To Love. To Grow. To Change. To Live.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Following YOUR heart...

Did you know that God has a plan for your life?!?

“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.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

He knows your beginning, middle and end. Understanding what that means can have a huge impact on how you feel about your current position in life. Recognizing that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, at that point in your life is powerful!

When you don't reflect on thoughts such as this, and add to it the often subtle but negative opinions of others, you can get confused about whether the choices you've made are valid or right!

You see my pregnancy was unexpected, and a bit scary initially because of that.  A few key people, among others, helped to assuage my fear over time.  Mario with his pure joy and excitement when I told him the news with tear-filled eyes.  My dear mother who provided unwavering support from the very beginning.  One of my very best friend's, Dorothy, with her uplifting encouragement and genuine happiness for us.  Lastly, my youngest aunt, with wisdom beyond her years, who broke down every excuse I had until we found the root of my fear: I was afraid of the criticism that would, and did, come...

Brenda Ueland's book, If You Want to Write, sums up my thoughts on the impact that criticism can have perfectly, with the following quote:

"...when you write, if it is to be any good at all, you must feel free--free and not anxious...I hate orthodox criticism.  I don't mean great criticism, like that of Matthew Arnold and others, but the usual small niggling, fussy-mussy criticism, which thinks it can improve people by telling them where they are wrong, and results only in putting them in straightjackets of hesitancy and self-consciousness, and weazening all vision and bravery.  I hate it not so much on my own account, for I have learned at last not to let it balk me.  But I hate it because of the potentially shining, gentle, gifted people of all ages, that it snuffs out every year.  It is a murderer of talent.
I came across this quote while reading Kelly Hampton's blog, she has an amazing story and tells it with such grace...
I cried and cried and cried again when I read her birth story. She is truly an inspiration!

This quote is about writing...why, yes, indeed!  I look at it, not only in that regard, but even moreso in relation to the choices one makes in life, in general, and the criticism that is so often attached!

My choice (mine), to have a child (out of wedlock), followed by my choice to make that child my number one priority by becoming a stay at home mom was criticized since the day I announced it.  I was treated as if I was ruining my life and the "stones were cast".  Pregnant, at 26, with an engineering degree, a successful career, a healthy salary and a man I'd been dating for six (6) know, a recipe for disaster. Even worse, it was as if people thought that when I quit my job I would also quit being a strong, educated, woman and achiever, who is goal-oriented, determined and business-minded! As if by elevating myself as a mother (and wife) I somehow lessened myself as an individual, thereby losing all of the qualities that make up who I am as a person.

Some comments have been downright negative and have hurt me to the core, but I recognize that most were spoken out of love (however that works).  Maybe they just couldn't understand that the fact that we did not expect Madison, did not negate our love for her or the sacrifices we'd be willing to make for her!  In addition, I don't think they understood that I'd be the happiest I've ever been in my life.  That I'd not only be home nurturing my child but I'd finally have a chance to be be taken care of and nurtured.  That I'd find hope in the dreams I had for my future and the time to put my thoughts into action.  As I'm thinking about it now, I guess I can understand why others couldn't understand considering even I didn't realize this is where I'd be led.  But somehow, deep down in my heart I just knew that this was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing, at this point in my life, and I can not explain how exhilarating this journey has been!

So whatever it is that you find in your heart to do, DO IT, and don't let the unwarranted opposition of others keep you from doing what you were destined to do all along based on God's divine plan for your life!

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9, NIV)

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  1. God loves you and your baby regardless of whatever criticism is thrown your way. He knew your baby before He formed it in your womb. Your precious baby is a blessing and who cares what anyone else thinks?! I'm happy for you guys!! I know what it's like to be the subject of criticsm but at the end of the day, none of them matter.

    You look truly beautiful embracing your tummy. :)

    I hope you're having a great week and a Happy New Year!

    Thank you so much for linking up to last week's Aloha Friday Blog Hop!! I'm following you.

    If you have time, we'd love to have you come and link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you haven't already! (Thank you so very much if you've already linked up, I truly appreciate it!!)

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    Jean {What Jean Likes}

  2. This post was so sweet and well-written. God bless you and your sweet little family!! :)


  3. I am so glad you made the best decision for you and your family. Madison is so adorable and lovely and I thank God for her life. I love that you are writing these stories, you will be encouraging so many women everywhere.

  4. Nicole, I didn't for one minute think any less of you when you guys told me the news. I think I wss prolly happier then you guys were. This is my second chance to be a NANA, even though I'm a few hours away I look forward to our visits. Don't let the devil steal your joy. You are and will be a wonderful mother and I think I might be a little jealous (lol ) Too late for me now, but I can be the best Nana I can be. I love you guys with all my heart and soul. Take care and Kiss Maddie for me.

  5. WOW! Awesome Post!!! I am definitely learning (and its not easy) to ignore the comments of being a sahm! It gets tiring trying to defend yourself. I love when you stated that somehow people felt as if you lessened yourself by taking care of your family. I never understood why people had that mindset. It's especially hard in "our community" because you don't see or hear of many sahm's! God definitely knows what he's doing and he knows the plans he has for us. Continue to do what God has called for YOU to do and be encouraged!


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