Wednesday, May 27, 2015

busy



Caleb's plate is full right now, leaving me feeling a bit like a single parent. We knew we were walking into a busy season and tried to prepare, but the realities can't be known until you are in it. So, we are talking and giving lots of grace and pressing on. His absence leaves a huge whole in our home, which reminds me how blessed we are to have him. 

My mind runs with thoughts about our purpose in the busyness. I don't think I know anyone who when I talk to them doesn't say something about being busy...and I'm the same way. My life is always full. I work hard to keep it as simple as possible though, because running our home and caring for our kids is enough to keep me busy. 

I wonder at the effects of an eternally busy culture. We don't have time for anything cause we're always running around trying to catch up. Do we take pride in an over booked calendar? We have our schedules so full, is there time for people? Real relationships? I know at times I fill my time to help find purpose. At times I find my worth in what I do, the more I do the better I feel about myself. I've forgotten my worth is found in Christ, not a full plate. 

But, I also know that work is a gift from God and not to be wasted. I find great joy in working for my family and knowing that it's ultimately the Lord I'm serving. At times my health has hindered my ability to work and in those moments I'm always reminded what a blessing work is. I don't know that answer to the perfectly balanced calendar, even though I'm constantly trying to figure it out. For now, we just take it one season at a time, and pray a lot. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

thoughts and happenings.




The transition from Winter to Spring is one of my favorite times. Not because I long for Summer, I actually enjoy winter and am a little sad saying good bye to the white ground. I think I just love the change and the vivid example nature displays, showing the beauty that comes from the thawing earth. Our flowers are blooming and our grass is now a vibrant green. Our meals are being eaten outside and the kids and I are spending many hours cleaning up the dead and planting the new. 

Seeing God's hand in it is undeniable, new life everywhere. It can mirror the seasons of life we walk through. Sometimes my life feels like the carefree, lazy days of Summer, sweet relationships, wonderful adventures, a time of refreshment and rest. Other times Winter seems drags on and it's mark is never truly forgotten. Right now, Spring seems the fitting season to what has been going on in my heart. Spring is hopeful to me. It's coming signals that the cold and dreary days are leaving and warmth will fill my soul again. But the pruning back of what died in winter is a painful process, but a process that brings the beauty of Summer. 

We've kept ourselves busy since coming back from California. It always takes us a minute to get back into the swing of things. This time I got hit with a bad flu bug and was really sick for two weeks. It's tough when the mama is out of commission. The helplessness I felt reminds me of my true helplessness without God's grace and what a blessing the ability to work is. 





 I've passed my love for flowers to Vanessa and we've enjoyed making arrangements and then pressing them once they start to die. Lilacs are one of my favorite flower and Caleb picked me a bunch off the side of the road one evening. 


 Yiayia came to visit. It's so fun going to the airport and surprising the kids. They were so so happy. Yiayia is amazing. She showers us in love and service. Our lives are richer because of her. She holds a special place in each of the children's heart. 



We like sharing our world with her so we pack our week full of all our favorite places, eating out way too much, hikes and our favorite parks. Everything we do is an adventure. 



















Elijah is playing soccer again. He enjoys it and it's fun watching his improvement. He's growing up quickly and entering new stages with him is a joy.



 We are now the owners of four chickens. The children are thrilled. They each picked out one and then picked one for me, they didn't want me left out. So far the easiest pets, but still a wonderful way to teach the children. Giving the children increased responsibility is showing them the blessing and joy of work. They look forward to caring for their little babies and take pride in a job well done. It's a lesson in patience for me. Although, the chickens are their job, it's my job to teach them how to care for them, which is sometimes a longer and messier process than if I just did it myself. I have to remember that I rob them of valuable life lessons if I don't take the time to teach them. There must be room to make mistakes. 

"If our children saw us doing 'hearty as unto the Lord' all the work we do, they would learn true happiness. Instead of feeling that they must be allowed to do what they like, they would learn to like what they do." 
Elisabeth Elliot.

My example is louder than my words. The children soak up and imitate me, a responsibility I feel heavily. Teaching joy in work and work done unto the Lord is so important to me and I'm thankful for all opportunities we have to work together.



A sweet comfort during the pruning process.

"if the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand."
Psalm 37:23-24




Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vanessa

We said good bye to another year with our little girl. She was anxious to turn five while I was mourning another year older. Another year away from her little baby soft skin, her tiny hands and the way she would wrap her fingers around me while I nursed her. I love the baby stage and it's such a short one. I hold on tightly to it and ache watching it leave.
But more than sad that my babies are growing I'm thankful. Celebrating their birth means many things, but the most obvious, but sometimes overlooked is they were born...that I have been abundantly blessed to be a mother. And not just of one, but three. Three beautiful, healthy, strong, loving children. Because I've been given this blessing I can't know what it would be like to not have children or to have lost them in a miscarriage or some other tragedy, but I can imagine it. It makes me ache for all those women who do know what that sort of loss feels like and pushes me to feel all the more grateful for the gift we've been given. I don't want to waste it on sadness that my healthy children are growing just like God intended them to. So we celebrated. Another wonderful year lived. 

Vanessa planned her whole day. She doesn't like surprises and would rather know every detail then be in the dark. Her biggest request was for her family to be with her and that included her Yiayia. That was the one surprise I did keep. Yiayia flew in a couple days before and was there for her on her special day. She also wanted to go to her favorite shop, and mine too, the flower shop and make flower crowns. She didn't say a word the whole time we were there, she just smiled and took it all in. She was in heaven. 

She loved her day. It was spent eating her favorite food. Planting flowers, going to the park, and finished off with blowing out candles on her Elsa and Anna cake. I love to keep birthday's simple. I want them to feel loved and special. But I don't like extravagant and I think her day was just that. 






































Nay, we love you with a love you can know. Happy Birthday. 

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