Not all paths are paved

Dang y’all, I haven’t written a Motivational Monday post in what seems like forever! Recently I was delt an unfavorable card in my professional life, and I felt drawn to share it here on LtL. 
As some of you know I’ve been on a personal journey for..well, ever! but more specifically this last year pursuing a career at the children’s hospital here in Tacoma. After graduating last year with a second degree in Communication Disorders I excitedly sought was needed to become a Child Life Specialist. I’ve felt as though God was leading me to a place where I was meant to be both personally and professionally in a field where I feel passionately connected to.
A little over a month ago I submitted my application for the child life internship offered at the local children’s hospital. It’s a pretty competitive program where an average of 35-40 apply and only one is selected. After working 6+ months with the child life department in the oncology peds floor, I met some amazing people, built professional connections, and was feeling pretty good about my chances for the internship process. I was contacted by one of the child life specialists in charge of the program that I had been selected for the first round of interviews. YASSSS! I was so excited. I prepped and prayed as my phone interview approached. Each candidate had 15 minutes with about 4-5 questions to answer. My untamed excitement for the opportunity had my nerves A MESS! Y’all…my voice was so shaky I felt like I was an awkward 6th grader asking her crush what time it was (or something to the equivalent…you get the picture) 😉 Being who I am, I had to mention said nervousness during my interview — it was like the elephant in the room for me. Anyway, I felt pretty good about the interview, all but my very last question, we ended the interview and I waited with baited breath for the next step.
Fast forward about a week and something just wasn’t feeling right in my soul. I felt God tugging for me to come close — so I grabbed my devotional and about fell outta bed *slight exaggeration, please continue reading* The message read “Be willing to follow wherever I lead. Some of My richest blessings are just around the bend: out of sight, but nonetheless very real. To receive these gifts, you must walk by faith–not by sight.” I felt Him prepping my heart for the news that was to come…the very next day. 
I didn’t get the internship. The news crushed me, I won’t lie. I cried all the way home from my boot camp that morning. I felt God had been telling me No for so many years and I felt as though I had finally found my Yes as to what I was meant to do in my professional life. But when the tears stopped falling I still felt God’s warm embrace. This may be a No for right now…or always, but I know my Yes is with Him and He will lead me there.
This pic was taken on our most recent Mt Rainier hike. All of the winding paths leading up to the mountain were so symbolic for me that day. I could see all of them, paved with their own purpose and each leading to a different destination. Some were rocky and others were smoothly paved for easy travel.
I still have my moments of *er* frustration from not being chosen for the program. I think it makes it more difficult to swallow when I don’t know the why…I tell myself I need that in order to really accept it and move on. But, I know in my heart I don’t need that because God will show me in His own time. It may even be years from now until I see His plan, but I know there is one and that helps me in my impatient thoughts of anger.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path. Proverbs 2:9

Thanks, as always, for reading dear friends and letting me share my ‘dear diary’ moments in life with you. 🙂 I hope today’s post was as cleansing for your soul as it was for mine! Have a beautiful start to your week ❤

Lemons to Love,
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Blanca Lake hike…and the 2 things I learned

So lately I’ve been in this major adventurous mood. Washington has tons of outdoorsy stuff to do and I’ve never really gone hiking — I mean real hiking. I did some searching on trails and waterfalls in WA (thats how we found our way to Snoqualmie) and was SO pumped when I found Blanca Lake! I mean the picture itself is worth a thousand words, amiright?

Anyway, back to being pumped for the 7 mile, 4400 foot elevation hiking challenge I planned. Did I mentioned I had little-to-no hiking experience? I was so excited and energized for the challenge that laid ahead, I even dragged two of our friends along with us to experience the “pot of gold at the end of the treacherous rainbow.” 😉 We packed our bags with lunch and camelbacks and were on our way to one of Washington’s hidden treasures. I was SO looking forward to the mental and physical challenge of going outside my comfort zone!

And then, 27 minutes in…reality set in.

Here are the 2 things I learned:

1) I don’t like hiking.

