My Life Didn’t Go as Planned, and that’s OK

As my 27th year on this earth comes to a close this weekend, I cannot help but reflect on my life thus far. Chapter 27 included some horrible defeats and some nail-biting victories. I learned that I am much more ferocious gal than I ever dreamed I would be. I discovered that when the Lord sets you on a path, no stone can trip you off the path. I encountered many people who came alongside us to shoulder our burden. I also ran into people who doubt the will of God to my face. I cried the same amount to happy tears as sad tears in my 27th year.

One thing I would like to share with you is a quote I found on Pinterest regarding adoption.

I just think this is a great quote! A great reminder that sometimes our lives take a different turn then we anticipate, but it may work out even better then we expect!:

What a beautiful thought. A beautiful depiction of how messy life can be as a Christ-follower. I had so many carefully laid plans for my life. Plans that would prosper me and keep me from enduring hardship. Somehow though, the hardships I have encounter bring glory to God. How I handle the lemons of life, can create a sweet aroma to the Lord. He is honored in how we acknowledge His goodness and sovereignty in the good and hard times.

1 Peter 1:7

7″These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

Some times I found myself on the floor during my 27 year crying out to God, “I know you are good. I know you are good. Why am I walking through something, so not good?”

After I cried my heart out, the Lord whispered to my heart, that I will be ok. My life is not going according to my plan, because He has something much better planned for me. My small-minded plans pale compared to His glory.

Right now, I am probably in the most difficult season of my life. The waiting season. Waiting to bring our sweet babe home. We were matched a month ago with a sweet boy due in April. Now, more than ever I am having to lay down my life’s plan’s and the control I struggle to have, in order to rest in God’s will. My sweet, promised babe is inside the tummy of another woman right now.

Everyday, I pray protection over both of them. Everyday, I struggle with not being the one to carry my sweet boy. Everyday, I feel more out of control of the situation than the day before. Then, the Lord reminds me, rather gently, that I was never in control to begin with. Ever since I gave my life to Him, I surrounded all reins to my life.

This is not how I pictured my road to motherhood. Would I change it? No way. The hurt and emptiness I’ve felt up to this point will pale when we hold our promised babe. The Lord has been on His throne the entire time. Before this and after this, He is Lord.

As you can tell by this rambling post, my life didn’t go as planned, but you know what? That’s ok.

Kylie Madole1

 

Reconciling

I am not giant of wisdom, that you were anxiously biting your nails and sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting for my thoughts on the turbulent last 24 hours of the United States. And quite frankly,  the turmoil has spanned the last two years and managed to has carve a political grand canyon  divide amongst american citizens.

Our next president faces, what I perceive, to be the greatest up-hill battle in recent history. Reconciling the American people. I imagine this as throwing rope bridges like crazy across the grand divide until enough people are on the other side to start building solid, immobile and lasting bridges. Permanent fixtures that tether both sides together.

In order for there to be people on the other side of the canyon, some must go first. We must blaze a dangerous and risky trail across to the other side. The rope is hair-thin and subjected to so much ridicule and strain already. Sweat on our brows, balancing on our tip toes frantically hurrying to solid ground, so that we may erect a better bridge, to bring people safely together. We will face winds of opposition and at times, lonesome, empty air beneath us.

If you are not a Christ-Follower, more than likely you will discount the rest of this article or simply stop reading altogether. While I do not wish for you and implore you to stay, I understand. Reconciling is not a human invention or notion. It is paranormal and at times, counter-intuitive. To understand how to reconcile a vastly divided people, one must learn from the author of reconciliation.

Enter Jesus. (Into politics? GASP!)

This is not regarding politics. This is regarding bringing people together rather than dividing them.

Jesus reconciled our sin and flesh with our Father who can only tolerate righteousness. Jesus met people in the muddiness of their dark hours and offered a hand, a tear, a word and love. He met people where they were at. He prayed for them. He held them. He listened. Jesus became our sin in order to reconcile us with God.

Regardless of who you wanted to win and who did win, we have a new president and an obvious need for change in society. Instead of stepping on each other for voting for our new president or not voting for him, why not look left and look right and see the people you are living life with. Be light and salt like we are commanded to live as Christ followers. Don’t engage in endless, hate-filled and meaningless facebook debates. Instead, take a true interest in one another. Pray for each other. Intercede for our new president. Pray for wisdom and discernment into others lives as well as your own. Shine the Light.

Resolve yourself to help reconcile the massive gap in our people by simply being Jesus to people. Jesus had the divine knack for bringing diverse people together. If He is for you, who can be against you? If He is in control of your heart, you too, should be able to bring people together in His likeness.

