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The weather people told us we would only get an inch of snow today. They were very wrong. It took us by surprise, and we spent the day battling against it and then enjoying it.
Before the snow we heard an inspiring message on Revelations 12. It’s not your typical Christmas passage, but you will rejoice in the Boy who conquered the dragon. Give it a listen, especially if you need a perspective on your sin and suffering in this season.
I haven’t blogged because I haven’t known what to say. On September 18, at a regular ultrasound, we found out that I’d had another miscarriage. Two in a row. It’s been almost 6 weeks now and I’m just starting to get to a place where I can talk about it and sort through all that’s happened. Grieving these miscarriages is an odd thing. I’m grieving the loss of a child, the opportunity to know that child, and the loss of hopes for my family. I’ve had to let go of my strong desire to have a baby before my next birthday. I’ve had to learn to trust that God knows the number of children I will have and how closely spaced they will be. I’ve had to learn to rejoice that I’ll have a big family in heaven, even if I don’t know what my earthly family will look like. I’ve had to face the future and pray that God carries me through whatever valleys.
Practically (well, medically speaking) I don’t have any answers. They won’t do any testing until after a third miscarriage. I’m praying that there isn’t a third, but a baby instead. You can pray too.
I feel like I can say more, but I’ll save it for another day. I’ll share more about what’s comforted me through this. It’s been 6 weeks and God has taught me a lot. But it’s still only been 6 weeks and there is more to learn.
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for sharing our sorrows.
I haven’t spent much time making content for my own blog but I’ve enjoyed reading a few things around the internet. If you’re looking for some weekend reading, here are some recommendations!
#blogABLE // This past week a group of bloggers traveled to Ethiopia to work with LivefashionABLE and the Mocha Club. I followed along on Instagram and twitter (search the hashtag #blogable to see and read more). I loved the posts by Hayley at the Tiny Twig and Shannan at Flower Patch Farm Girl. LivefashionABLE has a business model that I can support…check it out and buy some stuff!
Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy posted two winning posts this week. The first is a totally important, unimportant discussion about which movies are better than the books. The second is a quick review of the books (Twitterature) she’s read this summer (also other bloggers are linking their reviews). I’m adding some books to my library list (still looking for that caper novel though).
As a girl who struggles with discontent with her house, I cried at this post by the Nester. You need to go through and read the whole story about their renting years, her family’s faithfulness and her motto – It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to be Beautiful.
Have a lovely weekend! (That cutie on the left in the pic is my niece who turns 8 next week!)
I grew up a little all over the place, but I still consider Greentown, Indiana my hometown. Maybe it’s because my first memories are rooted in those cornfields or maybe because it’s because my parents think of it with so much love, it’s become my love too. Moving from the Midwest to the East Coast (with a few stops along the way), these two places don’t have much in common.
We make our home in a western suburb of Philadelphia. It’s quite possibly one of the most beautiful places to live. Some days I’ll drive my kids to Wawa (where you can get gas, slurpees, huge Diet Cokes and all the candy your heart desires) and then we’ll spend a half-hour or so driving the hills, gazing at the historic homes and looking out for horses. When we crave cheeseburgers and fries, we drive into the city for some Shake Shack. This summer we’ll make a few 2-hour trips to the beach for some waves and caramel corn. And we live close to four Targets. It’s a pretty great place to call home.
I love May. Two birthdays (one mine!), lots of time outside and the promise of summer fun. Now more than ever I want to enjoy the time with my two little ones. This morning we sat on the front step and watched the trash trucks go by. It will probably be the highlight of the day unless I decide to be brave and pull out the splash table.
Here are my hopes for the lovely month of May:
1. Find some rhythms that work for these sunny days. I love them but my floors are dirty. And I have laundry in various stages of undone and done all over the house. I need to make something work. Does anyone have any tips?
2. Choose healthy eats and more exercise. I have a plan and I want to follow it.
3. Keep on keepin’ on with the house. We are hoping to refinance soon and I would love to have a real outdoor space to enjoy this summer.
What are you hoping for in the May? Seriously, how do you take care of your house and soak up the sunshine?
I confessed on Monday that I’m embarrassed by my house. I suppose the best way to get over the fear of what other people think is to go ahead and put pictures on the internet. If you have a fixer-upper, do this. Looking back at these pictures helps me to not be as critical when I look at where we are right now. I’m amazed at how far we’ve come.
These first two pictures are from the day we bought the house, exactly 4 years ago.