2) I’m not in my 20s anymore *readjusts the ice on my knee*

My version of hiking, I’ve realized, is something to the equivalence and ease a 5 year old can do. It is NOT, for the record, a 3+ mile hike up a mountain that feels like I am on a Stair Master, on levels 8-10, for 3 hours straight. And don’t even get me started on the way back down for 3+ miles! Ouch! 😉 On the way home my friends inform us they read that the hike to Blanca Lake is one of the most difficult in WA. Which sorta helped my vanity and achy, throbbing knees feel a little bit better…a little.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest and completely turned you off from wanting to conquer the hike yourself…please DO try this hike! It was a huge pain in my ass joints but the view at the top is pretttty spectacular. Most people were all “yeah, but aren’t you glad you can say you did that hike??!” The competitive person in me screams “HELL YES!” while the ‘old’ 30 something in me says “Meh.”

And now, without further ado….please allow me to share my first, and probably last, hike to Blanca Lake! 🙂

This pic is blurry but I had to share the naive excitement from my face to begin the hike!

Yay!

A view from the top.

WE DID IT!! We reached the lake!

Isn’t.she.gorgggggeous.

Just to emphasize…there is no filter, this is real life, green emerald goodness from a glacier.

 

 

 

 

Boys being boys — they actually ended up falling in when a log started moving and got the best of ’em 🙂

The girls weren’t about that dip ALL the way in, so we settled for plunging our faces in instead!

 

The official drink of Blanca Lake 2015 *For the guys at least, I would’ve died if I ‘hydrated’ on beer!*

Such a stud ❤

These lil cuties were some hiking rockstars!! Practically doing laps around me. But, thankfully I had my amazingly patient motivational speaker next to me for every single step to the top.
(You’re the best, G)

 

On to the next one! *Level of difficulty 1’s an 2’s preferred*

Thank for reading!

Lemons to Love,

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Thankful time with God

Last night as I sat and rocked little B to sleep I closed my eyes and talked with God. I thanked Him for this precious time I’m able to have at home during my maternity leave and for the sweet, quiet moments Geoff and I have together. Some moms aren’t able to have the luxury of staying home this long with their newborns, and quiet moments with G, well they don’t happen that often either.

With this week being infamous for a time of giving thanks for what we have I was struck with the truth behind this post. Just a few days ago my mind wasn’t filled with thanks but of overwhelming under-stimulation and jealousy. Two not-so-thankful thoughts or proud moments for me. I began to envy the time I once had, to freely run an errand, hit the gym, eat a meal on my schedule, and even the chance go to work! And then, I felt guilty for even desiring my ‘old time’ because the reason my time was now taken away was due to this incredibly beautiful tiny human God had given me. That may sound incredibly selfish of me to even yearn for those times back, but the truth is those little things, along with many more, make up parts of me that make me feel whole. I’m not just a mom, a wife, a daughter, a coworker, or creative thinker…I’m all of those things created by God and made whole through Him.

God chose me, of all the deserving women in this world, to be Brooks’ mother. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it. Once I stopped thinking about my ‘then’ and was present in my new ‘now’ I was able to see a little clearer. Prayer has always been a sacred time for me. A time when I find myself again in God’s love and clarity. It’s my time to check back in with my Heavenly Father and escape the pressures, schedules, and expectations the world brings and focuses back on what God brings…His love.

I see it all around me everyday, especially in the eyes of little B. When he smiles back up at me it melts the small corner in my heart God reserved just for him. It’s our very own little special place that no one person or thing can take from us.

So in honor the week of giving thanks, I thank God for prayer…and that tiny special corner in my heart, made just for my little Bear.

Thanks for reading and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Lemons to Love,

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Motivation Monday 11.17.14

Guilty, guilty, guilty as charged! When I read today’s Motivation Monday I thought about all the things in my life I almost didn’t do because I was fearful of making a mistake. Changing my major focus again? What if I make a mistake and choose the wrong path? What if I show my vulnerabilities, will this make me look weak? What if I give him my heart, will he break it?

Some of my major life decisions I almost didn’t make based on the thought of ‘what if I make a mistake’. Case in point, my relationship with one of the most important people in my life, Geoff. I was so afraid of letting go and really giving him my heart I almost missed out on one of God’s greatest gifts. Instead, I let go of my fears and let him into my life, my weaknesses, my heart.

Another fear of mine are the choices I’ve made in my career path. I’ve changed my college major about 72 times (ok, slight exaggeration) each time hoping I’m one step closer to a job I can really love doing. I may not have always made the right change to the ‘perfect’ job, but I’m glad I didn’t stay put just out of fear because I learned something about myself with each change.

