Craig Groeschel’s leadership podcast pops up on my must listen to list so I jumped at the chance to read Chazown. I love his practical and biblical wisdom. His style is great in my opinion for those looking for clear next steps and a way to apply what you learn. 
The book does an excellent job at guiding people through a process of discovering God’s purposes for you in life. Chapters included a “You’re the Author” section which was helpful to have a spot to do the “work” of answering questions and digging deeper. I made a point of doing each of these to help me get the most out of the book. Some people may not find them helpful. These would also be great for group discussion and would be a fun book to do in a group!  
Groeschel has us looking at our core values, spiritual gifts, and past experiences to help us find our purpose. He also brings it back to prayin and seeking God. I appreciated the biblical foundation. 
I would suggest this this book for someone who is looking for personal vision and who does well working through questions!  
Disclosure: I got this book for free! All opinions are my own and I am very grateful for the book! 

7 and 8 Months

Melea! Just like that you turned 8 Months on the first. Life with you has been so sweet and full of joy! You’ve brought so much to our family and I am so glad you’re here. I’ve loved watching you grow and learn. You’re exploring and showing us more of your personality. I love seeing you with your brother and how you snuggle in close in the middle of the night. Most of the day, you’re on the move and most everyone comments how smiley you are. We’ve moved into our new house and have been filling our days with summer fun (and work!). Here’s an update from the last two months. 

What we have learned…Life is full and we are so thankful to have two kids in our house! Siblings are so fun and even when we may be stretched thin there is so much I love about this season. Our new house is great and a lot of work!

What we are enjoying
…playing! Reading lots of books. Having our own space! Our deck! Going on runs. 

What are struggles…
finding time to do all the necessary and fun things that come with summer!!

Most exciting milestones
…crawling like crazy, two little bottom teeth, pulling up, attempting standing, and eating more new foods!

What Melea seems to like
…crawling, standing, grabbing everything, chewing, trying to get Asher’s hair, wrestling Boaz, being held, and snuggling in mom and dad’s bed. 

Dislikes seem to be
…not being able to get the toy she wants and when people leave the room.  

What sleep looks like
…she still probably takes 2-3 naps and still waking up to eat or snuggle. Bedtime is probably around 8:30-9:30 and lately she’s been waking up before Asher and then napping around when he gets up around 8:30-9. We finally transitioned to the Nuna and that went fairly well!!

She’s eating
…anything and everything! She’s tried lots of new foods and we keep introducing new ones. Still doing baby led weaning! 

Who we have seen
…we had two parties for Asher at our new house one for each side of the family! We also went to the cousins weekend at Ruth and Michael’s where Melea had fun going in the lake. 

At the last doctors appointment
…she’s still rocking the petite category! She’s around the 8-10% for weight and weighed 14 lb 10 oz at her doctor’s appointment. She’s wearing 6 and 9 month clothing. Wearing size 3 diapers and getting back in some cloth diapers! The cloth are finally fitting nicely. 

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

I recently finished Peter Scazzero’s book Emotionallu Healthy Spirituality!  This book has been on my list for a long time so I was glad to read it. With a background in counseling, I felt that the book did a great job at scratching the surface on some areas for people to examine. 

I appreciated that the book really reinforced the idea of looking back to see how our families of origin have impacted our behaviors. Scazzero gives lots of personal examples. I do believe that many people could read these and move on without doing some of the work. I saw the book as a nudge for people to go see a counselor to work through issues. I did see that he has a workbook and small group format. These would be great resources because the book itself is not a substitute for counseling. The book could have used some questions and directives for people to know what next steps to take to grow in maturity. 

I will say that the section on sabbath was particularly convicting and relevant for me. I felt the author did a great job explaining the importance of rest to our spiritual lives. This section really resonated with me. 

I would suggest this book to go alongside counseling or an engaged small group. This is a great launching point to stir up a desire for emotional health!

Disclosure: I received this book for free and am very thankful for the opportunity to read it. All opinions are my own!

3 years Old! 

My little man celebrated his 3rd birthday last week!  He seems so old yet I’m sure I’ll keep saying that every year. 

I have loved hearing him talk more over the last year and seeing more of his personality. He is not afraid to ask for what he wants (or just go for it) and he has a great laugh. He will often call us out when we are joking and make jokes himself. 

He still loves food!  Some foods he will eat readily or ask for include: pizza, ice cream, chocolate, juice, blueberries, avocado, red pepper, raisins/dried cranberries, mints, cookie butter shut (aka folded in half), chopped salad, cottage cheese, and yogurt!

He is often found playing with cars, riding his bike or any ride on toy, asking to go to the park, wanting a golf cart ride, and wanting to be outside!

He could probably use a nap but stays up way late if he does!  So instead we opt for a 7:30-8:30 bedtime and he will sleep in until about 8ish. His red pillow is a big time favorite. Snuggling is also up there too. 

Music is another constant…from playing drums to playing his guitars to giving Melea the tambourines to play. He also knows a lot of worship songs and will sing them too!  Break Every Chain, O Come to the Altar, Do it Again, Joy is Coming, Sweet Caroline, Great Are You Lord, and lots more! 

