A Little Cupcake Story

A Little Cupcake Story

Once upon a time there lived a young woman. She was often insecure and often afraid and continually questioned her decisions and ideas and dreams. She was also chosen and loved and made beautiful by her King but she usually forgot that part. 

One day a friend called and asked if she would be willing to make cupcakes for a party. “Of course!” she said, planning to just toss some cupcakes in the oven and maybe make some powdered sugar frosting to top them with. Until she heard the news.

She was not the only one making cupcakes.

The other woman who was making cupcakes was slim and gorgeous and everyone knew she was capable of creating perfect masterpieces in the kitchen.

The girl froze and wanted to cry. I will be measured and found wanting, she thought, I can’t do anything perfectly. It was just cupcakes but it was also something far, far deeper. It was her wild insecurities and her unchecked fears and her secret stumbling pride.

So she made plans. Elaborate plans. She bought piping tools and store-bought icing. She searched Pinterest and studied cake decorating blog posts. She would create perfect cupcakes. How hard could it be?

The day for cupcake making arrived and she put her supplies on the table.

As she began mixing the batter a knock sounded at the door. It was a friend with two little girls who had sparkly blue eyes and hopeful smiles. They wanted to spend the afternoon.

IMG_8904How could she do anything but invite them in? When she loved children so desperately? When nothing made her heart sing more than teaching little darlings about life and God and beauty?

The six-year-old wanted to do the piping.

The two-year-old wanted to put the candies on top.

All the young woman’s best laid plans fell into crumbles like the ones that littered her floor. But there, with icing smeared on her cheek and handfuls of candies disappearing into tiny mouths, she heard her Father speak. His voice seemed to swirl through the crazy mismatched cupcakes:

“Perfection” is found in doing what I created you to do.

She was not made to bring flawless cupcakes to parties. She was made to dance with dollies in her kitchen with icing dripping off noses and words whispering soft that God loved and created and made beauty, even with messy mismatched cupcakes. 

Even in young women who struggle with insecurities, fear, and pride.

Even in me.

 

 

Tell me, friend, how does this parable apply to your life? Is there a place where you are struggling with insecurities? Fear? Pride? Cupcake decorating? 😉 Are you blogging, writing, livingthe way that God created you to? Because if you are, oh, dear ones, if you are— then you’ve found perfection. 

 

5 Reasons to Write What is Real {not just what sells}

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I was all set, fixed right up with a shiny-new email list powered through mailchimp.com. Now I just had to figure out what to giveaway (like the experts tell us) to convince people to part with their email addresses so that my platform could grow.

I thought about writing a mini ebook on meal planning. I could picture this beautiful cover:

mock-cover @allume

Except people would probably be a little bit disappointed when they read my meal planning advice:

1. Open cupboard. 2. Pull out some type of starch (bread, pasta, potatoes, squash, beans). 3. Open fridge. 4. Pull out some type of meat and two vegetables. 5. Cook. 6. In four hours, repeat process.

Okay. Scrap that idea.

I thought about writing a book about scheduling. Oh, it would be glorious! I could create these beautiful printouts except, well, I probably wouldn’t have time for all that since I’m the worst scheduler ever.

Oooh, cleaning! Cleaning books go over really well. But then I looked over at the chair piled high with papers and books. Bad, bad idea.

My shiny-new email list sat for some time. Oh, I sent out a few fluttering newsletters. Ten faithful followers took the time to open and read them. (Dear, dear, people.) 

Then a neighbor and friend asked if I would be willing to speak at a women’s banquet about my book Pain Redeemed. It’s not a fun book, you know. There aren’t any pretty printables and there certainly aren’t 6 easy steps to anything in it. People haven’t lined up on my blog (hilarious word picture there, just in case you missed it) to purchase a copy.

It’s a book about pain. A book where I peel back the layers of my heart and brutally, honestly, share about my walk through infertility. It’s the book that God called me to write last year. The one I faithfully wrote and self-published because I knew that I needed to share the story now, while I was still clawing my way through the darkness.

And when I stood there, in front of 120 women from my in-real-life community, and shared about where God was in the middle of my sorrow, as we cried together and connected, I knew. I knew exactly what I was suppose to write and give away.

Dying of Thirst at the Side of a WellSo I sat down and wrote a really long poem, then wrapped it all up into a mini ebook.

