HHI Condo Transformation: Bedrooms and Bathrooms

I am so excited to finally show you the rest of our condo remodel! Are you ready?!

Grab your coffee or drink of choice and let’s get started!

The following pictures show the downstairs bedroom and bathroom before we started the remodel. We decided to keep the furniture in here, bought a new mattress and bedding.

In the bathroom we took down the wallpaper and painted the walls, sanded down the cabinets and had them painted, replaced the mirror, countertops and floors. We used the same flooring in all three bathrooms.

And now for the after pictures of this space! I am amazed at the difference!! Even the furniture looks better with a coat of paint and new floors. I’ve said it in previous posts, but I love our floors!! We opted to keep the current showers/bathtubs and just changed out the shower head and valves.

The remaining two bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs. The spare bedroom was set up with a king bed and bunk beds. If you notice beside the bunk beds, there’s a door. That was a huge closet that took up a lot of room. We wanted to bring the queen beds that were in the master bedroom in this room, but they did not fit. As we stood there, I asked Joseph if we could possibly make the closet smaller and open it up to give room for the two queen beds. Our contractor came over and looked at it and told us that could definitely be done. We changed out the carpet, painted and took the popcorn ceiling down.

In the bathroom we did the same as the previous one with new floors, shower head and valve, countertops and painted the cabinets. The bathroom had a long counter and one sink so we decided to add another sink.

Doesn’t the extra sink even up the space? I’m so glad we did that. This tile is my absolute favorite to use for our bathroom remodels. We did a flip a couple of years ago in Athens and got so many compliments on the floors. I also love the round mirrors we found at TJ Maxx and Homegoods. I think they compliment the floors perfectly.

In the bedroom you will see how we opened up the space by making the closet smaller. The two queen beds fit perfectly in there and made this the perfect “kids room.” I found the bedding at Homegoods.

And finally, here is the master bedroom. It originally had two queen beds and a twin in the corner. We wanted to make this a true master so we took the king bed from the spare and brought it in here. We had the walls painted, new carpet and did the same in this bathroom as we did with the others.

I took the nightstands from another room and spray painted them white to match the bed and dresser better. We also took the twin bed and put it in storage and replaced it with a chair and side table for a nice reading nook.

I seriously love looking at the before and afters. Transforming a space in your mind is exciting, but watching it all come to life is so much fun. When we flip houses, we only renovate the house. With our beach condo, we had to furnish and decorate it which was so much fun!

Putting our personal touch on the condo made it really hard to choose to sell it. We knew this would be a flip, but as we got going on it, we didn’t want to sell it. We have so many memories in this space and it made us sad to think about getting rid of it. But because of the way the market is moving and because we bought it at such a good deal (it was a foreclosure), we decided to test the market and see what would happen.

Y’all… within minutes of listing it we had two showing requests and within 30 minutes we had a cash offer!! We were under contract that same day and are set to close in a couple of weeks. I’m hesitant to share because so much could still happen, but we are praying that all goes smoothly and quickly.

With selling, we knew we had to find something new quick. We are in the process of something very exciting, but I’m going to wait to share the news because there are a couple of things we are still hashing out. But Lord-willing if all goes as planned, I will share soon!

Thank you for sticking with me and reading along! I have loved showing you our transformation pictures and sharing our journey with you. If you didn’t see the other two posts you can see them here:

HHI Condo Transformation: Kitchen and Dining Room

HHI Condo Transformation: Entryway and Living Room

I hope you all have a terrific Thursday!!

XO

Friday Favorites {10.09.20}

Happy Friday, friends!! I can’t believe it’s the end of another week. I am excited to link up with Erika and Andrea for this week’s Friday Favorites. I have some fun things to share with you today so grab your coffee and let’s get started.

ONE

I first saw the multicolor glitter bracelets when Shay shared them a while back. They were out of stock so I wasn’t able to order them then, but I checked back last week and they were available again. Not only did I order those, but I also ordered the ones with the multicolor beads in them and the black ones. I am loving them! So much fun to throw them on even with a casual outfit like jeans and a white t-shirt.

