31 reasons-Renee’

 

received_10100237270960244Yesterday, I turned 31. It’s hard to believe that I started Rad7even when I was in my early 20s. I’m still here!! I’m so blessed and happy to have this blog to remember alllllll that God has done for me. So today I’m giving 31 reasons or lessons Ive learned that have brought me happiness. Don’t worry I’ll only do 10 at a time.

31. Time is an illusion. We tend to live like tomorrow always comes, but in reality it doesn’t for all of us. We can use this to depress us, put fear in our hearts or motivate us.

30. Being a wife/ mother will not complete you. In fact, it will splinter you even more if you’re not centered. Enjoy the moments and accept the blessing of partnership but dont stress it until you’re whole and healthy.

29. Laugh more. Stop being so serious all the time. Belly laughs are so healing.

28. Go for it! Push past pain and run straight towards your goals.

27. Love someone unconditionally. Love will hurt at times. Remember that all people are fallible and no one is a superhero. Learn to love people as they are.

26. The worst things are survivable. Many times something has happened and I felt like I couldn’t move forward. But I did. If I’m still here it means I can survive at least one more day.

25. Do something for you. There are sometimes weeks that go by without me doing one thing for myself. I’ve learned sometimes…just focusing on me is the best thing I can do for my family. When I feel good I am able to love better.

24. Ask for and receive help. Stop trying to save the world while simultaneously killing yourself.

23. Silence is golden. Take time to be still and focus on what God is telling you.

22. Be creative. Write, dance, sculpt do whatever you like that is a creative output. It brings new energy into your space.

 

See ya next year with some more!

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Just Hanging On- Renee’

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It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged because honestly the past month and a half have been …lets say challenging.

Darren was sick for two weeks and I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He was having breathing issues and if you read our birth story you’ll know why this is such a stressor for me. Come to find out…he had pertussis.  Scared me to death.

Then Lennon ran back to back fevers for two days the highest being 104.2 and back to the ER we went. He had walking pneumonia and last Friday..my mom was in a car accident.

This year has been a season of loss for me. A season of pruning and it’s hard. Every time I feel like I am about to take my first deep breath something else hits me in the gut.

I’ve not blogged because I didn’t want it to be so negative…but what I realized is that’s what makes this blog different. We all aren’t just the perfect Christians that never doubt God. Or get angry at Him…we have real emotions; real stressors.

Plus when God does fix it so sweet and I’m sure He will…this will be my testimony.

~Renee

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Seeing My Work Come Back to Me~Audrey

Each time child come to Bridgestone, something magical always happens. This time it was the night of the Ukrainian dinner. Each Saturday before the children leave, we host an authentic Ukrainian Dinner with borscht and pelmeni. We invite everyone to join especially post-orphans and their families.IMG_6564
At the dinner I got to spend time with a special post orphan named Vadym. He had come to Bridges of Faith two Decembers. You may remember that I wrote about him because he and God made him a special place in my heart. He was adopted by a wonder family and I keep up with his goings on Facebook.
The day of the dinner they came early to help with other activities. I was so excited to see him. He was also very excited to show me a new way to read comic books for free. We sat down and he walked me through on my phone on how to read them. It was pretty awesome and I love that we had bounded over being nerds.
We had dinner and I sat with the current children and a friend that I knew. I was trying to make sure that I didn’t hog Vadym all night. Plus, I enjoy seeing the kids eat their native foods. They always enjoy the night and get all dressed up.
After dinner, we headed to the chapel for a little service so we could pray for the children plus we got to hear from them their favorite part of the trip. This is always a special moment. I did sit with Vadym and his family and it was interesting to be on the other side with him. He knew how these children felt; he had bene there and done that. When it was time for me to leave, he begged, very quietly, for me not to leave (or so his mom says). So I stayed a little longer just to spend time with him. It was an honor to spend time with this child who we brought over and helped find a forever family.
The point of this story is to show that my work has meaning. This boy’s life was changed forever because of this program and my work with it. These children don’t disappear from our lives. I see a majority of them quite IMG_3290often. In fact, God brings them into my life and changes both of us. He doesn’t just make this a quick relationship; many I get to be in their loves for so much more than just thirty days.
Children like Vadym are why I do what I do. I watch him grow in a local school and see him loved by parents who would (and have) done anything for him.

If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/
And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact audrey@bridgesoffaith.com, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!

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Better Late Than Never -DaniGee

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I’m not sure if anyone noticed in the last  post, I mentioned moving to a new city with my fiancée. That was my first mention of ever having a relationship on Radical 7even and that’s because I was in a secret relationship for the past 8 years.

This is my coming out story…

National Coming out Day 2017 was October 11. I am late, as usual but I felt it was time to share and be open. Even as I am typing this, it is very hard to put into words. For the longest time, we denied the relationship, even hope the feelings would revert back and we could chalk it up to experimentation.

But it didn’t.

During my junior/senior year of College, I began falling in love with my best friend, who happened to be a girl. We’ve had this conversation before and we can never pinpoint the moment where we knew we liked each other. It was simple stuff like having lunch together at the café, started from one day a week to every day. She would walk me home from work. I would keep her company on her Sabbath. It just became a time where my day began and ended with her. I felt it was strange but it also felt very natural to be her.

