Recognize your Storm

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This morning my husband told me to read Romans 8.  Seems like a simple, easy task.  I came in from dropping the older two off at their proper destinations, on time of course, which means that when I returned home the tornado of distraction was all around me.  Things out of place, dishes in the sink, beds unmade, laundry everywhere.  But I was determined to spend time with Him.  I straightened the living room up, popped in a movie for the 3rd born and nursed the babe to sleep.  I sat down with my Bible, pen and journal ready to hear from my Father who I desperately needed to be loved on by today.

Then it happened.  The life that surrounds me daily.  The life that I love, the life that I call my own, but the life that is really hard sometimes.  The door slams, the baby wakes up, the movie gets jammed from little fingers in the DVD player, the tot falls off the chair trying to reach the legos that she could swallow and before you know it I have read Romans 8 twice with absolutely no idea what it says, and the only scribble in my journal was that of my toddler when she saw mommy had a pen.

I got up and I acted like the very storm around me.  I called my husband in tears, I sent out a text to my best friend in frustration and I slammed the bouncy seat (with no baby) down on the table and screamed out "WHERE ARE YOU, LORD!?!?" with tears streaming down my face.  As soon as the words left my lips, I heard in my spirit, "I am right HERE with you."

Calmness began to happen even though I still had tears rolling down my face.  I was still frustrated.  I was still asking. I was still mad.  But I felt calmer.  I laid down the idea of a quiet time, turned on worship music and began my daily duties that I do every. single. day.

As I made my bed, I was asking myself why I became so upset.  It's not like the babies planned to ruin mommy's time with the Lord.  They were just doing their job, just as I am supposed to do mine.  But why did it have to be so hard?  I was then drawn to the thoughts I had just prior to sitting down with my Bible in hand.

This morning when I awoke, I checked Instagram.  It was flooded with bloggers who were sitting down with Jesus.  Except what was captured in their picture looked so very different than what was found in my viewfinder.  There was no coffee with a pretty cup or cozy cute socks over looking a beautifully decorated and clean kitchen.  There was no pretty doodling in my journal or a smell good candle burning in the background.  The view I had around me was not Instagram worthy.  Or was it?

How many times do we set ourselves up for failure by setting expectations that God never intends for us to set.   He sets the bar for our lives and too many times we allow comparison to raise that bar to heights and places that He never intended for us to go.  We want things to be perfect.  We want them documented in our social media and our minds as the perfect scenario and that we have it all together.  But really we are one big mess.  Waiting for a Savior to come and speak to us as we slam down the bouncy seat in pure frustration.  It was when I came to the end of myself that I heard His voice.  It was when I lost control of my flesh, laid it all down before Him in my own childish ways that His spirit came in, just like any Good and Loving Father and He took my hand and said I AM HERE, My Daughter.  I am with you.

My time with Him may not be Instagram worthy.  But I am ok with that because it's real.  I am learning that I must recognize my season, just as much as I must recognize the storm that it sometimes brings.  That yes, things are sometimes chaotic right now and I am running on coffee fumes, but He is still here.  He is here in the mundane.  He is here in the bed making and the diaper changing.  He is here with me.

After putting the babe in the swing, making the bed and fixing the dvd player, I sat.  I sat with my computer, writing this blog with worship music playing in almost silence.  My 3rd born danced in front of the TV and my baby smiled at me from across the room.  It took this reckless morning of raw emotions to bring me to this point.  The point of peace.  The Instagram worthy moment.  The moment when I realized that this is what it's about.  The moments in life when you recognize that this life we call our own, really isn't ours to begin with.  That we belong to Him and He loves to allow us to be comforted by Him.  He loves when we lay ourselves down to be wrapped in His love.

Maybe I just needed to write these words for myself.  Maybe for my future self when I slam down another piece of furniture in frustration.  Or maybe for someone else out there who is experiencing the frustration of His silence.  He is with you.  He loves you and He is waiting for you to lay it down at the feet of Jesus in pure surrender that you cannot do it all.  The comparison is the thief of all joy and you must recognize the storm that surrounds you.

Peter, he knew and recognized the storm surrounding him but yet he still got up and walked on water to be with his Savior.  Peter's faith allowed him to take the first few steps, but then the wind began to overwhelm him and his flesh became weak and flooded him with doubt of what God could do.  He then called out to Jesus in despair.  And just as Jesus always does, He reached out his hand to Peter.  And together they walked on water through the storm.

I felt like Peter this morning.  I tried, I failed, I became overwhelmed and He rescued me. Again.  And always.

Recognize your storm and then have the courage to reach out for His hand to help you through it. 

Porter Rae

Sunday, December 21, 2014

As i take a break from work this week, i want to catch up on documenting some memories.  because remember, although i love when God uses this blog to speak and touch others, i write because i love looking back on these words and remembering the past seasons, the past celebrations, the hard places and the journey that our family has been on.  I love reading about the many milestones my daughters have achieved and the memories they have made, whether they remember them or not.  and I especially love the pictures.  those once upon a time chubby cheeks that my girls once possessed are priceless memories and I would totally be devastated if blogger ever pulled the plug on this whole blog thing...

so here is our latest work of pure awesomeness, sweetness and just plain beautiful little girl that God has given us to parent.  born october 19, 2014 and already prepared and destined for greatness.

