a post wherein I write for the first time in a while

It’s been a minute.

4 months of minutes.

On the one hand, I’m sad about that. I miss creating in this space, learning to craft the words that I share with you all.

On the other hand, though, I am thankful. I’m thankful that it’s been 4 months because in those 4 months it’s been a learning of unfurling my tightened grip on, “of course I can do all the things”, and realizing afresh, “oh right, I can’t”. More than that, too, is that I really don’t want to. I gave up rest trying to do it all and that was a sad trade. Not just the physical rest that is relinquished when I’m running around like a mad woman, but the soul rest that is neglected when I’m acting in such a way as to say, “catch ya later, God”. Good things don’t spring out of that.

So, 4 months it has been. In that time my son has gone from the occasional timid step to running laps in the house, my husband has completed another MBA class, and my daughter has gained that gap in her mouth that brings with it her mother’s song and dance routine to “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”. We’ve begun planning AK’s 2nd grade year (someone please explain HOW), we’ve hosted sweet family, we’ve taken a trip to Colorado to visit more sweet family, we’ve traded in snow days for tank-tops, we’ve begun planning a vegetable garden for next year, Jack’s word count has tripled, and, well, we’ve just lived life.

It’s been sweet and oh so stretching, new and routine, happy and hard, peaceful and stressful. It’s been LIFE, in all its hope and hard-won holiness. There’s been celebration and sweet provision, anxieties and arguments, the best kind of laughter and the painful kind of tears. It’s been a weird weave of normal everyday and not what we expected at all. In it all, those bonds that weave the 4 of us together have had kinks and knots worked out of them, stray strings that need to be pulled have been, and the cord as a whole has tightened. They’ve been a blur, these 4 months, but as we’ve been on this side of things, able to take some deep breaths and survey what’s come, we’ve seen the fresh shoots of growth and the ripe fruit the Lord has worked out from it all.

And we are grateful.

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In completion of this little post today, I thought I’d share a few bits and pieces that I’ve been enjoying as of late. A few favorite things, you know, which are always a delightful thing to be able to share.

Madewell is having a 25% off summer must-haves sale right now! I ordered this tank in the heather mercury color. I love their whisper cotton v-neck tees, so I’ve no doubt I’ll feel equal love about the tanks.

Another classic tank that I’ve added to my wardrobe this month is this striped tank from the A New Day line at Target. Just an easy comfy tank that I’ve worn dressed up and down many times already. Such a good price, too.

I’ve been slowly getting rid of the kid’s plastic plates and cups collection we’ve accumulated over the past few years and replacing them with bamboo pieces. Love these plates from Amazon that we got in the “coastal” color scheme. AK wanted the set that “looked like the ocean”. :)

We are in the midst of planning our women’s fall retreat at church and the topic this year is “Emotions” — we’re going light. I was so excited to discover the book Untangling Emotions recently and have just begun to work my way through it. The Lord is so kind in the details.

I’ve listened to almost every episode of the Good Enough podcast and every single one has just been excellent! The Self Care, Pinterest-Perfect Homes, and Work and Vocation episodes are definitely my top three, but truly, just listen to all of them. Thankful for the wisdom, humility, and grace displayed in these conversations.

I LOVE french toast, like really really. So, when our dear friend, Rachel, came over for brunch a couple Saturdays ago I had to make Peanut Butter Crunch French Toast from the Half-Baked Harvest cookbook. If for only that recipe, you should buy that cookbook. The peanut butter and the crunchy topping with the cinnamon whipped cream and the fresh berries!? Oh glory! Meanwhile, though, I’d try the Whipped Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast with Raspberries. It’s going on my list. I cannot imagine you’d be disappointed. That girl knows her way around a kitchen.

There’s always more to share, but I shall stop there.

Enjoy your Wednesday, lovelies!

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our place to land

We sat in the middle of the living room floor, tears both streaming down her face and welling up in my eyes. We were both wearied from this struggle we were in the midst of; it had lasted at least an hour and a half at this point and presently, there seemed no end in sight. It began with a simple task that she does daily, but for whatever reason today, was just not going to have it. As soon as her first reply came out I had a feeling we were in for a tough one. Now, here we sat, both cross-legged and facing each other with Jack playing with toys around us. We were still working through it.

Then she looked up at me and said, “Mommy, why can’t I do it? Why is it so hard to obey?” My heart split wide open at these words. I wanted to wrap her up and comfort her, I wanted to explain everything all at once and fully, I wanted to relate to her and tell her “oh baby girl, mommy struggles with the very same thing!”. Most of all, though, the most present thought in my mind was wanting to give her hope. I didn’t want her to sit in the feeling that she HAS to figure this out all on her own or that she has to strive within herself for the rest of ever. I wanted to encourage her that she is far from alone; not only is in the company of others who struggle with that exact same question, but she has a Jesus who desperately wants her to know His perfect love and help.

