Category Archives: Inspiration

Twelve years…

Today I am feeling all the feelings.

It’s Emma’s birthday today.  She is 12 years old.

I’m not really sure how that happened.  😉

Sometimes the day this photo was taken – the first day I wore the name “mom” and held this new little soul in my arms – seems like a lifetime ago. But sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Time is funny like that. All these moments, one after the other…and before you know it, you’re looking back at a lifetime that feels like just a breath.

Because somehow, it’s been 12 years.

TWELVE.

Twelve years of days lie between those two photos. Twelve years of good days and hard days and days I didn’t think I would make it….days full of joy and laughter, tears and exhaustion, challenges and uncertainty, smiles and adventures…twelve years of days full of moments and memories I honestly wouldn’t trade for anything.

It’s been twelve years full of gifts. Twelve years full of grace.

I haven’t been perfect at this mom thing. Not by a long shot. Motherhood is so much harder, and more wonderful, than I had ever expected it to be. I had no idea what I was getting into when they put her in my arms for the first time. No. Idea. I have fumbled and stumbled my way through this thing…and this “tween” stage is stretching me and challenging me more than ever. There are so many days I feel so inadequate to do this great thing of growing another human, of leading this other soul through this crazy broken world.

Because I’m so broken myself. I’m so banged up and bruised up and messed up.

But I just keep leaning hard into Jesus…I just keep trusting His grace to fill in the gaps.

And somehow we’ve survived twelve years.

And with Jesus, we’ll make it twelve more. (Only by then, she could very well have a little one of her own…but oh my word, I can’t even begin to go there! At this point, we just gotta survive middle school 😉 )

But I know that day will be here before I know it…the days seem to be moving faster, the weeks are flying by.  Which is why I am more passionate than ever about making the most of every moment I can…seizing every opportunity to intentionally invest in our family and in our girls.  Because even though one single moment may not seem like much…it all adds up. One little conversation, one little family night, one little prayer before bedtime, one little heart-to-heart talk, one little snuggle or cuddle, one little game, one little devotion, one little act of kindness, one little hug, one little word of encouragement…one little moment by itself may not seem to make much of an impact…but together? Day after day, year after year? Each moment is like a little drop of water. One drop may not make much of a difference…but drop after drop after drop, over time…all together, those drops add up and become a raging river.  All those moments we have with our children have the potential to become a river of influence in their lives.

Even the moments when we mess up. Even the drops that are tainted and colored by our mistakes and our sin…those drops add to the influence too. I don’t know about you, but I am so not perfect. I don’t have it all together. Not every drop of influence I give my children is good. Sometimes they see me mess up, they see me fall apart, they see me fail. But I wonder if these moments – the not-so-pinterest-perfect-moments – may possibly have an even greater impact on them than all the “good” I do…because humbling myself and asking forgiveness, being forgiven and still being secure in God’s love for me, leaning into Him and trusting Him even in my brokenness, and finding joy and comfort in His grace…that’s a powerful thing for my children to see.

Our moments matter. What we do with our moments, what we do with our days…how we forgive and how we love and how we talk and how we act…it all matters…it is all making an impact, it is all adding up. The good, the bad, and the ugly…all weaving together into a beautiful tapestry that tells our children the story of God’s love and grace and redemption.

So today, on my “mom-iversary”, as we celebrate this sweet, precious, beautiful soul that is my Emma girl, I am recommitting myself to parent intentionally. Even though the days may be exhausting and the challenges are changing and I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time, now as much as ever my daughters need a mom who is leaning hard into Jesus and who is consistently and intentionally adding drops of influence into their lives, who is modeling for them what it is like to live for Jesus, and who is present with them in this moment (not afraid of the future or regretting the past, but fully here right now), finding joy in the middle of the crazy and grace in the middle of it all.  Because this life? It really is just a breath. A precious, fleeting breath. And I want my breath to breathe life and love and joy and grace into the lives of the people God has given me, for as long as He lets me have them.

morning fog

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Lent Resources

Lent Resources

It’s the season of Lent now.  And even though I didn’t grow up in a faith community that ever observed Lent (nor am I a part of one that observes it now), I am nonetheless drawn toward this idea of taking time to intentionally focus on Jesus and to prepare my heart for the celebration of Easter.

