January 6, 2017

Levi is ONE

It's hard to believe that my little Levi is already a year old. 
Oh how I've loved this year of being his momma.

Here's a little board I made for his party about what he's been up to! 

(Interested in having one designed? email me at brandymillerwriting@gmail.com)

I also put together a video of his birth photos to celebrate him turning one. 
You can check that out here. 


I have plans of getting back more into blogging and launching a new design I've been working on! Unfortunately Levi's had the stomach virus this week and that's pushed backed many of my plans on that. Hopefully you'll be hearing more than just Levi updates around here very soon! 


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December 19, 2016

to the girl with BABY on her Christmas list... again

Two years ago, I wrote this post. To and from the girl with baby on her Christmas list. A few of my friends could relate and I was thankful for that. The year ended and I didn't think much about it....but it has become the most read blog on this little space I call mine. So if you haven't read it yet... you might want to start here.




To the girl with BABY on her Christmas list...

Hey there... it's me again. I'm writing to you because a couple of years ago I said I would. I'd hoped that I'd write again in 2015 but my December and Christmas were filled with other plans you see. That girl who's 2014 December was filled with longing for a baby... (longing that my original letter to you was written out of)... that girl who in April mourned that her shot at a Christmas baby was gone. That girl... this girl spent December of 2015 on the couch with swollen ankles and a headache from preeclampsia. This girl spent the Christmas (Eve & Day) of 2015 in Labor & delivery room #5. This girl gave birth to that BABY on her Christmas list on December 26th, 2015.


You might call that coincidental or ironic. But I call it miraculous and divinely appointed.


This year when the December surge of that post came with comments and sharing, I went back to read it again. This time with a nearly one year monkeying around me. With the view of that mantle with 3 stockings in view. With the stack of those Christmas cards with my sweet son's face on them stacked next to me.... also along with his 1st birthday invites. 


I read that blog that I (in some completely other reality) wrote 2 years ago and my heart broke for you. But my eyes opened more clearly to something I'd known all along.


See moments before I decided to hit the NEW POST button that lead me here to this blank white space where I've poured out my heart so many times, I got an interesting message. The message was from a friend who just met a woman in her neighborhood and discovered that she'd recently shared my original letter "to the girl with BABY on her Christmas list" as an attempt to let people know what she was going through. She went on to share with my friend that although she didn't know me at all that this blog had given her some encouragement in a really rough time. Y'all.... that is straight up Jesus. There is no amount of planning or good writing that could make that happen. That is ALL the work of Jesus. 


And while that story filled my heart and reminded me of why it's important to obey even when it feels uncomfortable.... (because believe me... when I started sharing our fertility struggle only 10 months into trying, it felt very uncomfortable)... it reminded me of something that it's so easy to forget....


This life... glorious season, trial season, Christmas season, any season... is not really about me at all. Not that God doesn't care about me personally.... because He so does. Not because He didn't care about my desire to be a mom.... because He so did. But He had/has this great big plan that is all for His glory. That's all for His fame. A plan that involves the salvation of us because He loves us! A plan that involves His gospel reaching people. A plan that is all about JESUS.... the one Christmas is all about anyways.


That post I wrote two years ago, this blog that I've shared my highs and lows on, my marriage, my motherhood, my infertility, my life... were never about me.... they were all about HIM.


That season of shining lights and family dinners while my heart was longing for a baby was fertile soul for Him to remind me that He was all I needed. That He loved me enough to care about my every tear. That He had not forgotten me but was working out His great plan for His glory AND my good. It was fertile soil to remind me that Christmas is all about Jesus... and so is life. To remind me that even in the most difficult of times, He is there and He is good. 


And I pray that for the thousands of people who've landed here at A Sweet Aroma because of that Christmas post so filled with longing and hope, that they saw Jesus. That they found encouragement and attributed not to this girl behind this keyboard... but the God of the universe. 


I still don't write this with some pretty perfect answer for you. I don't know why God is bringing you through this waiting for a baby stage. I know that realizing all that I said above doesn't make the pain go away. I know that you probably have mixed feelings even reading this... knowing that my wish was filled and yours hasn't been. And can I tell you that I do too? I often wonder why God has given me my child but not many others around me. "For my glory AND their good." He reminds me.


I just want you to know that your ache this season is not without purpose... and it is most certainly not forgotten by God or by me. I am continually praying for those of you with aching hearts this Christmas. Praying that God will fill you with hope and joy that only comes from Him. Praying that He use you in this season where emotions are so deep. Praying that next Christmas you'll get to hang that next stocking.


Because in those moments where the baby is pulling balls off the tree and downing Christmas cookies like a mad man,  and you get to buy all those cute Christmas outfits, these moments of heartache will seem like a distant memory. They will fill you to the brim and leave you praising Jesus all the more.


Still wishing you joy and blessings and babies this Christmas,

 the girl who got the BABY on her Christmas list
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December 16, 2016

The Perfect Dress | E-Shakti Review


 I did receive free product in exchange for this review from eShakti. However all opinions are my own and I would not share with you any product I didn't love! 


Some of you who've been with me for awhile may remember that beautiful dress I reviewed from eShakti! It was gorgeous and perfect and I couldn't get over how well it fit me.... maybe because they actually let you put your measurements in? Yeah. That's probably it.


Anyways, that dress went on to be worn at my brother-in-law's wedding and my sister loved it so much she wore it for her rehearsal dinner on the beach.... we're practically the same size so it looked perfect on her too! 



So why, might you ask, would I (in busy mom life) review another dress from them? 

First of all because I love the way they work....

