to a wonderful “mistake” on my part. (I should have waited the more conservative four days after peak day instead of three to assume Phase 3 – Thank the Lord, I didn’t!)

I wish more people were aware of, and open to, your goodness and benefits. God’s way is never easy, but it is certainly freeing! Thanks, NFP, for teaching my husband and I how to be more selfless.

With much appreciation and loyalty,

Stefanie

***

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is July 21-27.

For more information on NFP, check out:

The Couple to Couple League

iuseNFP

Women Speak on Natural Family Planning Series

Also, be sure to check out other NFP Week posts at NFP and Me!

10 Inspirational Quotes about Following God’s Will

19 Oct

So many powerful words have been spoken and written down over the course of history. A few months ago, I started collecting these words of wisdom in my own little book of quotes to inspire and motivate me! I thought that I’d share some of my favorites so far. I’m sure that I will have a ‘Part 2’ of this post in the future!

1. Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your purpose. -Aristotle

2. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4

3. Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

4. Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. -Mother Teresa

5. Every outcome of every challenge should reveal how God supplies the grace to make it through the seemingly impossible. -Father Leo Patalinghug

6. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me. -Erma Bombeck

7. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. -Frederick Buechner

8. Do not lose heart, even if you should discover that you lack qualities necessary for the work to which you are called. He who called you will not desert you, but the moment you are in need he will stretch out his saving hand. -Saint Angela Merici

9. Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid. -Basil King

10. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path. -Proverbs 3:5-6

Click for a PDF version of this list!

Update: To read 10 more of my favorite inspirational quotes, click here! And for inspirational shareable quote graphics, check out my new website Bold Red Creative!

Saying Yes Equals Success (Part II)/June’s Dreamer in the Spotlight

27 Jun

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7

If you read my previous post, you may have been re-energized to look for ways God can use you or you may have thought, “I’m not Mother Theresa; I’m no saint.  I have a lot of work to do before I can do something great for God.”  We will never be perfect, but even in our brokenness and imperfection, God can use us to share His love and reach others.  There are so many opportunities each day that we may be missing to experience joy, peace, and true fulfillment.  I, personally, am really trying to focus on small impressions that God may be placing on my heart to act on for His good on a day-to-day basis.  I know that I have repeatedly overlooked or ignored them, not realizing that even a small action could be a significant moment for myself and/or another person.

Another thought that may have come up while reading my last post is, “How do I know what God wants me to do?”  As I mentioned earlier this month, I have been reading an inspiring and insightful book called, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa TerKeurst.  This particular woman has a lot of wisdom and trust and is not afraid to take risks.  Click here to read her five questions to discern God’s voice.

I had never read any of Lysa’s books until I was recently invited to be a part of a book club that focuses on developing a deeper faith and strengthening a personal relationship with Jesus.  The members of the group voted on What Happens When Women Say Yes to God to read first and it seems that each one of us is getting a lot out of it!

Lysa has written several best-selling books and is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  In addition, she and her husband  adopted two boys from Liberia, which prompted many others to adopt children from that country, as well.  To read more about Lysa’s journey and what she does, check out her website bio.

Lysa, thanks for being such an inspiring woman and encouraging all of us to seek God’s will and lead an adventurous life!

Lysa TerKeurst

October’s Dreamer in the Spotlight

6 Oct

This month’s post is probably going to be a little different from any other one that I will ever write for this series.  The person that I have chosen has no idea that I have a blog and that I would ever choose to write about her.  I can’t use her real name because of privacy rights, so I will refer to her as Fran.

I met Fran earlier this week at the community mental health agency where I work.  Fran shared with me how she is desperately wanting to move out of the apartment complex where she currently resides due to people threatening her life.  Fran said that she reported a neighbor who was beating his  three-year-old son.  She is not getting much help from the landlords, either, and is afraid she may be evicted.  I am not sure of any other incidents that may have occurred leading up to this point, but Fran was clearly in distress about her circumstances.  In addition to this major stress in her life, Fran is dealing with custody and child support issues regarding her daughter.  She is currently unemployed and has suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past.  Needless to say, this woman has been through a lot.  It definitely made me thankful for all the wonderful people in my life, the roof over my head, and my job.

While talking with her, Fran brought up her trust in God.  She mentioned that despite all of the negative things she has experienced in the past several years, she has “such peace.”  She stated that she knows that God is having her go through these things for a purpose and that this is just the beginning.  Fran wants to be able to help people through similar situations.  She recently has already taken the step to talk in front of state politicians  about holding judges accountable for their actions.  Fran told me that she once had to spend 15 days in jail because a judge overlooked that she had paid her child support on time.