It isn’t going to go viral, folks. I know that.

But I want to give my readers something real. Something of me. And this is me. 

Here are five reasons for you write what is real about YOU:

  • Real = Lasting

When you sit down and create something out of who you are (not just what is pretty or sells well) it will last. In your life. In the lives of those who read it. {and I’ll add in right here: if who you are is someone who creates awesome meal-planning lists– write a book about it! I’d love to read it. And if you need a cover, we can tweak this one up for you. :)}

  • Any decent writer can create “what sells” but only you can write the real things from your heart

I’m the only one who can share about my journey through infertility. It might not be popular, but I know from personal experience that it can be profoundly moving to the one who needs it. 

  • It requires more than your own strength

For me, to write about one of the subjects I mentioned would be simple. I could just design lovely printables to go with my 6 easy steps to whatever. But it wouldn’t require much of God in the process because it wouldn’t be tapping into who I really am. When I write real, I am forced to depend on Christ. I’d be too afraid to press publish otherwise.

  • Your readers will keep coming back

If you write real, readers will keep returning. They’ll read a little sample and then come to your blog and keep coming back. Maybe it will only be 10 faithful followers at first. But ten who return are better than 10,000 who take your freebie and then disappear.

  • It’s honest

I have at least 3 speaking engagements coming up this year, and possibly more, all based on my book. What if I had written a book on a subject I didn’t really care about? What if I had created something that didn’t interest me or mesh with who I was in real life? Ouch. 

Last year at Allume, Kat Lee shared a session on Blogging as a Ministry. She told a story about something her soccer coach told her when she offered to switch positions with another girl. He gently turned her down and said,

I really need someone in that spot who knows her position and isn’t going to constantly chase after the ball.

Play your position. Write what God calls you to. Faithfully, consistently. Don’t run around and chase after what looks shiny or fun.

We are all given passions and stories. If your passion is cleaning, then write about cleaning! If your story involves meal-planning or scheduling then write about it. If, like me, you have a story that scrapes raw don’t hide your real-story to tell one that sells better. 

Don’t waste your time on things that aren’t really a part of who you are. Because who you are is enough story and passion in itself. God created you. Write the words He has inscribed into your DNA. Be you. 

still striving to write as real as possible,

Natasha

Confessions of a Twitter Adolescent

Confessions of a Twitter Adolescent @allume

 

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I’m not very birdlike.
I mean, seriously, the only feathers I have are safely tucked away in my down-comforter.

When my Mastermind Group decided to discuss our Twitter presence last year, I had to go dust off my account and click that “forgot password” button.

I decided to really work hard at establishing this so-called Twitter presence, which was a great ambition but completely comical since I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. All those # and @ signs meant so little to me. In fact, they mostly annoyed me. I would try to read someone’s status and BAM #@?! Which immediately made me think that all these tweeters really needed to watch their mouths. I mean, it was great that they substituted symbols instead of writing out the actual words, but seriously guys, learn to talk proper. Errr, tweet.

The good news for anyone else who is still sitting there cross-eyed from all the hashtags and @ symbols, you do eventually learn to read around them.

#TwitterAdolescent

 

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I have this friend, Mandy, who is like, the awesomest tweeter ever. (Yes, I understand that “awesomest” isn’t a word, but you have to know Mandy.) I love reading her tweets. I love it when she goes to a conference and is constantly sharing tidbits of wisdom. (Hello, I pretty much stalked her Twitter feed during Allume last year. It was almost like being there!)

And I’ve thought (many times) “Oh, to be a grown-up tweeter like her!”

But, the thing is, I probably won’t ever be. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t see myself getting one in the near future. I don’t carry my laptop around with me (mainly because the battery dies in like 2.03 seconds). And, honestly, my farming life isn’t set up for being able to type out 140 character comments at the drop of a hat. (Well, I guess I could but then my phone would permanently smell like manure, which doesn’t seem like a good option.)

But I have learned to use Twitter.

confessions of a Twitter adolescent

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Oh, I don’t follow rules very well. And sometimes weeks or months go by with only my blog post tweets going up. (I know, I know. That is way bad. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be like 20-80. 20% your promotion and 80% promoting other people or creating witty one-liners or asking thoughtful questions, or, well, something like that. Forgive me, dear followers. I’m not really as conceited as it may appear.)

