It’s my birthday!
Yes, I’m turning the ripe ole’ age of 33 and couldn’t be more proud of it. But guess what else?
It’s also the 1st birthday of Refine & Restore! YAY!! (Noise makers anyone??)
With a head cold and cough making me regurgitate things you don’t want to know or see, this is going to be simply stated today. Simplicity at its best.
Four years ago I took the scary plunge of blogging my little heart out on my family blog about the difficulties of my pregnancies and life with twins, and then three children under two. I’ve always found refreshment through writing since my elementary school years, however it became increasingly apparent that this hobby of mine wasn’t just a personal hobby for me to enjoy. I knew God wanted to use me to encourage the hearts and souls of others through my writing and speaking passions. Therefore, I needed a new platform.
I remember praying for 6 months as I brainstormed the best name for my new little virtual space. I wanted a name reflective of the changes I’d been through over the course of many years and seasons, one that I saw a repeating pattern of in my life that I believe will continue for the rest of my life.
Just like a mom and dad ponder for months over the perfect name for their new baby, I pondered carefully over the birth name for this “baby” as well. I wanted a name that was reflective of the major life changes and alterations that had occurred in my own life, but still be broad enough to include enough variety in what I had to share. Once I had decided on the domain name, I was so happy to check and see it was still for sale! So for my birthday, I bought my little retail web space called Refine & Restore!
And that my friends, is how this journey of my serious pursuits of writing began.
This community has grown so much in such a short time. The vision and dreams and hopes I had for it then is far less than what it’s become now … so much the better!
I never dreamed that so many opportunities would come my way to write for others, speak to the hearts of women, and most importantly, discover how this wild water-walking journey has deepened my faith. I never dreamed that I’d be submitting book proposals to agents in such a short period of time since creating this site. Yet, confidence in my writing abilities has grown and the joyful surges I experience when I stand on a stage speaking to the hearts of others about finding purpose and meaning in life is enabling me to do what feels impossible. Truth is, I’ve had many page turning experiences over the past 33 years that are now bubbling forth from my mind onto paper. Experiences I think many of you can relate to, that are valuable for me to share.
So here’s hoping that my eclectic ideas—which are as wide as they are deep—will come to fruition in the near future. Not for my own glory, but for HIS glory that courses through my veins.
You all have helped me grow in my writing over the past year. My writing has morphed and changed and is still becoming the voice it is meant to be. I have you to thank for it. If it wasn’t for the encouragement by many of you, I would have hung up my keyboard in this pursuit of writing “R&R for the Heart and Soul” long ago. But here I stand, and I can tell ya, I’m here to stay ya’ll!
Here’s a final insiders note to you-all (I’m really not a Texan):
We all have a story to share.
Stories that boil down to the concept I created here with this community Refine & Restore. I am creating a page on this bloggy blog of mine where you can submit your Refine & Restore moments to share in this community.
It can be something that is currently refining your character or heart, becoming restored through God’s grace. It can be a DIY item you refined and restored making it look like a piece of lost treasure. It can be a refining moment you saw in a child or someone else (I will keep things anonymous) and how they became restored through the difficult process. Be thinking of that story or special thing to share and be on the look-out for when I announce my need for those submissions! I would love to hear it, and add your story to this space.
Remember, God has bigger and better plans for you. You might feel a bit unsure, like Moses, when God asked Him to step into the role He had for him to bring his people out of slavery. You might feel inadequate to do the role He has called you to do. You might eventually feel like, “OK Lord, I’ve got this now!” as you drift away from the path of leading, relying on your own strength which only leaves you burnt out and bitter in the end.
Don’t ever forget this famous passage,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV)
God is that vine. Stay connected to the vine, and you will not wither away. You will remain strengthened. You will know the next step you are meant to take.
So thank you to all of my peeps who keep on surfing along the web with me! You keep challenging me to keep on keepin’ on!