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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A commitment to refocus


Refocus: To change the emphasis or direction of.

 I have been contemplating what I feel God wants me to share and after a great deal of spiritual highs and lows over the last week, I have finally landed on refocus. Back in January (wow time has flown by), I shared my word for the year as focus. I knew this word would stretch me and make me work really hard to stay on task with all God wanted me to do. I would love to write this blog and list out for you all the amazing ways I have stayed focused this year (that would be arrogant on my part anyway, right?), but to be completely honest I have fallen very short. Don't get me wrong, I do believe I have been in His will, but I believe I may have missed out on some great things He had planned for me by getting side-tracked and allowing fear and doubt to overwhelm me.

 Here goes the hard part for me, vulnerability. What have I been doing? Staying busy, running from one thing to the next, saying yes when I should say no and losing sight of His plan. Last week, I was challenged by my pastor about increasing the capacity in my life. He asked us to get vulnerable and really search where we are lacking in the five areas he shared (confidence, connections, competency, character and commitment) and change that area to increase our capacity.  The area that I was challenged to change was not one I felt I really struggle with, but I definitely felt God's prompting me in the area of commitment. Wait, what commitment, I thought I was displaying commitment? I left a job I loved, with people I loved to do something that makes me no money just because God told me to, isn't that commitment? Well yes, but God wanted so much more from me than just one step of faith.  When I started to evaluate why I was not committing in the way I should, God showed me that I wasn't living a life of true faith, but was being ruled by fear and doubt. Questions that swirled through my mind like, Did I make a mistake? What if I fail? What if I can't reach anyone? Why are things not happening faster? What have I done? had been allowed to take up a permanent  residence in my mind.

 Now I am back on the right road called focus taking steps of faith each day, following after my Creator and allowing Him to take up residence in my mind and heart and overtake those questions, doubts, fears and worries. I am determined to be focused on the right things and I pray the same for your life, don't miss out on what God has planned in and through you!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A new beginning.....

I started this blog a year and a half ago with the initial hope that God could used my story to help others affected by infertility, little did I know the journey that God would take me on and where my life would be today. Since beginning the blog I realized I have truly been giving a calling that was beyond simple sharing my story, but was something that would change me, my family, my job and my life. So this week is a new beginning for me. I am starting my first small group this week focused on families affected by infertility. I truly believe it is only the beginning of what God has planned for Helping the Hannahs. I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, small and terrified, but most importantly I am feeling called by God to something bigger than me and bigger than the small things that so many times bog us down in this world. I would appreciate any prayers, support and spreading the word y'all could give me. I would love to share with you our updated Mission Statement and Core Values that my very talented husband, Darren helped write and make sound so much more beautiful than anything I can write. I am also going to be sharing our small group meeting information for those interested as well as our Facebook page. Thanks in advance for all the prayers and support!

 Helping the Hannahs Missions Statement: 
Taking infertility from an "off limits" topic to one that is openly addressed by confronting it head-on in providing support to those affected by it through small group resources, as well as medical and adoption resources.

Our Core Values: 
1. Provide comfort and support through small group interactions.
2. Offer support and comfort to the emotional, mental and spiritual needs of those affected by infertility.
3. Provide forums where speakers can offer words of encouragement and knowledge to those affected by infertility.

 Small Group Meetings:
Beginning Thursday, May 16th at 6:30 PM
Western Oaks Tower 7300 NW 23rd Street Bethany, OK

 For more information or to let us know you are coming:
Contact Amy Currin
E-mail: currinfamily@cox.net
Phone: 405-476-0165

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HelpingTheHannahs

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Positivity & Pride

It is hard to believe I have not been working in a full-time capacity for almost 3 months. I fully expected to be much further into setting-up my non-profit and to be in a very regular, daily routine. Instead, I find myself each day taking baby steps and seeing what God has planned for me. As I shared in my last blog, my word for this year is focus. This has led me down a very difficult path and spiritually God has simply been breaking me down and helping me re-discover His plan and purpose for my life. This brings me to my title of positivity and pride. I have always considered myself a positive, glass half-full type of person, but I am quickly discovering a not so great character flaw of pride. My positivity and pride have recently been on a collision course. God has quite simply been breaking me of my pride and speaking to me about being more open, honest and authentic. I will share these struggles in the hope it will help others who have a similar problem with pride and to also allow me to be the authentic person God has called me to be. I started hormone replacement therapy in November. Within three weeks of starting it, I begin to have pain. I informed my doctor and my hormones were adjusted and eventually changed. About six weeks later I went from having pain to having severe, sometimes debilitating pain. After visiting with my doctor more, she informed me that it was most likely endometriosis that had not died off after my hysterectomy and that starting the hormones had allowed it to grow further. This will require stopping the hormones, having treatment for the endometriosis, having some further testing and seeing another specialist to check out some areas the endometriosis may have spread to. This diagnosis was devastating and very difficult to accept especially because of how long I have battled endometriosis and the belief that the hysterectomy would allow it to be gone. I have been very private and very proud and have chosen to not share how truly difficult and painful this has been. Even those close to me have been given the staunch, it hurts, but I am okay and it's not too bad answer. I am quite frankly embarrassed to share especially given my long history of dealing with this illness. My very smart and wise husband called me on this last week. After a particularly hard and painful day, he kindly told me that I need to open up and let others know my struggles and allow them to support and love me. I have to admit, I was very angry at him at first for calling me out, but I eventually realized he was right. I have been so caught up in constantly being positive and not wanting to burden others and in being extremely proud and afraid of being vulnerable that I have robbed myself of the joy of support, love and prayers. I am blessed with an amazing group of friends and family that want to love and support me, if I only I let go of my pride and let them in. I truly believe that is one of the reasons God puts people in our lives so that we can support and love them and we can also be supported and loved. It is impossible for us to love, support, encourage, pray and be there for each other if we do not let go of our pride, open up and be vulnerable. Who do you need to open up to? Who do you need to ask for prayer from? Please join with me in letting go of our pride, being vulnerable and sharing our pain, we will never know how blessed our life can be until we do!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Focus

