turning 31

A friend asked me this past weekend how I felt about turning 31.

I’m excited about it. Thankful. Eager for what my 31st year will hold.

30 was a sweet year, one of the best I’ve lived actually. There was so much growth, so much needed change in the life of our little family, so much beauty found in simplicity, so much joy found in what the Lord has given us to fill our days with. I’m so thankful for what 30 was.

I also told my friend, though, that I feel like I should be wiser than I am to be turning 31. I have a feeling of almost slight intimidation that I’m now beginning the 2nd full year of being in my 30’s. But I know that wisdom will continue to come and, as I’ve thought about it, I think I feel the lack of it because I’ve lived so much of my life clinging to the opinions of others and attaching my value to their thoughts and approval of me rather than to the Lord. 30 was an Ebenezer year for me because it was the first year of my life that I’ve ever experienced the F R E E D O M and come to know the wisdom of the Lord in a true and right way because I’m finding it in Him. Yes, I am always gaining — and cherishing! — wisdom from those my life is filled with, but the difference is……..they are not my end all.

Grace continues to be received and growth continues to happen so, rather than be ho-hum in a rather Eeyore-ish way about feeling as though I should be further along than I am, I choose instead to rest in the knowledge that the Lord is sovereign over my seasons and is not standing over me with a checklist, spectacles perched on the end of His nose, telling me I should have been better. He has gently prodded my soul, revealed what does not honor Him, and is working out His grace within me to produce that wisdom, that fruit, that greater reflection of Himself.

I pray that 31 makes Him known all the more.


— Some hopes I have for 31 —

To practice piano weekly || To take more walks || To consider more and make wise changes in caring for my body || To wake before the kids || To read what I own now before buying any new books || To continue building margin into our days || To hit those financial goals we’ve set || To use those 15 minute moments I have wisely and well || To write more || To read more with AK || To fill our home with music, books, creativity, warmth, and beauty, even in simple ways || To make the tv the rare thing || To take specific social media breaks || To continue chipping away at home projects, even if the chips are tiny || To be brave, to push myself || To be honest, with love and grace || To give full face attention to whomever is talking || To celebrate others well || To call out growth in others and encourage them || To grow in patience || To ask myself: why am I eating this? || To be ever more my husband’s helper and greatest source of encouragement || To look for beauty || To fight for joy || To soak up the moments and thrive in this season, even when it’s wearying || To speak life-giving words to my littles || To help AK be brave, too || To take steps toward those dreams || To pray without ceasing and in faith || To send cards || To play more games and have more adventures || To love where I am || To be grateful for what’s been given to me and for who the Lord has made me to be, and stop looking to the right or the left || To pour into what is lasting

It’s nothing profound. It’s all things grounded on the desire and hope to be

I N T E N T I O N A L

in everything I do, in everything the Lord has called me to, seeking to make much of Him, even in the simplicity of my everyday.

I want to live marked by joy, loving as He loves, with such eager hope for all He will do.

Hello, 31. I’m very much looking forward to you.

58A5C3E5-12A4-4011-9990-DCA5930634FD.jpg

back at it

Hello all you lovely ones!

This is my first time sitting down to write since before Jack was born and I'm so happy to be back. My stomach is dancing with happy butterflies and grateful tears fill my eyes to be sitting back down to this place. I love my little space here. I love sharing it with all of you. It's sweet to have a space, whatever size and platform it may be, to share creative inspiration, heart thoughts, and life seasons, in all the parts and pieces of everyday. 

83DC7F2D-0801-4ABA-BF3D-275355E6A37F.JPG
D2EC0597-F5C4-4FC3-A394-99FE7EB24EFE.JPG

Over the past weeks my mind has filled up to the brim with things I want to share with you all. Mainly heart thoughts and changes (which have been the most freeing!), but also all the good stuff of home, the kitchen, little loves, books, and the like. I just don't think I can type fast enough to share it all! But truthfully, it is going to be slow going at first as I'm still settling into life with two littles and learning to give myself grace in this wonderfully exhausting season of life.

Any particular things you'd like me to share first? I have my thoughts and plans, but I'm always up for adjusting, particularly if you all have ideas. You all inspire me!

For now, beautiful people, I shall leave you with a few snippets of us these days:

1. Our weather simply cannot make up its mind. We have bounced from 60 degrees back down to 40 and then shooting back up past 70! There have been many rainy days which you all know I never mind, but the restlessness it causes in our 6 year old and our fur child has left me wishing for a little more sun. ;) 

2. It has felt so good to get back into the kitchen again. I've realized again how therapeutic my kitchen is for me. It's been lovely to have some evenings of turning on Sinatra-esque tunes, pouring myself a glass of wine, and trying my hand at a new recipe.

3. My husband is incredible. He began an online MBA program 6 weeks ago and is completing his first class this weekend! On top of that he's working full-time, continuing part-time marketing work on the side, and being husband and daddy. In the midst of it all he has remained as present as ever, caring for us all always above himself, and gently walking through the journey that is postpartum with me. Last week he took both kiddos and the dog on a walk at a favorite trail of ours, giving me an hour of alone time at home to catch my breath. He's ever leaving me amazed and so very thankful.

