What Are Your Gifts?

This morning I was sitting in a quaint church with some new friends that I have made, and The Lord spoke to me like I have never heard before..

I truly believe everyone was given gifts and talents by the Lord, but for some reason, I had it in my mind that I did not know what mine was. I could name everyone else’s gifts, but when it came to mine, I would draw a blank.

In church today, we read in Matthew chapter 7 and it was like the words jumped out of the page. Don’t you love when this happens?

Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the open who knocks, the door will be opened.”

This is such a simple concept, but why do we make it so hard? I know I am 100% guilty of making things WAY WAY harder than they need to be, and the Lord’s hand is in it the entire time!!

 

The Lord will always give us what He considers is good. Every single gift from the Lord is so good. Every single one of them.

The pastor at church today said how sometimes we only look out of our windshield and see what is in front of us. But as time passes, we will be able to see clearly through our rear view mirror how everything, and I mean everything, connected so perfectly. The Lord’s plan is full of so much goodness.

Yall.  Our Lord is so INTENTIONAL. He has everything perfectly in place. His timing is good. His gifts are good. He is good. He can take the most tragic event and turn it into something good.

I have seen the Lord work even more while I am in the hospital setting working with families that are going through life’s most challenging events. It is amazing to see the strength family’s have whenever going through the loss of a loved one or a child being diagnosed with cancer. The Lord’s hand has been on these families and they see it.

It has been such a humbling experience to be working with these families, and I have grown in more ways than I could. I went into this field so selfishly expecting that I was going to help all of them and shed some light and hope to them, but THEY ARE DOING THIS TO ME! Every day I am blown away by the faith, love, and spirit these families have. They have changed my life more than I could ever imagine changing theirs.

One patient that had cancer told me she had it easy compared to others because her chemo has not made her as sick. She has it easy???!!! NO I HAVE IT EASY!! As I sit and complain about having to drive to Shreveport every weekend for events, she is telling me how she has it easy because she is not getting physically sick from her treatment. WOW. That takes one humble human being to say that. This patient is just one example of how selfless these kids are. And they are only kids!! Imagine what God is going to do in their hearts and how many lives they will change. Their story is going to change the world, one heart at a time. And I can already tell ya, they have changed mine.

They may be tiny humans, but they do not have tiny hearts. And boy do they have some gifts from the Lord!! Patience, tenderness, humor, love, kindness, gentleness, the list could go on and on.

Here’s an update on some fun stuff we have been doing:

God has for sure given me a gift…the ability to use Pinterest!! What did people ever do without it?!?

You know something really cool? God doesn’t always give us what we ask for and thank goodness for that!! He knows best. Not us. [To be honest, I probably would not have picked nearly half of the major decisions I’ve had to make correctly, so thank goodness He did it his way or who knows how much I would have missed.]

The Lord is always pursuing us. He is always pursuing for the good even when it is so foggy for us to see at the time. I am so thankful for persistence and unending grace.

To be honest again, I have not been pursuing the Lord nearly as much as He has been pursuing me. Being away from friends and family has given me a lot of time to grow in my relationship with Him, and I have not taken advantage of my time with Him nearly enough. I never thought I would say this, but I needed to learn to be alone. I needed to learn to ultimately depend on him. I needed to learn that I NEED Him. We all do. Every single day.

One verse that is so important to remember, I am currently trying to remember this as well, is Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

God’s got you. He has whatever situation you have going on in your life under control. He’s going to keep giving you good gifts to make it through. Keep on pursuing and trusting him! I challenge all of us, including myself, to really think about it.. What are your gifts?

Thankful for you friends.

P.S. Prayers got out to all the families that have lost a loved one during this tragic time in our world. Praying for unity and that we can all love just as the Lord loves on us every single day, despite all of our many sins.

P.S.S. Halfway done through my internship already-wow! Message me if any of you child life people have any questions. I would love to be of any assistance possible!

P.S.S. 104 DAYS AND I WILL BE A LITTLE!!

 

The scariest word: change. 😁

If you know me, you know that I am not very good at being independent. I love being around people and just being social in general. ALONE TIME is my weakness. 😁

I moved to a brand new city completely by myself about two weeks ago. I started a new job, and I will not sugar coat this… It has been down right HARD. There have been many nights of tears and more tears. But God will always teach you something through your hardships.