Happy New Year and I am finally am back to blogging! December was spent focused on my recent adjustment (and it has been an adjustment) to being a stay-at-home Mommy and wife, but I am finally back. 

 Last week I attended the All Staff meeting for LifeChurch.tv, where my husband works and I previously worked. First of all, I felt very blessed to still be a part of what God is doing there and having my life poured into even though I no longer work there. Pastor Craig's main message to the staff and spouses goes along with our current sermon series called My Story. He asked us to be in prayer as we start this year about what our one word for the year would be. What story are we wanting to tell? What do we hope to accomplish? What do you want to be known for in this year? What call has God put on us this year? He asked us to think about all that and put it into one word (not easy for us wordy folks). He also asked us to come up with a verse that goes along with our word and share it with others, so here we go :).

 As I looked forward into 2013 and starting Helping The Hannahs and being a stay-at-home Mom, I realized the word God is telling me to hang onto is focus. I wondered how this could possibly play out and why focus was so important. I looked up the definition of focus and found some very applicable things. Focus is defined as a center of interest or activity; close or narrow attention and to concentrate attention or energy. Some of the things God has been revealing to me is not being so busy and constantly moving. I don't have to control everything and I do not have to be involved in every good thing going on (even though these things may be good). I don't have to keep my house spotless at all times. I don't have to always have everything together.  I don't have to be all things to all people. I must slow down and focus on the calling God has put on my life. This is such a struggle for me for so many reasons, mainly because this seems selfish. I know I will definitely be challenged by my word this year.

 What word do you want your year to be defined by? What story do you want 2013 to tell in your life? I hope and pray that God will lead you to the right word and verse.  I pray it is not simply a New Year's resolution, but really a change in how you live in 2013 and beyond.

 I leave you with my verse that goes along with my word and I pray that I will look back on 2013 and see how focus allowed me to do all the things He has called me to do and let go of the rest!
Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Leap of Faith

Leap: n: An abrupt or precipitous passage, shift, or transition

This week I took a major leap.  A life-changing leap, a terrifying leap, an exciting leap and a leap of faith.  I quit my job.  The job I love, with people I love, in an organization I love and at a place I feel at home at, comfortable at and most of all a place that has allowed me to work with my husband.  It was one of the hardest and yet easiest decisions I have ever made mainly because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am obeying God.

Let me back up a bit and give you some insight into why I made this decision.  Last year, God laid it on my heart to take my experiences with infertility and use it to reach others who may be struggling.  The first step in this was to start this blog, but beyond that I had no idea what He had planned.  I felt compelled to possibly start small groups for those struggling with infertility, but I never felt truly clear about the direction of this.  In the last year, I have been home sick or recovering from surgery for two different, long stretches.  At these times, God spoke to me clearly in regards to what He had planned for this blog, how He had much bigger plans for it and additionally different plans for my life.  This brings me to this decision to leave LifeChurch.tv and follow His calling on my life.

I feel very fortunate to work in such a place that has fed into my spiritual growth and continues to support me even in the decision to leave and move on. I have grown spiritually while working at LifeChurch.tv in ways I never would have otherwise.  I know that I would not have been able to take this leap of faith without being here the last couple of years.  I feel fortunate that my husband will still be here, so I can still be a part of this amazing family.  I have numerous people that I have shared this decision with remind me of one of our core values here at LifeChurch.tv: "we give up things we love, for things we love more."

So, what will I be doing now?  I will be staying home to be a Mommy and wife and I will be working to take the next steps in starting a non-profit reaching women and families struggling with infertility 
Helping the Hannahs Mission Statement: 
 We are working to reach individuals and families that have been impacted by infertility and provide support to these individuals through groups, speakers and resources.

