Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing all you mamas a restful, special day with your loved ones. I'm off to church, maybe the beach, and out for some good burgers for dinner. IMG_6669

Today I'm thankful for little treasures, but also for my mom, mother-in-law, our birthmom, and also the women who have encouraged me in walk with the Lord like a spiritual mama.

And for those of you who long to be a mama, but aren't yet, I empathize with you, I've been in that spot, I've felt that pain.

Can I just encourage you to be a spiritual mama to whoever the Lord has put in your life? You probably don't even know the blessing you already are in the life of a younger woman, a niece or nephew, or a friend's child. Embrace that role as someone who can encourage, love on and minister to that young one in a special way that only you can do.

xoxo

our home

So, we bought a house. !!!!!

To say this is monumental is an understatement. After three months with my parents (so thankful), we are ecstatic to get back into our own place (and I'll get my "winter" clothes out of storage-- yes!). Owning our own place has long been a desire of my heart, but it's something I wasn't sure would ever happen. Our home community, where we feel called to live at this time, is one of the most expensive areas of the county (maybe the country even?).

But through the Lord's provision and in His perfect timing, we are finally going to be home-owners. After nine and a half years of marriage we will finally paint the walls, and I will buy a cute, custom return-address stamp.

So what's it like? It's a condo, actually. Smaller than the home we left, but it will be OURS. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity, and for the excitement of colored walls and a new place to make into our home and for doors than can be swung wide open in hospitality.

It's halfway between our old house and our home before that, two places (about a half-mile apart) where we left great neighbors. It's next door to close friends (I know, right?!!). It's back in our beloved beach community. So blessed.

It's not exactly our dream home. But you know what? I'm not sure we will ever live in that on this side of eternity. The idea of a dream home could easily be an idol for me and in the words of my dear pastor, I know that the Lord will not allow anything in this world to give me the satisfaction that only He can really provide. We want to live in His will, and we are stoked at the place He has provided for us.

We are so excited to make the most of the space we have there and cultivate a home that reflects our mission and values.

Escrow closed today (!!!) and next week we will get the keys, and (hopefully before we move in) will shortly thereafter get a railing built on the open staircase so that our daredevil baby doesn't dive bomb off the side of the stairs onto the wood floors. Pictures to come (edited: of the house, not the dive-bombing baby- we hope to avoid that). ;)

We are beyond grateful for my parents as they put up with our craziness for a couple more weeks here, for the tireless efforts our friend and real estate agent Jason (and our lender as well), for everyone that has prayed for us over the last few months, and of course, for God, from whom all blessings flow.

Soli Deo gloria.

On joining The Thank You Note Project

Writing thank you notes is one of the good habits I've retained that my mom taught me growing up. Doing the dishes right away? Not so much. But I try to be good about thank you notes. I've gotten a bit lazy since having three kids though, and I often drag out the note-writing process after birthdays and holidays before finally finishing. Thank you note time... And signing all of our names together for the first time. :)

But do I ever just write a thank you note for the heck of it? Thank you notes don't have to just be in response to receiving a gift and yet, that is generally the only time when I write them. 

This year, I'm going to start the month of November off right, since it is a month where we generally feel more thankful anyway.

I was inspired by Amy of Coffee & Sunshine, who has started The Thank You Note Project who says she realized "how easy it is to not be thankful in day-to-day life." I feel the same way. I've recorded things I'm grateful for here on the blog before but this coming month, I'm going to take time to write to people to tell them I am thankful for them.

I haven't figured out if I'm going to do a note every day or what, but I'm excited for the challenge. Each time I write to someone, I will thank God for putting that person in my life, because indeed He has given me a lot of people gifts.

Written words are so powerful. This year for David's birthday I rounded up letters from family and friends near and far and bound them all in a book of love for him. The letters were beautiful.

Happy Birthday to mi amor! I was thrilled to give David his book of "love letters" from family members and friends he's know over the years. He just loved it and will cherish reading them all today while he's at the hospital with his dad. For all the deta

I haven't even read them all yet because I wanted him to have time to soak them in, but as he sat in the hospital on the day of his 31st birthday and waited on his dad to receive a stem-cell transplant for his leukemia, David was able to read through the book and just feel loved.

I was indeed thankful to my bloggy friend Rebekah who first had this idea as it greatly blessed my man on his birthday. And of course, many thanks go out to all who wrote to him.