The weather has been amazing and I’ve loved adding a couple of fall transitional pieces to my wardrobe. These were my favorites from this week.

The girls and I went to H&M and I scored the white and cream colored sweaters off their clearance rack. They are going to definitely be some core pieces this fall and winter.

The blue short sleeve sweater is from Wal-Mart and I think I’m definitely going to order another one in a different color. It runs true to size and is $14.96!!

Last month I bought a pair of leggings from Lululemon and they have become my absolute favorite. Since we are in HHI this week, I decided to buy another pair and ended up buying two more! I know the price tag on Lulu is a little high, but I wear my leggings for years and these stand the test of time. In the bottom middle picture, I am wearing the green pair with a short sleeve crop top from Lulu as well.

And lastly, who doesn’t love a good plaid shirt?! Most of mine are from Old Navy. I normally try to buy some when they are on sale . I threw mine on with a white tank top and my jean shorts to run errands on our first day here.

THREE

I ran into CVS to buy contact solution and this make up line caught my eye. I’ve been looking for a good neutral color lipstick and this one looked fun. I actually love it! I do add a little bit of gloss or run my chapstick over it after I apply it. This color is ‘Sup Nude?.

FOUR

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my bright yellow slippers. I bought them on Amazon and love the color. They are just bright and yellow and they make me happy!

FIVE

Outside of our condo, there is a big beautiful tree. I’ve wanted a picture in front of it since we bought our place. Last night after dinner, we came home and my mother and sister in law took a couple of us!

SIX

My most favorite thing of the week was the memories we made with our family. Joseph’s sister and her family came to stay with us and then his mom, stepdad and 91 year old papa joined us for the second half of the week. Y’all, we couldn’t believe papa came and he sat on the beach with us for two whole days! We had the best time watching him and spending time with him. I am so thankful for our family and for the way that 2020 has brought us back together and reminded us that family is everything.

I didn’t blog much this week, but I just decided to take the time to truly live in the moment. I didn’t work out as much as I normally do on vacation, but when I said something about that, my sister in law reminded me that when we are 91 years old we aren’t going to regret not working out on vacation. We probably won’t even remember that we didn’t work out, but what we will remember are the memories we made with our family. God is teaching me all about balance and how even good things can become bad when we obsess and over do those things. I can get so wrapped up in my busy schedule that I forget to stop and just enjoy the moment. God reminded me of this as I laid down to go to sleep thinking about all the things on my to-do list that I had not done while here. As I opened my book, The Fight to Flourish, I read, “God reminded me of not just showing up but being fully present in a moment. When we turn up and stand out, God often has something special for us and for someone through us. No matter what’s going on in our lives, we can sow kindness and generosity. We can pour into others instead of retreating into our busy schedules and even our pain.” That was the exact reminder I needed. I don’t want to miss a memory! I want to be in the moment, always!

And that wraps up this Friday Favorites! I enjoyed sharing my fun finds. Thank you for reading and stopping by my blog today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!! XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

Throwback Thursday: Finding the Peace Within

We are soaking up our last day on the 🌴 island so I thought I’d share one of my previous posts from a couple of years ago. It’s something that can speak to us everyday.

I can’t get something off my mind from the message at church yesterday.  The pastor talked about solving conflicts.  He began with talking about the conflict within ourselves and how we have a lot of pressure within us.  The pressure within us is what causes conflict in our marriages, families and relationships.

This morning on my run I started to think about the peace within and how I could make sure that I had that peace.  How can I make sure that my soul is at peace?