This next picture is from the day the huge trees came down, about a year ago.
These next two pictures are today. Sorry Rick isn’t in the one in the kitchen.
So, anyone wanna come over?
My plan was to write about my house but it seems insignificant compared to yesterday’s tragedy in Boston, and to the passing of a dear brother in our church. I am drawing near to the heart of God and praying, believing that He draws near to the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.
Lord, please come quickly.
I love social media. I love facebook for keeping up with my friends. I love Twitter to connect with people I don’t know in real-life but who influence me through their blogs, preaching and ministries. I love, love Instagram to keep track of my family’s adventures and to see my nieces, nephews, cousins and so many babies grow up in real-time. Me + Instagram forever.
But all of these things are also noise, a distraction, another thing to manage. They demand my attention for something unimportant. None of them are bad, but sometimes I use them poorly. When faced with making my bed or Instagram, I choose Instagram. I use all of them to distract myself from what really needs to be done. It’s easier to open a new tab and look at my facebook feed (which hasn’t changed in the last 2 minutes) than it is to deal with the fight erupting between the kids in the next room.
One of the things I need to say “no” to this year is social media, but does that mean completely? I don’t think so. Instead I need some good, old-fashioned self-control when it comes to how often and how much. Here’s what it looks like for me, right now.
Analog weekends*: It’s my social media detox and after a few days without it, I check it way less throughout the week. I’ve done this for 4 weekends now and it’s a permanent change. Rick holds me accountable and encourages me when my thumbs start twitching. On Friday evening I delete Instagram, twitter and facebook from my phone and log off from them on my computer. I re-install them on Sunday night while laying in bed, lazily scrolling through Instagram. I like doing this on Sunday night rather than on Monday morning when I should get my butt moving.
This has been the best change, not because I’m having all these amazing moments with my kids or being super productive, but because my mind feels less crowded. My favorite is coming to church without thinking about that fashion blogger’s Saturday outfit or that latest product someone I don’t know says I need to have. My heart is tender. My ears are ready to hear.
(For the record, I am on the internet in general on the weekends. I still look at Pinterest or blogs. Even though Pinterest is considered social media, I use it more as a resource for ideas and I don’t get sucked into it as easily as facebook, etc.)
Throughout the week: By Wednesday, I’m pretty much immersed in social media again. Not a bad thing, but when I’m realizing I’m only using it to waste time or procrastinate, I log out. Seeing that log-in page and needing to enter my password stops me and makes me think: am I doing what I should be doing at the moment? I don’t have any other rules I follow other than to be conscious of what I’m doing. (When I have some time for it, I might go through my facebook and clean it up so that I see the things I want to see and not what facebook wants me to see.)
Limiting my social media intake gives me more time for better things – loving my husband and kids, pursuing dreams and passions. I don’t want those to get my distracted glances but my best efforts. I hope you hear simply my strategy to live with intention, not another set of rules or a practice masquerading as a principle. Take what you like and leave the rest behind!
*This is not my idea but Hayley Morgan’s (the tiny twig) and she explains it and why she does it in this post. Also, the lovely image above is hers.
I took a break – a long one. It was only somewhat intentional. This winter brought with it too much sickness. No sooner would we recover from one than we would get knocked over by another. But spring is here and the days of sunshine are turning things around. Slowly our little family is getting it’s “groove” back.
I also haven’t had many words lately. My hope for my little blog (if anyone reads it anymore) is that I would provide helpful, thoughtful content. I overthink it and make it more complicated than it really is. Instead of thinking, there needs to be more doing and working. Doing creates content. This week I want to share some things that are helping me and the family… things that are breathing life for us.
But before I do that, here’s some things happening over here…
- My sister throws the loveliest showers. I would be jealous of all her awesomeness but I love her too much.
- I love Lucy’s imagination. She’s either pretending to get married or celebrating her imaginary friend’s birthday.
- Yard work! A backhoe and some chainsaws took care of some of our pesky, overgrown yard. It’s slowly getting there.
- House work! We (meaning Rick and his dad) are working on getting our second bathroom in order. This is an answer to prayer.
And lastly, a quote for your Monday. (I really hope you are still reading because this one is worth it):
“Contrary to what we might think, God says that strong faith can coexist with emotional highs, lows and everything in between. It is a myth that faith is always smiling. The truth is that faith often feels like the very ordinary process of dragging one foot in front of the other because we are conscious of God.” Ed Welch