Porter Rae has already brought so many blessings and has grown so much since these beautiful pics were taken.  I am so excited that we get to raise these world changing mamas.  
These are truly the bestest of days.

Photography by Eric Boneske Photography. He is one talented dude.

Know Your Season.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Since I last wrote, we have welcomed our fourth baby girl into the Nagy mix.  I don't think I need to explain why my posts come and go with months in between.  However, when the Lord speaks to me in a strong way and He tells me to share it on this blog... I choose to be obedient because I can only assume that there is someone out there that needs to hear these words as well.  I love how God gives us nuggets of Truth, not just for us to consume it all ourselves but to share it with others.  That is living the Kingdom life.  It's not just about us.

This morning after dropping the girls off at school, we came home.  Which is rare because if you have followed my journey on Facebook, then you know that the last few months our furniture booth is my job and keeps me busy these days.  But today, I knew that a morning at home was much needed.  These type days have become my favorite.  With Porter Rae changing each day and having 3 others that have paved the way, I know that this newborn season is the hardest but the most fleeting all at the same time.  That one day soon, she will no longer curl her legs when lifted up, she will no longer sleep so easily on my chest and that newborn smell when I sniff the top of her head will soon be replaced with toddler "aromas."   

So the mornings that I get to spend at home, bouncing and rocking my baby are priceless to me.  And I try to savor each moment.  However, this morning was different.  As I was bouncing her and looking at her deep blue eyes that will soon turn brown, I found myself in condemnation because I have not read my Bible like I usually do.  I mean the laundry has collected on the tables, the diapers are always needing to be changed, nursing, painting, redoing furniture, consuming lots of coffee, sleepless nights...  when can I fit it all in God?  I love You, You know this... but I am not being a "good" Christian right now.  I am too "busy" God.  All of these thoughts were raging in my head and soon I felt like I had let down the One that loves me so.  As the thoughts continued, He began to speak to me through those deep navy blue eyes. 

 He said, " you spend time with Me everyday."  

But how God?  My Bible app on the iPad hasn't been opened in weeks and my Bible is literally collecting dust.  I mean the only Word that I have rested on has been the verses I have memorized in my head, the few I gathered from the first couple chapters of the new Steven Furtick book and the ones I have scribbled on the pantry door to remind that He is enough when the food gets low.  How could that be enough for you Lord? 

And then...

He softly consumed me with such emotion.  I began to cry as I held and bounced my baby girl and I began to see the Lord through her eyes.  He was in her.  Just as He is in me.  I was cuddling with the Lord daily.  I was bouncing and rocking and singing with Him.  I was loving and cherishing my time with Him each day as I nurtured and took care of my baby's needs.  I was exactly where I needed to be in this season, doing exactly what I needed to do.  

I began to sob as I realized His love for me, His love for her.  All of the guilt and condemnation immediately left and I felt such grace and strength through what I would consider one of the hardest seasons of being a mommy of a newborn for the 4th and final time. 

God sent His only son so that WE could have LIFE and life more abundantly.  And I was holding life in my hands.  She literally depends on me and her daddy to bring her life.  We feed her, we keep her safe, we watch over her as she sleeps.  Just as He does us.  

So as I watched her gently close her eyes just before I laid her down for her morning nap, I realized that there is no greater worship to Him in this season that that of looking into my babies (all of them) eyes and giving Him praise that He would choose me to mother these four amazing world changers.  

So if this is you, if you are under condemnation for not doing "enough" I just want to remind you to KNOW your season.  Am I saying that you should not ever read His word?  Absolutely not.  The seasons that I have dug deep into His word, is what sustains me through seasons such as these.  There will be a day when time begins with a quite home and the only one I have to get ready is myself.  But until then He wants me to recognize the season he has me in, just as He does.

He knows where you are in life.  Make Him a part of everything you do, bring praise to Him right where you are and give Him credit for it all.  He can speak through ANYTHING, if you bring Him into EVERYTHING.   It will truly bring life into your situation, remove condemnation and catapult you down the right path that He has for your life. 

Know your season and praise Him through it.  Do the best with what you are given, allow grace to do the rest and keep on keeping on.  He's got you, cuddling you in His mighty arms.

Those navy blues.

Looking right back at her mommy.

And this one... 
stuffing a phone in her shirt and quietly waiting for "baby" to go "nite-nite."

The Nursery Reveal.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's 4am and I am sitting on my couch staring out the large picture window in my living room and I can literally hear a hoot owl outside.  Yes, really.  At first I thought it was a pitiful dog.  But it's not.   It's almost picture perfect besides the fact that am I up at the crack of dawn and this early morning thing is totally not my idea of fun.  But after laying in bed for an hour with non-stop kicking in my belly and contractions, I could no longer lay still.

Don't worry.  I may or may not be in labor.  It's only my 4th child so surely I am not expected to know when my body is in labor, right?  I mean I have only had contractions since 32 weeks and I may have only texted my friend Ashley who is on stand by 3-4 times swearing that it was "go time."

