Things I’ve Learned in May

I’m trying to keep on writing in small bits of time so I thought I’d pop on to share some things I’ve learned in May. I saw Modern Mrs. Darcy post about it and how Emily Freeman does it! I’ve done it before and have had fun so I thought it was a nice prompt for the day!

1. Removing wallpaper is tedious. Just keep working away. I feel like I could throw lessons learned from removing wallpaper into a lot of sermons! Such as having to be persistent, getting all of the “roots,” needing to prepare the surface before change, finding multiple layers, needing help, trying different methods, and so forth!

2. Sometimes I need lots of quality time before I’ll jump into the deeper, heart conversations. We’ve been chatting vision, future plans, and faith over here lately. Through these conversations, I’ve realized how I need lots of time to verbally process. I’m not naturally a verbal processor type so I especially need more time to speak my thoughts out.

3. Transitions take a long time. I didn’t anticipate the transition of coming back from Africa to take so long. I feel like we are finally now getting back into a good routine with bedtime being a bit easier. But now we get to transition to summer schedule and no school for Asher.

4. A bad 5 minutes or a bad half an hour or even a bad hour does not mean a bad day. Like I said in a previous post…when I expect to work through big emotions and to have lots of opportunities for teaching then I can much more readily remind myself that I don’t need to jump on the merry go round of negative thinking. Instead, I can remember what a privilege this is to be able to train up my babies!

5. If you don’t keep up on yard work, you’ll soon live in a jungle! There is so much I don’t know about plants and what to do with them.

Well, that’s all for today! Hoping to keep popping in to write more.

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I have slowly been adding to this post since last Friday and am finally finishing it up…hence the beginning ha!

The weekend is finally here!! This week felt so long and yet the weekend has rolled around just in time.

Asher finished up his last day of preschool and said he’s going to miss playing with the boys! He still loves the color red and playing race cars. He only went one afternoon a week and that was great for us! I love having my kids home and I love seeing them be light in the world.

We celebrated his last day with ice cream and a movie!

Saturday has been full of removing wallpaper, taking care of the yard, prayer, and an evening walk! We are getting things done which feels great.

I’m looking forward to a good rest of the weekend especially with Monday off! Before doing that I thought it’d be fun to share a few favorites from lately!

1. Give me all the ice cream! We usually get Ben & Jerry’s or Breyers all natural vanilla but we got their mint chocolate chip last time. Tasty! Not something I like all the time but I do love mint! Ben & Jerry’s mint chocolate cookie is another yummy one.

2. Sweet corn! I boiled it with a bit of milk and butter! I would love to try a bunch of recipes side by side to see the differences. Always hard to tell what actually makes a difference. Either way, the corn tasted great!

3. Walks! We are fitting in as many family walks as possible now that the weather allows. I’ve also snuck in a few walks with friends.

4. Baby kicks and jabs 😍 this is probably one of my absolute favorite things about being pregnant! I am just so thankful for the chance to be pregnant again.

5. Books! I’ve loved reading books for a long time and I love that everyone so far also loves them. Seeing what books Melea and Asher like has been so much fun! Ryan and I often end the night reading in bed. Have you read anything great lately?

Sowing and Reaping

I’ve seen the theme of sowing and reaping repeatedly over the last few weeks. People keep mentioning it in podcasts and writings.

Plus, springtime is (finally) here so everything feels full of life. People are preparing for and actually planting all sorts of things. Green is everywhere and even some flowers. Our lilacs are in bloom! The birds are chirping and I’m sure they are building nests.

As I am contemplating building a few raised garden beds and giving some gardening a go, I have been looking at all sorts of guides. What type of sunlight, how much water, how far apart do seeds need to be, what grows well together, when does it need to be planted, and can it even grow here…so many factors!

All of this hit my heart as I thought of my own spiritual sowing. Am I paying attention to what I am sowing, when I am sowing, how I am sowing?! God’s designed me to be me and wants me to thrive.

Now, unfortunately (or fortunately? we do often grow during trials), that still means there will be battles and storms. Just like in the natural. The trees need to withstand strong winds, rains, and sometimes even lightning. When those come, I want strong roots and a big faith.

How do I get those? By sowing! Soaking in His presence, practicing gratitude, stepping out in faith and trust, reading the Word, talking to Him, talking and being with others who love Him, and so forth.

The thing I have noticed too is that you usually can’t expect to reap the benefits in a day. Sometimes but not often. The slow, patient, and tender care of seeds brings a harvest. So, I’m asking myself today…what do I want to sow?

Gratitude

We had a super fun women’s event at church that included some exercise and two awesome ladies sharing a message. Yummy food, exercise, worship, and time with friends turned into a sweet time. Plus, the ladies did so well sharing! I love seeing people shine and talk about things they are passionate about!

