Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hope is bigger than anger.

I am going to share with you a video that was shown to me and a group of women this weekend.  I am going to go ahead and assume some of the feelings you may have after you watch this particular one, and the next few I will share, but I'm not going to type those words until after the video.  I do want you to ponder the same questions I was asked to think on while watching this video the first time.
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you feel?

(89 Victims of Human Trafficking Rescued (Covert Footage) from The Exodus Road on Vimeo.)

I was intrigued at the beginning of this video when I first watched it.  I was curious about what this would look like.  My adrenaline sent my heart into slight palpitations, then my hands began to sweat a little and I started wondering what was going to happen? What was this going to look like? I got a lot angrier during this short, less than 5 minute, video than I have been in a long time.  I cried but it wasn't a sobbing cry or an ugly cry. And y'all, I ugly cried a LOT at Allume this weekend. This cry allowed me to shed tears of hope. God put it on my heart during this video not to focus on the part that made me angry but to see Him working through this. The fact that there is even a video like this.  That there is a group of people who have been called to set people free because they have been set free themselves just resonated throughout the entire last minutes of this video for me. So, y'all, get angry.  Get fire breathing, ugly cry angry, but then let it go. Choose to seek the hope from this story. Then, I challenge you to do something.
Over the next few days and weeks I will be giving you the opportunity to respond to this challenge.  I have some ideas and ways you can help raise awareness and support.  Right now, I just want this to sit with you for a day or two.  I want you to pray about it and search your heart and listen and seek if God is calling you to be a part of this.  If you have questions before then you can shoot me an e-mail or go to their website, The Exodus Road.  Until then, allow yourself to feel those emotions but don't let them overwhelm you.  Allow yourself to choose hope because hope is so much greater than anger.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Introduction to The Exodus Road and Freeset

This weekend I went to Allume.  My amazing friend Jessica was the catalyst that helped it all happen but that is a story for another time.  This weekend blew me away.  If you caught any of my tweets or instagram pictures you might have caught a theme among them.  God broke me this weekend.  God broke me BUT then He set me free. Many emotions and feelings have overcome my body that I still need a little time to process and hash all of that out in words so I ask for a little grace in the down time.

While I am processing the new burdens and convictions in my life I want to share one of them with you.  I was given the opportunity to learn and work with two incredible organizations this weekend.  The Exodus Road and Freeset.  These organizations have made it their mission to set individuals shackled by the sex trade free.  The Exodus Road goes in and basically does the work of a top notch SWAT team.  Freeset gives those individuals a safe place (i.e. shelter, job/trade, safety, JESUS) after the shackles have been jerked from the wall.  Now, these two organizations do not currently work together currently but they are doing equally good work.  I am going to show you two videos; one from each organization.  After watching these videos I ask you to process them.  Process how they make you feel.  Process if the Lord has laid it on your heart to help me support these organizations.  Over the next few weeks I will be introducing you to products (hello, giveaways), videos, and other ways you can get involved in supporting these organizations.  And just before you think I am going to just ask and ask for money, you are wrong.  Support isn't always in a monetary form.

FreeSet Video

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Last tweeted post for a while.

This was my last tweeted blog post for a little while. Allume rocked my world for good this weekend. God broke my facade. God called me to repentance. God called me to fix my gaze back on Him. He has called me to serve where I am. He has called me to minister to those around me. He has called me to serve the readers I have; not the readers I pridefully wished I would have for so long. He has called me to more intimate community. God has given me the gift of encouragement and He has called me to encourage you and those around me. He has called me to be available.  So, Reader, here I am. I love you. I am thankful for you. You are enough for me. But greater still, He is enough for me.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

