My Birthday Reflections- 36!

I feel as though, since my birthday, January 24th, life hasn’t really slowed down.

It’s the year+ of Covid (2021) so things looked differently. I usually have a group of gals I invite multiple times a year to enjoy food and some sort of craft (the kind you actually use) or one time I had my mother-in-law teach a cooking class. I have missed that. The gals that come, I don’t always hang out with all year long because of life, but when they come over, friends from different areas of my life, it’s such a joy to me!

I have missed that. Last year for my birthday (2020), I missed the quarantine so it was business as usual! My sister, Mandy came in with her family so she and her husband went out with my friends and enjoyed a great time without a thought of a pandemic. Less than 2 months later, we were in full quarantine mode.

This year, I asked my mama to come down from Toledo, to spend a couple of days shopping, eating yummy food, hanging out with the grandkids and we even did a full-on make up look which had us laugh-crying at times!

To make this year of turning 36 special, Andy surprised me with reservations to a restaurant we love to go to and barely got us in even a week in advance! He invited my friends and loved me so well with this special surprise! I put on one of my fanciest tops, did my make-up and hair (a rare thing these days!) and went out on the Westerville town!

My amazing husband! Such a stud all around!

Lauren, who has been a friend for almost 12 years, the first person outside of family I even considered watching my kids (when Cy was a toddler and Eisley was a baby!) and who literally became family to us in those early years of mothering. She now has a beautiful family of her own! We used to do all the things together, and she even came with me to get my tattoo! Life took us a part for awhile but we are back to hanging out and my heart could literally not me more happy about it! She’s such a light and a gift!

Kristin, who I have known almost as long, and I met in a class my husband was teaching- an adult, in-depth Bible class at church. I’m not sure who asked for whose number first but the last 12 years have been filled with dates to La Chatelaine, farmer’s markets and good coffee! Her loyalty in friendship over the years has been a true blessing me!

Our new(er) friends, Lynn and Andy Sieberhagan, who we have known for many years but just started hanging out with since summer of 2019 as they have been missionaries all around the world and were supported by our church, where Andy is now one of the lead pastors! It feels like we have known them for years as it’s been so easy to do life with them. Lynn and I are very different but our gifts compliment each other and we have the best time together! We love to study God’s Word, encourage each other and point other women to do the same! She’s a gift to me and I’m so grateful for her friendship! P.S. They are from South Africa and have the best accents. They could have easily been in Downtown Abbey 😉

Andy to the second power!
I had to break it up a little 😉

Seriously, such a fun night! Great people who I get to call friends, family even!

Lots of laughter, sharing of stories, and honestly, I felt so loved being around such wonderful people! Andrew William, ya did real good! Thank you!

My official birthday was the next day and per usual, my kids and hubby celebrated me so well. They love to make breakfast and I love when they do! God has been so good to us! And, of course, I always miss my Zekey. I wish he were with us!

For me personally, God continues to grow me up as I truly desire to be all He has called me to be. His kindness, His patience, His call…it’s all so wonderful and I’m so grateful.

I love discipling women, I love learning from women who have gone before me in life, I always want to be teachable, I want to continue to believe God has put me together on purpose, for purpose and may I walk that out obediently, even when it’s scary, even when the enemy tells me I’m not called by God…he is such a liar.

I may have snapped this year, in a good way. I’m a challenger, I like to let the Bible convict me and even in ways that is counter-cultural…sadly, counter-modern-day-church-culteral at times. I want to point people to Jesus in love, but sometimes it’s painful. I know because I have had convictions that humble me, too.

I love to teach others what Scripture is teaching me. I love flipping pages in my Bible as the Spirit leads me to connections throughout. It’s so beautiful and amazing to me!

I love to disciple women! I love to help them see, they too can read Scripture, hear from God and have an intimate relationship with Him! I love to see women have ‘ah-ha!’ moments and grow in their belief that God has called them, gifted them and invites them to join in on what He is doing- redeeming a broken world through Himself.

I also love design. My kitchen design business has grown by word of mouth and I could not be more grateful to God and my clients for being so wonderful. I have learned so much with each kitchen and get so excited for my clients when they see their cabinets come in! To take what was and then see what I designed come to life kind of blows me away every time. God is truly remarkable to put things in us that reflect who He is!

Here is a before picture…I saw the potential!

And Here is another client who went with a mid century vibe and I loved designing out of my own personal style. It was a lot of fun! Backsplash coming soon!

Backsplash coming soon!

A full view with one cabinet not in because countertops were not quite in yet…

And before…

Ah…all that potential!

And my current project is in progress…

It turned out so beautiful for my client!

Here is my cient’s before… now a completely new layout now!

Another before view…

Yes it’s the same kitchen! Potential!