I don’t know the decisions, reasons, circumstances, etc., regarding what has happened in Fran’s life.  I don’t know if things have happened due to poor choices that she has made or not.  I do know, though, that this woman is hurting, but despite her pain she continues to rely on God and have faith in His plan for her life.  I let her know that her trust was inspiring and that God would reward her faithfulness.

While driving home from work that day, I wondered if she had anyone to pray for her.  Fran could use some support and love right now.  I’d like to ask you to pause for a moment and join me in the following prayer:

Lord,

Please be with Fran during this difficult time and continue to wrap her in your peace.  Send your angels to protect and lead her.  We ask that you bring someone into her life who can offer support and guidance.  Give her the strength and wisdom she needs to follow your will.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and offering a prayer for Fran.  She is already helping others by sharing her unwavering faith in God’s plan.

 

 

Photo courtesy of luigi diamanti via freedigitalphotos.net

Cheering for the Underdog Part II

29 Aug

To expand on my previous post,  I think there are two additional keys (besides hard work and determination) to achieving our dreams and pursuing the path God has for us: right motivation and another person’s belief in our God-given abilities.  This is how we pursue being the “best-version-of-ourselves,” to quote author Matthew Kelly.  And this is how we will find true joy in this life.

First of all, we need to be motivated by good things; not money, fame, materialism, etc.  I’d like to share some lines from Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotional blog on August 11, titled “Make the Most of Your Talents.”  In this post, he writes:

Are you using what He’s given you for the benefit of others to make the world a better place? Or are you just using those talents to benefit yourself?

When God gives you a talent, he expects you to use it. It’s like a muscle. If you use it, it will grow. If you don’t, you’ll lose it. If you have a talent but are afraid to use it, or if you get lazy and don’t use it to benefit others, you’re going to lose it. Like the parable of the ten talents in Luke 19, if you don’t use what God has given you, he will take it away and give it to someone else who will.

But if you use your talents wisely, God will give you more. If you use your time wisely, God will give you more time. If you use your energy wisely, God will give you more energy. If you use your influence wisely, God will increase your influence. God will bless your level of faithfulness.

God has a purpose for each of us, but we  need to trust Him and be open to using our gifts however He calls us.  When we try to do things on our own terms on our own time-frame, we will find ourselves on the wrong track.  We may have things that the world defines as success, but we will still feel lost.  With God, we can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  He gave us our talents and He wants us to use them.  Believing that God wants us to follow our dreams, is what keeps my hope in Adam’s musical career alive!  God would not give Adam all of these musical gifts and the passion that he has just to squander it.  (Of course, how things will work out is a mystery, but we know there is a plan!)

I mentioned above that there is another key factor in achieving our goals and dreams: support of another person.  Since I talked about Rudy in my last post, I’ll stick with that here.  Most people in Rudy’s life, including his family members, thought that his dream of being a football player for Notre Dame was not a realistic goal.  Rudy had one best friend, Pete, who encouraged him, though.  Pete’s tragic death prompted him to go for his dream, despite the many obstacles in his way.  It could be that without the support of his best friend, he never would have had the courage to do what others thought could not be done.  Now, everyone loves the amazing story of Rudy Ruettiger and how he accomplished the seemingly impossible.

Adam and I were talking about underdog stories yesterday, and he pointed out that a lot of people only root for the underdog when they start to see success.  People want to hop on board after a lot of the hard work has already proven to pay off.  It seems that we are so quick to dismiss dreams, because they aren’t practical or “realistic,” and it’s hard to believe what cannot yet be seen.  But once a dream comes to fruition, we want to share it and be associated with it.  How much better would the world be, if we encouraged each other to pursue our skills and talents even when things look impossible?!  Let’s be dream “ENcouragers,” not “DIScouragers!”

Have a great week!

August’s Dreamer in the Spotlight!

7 Aug

Abby Head (Cake Decorator/Entrepreneur)

I am so excited to start this new series and introduce you to my first featured dreamer (and friend), Abby Head!   A few weeks ago, we discussed her personal journey and here is what she had to share about her goals, obstacles, and inspirations…

Abby’s Dream: “To open my own upscale cafe and bakery!”

Steps She’s Taking to Achieve Her Dream: Abby currently works at a local bakery in The Gulch district of Nashville.  She also teaches cooking classes to children.  In January of this year, Abby started her own blog, Creative Crumbs, after a friend’s suggestion.  Her website features free-lance cakes that she bakes and decorates for customers, family, and friends.  Abby updates her blog every Sunday with the latest tasty and beautifully decorated pieces of artwork that she has created!

"Christian Louboutin Shoe Cake" created by Abby Head

In addition to her amazing cakes, Abby also offers her own catering services.

