My Word for 2016 is Breakthrough

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I grew tremendously in the spirit this year, friends. Bible verses I casually read or heard my parents mention are now daily staples, posted on doors and various rooms around my house. 

Devotional time, once a sporadic practice, is now a lifeline and grounding force. Struggle does this to us. It urges connection with something greater than ourselves. I choose to seek God and faith.

2015 challenged us to expand in novel ways as we sought healing for our family, both spiritual and physical. You see, when you work side by side, with your child, helping them overcome speech delay and sleep issues, God teaches you, within each moment, about unconditional love, patience, and relentless endurance. Suddenly small stuff is inconsequential. Who cares about a traffic jam? 

You begin to live in a state of gratitude for blessings, both grand and small. Words become audible miracles. What others take for granted you celebrate. 

A few months ago we took our daughter to the Healing Room for prayer. Afterwards, we stood outside in the crisp autumn air, as she played. A young woman I never met walked up to me, her coca-brown face filled with joy. And I will never forget what she quickly shared: “I don’t know you. I don’t know your daughter, but I have been praying for you since you all arrived. I heard one word while I was praying: breakthrough. God is going to give your daughter and your entire family a breakthrough!”

Oh how my tears flowed. Wow. Breakthrough. I rolled the word over and over in my mind as I hugged my Mom excitedly. Oh friends, inmoments of doubt and despair I hold on to that word from God, delivered by a young woman I never met. 

Breakthrough. This is my word for 2016. Each year I select one. Well, this year, God reminded me to be guided by the spirit for this word.  My heart is full with gratitude and joy for what is to come. 

Ever chosen a word for the year? Excited about 2016? Tell me why! 

Inspired Reading: Daily Devotions for Christian Moms

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo credit:  Emelda De Coteau
Photo credit:
Emelda De Coteau
My Mom's beautiful note to me nearly 3 years ago.  Photo credit: Emelda De Coteau
My Mom’s beautiful note to me nearly 3 years ago.
Photo credit: Emelda De Coteau
I believe there are times when books find us, becoming vertible lights, guide posts through life’s challenges.  A few weeks ago I discovered a devotional collection my mother gave me for Naima’s first Christmas (she was only 4 months old), How Deep A Mother’s Love… A Devotional Journey.

As I opened it, exhausted from the night before, I read her note to me and these lines stood out, almost as if Mom knew my feelings in this moment: “There will be days of delight and deep struggle. Remember, through it all, your help, your strength, comes from the Lord.”

As I lay there in the stillness of morning, ingesting the weight of her words, I thought of how God uses adversity to draw us closer to him. These devotionals are my solace, an anchor through the chaos and joy of motherhood.

Before Naima, I rarely sat still. Life, it seemed, could not move fast enough. I relentlessly chased experiences, hungry for an end to the mundane – art gallery openings, lectures, book readings, and of course, parties, lots of parties.

Then one cold late November night, nearly three years ago, three words (you are pregnant) transformed my life in ways I still struggle to understand. I am this precious little girl’s Mom.

In this new season, my soul yearns for the fullness only faith in God gives us. And so, I often begin the day (especially when Nai sleeps a little longer) quieting my mind and exploring passages of the bible I learned long ago. Of course now those verses I once recited as a child in Sunday School connect in a concrete way. The complexity of life – the adversities and struggles – do that to us. God is guiding us towards him; little by little, he seems to say, rest your weariness in me.

Here are some of my favorite devotional passages and verses of scripture highlighted in this book: 

” In the demanding world in which we live, financial prosperity can be a good thing, but spiritual prosperity is profoundly more important.”  (pg. 98)

“So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate times.” Galatians 6:9 (pg. 25)

“Sometimes patience is simply the price we pay for being responsible parents, and that’s exactly as it should be. After all, think how patient our Heavenly Father has been with us.” (pg. 143)

“But until God’s perfect plan is made known, we must walk in faith and never lose hope. And we must continue to trust Him. Always.” (pg. 134)

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 HCSB (pg. 21)

A Mother’s Prayer:

“Lord let me be a mother who celebrates life. Let me rejoice in the gift of this day, and let me praise You for the gift of Your Son. Let me a joyful Christian, Lord, as I share Your Good News with friends, with family, and with the world. Amen.”  (pg. 212)

 

Finding Faith In Chaos

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I wrote this a few years ago, but I am still grappling with these lessons, and the concept of “faith in chaos.” I wanted to share my thoughts again. We are all learning many of the same lessons in different ways.

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Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau Live In Color Blog

Let go of your old narratives when they no longer serve you. Life changes constantly, and your story will, too.”– Tammy Strobel (Author/Blogger/Photographer)

Over a year ago, within two months, both of our cars were totaled.

Before my husband and I could sigh, we learned about our baby. My emotions vacillated from surprise and joy to the kind of wrenching terror novel responsibility bears. How would I bring forth a life as I still searched for myself?

Months passed; halfway through the pregnancy, one of our doctors solemnly cautioned something may be wrong with our daughter’s heart. Racing anxiety quickly yielded to determination and prayer. We stood in the hospital parking lot on a tepid spring day, my husband, mother and I, heads bowed. We remained calm. A few days later the test results were negative.

After a nearly three-day delivery in August, Naima entered the world at 11:11 a.m., healthy and whole. Only seconds earlier, she maneuvered to break free of the umbilical cord which locked itself around her neck twice; the first cries were an audible reminder that life, in all of its complexities, is a continuous marvel.

As I look into those eyes, pressing against the softness of her skin, my heart is imbued with unending joy. She is here, because we refused to give up on her, on the power of faith. For me faith is not the absence of doubt—it’s having the courage to wrestle with it, facing our vulnerabilities, one day, one moment at a time. As Iyanla Vanzant, teacher and author often remarks, “we must do our work.”

This inner work is constant and consistent. I believe God pushes us with each new challenge to trust more fully. Certainly, there are days when it all feels impractical to me, as if I am swimming against a current.

This autumn, while leaves fell, so too did my tears as I came to grips with a stark realization—a close family member now deals with a lifelong illness. There would be no retreat, only our resolve to cope.

It is during quiet times of reflection, as the bustle of life subsides momentarily, that I am reminded faith, ironically, is perhaps with us most strongly in chaos, when it’s easier to lose ourselves in despair and panic. We only have to remain willing to see promise and possibilities, not obstacles.