And I tried to join a Twitter party once. Uhm. Yeah. That was a nightmare. We’ll just leave it at that.

I’ve come to a valuable place though. I’ve realized that I’m human.
And some humans can tweet pretty birdlike but I just don’t have that talent.

I try. I join in the game. But when my “tweets” come out sounding like an adolescent teenage prank, it’s okay.

I’ve learned to use buffer to spread things out (which is great because otherwise once a month my followers would have to wade through a whole slew of my favorite blog posts from around the web).

I’ve learned to do a little “chirp” now and then, asking questions, throwing out a Bible verse or two that helped me through my day and might help someone else.

And when I completely forget that Twitter even exists for three weeks at a time? That’s okay too.

Now it’s time for your confessions. Are you a Twitter baby? (i.e. you read this post and said, “Uhm… so, what’s Twitter?”) Or an adolescent like me? Maybe you’re all grown up? (If so, drop this novice a few tips, would ya?) 

Confessions of a Twitter Adolescent

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#stillalittlebitconfused,

@natashametzler

A Call To Write

The email came late one afternoon, the one that began, “I’m sure you’re incredibly busy but…” and continued to offer a plea for help. I want to learn to write. 

She talked about life with three little ones and the need to have a written history of the moments. God teaches me stuff through my kids all the time and I want to write it down or I’ll forget. 

It struck me, again, how powerful the written word is. Just sketches of moments, the reminder that God was real and present.

Like the year that I wandered in depression, fighting infertility, and feeling lost and abandoned by God. I kept a journal. This bright pink notebook that said SMILE on the front, a mockery of my inner turmoil. I scribbled words in huge letters, screamed prayers into the pages, and left tear stains that smudged the ink.

I thought God was silent. I really, really did.

Until I pulled the notebook out years later.

My husband came home that afternoon, several days into my book writing process, and found me on my knees, rocking back and forth, hugging a bright pink journal. His eyes widened in that, “Oh, no” look, and I started laughing and blubbering and wiping snot and tears as I tried to explain.

He was there.

God was there.

Even when I was blind and deaf, He faithfully stood in the middle and spoke. And He enabled me to write the words, even when I couldn’t hear or see them. The pages are filled with me crying out to God and God answering. I literally have no memory of His answers but they are all right there, written in my handwriting.

It astounds me what God does through the written word.

Write, dear ones. Write your struggles and your victories. Write about the moments that you feel God speaking, and write through the moments when you don’t. 

Maybe in five years it won’t mean anything at all. But maybe it will. 

Natasha

 

Enduring the Writer’s Worst Nightmare

In November I shared a series, on my blog, in which I gave thanks for the hard things that I have been facing. It was mostly a spiritual exercise. A time of recognizing the things learned through difficulties and seeing Christ through pain. And, I hoped,  an encouragement to others facing hardship. 

The last thing I shared, (and, oh, how I agonized over that post!) was about facing infertility. 

The post went crazy. Within two days it ranked the third highest in views for any post I’ve written. I was flooded with emails and comments. 99% of them were completely positive. 

But it didn’t matter. There was one comment and one single email (2 people out of hundreds of views) that almost made me pull the post. Both women disagreed with me and one even thought that perhaps I needed to seek mental help. (honest!)  I literally had to stand up and walk away from the computer to keep myself from yanking the post off my site. I had to do breathing exercises. I cried.  I put a piece of my heart on the screen and it was misunderstood. I don’t do well with being misunderstood. 

When I stopped fretting and started praying, God reminded me of a conversation that I’d been involved in just days before. (Oh, how I love the way He works!) I went hunting and found my own words on the subject. Oi! 

It is important to remember that what we read is written by real people (and intensely personal) and I also think it is important to acknowledge that writing IS arbitrary. People will dislike my writing (and probably talk about it) and my job as a writer is to accept that with grace. 

How many of you have endured being misunderstood? If you’re anything like me, grace, is one of the furthest things from your mind. I wanted to defend myself. I wanted to explain. I wanted to tell them to bug off. And I had no desire, whatsoever, to offer them grace. 

Yet, that is what He asks of us? Isn’t it? To write with openness and vulnerability and then offer grace to those who misunderstand. My words on infertility were obviously not meant for those two women. They were at a different place in their walk with God. Not better or worse, just different. 

