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


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.


happy new year . 2019


The Christmas light are being taken down and the ornaments tucked away, the purging of closets and toy chests is in full force, pencils and keyboards are working away at those goal lists, and marked-up 2018 calendars are making way for fresh new ones with 2019 filling the date space.


My personality loves the new year; the fresh, the clean, the anticipation of what’s going to fill our days, the hope for new adventures and memories and deeper growth. I love tucking away the moments and memories from the past year to be cherished or learned from in those mental keepsake boxes we all have, and pulling out a new one just waiting to be filled.

This past year was a beautiful one for our little band of four, an ebenezer year for us I think. Starting the year having just welcomed Jack into our world was truly remarkable and there are so many reasons why I cherish the way the Lord orchestrated the timing of Jack the way He did. This year, I turned 30 and I couldn’t have been more excited. 29, though it held one of the most treasured parts of my life, was a rather difficult year for me, and I was ready to meet 30. 30 has been one of the best years I’ve lived. This year, Jas started his MBA program, has done remarkably well in it, and balanced a full-time job, school, and a side-job many weeks of the year, all the while not skipping a beat as husband and daddy. I couldn’t be more proud of him or grateful to live this life alongside him. This year, AK turned 7, started 1st grade, and became a little woman. Her creativity is endless and her thoughts so deep, and watching her with Jack is magical. This year, we traveled to see family and friends, and were reminded again that the people we are surrounded by, near and far, are such a means of grace in our lives. This year, we had our second “just us” vacation and it was perfect and again, just what we needed.

This year, we learned more about how to live simply, to have margin, to discern and guard what the four of us need, to say “no” when it’s the wisest thing for us to do, to enjoy one another’s presence even more, to make the most of everyday, to fight comparison and practice gratitude, to put screens away and pull out books and game, to communicate better, to put one another first, to serve with joy, to take more walks and be outside, to dream more, to pursue creativity, to encourage, to challenge, to speak truth, to love well, to pursue relationships, to think well and wisely, to listen, to be patient, to make beauty with what we have, to be gracious and kind, to make messes, to try new things and celebrate small victories, to play more music, to light more candles, to have more dance parties, to stay within budget, to rejoice with others and weep with them too, to be hopeful and excited, to be honest in our struggles, to be joyful in our struggles, to be flexible, to let go, to ask forgiveness, to sacrifice and to save, to be together, to cherish these days, to make Jesus known, to trust Him more.

In so many ways, it’s been a simple year, and that is what we have loved. The heart work that’s behind that simplicity, though, has been profound and something, we see, that the Lord has been prodding us toward for many years now. To see that fruit come and to begin to enjoy it, even in those pruning moments, has been a thread of grace running through the 365 days of 2018. It’s a strong one, that thread, one of those that’s holds the work taut. I love how the Lord knows which threads to weave when.

I’ve loved this year He wrote for us.

I’m ready for the next one, too.

titles for 2017

One of my favorite pieces of gathering together my thoughts and plans for a new year is the compiling of my new year book list. I am sure that pile of new reads has to be one of the most delightful things the world has to offer.

"Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book." ~ Jane Smiley

I haven't set a particular number of books to read this year, though I would like to. I have, however, set one goal: I shall not buy another book until I have made good progress through the stack that has come to collect on my desk and nightstand over the past 6 months. With a list of titles such as these I already have much goodness to savor. So hold me to it, friends. I must be strong.

So here is my list as it stands now (not necessarily in this order):

1. None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

3. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino

4. Steadfast Love by Lauren Chandler

5. Echoes of Eden by Jerram Barrs

6. Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman

7, The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

8. Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch

9. Everyday Talk by John A. Younts

10. Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr

There are other titles that whirl around in my head as possibilities for the days ahead, but I'm sticking with these 10 as my beginning. And I'm quite happy with them.

Right now I am reading.......

The second book of the Wingfeather Saga: North! Or Be Eaten -- it reminds me of Harry Potter in its incredible creativity and imagery, yet told with such real emotion and wisdom. I've never seen my husband read a book series so quickly!

 Praying the Lord's Prayer by J.I. Packer for our January women's bible study at church. Here's a nugget from the first chapter: "Conversations with parents or wise friends whom we love and respect, and who are ready to help us by advice and action, feel neither pointless nor tedious, and we gladly give time to them -- indeed, schedule time for them -- because we value them, and gain from them. This is how we should think of times of communion with God in prayer......" Oh, what wisdom! Plus, he threw in the phrase higgledy-piggledy in the second chapter.....what could be more delightful?

 Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder as we are walking this new road with our sweet one. So grateful for those who study our minds and bodies and who are eager to use their knowledge to help.

And I am going to begin checking off my new list by picking Missional Motherhood back up. I had started it back several months ago, but had to set it down as life demands hit hard. I can't wait to read this gem. I've heard only lovely things about it.

Sometime in the next few weeks I'm going to share with you all what drives my decisions to read the books that I do, but for now I will leave it here. 

What books are you looking forward to reading this year? Do you have any suggestions of must-reads that need to go on my book list for later in the year?

"I cannot live without books." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Happy Reading, lovelies!