I need some prayer, yall! The enemy has been getting in my mind and putting thoughts of anxiety, loneliness, and fear more than I ever thought he could. I am being so raw in this blog; I have not been practicing what I preach nearly enough, and that has to STOP. So please, join me in holding each other accountable and not letting the enemy steal our joy that he desires, because he has taken mine for too long!

I learned so much about myself, my family, and my friends more than I ever thought I could. They are all so wonderful. I have learned that God is teaching me so many things during this difficult time. First, I need to stop depending on others so much and ultimately look to HIM. He is my foundation. He is my rock. He is always faithful.

Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

To be honest, I forget that sometimes and use others and myself as my strength, and no wonder why it keeps on failing and I am sad!!! He is also teaching me how to utilize my alone time, such as reading the Bible more and writing this blog. Another important thing that I have learned, is how grateful I should be for loving, caring, and compassionate family members and friends. You know who you are! Thank you for the loving phone call and text messages; it has helped more than you know. SO important to not take them for granted.

So, I came down here to become a Child Life Specialist. This was not an easy road, and for a few days (even now sometimes) I forgot how much I loved this profession. Every day, I am getting an opportunity to love, comfort, and support children and families going through the most traumatic situations. WHAT A BLESSING!!

Week one was a lot of orientation, paperwork, and the not so fun stuff. But now, I am getting into my rotations and learning more than I ever thought I could. For one of my rotations, I am working on the hematology/oncology unit. At first, I thought about how I can bring so much joy and life to the patients, and boy was I wrong..THEY are bringing joy and life to ME! Such a humbling experience. Here is a picture of an IV key chain that a patient and I made. Precious memories are made during times like these.

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How simple, but cool is that? Now, I have a daily reminder of all my kiddos.

Here is some other fun stuff we have done too during these past couple weeks:

So, the past two weeks I have been getting adjusted to a new city, new place to live, new job and many emotions have came with this, but I know with Jesus on my side and giving it more time I can do this.

Change is hard. Change is nothing like they make it on t.v. Change is inevitable, but with a loving, gracious, and compassionate God, we can get through even the most difficult change. Trust in Him. Depend on Him. So if you’re going through a  tough time, know that we can get through this together!

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

2 weeks down and 14 more to go! Excited to have you on this journey with me. For all you future, CCLS message me if you have any questions at all! I would love to help you through this process like others have guided me. And to you current CCLS, any advice is greatly appreciated. 🙃

JUST GO ALREADY 

One evening, I was going through an old prayer journal that I wrote in over three years ago. It was so neat to see God fulfill things that I prayed about, and it was AWEsome to see how EVERYTHING WORKS OUT!! [I may need to repeat this to myself a few times 😜]

Before I started, I prayed for God to reveal something to me, and sure enough, He did. 

I started noticing a reoccurring theme in my prayers, and they even resembled the prayers that I pray today. Something wasn’t right to me…

I kept praying for patience, God’s light to shine through me, for me to trust in Him, erase all negative thoughts, and so many other things. Please don’t get me wrong, it is GREAT to pray for these things. What I noticed about myself, was that I was not moving forward. 
Y’all, I was stuck in a rut. A deep one for that matter. And the devil is at the top of that rut just a waving at me! The enemy has been putting those thoughts in my mind for years. 

  • I’m not patient enough 
  • I don’t have enough of God’s love and light 
  • I lost the flame in my soul 
  • I’m far away from Jesus

What is so AWEsome is that NONE and I mean NONE of these are true. 

The enemy has been distracting me for years, taking away my focus, and he sure did do a good job. 
Don’t let him keep doing this to you. Don’t let him keep making you distracted.Open your eyes and see what the Lord is trying to tell you. He’s calling you. He wants a relationship with YOU. 

We are his sheep. He is our Shepard. He wants to guide you. He wants you to listen. He wants you to move forward

John 10:14-15 “I am the good Shepard; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father- and I lay down my life for the sheep.” 

I highly recommend writing out your prayers. It’s a great way to reflect and see yourself grow, or in my case, recognize that you aren’t growing as much. 

