Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Tree is Planted

In my last blog I started this new journey, this "new leaf" of life. Previously I spoke about my weaknesses, my desire to be better. I have prayed a lot for Gods wisdom in this new season of life. That he would show me my path, open the right doors for Brett and I. I have prayed for wisdom, creativity, knowledge, patience, courage, and self-control.

For a while now I have felt a stir in me to start my own thing. I would not say I had this strong desire. Actually it has been just the opposite, strong fear. When looking back over my prayers I see that God has answered so many of them, but perhaps I was praying for the wrong thing. Maybe I needed to pray that God would help me conquer my fear.

Sometimes conquering fear comes from other peoples encouragement. Thank you to my husband, and my friends Joan and Allison for giving me the little push I needed to at least begin thinking towards the way I felt. Even with all the encouragement, "You can do this." "You were meant for this." "Don't worry about it, you will learn you will prevail." I still had (have) strong doubts. So I started to pray...again.

This time I prayed for peace. Peace in knowing this was the right thing. A sign that would let me see how God orchestrates even the smallest details of our life. And today I got that sign.

Today I officially jump out in faith (not just dabbling anymore). I, Candice Mauldin, am entering the world of freelance. That's right I am starting my own Public Relations and Marketing company. I want to use my talents and education to help others and can be at home with Banks (he is still my most important job). I am planting a new tree in my life.

For months I have lived in fear of what freelancing would entail. I avoided talks about it. I ran from the idea, but something kept pulling me back. Was I smart enough? Would it be successful? Could I actually make money? Now that I have decided to conquer that fear and move forward, I can see God's hand working through every conversation and every meeting. Then today I had a round about contact that sent me to a company looking for someone. Turns out I have worked with these people before and did not even have to "sell" myself. I will not reveal the company, but I can say that part of their mission and title states, "NEW LEAF". (I probably should note that I am not yet doing work for this company, but I thought the symolism was ironic. I hope I get to work with them.)

What can I say, God must have a sense of humor.

"They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season and their leaves do not whither. In all that they do, they prosper." Psalm 1:3

If you are struggling with fear. Be encouraged today to move forward in faith.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A New Leaf.

So I know it has been FOREVER since I blogged. I have had a ton of things going on in my life and a lot of things to blog about but just could not find the motivation. As you may know I had a baby on Aprils Fools Day and he has changed my life to say the least. Not only do I cherish time with my husband and cherish sleep, I have really been evaluating my life. Before I start just take a peak at this doll baby.

I would say I definitely have a new perspective on life. I have struggled being a mom in so many ways. The first few weeks with Banks were like boot camp for me and many nights I cried out to God for wisdom and strength. Praying that he would just help me get through the next day. I was surrounded by some really wonderful people during that time, but still felt so alone. Thankfully at about 10 weeks Banks and I hit our stride and it has been challenging but the most amazing thing I have ever done.

I guess when you have a child you begin to think about all the things you should and shouldn't have done. You begin to look at the people around you a notice things that didn't matter before. You begin to look at yourself and see the strengths and WEAKNESSES. Maybe this is just the case for me, but I have replayed relationships, situations, conversations, and events in my life over and over again. I wish I would have said that differently, or not said that at all. I wish I would have been more thankful or more kind or more present. I wish I would have trusted Gods plan more. I wish I believed in myself more. I wish I was stronger. The list goes on and on.

I have spent a lot of time these days wishing I could have done some things differently. Wanting to apologize to people that may not even care. Wanting to be better so that my son can be proud of his mother. Wanting to follow Gods plan and not my own. In those first weeks of being a mother it was hard to see where God was taking me (sometimes at 3 am it still is). It was difficult to see past my tears of lonliness, regret, and pain. But it was so easy to look into Banks precious eyes or my husbands face and see that God will never leave me or forsake me. Being Banks mom is the most difficult job and most rewarding I have ever had. It brought to light so many things about myself and my future. I have always known my weaknesses, but now feel like I have a reason to move out of them, to better myself, to turn a new leaf. Not only that, but it is the first time in life I have felt the peace to do so.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses..for when I am weak, then I am strong" 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Salute to a Man

So, my papaw died. Weird way to start a post, but that's just what happened. I don't grieve like most people. I probably internalize my grief way too much, and I do not like to cry in front of people. I want to be strong for my family, but the truth is on the inside I ache.

