Friday, October 30, 2015

6 Things I learned in October


It is really hard for me to comprehend that October is basically over. Wow. 
I love Fall and this October has not disappointed! 

I'm linking up with Emily P. Freeman today to discuss some things I have learned as I reflect back over this month before moving on to the lovely month of November. 

1. We are moving. 
Yes. You read that correctly. Not a big move. Just down the street basically. To a more permanent type of place. 

In just under 8 years of marriage this will be our 7th move. All. The. Craziness. 

The packing has been horrific this time and as I type this my dining room table is covered with random junk that doesn't really have a home but needs packed, my bedroom is full of clean laundry that I can't decide whether to fold or just throw in a box and move it, and my kitchen is half packed and half full of dirty dishes. This is by far the most difficult move we have made...because I am moving with 2 littles. Last time we moved we only had E BUT it was 10 days before Gman's due that included its own level of stress. 

2. Speaking of due dates, we are adding another little to our family... May. 

We "learned" about this waaayyyy before October, but we finally started telling our families and making the news public last week. 

Baby #3 will be here in mid-May...right about a month before I'm supposed to be Matron-of-Honor in my little sister's wedding...perfect timing ;) 

3. The Good Wife is my new guilty pleasure
I don't really feel all that guilty about it actually. Hubs and I watched Parenthood together over the course of a couple months. When it was over we were sad...I was probably more sad than he was. It took a while to find something that we both enjoy watching. Thanks to Megan Tietz and the Sorta Awesome podcast I heard about The Good Wife

The pilot episode hooked me. 

How many shows can you say that about? 
I mean, even Downton Abbey took me more than one episode to get caught up in the show. 

Not this one. 

There is an underlying story line that carries from episode to episode but there are quicker story lines that finish out in just one episode. Best of both worlds. I think that's what keeps me hooked...that and the fact that Alicia is just so amazing. 

4. My girl likes chai lattes
And she stole mine.
Don't ask me why she is wearing mittens. She is her own person...I'll leave it at that.

She decided she really likes chai lattes now. So much for Momma having a little treat for herself. 

5. Making soup really is beautiful
and grounding. 

Emily P. Freeman mentioned this in her book Simply Tuesday. I found it to be true as I made vegetable soup one chilly Saturday afternoon. Chopping the veggies, letting them simmer, browning the meat. All very simple, yet very grounding. Like this was the work I was made to do. It made me feel at rest rather than rushed. 

Thanks, Emily for your thoughts on soup making. It helped me to pause as I was making my own and recognize the beauty in that simple task. 

6. My littles make everything an adventure
I'm almost certain I already knew this, but they proved it again a couple of weeks ago. Replica ships of the Nina and the Pinta (Columbus' ships) were docked in our city for a couple of days. Since E had learned about them in preschool that week we decided to go see them. 

They thought the ships looked like pirate ships so they were convinced they would see Zarina (pirate fairy) and Captain Hook. E dressed as Zarina to go on the ship (see photo at top of this post). Complete with a cape and tiara. She also brought along her bunny Lilly Rose. Gman kept asking where Captain Hook was. 

Those littles of mine really had fun that afternoon. We finished the evening out with my favorite gluten-free pizza in town! 

There are so many other things I could think that I learned this month, but these are the highlights. 

So thankful for even the hard weeks God took my family through in the last month or so. It hasn't been all smiles, but we have learned a lot about who we are and who He is. 

Looking forward to November...and getting ready for the Holiday season! I know some people dread it and in some scenarios I do too (like the busy-ness of it all) but there is such an excitement around that time. And traditions. I absolutely LOVE traditions! Maybe that's another post in itself. ;) 

I hope you enjoy your last couple of October days!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

When the answer is "No"'

I remember being a child and hearing my parents answer "No" to some of my requests. I had the same rebuttal in my head (and sometimes out loud) that most children do-- 

Then you don't love me.

As a parent I now realize how untrue and frustrating that is! 

As an adult, I still struggle with those thoughts. But not toward my parents. 

The last couple months have been difficult for our family. Mainly Hubs and me. If you've been around this little space of the web very long you know our desire for church planting/revitalization ministry. You also know how we have been pursuing that for years while trying to live patiently and contentedly in the waiting. 

About a month ago I would have told you that it was happening. We were on the brink. We even looked at houses for sale in a new area of our state! And we found was that was beyond perfect...complete with every want we have when it comes to a house (built-in book cases, hardwood floors, loads of natural light). While I wasn't totally convinced, I was becoming more excited for the possibility. Everything was falling into place.

With one email response, it was over. 

It was unexpected. 
It wasn't foreseen.
There was nothing anyone did to cause it to go wrong. 