450 Stars. Esther. Anna Voskamp.

I've just got back into my room from the first night of Allume and needed to decompress and process all that today was. Right now I'm feeling blessed. inspired. convicted. tired. small. impactful. 
Ann Voskamp is here at Allume.  I've seen her name on THAT book, you know the One Thousand Gifts book, around social media but other than that I had no idea who she was.  
Tonight, she was our keynote speaker.  Tonight, she rocked my world.  The Lord put words into her mouth that convicted me to my core. You know, the good stuff. Tonight, she talked about stars. Do you know that in order for people to really pay attention to the stars in the sky that there needs to be at least 450 of them visible (that would be a Pastor Brian Lowe fun fact)? Apparently 450 is the "lucky number" as far as stars go. 449 just won't cut it. She talked about how we need each other in order to be effective. We are called to build each other up and not break each other down. She also talked about how stars are made and that they are made by breaking down themselves and working through the hard stuff to light the core on fire. We are called to share the ugly ladies, we are called to let our ugly out so that the light of Jesus and His grace and mercy and goodness will shine through. We are called to be like those stars.
Ann also talked about Esther. Esther happens to be one of my favorite books of the Bible. I could read it every day for the rest of my life and never tire of it. I will never read that book the same way again.  Ann talked about Esther being "in" the gate. Here's the thing: So. Are. We. We could have been the child feeling those pangs of hunger that surpass anything we've ever felt and last for days or weeks. We could have been that woman or that girl who was raped and abandoned or murdered because her purity was taken from her and she was no longer clean. We could have been that little boy who was forced to fight in his countries militia. We could have been that little girl who was grabbed of the street and sold into slavery. We could have been on the other side of the gate. But we aren't. Or at least not all of us are. I'm not. I'm like Eshter; blessed and within those palace gates. However, with that position comes a responsibility. We have been charged with speaking out. We have been charged with coming before the royal court at any cost. We have been called to speak out for those with no voice.  Because, as in the case of Esther, if we do not risk putting ourselves and possibly losing what we see as great for those who cannot do so themselves then we are surely to lose that thing anyway.  Just like when Mordecai explained to Esther that if she did not speak out for her people and tragedy struck that she would not be exempt but that it would be worse for her because she had not spoken out.  This was really convicting to me.  At first, I started thinking about all the good things I do or have done. Seriously, y'all, my sinful and prideful self went there. Then I basically gave myself a mental Gibbs smack to the back of the head (NCIS reference for those who don't watch). What am I doing? How can I do more? God has brought me to this place. To this moment. To this particular royal court.  For a particular reason. You know what? He has brought you to that place where you are. To that moment you are in. To that particular royal court. For that particular reason. So, sisters, what are we doing? What can we do? What is Jesus speaking to your heart?  What do you need to shed light on? Share truth about? Risk yourself for? 

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Peter could have walked on water. Straight to Jesus.

How many times have you needed help this week? How many times has your head begun to spin but you've refused to take a time out for yourself?  How many times have you said you don't have time to take a minute or you don't want to bother somebody?  How many times have you snapped at somebody close to you when that person really didn't deserve it?  How many times have you not meant to?  How many times have you hit the ignore button on your phone because you just don't want to do people right now?  Maybe because you realize that one person would see through your facade.  How many times have you stayed in your yoga pants giving the excuse that you don't have anybody to impress or that the kids will inevitable wipe their peanut butter or jelly hands on anything "good" you wear?  How many times have you gone back to the cabinet for just one more cookie? one more drink? one more piece of cake? 
I ask these questions not to chastise.  I do, however, ask these questions to stir you up.  I ask these questions from a place of knowing.  I need to ask myself these questions often.  When I find myself needing to ask myself these questions I typically come to the same conclusion.  I haven't been allowing myself to ask for help.  I haven't asked Josh to take the laundry out of the dryer.  I haven't taken a mommy time out when Teagan or Kyra are having moments that make me want to pull my hair out.  I have hit the ignore button because even though I am very much an extrovert, when I am playing peekaboo with the shadowy place I don't want to be around people; even when I do.  I am in running pants 90% of the time because I claim truthfully that I don't have a job and I'm training for a marathon and I don't really care.  There are several times I go back to the refrigerator for just one more thing.  
It's in these times I need to ask for help.  From my husband, from family, from friends.  These people love me and I know would do anything they could to help me in those times I'm feeling like the shadows are beckoning me.  
It's in these times I also need to trust the Gospel.  I need to remember how strong HE is.  That even in the tough times HE is bigger and HE has me.  Peter could have walked on WATER straight to Jesus if he had just kept his eyes on the Savior.  When he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink.  Often times that is what happens.  We take our eyes off our Savior and we plug our ears from hearing the sweet truths and promises of the Gospel.  It's those times, these times, when we start to struggle and sink and clamor for anything we can get our hands on; those yoga pants, that brownie.  When all we need to do is cry out Jesus, Jesus.  

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Monday, October 21, 2013


Showing myself a little grace here today as far as the 31 days challenge goes.  Life has been consumed with running 20 miles, pumpkin patch going, with a whole lot of husband and little girl loving in between.  It's times like these, moments that I choose to cherish, that help me love my mommy body the most.  