Favorite “God Moment” Along Her Journey: A friend encouraged her to apply for a cake decorating position at a local bakery.  Abby had no cake decorating experience at the time, but decided to respond to the job ad on Craig’s List anyway.  The owner contacted her and asked her to come in for an impromptu interview.  He told her, “If you’re willing to learn, we’re willing to teach you!”  She has been at this bakery for the past three years.

Most Rewarding Experience:  Abby says that her creations are “little successes” and “constant affirmation.”  She finds “joy in making someone’s day more special.”

"Grammy Cake" by Abby Head

Most Challenging Obstacle:  “How far to trust God to tell you where to go and when do you take the first step?”

How She Finds Inspiration:  Abby likes the song “Blessings” by Laura Story.  She states that it is a “realistic” view of seeking God’s will.  Here are the lyrics:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.

All the while, You hear each spoken need.
Your love is way too much to give us lesser things.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear.
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your word is not enough.

All, the while, You hear each desperate plea.
And long that we’d have faith to believe.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win;
We know that pain reminds this heart, that this is not, this is not our home.
It’s not our home.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life;
Is a revealing of greater thirst that a world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights;
Are Your mercies in disguise?

"Coke Bottle Cake" created by Abby Head

I’d like to thank Abby for letting me share her career goals and trust in God’s plan!  If you live in the Nashville area and would like for Abby to create a cake and/or provide catering for your next event, please go to her website, Creative Crumbs, or email her at creativecrumbsnashville@gmail.com!

Planting Seeds

26 Jul

Last week, the wheels started turning in my head after my last blog post to start a new “series” within my blog about others who are pursuing their dreams, too.  I often get goosebumps when I hear about people’s personal stories of how God is speaking to them and working in their lives.  I get so excited and passionate about this that I thought it would be a great opportunity to hear more stories and share them for all of us to gain inspiration.  It is refreshing and motivating to be reminded that God truly cares and has a purpose for each one of us.

One thing that significantly influenced this idea was a CD that I listened to of a talk by a woman named Mary Vogrinc entitled, Saying Yes to God; One Mother’s Journey.  She shared some stories about caring for fifty-four foster children over the years and moments where she had to put her trust in God.  One thing that she said, in particular, made a big impression on me.  She talked about how God plants seeds in our soul for the future.  In her own life, she shared how she found an  18-month old baby abandoned in a car of a pharmacy parking lot when she was a teenager.  The baby survived a day in a hot car with no  food or water and was turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services.  Who knew that later she and her husband would be foster parents?!

If you are pursuing God’s calling for your life or know somebody who is following their dreams, please email me at adreamerswife@yahoo.com.  I look forward to hearing from you and can’t wait to see how God is working!  I will be sharing my first “Dreamer in the Spotlight” post very soon!

Update on Adam’s Musical Journey:  Adam will be auditioning for “The Voice” this weekend.  Do you think it is a coincidence that his gigs were cancelled this weekend and then found out today about the Nashville auditions?!  I guess we will find out… He is in the process of figuring out which songs that he wants to sing for the producers/judges.  Please pray for him on Saturday!

Hope Wins

19 Jul

So I’m finally able to get to the computer after a couple days of wanting to get on here and blog about a few different things that came together in my head about having faith and pursuing our dreams.  Things can get frustrating sometimes and it can be easy to feel discouraged.  It is a continuous battle to try to remain positive and hopeful about the future.  One song that popped in my head when thinking about this was “The Impossible” by Joe Nichols.  Here is the chorus:

Unsinkable ships sink.
Unbreakable walls break.
Sometimes the things you think would never happen,
Happen just like that.
Unbendable steel bends.
If the fury of the wind is unstoppable,
I’ve learned to never underestimate,
The impossible.

This song is just a great reminder that even when we can’t see what will happen and we don’t know what steps to take next, we should not give up hope.  “With God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26)

I mentioned in my first blog post in the middle of May that Adam had recently had some revelations about the direction of his music career.  That same weekend, my dad was driving to visit my grandparents in Northern Indiana and while listening to Adam’s recent songs, he saw the sign “Hope Wins” outside a church.  He decided to turn around a take a picture of it to send to a friend who was going through a situation and had expressed that she was losing hope.  Little did my dad know that this would turn out to actually be a significant message for Adam.  About the same time that this picture was taken was when Adam was being questioned about what his vision is for his music.  Adam had been very discouraged before this and a light bulb went off in Adam and his passion and motivation was reborn!

The picture that my dad took on his phone 🙂

I’ve come across some inspirational quotes, recently, that I also thought would be motivating and appropriate to share.