God just said "No". 
And this wasn't the first time. 
About a year ago, the same thing happened. 


was my first thought. 

Now what?

came second. 

More waiting? 
Really, God? 
This was not what we had planned.

Everything changed. 

The days that followed held hard words from those we love. Words that weren't meant to, but brought discouragement. They brought doubt. They brought fear along with loads of tears (mainly mine). They brought confusion. 

We were under a spiritual attack unlike anything we had ever experienced. Holy Spirit was moving all around us, but so was the enemy. I simply cannot explain the heaviness and hope all at once. I can't put words around the sense of spiritual oppression we felt in those weeks. 

I kept waiting for something big to happen. 
Nothing really did. 
Except that God has spoken so much truth to our hearts over the last few weeks that he would have never been able to speak if we had not been desperate to hear from him. 

One of the voices he used for me was of a new author, long-time blogger Amber C. Haines. 
I heard her on a podcast and then a friend let me borrow her new book
Wild in the Hollow

I cannot recommend it enough. 

Just today, I finished it. 
I wept through the last chapter as her words cut my heart and I knew Holy Spirit was using her words to bring healing to my soul. 

God has said "No" to so many of my hopes and dreams and things that seem so right and so good. 
The last few weeks have seemed full of "No"s from him.
My thoughts return to that of a child (because aren't we all still children when we come to Him?). 

Then you don't love me.

Amber's words in the last paragraph of her book struck my heart right in that place where I believe he doesn't love me if he doesn't give me what I want or think I need. 

"How he must love me to have said no to so many other things to bring me here."

He had brought me here. And he is taking me other places. I can't see it all yet and I won't see it all clearly...ever. 
But I can know this. 
His "No" does not mean he doesn't love me. 

His "No" means he knows me. 
His "No" means he knows best.
His "No" means he loves me so much that he is bringing me to the place where I am most satisfied in Him...not in my circumstances. Not in my dreams or desires. But in Him. 

He knows what will satisfy me.
He knows what I need. 
It is Him. 
His "No" really means

I love you.


Friday, October 2, 2015

5 Things I learned in September

Hello October. 
I'm glad you're here. 

September was a great month! 
Much has happened in the last 30 days. 

I decided to link up with Emily Freeman this week and share some things that I learn in September. 

1. Car-line at school is THE BEST
E started preschool this year. At first I was walking her into school each day which meant getting G out of the car too...lugging him in and waiting for E to catch (because preschoolers aren't fast about anything in my experience). It was just a bit of a hassle. I enjoyed walking her in and hugging her goodbye, but when we tried car-line for the first time, I was sold! Pull up. Drop off. At pick up, put your number in the window, pull up, they bring child to you. Seriously easier! Sometimes it takes longer, but it really is a life-saver for mommas who have littles in the car with them!

2. My girl loves Little House...and our copy is ancient
We started reading Little House in the Big Woods...the actual chapter book. We had read the My First Little House books and I felt like it was time to move on to the chapter books. I rummaged through the attic to find our copies. The really cool thing? These books were mine when I was younger. But they were first my mom's! She documented when she read this one to my sister and I...way back in 1995! Once we finish I will document when I read it to E. Such a fun tradition to continue. Legacy of readers. The book is totally falling apart, but that's part of its charm. 

3. G-man is easily self-entertained
Since E has been in school a few mornings each week, I have recognized just how easily G-man entertains himself. It is amazing! These two littles are so different from one another and I haven't had a chance to get to know G in this way. I love them both and how different they are. I have been able to get a few extra little projects done because G just goes into his room to play with tools or trains or read books. It has been such a sweet blessing!

4. Low-key Fall evenings are refreshing
The summer kept us SO busy! Between work, ministry, and extra-curriculars (like softball, etc) we were gone basically every night of the week. The last few weeks have been so much slower and we are so thankful. We have taken many family walks, played soccer at the Capital complex, and simply enjoyed evenings by the fire. Our kids found this amazing tree that they like to call their "tree house". Watching them explore and climb was so much fun. These slower evenings have been a much needed refresher for us. 
5. That husband of mine is such a gift.
So, I already knew that but you know you can forget in the hum-drum of life. The last few weeks have been difficult for us as we evaluate our lives and pray about what God has for us next. Through critiques we received I was really able to see all the positive things about him. He is so gifted in relating with others and simply making them feel loved. He is passionate about Jesus, others, the gospel and our family. He leads with a vulnerability and genuine-ness that is so attractive to others. I have become distinctly aware of just how different he is than some other men, and for that I am profoundly grateful! 

I'm really excited to see what God is going to do in our lives this month! 

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