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.

cold weather reading || for the littles


The littles need a cozy days reading list, too. It could be miles long, so I'm breaking it up into a couple of lists, and even then I'm wishing I could have added about 15 more titles just to this one. I had to stop somewhere, though, so consider this your starter list.

It is so sweet to introduce your littles to all the worlds and adventures you experienced growing up, don't you think? 


Little House in the Big Woods: we are trying this one out on our road trip to Texas this weekend. I imagine being peppered with questions as the "big woods" take shape in a little 4 year old mind.

Anne of Green Gables: one of the best and dearest.

Charlotte's Web"you have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "that in itself is a tremendous thing." 

Little Women: it's worth every 816 pages. 

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: this is one that I imagine reading all together in a few years. wintry nights, pjs on, sipping cocoa, getting lost in that magical world of Narnia.

Winnie-the-Pooh: the most quotable bear in all the world.

Boxcar Children: this was our first go with a chapter book and AK was fascinated. it was neat to watch her put all the pieces together with the extra bits of imagination that must be used when the pages aren't filled with pictures.

Mr. Popper's Penguins: it's just a fun one.

Little Bear: we've been reading these to Little for a long time and she now likes to pick them up and read them to herself. observing that is one of the sweetest sights you'll ever see.

More to come, my friends. After all, you can never have too many books.


portraits of AK || 10

"a portrait of her every week for a year"

Little Bit, you're finally and officially over your flu! So thankful! This past Monday you received a "get well" gift in the mail from your sweet Auntie Liz: a wooden Anna doll to dress up with beautiful clothes and accessories. The next day, you put on your Princess Anna dress and didn't take it off until nap time (if it didn't have a hoop skirt, I've no doubt you would have slept in it). I just wanted to squeeze you every time I looked over and saw you playing with your Anna doll, reading books, or pretending to go on trips in your wagon, all with that gown on. I adore this age of imagination, sweet girl, and hearing all your stories and ideas. It's so fun to be beside you for every one!