It may have taken me a ‘few’ years, but since I’ve started my college career I’ve worked hard on two Bachelor degrees making me one step closer to something I’ll love doing. I’ve always known I wanted to be a contributor to my family’s income, but I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing to provide that. While I figure out what that looks like for our life, I’m learning to let go a little more and stop fearing my potential bad decisions.  If anything, they’ll lead me one step closer to the right one.

When I look back at these moments in my life I’m so thankful for God’s purpose and those in my life who helped me see it. I hope today’s post was exactly what you needed to let go of the notion that you might make a mistake, and take that leap of faith by giving your future the potential it deserves.

Thanks for reading!

Lemons to Love,

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Motivation Monday 7.7.14

I don’t know about y’all but I’ve got a major case of the Monday’s today!  After returning from a joy-filled trip to Florida to visit with friends and family, and celebrate Baby with a showering of gifts it’s tough getting back into the swing of things. Not to mention just coming off a relaxing and celebratory weekend with Geoff over a long Fourth holiday weekend, I think I’m having celebration withdrawals?! It’s a common diagnosis thats easily fixed with a written prescription of Grateful Heart…take 3 times daily, repeat often.

I can’t share enough with you how much love and gratefulness my heart has been filled with this last month.  Geoff and I are so blessed to have such an overwhelming community full of love and support in our lives, and it was so apparent during my 10 days home.

So, today my fix for the Monday blues are not to be bummed about the thrill ride being over, but filled with thanks and love from the memories and celebrations I’ve been a part of. I hope today’s quote brings you new perspective and grateful hearts for the fun memories you’re making each weekend with the ones you love!

Lemons to Love,

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Motivation Monday 6.23.14

Today’s post is for YOU! My favorite readers in the whole wide world…

After a little over a year of my Lemons to Love blog, I just wanted to thank you, my readers, for sticking with me! I so appreciate your thoughts, comments, and sharing my words with your friends and family. I’ve enjoyed the process of learning how to create and maintain a blog and that process has been more enjoyable because of you.

Thank you for sharing in this journey with me…and especially for allowing me to be myself and think out loud! 🙂

Lemons to Love,
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Motivation Monday 6.16.14

In preparation for my upcoming trip home this week, this quote takes me to a place of pure happiness. It reminds me of days on the lake, the smell of the Atlantic Ocean, and the hot sun beaming down on my face.

Although the scenic spots here in WA are worth the drive and the memories made, there’s just something about going home to the East coast beaches and our family lake house that takes me to my happy place. It’s not just about the destination, but the memories I’ve made over the years with friends and family.
Today’s post is for us all…to remember our happy places, where memories are made with those we love and to find the time to make new memories this summer.

 

**Photo courtesy of the Mr. and Compass Lake 2013

Happy Monday dear readers! I hope it’s a sunny, beautiful one!

Lemons to love,

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Motivation Monday 6.2.14

Oh, you better PREACH Thomas Edison! I love this quote…it makes me feel revived and ready to start this week off like a BOSS. Ya know what I mean? Even if you have a boss, this makes me think of getting back on the ‘I’m gonna be my own boss’ swag mindset. I love when that big Godly voice pops into my head and reminds me that no matter what road I’m currently on, there’s always a grander one that He’s paved. I like to think of this as God’s plan because we exhaust our limited options far too often while God’s are limitless (and far better than mine)!
So remember this dear friends…your possibilities are never exhausted and just when you think they are try plan B (or C, D, E…you get the picture) 😉

Happy Monday to you!

Lemons to Love,

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Motivation Monday – Memorial Day issue 5.27.14

I’m feeling quite sentimental today and especially thankful. I’m not sure if it’s the overwhelming pregnancy hormones or the feelings this memorable holiday brings.  For the sake of argument, let’s say it’s definitely both!
This long holiday weekend usually comprises itself of outside grilling, relaxing, waterside views and good times with friends and family. And while all of those things sound quite delightful and sure to bring a smile to your face, I’m reminded of what else today symbolizes…the fallen heroes who have sacrificed everything for the freedom of our country.
Today’s post, for this Memorial Day holiday, is dedicated to those men and women who have lost their lives for me, for you, and our loved ones. For their families who have also lost their loved ones to their great sacrifice and may they never be forgotten.
Thank you to all who serve and have served….your love for this country and the people you protect in it, we will always be grateful.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!

