Becoming a Big Sister For the Fourth Time

FeaturedBecoming a Big Sister For the Fourth Time

On Friday afternoon, I found out something that I’d really like to share with you guys!

My mom is going to have another baby. ❤

I wanted to write a post about this, not only to let you guys know, but also because … well … I have mixed feelings on it.

I wish I could say that I'm excited, and joyful, and really happy about this beautiful news … but because of some deep-rooted fears that I have, I feel way more worried than I do happy.

Here's why.

I'm scared that my mom will have to go through a lot of pain. When she had my little sister Elizabeth last summer, Elizabeth was born via c-section. It took my mom weeks to heal from that, and that time was hard on our whole family, especially me, as we did our best to take care of her and comfort her when she was hurting so much.

I'm scared that others will think we're weird. When people see big families, they tend to put them in a certain category, and that makes me feel so awkward.

I'm scared that others will think I'm a teen mom. I'm not usually the only one caring for Elizabeth when we're out and about, but when I do, people have gotten the wrong impression before. I love having younger siblings – especially babies! – but because I'm afraid of others' opinions, that has taken away my joy.

I'm looking forward to this baby. I can't wait to meet him or her … but that excitement is drowned out for the time being by the worries that are filling my heart.

It will take time to heal from how that hospital stay last June drained me. I'll have to write a post on that sometime soon. And it will take me time to learn that others' opinions aren't what matter. One day, I'll feel better about this, and over the next weeks and months, I will get to the point where I will eagerly anticipate the arrival of my new little sibling.

But for now … I am thinking things through. I am praying. I am giving myself room to heal.

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Throughout my mom's pregnancy, I will be writing more posts about how I'm feeling, how her pregnancy with Elizabeth went, and other life updates. I would deeply appreciate all of your encouragement, support, and prayers.

Thank you so much for reading. ❤

— Maggie

Experiencing This Change

Experiencing This Change

Today is a new day.

I have spent nearly the past year of my life (at least!) living in the belief that past mistakes must dictate my actions for the new day. For the last twelve months especially, I have held things against myself – and my family, too, really struggling with being able to forgive, to let go and exhibit grace. It’s been a bumpy journey, trying to figure out why I’ve felt like this for so long.

The day I realized I was shackled to these sins was the day I could let them go.

I have prayed about this problem often, and now I can see that on my hardest day, at my lowest point, the Lord was still there for me. I’m always unable to see His hand at work until I take a step back – and what I can now see is absolutely breathtaking.

He is able to use every problem, sin, mistake, and shortcoming to lead me back to where I need to be – and He already has.

He has taught me about grace, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and love.

For the past year of my life, I was too focused on taking care of me, of dealing with my own issues … and I no longer took the time necessary to nurture the beautiful relationships I had with my family. I left them behind in my own despair … and even then, nothing changed. The friendships I had with them were going downhill, as well as my self-esteem – and self-control. Focusing on “taking care” of myself didn’t help at all.

Because I wasn’t looking to the right Person.

The moment I laid all of this baggage, these burdens and worries and past mistakes, all down at the feet of my Lord and Savior, I felt a release. A literal weight was off my shoulders as He took them onto His own.

I had been carrying them for too long.

The pit of despair will take quite a bit of time to get myself out of … but I now know that the Lord and my family are waiting for me at the top. I know that they all long for the moment of my return, when I can finally be the loving person I once was, the caring person I often am, but can definitely be at all times. I’ll no longer have anger, impatience, and problems with forgiveness; they have all shown me the important thing I had left behind these past twelve months.

LOVE.

Love for my family, love for the Lord, and very importantly, love for myself. When I stop judging myself and give it all to Him, it is then that I’m able to love and care for others – not before.

It starts here – in my heart. And the new days that come, including today, will not continue to carry yesterday’s burdens.

I am learning to give, to let go, to learn, and to love.

Today is a new day.

— Maggie

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

Hi, guys 🙂 I hope you’re all having a great day so far.

For a while now, I have been writing the posts in this series set up as weekly recaps, in order to summarize how my week went, and how I felt over the course of each day. Now, however, I’m going to turn Making the Change into a monthly wrap-up, as you probably already saw in the title, hehe. 💕 I may very well do a week recap post again at some point, but for now, it will be a once-a-month type of post. 🙂

This month’s will be broken up into two sections; one for the month that has ended, and another for the month that is coming up! For the past month part, I’m going to reflect on the improvements I made, as well as what I could have done better on. For the upcoming month, I will list what I’d like to focus on improving, the quotes and Bible verses that inspire me for the weeks ahead, and any other thoughts that I have on it.

For anyone new following along, or if you simply need a refresher, you can visit the first post in this series, where I explain what it is all about. Basically, it’s a reminder for me to focus on spreading more kindness in my life as I overcome anger. I have definitely improved since I started making the change back in April … but I know that I still have a ways to go. The encouragement from my family, you guys, and the Lord is what has kept me going – I am so thankful for all of you!

Let’s jump right into this. ❤

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

The Past Month: May 2017

Improvements: I worked on finding different activities to do with my 5-year-old brother, Samuel, things that we could both have fun doing together. I reached out to my 13-year-old brother, Joshua, by trying new games with him that he primarily enjoyed more than I did. I was more conscious of how I look and sound when I respond to situations I’m not happy with, and I did my best to be more gentle.

Next Time: I need to go through more with playing pretend with Samuel. I also ended up sounding harsher than I would’ve liked many times, in different situations. I need to pay further attention to how I sound; I need to be gentle and understanding. Instead of responding instantly when I’m upset about something, I need to think through what I’m about to say … I don’t want to have many more of these regrets.

The Upcoming Month: June 2017

Focuses:

  • Gentleness. In how I sound, act, and think. ❤
  • Forgiveness. Both things unintentional and intentional, for if I desire to be forgiven, I need to do the same for others (Mark 11:25).
  • Patience. This is definitely one that I need improving on. Both with myself, as well as my interactions with others, I need to learn to slow down. It kind of goes along with patience, but is slightly different. I know than I can (and will!) learn to slow down. ❤
  • Grace. This trait has been defined as “simple elegance or refinement of movement.” I need help in this area like I need air to breathe hahaha
  • Self-Control. I will feel upset sometimes … but I do not have to act on those negative feelings.

Quotes and Bible Verses to Inspire:

  • “Do everything with so much love in your heart that you would never want to do it any other way.”
  • “We rise by lifting others.”
  • “Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.” ~ [derived from] Micah 6:8
  • “Patience with family is love, patience with others is respect, patience with self is confidence and patience with God is faith.”
  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” ~ Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
  • “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” ~ Proverbs 10:12 ESV
  • “Everything that God allows to come our way is always with a purpose. He uses even the greatest error and deepest pain to mold us into a better person.”
  • “Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”
  • If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?”

“If you can’t be kind, be quiet.”

“See the light in others,
and treat them as if that is all you see.”

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” ~ 1 Peter 4:8-9

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Thank you for reading and following along, everyone. 💖 God bless!

How about you?

What do YOU desire to focus on in June?

— Maggie