I find it pretty funny myself.  I guess the excitement and the readiness overtake me and all of a sudden a few consistent contractions MUST mean that its time to pack the car, clean the house and hype up 3 very small children for no reason at all.  Oh, the memories.  Yesterday, Emma Jane said that if Porter was still in my belly at her birthday, could I still go down the water slides?  Her birthday is in APRIL people... poor child is as ready as I am for this little babe to come out.

And now, I am out of words to write.  I thought under the light of the moon and the singing from the owl that it would be a writer's paradise and that words would start flowing.  But all I can think about is breakfast and how it should be served no matter what time you wake up.  Which is why I think God gave me a family... otherwise I may be a Marriot traveler just so that I can wake up to the complimentary breakfast and coffee.

If you don't know me by now here is one thing you can learn... I hate to cook.  Period.


I wanted to wait and show you once the final touches were in place and when every picture was hung nicely on the wall... but as I have realized with this whole house transformation, that "our thing" is always a process.  And money doesn't grow on trees.  So if I waited until my idea of "perfection" you would probably see the nursery reveal when baby #4 is two years old.

So here you go...

When just one crazy baby slept in this room.

This room is the darkest room in this whole house.  I knew that we needed something to lighten up the space.  However, it is a great place to take a nap.

This sweet mobile was hand-made by a dear friend.  
One of my favorite gifts.  Ever.

The verse that inspired our 3rd born's name... 
River Beth.

See those hideous closet doors?  Those can be found in every room of this whole house and redoing the nursery was the perfect excuse to get rid of the first set!!  
Oh, and take note of the chew marks on the crib. 

This dresser was mine when I was a little girl.  My father in law painted it darker brown when Emma Jane was born, but it was wayyyy past a color change.  However I love that each of my children have at one time had a piece of my own nursery in their room.

 And the walls.  Almost a year ago, my Wade Nagy patched all the nail holes and place where the 1970's wall radios were found.  And I have been looking at these spots ever since.  A great reminder of the "process."


I started with painting the dressers.  I used Annie Sloan Paris Gray paint and clear wax and allowed for some light, very light distressing.  

I also changed the knobs (which were originally spray painted black) with touches of Silver Guilders Paste.  (I have raved about this product here)

It's so easy and fun.

Wade Nagy got busy with the wainscoting and the new closet doors.  Because he is a builder, he snagged this wood and closet door for less than $200.  Perks for sure.

My friend, Ashley, scored this awesome twin bed from one of their flip houses, just as I was getting tired of waiting for one.  But then He provided as always.  This freebie was worth the wait.  

I lightly sanded to remove the shiny finish and then painted with Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue and clear wax.  I considered distressing, but decided I wanted to stick to the solid look.
You can always sand later.

And then to my surprise, I was given this beauty.  My friend, Hannah, gave me this to sell in our vintage furniture booth but I knew when my eyes met this pretty thing that it was going no where except the nursery.  And I love it.
(color:  Paris Gray)


Next came the dreaded crib.  I actually thought about spray painting it because I was totally overwhelmed by all of the bars and my 37 weeks pregnant belly.  

But then I found this tutorial on a gray wash technique using Annie Sloan and I couldn't turn down the challenge.

Start by lightly sanding the crib's finish off.  Remember the chew marks?  I do not want that happening again.  So I sanded the top bar all the way down to the original wood in hopes that the paint will adhere and last through the future chewing.  I am hopeful, for now anyways.

Then, apply your first coat of Annie Sloan, French Linen.  I applied two coats for extra coverage.  
Then apply a thin coat of clear wax.

I did not allow the wax to fully dry before I started with the next color.  
Mix 1 part, Paris Gray with 4 parts Old White.  

Lightly apply gray/ white paint mixture and wipe off as desired with a wet rag.  You will immediently see all three colors (French Linen, Paris Gray and Old White) come through giving you a white washed gray look.  

I then applied a second coat of clear wax and a little extra where some chewing may occur.

And pretty soon you will have this...

Big difference, huh?

Now on to the rest of this darling makeover.

The bedding was a surprise gift from my friends who I love so much.  I totally cried when I opened the big, brown UPS box on the day of my shower brunch.  I felt so loved at that moment.
You can find this Pottery Barn Bedding Set (here).

And this perfect monogram is from one of my favorite places, Southern Nest.  
This gal can pretty much do anything to add style to any home.  
She is amazing and you should totally venture on over to her website.

And honestly... these iPhone pictures just do not do this room justice.  

And here is my precious 3rd born sleeping in her big girl bed for the very first time.  We wore her slap out at the beach, then laid her down in her bed for nap.  She cried for 2 seconds and then we captured this sweet moment.  Trust me, this is the only time this angel is still.

And one last comparison and then hopefully I can get some sleep on the couch as I no longer can see the moon which tells me morning is just around the corner.  Along with the 5:23 am on the clock.

Just need a rug similar to this one and some wall decor, but already this is one of my favorite rooms in this whole house.

NOW come on baby Porter.