I am reading a book called Love Lives Here.  Excellent book-you should read it!  Yesterday I read a chapter about comparison.  I know I’ve talked about this before, but the author quoted Theodore Roosevelt when he said “comparison is the thief of joy.”  Isn’t that the truth?  She says, ”  It (comparison) will rip us off and steal our lunch money every time.  Rather than running away, it just stares us down as it blocks our path forward…  It doesn’t just dominate the room, it burns it down-with you in it.  It whispers to us that we’re not good enough or smart enough or talented enough or brave enough.  It hisses and bubbles in the hallway and says there’s no way around it.  But the fact is, comparison is a liar.  The way forward isn’t over it or through it; it’s simply to ignore it completely.” (Maria Goff, Love Lives Here, P.46-47)

This morning as I ran, all I kept thinking about was “the peace within.”  How can I be at peace?  How can I live a life of joy?  A life of purpose and a life that I am proud of?  You see, I’ve always struggled with comparison.   Especially in my early years of mommyhood.  I was a depressed, anxious, overwhelmed stay at home mom .  We lived paycheck to paycheck and some weeks only by the grace of God did we make it.  Oh how I would wish things were different.  I always found myself comparing my life to other moms who appeared to have it all together.  I say appeared because now I know, no one has it all together.

After my run that day, I came home and decided I would look up verses in the bible that talked about peace and one in particular stood out…

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.” Col 3:15

You know….what Maria Goff said about comparison is true, but it could also be said of all the things that steal our peace.  Those triggers in our life that dominate our lives.  They bring us down and whisper to us that we are not worthy.  They tell us that our past mistakes are the only things people see.

The enemy lies.  He uses all of that to take our peace away.  And then it trickles down into the rest of our lives.  It ruins our marriages, our families and our relationships.

So how do we find peace?

We ask for it.  Every day.  Cry out to Him and ask Him to surround you with His peace.  When any anxious thought or lie from the enemy tries to come into your mind, rebuke it and replace it with the Word of God.  Wake up each day and choose to be in a gratitude state of mind instead of a comparison trap.  I know our circumstances are not perfect.  I know you may be living paycheck to paycheck.  You may be going through some health issues.  You may have just lost a loved one.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  But instead of focusing on what God has “taken away”, let’s focus on what He continues to give us.  I read something recently that hit me hard.  It said that God is still the God of everything that is left in your life.  When my daddy died.  God didn’t stop being God.  He is still God.  And He is still the God of my life.  He gives us His peace freely.  All we need to do is ask.

John 14:27 says, ” Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Sweet friends, God doesn’t give as the world gives.  His love is not the kind the world offers.  People will disappoint us.  They will break our hearts.  Our loved ones will die.  Sickness does exist. But God tells us to not let our hearts be troubled and to not be afraid.  He comforts and strengthens us.  He is there with us through the ups and downs of life.  Nothing is insignificant to Him.  That request you may think is insignificant to God? It is not!  It is just as important as any other.  So present your requests to God.  All of them and stand assured that the peace of God will guard your hearts and your mind just as it says in Philippians 4:7.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

When we are at peace, we bring a person at peace to our marriages, our families and our relationships.  That is God’s desire for us.  The enemy is after our marriages and our families.  Don’t let the whispers from the enemy steal that peace that God has given you.  Hold onto it tightly and ask for it daily.

Dear God, thank you for your peace.  Thank you for your love, your faithfulness and your reassurance that you are with us.  Life is crazy.  So many things are pulling at us, trying to steal our peace.  Help us stand firm on your promise to not be afraid.  Guard our hearts and our minds dear Lord.  Send your peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-Maggie Eterno

Embracing Every Season

Every morning this week I’ve been sharing a picture of my coffee mug with a quote from something I read during my quiet time. I started the week determined to get my morning routine back and be more productive with my days. I’ve been so convicted about my habits and how I spend a lot of time on my phone. I am a very disciplined person, but I am also a huge procrastinator. When you mix that with my all or nothing attitude, it can be a recipe for disaster. I really have felt God teaching me during this season that I need to be more productive with my time.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been working with my trainer on not being so hard on myself when I am not at a 100%. Life happens and we can’t always have those perfect days. I’ve had a lot going on since I started working with her and at times I’ve almost told her we will try again at a later time when life isn’t crazy. But seriously….when isn’t life going to be crazy?! She reminded me that being consistently good enough is better than doing absolutely nothing. I’ve really taken that to heart and have practiced giving myself lots and lots of grace.

