We’re Live!

Friends, I am so excited to introduce you to the new home for my blog.

http://www.journeyofsarah.com

has now gone live!

I would love to show you around my new home.

Across the top are pictures of everyone who plays the greatest part in this story, myself, my husband, and my son. Seeing their pictures makes my heart smile.

Underneath the pictures is the vision statement for what this site is all about:

Beauty for ashes for the display of His splendor.

The tabs on the left contain all the new site information. I’ll walk you through it.

Follow: This is where you can go to follow the blog.

About: This is your introduction to our family and myself as the writer of this site.

Blog: This is where the blog you know and love will continue to function just as it did. All of the old content is still there as well.

Resources: This contains links to all of the things/people that have helped my husband and I both grow in our journey and will hopefully inspire you as well.

Media: Here you will find the video of my families story. This is also where all of my podcasts will be posted. Anything multimedia related will always be under this tab.

Booking: This is where you will be able to make an inquiry if you are interested in having me speak at your next event. This is an area I see a lot more of in my future and I have a wide array of topics to speak on. If you are interested, I would love to hear from you.

Choose Joy: More details about the choose joy project will be coming in the next two months. Excited to tell you more soon.

Connect: This is where you can connect with me in other places than just the blog. My email is available if you would like to write to me personally. There is also a connect button to my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’m active on all forums and would love to connect with you there.

If you are an email subscriber make sure you go to the physical website to check the site out. We are still working on making sure all my subscribers are moved over to the new site. It shouldn’t create any bumps in your emails but if you go a few days and still haven’t received an email you might want to go to the physical site to make sure there’s no new content you’ve missed.

I’m so thankful to Lindsey at LL Studio for all of her hard work on getting this site ready. She did an amazing job. Let me know if you would like more information on her services.

I’m so humbled to see this site become a reality. I wanted to offer you more interaction and more resources and I believe this site brings reality to that vision. The site truly was a labor of love and I hope, with my whole heart, that it continues to inspire and bless you in incredible ways.

20140309-164836.jpg

We’re Live!

Friends, I am so excited to introduce you to the new home for my blog.

http://www.journeyofsarah.com

has now gone live!

I would love to show you around my new home.

Across the top are pictures of everyone who plays the greatest part in this story, myself, my husband, and my son. Seeing their pictures makes my heart smile.

Underneath the pictures is the vision statement for what this site is all about:

Beauty for ashes for the display of His splendor.

The tabs on the left contain all the new site information. I’ll walk you through it.

Follow: This is where you can go to follow the blog.

About: This is your introduction to our family and myself as the writer of this site.

Blog: This is where the blog you know and love will continue to function just as it did. All of the old content is still there as well.

Resources: This contains links to all of the things/people that have helped my husband and I both grow in our journey and will hopefully inspire you as well.

Media: Here you will find the video of my families story. This is also where all of my podcasts will be posted. Anything multimedia related will always be under this tab.

Booking: This is where you will be able to make an inquiry if you are interested in having me speak at your next event. This is an area I see a lot more of in my future and I have a wide array of topics to speak on. If you are interested, I would love to hear from you.

Choose Joy: More details about the choose joy project will be coming in the next two months. Excited to tell you more soon.

Connect: This is where you can connect with me in other places than just the blog. My email is available if you would like to write to me personally. There is also a connect button to my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’m active on all forums and would love to connect with you there.

If you are an email subscriber make sure you go to the physical website to check the site out. We are still working on making sure all my subscribers are moved over to the new site. It shouldn’t create any bumps in your emails but if you go a few days and still haven’t received an email you might want to go to the physical site to make sure there’s no new content you’ve missed.

I’m so thankful to Lindsey at LL Studio for all of her hard work on getting this site ready. She did an amazing job. Let me know if you would like more information on her services.

I’m so humbled to see this site become a reality. I wanted to offer you more interaction and more resources and I believe this site brings reality to that vision. The site truly was a labor of love and I hope, with my whole heart, that it continues to inspire and bless you in incredible ways.

20140309-164754.jpg

Important Updates

Hello Amazing Readers,

I have more exciting news to announce.
My WordPress blog is being transformed from a blog to a website.
For those who are excited-get excited! For those who are nervous, don’t be. I will still continue to blog the same inspirational content that I blog several times a week.
If you are already signed up to “follow” this blog a big thank you to you! Nothing will change regarding your subscription. You will still receive my posts in your Inbox as you do now.
If you aren’t signed up to “follow” you can just log-on to the site as you wish.
The only thing that will change is you will be getting more. More interaction from me and more resources from me.
Something you won’t be getting is ads or pop-ups because that makes a website lame.
I decided to go to a website format solely to make more content available for you.
I also hope you all enjoyed this weekends podcast. My goal is to podcast twice a month. Of course, a lot of that will depend on interaction I get from readers. To send me a question you can write it in the comments section of each blog post. With the new website you will also have the option to email me personally.
I will not be posting for the rest of the week as my web developer is working hard to transfer all of my posts over to the new website.
We should have everything up and running by the end of this weekend.

