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!

bits and pieces || volume 1

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Hello and Happy Tuesday, sweet friends!

It’s a new week and I do hope this new week finds you well and delightfully refreshed after the weekend. If you follow me on Instagram it will not surprise you to hear me say that I love Sundays. Sundays have become the sweetest and most restful days for us over the past months, a true Sabbath. Having that day before we open our eyes to Monday again each week has made such a difference in the rhythms and atmosphere of our home. I take it in like a balm every single week.

It’s been about a month since I’ve blogged and the other day, I found myself thinking about how I needed to explain to you all why it had been so long, but I caught myself. Two kids, homeschooling, husband in MBA classes periodically throughout a year along with his everyday job. This is our life right now. Though I wish I could be consistent with how often this space is filled with new words, I just can’t, and I’ve become okay with that. I want to use this little piece of internet that I have well, with intentionality and thoughtfulness, and not just throw words up on a page to achieve a post. This space is important to me, but the home I keep and the 3 beautiful souls I share it with are far more important, so sometimes this means blogging has to sit simmering on the back-burner for a time. So, I will post as I can and be so grateful for that.

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That handsome man and I celebrated 10 years of marriage on January 31st. A decade. That feels so surreal to say and also completely normal. I love our life together. He is truly my favorite part of everyday. Thanks to our sweetest brother and sister we got to have a night away right after our anniversary and it was the best. Really truly the best. It was all kinds of needed and such a grace to have. More to come on this later. On another note about that man of mine, I just have to say I’m so proud of him. He is currently in his last week with another MBA class and he, once again, has blown me away with his diligence and his perseverance in a loaded schedule, all while never ceasing to be fully husband and daddy to his three. To be the one by his side in any season is my favorite place of all. You better believe, though, that we are absolutely counting down the h o u r s until we can celebrate the end of this class and a nice 6 week break! It is needed.

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I began a new rhythm this past week, and I’m quite fond of it already. I began a daily rhythm of reading for at least 20 minutes during the day. This is not my before bed reading time, but reading time during the lighted hours of the day. It’s forced me to slow for a bit and set aside my to-do list and sit my bum down on the couch with a cup of coffee or tea and let myself rest for a bit. It has amazed me what this 20 minutes does for me and the progress I’m already seeing in my books! I highly recommend this to you, my friends.

I am currently reading:

The Life-Giving Home | My Life in France | The Road Back To You | The Awakening of Miss Prim

In my need for some more fiction on my reading list I borrowed that last book from a dear friend who LOVED it and whom I very much trust in her recommendations to me. So far, it’s a winner.

A bit more pieces to share:

  • In a season where my heart has been heavier and I’ve been processing some deep heart things, these are a few songs that have been keeping my eyes stayed on my surest hope: O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer, He Will Hold Me Fast, He Will, Red Sea Road, Is He Worthy, All That Is To Come, In Every Way (particularly the line, “You are fighting every battle, in my weakness you are strong…”), Good to Know the Father (a song a good friend & pastor of ours wrote. One of my favorite songs we sing.)

  • I’m in the midst of watching, for the first time, the BBC adaptation of Sense & Sensibility and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Edward and Elinor will always, always be a favored couple of mine in the Jane Austen books. I would also very much like to go live in the cottage where the Dashwoods reside after they leave Norland.

  • Have any of you seen First Man? Truth be told, though I love Claire Foy and Ryan Gosling, I was not a fan of this movie.

  • I’ve been dealing with a rather rough bout of skin irritation lately that appears in the form of intense itchiness. Nothing is visible, but the discomfort is miserable. It worsens a great deal at nighttime which has been affecting my sleep nightly for the past several weeks and I’ve begun doing a bit more research into what could be going on and things I could do to help it. One thing my mom recommended is that I make sure I’m using fully natural soaps, with no dyes or fragrances. Like the truly truly natural ones, not the 99.9% natural. Well, some dear friends of ours in GA have begun making soap and lip balm from the beeswax of their little brood of bees and it’s just lovely! Their happy business is called Beelements. I just got a bar in the mail from them and have begun using it. Jessee (our friend) told me that it would probably take several days for it to really begin to make a difference — after the remnant of my other soap clears out — so I am hopeful that with this soap and some other changes I’m trying to make I will have some relief soon.

  • A favorite easy breakfast of mine lately: blend 1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder until fully mixed in your blender and sip away.

  • I made this bacon and brussel sprout salad the other night with avocado toast alongside and I was quite happy with the results.

  • I bought this drawing book for AK a while ago, but she hadn’t shown much interest in it until the other day. She pulled it out and flipped through it and seemed to decide it was worth a try because about 20 minutes later she held up a drawing of the most adorable duck I’d ever seen! I was so proud of her and so impressed and I know this book encouraged her confidence so much to see what she was capable of.

  • Our food processor has been on its last leg for a while now — I’ve literally been holding it together to make it work — and the other night, I finally fully broke it. Suggestions for a new one? Should I go basic or look at one of those brilliantly fancy machines they have now?

  • I have been searching and searching for a lovely everyday necklace that I can personalize and I am still so unsure! However, I found this website and they have several sweet and simple options that I’m currently perusing. Do any of you have that one necklace you always, always wear?

Well, friends, I’ve taken up plenty of your time on this not so short catch-up post, but it’s been lovely being back typing to all of you.

I hope each one of you are enjoying a pleasant Tuesday and I’ll talk to you soon.

Until next time, lovely ones!