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

She Reads Truth: the study of James.

The ladies over at SheReadsTruth have started a study on James.  The first day/introduction just spoke such sweet truth to my heart that I had to share.  I am doing 31 days on "loving my mommy body" and this spoke to that part of me.  I hope it does yours too. 

*Sidenote-another pretty rad thing is that we are currently walking through James at Exodus.  I love when the sweet SheReadsTruth devotions directly supplement the truths I hear at church on Sundays*

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Smooth. E.

Loving our mommy bodies, our lady bodies, means taking care of them the best we can.  Right now we are really into smoothies.  Well, the three Reid ladies are; Daddy not so much.  
I thought I would share some of the recipes I thought sounded yummy.  My aim is to try them because most of the time I just throw a bunch of stuff in the blender and if it doesn't taste good I add PB or Nutella to disguise the taste.  Eh, whatever works.  
Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? Kind of your "go to"? I would love to hear it! 

Here are a two of the ones I found on Pinterest that sounded amazing and easy to try! 

*we would love your vote-we are moving on up in the ranks thanks to you!*

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I love BIG voices.  Mandisa is a strong woman with a big voice.  This song is one of my favorites.  Enjoy.  Dance (especially if people are watching). Realize HE has you. Always.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

He answered not a word...

I was reading Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" devotion (thanks to Hayley I figured out there is a free app) a few days ago and the words seemed to just jump off the page.
He answered Not a word...Matthew 15:23
If you have been following me on Twitter or here on the blog much you'd know I have been unemployed since last June.  Part of that time I was in grad school and we were surviving on student loans.  However, I graduated in May of this year and I'm still unemployed.  We've always been a two income family so life has often leaned on the difficult side for the last few months.
I've learned some things over these last few months though. Sometimes peace is not instantaneous. Sometimes it takes months or even years for the fruition of peace to come. Even with great and almost unwavering faith; peace is not always promised to come in our time (please don't think I'm claiming this, I waver often even with a solid foundation). We are on His time. Sometimes He answers us in what is ideally our time. Sometimes He answers us in what is more obviously His.  But how much sweeter is it when that moment comes? Where peaces rushes over us as if we were standing under a gentle waterfall? 
I am at that place right now. I have cried out to Him. I have cried in anger, desperation, frustration, and confusion. He answered not a word. Yet, I still have faith.  I still hold on to His promises that I will see that day and be overcome with joy when He says "Oh woman, great is your faith".  I will slip and stumble a lot on this current path and my faith with undoubtably waver at times but I know that He is unwavering and constant and that is all I need right now.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Morning rainbows.

This was our view on the way to school this morning. The picture quality may not be the best but the promise HE gives stands out even still. Today I am resting in those promises. Today I will disregard the lies. Even if just for today. Because sometimes we just need a visual reminder if HIS goodness and HE blesses us with morning rainbows. 

*also, don't forget today is the last day to enter the Matilda Jane giveaway*

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013


We are so blessed to have found a place we fit. As a family. As individuals. It truly helps to have such amazing community in our lives. People who are growing to become family. Women growing to be sisters. 
Do you have this my friends? If not and you are in the Gaston County/Lincoln County/Mecklenburg County Of North Carolina I would love to have conversation with you about it. If you aren't in our area I would love to pray with you about finding a community where you feel this way. Please don't hesitate to email me. 

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013


My yesterdays are filled with moments of not loving my mommy body.  Actually, my yesterdays are filled with moments of not loving my body before I became a mommy.  Truth be told, even some of my days now are filled with moments of not loving my mommy body.  Some days my jeans are a little tighter in the waist than I'd like.  Some days my shirts don't conceal that mommy belly that I've tried so hard to get rid of.  Some days I don't get out of my running clothes; claiming I am running that day (I usually AM but I could change clothes).  Okay, most days I don't get out of my running clothes.
You know what though? He has loved me through it all.  He has been there reminding me, in those fleeting looks of approval in the windows as I pass them by.  He has whispered to me when that pair of jeans fits just the way they should for the first time in a weeks.  He has shouted out that he knows the number of hairs on my head as my stylists trims those same hairs.  Sometimes though, I don't hear him.  Sometimes I'm so wrapped up in my disapproval of myself that I miss those windows, I don't put on those jeans, and I miss those hairs on the floor. 
Today, I am going to try and hear Him. I am going to listen for His sweet whispers.  His sweet reminders that He made me just the way I am.  That He loves me; on the days I miss the windows, when those jeans don't fit, and I miss the hairs on the floor.  
Because, Sisters, He has been there in my yesterdays. He is truly with me now.  He will be with me tomorrow. His agape love for me is unfathomable.  Focus on that with me today. Focus on His love for Us. Because it's everlasting and never sways.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Right. This. Second.