And now? I begin my own letter writing.

Care to join in for The Thank You Note Project?

P.S. Amy is a high school friend of my husband's and I'm so glad I found out she's a fellow blogger, too!

This is what real community looks like...

My happy place. I'm working my way through a shoulder injury. It's really hard to "rest" a shoulder when you have a nursing 10-month old and a beefy 2-year old.

That little injury has done some good though. It has enabled me to receive some amazing little (and not-so-little) gifts and glimpses of what real community looks like. (Then again, some of these gifts have nothing to do with my shoulder and everything to do with God knitting together His believers into a loving, fellowship of DO-ers of the Word.)

Gifts like a community group potluck that refreshes the tummy and the soul.

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Gifts like friends who come over and pull weeds and mulch and build garden fences... when they could be working in their own yard.

Gifts like a sweet friend and neighbor who takes my kids for the afternoon and evening so I can enjoy Opening Day with my hubby (for the first time ever!).

Gifts like a friendly guy wrangling my 2-year old for me from escaping the lunch area at our community meal when I couldn't pick him up.

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Gifts like a soul sister friend vacuuming my house... while holding my baby for me. And loading my kids into car seats for me. And lifting my stroller in and out of my car for me whenever she's around.

Gifts like my dad stopping by on a tough day just to help entertain my kids for a bit and break up a day at home for us. And picking up my CSA box for me. And bringing me yummy chips.

Gifts like my husband taking a day off in the midst of a busy week to bear a bit of the physical burden that is parenting these little ones all day. And taking the 2-year old to his yearly well visit. And grocery shopping for me. And bringing me a green tea freddo and a Peet's gift card. (Not all on the same day, but pleasantly spaced out over the last couple of weeks).

Why yes, those are farm fresh eggs going to waste...

So I'm just really grateful, and humbled. Focusing on that today (and not on the eggs I cracked on the floor and the three-hour deep cleaning visit that I had to schedule with the dentist after my cleaning this morning).

God is good.

And look, I blogged! So that's something.

Can I Get an Amen?

A friend posted this quote on Facebook that she found in her BSF Bible study on Acts. Boy did I need to read it. "Let us not pray for easier lives but for greater power to bring blessing out of every pressure and trial."

Add to that this verse in Isaiah (40:11)....

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;

he will gather the lambs in his arms;

he will carry them in his bosom,

and gently lead those that are with young.

And I feel suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude that I have the Lord with me every step of the way as I journey through motherhood.

Lord, thank you for showing me that so much of overcoming my daily struggles comes down to leaning on You and trusting You to provide the strength I need. Lord, gently lead me as I raise my little ones, and please give me more and more power to see your blessings in the trials, little or big as they may be.

The years are short, but the days are indeed long.

Sometimes I find myself reading frantically simply because I want to finish a book. I have a tendency to read several books at once and there are so many more books I want to read that I seem to be just trying to get through.

That's how life feels right now, too. I've got so many needs to fill (including but definitely not limited to my own) and so much I'm looking forward to in the future (not changing diapers?)-- that I'm often living just to get through.

Survival mode. That's where I'm finding myself these days.

Nap time!

I know it's just a phase. But I'm longing, I'm trying, to soak in the days instead of counting down the minutes until everyone's needs are met and the day is done.

Sometimes all I want to do is snuggle my little baby before she starts crawling away (time is flying by), but wait! I can't because the Four Year Old just tried to "help" the One Year Old do something and instead he smacked his head on the floor and now is wailing. {sigh}

We constantly muse about (in retrospect) how easy one baby was.... but quite frankly it was also, in a sense, boring compared to this crazy, full life we have now. So we quickly utter words of gratitude in those moments, for where we are in this journey of family and life, right now.

Quiet time for the mama

Praise the Lord for our mostly quiet afternoons around here. The days when I get to take a breather and have a few minutes of rest are indeed blessed. If we're home, as we are most days in the afternoon, I'm usually able to get both babies napping and Gigi occupied in her room for Quiet Play Time for at least an hour.

I'm thankful to have a moment when I can stop and reflect on the day, recover from the craziness of the morning and gear up for the late afternoon (and the potential likely 5 o'clock meltdown).

And when I need to eat my feelings, these sure help. ;)