New website coming soon now that I have 4 kitchens under my belt! Serving Ohio and surrounding states!! Tell your friends! 😉

Over the last year, I have struggled, wondering if I should put all of my time in discipleship or design. I have wrestled with God about it. Then, my mom once pointed out that the Proverbs 31 woman, did many things. And my good friend, once my discipler, who turned friend reminded me that the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t do all the things at once, but had different seasons where she did different things.

All of this wisdom helped me realize that it doesn’t have to be one or the other and that both reflect who God is and what He is doing through me. Both reveal gifts God has so graciously placed in me and I can use it all to glorify Him.

And honestly, if I stopped my design business, I would feel a part of me died…I always have felt that way when I didn’t have a specific area in life where I created whether sewing, painting, designing kitchens….

And if I stopped discipling women, another part of me would feel dead as well. I simply cannot help loving women and seeing the potential they have in growing more and more in who God has made them to be, calling out their gifts and pointing them back to Jesus. It’s just a part of who I am!

No apologies for either. Actually, standing firm and knowing it isn’t I who put me together, I take no credit. I love designing and getting to work with flexible hours and wonderful people. I love taking what is a breathing new life into it. I love seeing women as they are, loving them and yet also seeing them beyond what they believe to be true in the now, and point them to what God has for them, point them to see them the way God does.

Discipleship and Design. Both are in the business of redemption.

To close, I’ll leave you with my birthday Facebook post!

“I’m excited for 36! The older I get, the more years with the Lord and the more I am becoming the woman He has called me to be. Not without mistakes, hearing Him incorrectly or stories of pain, but together still, always looking for His hand to guide me. There is no better way.

My heart wants to speak to the women who will listen. I pray that you find your value, not in seeing other women rising to higher power, but when your face rises up to look at Jesus, looking into His eyes as He tells you your value. I want to see women rising up, not trying to reach as high or higher than others, but rising in their role as wife, mother, friend, neighbor, co-worker, disciple of Jesus. The kind of rising that gets low and serves and doesn’t look to the left or right to see if what you’re doing matters. It does.

Single ladies, your value isn’t measure in your marriage status but at the cross. You’re  praised in your calling to be single for this season. What Jesus wants to bring to The Body of Christ through your singleness is unique, although I imagine so challenging at times. Your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit and the ways you can serve others is praiseworthy! Stay near Jesus and play a part in His work, it is not done in vain! He sees you and loves you with unshakeable love! 

Married women: Love your husband, build him up with your words, make him dinner and even his favorite dessert sometimes, letting him help even though he may not do it *correctly and kissing him hello when you see each other after a long day. 

Mamas: get low with your children, whether to play on the floor with them or to gently correct their behavior in love. Listening to your teenagers and finding ways to connect over meals laughing with them and seeing them as co-laborers and disciples of Jesus. 

All the women: I encourage you to make Jesus a priority, personally, in your family and sharing it with those around you. Make going to Church a priority and serve together. Talk about Scripture and even encourage a daily time with the Lord. Family staying together is God’s best, redeeming broken ones is His gift and grace. 

Getting out of the busyness of life to have a friend for coffee, even if over zoom, make a meal to serve, hand write a note of encouragement. Reach out to the friend you haven’t talked to in forever. Community. Do life *with people. 

My personal favorite ministry starts in my home with my family: My husband and children and the women I get to disciple and do life with. It’s hard but holy work. 

The world will scoff at these things, say it makes you little and weak, and may say a few other things. Whose words will you follow? What words will direct your path?

My biggest prayer is this: Let God’s Word and His ways be what guides you on your journey, your ways of thinking, and let Jesus be ‘your truth’ as they say…and may everything you say and do flow from it.

May we not be tossed to and fro by the teachings of this world as they quietly and sometimes loudly, twist the truth, making us question even the basic teachings of God’s Word.

God is FOR you, the world is not. The enemy, the one deceiving the world, will pretend he is for you, masking himself through success, lies saying that being a mother isn’t that special, staying with your husband isn’t that important, saying your body is where your worth lies and will tempt you to do anything for more power, riches, wealth, a large following… the enemy will twist the truth like he did when he deceived Eve, convincing her God wasn’t *really out for her good. I encourage you, shut out the lies, repent of your old ways, and walk in the newness of life in Christ for the first time or again. He will not lead you astray. What He says and does will not leave you thirsty but quenched and even craving more of this holy, living water. 

I’ve learned much of this this (all glory to God!) and I’m still learning plenty too. I’m walking some of this out, and I’m letting God pick me up, clean me off and try again at times too.

She laughs without fear of the future, not because she has control, power, success, but because she serves an almighty God who continues to show her that He will never leave her nor forsake her, He will always be faithful and literally died for her. That He sees her as valuable and even has directly called her to play a part in what He is doing in the world, redeeming it, one beautiful soul at a time. 

Thank you for the birthday wishes. I love you all so much and felt so loved 🥰 

Photo Cred: Bexley asking to take my picture while one of my family members made me laugh. Gold “

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