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Motivation Monday – Grace, not perfection 5.12.14

Have you ever read the book “Cut yourself some slack, you’re just one person”? No? Well, thats because I just made it up. OR maybe it’s the new title to my best selling novel…highly doubtful.  Either way, it’s what I’m telling myself these days as the overwhelming ‘OH my GOSH we’re really having a BABY!’ thoughts creep into my mind. The insomnia sets in and I lie awake at night writing down To Do lists and planning projects for little Baby Cott’s arrival.

Recently I’ve had the overwhelming thoughts and insecurities of ‘can I really do this?’ or ‘how will I manage being a loving mommy and wife?’ It usually hits me hardest on my days off where the most productive thing I can manage to do is to get out of bed, make it, and empty the dishwasher. And on the days I work? Forget about it. Geoff’s lucky if I’ve hit the grocery store for some award winning dinner menu. 🙂 Some days I joke and (sincerely) thank him for being the best domestic wife ever because he’s such a loving and patient man to pick up the slack where I’ve failed to have the energy to do so for the day.

On those days I feel the worst about playing my part in the team. I want to be this well-rounded, productive, planned, doting wife with dinner ready every night, but…here comes the shocking news…I don’t seem to get around to half those things on most days. And then…I had sweet conversation with my grandmother the other day and she simply said “Sweetheart, on those days just be thankful he’s there to help you out and don’t worry about the rest.” Well, if that wasn’t God telling me exactly what I needed to hear!

It’s so true for whatever season of life we’re in. We sometimes bog ourselves down with perfect expectations and lists we forget to be thankful for whats right in front of us. So today’s blog is a contract to myself to handle my days with grace and gratitude rather than insecurities and short-comings. I hope today’s post can offer you the same!

Lemons to Love,

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Motivation Monday…on a Wednesday 4.30.14

It’s Wise Words Wednesday (or Motivation Monday on a Wednesday). However you want to look at it,  it’s that time of the week where we need a little perk, a little extra brightness, and a little extra love to get us to the weekend!

I keep telling myself, once I get ‘this’ done things will settle down or ‘after this week I’ll get my routine back’. Well, I’m starting to think that maybe this is just a busy season in my life and it’s time to accept this change in my calendar and move on. (As a voice in my head says ‘Well, duh! Welcome to Earth’) Sometimes it takes me a minute, but I usually get there. 😉

So in honor of stressful days, sleepless nights, or plain ol’ long days today’s motivational quote is to clear your mind of all cloudiness and just focus on the clear blue skies. Because let’s be honest, aren’t those the days we feel freer, happier and ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges?

To the brightest of hues…

Lemons to Love,

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Motivation Monday 1.27.14

Happy Monday little lemons! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, staying warm, enjoying the sunshine or a warm fire…whatever your winter vortex brought you! Today I’m sharing my joys with you and giving God the credit for each of them.
I had some ‘spiritual Sunday’ reflection time yesterday, but first, let me be honest. I was feeling a little under the weather which lead to a mini pity party.  Geoff is gone for 30 days training in California and with that training comes radio silence. Before he left I was talking a pretty big game with the whole ‘he was deployed for a whole year, what’s a 30 day stint gonna do?’ Well, consider me humbled in my big talkin’ game of a casual hair flip and emotionally stable 30 days….because some days can get a little lonely and under stimulating. (I mean, you can only have so many conversations with your dogs…am I right or am I right?) So in my pity party I chose to change my perspective and find joy in the things I do have, rather than focusing on what I do not.
Do any of you ever find yourself in this slippery slope of snow-balling pity parties? Why do we do it to ourselves? It’s so unproductive and well, pretty dang annoying if ya ask me. It’s obviously not getting us any closer to our joys or goals…so let’s turn this pity into a party and share our joys with one another. You know the saying misery loves company? Well, so does joy…it’s contagious!
So my joys I share with you today are as follows… the love in my marriage and deep friendship with Geoff, the wonderful support and love I have from my friends and family, my passions and gifts given by God, the creativity and courage to share them, our home, health, and two energetic pups.  I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older it’s not the big things in life that give us the most joy (although they are worthy of BIG praise), but the little things we receive through our relationships, passions, and the basic needs that are met on a daily basis we sometimes take for granted or hardly notice.  When I change my perspective and focus on these ‘small’ joys I have in my life I find even more reasons to be thankful for and realize the rest of it is all cake (Funfetti, of course)!

I hope you find your joys and keep them in the forefront of your days…

Happy Monday and thanks for reading!

Lemons to Love,

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