The new web address will be:

http://www.journeyofsarah.com

After everything is transferred you will be able to start pulling up from there and this WordPress site will go away (all my old blogs will be on the new website). For a short time you will be able to be redirected from here to there.
I am very excited for what’s in store for this site. I’m starting to step into some of the dreams my husband and I shared. He so badly wanted to see my blog become a website and I know he’d be proud to see how far it has come.
Thank you for your support of our family. Thank you for your prayers in each and every step. I’m so honored you are making the move over to the new site with me.
I hope to make it something that touches your life, inspires you and most importantly points you to the One who makes all things new.

Love,
Sarah

20140304-183240.jpg

Podcast-Episode One

I’m so excited about today’s blog post. A few weeks ago I wrote about this blog growing up and some new and exciting things we had in store.
Today, I’m proud to bring you my very first podcast.
Podcasts will be a new feature of this site. The intention is to expound more on some of my writings and to answer any questions you might have for me.
The podcasts are meant to bring even more interaction and information to you all. If you have additional questions about anything from God, to life, to grief (and everything in between) I would love to share my thoughts with you.
My friends helped me out with the first batch of questions but in the future I would love them to come from the readers.
If you have a question, feel free to ask it in the comments section.
I hope you enjoy the podcast!

To listen click here.

20140302-155643.jpg

*Love reading this blog? Let’s be friends officially! I can come right to your email Inbox. All you have to do is hit the subscribe button at the bottom of the page. Thanks for following, new friend.

Grief

Let’s talk about grief.
Even though it’s something I am walking through daily I’ve chosen not to talk about it daily.
Oh believe me, I could write posts every day about how much I miss my husband.
But I feel it should go without saying.
I miss him deeply.
Life is not the same in any way.
Not one thing in my life is at it was when he was in it.
Not one thing.
The day he died it was like a bomb blasted my life and everything blew to pieces, falling to the ground in disarray.
I’ve had to learn how to navigate without him, parent alone, run a house without him, provide for our family without him.
Life changed. My friendships with others changed.
My desires changed. My focus changed.
The life I had and loved died when he died.

When I was a teenager my Papaw started to get sick. It wasn’t a physical sick, it was his mind.
He started to develop dementia.
Seeing someone you love walk through that is terribly difficult.
Within the course of a year or so he no longer recognized his family.
He was a shell of who he used to be.
We had to have him moved to a veterans center nursing home and he stayed there from when I was in my teens to my early twenties.
It was a long, extended illness.
Through it all my Memaw was faithfully by his side.
She moved so she could be close to the center.
She helped the nurses take care of him.
She visited him every single day.
Without fail.
After years and years of this I started to actually pray that God would take him home soon.
I believed my Papaw would not want to live this way.
Growing up I saw him as so strong, it was hard to watch what he had become.
It was hard visiting him and seeing him in that condition.
After many years of things staying the same I started to ask God why He was allowing my grandpa to still live.
I didn’t understand why he had to continually battle this illness.
I was praying for the merciful thing to happen.
Not just for him but for my Memaw, who had put her entire life on hold to care for him.
It hit me one day, while I may be praying for the “merciful thing” I think God may have been honoring my Memaw’s prayers.
I think her prayers might have been the opposite of mine.
She wasn’t ready to let my Papaw go.
It didn’t matter that he no longer knew who she was.
It didn’t matter what sacrifices she had to make.
She loved him and she wanted him with her.
She didn’t want to do life without him.
No matter how difficult life had become.

I didn’t understand how that could be until what we walked through.
Cancer made our lives difficult.
No doubt about it.
Waves were crashing over us and we were barely keeping our head above water.
For years.
Then, an unexpected stroke, from what was supposed to be a routine surgery.
After his stroke he was not the same Joel.
Aside from a divine miracle, his first stroke was so debilitating he would have never been able to return to the life he once had.
I would have had to give up the rest of my life to care for him.
But I didn’t care.
I would have gladly done it day in and day out just to have him with me.
It didn’t matter to me the stark reality we were facing.
I would have faced it with him.
I wasn’t ready to let him go.
I was never prepared for this to be our ending.

I asked my widow friend if there will ever be a time where I don’t think about my husband all day, every day.
She said no.
He will be in every thought, every memory, and every decision forever.
When I realized it was normal it became a source of comfort to me.
I grieve every day.
I will for the rest of my life.
That’s ok.
There’s a pain that comes with grief that you learn to live with.
While that pain is a reminder of what you lost it also reminds you of how blessed you were to have had what you had.
Through my pain I’ve been able to find purpose. And the purpose is what I try to share with you all.
It’s what keeps me moving forward each day when I really want to crawl under my sheets and hide.
I do honor the pain but above all I seek to glorify the purpose.
My sorrow will never be in vain.
Life will never be the same.
But He is good.