My sweet husband is probably the only one who even sees a glimpse of it. I cry at night and he just holds me and says nothing. Sometimes no words are the best words.

So many may not know the importance of this loss to me and my family. My Papaw was the head honcho in our family. I credit him for helping raise me and I spent most of my childhood time with him and my grandmother. They quit their jobs when I was young so that my brother, sister and I would be taken care of. Other than my aunt Cathy this is the only loss my family has really had. Loss is hard, especially when you are not use to it.

I have all these things on my heart and mind and felt like the best way is for me to just blog about it. I want people to know this amazing husband, dad, brother, grandfather and friend. I want my son to know about his great-grandfather. I don't want to forget my memories of him. I already feel like those memories are slowly fading and it saddens me to the deepest.

My grandfather was a quiet man. A veteran of World War II and a lover of his family and country. He loved God and taught each of us the importance of loving each other. He called me his "pick" and he was mine. I like to think we were two peas in a pod. I remember following him around when I was little and wanting to be where he was. Some say I was his favorite because I was so mean that I needed someone to love me. :) I say I was his favorite because I cared about everything he did. I would ask him questions all the time. I knew it got on his nerves, but I just wanted to know more. We would sit on the front porch and eat molasses cookies or ice cream, whichever he felt like that day. When I was young he smoked cigars. He told me recently when I reminisced with him about it that it was a bad mistake, one of his many flaws. I saw no flaws in him.

I remember so many things about him. How he used to sit in the kitchen and drink his coffee listening to that old radio. How he used to take me to the convenient store and buy me candy. How he use to pick me up from school when I would call home sick. Then he would say, "You ain't sick you are just faking it!" I used to talk to him all the time on the phone after I left for college and he would always end with, "Why don't you just come home?" When I got married the topic of our every conversation was, "Are you pregnant yet?" When I did become pregnant he had already begun to fade, but mom caught him on a good day and told him the news and she said he smiled from ear to ear. An expression I carry with me.

The saddest thing to me is I now remember my grandfather in terms of "used to" instead of present. I have complete peace about his death and I know that I will see him again one day, but his loss tears my heart to the deepest levels. I wanted him so badly to meet my baby and now he won't. I wanted him to live forever, which is a silly request on my part.

All I can do now is remember him for who he was to me, my "pick" and my "favorite". Remembering that last conversation that I had with him before he died. "Candice, I love you and it was good talkin to ya."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

His Name Shall Be Called...

Brett and I have finally agreed on a name for our sweet little boy...Bankston. We have not come to an agreement on them middle name yet, but we know that we will call him Banks. (So cute, I know.)

I am so excited to have a name and to call him something besides baby Mauldin. My thoughts are already consumed with Banks and what he will look like and if he will have hair. Silly things that fill my head constantly throughout the day.

It is strange to think that our lives are going to change so drastically within minutes of his arrival. Our lives have already changed and he is not even here yet. I find myself wanting to be around Brett all the time. I just want him to be near me wherever I am . I have never been this way before and am quite independent, but now his presence comforts me in a way I never felt before.

I've begun the "nesting" phase of it all. I just want to clean and organize everything perfectly before he comes. We are hopefully going to be moving in the next month so I have been put to a halt on my nesting and it has not been pleasant.

This baby kicks me all the time and it is so surreal to think that a human is growing inside me. It makes me wonder how people do not believe in God.

So for now we wait. Wait for news on our house and big move. Wait to decorate a nursery. Wait for precious baby Banks arrival.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh Boy! Oh Boy!

So Brett and I are having...A BOY! I cannot even believe it. I was convinced that I was having a girl. Every single myth and test that you can take to predict gender said girl, but God had something different in mind for us.