As I started the week, I decided to go back to list making. This keeps me on track and helps me be more productive. Not to mention the success I feel to mark things of my list feels so good ha! It’s helped so much and I have found myself getting things done this week. But let me tell you, I’ve been so tired by the end of the day. I even told Joseph yesterday how being productive is great, but gosh it’s exhausting.

This morning I didn’t have to do a my “Blaire Strength” as I call my workouts from my trainer lol! So I knew that I could sleep in a little longer. Of course, I slept in a lot longer than I hoped and found myself rushing to get downstairs to get in a little bit of my quiet time before having to wake Mackenzie up. As I went to take the picture of my mug, I noticed the background full of the dishes I couldn’t bring myself to put away last night and the dishes from this morning in the sink. I almost moved my mug to a more “picture perfect” location, but then I thought about my reading for the day and chose to post the real instead of the staged.

In The Fight to Flourish by Jennie Lusko she wrote about being present in the moment and immersing ourselves in the season that we’re in right now. You know, it got me thinking about how exhausted I’ve been at the end of each day and how hard it can be to adult some times. Life is crazy at our house right now with three kids in three different sports going three different directions. Some days I wonder if this season will ever end, but this morning I realized I needed to embrace this season. I can’t be perfect, the dishes will still be there some days and that’s ok. Grace, grace right?!

I love how Jennie puts it in her book,

“If you’re in a season that feels insignificant or especially long, look up. Set your gaze on who Jesus is. Ask God to help you see this season differently. Remember, you’re already living from the finish line, but you’re still in the middle of the process right now. This time in your life is part of the soil that is enriching your life and your future. Be here now.

When we engage in the daily fight and embrace the present moment, we will flourish. It’s the little wins that change the course of our lives. We can live and love in the small moments of our everyday lives, knowing that there’s an eternal significance to whatever God has called us to. So, when you’re feeding your baby in the middle of the night and feeling run down by sleep deprivation. Take a mental Instagram photo of that moment. Your baby is not going to eat like that at night forever. Or, if you’re tired of being single and want to find your soulmate, remember you won’t always have the kind of time you do currently. Savor where you are right now.”

Yes, some days are long but it’s true that the days are short. This season isn’t going to last forever and I find myself thinking about that a lot lately. Having two in middle school with one going to high school next year has really made me realize how fast time flies. So I will embrace this season and the exhaustion that it brings. I will celebrate those little wins and live and love in the small moments of my everyday life because there is an eternal significance to what I’m doing. And the same goes for you! You may not be 100% everyday, but that doesn’t mean you get to give up! Look up, look to Jesus! Find your strength in Him and ask Him to help you see your current season in a different way. It’s not going to last forever and it’s preparing you for the next season of life!

So here’s a picture of my coffee mug with my mess in the background to prove to you that I don’t always have it all together, but I am going to choose to embrace it and enjoy it!

I hope you have a terrific Thursday!

-Maggie

Sam’s Club Favorites

When I told my sister that we had bought a membership to Sam’s Club, she asked me if I had heard of a frozen bag of chicken nuggets that taste exactly like Chick-fil-a. I had not heard of it, but made note to look for them on our next shopping trip. My kiddos love Chick-fil-a, as I’m sure everyone does. So last week I made sure to look for them and found them along with waffle fries in the same brand. We brought them home and I was so excited to let the kids try it out. Let me tell you, all three of my kids gave these a huge thumbs up!! They loved them and asked for more! I couldn’t believe it. Do you know how much time and money I’ve already saved buying these?!

You guys have got to try these and tell me what you think! They also have the fried chicken patties so I am going to buy those next shopping trip so that we can add chicken sandwiches to our list!