“Take care of yourself and continue to persevere.  Do not allow doubt to creep across your goals.”  -Gary Caplan

“Each of us has been given a destiny and a light to shine.” -Marie Jones

“I believe 100% when your heart and  your mind are in the right place and there is no pretense, great things will come.  It’s that simple.” -Jimmy Wayne

“God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness.” -Billy Graham

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

“Be patient.  God knows what He’s doing.  God knows what is best for you.  He can see the end result.  You can’t.  All those problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays–all the things that make you ask “why”–one day will all be clear in the light of God’s love.” -Rick Warren

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

I’d like to wrap up with a prayer from a book that I just started reading on my Amazon Kindle called, I Do… Every Day: Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not So Newlyweds by Cynthia Bond Hopson and Roger Hopson.

Lord, with you we know that anything and all things are possible.  We claim and believe that you have plans for us–plans to nurture us and give us a future.  Direct our paths to the right people, places, and things to help make our dreams come true.  Help us be patient, prepared, and purposeful.  Amen.

God has plans for each one of us.  How wonderful this world would be if we all would strive to seek His will and pursue our gifts!  Anybody have any dreams of their own that they are following?

Idealistic Visions – A Good Laugh!

8 Jun

Today, I was thinking about how naive and idealistic I have been in the past about some things in regards to Adam’s music career and my life as a mommy…

I was fortunate enough to have a mother who was able to stay at home with me since the time I was born.  So for most of my life, I pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom, as well.  When I graduated college and got married, I figured I’d work for a couple of years and then be able to stay home whenever our first child was born.  I thought,  “Of course, Adam will make it by then and be able to support us on all the money he will be getting from his record deal!”  Then, after our first daughter was born, I thought, “Well, by the time God decides we’re ready for a second child, Adam will probably be successful enough that I won’t have to work outside the home then!”  Here I am, two children later, and I still have a full-time job!  (I do enjoy my job as a supervisor at a community mental health agency, though.)  Sometimes I get discouraged, but I feel so strongly that God has given Adam his musical gifts for a reason, that I continue to have faith that we will both be able to pursue the dreams that we have for our lives.  I feel very blessed that God has provided a way for my daughters to be taken care of by my husband and parents when I am working.  Adam usually has a flexible schedule during the week, since he is gone several months out of the year on the weekends.  It is nearly a miracle that my parents live close to us.  My dad retired unexpectedly early and my parents moved down to Tennessee only four months after our two-year-old was born!

Another instance that makes me shake my head, is in regards to an interesting story about Rascal Flatts.  When I was in high school, several of us loved this group that was up-and-coming at the time.  Adam, a friend, and I found out that they were going to be playing at a 21-and-over club close by on the night of my 18th birthday.  My friend’s mom and one of her friends decided to go to the show, so we recorded a video for them to give to Rascal Flatts about how much we loved their music.  Adam sang an original song and we all wrote our phone numbers and addresses on the VHS tape, as if they would contact one of us immediately and get Adam a record deal!  Ha!  I think it is absolutely hilarious that we thought a new group would actually be able to/want to pull strings for a 19-year-old guy in Indiana based on our videotape!  Like they didn’t have enough to worry about with getting their own career started!

Anyway, to finish the story, the VHS tape was delivered to them that night and I received a birthday card signed by all three of the group members!  About a month later, we drove to a nearby state to see them do an acoustic performance/interview.  We stood in line so we could meet them after the show.  We asked them about the video and they said that they had watched it!  Later that year, after Adam had moved to Nashville, he actually ran into Joe Don Rooney at a music store.  They talked for a little bit and he told Adam that we were lucky he watched our video tape.  He also said that he remembered his voice.   Kinda cool, huh?!

Obviously, after living in Nashville for awhile, we have found out how things really work in this town.  If someone “makes it” soon after moving here, he or she is extremely blessed.  Adam has found that many people like his voice and think that he is talented, but they have not taken any further steps to help him get his career moving.  I think a lot of people who aren’t familiar with the music business in Nashville wonder why Adam still hasn’t “made it” after almost 9 years of being down here.  Adam has spent the last several years trying to find his way.  He has pursued different projects that did not develop into anything and he has improved his songwriting skills.  Just recently, he has learned to trust his talent for coming up with catchy melodies and writing good songs.  I feel that God has been molding Adam and teaching him different things to get him ready for a certain path.  Adam has admitted that he doesn’t know what direction to go and is putting total faith in God.  He is committed to working hard to better himself physically and prepare mentally and spiritually for this journey ahead.  I know that God will bring the right people along to fulfill whatever plan he has for Adam.  It’s all in God ‘s time.  Stay tuned…