This Girl….

 

Today this girl turns eleven.  And I could say the cliche phrase about how time goes so fast, and it does, but I won’t.

She has always been her own person, in a good way.

Every year I am more amazed by this girl and her amazing heart and the gift she is to me, to our family.  And there is so much I could say, but I’m feeling a little speechless and humbled today by the privilege it is to raise this one.  She truly inspires me.  And she makes me laugh.  Two qualities that God’s going to do amazing things with some day.

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As I was saying…

With her birthday “twin”, Grammy (Matt’s grandmother). 

Chandler, you are a gift.  Never stop being who God made you.  You are beautiful inside and out and I am blessed to be your mama.

For His Glory ~

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Learning to roll….

A sure sign of the presence of idolatry is inordinate anxiety, anger, or discouragement when our idols are thwarted.  So if we lose a good thing, it makes us sad, but if we lose an idol, it devastates us.

~ Tim Keller

God’s been working on  my idols lately.  Idols I didn’t even realize were idols.  Good things like to do lists, productivity, passions, dreams, and the warm summer sun.  All of these He’s been working to lay bare the past six weeks.  And I have fought hard, but tonight I surrender.  I surrender my idea of summer accomplishment and summer relaxation.  I realize that, at least right now, our summer looks a lot like our school year – time behind the wheel.  And this is life with five active children.  And we could say “no” to activities for them.  And we have.  But these things are good for them and this surrender is good for my heart.  And I lean harder on Jesus now, trusting in Him for the things that will or won’t get done over the next several weeks.  As I do I feel freedom mounting like wings as I release myself from the pressure to do every.little.thing. before school begins again.

And, oh, I am still hard-wired to be task-oriented; that is how I was made, but I can lay down that idol and focus on the tasks God gives me each day, not the ones I make for myself.  I am still driven to do what I can, but tonight I rest in His timing and I choose to let Him stretch me and teach me patience, even in this.  And I choose to roll with the waves that life brings.  Because what else is there to do but count it all a gift and give thanks?  He is good.

For HIs Glory ~

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Week in Review: 2014 {Weeks 19, 20, 21, & 22}

I’m a broken record….how does an entire month keep slipping by between each post?  Not cool.

May was our first month of “summer”.  School ended and activities wrapped up.  We experienced a full week with no where to go and nothing to do.  That was glorious.  June has started and with it bursts of crazy interspersed with some slow spells.  I have high hopes for a great summer.

May wrapped up Emma’s first soccer season.  We resisted sports for so many years, partly because I didn’t want the crazy schedule.  Practices, games, and the constant changes due to weather and other conflicts; I just wasn’t interested.  But this year we relented with volleyball for Grace in the fall and soccer for Amania, then soccer for both Amania and Emma this spring.  The schedule was nuts, but it was actually also quite a bit of fun.  Getting to observe Emma as she starts to come into her own and doing something her older sister has never done was a gift.

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We also wrapped up ballet for the school year with the annual spring recital.  Ballet is so very different from sports (duh), even down to its very predictable schedule and year-long build up to a two-minute performance.  But it was a blessing to Ellie this year, as she also had a chance to sort of come into her own with an activity that has been done by all of her older sisters, but only by her right now.  Watching her in class, I saw this silly, squirrelly girl mature and focus and take this opportunity very seriously.  She was lovely in her performance and is very excited about moving up to pre-pointe in the fall.

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We celebrated off the “official” end of our school year earlier in the month with a trip over to Kansas City and an afternoon of shopping at the Legends.  It was a wonderful afternoon with my girls and a gorgeous day to walk around and shop.

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May also meant Mother’s Day, the opening of the pool, and a sweet baby cardinal in our bushes.  I don’t think things ended well for this little guy, but we try not to think about that.

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So my big goals for the summer include going back through every room in the house, decluttering, cleaning, organizing, and hopefully wrapping up some small projects that don’t involve my very own general contractor’s assistance.  I’ve come to the conclusion that moving is some sort of multi-stage process (probably another “duh”).  Last summer we packed, unpacked, purged, and put away.  But we had to move fast because nothing was really planned and it turned out to be a much bigger project than I think either of us anticipated when we said, “Hey, let’s make an offer on that house!”.  Now that we’ve had a year in the house and I don’t feel the pressure of the deadlines, I am going back through and being as thorough and ruthless as I can be.  I’ve only been through four rooms and we’ve already sold quite a bit of stuff and hauled five good-sized boxes to the local rescue mission.  As I’ve been purging and cleaning, I’ve been aware of a recent run of shares by friends on Facebook about minimalist living.  I’ve read the articles and there is so much that appeals to me about the idea, and we are certainly continually working toward having less, all the while consuming more, and it seems to be a bit of a merry-go-round for us.  As I talked with one friend this week about how to actually pursue a minimalist lifestyle, we both agreed that really, the most effective way to get there would be downsizing one’s house.  And since I’ve already declared that I am never, ever, ever moving again (at least not for a very long time, Lord willing), that’s not going to work.  Just the change in storage space has forced me/us to re-evaluate what we hold on to, but I know we can continue to do more to reduce our possessions, eliminate excess, and simplify life.

My other big goal is working through the book Cleaning House with the girls.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough, even if your kids are already hard workers around the house.  I will do another, more focused post on it and our experience, but her analysis of where our “helpfulness” as adults is taking our kids is eye-opening and motivating (and maybe a little frightening).

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That’s pretty much it for us.  This week is going to be a fun one for the kiddos, so hopefully I’ll be able to post again soon….like less than a month.

 

Have a blessed Monday, friends!

For His Glory ~

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