You select the design and then from there you get to choose sleeve type, neckline, dress length, and even whether or not you want pockets (which by the way is always a YES for me)! You can select a size based off their measurements and just add height (another huge bonus for this under 5' girl) or you can put in all your unique measurements.

As a short girl who never fits any size just right, it's so so so nice to see a company make a dress to your measurements that is much cheaper than most custom shops! 


Secondly... because this nursing momma needed a customizable dress. And I knew eShakti would deliver nothing less! Dresses have been the hardest part of my wardrobe with breastfeeding. So I went to eShakti, picked out a dress I loved, customized the neckline to be breastfeeding friendly, made sure to check "yes" on pockets and this beauty came to me in a week! 


So even though this is my version of the perfect dress... 
burnt orange
bow sleeves
keyhole back
elbow length sleeve
at knee length
POCKETS
scoop neck
and most importantly... tailored to ME.....


Your perfect dress could be totally different... and those options would all be yours! 




So buy yourself a Christmas gift and take advantage of the 20% off sale they have going on today!  
Get a gift for someone else and take 20% off of gift cards.. y'all that crazy good!
And know that any time  you sign up you get a $30 credit to your account! 




Go find YOUR perfect dress!

eShakti.com
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December 9, 2016

not so "quiet" time + motherhood



I'm awake. Sitting at the desk with the lamp on and Levi is sleeping not 10 feet away. In our bed... you know where I said he'd never sleep ha. Between the crib boycott and the busy evening schedules, this morning is the first real amount of "quiet" time in several weeks. Not that I haven't got to read my Bible or pray. Just that it's usually with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse going in the background and at least 3 of the 20+ noise making toys beeping or singing. And I love it that way.


The me who used to love to sit and study the Word and journal for long periods of time sometimes rises up wondering if that will ever be my life again. It's easy for even well-intentioned conversations to make me feel like I'm not doing enough spiritually during this time. While out running errands the other day, Joel began chatting about this book on Spiritual Disciplines he's reading through with some guys. He was sharing the excitement he had that one guy was really starting to get that he needed to get up early and be alone to get the most out of his quiet time. (Any other mom's out there just feel that punch?) Tears started welling up in my eyes as I continued to try to listen. My half-laughing, half-crying caught Joel's attention and he stopped the story to hear my thoughts....
"I was so thrilled just to take a shower today in peace." 


Realizing that I might not be the best person to share in the excitement with him, he started to trying to ease the gap. Recognizing this is season I'll probably be in for years and understanding that this is not really a possible reality for me right now.


He wasn't for a second trying to put down my time with the Lord... and I knew that. And even though I love this season more than 


{This is far as I got before little man woke up... 1 hr later and we're back at it.}


As I was saying... I love this season more than any other I've ever been in. But even still, Satan loves to use random conversations right now to make me feel inadequate even when that was never the intention of the conversation. But that's all Satan... not God.


So sometimes it's only a few verses and sometimes I get interrupted 5 times. I pray with my eyes open or while Levi is sleeping on me. It's not what most would consider "ideal quiet time" but it is mom life and I love it. 

I love that I don't have to be in a set spot with set music and all just so to commune with the Lord. 
I love that quiet time doesn't have to be quiet... 
can we name it something else anyways?

 
So why do I share this? Because maybe you (like I did for a few months) keep waiting to have a time to sit down and have that perfect intimate quiet time that you used to have. Maybe you keep waiting on it to be "just so" before you pull out your Bible. I know I did. But here's what I'm finding... God can use it to speak to you. No matter the length  or the time  or the interruptions... He can use it.
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November 3, 2016

This is good.... but there's something better.



On Friday last week I was driving home to get a little dolled up for our third anniversary date. It was one of those times when life just seemed so so sweet... the leaves were at their beautiful peak on the back roads here in Delaware, the sun was setting and glistening on the freshly harvested fields, I could see Levi's sleepy face in the mirror in the back seat, and I was excited to go out on a date night to celebrate the three wonderful years we've shared as husband and wife. This particular evening, the local country station was playing in the background, something I'm in the mood for every now and again. I wasn't far from my house when "I Love This Life" filled my car. It struck a chord with me and I was singing along the few words of the song I knew and loving that the song was about loving and enjoying such everyday things. 


That's when God brought to mind when one of my favorite verses.


Psalm 63.3
Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.


When life is tough, it's important to remember that His love is better and greater than all you're experiencing. But can I tell you that I so rejoice that even when life feels so good and so sweet..... His love is so much better and sweeter than life itself. When we can enjoy the mundane and soak in the seasons of life through the lens of that great love, nothing compares. 


"Love life."
"Cherish the moment."
"Seize the day." 

All these are mantras we hear and find on wall art. As moms we hear even more specifically...
"Enjoy this age."
"They'll be grown before you know it."
"Just you wait till they're teenagers."


The present is so important and it is such a gift. I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus wants us to enjoy Him and the blessings He has given us and cherish those. But without letting those point us back to the loving heart of God, we miss the whole point. The joy should stop us in our tracks to praise Him.


Yesterday we spent a couple hours at the park with some friends. I took a couple pictures of Levi where he was cheesing it up. As I looked at them, I couldn't help but hope that he always enjoys life as much as he does right now. But more than that, I want him to grow in the love of the Lord. Because I know as he does, there will be joy. And I pray that whether in valleys or on gorgeous mountain tops we can point him to the love that is so much better than anything this life could offer him. I pray that in every blessing and every great day we can see that God's love is so much sweeter than even that.


Man I do love this life.... 
but I love the sweet love He gives so much more.... 
because it's so much better.

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