Fear is the root of a lot of our dysfunction. Fear of being known and fear of the unknown often rule us. Fear fades when perfect love invades. || Love is the solution to most if not every situation. Love is knowing fully and loving fully. Love is made perfect in Christ alone and invades only with our invitation. || There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. (1 John 4:18 AMP) #bikescameraaction #corkcancer #journey #inspire #change #love @ambermhill @bikescamaction (at Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort, Inc.)
I’m so glad that I have a hand to hold onto, a hope. Sometimes we find ourselves lost in the midst of winds and waves and sometimes we knowingly choose to walk into them with courage, convinced that we aren’t alone in facing whatever wave may come. One thing I cling to is this, through the winds and waves He holds me still. The anchor holds. And I am being made new. #bikescameraaction #corkcancer #ocean #beach #adventure #trust #inspire (at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa)
If I ever get to a place in my life where I think I have it all figured out, slap me awake.
I don’t think I will ever understand death.
I don’t think I will ever understand the healing that occurs here on earth and the healing that occurs in heaven.
I don’t think I will ever understand how an invisible God makes Himself known through our visible world.
I don’t think I will ever understand a lot of things. And my eyes have shed many tears as I have grown up in a world I just don’t fully understand.
But I do think there is a sovereign God who somehow and in someway causes all things to work out for our good, even though what we face often seems to be for our grief.
Happy Birthday and Fathers Day to my most favorite man in the world. My dad has stood by my side since the beginning, he has encouraged my strengths, he has told me the truth even when it was difficult for me to hear, and that is just a glimpse of gratitude for what he has done for me. He brings joy and love to every environment he walks into. He is a bright light in so many peoples lives. His place in this world is needed, desired and appreciated. He has loved me well. Not perfectly. But progressively. He has grown through the years and continues to become the man God created him to be. I couldn’t be more grateful. I hope to find a man as humble, honest, handsome, and hilarious as him. Here’s to my dad’s 65th year in this world- thankful he has overcome what this life has thrown at him including bladder cancer, prostate cancer and his current fight with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Here’s to many more years. And here’s to the man who will someday be the grandfather to my children. I couldn’t be more blessed. I love you daddy. With all my heart. To the moon and back. Thank you for choosing to love me unconditionally. And I miss you! I wish I could be there with you to celebrate- I request a dinner date with you for when I get back to Texas. #fathersday #birthday #family #missinghome (at Lancaster Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania)
Let me preface this with the truth that I had an incredible woman step in as my mother at the age of eight. It was not without its struggles. It wasn’t smooth sailing. We went through many harsh winds and waves to get to where we are today. But we got here and I have been forever changed to call her mom.
I was desperate to call someone mom.
There was a silent cry for someone to choose me; to choose to not walk away. And it all began when I lost my mom through divorce.
I was four years old. I was too young to understand.
And honestly, I don’t remember much. All I knew is that I didn’t have a mom like everyone else. I lived with my dad and two brothers and my oldest brother and sister chose to live with my mom. We had to go see her every other weekend for a couple years and that was it. Her final goodbye was when I was seven years old and she came to let us know she was moving with her boyfriend to another state, far away with her newborn baby. I barely remember that moment besides the tears.
Life went on for me and my brothers as usual. No one fixed my hair for me in the mornings, no one curled up next to me and scratched my back, no one painted my nails and dressed me up like a princess. Maybe there were moments growing up that I experienced these things but not with the woman who gave birth to me. My life wasn’t at all like the movies.
Mothers were supposed to love their children. Mothers were supposed to fight for their children. Mothers were supposed to choose their children. And I felt like my mother didn’t love me, didn’t want me and didn’t choose me.
It was thirteen years later, and I was twenty; New Years Eve 2010 and I was driving to meet my real mom for dinner, per my own request. With the go ahead from my dad and step-mom, I wanted some closure. I had contacted my older siblings who were closer to mom and worked out meeting her for dinner at Olive Garden. As I pulled up to the parking lot, panic hit me. I realized I didn’t even know what she looked like and didn’t know if I would even recognize her.
There was a woman standing outside and I just assumed it was her. With my heart beating wildly, I stepped out of my car and began the walk towards this stranger. My mom. And we embraced for the first time in at least thirteen years, heart to heart. What a strange feeling.
We had dinner and small talk and before leaving, I made my purpose known. I told her I assumed she was wondering why I contacted her randomly and I gave her my two reasons: to let her know that I forgave her and to give her the opportunity to know who I was.
Growing up without mom was hard. I am still processing the aftermath. As a grown woman, I see how our experiences early on begin to infiltrate our hearts. Sometimes the lies speak louder than the truth we try to believe.
I went another few years without any word from Mom, after that random meet up. And I again reached out to her several months ago. We have met up just a couple of times and I have received a few phone calls from her just seeing how I am doing. It is a slow process and very much an unknown undertaking. I still don’t really know the woman that birthed me and I don’t know that I ever will. She is a stranger. A stranger that did make one choice to love; she carried me for nine months and gave birth to me.
When Amber and I met for the first time and shared some of our stories, our hearts were connected in so many ways; even more ways we saw as our friendship has continued. We both lost our mothers, in different ways. But the raw pain of being without the love, affection, and presence of the women who gave birth to us have been felt. And that night at dinner we cried with the understanding of that reality. And yet, we departed with this thought…though we lack clarity, we will choose to trust. We choose to trust God, despite our disappointment, and we choose to trust each other, despite the disconnect in past relationships.
And as we step forward, our hearts are mending. We are growing…we have hurt but we have hope. And we are ok with not being ok. For now, we feel so we can heal.
Most of us walk through life hardly known. Yet, we were created to be fully known and fully delighted in. Experience strikes and often it strikes early on, causing us to build up walls that we must work hard at to tear down.
Every flower comes through dirt. || The dirt often goes unnoticed when flowers begin to bloom. The sign of life sweetly presents itself with beauty and boldness. Let us not forget the dirt. It is in and through the dirt that the flowers take root.
I feel like I’ve had to go through a lot of dirt in my life. Early on it was the dirt that I was placed into and eventually it was the dirt that I chose for myself. Tonight, I feel like I am seeing some weeds being uprooted and simultaneously flowers bursting through the dirt. You see, both grow through the dirt. Tears watered the soil tonight as I felt the bitterness of some of what I personally have walked through and the ripping away of some of the weeds that have been in the way preventing flowers to flourish. I don’t know what dirt you have walked through but take a look at the soil of your heart and see what’s growing. Don’t despise the dirt. And don’t forget the dirt. #bikescameraaction #corkcancer #analogy #flowers #gardenoftheheart #plants #quote #inspiration (at Hartford, Connecticut)