When I write something and press “publish”, I have to let it go. Not everyone will agree with me. Not everyone will benefit from my story. Yet, I will continue to write for those who do. And when confronted with those who don’t, I will embrace the chance to offer grace.  

Beautiful, life-altering, grace. 

In Him {and always for Him}, Natasha

 

Before You Hit Publish {4 easy editing tips}

When I wrote my ebook, I had an editor that checked my grammar, fixed typos and advised me on general readability. Some changes she suggested were small and others involved moving entire chapters around. The end product is vastly different (and much, much better) than my original book. I love my editor. 

Unfortunately, I can’t afford to hire her for every blog post that I throw out into the world. And I’m guessing you don’t have a budget for an editor either. But the good news is that a blog post is much more forgiving than a book. (yay!) 

I’ve spent a lot of time reading blog posts about writing blog posts (think about that for a minute… :) ).  And I have been convinced that SEO or other traditionally important “blogging tips” are minor compared to one important feature. What really matters is simply, readability. 

 

You can have a hilarious, touching or incredibly insightful story to share… but if your post is not readable it won’t go anywhere. So before you hit “publish” on that amazing story of yours, check out these four things:

  • Is your post formatted properly?

Check for any long paragraphs. Utilizing white-space is extremely important. That means there should be blank areas around your writing. (i.e. short paragraphs, not too many advertisements, etc…) A paragraph that goes on and on is extremely difficult to read online. 

Are your paragraph lengths varied? Twelve two-sentence paragraphs = boring and monotonous. Split things up a little. If there are more than 2 or 3 paragraphs of the same length in a row, add to or take away until they vary. 

Is your color scheme a hindrance to readers? Not to be boring, but black/very dark words on a white/cream background is almost always preferred. I understand if you love bright yellow. Just don’t let it touch your words in any way. 

  • Read your post out loud at least twice. 

Reading out loud will identify the places that trip up your audience.  If you stumble on the same sentence both times change it.

It also utilizes your other senses (i.e. hearing) to locate any words that you may be unintentionally repeating. When at all possible, do not reuse the same word in a paragraph (unless you’re doing it very purposefully) and definitely not in a sentence. 

  • Ask yourself, “Is this paragraph necessary?” 

I love reading blog posts.  I especially love reading real-life-stories. I have a very short attention span. Pretty much, you have to be an incredibly engaging writer to convince me to actually read a long post. That means there should be no wasted words. Look at each paragraph and pose the question:  Does this paragraph serve a purpose? If it can be cut and the story goes on without it then cut it. 

  • Highlight key thoughts.

See how I used bold and italics in this post? Utilize this feature. Don’t overuse it, mind you, just utilize it. A reader should be able to skim your post and catch the most important parts of the story. (And hopefully, be drawn in. :)

What makes you read or not a read a blog post? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 

In Him, (and always for Him), Natasha

  

Giving Thanks For The Hard Things

This year was hard for us. 

  • Farming took a nose-dive and finances tightened until I had a hard time breathing.
  • Infertility still stalked and some hoped for fertility aides did nothing.
  • Adoptions fell through. As in more than one. 
  • Our heater died at the beginning of winter. No joke. 
  • My four-day-a-week job dropped to only Mondays and Fridays. 
  • Almost every single calf born in our barn died within six weeks and it took us almost a year to figure out what was wrong. 

Every year around Thanksgiving, I jump at the chance to thank God for His gifts. I love listing them, rejoicing in them. 

But this year I felt God say something different. 

–> Thank me for the hard things. <–

I didn’t want to. At all. I’d rather focus on pretty, poetic words. But the Spirit wouldn’t let me be. The nudges continued until I began to whisper in broken, tear-filled moments… 

Thank you, God, for infertility. Thank you for limited finances. Thank you for the days when farming drains every reserve I have. Thank you for less work. Thank you for the money that is owed to us that has not been paid. Thank you… 

And as I whispered thanks, I began to see. Glittering. Clear. Glorious. 

I saw my husband kneeling by the bed, gripping my hand and crying out to God. I saw the hardship and wounds to his pride refining the David-Heart in him. I saw his broken words of surrender touch the hearts of those around him, causing them to look and surrender again to the true Ruler of All. 