Sometimes you may say, ‘God is good,’ with tears running down your cheeks, but He is good, and He will see you through, and He never wastes your sorrows. He didn’t waste the sorrows of His Son on the cross. He won’t waste your sorrows. He, by His magnificent power, will transform them into that which is good—that which brings gain to the kingdom and glory to His name.
-Dr Joseph Stowell

20140227-074641.jpg

*Love reading this blog? Let’s be friends officially! I can come right to your email Inbox. All you have to do is hit the subscribe button at the bottom of the page. Thanks for following, new friend.

Hide and Seek

My son is into the game of Hide and Seek lately.
He runs all around the house to find the perfect “spot” and waits there for Mama to find him.
Of course I always find him.
One day he was in the living room hiding behind the drapes.
The other day he was in the guest room hiding behind the blinds.
What gives him away?
It’s his feet.
They get him every time.
The day he wedged himself behind the curtain was actually a pretty convincing spot.
He had shimmied back until the curtain was nearly completely flat.
When I passed by and saw his striped baby socks sticking out I knew I’d found my little guy.
I ripped the curtain back and there he was, grinning from ear to ear.
“I found you bubba!!” I exclaimed.
He bursts into a fit of giggles.
You get the game.
He loves to play.

I had a woman tell me the other day she was sad over a loss she had experienced.
She felt as if God was far from her in her pain.
“God is hiding from me. I’m just waiting for Him to show up.”
Have you ever felt this way?
In scripture there are lots of stories of people who have felt this way.
David is a prime example of someone who comes to mind.
The Psalms are full of David asking God why He is hiding his face?
Where has He gone?
Why has He left him?

Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face? Psalm 44:23-4

Job asked the hard questions too.
Why did God allow the bad things to happen?
What did Job do to deserve the pain?
In the moment he needed Him the most, why did it feel like God was hiding from him?

If we were being honest we have all felt this way at some point in our lives.
We have asked God for help, asked God for answers and gotten what seems like a big fat nothing.
It may feel as if God is playing a giant, cruel game of hide and seek with us.
But nothing could be further from the truth.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

He says that He dwells in the high and holy space.
But He’s also with us in the lowly place.
He’s with us always.
Not just some of the time.
All of the time.
Not only when we “feel” Him.
But in the moments where we don’t.

He hasn’t left you.
He has forsaken you.
He hasn’t failed you.
He’s not hiding from you.
He’s with you.
He loves you.
He’s for you.
That’s the truth of who He is.
That’s all He can ever be.

20140225-140003.jpg

20140225-140217.jpg

20140225-140225.jpg

20140225-140242.jpg

20140225-140250.jpg

*Love reading this blog? Let’s be friends officially! I can come right to your email Inbox. All you have to do is hit the subscribe button at the bottom of the page. Thanks for following, new friend.

Desert Places

Today I’m spurred on by a discussion I had recently with a friend. She confided how she felt like she was enduring one of the driest seasons of her life.
Hearing her talk brought me back to one of my desert seasons.
It was like it was yesterday but so long ago at the same time.
We were deep in a 3 year cancer battle.
We were struggling.
While we watched our friends joyously celebrating each new chapter of their lives we were stuck in the same run-on sentence of ours.
Friends would get engaged-we went to the doctor.
Friends would have babies-we’d have CT scans.
Everything in our lives was placed on hold to help my husband fight an unrelenting disease.
As a wife, that meant my dreams, hopes and desires were placed on hold as well.
While others lives seemed to be moving quickly the pause button was hit on our lives.
We were fighting a battle with everything we had day in and day out.
We were young and our friends couldn’t possibly relate to our trials. We were on an island.
It was lonely.
It was sad.
It was confusing.
It was hard.
In the midst of it I felt like I was living a nightmare.
A never ending one at that.
Every ounce of strength I had was rapidly depleting.
It was a dry season.
One of the most difficult I’ve ever endured.

I wish we could grow during the fruitful seasons of our life as much as we do in the dry ones.
Rarely does it work that way.
There is something about being at the point of desperation that stirs growth within you.
I look back at that point in my life and see, I was being prepared.
God was shaping my heart.
He was strengthening my character.
He was teaching me.
He was leading me.
What I looked upon then as one of the driest points was actually some of the most fruitful.
It was rich with mercy and deep in revelation.
He was making me brave.
He was showing me He was all I needed.
He was faithful.
He was there.
In my desert places.

There were more to trials to come for me.
Loss that would test me to my very core.
But by then, I knew to my very core who I was.
Who God was in me.
The strength He’d given me.
The fearlessness I walked in.
The desert was preparing me for this season. And this season is preparing me for the next.
And the next…

Don’t be discouraged by where you are today.
You may feel alone.
You may not understand.
It may seem dry.
It may seem unrelenting.
But it’s a gift.
The barren places are preparation for what He has in store for us.
He is strengthening our resolve.
And building our confidence.
Not in what we are.
But in who He is.

20140220-183451.jpg

*Love reading this blog? Let’s be friends officially! I can come right to your email Inbox. All you have to do is hit the subscribe button at the bottom of the page. Thanks for following, new friend.