I am full of expectations for what God has planned in this next stage of my life.  I am taking this huge leap and as scary as it will be, I know that God will bless my obedience.  I do not know the future or what He has planned through all of this, but I hold strong onto His calling and His words from Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Holding Pattern

As I thought over the last 9 months of my life, I had the realization that I have been living my life just waiting for things to work out for good or bad and have been living life in a holding pattern waiting to land and constantly thinking I may not land safely.  I have been waiting for the next day, week, or month to come so that I could see what type of tail-spin my life would go in.  I am not saying that I don't have happy moments and good days, but it has just been the overall way I have approached life recently.  When did I become so jaded that I believed that tomorrow could be terrible?  When did I allow a negative perspective and attitude that I am just circling and waiting and doing the same things over and over believing the worst to happen become the way I lived? 

The last 9 months of my family's life has been filled with illness, financial strain, more illness, surgery,  and the people I love being sick, hurt and struggling.  My marriage has also faced some major obstacles and my positive attitude and outlook on life has been tested.  I have been struggling to find clarity on many decisions and issues that we have been facing.  I know that I had been given clear direction by God on some key issues, but I have been so afraid to move forward in them.

Darren and I recently had a huge answer to prayer financially and a few days later as I was driving to work I felt overwhelmed with thankfulness and relief.  After the initial relief passed, I started thinking about how I had been living my life lately and how many moments I had potentially missed by being in a holding pattern and letting everything pass by me with notice.  When we are in a holding pattern, we can quit doing so many good things because of fear of what bad things could happen.  I prayed and asked for for forgiveness in that moment.  I also asked that God would give me the opportunities to land and engage in my life and not be so distracted by the "what-ifs" and the "could happens."  I don't want to be in a holding pattern any more, it is tiring way to live life! I don't want to live in fear anymore and I want to be everything that God has called me to be.  I want to help encourage others around me and not let any moment to spend time with God, my family, or friends pass me by.  I must give up my control to God and believe that is it okay that He is only the one that knows the future of my family.  I know that I am going to face many more obstacles in my future, but no matter what I don't want to stay in a holding pattern, I want to fly and land on the things that He has planned for me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Strong enough

Wow, two blog posts in one week is a definite record for me!  I have been thinking a lot about being strong and being a strong person for everyone.  I was recently told that I didn't need to be strong for everyone and that I need to allow myself and others to rely on God and not try to be everything for everyone (this was very humbling to say the least). 

This seems like such a simple concept and it seems like it should be so freeing to not try to be strong enough all the time, right?  Yet, I have struggled day after day for the last few weeks to try to figure out how this looks.  I always want to have everything all together for me, my family, work, my friends etc.  I hate to break down. I hate to show weakness. I want to be in control and I am definitely proud. 

What are the real reasons behind my inability to show weakness and be real?  Do I worry and care so much about what others think of me?  Do I not trust God who has again and again been faithful?  Do I only keep it together because if I let down all the pieces will fall apart?  I think I could truly answer yes to all of the above questions! 

I also have realized that through many years of dealing with illness and pain, I have learned to try to appear strong through it and put on a smile, even when I was hurting.  I believe that because of those moments, I learned to not be the real, authentic person that I am called to be. 

So, now I am working on still figuring out how this looks.  I have held on so long to this belief that I could handle anything that I am frightened of what it would look like to not have it all together all the time.  I know that in the moments that I have been truly authentic, real and broken I have learned more that I ever could by keeping it together and pretending everything is okay.  So, for those of you that know me, if you see me crying or being weak :-), please know that I am working to let God be my strength and I am working to be the authentic, real and weak person that I truly am. I also am praying for who are like me and are constantly battling to be strong enough, that you, like me, will realize that it is okay to not be strong enough on your own.

I will leave you with the words from Matthew West's song "Strong Enough."  This song that I have heard many times hit me full-force this morning as I drove to work.  I am glad that I don't have to be strong enough on my own, but only through Jesus Christ my Savior! I am looking forward to the freedom that this will bring.


You must, you must think I'm strong to give me what I'm going through
Well, forgive me, forgive me if I'm wrong but this looks like more than I can do on my own
 
I know I'm not strong enough to be everything that I'm supposed to be I give up I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me Lord right now I'm asking you to be strong enough strong enough For the both of us
 
Well, maybe, maybe that's the point to reach the point of giving up
Cause when I'm finally, finally at rock bottom well, that's when I start looking up and reaching out
I know I'm not strong enough to be everything that I'm supposed to be I give up I'm not strong enough 

Hands of mercy won't you cover me Lord right now I'm asking you to be Strong enough Strong enough
Cause I'm broken down to nothing but I'm still holding on to the one thing you are God and you are strong when I am weak
 
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength and I don't have to be strong enough strong enough
I can do all things Through Christ who gives me strength and I don't have to be strong enough strong enough
 
Oh, yeah
I know I'm not strong enough to be everything that I'm supposed to be I give up I'm not strong enough 
Hands of mercy won't you cover me Lord right now 
I'm asking you to be strong enough strong enough strong enough

[ From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/strong-enough-lyrics-matthew-west.html ]