Hey Mama,

You who just had a baby two weeks ago.  That size you were before that sweet babe (or two)? It will come back.  You just grew a child and delivered said child.  Give yourself a break.  Today celebrate that you are beautiful.  Right. This. Second.

You who are in your 30th week of pregnancy and feel like you are bigger than you have ever been and know there is more to come. You are GROWING A HUMAN, please show yourself some grace. You are beautiful. Right. This. Second.

You who just went back to work, just because you ate an extra cookie from the commons area or your afternoon snack before lunch, don't sweat it. Don't you dare beat yourself up.  That one slip up is not going to take away from your beauty.  Because You are beautiful. Right. This. Second.

You who stays at home with your littles or your bigs or both all day long, still got your PJs on? That's okay. You are investing in something precious.  And you know what? You are beautiful.  Right. This Second.

You who just left Target feeling defeated because you're PMSing, bloated, nothing is fitting, and those florescent lights got to you?  Shake it off.  Florescent lights SUCK and you would think if department stores wanted to actually sell clothes they would figure out how to make us feel better not worse.  You are so not alone.  Please remember that 99% of women hate fitting rooms.  Remember that you are beautiful.  Right. This. Second.

You who recently walked your sweet babe down the aisle? You have done an amazing job.  And you? I am pretty sure that you looked beautiful at that big moment.  Pretty sure you are beautiful. Right. This. Second.

This Mama

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Let's do a giveaway. The Matilda Jane kind.

picture from last fall.  by far one of my favorites. 

By the time fall makes its way to North Carolina, I've already been in skinnies, leggings, and cardigans, and sometimes boots, for months.  My wardrobe is typically full of fall year 'round and typically increases the likelihood of obvious sweat stains but I can't help it! I love the season. I especially love the clothes.
And ladies, if we're going to love our mommy bodies, we need to love what we put on them.  I am as guilty as any.  I have a closet full of clothes. Seriously, it's ridiculous.  During these 31 days in October, I am following along with Hayley and building a wardrobe I love.  Part of that was purging (stuff is still for sale via my Instagram) and the next part is filling in the holes.
That being said, the sweet people at Matilda Jane Clothing sent me a gift card. A $50 gift card to be exact.  Typically they are known for their witty and adorable girls clothes like the ones they sent Teagan but did you know they sell ladies clothes too? They have some really cute stuff.

Some of my favorites are:
The Grape Leaf Cardigan 
The College Kimono Dress
The Lucy Dress

Now, I need you to promise me something, that if you win this gift card, you will spend it on YOURSELF.  Not the kiddos in your life.  Promise? Okay, I'm trusting you. Let's do this.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blogger is angry at me.

Blogger is not working.  I had a picture and a nice little written segment.  However, Blogger hates me right now.  I'm tired and so I'm going to bed.  Sometimes you just have to listen to your body and allow yourself to rest.  So, here is me resting....

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Saturday, October 5, 2013


These girls are my main motivators for loving my mommy body.  Other than loving Jesus, one of the most important things I want to teach them by example is to love themselves how He made them. Fearfully and wonderfully.  Just like He made their mommy.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Take a moment.

Mommies. Take a Moment. Take a Moment like this today.  I dare you. 
I did.  After the littles went down.  It was glorious. 
Love that Mommy body today.  You deserve it. 

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Thursday, October 3, 2013


I took this picture yesterday when we reached a stopping point on our drive home. It made me think about how we, as Mommy's, isolate ourselves. Not necessarily physically but about our physical self. 
It's the mental and emotional isolation that slowly creeps in like this cloud. After a play date, a run to Target, even after church on Sunday.  We compare ourselves to each other, then we pick at ourselves allowing, the lies to seep in. The wishes to overcome us. Those legs, that hair, those eyebrows.
Why, Sisters? Why? Why is it so easy for us to forget how loved we are? Why is it so hard to wrap our heads and hearts around that fact? Why is it so hard to remember that HE, who made that cloud so intricately also made you and I? Do you know the intiricate details of a cloud?  I looked it up and found that it involves words like droplets and ice crystals and vapors and condensation.  We are even more intimately made than that cloud. He made us AFTER the cloud. He wanted more.  We were made to be his Beloved.  He created our legs, our hair, our eyebrows, just the way they are supposed to be. He calls us by name.
So Sisters, please spend time with HIM today. Allow HIM to remind you when you look up today that HE made you. He wasn't satisfied with that cloud. He wanted and wants you. Just the way you are. 