4. We introduced AK to Sound of Music shortly after Jack was born, when J was still on paternity leave. It instantly became a favorite of hers and we have watched it numerous times since. It's such fun showing her the classics! Also, the scene where the children are singing to the Baroness and the Captain walks in and begins singing with them and all their precious hearts are filled up finally!? All. The. Tears. Every time. I just can't with that and the hormones.

5. AK and I started her back to school a few weeks ago and, though there have been hard moments and I know we will have more ahead, my love for homeschooling her has only increased. It's such a gift to sit across the table and watch it come together in her 6 year old brain, to see her make discoveries, and learn alongside her. And I treasure having her home and being able to pour those everyday life skills into her as we go about our days. I don't take this season for granted.

6. I'm flying through podcasts these days with those middle of the night feedings. The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, Journeywomen, Risen Motherhood, How I Built This, and A Couple Cooks being a few of the ones filling my earbuds. Any new ones I should be trying out? I just don't do scary.

7. Something that J and I did not do well last year was have dates. That, along with many other practical pieces of our everyday, is something we've committed to changing this year. And I'm thankful to say that we are going to have our fourth date this year on Saturday evening! A double date with the lil' bro and sis for our favorite Canadian brother's birthday! It's been a GIFT to have sweet siblings and precious friends come alongside and give us these times. Community is priceless, in countless ways.

4EE983B6-8311-4B9D-A543-D6F6FD6A4056.JPG
DA66A489-E04F-4A6C-BC27-49FE176E3EC8.JPG

Okay, precious people, I'm going to sign off now. But two things in closing.....

One.......Pray for me, if you all would. The postpartum hormones have been a lengthier battle than I anticipated and the adjustment from 1 little to 2 has brought struggles I didn't expect, though struggles I'm so thankful to be facing. Everyday is beautifully imperfect and the Lord is humbling me and showing me my every-minute need for Him all the more and I am thankful, but your prayers are something I would dearly cherish.

Two......I'm just so happy to be back here with you all! Thank you for how you've walked with us and encouraged us and celebrated with us all that the Lord has done in our lives over the past few months. I praise Him often for you all.

Happiest Friday to you, friends!!!

grab a hand

"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes."

-- A. A. Milne

We weren't made to walk alone. From the very beginning of it all we were made to walk in companionship. In God's perfect kindness He gave us "people with skin on" to link arms with as we venture through our day to day. He gave us a taste of heaven on earth, a piece of Himself -- the company of people who love Him, who love us, and who want to live this life well, with steadfast hope for the next.

There isn't one of us who doesn't crave that company and who doesn't have it waiting for us, but sometimes it takes us looking up and remembering we don't have to solo flight our days. Sometimes it takes us saying, "it's hard." Sometimes it takes us writing the email, sending the text, making the phone call, scheduling the coffee date, preparing the dinner. Sometimes it takes us leaving our corner of the Forest, going to them, holding out a hand, and saying, "Will you walk with me?"

IMG_1641.jpg

We weren't made to walk alone, but sometimes we let ourselves sit alone for way too long. We sit alone with a mind full of things that aren't true. We tell ourselves that we shouldn't bother anybody with our struggles. We battle the fear that no one else will be able to understand the large chunks and little pieces of what we are walking through. And we just let the enemy keep feeding us those lies as we begin to feel the loneliness build up more and more.

Junk junk junk junk junk. We were not made to walk alone.

As we have walked the hardest days of parenting we've ever faced these last few weeks, the hands that have grasped hold of our open, asking ones have been many, and they are holding tight, let me tell you. With inquiring texts, emails, and Instagram messages, with dinners delivered and date nights offered, with words of "I don't know fully what to say, but just know I'm here", with prayers that have flowed like a torrential downpour, with bear hugs and ears that truly want to hear, with so many things my weary self has seen in an even greater way that we were not made to walk alone and it is so much better when we don't try to.

It's been hard for me, for us, to say, "this is hard," and to lay our vulnerable, weary hearts out to others; but every single time we have we've been so glad we did. We were made to live authentic, real, sin-bearing, forgiveness-seeking, growing, in-each-others-homes, grace-filled lives. We were made to long for community and to live in it and there's not going to be any depth if we don't lay those vulnerable, weary hearts of ours out there. If we don't share the highest joys and the deepest sorrows and all the in-betweens, our relationships are going to sit in the very shallow end of the baby pool, and that's not how our good Father intended it.

He said "iron sharpens iron" and "he who walks with the wise grows wise" and "love one another" and "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep" and a whole load of other things that can assure us that shallow is not what we want to aim for. But to trudge into deeper waters we might have to leave that corner and walk out, with boldness and trust, knowing that we are seeking to do the very thing we were intended to.

And I guarantee you that if you push "send" on that text, if you grab that hand, if you start that conversation, you are going to have a piece in helping your people be defined even more by a really beautiful, truth-filled, hopeful way to live with one another, because the Lord is kind to use us.

In all these past days, in all the tears and the pure exhaustion, in that "I don't know what to do" moments (which have been many) and in the moments that have been a bit more clarifying, I have been very aware of the fact that we have person after person standing right next to us, holding up our arms, layering prayer upon prayer for us, loving us and our Little in the sweetest ways. And I have grown more firmly assured of the fact that It's so much better this way.