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! 

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.

Counting Blessings, Not Problems

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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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Car issues, escalating bills, lack of time, fatigue, constantly juggling stuff, and on down the list. Numerous problems beset us everyday. Here is a radical proposition:

What if we stopped bemoaning those difficulties and instead, considered the blessings? 

Challenging? Yes. Well worth it? Definitely.

Gratitude revolutionizes one’s way of seeing the world and themselves.
Years ago as a teenager I discovered the writing of Dr. Maya Angelou, her words captivated me; I devoured whole books in 2 day spurts.

One passage in particular still resonates (although I cannot recall the book’s title). As a very young woman, Dr. Angelou felt sorry for herself, grappling with single motherhood and poverty. With a friend’s encouragement, she closed herself off in a room, and wrote down all of her blessings – family, friends, etc. One after the other, the problems dwarfed, her spirit renewed.

Remaining open and grateful for it all is a vital lesson, and yet it’s arduous. In those moments of quiet despair and frustration, step back and begin to search for the blessings – your child’s innocuous laughter, random joys couched in friendship, shelter at a time when so many are without.

Begin to count your blessings, they are innumerable.

Our Assignment:
List your blessings. Choose three you will acknowledge when you are upset; carry these in your wallet or store them in your phone or computer for frequent reference.

The next time problems emerge, read over the blessings. Observe how your mood shifts when these become the focal point.

Share your experiences with me! 🙂

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