I know a lot of people give up something as part of Lent…some people fast, others spend extra time in prayer, some people give things away or serve others in some special way.  The idea is to focus on simple living, fasting, and prayer in order to grow closer to God.  I love that.  And it seems like there could be many ways to observe Lent, even if you’re not part of a church or a faith community that corporately observes it.

Maybe you’re a little like me and would like to do something this Lenten season but aren’t really sure what to do or where to start.  Here are some resources I’m using this year in these weeks leading up to Easter:

SheReadsTruthShe Reads Truth, Near The Cross Plan – this is a daily Lent devotional that I am reading along with.  I’ve done several of their other studies, and they are great!  You can access each day’s devotion for free on the website, or you can download the app and purchase the devotions that way.  I will be reading this Lent devotion every morning as a part of my personal quiet time.

ALentToRepent_LargeRectangleA Lent To Repent And Refresh, by Ann Voskamp – I adore Ann.  And she has put together this new, 40-day set of daily prayers to pray during all of Lent. They also double as ornaments that can be hung each day on an Easter Tree.  (Link to the printables is at the bottom of her post) I love this resource.  I will be praying these prayers every day right up until Easter, asking God to draw me closer to Him, repenting of the sin in my heart, and reflecting on all that He has done.

Family Easter Devotions & TraditionsEaster Family Devotions Kit – this is a little kit I put together last year for our family, to help up prepare for Easter.  It’s not necessarily a “Lent” devotion kit (it’s only 14 days of devotions, ideas and activities), but we will be using this again this year in the two weeks leading into Easter to help us focus on Jesus and prepare our hearts for Easter.  Feel free to use parts or all of this kit for your own family if you want! 🙂

 

What does your family do to observe Lent or prepare for Easter?  What is your favorite resource for this season? I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and ideas! 🙂

Monday Inspiration

Well, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here.  Let’s see if I can get back on track this week 😉

Here are just a few things that are inspiring me this week:

This book.

Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg.

“You think you have to be someplace else or accomplish something more to find peace.  But it’s right here.  God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are.  Your soul is not just something that lives on after your body dies.  It’s the most important thing about you.  It is your life.”

I’ve been working my way through this book, and I love it.  I have underlined and marked up so many pages.  It is such a book about caring for your soul.  I’m hoping to finish it this week, but I’m sure it’s one I will read and reread again.

 

Lilly’s birthday is coming up on Sunday, and we are celebrating with a little animal-themed fun. So this week will be full of preparations for her special day, including making some little favors and decorations for the party…so I’ve been collecting ideas and this week I’ll be pulling it all together and making a few of these things:

These Animal Jars – I love the idea of spray painting little toy animals….these would make great party favors!

Tiny little mini animal party hats – Lilly has a TON of little plastic animals…how cute would it be to just add a little birthday hat on some of them?!  I’m thinking possible cupcake toppers, maybe….??

 

Balloon Animals – I’m thinking of trying to make some of these and putting them on sticks/dowel rods for Lilly’s birthday.  We’re having the party at a nature park, so decorations will be minimal. But if I make a few different animals and put them on sticks, then I can put the sticks in jars to put on the picnic tables for a quick and easy decoration…and then the kids can each have one to take home. I’ve never made them before, but these tutorials I found look pretty easy (maybe)…It’s worth a try!

 

Crockpot S’mores Fondue – One of our upcoming Family Nights is going to be a “Fondue Night”, so I’ve been on the hunt for some yummy fondue recipes.  This one looks like it would make a great dessert fondue!  I think we’ll at least have to try it!

 

I love this verse from Psalms.  And I’ve been painting with watercolors a lot lately, and this is my first watercolor feather.  So I made a little printable and I’m sharing it with you.  May you be comforted this week knowing that God covers you and shelters you under the feathers of His wings.

CLICK HERE to download the 5×7 Printable

 

That’s all for now!  I hope you have a beautifully inspired week!!

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