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.

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. 

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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.

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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!!!

 

6 years old


There you are, my six year old girl. 

It's absolutely true, what they say. You blink and, in that instant, 6 years have gone by.

6 years ago, at 6:41pm, they handed you to me for the first time, laying you right down on my chest. I close my eyes now and I can see that moment like a home video in my mind. I remember what I felt to hold you that first time, taking in every aspect of you, and feeling so giddy about your head of hair.

You were beautiful. You were here. You were ours.

As they rolled me out of the delivery room, moving me into recovery, with you snuggled next to me and your daddy walking right beside us, I just remember the greatest sense of peace and a very special kind of gratitude coming over me. 

To be given your daddy and then for us to be given you? Utter grace.

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And now we are here, opening the door to your 6th year. I can't wait to see what's on the other side. Something tells me it's going to be a rather wonderful year.

The other day daddy and I asked you what you were most excited about in turning 6 and you responded, without a moments hesitation, "Holding my baby brother." Sweeter words I've never heard.

Soon you will get to do just that. You will get to hold the answer to the quiet prayers you've prayed and the tender hopes you've carried. Daddy and I couldn't be more ready to see that moment. I know it's going to be just like the one I described on the day you were born. Utter grace.

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My mind is playing all the memories from this past year of your life like a slideshow as I write this to you, Little. We have seen the Lord work in boundless ways in you. Through the heartaches and the struggle, the victories and the celebrations, the many many "new things" you have tried and done, the countless ways you've been brave, the deep thoughts you've begun to have and slowly shared with us, the ways you've stepped out of what is comfortable to you, the ways you've loved those around you and learned to  respond when they love you, the beautiful truths that you are mulling over in your heart, the way you gently speak truth to us, the hundreds of times you've helped, and the desire that you have for all people to know God. It has been stunning to watch Him work so masterfully in your heart. I pray that so soon your heart comes to know His love for you is best, His knowledge of you is the deepest, and His desire for that eternal relationship with you is the greatest hope.

I love seeing all the pieces of you come alive even more with each year, all the characteristics and qualities of you that God knit together inside of me in just the way He had always planned. Those pieces of you are a tool He uses daily in my life -- you challenge me, you encourage me, you inspire me, and through you He shows me so much grace. Utter grace.

And you, sweet Little Bit, are going to be the loveliest big sister. With all the plans you are already forming and communicating to us about what you are going to do with baby brother and teach baby brother and show baby brother, I know all the more that this little boy is so very blessed to have you.

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To have you as my daughter, my hour by hour sidekick, my little companion, is to have a tangible picture of that utter grace looking right at me, with expressive blue eyes and the most contagious belly laugh. It's beautiful.

So on this, your 6th birthday, know this, my darling Anna Kate: I am so very thankful for you, so very proud of you and forever changed by being your mama.

Happy Birthday, my Bit!!

I love you with all my heart.