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the HIKE.

I must admit, I used to believe in reincarnation. For the longest time I questioned the thought of us “floating on a cloud” forever, and ever, and ever, and ever. It drove me crazy, and it made me anxious just thinking about it.
I grew up going to church. Oddly enough though, my parents weren’t “church-goers.” We moved from California to Sterling, KS when I was 7 years old. Before moving to Sterling, I don’t think I had even ever heard of God. Not until I was “brought” to church by a friend’s family. Whenever I stayed the night at her house, I was always invited/expected to go to church with them. It was a Baptist Church. I have fond memories of attending “Awanas” there on Wednesday nights. I mainly remember memorizing bible verses, playing games like “duck, duck, goose,” and at the end, closing in prayer and “asking Jesus to come into my heart.” The one bible verse that has stuck with me my entire life is Ephesians 2: 8-9. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” I had no special reason for gravitating to that verse. I didn’t even understand it, but for some reason it has never left my brain since those days in grade school.
I continued to attend church through Jr. High and High School. I switched over to the local Methodist Church where I became involved in Sunday School, bible studies, and was baptized & confirmed into the church. Not necessarily because I had this overpowering love for God, but probably moreso because that’s what my friends were doing. I believed in God, but I can’t say I really lived my life thinking about him too much. I especially avoided thinking about death. Before Ally had passed, I was terrified of funerals. I saw my step-grandpa’s open-casket in 5th grade and left the service hysterically crying. You could say I was a little traumatized.
After High School I moved to Manhattan, KS to attend Cosmetology School. One might say I also received a dual-major in partying. I went to lots of parties and drank way too much, but when everyone else is doing the same thing, you don’t really think much of it. I will say, I did think of it SOME. I remember thinking that God had an impossible standard for us all to live by, and it was hard to believe that pretty much everyone I knew couldn’t live up to those standards. So, why even try? A ticket to Heaven really meant living an unfun life on Earth, or so I thought. I’m so thankful for the clarity God has provided since then.
I remember my real “walk” with God began when Ally was born. Through her life, he began to open my eyes and my heart. I wanted to be the best me, for her, and I knew that would only happen through him.
Although, before Ally, I was taking more of a STROLL with God. It was leisurely, inconsistent, and on my terms.
With Ally, I began to WALK with God. Like a walk around the block where I was easily distracted by the noise around me. I was moving forward, but I definitely didn’t exert myself.
After Ally, I then began my HIKE with God. I began fiercely trekking toward him. I started listening for his voice to guide me through the trail. Relying on him for my every need. Praying for him to quench my thirst, grant me endurance for the uphill battles, and to give me hope through the trials. I know the hike I began is really a journey to THE supreme destination. I can’t control the route, the conditions, or my ETA. All I can control is my mindset, how I treat people along the way, and my willingness to lean on God through it all.
I’m being strengthened every day through this strenuous journey. I’ve been humbled, I’m more compassionate, and I’m learning what’s really important in life. Even though it can be brutal, and at times can make me want to give up, I know the reward of the hike is so much greater than the walk. That is a gift that can only come from God.

Faith · Grief · Hope · Loss

Grace + Peace + Hope = STRENGTH

I’m told all the time that I’m a strong person. This is very ironic to me, and let me tell you why. Growing up, I was always a very sensitive kid. Anyone who knew me knew I cried easily and often. I was a worrier. I always feared something bad happening. So, you can only imagine how I was as a first-time mom. I was terrified. Continue reading “Grace + Peace + Hope = STRENGTH”

Grief · Hope · Loss · Memory

Ok, here goes nothing..or absolutely everything.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years & 45 days since I lost my daughter Ally. Which means it’s also been 2 years & 21 days since I gave birth to my little boy, Brady. If you don’t already know me and my story, you’re doing a little math right now. Yep, I had my little boy 3 weeks after losing my little girl. Continue reading “Ok, here goes nothing..or absolutely everything.”