I saw the book that was born from sorrow come into being– and ran fingers over words on the computer screen: Thank you, Natasha, for writing about your pain being redeemed… I saw the written remembrance of my pain birth healing. 

I saw deep inside this self-sufficient, prideful heart– and found safety and restoration, again, at the feet of my Redeemer. The One who breaks down every layer that I build between His cleansing fire and my flesh.  

I’m not saying I like it. In fact, some days I hate every single minute. But I’m thankful. 

And I rest in His promise that this world is not the end. The fire does not last forever. Once the gold is purified and refined, it is shaped and molded into beauty. 

What hard things do you need to thank Him for this year?

In Him {and only through Him}, Natasha

On Fear

Mama was solid. Unchanging with seasons or my emotional upheavals.

She wasn’t glamorous, though she was beautiful. She wasn’t someone to admire from afar, she was the one you wanted to stand closer to and share life with.

We lived in Alaska at a tiny Bible School and my parents were in charge of the Student Ministries team. Mama made the role sparkle. 

She sang the “Chiquita Banana” song while standing on a table in the middle of dinner, while everyone else rolled on the floor laughing. She would dress up and acquire outrageous accents, sing hysterical made-up lyrics to popular songs and bring down the house with her stories and jokes.

I wasn’t much like my Mama. I loved her. I always wanted her around. But my personality was so vastly different that I knew I would never be able to step into her role. 

So instead, I created another, different, “better” role to fill. I devised a sophisticated, tall (I really was tall for my age at one point in my life) non-frizzy haired, model Christian that existed only in my head (or at a great distance).

Mama would whisper things to me at times. Things about God calling us to not fear and about using gifts and not burying them in hopes of something different. I didn’t always listen very well.

At some point along the way, I came to a few startling realizations:

  • número uno: I’m too short to be tall and sophisticated. I’m 5’3 and will forever be 5’3 (or shorter as I age, I suppose)
  • número dos: While I’m capable of straightening my hair and pulling off a Pantene-commercial style for a night or two– my hair is, and always will be, wild. Curls that zing and snap and frizz right up in humidity.
  • número tres: It’s true that I’m not my mom. I don’t sing goofy songs (very often) and I don’t dance on tables (at least almost never).  But I do have my own funny quirks. I can tell outrageous stories about ridiculous things that I’ve done or noticed other people doing. And I can drop down to the level of any child in the room and convince them that I’m the most fun ever with a few winks and handfuls of dirt.  (Sophistication just doesn’t match stained clothes and stories about that one time that I decided to face off with the new heifer and ended up on my backside in the manure pit.)

The truth is that even though I heard from the time I was little, God made me unique, I still doubted and still felt that I needed to measure up to something else. 

And another truth has become glaringly clear: it’s all about fear. 

The only reason I want to look a certain way, or be perceived a certain way, is because I fear what people will think of the real me. What if a quirky short girl with frizzy hair isn’t someone anyone will like? What if people look at me and find me childish or immature or [fill in whatever fear you may be battling]?

I keep going back to the verses that Mama quoted. In 1 Peter 3 there is talk of the things that make women lovely in the sight of God. The chapter that talks about beauty not coming from outward things but from the heart. And Sarah, of old, who was beautiful because of obedience. And then. It’s the verse that Mama repeated over and over into my ear.

“You are [Sarah’s] daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” (I Peter 3:6)

I will never be able to fill anyone’s shoes but my own and I will never be confidant or content unless I am walking in obedience to Christ. In obedience, I am beautiful and I have no reason to fear. 

It can be easier, at times, to hide behind a computer screen. Especially for writers. And in the stepping out– fear can appear in full force. The enemy would like nothing more than to keep you cowering or trying to be something different than what you were created to be.

I won’t make it to Allume this year (Amazingly, there isn’t anyone begging to do barn chores for me. It’s like they don’t trust their cow-fighting skills or something.) but my prayer for all of you who are going is simple: be obedient to Christ and be real. 

Everyone will love you, I promise.

And I’ll be expecting all kinds of wonderful stories and pictures (and if anyone knows the Chiquita Banana song, well…).

by, Natasha

Of Joy And Sorrow

Sunday dripped joy and sorrow. 

The testimony of dear Kay, who experienced a brain aneurysm two months ago– the testimony that pulses with miracles. 