One of the ladies talked again about how gratitude changes our brains! I love hearing about the plasticity of our brains and how we can literally change them for good. Instead of getting stuck in hurts, negative thinking, worry, and so much more we can make steps toward other ways of thinking that make new neuron pathways. Now, I’m not an expert and I’m speaking from a small bit but I do love how the research continually shows positive results in both secular and not studies. Anyway, I thought I’d take a few moments to write out some of the things I’m grateful for lately! What’s on your list?

  1. Sunshine!
  2. My husband! I could go on and on but I’ll leave it here today.
  3. All my kiddos! I’m so thankful for each of my pregnancies and all the time I’ve gotten with my kids. They’re such a gift!
  4. A fenced in backyard
  5. Our recently installed dishwasher
  6. I’m still feeling so thankful to have gotten the chance to go back to South Africa
  7. My pastors–they are full of wisdom, perseverance, and love–and so much more.
  8. Walking with friends
  9. Being able to go on runs! Even if my pace is slower in this season
  10. Parks and lots of park

Gratitude breeds gratitude and I could keep going on my list but for now I’m going to go enjoy my little family.

Happy Sunday!

Mother’s Day and Lately

May is a month full of celebrating! My husband’s birthday kicks off the month and then Mother’s Day follows shortly after. There are a few other birthdays too. The weather seems to be a guessing game but this year was wonderful–warm, sunny, and no bugs.

I’ve had some thoughts mulling in my head surrounding the last few weeks.

We’ve been in full on transition with the kids still after coming back from our trip to Africa. Transition is just hard! Parenting is hard some days! You can go from wonderful moments to what in the world happened the next. I recently read about expecting problems to arise from a Sally Clarkson quote and that feels so true in this season. I can expect problems to arise throughout the day. I can expect big feelings from little people who need help navigating them.

Yet, throughout the days I am just still so incredibly thankful to be sharing my life with these little people and their daddy. Sometimes I can hardly remember the days when I was worried and questioning God about if I would even get the chance to be married! Other days that feels like yesterday.

My questions for God have changed and I keep needing to remind myself that He is faithful. He always has been and He will be yet again. Things may not turn out how I expect but He always brings good to the situation. He is for me and for my family.

Plus, He’s a big God who can handle all my feelings. David’s psalms show us such a variety of emotion all packed sometimes into one psalm.

My post-Africa trip, Mother’s Day, and Enoch’s due date (which happened to have been Ryan’s birthday) feelings have been all over. Mother’s Day while absolutely a gift stirs up missing and grieving our sweet second baby. All the while thinking and praying for the other women out there who long to be moms or who have experienced loss.

With Enoch, I’m so thankful for friends who remember him. I find it hard to wrap my head around that he would be 2! Equally hard to imagine not having Melea. Thus, being so thankful for the gift and joy that came after such grief. Being pregnant again this time around feels so sacred. Each day still feels like such a milestone and gift. As Asher says, “I can hardly believe we’re going to have another baby!” Me either, buddy!

Plus, getting to go back to Africa? Again?! I couldn’t be more thankful. Going back to Africa with a team was full of so many sweet moments and felt like home. I simply loved getting to show others this place I love. Leaving of course was bittersweet. Ready to see my babies but not ready to leave. Grieving again and sad to not have gone back to live (yet?). And so thankful for all that’s been given because I stayed and for all that God has for us here. Church, jobs, a house, and all of it are so good.

Well. If you made it this far, you deserve a gold star ☺️ a few ramblings from my heart lately.

Writing

Writing in this space used to come so easily! I used to write more than just book reviews. The blogging realm has changed so much (and so have I). Now there are podcasts, newsletters, Instagram mini novels, and so much information out there. So many people getting book deals and trying to get people on their “launch” teams to help advertise. Culture will continue to change and technology will keep on changing.

I realized, though, I miss writing! So much of my writing has been tucked away in my heart and journals as I wrestle through life’s questions. I have wanted to keep a lot more private and sacred. I find myself wanting to tell people what is happening in person rather than through an online media form. Yet, I realize too how I don’t always know how to share information anymore in person!

So, I’m going to start trying to figure out how I want to incorporate more writing into my life. I don’t know if that means in this space or some other way yet. A podcast sounds fun too but the learning curve sounds a bit much for this season of life.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at in case anyone still reads these. ☺️

Stronger than the Struggle

I have loved watching Havilah Cunnington jump into the public scene as she’s done Bible Studies, podcasting, speaking, and grown her ministry Truth to Table.

Her content has been authentic, practical, and easy to understand. She followed this trend into her latest book Stronger than the Struggle.

Somehow I thought the book was more about every day type struggles so I was a little surprised to find it was more about spiritual warfare. If I had focused on the tag line (Uncomplicating Your Spiritual Battle), I might have realized that!

Once I adjusted my mindset, I enjoyed the content of the book and found many practical tips and tools to use. Some stories I had heard or read in some of her other works but much was fresh too. Her writing is easy to read much like she is easy to listen to as well.

This book is great for anyone who is looking to find a simple, strategic approach to understanding spiritual battles. Some is bent toward women but I imagine men would glean from the book as well.

Disclosure: I received the book for free but all opinions are my own!!