I can say that we are both thrilled. We would have been excited either way, but knowing what our little bundle is has made such a difference to me. I can call the baby "him" instead of "it". Although we have not quite decided on a name, we (I) have already decided on a theme for the nursery. SPORTS!!! I know that is no surprise seeing as I am married to an athlete.

I have just been doing some research and think I found our bedding at Target. I love the sports, but love the stars too! I think I want to do a little reading nook with stars on the walls. My friend Pamela has graciously agreed to spend a weekend painting and decorating the nursery. I think we are going with a grayish blue color.

There are a few other things that I have been looking at. Some I think I can make. I have been introduced to the world of Etsy and have found some cute things there. I am still trying to figure the site out, but have had a great time browsing. Below are a few items I think I can handle on my own (in our sports theme of course).

Custom Name Blocks (of course it would not be purple and would be our name.)

Custom Wall Art (some little sports balls would be cute).

Those are just a few things I thought I could handle. I guess when I go to Asheville, I will be hitting up the craft store. I am still looking for somewhere to get sports and stars wall decals. That would really complete our little nursery. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Oh and stay tuned for a name.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And Baby Makes Three!

So the news may be old to many of you, but Brett and I are having a baby! I am 17 weeks now and we find out what our little bundle is on November 1st. We are excited, scared, excited, tired, excited, worried, and excited!

I kind of tricked Brett when I told him the news. He had been wanting a watch really bad, so I put the pregnancy test in a watch box. He was so surprised!

We are thrilled about this new adventure in our life, but we are not ready. I don't think you can ever be ready for the emotion and commitment that a baby takes. Nonetheless, we plan to take this journey like the rest, one day at a time.

It is already so strange to see my belly growing, to hear that little heart beat. We both already love this baby so much, it is definitely going to be one spoiled little fella (or lady)!

We started keeping a little journal just to write to the baby and tell it what is going on in the world and our thoughts and prayers for him/her. We just want to have something to read to our little one to remind of us of our memorable moments.

I already have been praying that our baby has the best of both Brett and myself, and none of the bad. That it will be healthy and beautiful. That it will be musical, athletic and smart. That it will be tall and skinny. And that it will NOT have big feet! :)

This new chapter holds a lot for us. God is moving us down the path we believe he has called us to and we look forward to serving God on an even higher level as parents.

Stay tuned to see what little baby Mauldin will be and what we will name him/her! We appreciate your prayers.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

No Way I am Not Ashamed!

Someone who reads my blog from time to time recently inquired about something very personal that happened to me in college. I kindly said I did not want to talk about it. It is not that I am ashamed of my past and the effects on me, it is just that there are some things I like to keep a mystery. This person then said, "well you blogged to the whole world about your marriage struggle." I concur, I did. But I had my reasons for doing such.

I blogged about the struggle Brett and I had in our marriage because I wanted people, Christians, to know that even when you love God, marriage is tough. I am tired of Christians feeling like they cannot have certain feelings or problems because that is not of God. I'm exhausted by the constant judgment Christians feel when they struggle with thoughts of divorce and depression. Shouldn't the church, and our fellow believers, be the place we go to talk about our struggles? To be accepted for our struggles? To be helped through them? To get a kick in the butt when we are wrong?

Some may think this is absurd. I do believe as time passes the church is becoming a more welcoming place to be less than perfect. I remember when I struggled with depression, not talking about it because what would the people at church think. When Brett and I were at odds and I was fighting the desire to flee, I thought to myself, "Does this mean I am not a good Christian? Does this mean that my relationship with Christ is false?"

I have now found for myself that the answer is NO. We as Christians should be sensitive to one anothers struggles. I found out that a lot of people experienced the secretive life of a Christian. That I was not the only Christian that experienced these things, and I was not the only one who was ashamed at first to embrace the challenges because of my faith.

I think it that respect I have grown in Christ so much. My faith is deeper, my relationship is stronger, and my life is blessed. In sharing my challenges in prayer and with other Christians, I found something that a lot of people need. HOPE.

So for that, I am proud to talk about certain downfalls, failures, and mistakes. I am proud to be a Christ follower who has struggled with some serious things and made it through. I am proud to share my story with others so that they no longer have to be ashamed. I am proud of myself.