I’ve been so paranoid about trying to figure out how to get better, not realizing that I AM. I thought that I wasn’t growing and learning, while God is just smiling so patiently. [And probably wants to slap me upside on the head at how long it took me to realize all of this is!!]

HE MADE US PERFECT!! We don’t have to try to attain that anymore. Of course it is good to strive to get better, but it doesn’t need to consume us in an unhealthy way.

He isn’t far away! You haven’t lost your flame. You are becoming more patient. You are growing in your faith. So keep seeking Him. 

James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Recognize where you are and MOVE forward. Talk to God. Let Him help you. I know I sure am. 

No more dwelling. No more standing still. No more going backwards. Just forward. You are perfect, beautiful and wonderfully made. 

John 10:10 ” I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” 

Go have life while moving forward in God’s love, peace, and grace! 

P.S. If you’re reading this, lets hold each other accountable. I need guidance. I need more Jesus in my life! I need more fellow believers in my life! Don’t be afraid to reach out, we could use each other. 🙃

Cast Your Net

For over a year, I have been going back and forth on creating a blog. This time last year, I actually made one and never did anything with it because of…FEAR.

This may sound silly, but I was afraid of what people might think, how terrible my grammar is, and do I really even have anything interesting to say?

About six months ago, I made a different blog and still did NOTHING with it. Finally, about a week ago, I got the courage to write a post, but I haven’t even told anyone but Grant. So today, I’m letting go. I am casting my net.

Currently, I am doing this AWESOME Bible Study at my church called Armor for God. It is some powerful stuff and I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend it. It really focuses on making people aware of the battle that we fight DAILY, and I truly mean DAILY with the enemy. He is ALWAYS trying to attack us; therefore, putting on the armor of God every single day is a must. 

Here is a list of the pieces of armor:

  • Belt of Truth
  • Breastplate of Righteousness
  • Shoes/Gospel of Peace
  • Shield of Faith
  • Helmet of Salvation
  • Sword of the Spirit (Word of God)
  • PRAYER 

You can find all of these in Ephesians 6:14-20 [This is some good stuff. Take a moment to read it all!] 🤗

This week we are talking about the Shield of Faith.

Eph. 6:16 “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Let me tell yall, the devil LOVES for these flaming arrows to come at us. He LOVES to distract us. He LOVES to make us feel unworthy, unlovable, undesirable, and so much more. He’s deceptive. He is honestly, out to steal all of our joy, and if we aren’t careful, he will.

So what is faith to you?

“Faith is acting like God is telling the truth.”- Priscilla Shirer

By having faith, we are showing how much we rely on and need Our Savior. We understand God is with us in EVERY situation, no matter how difficult it may be. 

“Faith is not foolishness.” -Armor of God Study

If you know me, people say that I am a worrier… Well, I am! But I don’t want to be. I want to trust Jesus with everything in me. Our Lord will never give us a situation we cannot handle. He gives us everything that we need to get through it, which is Him. It is so easy, so why do I make it so hard sometimes?

I love this statement from  the Armor of God Bible Study,

“Faith says less about you and more about what you really believe true to be about God.”

I don’t know about you, but I believe God is so much greater and more powerful than any of our circumstances. It is amazing that the God that created every single blade of grass, the one that spins the earth, also created each one of us. And the best part…

 

HE CARES SO DEEPLY!! He wants us to trust him. He wants a relationship with us. He wants to know YOU. He wants us to have faith.

James 2:20 “You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?”

We gotta have faith people. But something also just as important, is your actions. Your actions need to show that you do have faith.

We also learned tonight, that the enemy tries to distract you with so many things in your life, and it completely takes your eyes off what is most important. He turns our attention away from the thing that is the main priority. So while I am trying to make myself become less envious, more patient, and everything else he keeps on attacking me.

We read in Luke 5 about Jesus going fishing with Simon. The night before, Simon did not catch anything. Then, Jesus took him out on the water, and they caught so many fish that their nets were BREAKING. That is a lot of fish yall. 🐟

The Lord wants us to cast out our nets. He wants us to put our full trust in Him. He wants us to step out in and do the uncomfortable thing that we have been avoiding. [Jesus doesn’t call us to be comfortable in this life] What are you avoiding like I was? Do you feel convicted to be doing something that you’re not? Like I mentioned early, I have been feeling like I should start a blog for over a year now, and I am just NOW doing it. The enemy has put so many thoughts and fears into my mind, but  he isn’t going to keep distracting me to do this anymore.