Then, the first kissed happen. It seemed like time had stopped. Up until that point, I could chalk up my feelings to just my overactive imagination. The kiss made it real. Where do we go from here? It began as nice and fun, but she never wanted to be open and refused to even call it a relationship. That saddened me, but honestly, did I want to be in the open? Quite honestly, you open yourself to criticism and to actual physical pain.  I grew up in a world, the same world most of you grew up in, the world that said and still says same sex relationships are wrong and Hell will be your final destination.

I honestly never thought we would ever be known to the light of day. I had convinced myself that the feeling would one day stave itself off but it didn’t, it only intensified. One day, we were going through things and I felt like I was slowly drowning. I reach out to my best friend and asked her if I could tell her something. She said as long as you haven’t hurt my husband or my kids, there is nothing that you could tell me that would make me love you any less. A burden was lifted. Her words were a spark. I no longer had to stay in the darkness. It allowed me to share with my other close friends and family.

I wanted to let others know, falling in love with a girl and marrying her, makes me no less of a Christian. I love God and Jesus, with my whole heart. Everyday, I sin and fall short but HIS grace saves me for another day. I have been blessed to have wonderful people in my life, who have prayed, laughed, and cried with me.

I married my fiancée on October 21st.

 

 

Until Next Time

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Social Butterfly -Renee

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I’m often amazed by the wide range of personalities that I am raising. With my three biological boys I knew parts of their personalities before they were born. As sick as I was with Darren, I remember his gender ultrasound and how I literally just came from the restroom getting sick as a dog and when he popped on the screen his hands were behind his head…chilling. Nothing seemed to shake him; same thing after our terrifying birthing experience. He latched immediately for nursing and once in my room the next day…smiled at me!
Daniel my first born…he’s emotional and dramatic. I remember leaving him in his bassinet at around 1 month old to take a 10 minute shower. When I got back he was howling like a coyote and had even busted a blood vessel in his eye…in 10 mins. I remember thinking…what did I get myself into. 7 years later…he still has knee jerk reactions that we are working on but he  is also a sweetheart. Thats the thing about him feeling things deeply both positive and negative.
Now Lennon, my rainbow baby (a baby born after a loss) he is…Lennon. it’s hard to describe my old soul child. He can make basketball shots on a 10 ft goal, can sing his alphabet and count to 20 (skipping 4 and 17) …but one thing Lennon is not is social.
Huge social scenes stress my little guy out and up until recently he’s avoided many of those scenes. But today…today Lennon started school.
We sang songs, we hyped school up… yet he howled and sobbed  when we dropped  him off. Adjusting is hard and I see so much of myself in him. The apprehension to speak up, the timidity when it’s time to step up.
I used to be so sure of myself and somehow that’s gotten lost. It’s time to become my little social butterfly self and teach my kids as well.

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Free-Trial Marriage- Renee’

The picture above was taken 24 hours after Darren was born. As you may know it was very  trying. I was blessed to not go through that alone.

When many people envision marriage the first thing that usually comes to mind is the actual wedding. Weddings are the celebration of two people joining together…a marriage is the verb of said commitment. 

What? You didn’t know marriage was a verb? Oooooooh yes it is the very definition of what a verb is. A marriage is a living breathing entity of two people who choose each other and for many bring forth life because of said union. 

Marriage is also a combination of you and your thoughts and ideas as well as what you’ve been exposed to and downloaded both subconsciously and consciously.

Mant times we don’t even realize our expectations are unreasonable until our partner is like…um that’s just not me.

There’s no 30day risk free trial in marriage. You say “I Do” and…you’ure.

In my almost 5 years of marriage Ive been blessed to grow as a woman. Growth comes with a very steep price  Ive been humbled more times than I can count. If you read some of my previous blogs you know I am in recovery for yelling. I’m sure it’s not a real thing but for me it should be  working on extending grace can be hard. Especially when you’re tired…I am not one of those people who functions well when tired. I’m irrated quickly when I’m  tired. 

But I’ve been working on not using that (being sick, tired, overwhelmed) etc. Instead I try and center myself for a few minutes. I find myself a quiet spot and just focus myself. My yelling has gone down quite a bit. Not perfect but it’s definitely decreased. 

Trials will come. That’s just life, but how you choose to deal with them…

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FML-Renee’

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I hope to highlight a goal or two a month until the end of the year.
This week I am focusing on debt. Last year, my hubby and I had a major hiccup. My car (that I just paid off) left me stranded on the side of the road…right after I quit my second part-time job. Yes, you read that correctly. I literally quit my job so I could spend more time with my family and ….boom. The great thing was I had been working on my credit over the past few years and I got a loan for pretty decent interest.  #Winning
Then my husband’s vehicle started having transmission issues. I would write fml meaning expletives and such but faith might leap is how I use that term now.
Meaning when you are faced with a situation that seems tough…that’s beyond just an inconvenience and you’re not sure what else could possibly go wrong. Think of it as a faith expanding exercise. Faith might leap…if you overcome…your faith will grow. If you can stay the course…Faith Might Leap
My husband and I made two vehicle purchases because we needed to do so. What we didn’t need was on the bells and whistles that came with them…or that car note. We made the decision to buy a cash car and get rid of a payment that honestly strangled our finances. It was and right now still is a sacrifice for our family but… we:
1. Prayed about it
2. Counted the overall cost
3. Agreed as a couple to this new undertaking
Sometimes too good to be true..is really not the best decision. I’m glad we got rid of one car note and are working to shed ourselves of another one. We seek peace above chaos and..this is one example I’m proud of.

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