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2 of 31. Legs.

Oh legs.  My legs have been the catalyst to the distaste of my body for so long.  From a young age through college I was involved in a lot of sports.  I happened to be involved in the sports that required and developed strong thigh muscles.  Now, what I would say in a perfect world is that I was so thankful  for how strong my legs were and how they gave me the ability to do those things.  I am not going to say that because for me it was so far from the truth.  I hated my legs.  They were too big. Even in the midst of an eating disorder they were the only things that would not change.  And I tried...oh how I tried.  There were nights I would draw with markers all over them words that I'm not even gong to repeat.  Around the words I would draw surgical lines like I was going in for some kind of plastic surgery.  Y'all it was bad.

And now, you would expect me to start this next paragraph with the fact that I now love my legs and I've come to develop a newfound appreciation for them.  Well, I'm not.  Because it would only be half true.  I will tell you that I don't hate my legs anymore but we are definitely not bffs.  And another truth I am going to share with you is that the simmering hatred for my legs was still close to knocking the proverbial lid off the pot until last week.  

Those legs.  The ones I don't like really well?  They carried me for 18 miles.  Those thigh muscles that I have loathed for so long?  They allowed me to run those 18 miles.  They allowed me to run 18 miles with a smile. In a tutu. Training for my first marathon.  Allowing me to try and raise money for the Getty Owl Foundation.  So, no, I still look in the mirror and frown a little bit when I see them but I have a whole new appreciation for them.

What is your least favorite part on your body?  Let's figure out together how you can go from hatred to at least being able to stand next to each other on the elevator.  

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Loving my mommy body.

I have struggled with body image since I was in middle school.  Thinking back to elementary school I'm pretty sure there were some struggles bubbling below the surface but I was too busy having fun and not really caring to be bothered by them.
The struggles got fiercer as I got older.  As I grew my friend base.  As I was exposed to more of the "real world", watched more TV, read more magazines.  The struggles developed into obsession.  Obsession developed into sickness.  Sickness into disorder.  I developed an eating disorder and severe clinical depression.  As I got older those thoughts got harsher.  The hatred grew stronger.  I was never happy with what I saw in the mirror.

When I got pregnant, a lot of people were worried about how I would react to gaining baby weight during the pregnancy but also what would happen after the baby was out.  Thankfully, Teagan nursed well and for an entire year postpartum.  I had her completely dependent on me being healthy.  Otherwise, she would suffer.  With Kyra, the nursing wasn't so effective but the having two sweet girls that needed a healthy mommy was.

That being said.  It has been hard.  I've hated boobs my whole life.  I've been pretty close to duct taping them down a time or two over the years but I've never quite gone that far.  With two pregnancies, they got bigger, of course they got bigger.  With two pregnancies, the hips got bigger, of course they got bigger.  With two pregnancies, my nose got bigger, I think that is because I had girls (hello, old wives tale).  With two pregnancies, my feet didn't get bigger, hooray!!

We mom's should give ourselves a serious learning curve when it comes to our post-pregnancy bodies. They are new. They are alien.  Sometimes they are just plain crap.  However, WE GREW A HUMAN IN THERE.  So, let's give ourselves some grace, shall we?  I tell our girls so often they will eventually spout it in their sleep talk that they ARE fearfully and wonderfully made.  You know what? SO. AM. I.  I am a child of the King too.  He knows how many hairs are on my head (and my legs a little more often than I'd like to admit).

So, when I saw an opportunity to challenge myself.  To challenge other women, not just moms, to love our bodies and see ourselves the way HE sees us? I jumped on it.  I'm not sure what it's going to look like just yet.  But I'm excited.  I would love to have you on this journey with me, Sisters.  Let's love ourselves a little more each day this month, for the 31 Day Challenge.  And when we can't see the good, we can lean on each other, but mostly we should remind each other that WE are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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