Oh! It pairs perfectly with any of the Chick-fil-a sauces that are now available in these bottles. Seriously so excited about this find! It’s perfect for those busy nights when you are running each kid in a different direction. I also found these…

Y’all, I was skeptical of these because I don’t love frozen chicken. But these definitely won me over. They also fit great into my macros and they are quick to pop in the oven. Joseph and I are always on the go with the kids and some days it’s easier to grab fast food which we both dislike so much. So these are perfect for those nights because they are quick and easy and delicious!! I paired them with sauteed squash, zucchini and onion. This is another one of our go to meals. You can cut up all of your veggies before hand and then make them when you are ready. It literally takes me a couple of minutes to do. Here’s how I make it…

Spray some cooking spray on a pan…

Add in your sliced onions…

Then add in the rest of your veggies and sprinkle some or lots of seasoning salt. So good y’all, so good! So there you have it! Two quick and easy meals.

I hope you all are having a great week and enjoying the beautiful Fall weather. Isn’t it amazing?!?

Thanks for stopping by!

-MAGGIE

Friday Favorites!

Friday Favorites

Hey there, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged!!  In April, I blogged every single day and y’all, that was tough.  But it definitely helped me keep a positive mind-set during quarantine.  Once May came and the shelter in place was removed, we packed up and went to HHI for a couple of days.  Since then, we’ve travelled back and forth and have really loved it.  Summer was absolutely amazing for us.  It allowed us to spend a lot of time together as a family and for that, I am so thankful!

But I’ve missed blogging!  Our kiddos went back to school, face to face, one week ago.  It’s allowed me to develop a routine again and I am loving that.  If you know me then you know that I am all about a routine.  It keeps me on track and helps me be consistent.  I’m currently working on my early morning routine.  With quarantine and summer, I’ve slept in every single day!  It’s been glorious!!!  But, I’ve really craved some routine and it’s time to get it back.  I can definitely tell a difference when I am not consistent with my quiet time so I’ve been trying my best this week to get up and get that done.

Today I thought I would do a fun post and link up with Andrea and Erika.  I did this a couple of years ago and had so much fun with it so I thought I’d do it again!  On Fridays, these girls share some of their favorite things and invite you to share yours.  So, what better way to kick off the blog (again) than to share with you a couple of my favorite things this week.

First up is this bag!  I love it!!  I’ve been wanting one like this for a while, but they are a little pricey and I hadn’t convinced myself to buy one, yet.  When I saw my sister in law had one, I asked her where she bought it and she informed me that she bought it off Amazon!!   Not the same brand, but basically the same bag and for $30.  You can’t beat that!  I’ve loved using it for all of my work stuff!

ACS_1186

I love having a daily devotional for my quiet time in the morning.  I am currently doing this one and love it.  The devotions are long enough to really get something from the message and short enough to read if you are pressed on time.  It also includes a passage at the end that you can read if you have more time.

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Along with my daily devotion, I like to read a chapter from a book.  Currently I’m reading Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst for the 4th time!  It’s been so good for me.  I think it’s something that many of us struggle with.  I love the truths that Lysa shares in this book.  I also love that I’ve underlined passages that I didn’t underline the other three times I’ve read it.  It’s amazing how God can use something over and over again to speak to you differently.

Uninvited

This was good.  I need to learn to trust Him in everything.  Even when I don’t fully understand, I must trust Him because he is the perfect match for my every need.

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last but not least, this outfit!  I shared the details on my social media on Sunday because I loved my dress that I found on Amazon.  I am always scared when I buy clothes on Amazon, but this was definitely a win.  And these sandals are currently my favorite!  I love them so much that I have them in multiple colors.  They are super comfortable and not expensive at all.  I paid $34 for them, but currently they are on sale for $17.99!!  They are true to size!

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And that wraps up my Friday Favorites!  Thank you for stopping by and reading.

Happy Friday!!!!

Day 30: Life is a Vapor!

30 days ago, I set out on a journey to pray and seek God more intentionally. I am so thankful for all of you who have followed along and joined me on this journey. I really appreciate the time you took to read my blog posts every day.