How she was at a ballgame when an eighteen year old boy, Calder, was knocked unconscious and an ambulance was called but two came. How the Lowville Hospital purchased a second helicopter just weeks before. How the aneurysm happened just after Calder was taken to be airlifted. How she was receiving medical care by the second ambulance crew within five minutes. How she was also airlifted and placed under the care of doctors and nurses who were able to stop the bleeding. How Calder went home the next morning with nothing but a softball-sized headache. 

It was a miracle, a series of miracles– and today, two months later, she is 100% healed. No medication. No headaches. And her husband’s voice trembles with the glory of it. 

Then another couple speaks and everything clenches. “He would have been twenty-seven today.” I don’t know them but I listen as they talk about their son, Travis. I don’t know the story but I can taste the pain in their words. Their voices thicken with tears and I share in the sorrow. 

Joy and sorrows intertwine in life. 

The mother who buried a son asks for a hymn to be sung. My fingers run over the words on page 358 and tears prick as my voice joins hundreds–

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise…

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

                                                                   –Frances Ridley Havergal

Every day I am given something. It may be joy. It may be sorrow. It may be a free moment to sit and write words of worship. Whatever the moment, whatever the gift– am I using it to bring glory to Him?

My prayer is that writing my blog will never become something I do to bring myself attention or praise. I want it to be for Him. I want to write because it is the thing I have today to bring Him glory.

This is also my prayer for each of you–that this community will be filled with voices singing the same song

“ever, only, all for Thee.”

By Natasha, Embracing the Miracle

One Simple Way To Become What You’ve Always Dreamed

I’m a mother.

My babies call me “Ta-ta” instead of “Ma-ma” and they change depending on the day. Some days I have a houseful of boys with dirty bare feet and frogs in their pockets. Some days the doors are bursting with giggling pinkness and polka-dotted tea parties.

I never quite know who I will have but I always know who I am. 

I’m a mom. One that runs a farm beside her husband with a baby strapped to her back. One that milks cows and helps young boys learn to do chores and care for sick animals. One that reads Pilgrims Progress and sings Bible verses to teach her little ones the way to life eternal.

Tonight my right arm is aching from having a two-year-old in a baby sling on my hip while I worked in the fields. I John 5:3 is running through my mind from teaching a six-year-old about the importance of obedience. The barn is quiet but all day it echoed with children’s voices. There is no doubt that I have become the mother I’ve always longed to be—even though this body has never born a child and these hands have never signed an adoption certificate. 

I didn’t always spend my days mothering.

For years, I spent days in tears.

After that last doctor’s visit, after I finally recognized that there was no possible way for me to claw my way out of the pit I was drowning in, after every door slammed shut in my face, I broke.

The words stretched my soul until it cracked and bled agony but I spoke them.

“God, I surrender my desires to be a mother. Make me what you would have me be.” 

And the Author and Finisher of my faith reached down, lifted my feet from the miry clay, washed my wounds and sores, rubbed oil on my scars and said, “I would have you be…a mother.” 

It doesn’t look anything like I thought it would. My babies leave at night. They didn’t grow inside me and I’ve never decorated a nursery. They weren’t handed to me by an orphanage worker or a midwife.

But they sit at my table day after day. They wrap their arms around my neck and ask for kisses on stubbed toes. I teach them to pray and to sing and to dance in the rain.

Just like birth or adoption makes some women mothers these little ones have birthed motherhood in me. For years I looked around and only saw a glorified babysitter, passing time until her own babies filled her home but now I see true. I see what I am. I see who they are. I see God’s redemption painting my life with brilliant colors of freedom.

And I’m learning to claim the title that I earned with every diaper change, every meal cooked, every hour spent, every prayer whispered, every lesson taught and every mess cleaned. I’m a mother. 

God made me what I always longed to be, in a way that I never expected, and my one simple step to start the process was surrender.

I’ve seen it over and over. First the surrender, then the change and the doors swinging open to redemption and glory. In motherhood. In my writing. In my friendships. In my marriage. 

May the lost dreams that are building sorrow in your life lead you to the foot of the cross and may you taste the miracle of heart-longings redeemed. 

Are there titles that you long for that are staying just out of reach? Do you dream of being a writer but your audience seems too small, your words too raw and broken? Surrender is always the first step towards redemption. Let’s embrace it, together, and claim the titles that He gives us.