Reconciling people looks suspiciously like being Jesus to people. (Which you should already be doing.)

Daniel 2:20-22 NIV

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.

Kylie Madole1

Claiming Your Calling: A Retrospective Look at How the Lord Placed Calling on My Life

We can either be passive in the things that happen to us or we can actively search for meaning in our ‘happenings.’ We can simply exist in our circumstances or claim them for the Lord’s will. We can either toss and bob in the waves of the storm, struggling to stay afloat or we can paddle in the direction of the Lord and his shore.

My story is not a spectacular one. There is nothing glittery or particularly behooving about the circumstances that have made me who I am today. I think back though, and the thrill of my life has been my pursuit of the Lord’s calling on my life. That’s where the adventure and mystery lurks. That’s where we see friend and foe face each other. That’s where my plans collide with reality and divinity. That’s where I pull the Lord’s word out of it sheath and slay the distractions that interrupt my quest.

This calling was well out of my grasp and comprehension until a map to it was stamped on my heart. My calling was never really revealed to me like a little league soccer trophy was at Chucky Cheese. Instead, I felt that my calling was on a slender rock podium with a miraculous, golden light shining down on it, twinkling at me to take it.

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I rather haphazardly exchanged my well-thought-out plans for my life for a much simpler plan. I remember tiptoeing up to the podium. Gulping down my anxiety, because all I had to offer where the hopes and dreams of an impostor, I reach for this new calling. I squinted at the podium that now highlights the bag of unremarkable sand that my old life was. Clutching the new calling against my chest like a gold coin, I knew I my entire worth amounted nowhere near this calling’s worth. This calling would cost a life.

I dashed away from my old life and plans that I left in a crumbling temple. I felt the weight of this calling in my hands and heart. It was if it was literally engraved with ‘lay down your life and take up my cross.’ Fear pricked me from all angles. I knew this was the cost. My old life was laid to rest in that old, crumbling temple. There was and is no turning back. I hoisted my satchel up higher on my shoulder and embarked through the dense jungle of life with my new calling reminding me of its weight almost every step.

I knew what the calling was but did not know what my calling would look like day to day. Turns out; laying down my life and taking up my cross rarely looks the same each time. One day, it is denying the things I want to do in my free time, to pour into a life that needs it. Another day, it is simply not complaining. Two days before, it look like extending grace to a repeat offender. Next week, it will probably be keeping my flesh out of the way of the Lord’s will.

Today, my calling looks like accepting that my road to being a mother will look drastically different than any road I could have imagined a few years ago. When my husband asked me to marry him, after saying ‘yes,’ I immediately began to picture the life we would create together. I knew kids were at least three years off, but I let myself dream this dream. Maybe our kids would have thick hair and tan skin like their dad. Maybe they would have my hazel and yellow eyes and my pug nose.

Friends, we tried for two years to see this dream realized. All the while, begging God that this was in His will. Begging Him to erase the facts and hurt. Even with fertility treatment and the top doctors, Baby Madole never came. Lying in bed late into the night with a mixture of anger, loss, sadness, hopeless, fear and shame, my calling was coaxed open like an early spring flower in an April rainstorm. The Lord whispered to my wayward heart that my calling is to lay down my life. To release the reigns. To let the carefully laid out plans for my life be whisked out the open window by a phantom breeze.

Every time I submitted to the Lord suddenly seemed like practice for this moment. Like the Lord was calling my bluff. I was quick to submit in certain areas of my life, but the most cherished desire of my heart, I clung tightly to. The Lord reminded me that the sacred calling I accepted from Him, was worth so much more than the small-minded plans I could scribble out on a restaurant napkin. If the Lord overrules the plans I have for my life, that is because He has masterfully-crafted a better story for me.

Enter Adoption.

My calling right now is to step out of the way of the Lord and let Him fulfill my deepest desire to be a mom through Adoption.

Baby Madole’s story is just a part of my calling. And in an effort to be 100% transparent, if you are a Christ Follower, this is your calling too. To lay down your life and the plans that seem so magnificently masterminded by you and cling tightly to the cross that He gives you. I desperately wish I could feel Baby Madole kick in my stomach and that Baby Madole would reflect my husband’s face. For the time being, that plan that I carefully polished all these years is laid among the dust and remains of my old life. I know God is very capable of orchestrating pregnancy for us, but obviously He has a better story written for us.

Today, I am reminding myself to claim my calling. Can you claim yours?

Kylie Madole1

Thoughts on Community: New Friendships

Food and Community go hand in hand. The same way my life and it’s adventures cannot be separated from my spiritual life.