Today as I’ve tried to write, my words fail me. The only words that come to mind are “LIFE IS A VAPOR.”

Today, many of us were reminded how short life is and how quickly we are here one day and how quickly we can be gone the next. And it makes me realize that I don’t want to waste the time that I’m given here on earth. I want to live it in a way that honors God. I want to love Him with my entire being and love those around me. I want to live at peace with others as far as it depends on me. I want to love hard and forgive quickly. Because when my time comes to see Jesus, I want to leave a legacy that my husband and my kids are proud of. Just like my daddy did for me. He loved God with his entire soul, mind and body and loved those around him just the same.

Our lives are short, fragile and final. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Life is barely a breath and we need to spend it on the things that never go away.
How can we love more? How can we serve those in need more? How can we live a life that when we stand in front of Jesus, He will say…. well done my good and faithful servant? We all mess up. We make mistakes. But if we wake up each day and place our life in God’s hands and try to do better….we will make this world a better place.

“Life is short. Eternity is long. Live like it.” – John Piper

Day 28 & 29: Let Go Of The Old And Receive The New!

I am struggling to find the words, y’all.  The last two mornings have been a bit of a challenge and I haven’t had time to sit and really dig into God’s Word.  I don’t like writing just to write so I took the day off.  But I wanted to share something that I’ve thought a lot about the last two days.

On Sunday, we listened to Steven Furtick’s message about letting go and I’ve been thinking a lot about it.  He said,

“Certain changes are not embraced, they must be forced.”

Our natural reaction when something is being taken away from us is to fight to keep it. Or when change comes, we don’t welcome it and instead wish for things to go back to the way they were.  I know I’ve had times in my life where I made myself miserable trying to resist change.  You probably have too.  But won’t you agree that on the other side of change, when we finally surrender, we are better for it?

Many of us are frustrated and ready to go back to our “normal lives.”  But what if God has something so much better for us than our “old normal lives?”  What if we are so stuck on our past that we can’t see what God is trying to do for our future?

I used to struggle with my past.  I allowed my failures and mistakes to keep me from walking in the freedom that Jesus gave me when I chose to follow Him.  I allowed my past to keep me from truly experiencing His mercy, His grace and His love.

But I think we can all do that.  We can be so hard on ourselves and live life offering all the grace and forgiveness to everyone else, but when it comes to us, we crucify ourselves for the mistakes we made.

But 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

We are a new creation!  We can’t receive the new if we keep holding on to the old.  Read that again.

WE CAN’T RECEIVE THE NEW IF WE KEEP HOLDING ON TO THE OLD.

God wants to set you free today, but you have to do your part and let go.  Let go of the hurts, the past mistakes, anger, resentment, bitterness, defeat, worry and anything that is keeping you from walking in the freedom that Jesus has given you.

You may be reading this and have never experienced this freedom.  Maybe you’ve never given your life to Christ.  If this is you, I would love the opportunity to share Jesus with you.  God sent Him to take our place.  He took our sin and all of our brokenness and He died on a cross so that we may have eternal life.  Life forever with Him.  You can experience this freedom by simply acknowledging your brokenness and admitting that you are a sinner.  Your sin has separated you from Christ and you are in need of a Savior.  And that Savior is Jesus Christ.  He stands with open arms ready to fully accept you just as you are.  He loves you so very much.  If you want to experience that freedom and choose Jesus today simply pray the following prayer,

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness.  I know that you are the son of God sent to die on the cross to save me from my sins.  Lord Jesus, I choose you today and everyday.  Forgive me of my sins and save me today.

If you prayed this today, please let me know.  I would love to pray for you.  You’ve made the best decision you could ever make.

Day 24: See a Victory!

The morning was busy and I didn’t get my normal quiet time in, so I thought it would be a good day to share one of the songs getting me through this season.

You can listen to it by clicking here.