I’ve loved watching him be a big brother to Melea as well! He brings her toys, asks to hold her, checks on her (maybe a little too often), includes her, and generally loves her (most of the time!). 

We had fun celebrating with him and I am so thankful for all the time we’ve gotten with him! We celebrated with pancakes for one side of the family and pizza with the other. A wet boat ride and a special meal out!

What I Learned in June

Jumping on the bandwagon and sharing what I learned this month!

1. Schedule time in my calendar to talk about things farther in advance. I have this habit of wanting to make decisions but not always making them far enough in advance! 

2. Homeownership is awesome and a lot of work. I love having a place to make our own and that we all have a bedroom! We sacrificed and saved for a long time to get to this point. We lived in a one bedroom apartment for 4 and a half years. I’m grateful for all the lessons and memories we had there AND I’m thrilled to have my own bedroom now!  Though, now that we are the ones responsible for everything there is a big learning curve. Though, I love the story of our house and the history it carries. The previous owners lived here for 42 years and that is golden to me. 

3. Just start. I keep coming back to this lesson and it’s one I carry with me. Just start the dishes, start the course, start unpacking, start making a choice… I am prone to waiting to analyze all the information and that’s great sometimes but I also need to just start to get momentum going. 

4. I (still) would jump at the chance to move overseas. 

5. Almond butter from Trader Joe’s is pretty fantastic. 

Well, June has been a crazy ride and I am so ready for a new month with new goals! I’m working on those after reviewing this month’s goals today and tomorrow.

Friday Five

Popping in on a Friday to share five things! 

1. Laughter is always a good response! Asher came to see me after work and then decided to climb onto the hood of the car. He is constantly making everyone laugh and loves using silly voices too. I’m grateful for this (sometimes) outgoing, fun kid who gets me out of my introverted, serious side. 

2. Having two kids at home is just the best!  I love seeing them interact and love each other. Sure, there are squabbles and lots of help needed in learning to take turns, but most of the time they bring out the best of everyone. 

3. Romans! I’ve been loving going through Dallas Theological Seminary’s free class on Romans. I am a learner through and through so this is a perfect addition to my schedule right now. I love the challenge and the insights. Only problem is that it makes me want to take more classes! 

4. Moving is exhausting. Most things have found a place but then there’s all the little things that I don’t know where to put yet. Plus, moving with an almost three year old adds to having stuff all over!

5. We have a yard and garden area full of all sorts of plants that I have NO clue what to do with or how to care for…fitting that I just got Lara Casey’s book Cultivate. Maybe it’ll help motivate me to dig into the dirt. 

5/6 Month Update

Here we are checking in late for our 5/6 month update! We have had quite the last few months so I’m not surprised I’m late writing this. We moved out at the end of April and headed to grandma’s house. We were so thankful to have a place to stay while we waited to close on our house!  Speaking of houses, we actually close tomorrow.  The last six weeks have been a story in of themselves. I’m feeling thankful to have a next step and sad too. Mostly though, I’m focusing on trusting that God sees the bigger picture and has good things coming. 

Anyway. Back to my update about Melea!  She’s grown up so much the last few months and we love her so much!

What we have learned…our little lady does not like being left out now. She’s noticing more and caring if Asher goes off to play somewhere else. We also have learned to be flexible while living at grandma’s and to take advantage of the extra hands around!

What we are enjoying…being outside! She seems to love sitting, “playing” with toys, putting things in her mouth, and her brother. 

What are struggles are…that everyone doesn’t have their own room! We have made it work but will be thrilled to have bedrooms! 

Most exciting milestones…sitting up, eating food, and moving all around. She’s not traditional crawling yet but she can scoot backward, plank, get up on hands and knees, and you’ll find her in different spots. 

What we are looking forward to…our new house! Asher’s birthday too! 

What Melea seems to like…sitting, moving, chewing, smiling, exploring, Asher, and having us pay attention. 

Dislikes seem to be…being alone too long, over tired or hungry, and not being able to reach the toy she wants.

What sleep looks like…she takes 2-3 good naps a day and wakes up a couple of times at night. Bedtime is usually around 8ish and usually gets woken up by Asher around 7:30-8ish. He loves to see her in the morning. She’s still a great sleeper and still falls asleep easily in the carrier. She’s still in the rock n play and buckled in…we will probably transition her to the Nuna at the new house. 

She’s eating…avocado! I got the cutest little video of her trying some. She’s also tried banana, cantaloupe, roasted pepper, roasted asparagus, roasted onion, yogurt, a little cheese, and I think that’s it…we are doing a mostly baby led weaning style again which I love and works for us!  She’s totally got the idea of picking up and eating food down. She’s working on her skills and is mostly having fun exploring food. I plan to continue to do this and skip any “baby food”/purées. Though, we aren’t so strict that we won’t occasionally pick up a piece and help her. 

Who we have seen…we had my cousin’s wedding so we saw all of the Roses and Tom and Laura were there too. We also went to Duluth to see those people. Melea got to meet Carrie, Isaiah, and Micah finally too!  

At the last doctors appointment…she’s still our perfectly petite lady!  She’s in 6 month and some 9 month clothes. Wearing size 3 diapers since target didn’t have size 2 but they work.  We haven’t done cloth while at grandma’s house.