Thirteen

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In August she turned thirteen and over the summer she somehow turned into a young woman and my heart turns over as I watch her grow.  She is stunning and she is funny and she is kind.  She is generous and steady and one of my favorite people.  She is not perfect, but she is growing daily in His grace.  She has survived thirteen years as our guinea pig child – the one who has had to weather the majority of our mistakes and failures as parents.  She has risen to every challenge we’ve given her and she’s never given up on us, her imperfect parents.

Our years with her are growing fewer and fewer.  I am thankful for the fun we have together, for the beauty and laughter she adds to our family, for the quiet love for Jesus she is growing, for the gift of being her mother.

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Grace, may this next year (the nine months that are left of it 🙂 ), draw you closer to Jesus and your family.  May you continue to grow in grace and beauty and wonder of the world around you.  May you seek the One who has relentlessly sought you and follow Him wherever He might lead.

For His Glory ~

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Week in Review: 2013 {Weeks 40, 41, 42, & 43}

I’m fairly certain I should have just named this series “Month in Review” this year.  I logged on last night and couldn’t believe it had been nearly a month since I’ve posted.  I marvel at how quickly the time goes, yet it frustrates me that some things that are important to me are taking such a huge back seat right now.  But God knows and sees and someday the time will be there when He wants it to be.

That said, October has been a busy and fun month.  We wrapped up soccer and volleyball seasons.  It was fun to watch Amania and Grace grow and improve in their respective sports and we’re all already looking forward to next year.

I picked up my running again.  It is needed and it is time.  I registered for a local half marathon in January, so I’m hopeful that will keep me scared motivated enough to run even during the busy holiday season.

Chandler and I went on her ten year trip to Minneapolis.  We had a wonderful time away.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to take each of our girls (so far) on these trips.  In our busy family it’s hard to find one-on-one time and it is so needed as they transition into these pre-teen years.  It has been a blessing for each of our girls so far and our relationship has been strengthened each time.  We visited the Como Zoo, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and (of course) the Mall of America.  Chandler got most of her Christmas shopping done and we still managed to spend most of twelve hours on Saturday at the amusement park inside MOA.  It was soul-nourishing, even if it did mean a trip to the chiropractor when I got home.

While I was gone, Matt painted our main floor living room.  No more Florida-Retirement-Home-Peach.  Now it’s a soothing, beautiful charcoal grey.  Love!

This past weekend we set up a fire pit here at the new house.  We’re a little late getting it started this year, but I’m hopeful we will be able to use it some this season and at least it will be in place for next year.

We also finished Ellie and Amania’s room! At least we’re calling it finished.  I know myself well enough to know there will be details and tweaking and changing, but for my mind’s sake, we are moving on!

Pictures of all of these things would be nice, but I’m not messing with that today.  Otherwise, it may be another week before this post actually gets published.

I think that’s it around here.  I’m trying to think of fun (and simple!) ways to celebrate Halloween this year.   We’re not dressing up or trick-or-treating, but I’d like to do something special with the girls, so if you have any ideas, send them my way!  🙂

Have a great week, friends!

For His Glory ~

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My Rearranged Life

So I have this friend – we’ve never actually met, (thanks social media and the number of “real” friends my husband has all over the country, I have many friends that I can say that about).  But she’s married to a friend of ours from here and they live out on the east coast and watching their story unfold has been a beautiful thing to witness.  God threw them some major curve balls early on, but the grace with which they have handled it, has encouraged and strengthened my faith and the faith of countless others.

Last week she posted a challenge on her blog (found here – go read it!) to grab our cameras and take photos of our real “rearranged life” – no staging, no cleaning up, just real life.  And as I try to make the camera (not just the iPhone) a part of my life again, I loved it.  And what better way to celebrate the messy-beauty of life than to make art out of it?

So, this is my SUV.

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This precious vehicle has gotten us safely around town and around the country for over eight years now.  She’s been faithful and true, but she’s started to show her age recently and the fact that she’s driven by a family that doesn’t always prioritize car cosmetics.

Front corner:

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Back corner:

Other back corner:

A couple of weeks ago all of the dings, dents, and scratches were really, really getting to me, to the point that I called the body shop to see what it would cost to get some of it fixed.  And after hanging up I had to have a talk with God about my pride and attitude and choosing to just.give.thanks.

And, in what would seem to be a firm period on the week of wrestling through my car-vanity, driving home that Friday night, some random piece of debris (a small branch maybe?) flew out of the enclosed trailer in front of us on the highway and left a lovely new dent in the hood of my truck – on the one corner that was still undented.  God’s funny sometimes and you just have to learn to laugh along with Him.  🙂

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What unexpected beauty is God working in your life right now?

For His Glory~

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