I encourage you to listen to it today and listen to the powerful words.  The battle belongs to the Lord and we will see a Victory!  He takes what the enemy meant for evil and He turns it for good.  I know you may be struggling right now, but rest in the one who has conquered death.  He’s already won this battle.  And because of Him we can live victoriously!

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…”

Genesis 50:20

Day 23: God Sees You

This morning I woke up with a heavy heart.  We are all experiencing life differently these days.  We are in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat.  I’ve heard that a lot and it makes so much sense.

This morning, I remembered the story of Hagar in Genesis 16:1-15.

She was Sarai’s servant who was given to Abram so that she would give him a child.  Sarai had borne Abram no children so she took it upon herself to make it happen in her own way.  And boy is that another lesson for another day!  But today, we will focus on Hagar.

When Hagar became pregnant, she began to despise Sarai.  The Bible says in verse 6,

But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.”

Hagar left.  She literally said forget this, I’m out of here.

An angel of the Lord found her in the wilderness by a spring of water in the desert.  She was pregnant, alone and feeling hopeless.  But the visit from the angel was life changing for her.  Despite him telling her to go back to Sarai and that her son would not be the son of promise and that he would experience hostility in all of his relationships and would be like a wild donkey.  She still obeyed and she returned.

But she didn’t return before an encounter with the Lord.  One of my favorite verses of the Bible is Genesis 17:13,

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

This verse gives me chill bumps everytime.  I put myself in Hagar’s sandals and I remember all the times when I felt alone and abandoned.  All the times that I found myself in a hard situation and all I could do is think to run away from it.  And there in my misery, sadness, grief and loss….He saw me.  He saw me just as I was.  He is El Roi– the God who sees me.

And He does the same to you.  He sees you right where you are.

I followed this story a little more this morning because I wondered why God would send her back to her mistress.  Why wouldn’t He scoop her up and place her somewhere else where she could be free?

I continued to read and came to chapter 17 verse 20 where the Lord says to Abraham,

“As for Ishmael (Hagar’s son), I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly.  He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation.”

Then in chapter 21, Sarah asks Abraham to cast Hagar and Ishmael out because she didn’t want Ishmael to be heir with their son Isaac.  God tells Abraham to do as Sarah says and so he gives them bread and a skin of water and sends them away.

They go into the wilderness, all the water is gone and I can imagine it is very, very hot.  She has Ishmael sit under a bush for some shade and she goes to sit down opposite him.  The Bible says she sits about the distance of a bowshot.  And then what she says next at the end of verse 16 gave me chills,

“Let me not look on the death of the child.”

Y’all.  She was preparing to lose her child.  She was preparing for him to die and she couldn’t stand to watch it.  I don’t know that I’ve ever really realized that.  Here she was in the desert again, feeling abandoned, hopeless and alone.  The bible said that she lifted up her voice and wept.  She was done.  She was completely done.  Could you imagine?  She had just lived through hell.  She was shamed and rejected and here she was again in the desert about to lose her son.

As this is going on, the boy is crying and the Bible says that God heard him.  In Genesis 21:17-19 it says,

“God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.”

God made a promise back in chapter 17 verse 20 and He was not about to break that promise.  Who is like our God?  He is faithful and does not break His promises.  He shows up in our hardest moments and He saves us.

Hagar had to go back to a difficult situation.  Her and Ishmael endured suffering, shame and rejection, but God did not forget them.  His promise for their life was fulfilled.

There are seasons in our lives where we are going to have to endure hard things.  Many of us are going through very difficult situations right now.  But God hasn’t forgotten us.  He sees us right where we are. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives and you better believe they will be fulfilled.  God does not break His promises to you.  He never has and He doesn’t intend to start now.

Cry out to Him today.  Wherever you are, whatever your situation may be.  Call out to Him.  He is there.  He is waiting.

And to all of my mommas out there struggling with their kiddos.  Stay the course.  Pray for your kids and speak life to them.  God hears them and He hears us.  God has a plan and purpose for your child and it will be fulfilled.

I love you all and I pray that you are encouraged today by El Roi-the God who sees you.