The Lord has put it on my heart, so I am going for it. I am casting my net. Join me.

The sweetest 80 year-old lady told us an amazing story tonight. She said along time ago her and her husband were stationed in Ohio, and they had one baby with one more about to be born in eight days. All they had was: One can of tuna, one tomato, and 50 cents. SHOULD I REPEAT THAT????!!!! This is all they had-

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[How many times have you said there’s no food in the house whenever the entire pantry is full… 😁 I know I am guilty!]

The 50 cents was about to be used to buy milk for there baby, and they didn’t get paid until a few more days!!!! I cannot even fathom that.Here is the awesome part…

That evening, their neighbor came by with a string of fish. He said his wife was pregnant and couldn’t stand the smell of the fish, so he was seeing if they wanted it… GOD GAVE THEM FISH!!

How cool. Our God is so awesome. He always provides. He is always faithful.

So go out today and cast your net.

2 Tim. 1:20 ” For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”

 

P.S. A lot of this is from the Armor of God study- GO DO IT!! I promise you’ll learn a lot. 🤓

Just the Beginning of Something AWEsome

Where to start…

I have hit the delete button at least ten times, so this time I am just going to go for it. I have started to realize that writing is a really powerful and encouraging way for me to get everything that I need to get out- I guess it is my source of therapy, so here we go!

I am a college graduate, getting married, moving to a new city, and I trying to figure out this whole “adulting” business. It is kind of complicated, scary, overwhelming, but super exciting. One thing I have to keep telling myself is that, this is just the beginning of such an undeserving, AWE-some life the Lord has given me.

I have been with my fiance since I was FOURTEEN years old. I had blonde hair, braces, and thought I was the coolest thing since sliced bread- boy was I terribly WRONG in so soooo many ways. Thankfully, he has loved me through it all and never gave up  on me. Grant is the most encouraging human. He loves Jesus and ice cream, like me, so I think we are the perfect match. 😜

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( Cannot believe I am showing this, buttttt this is a must see. Weren’t we cute??)

I have a degree in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in Child Life. Many people do not know what child life is, so today I am going to change that. ☺️

Child Life Specialist: A person that usually works in the hospital setting, to help children and their families know exactly why they are there, what is going to happen, and much more. CCLS (Certified Child Life Specialists) provide education, preparation, distraction, for patients while they are in the hospital. Basically, we are there to make the hospital not such a scary place, or what my  momma likes to call it, “The Sunshine Girl”. We also provide medical play, self-expression activities, support, and many other things that help normalize the hospital setting and give the child a sense of control.

The main thing that child life focuses on is P.L.A.Y. 

Play is a child’s language, and you can truly learn so much about a child just by observing them playing. This is how children express their thoughts, worries, concerns,etc.

“Play is the highest form of research.”- Albert Einstein

Child Life.jpg( This image was just taken off of Google Images- showing a CCLS and a patient doing medical play!)

Throughout this blog, I will keep documenting my journey as becoming a new wife, growing Christian, and a Child Life Specialist. 💍🙏🏻💁🏻🏥

For child life you first, you have to receive at least a bachelor’s degree-✔️ ! Then, you must complete a 480 hour internship. (I have about half a check for this one, since I haven’t started yet!) Next, you sit for the certification exam. After that, the job searching begins!

I start my internship at a hospital on May 17th, and there is so many mixed emotions going through my brain- nervous, excited, anxious.  I truly feel like this job is a form of ministry. Every day, I am able to serve, love, and care for children and their families. Jesus has called me to this, and Jesus doesn’t want us to be comfortable. So I am ready, uncomfortable and all! I keep remembering: This is just the beginning of something AWEsome.

P.S. I realize my last name isn’t Little quite yet, but I thought this was the best blog name, so I had to go for it.

P.S.S. Doesn’t Jesus truly make you in AWE of him?