When hope shows up at your door

In December 2017, I started to hear a pecking sound at the backdoor every morning. It was so annoying. I’d be sitting on the couch enjoying my coffee when I would hear this noise over and over again. Come to find out, it was a cardinal that lived in the tree right outside of my kitchen window. Apparently they like their reflections. I tried several ways over the next couple of weeks to try and get the bird to stop and I finally told Tim, “you’ve got to get rid of this bird!”. It was driving me crazy and I promise that I’m not exaggerating when I say it happened EVERY morning. You may even remember a few of my instagram stories about it.

At the same time, I was reading the book Christmas at Carnton, and I was stopped in my tracks when I read the quote, “when you see a red bird in winter, your sorrows will be lifted by spring.” -unknown

Why did this quote get to me? Because, besides the obvious bird problem at home, I should also mention that sorrow was exactly what I had been feeling. We’d had our second ectopic (and 3rd unsuccessful pregnancy) that summer, I was in a wintertime funk and honestly, feeling pretty hopeless.

I’ll admit that my faith wasn’t strong - I was feeling pretty abandoned and alone and not really seeking the peace and comfort that I knew only God could provide. But the moment that I realized the Lord was literally knocking on my door to remind me that He was with me, I couldn’t stop feeling Him everywhere. That same week, a friend from work bought me a cute little soap shaped like a cardinal. In the weeks following, red birds would fly right in front of my car as I drove down the road. The red bird at my back door continued to knock on the window. Every day.

At the time, I didn’t know what the spring would hold but I was so hopeful. I didn’t know how my sorrows would be lifted. Would we be in the process of adoption? Would we start IVF? Would God just stop my heart from aching?

Well, we know how this story ends. At the end of February, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. I held my breath for days because I had been there before and positive tests ended in heartbreak every time. On February 26th, I learned that this time it was really happening and November 1st, June Belle Gillean came into the world.

Photo by Brittany Wood

Photo by Brittany Wood

12 Nashville Instagrammers You Need To Follow

Instagram is where I find inspiration for most everything. And it just so happens that my favorite accounts are from the Nashville area! Make sure you pretty up your feed with these 12 instagrammers.

1. @livingwithlandyn - Landyn does it all. She gives inspiration for my closet, my home decor, my meal plan and even my marriage. 

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2. @alexisteichmiller - Alexis will inspire you to work hard and go on adventures and she has the cutest outfit for every occasion.

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3. @malloryervin - Mallory is so. much. fun. Her insta stories are my favorite and I love her style. And I love when she posts a makeup tutorial on youtube because this girl is good!

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4. @goldwilldigger - Betsy has an amazing gift of finding incredible clothes at Goodwill. The outfits she puts together on a dime are to die for!

5. @pizzazzerie - This gal knows how to throw a party. Talk about inspiration!

6. @hunterschleicher - I love following Hunter and seeing her Nashville adventures. She knows all the cool spots and her style is always on point!

7. @thehomeedit - I'm a girl who loves to organize so The Home Edit's feed is what my dreams are made of. 

8. @mrsparanjape - She has green cabinets and shiplap in her kitchen and every time she posts a new space she designed I die. 

9. @brittanywood - Each of Brittany's photos tell a story. Her photos capture her family in such a beautiful way! Follow her for all the photography inspo.

10. @atadmorefaith - I love Taylor Ann's style and grace. Follow her for fashion inspiration!

11. @thenashvilleguide - This is my go-to guide when I'm trying to figure out where to eat/have fun.

12. @tennesseepretty - Shameless, I know. But follow me and I promise I will try my best not to only post pictures with unicorns in them. 

So those are my 12 favorite Nashville instagrammers! What are your favorite accounts? Comment below!