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Like most of you, I've been in the back-to-school rush. Sort of. Let me explain:

My girls start preschool next week at a new school.  I'm super excited for them because my prayer is that they will grow up with these kids from 3P - 12th grade. I want to post pictures of them in their senior yearbook holding their little preschool tote bags with the same friends that will be carrying North Face backpacks fifteen years from now.  Part of us moving to Dothan when they were young was for this very reason. It's been a tough move but I have hope that these little friends that we will meet this year will solidify our reasons for moving away from our "first friends."

So, while I've been ordering labels for sippy cups and buying new back-to-school clothes, we've also been at home with tummy aches and coughs.  The pediatrician said there was a stomach bug going around and I believe we all caught it. While all I've wanted was to stay at home and take care of the girls (and myself!) I've had to pass them off to grandmothers and go to work.

Because, really, work is where I've been rushing the most. Recently, we've experienced some transitions at work and I've been incredibly busy with children's ministry. We just moved all the kids up to new classrooms yesterday and last week I might have cried a few times getting it all together.  But, yesterday it was all worth it to see the kids excited about their new rooms and to have the volunteers help with the transition.  I was reminded that I am not alone and I can do this. I'm really glad to have gotten that reminder.

Sometimes, when life is really, really crazy - not the good crazy but the I don't want to get out of bed crazy - we need reminders that we can do it.  This life thing, we can do it.

That statement can be twisted, I know.  What if you can't do life? That seems a bit intense.  But, what I'm trying to say is that when life is hard, I just want the hard to stop. Anybody else agree?

This stage of my life is so delicate. On one hand, I've got a million reasons to be thankful: my love for Raleigh is so strong and I'm so incredibly glad to be his wife, Adeline and Maralee are growing into beautiful little girls from the inside out, and we have two sets of grandparents that could not be more willing to help when our work schedules are slammed. But, there is so much going on right now and sometimes I wonder if I'm still following God's will for my life.  I wonder this with the smallest things; like the nights when we eat out instead of me cooking.  I love to cook.  It is one of the things I do for my family that I always enjoy. When we are so busy and I don't feed my family a home-cooked meal majority of the week, I question if I've gotten lost somewhere along the way.  It happens with the big stuff too; like writing. I hate it when the blog is silent. I strive for consistency: for you and for me.  Writing is a way that I connect with God and his people on an intimate level. I miss it when I don't do it.

I don't have answers for these kind of questions.  And, I've struggled with hearing God when I ask them. What helps me keep doing this life thing is hope. Hope that life won't always kick me in the shins; instead it will wrap me up in all of its' wonderfulness someday real soon. When I feel conflicted about if I'm in God's will, I allow myself to grieve any loss I feel in my life and then remind myself of all that I've found.  Family. Faith. Fellowship.

This life thing is hard to figure out.  It's scary; the choices we make. But, on the other hand, it is quite the adventure. I think that is why we can laugh about hard things after they happen.  We laugh because we couldn't always see God going through it but now that it's over, he's crystal clear.

Truth seekers, I'm sure some of you are in the midst of hard things right now; whether it be the back-to-school rush or something else that is huge in your life. Please believe that you can do hard things. Have hope that better days are yet to come and you will be laughing about all of this real soon. Continue to pray, even when you wonder if it's working. Because, it is.

Have faith because without it you are alone. And, we can't do this life thing alone. We need each other to show up and live every day. Because, you matter. What you are doing matters even when you question it. These questions are okay, because they lead you back to God, the light for your path.

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Believe that your life is a gift.  Believe that the hard moments and the great moments are all pieces that make the gift worthwhile. Believe that hope is real and was given specifically to you.

Love your life, no matter how crazy it gets. 

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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