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It’s in moments like these where I’m reminded of how much more motherhood is than the parts that so often sit forefront. I’m reminded that I need to rub the blur of scattered toys and meal preparation and homeschool and the ever present parental questions out of my eyes and remember that those sit on a foundation of so much more. The best thing I can give her each day is Jesus. The best thing I can show her that I need each day is Jesus. He must be the very life and breath of our home, the presence that the rest of everything flows out of. He is the joy that sits behind the unending cycle of tidying up those scattered toys, the love that spurs on the 3,496 meal prepared, the strength that brings rest and excitement into the school days, the wisdom that gives confidence in knowing He will give answers to the parental worries and questions.

I want to show her this Jesus in all His fullness and satisfying goodness. In all His enough-ness and His perfect ability to help us. In His gentle Shepherd posture, chasing us down when we go astray and keeping us close to Himself. In all His perfect grace to make Himself like us so that He might make a way for us to then become like Him, to be His own, and to never have to handle anything on our own if we simple believe. In those moments where she feels her own lack, facing that battle that wages so hard in our hearts, I want to point her, every single time, to the One who does not lack one thing and gave His very life so that she doesn’t have to stay in that tear-filled place. In those moments where my mama heart wants so badly to fix it and make it better and help it not be so hard for her, may I always be quick to fall to my knees before her, take her hands in mine, tell her “I understand”, and then turn both of our eyes upon Jesus. He’s the place where we both must land, and what a gentle, kind, loving landing place He is.

a capsule-ish wardrobe

I’m not even sure when the shift happened. Somewhere between the conversations with my dear Rachel friend about capsule wardrobes, realizing that there were many hangers in my closet holding articles of clothing that were never pulled off said hanger, and the recognition that my heart needed a check as to the “why” that sat behind many of my purchases. Somewhere in there, I decided to make a change.

I was making rash decisions on purchases. I was buying things because that was what was put forward at whatever store or because that was the seasons “must have!”. I was spending money on things that didn’t fit with the rest of my closet, that didn’t make sense for my lifestyle at this time, or that I didn’t feel at all comfortable in. I was all over the place with my style and never taking the time to ask myself what my actual style was.

I always admired those who did a capsule wardrobe. I especially admired how they sought to purchase every single thing that went into their closet with intentionality. That was sorely lacking in my case, and it was just the shift I needed. I needed to quit with the hodgepodge and take the time and put forth the effort to purge my closet, name my style, and consider what my next purchases really needed to be.

So, I decided this was the path that was needed, the purge happened, and I’ve been slowly settling into a closet of less, and loving it.

The timeliness of my choosing to take part in the Contentment Challenge was quite perfect, too, because it began right after my thorough purge. The Lord has been working some deep things in my heart regarding contentment/comparison/gratitude through this set-apart time of not shopping and applying this to my need for a closet change has been a sweet added bit of learning. I truly mean sweet, too! I love the pause He’s taught me to take with any purchase but specifically with anything that finds its home in my closet. I love the more open eyes He’s given me to recognize HIs abundant provision to us and see that closet full of clothes with a renewed gratitude and enjoyment for what it is. I love the creativity He’s helping me to have and that He’s helping me to not worry about if someone would think “wow, she wears that one sweater a lot” because, those thoughts don’t even need to have a place. I love that He’s helping me be rid of comparison so that I purchase wear things that are my style, that I’m comfortable in, whether or not they sit on the trendy lists.

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Okay, a couple of final notes:

  1. Now, my closet isn’t ever going to be the capsule wardrobe with only 10-20 pieces total (hence the title of this post), but the intention that sits behind the idea of a capsule wardrobe is what I want to be reflected in my closet and dresser.

  2. Please don’t ever hear me say that this is what every person needs to choose for their closet or that this is the better thing to choose for your closet! Simply, this is what I felt compelled to do and what was needed, not just for me to get a better handle on my wardrobe, but for me to get a better handle on my heart.

    3. I’ve been slowly putting together a mental list of my next items of purchase, seeking to put in way more thought than I used to before I set a piece in my shopping back. Thinking ahead to springtime my list, at this point looks something like:

    • A white button-down

    • 2-3 spring dresses — 1-2 more casual, 1 more dressy

    • A pair of distressed denim shorts

    • A jean jacket

      I am in debate over a jumpsuit making the list and I also need to think through my spring & summer shoe needs. Truly, I have found it to be so fun to figure out what’s next and what’s best! It’s like my own private closet scavenger hunt!

    Any suggestions on things that are must-have items in your closet?? The wardrobes and fashion minds of my friends are always giving me a helpful springboard into what might be the next new piece.

    4. My friend Rachel and I have had such good conversations about our closet and our shopping tendencies, etc, as we’ve both embraced more of the capsule mindset. And my little sister texted me the other day saying she wants to move to more of this type of closet for herself, too. It really is so enjoyable to share even smaller pieces of life like this with your girls!

    So, now tell me, what is your favorite item(s) in your closet? What are your go-to shops? Are you an online or a in-store shopper? Tell me all the things!

    Happy Wardrobing, lovelies!