I strongly desire for others to grow in community together. God did not create us to be creatures dwelling in loneliness. No. He designed us to be interdependent on one another. It’s very interesting that two of my passions, community and cooking are intertwined. Often times in the Bible, people met over food. We still see this in cultures all over the world today. Here in the States we still do that although, more and more we are meeting over coffee or craft beer.

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My husband and I often reflect on how we can further community. More specifically Gospel Community. One of the ways we do this is that we host a weekly Lifegroup in our home. Of course, I always provide some munchies for the group. About once a month we have what we call a “family meal.” This is just where everyone in our group brings a side dish for our themed meal (i.e. Mexican or Italian) and we share a meal together as a Lifegroup.

Community does not have to be limited to planned events. Sometimes, we spontaneous join our neighbors cook out. We laugh, lift each other up and enjoy each other’s company. Luckily for us, our neighbors love the Lord like we do, so we seamlessly spur each other onward for the Lord. We share thoughts, burdens and praises over steaks and fruit salad.

The Lord intended for community to be common place. Enjoyed often. He intended for community to challenge us, pick up us when we fall and rally the troops for our aid. Often times, Jesus displayed his love for community by breaking bread in the homes of common people in the Bible. Even prostitutes. He demonstrated that we were never meant for isolation but to surrounded by loving people.

I want to challenge you to truly seek community. Truly. And not just in grand gestures, but in small moments when you take cookies and a jug of milk next door. Or when out together chips and dip for a party. Do life together with those around you and you will never be the same.

 

Kylie Madole1

Lightening Up Our Place

To start off, I want to say, we love our house very much and feel blessed to own it. That being said, I have no idea what our builder was thinking. We have owned the house for a little over a year now and it is 4 years old. Everything is up to date, however, matte and flat very dark brown paint everywhere. I mean, it was bad. Also, the light fixtures weren’t ugly but they were oh so generic.

Sean and I have been itching to paint the house and change out the light fixtures. We are on a budget and had to get creative with ways to make this happen. For example, using credit card points to buy Lowe’s gift cards.

We painted our master bath and bedroom about 6 months ago. This last week, we tackled the living, dining, kitchen, entry way and front hallway. We painted the walls and ceiling. It took 2 weekend days and 4 evenings to complete. Look at the difference:

This

liv2liv3

To this:

liv4kit1

Is sort of hard to tell from these pictures but we chose a greenish grey color from Lowe’s. And most importantly- in a Satin finish instead of matte.

Next, we wanted to change out our lighting over our bar and kitchen table. Look what a difference it makes!

This (You can see the true paint color better in these pictures):

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To this:

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I picked up this beauty from Amazon. Here is the link: OK-5126h 25-Inch Rosie Crystal Ceiling Lamp

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We picked these up from Lowe’s. The Chandelier is a rose gold and goes wonderful with the amber pendants.

It’s amazing what a few basic changes can do. Even if you can’t do all the changes you want to at one time. We waited a year after living in our home to do this. We compromised on the pendant lights because they were from Lowe’s, where we had gift cards. I really liked a different set from Amazon but went with these so we could get the chandelier. In the end though, I fell completely in love with these pendant lights. I am super happy with how our update turned out.

I think it just goes to show that lightening up our home didn’t have to break the bank. You can have a simply chic life on your own terms and not someone else’s. Don’t settle for the things you really want, like this chandelier.  But make sure to compromise on things  that are not as big of a deal. Simple and chic.

What does your Simply Chic life look like?

Kylie Madole1

Getting Ready for Fall 2015

wreathI have to say that Fall might be my favorite season. It contains football, pretty colors, wonderful food, lots of get-togethers, holidays and change. As we begin to gear up for some changes, I’ve been tossing around some ideas in my head. I want to know your thoughts on a few of these ideas.

  • What tools do you use to stay organized in the chaos? I am interested in getting a planner for Sean and I for the next year or so. An actual one to write in. It seems as though we have been getting busier and busier. In good ways of course. Do you have a favorite? If so, what kind does your organized-nerdy self love? Please comment and let me know. I have links posted on here for two different kinds that I am interested in.

This one:

                https://www.erincondren.com/frame-me-life-planner?color-id=55954

                or this one:

                 http://www.emilyley.com/collections/simplified-planners

  • What recipes are your favorite as we head into football season and early fall? What do you love to see on a tailgate spread? Or what baked items make you think about fall? Certain spices?

WhopPie

  • What activities do you take part in that really make you think fall is in full swing? i.e. baking with the family, raking leaves, high school football games etc.

Mpum

  • Lastly, what are some things you would like to see featured on this blog throughout the fall season?

~~~I greatly appreciate your input and cannot wait to read your comments. Please share this post so that we can get a ton of feedback!~~~