I shall not be shaken.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

We made it! It’s 2019. I know I’m late to the party in celebrating the calendar change here on the blog.

With this new season comes a fresh wave of hope and energy for the future. But it also comes with a tension. In Michigan, the whole world is gray, cold, and bare. Winter has a way of gradually coloring my world in dark shades of blue.

So I focus my anticipation on the seeds beneath the snow.

Where do those refreshing flowers come from when spring nears and the white powder still covers the earth? They are so brave and lovely as they boldly pop through the white to declare that warmer weather will soon come to thaw the earth. The sun will return again to warm our faces.

But those flowers can’t be planted or forced into the earth during the cold of winter, their seeds must have been sown back before the snow and chill.

We must plan ahead. Tend the soil and intentionally plant when we can.

Then the job is to simply wait. Hope. Pray.

The seeds can’t be seen or held. They can give no proof that they are even there.

This is where I am today. Praying over the seeds, and the Psalms give words for my heart to hope in.

During this season, the Ladies Bible study at my church is praying through the Psalms alongside the sermon series on the same book.

We read through Psalm 16 together this past Tuesday, and the words from verse 8 have become my focus for the next few weeks:

I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8 ESV

My calendar may need to #KonMari attention come June, but for now, I know that the Lord is my Center, my Savior, my Strength, my Hope, and my Song. Come what may, my desire is to obey.

And my prayer is for you to feel the same sense of comfort during this season of hibernation and frost. May Christ be the warmth in your soul, and may the Spirit bear His fruit for you to taste and see that He is good.

Spring :: a beautiful mess

4285350171_f9951b740c_z

Photo Credit

I’ve been thinking. And not writing.

As you can tell by one simple scroll down. The last thing I wrote was dated how many months ago? Believe me, I know. I feel the distance too. But that’s all passing away, and something new is being born.

Let me explain. My thoughts and ideas are in a season of early spring. Imagine a country farm. There are hens with their eggs that the farmer is allowing to nest and be nurtured. The mother carefully sits, warms, grows. Cows are finding juicy nibbles of grass. The cud is sweeter, the chewing slower. Trees are beginning to bud, and each one a promise of fruit come harvest. A new branch is breaking forth, maybe even a grafted one. Sparrows sing and swoop without concern. The sky brighter the trees and plants taking it in like a deep and satisfying breath. The air more full of oxygen from this beautiful exchange. Created exchange, endless links of nutrients and energy.

Are you seeing the potential? Over stimulated by all the energy? I am both. I have so many choices to make in a moment. Savor the life. Take a deep breath. The Spirit hovers near, don’t miss Him :: thank Him.

Don’t ignore the responsibility. Life doesn’t stand still; beauty is tangled with mistakes. The curse. Order that chaos requires. The future is brimming with hope but also spilling with reality. There will be 4am morning chores, accidents, growing pains, and always the unexpected. But stand firm. Don’t give up. You have the will to choose. To change.

Pass me not, oh gentle Savior… This moment is too much for me to bear all of the goodness and possibilities. The potentials are limitless, yet I am dust. Hear my humble cry

Image

life list draft

Grocery Day

Confession #1: I know I’m not going to do this whole list thing right.

Confession #2: I feel completely out of my league even trying to write one.

But here goes:

  • be debt free
  • run a 5k
  • adopt
  • write a book
  • camp (at least once, for Rob’s sake!)
  • learn how to dance
  • become a certified exercise instructor (yoga, Pilates, spin, prenatal…whatever!)
  • be “crafty”
  • learn photography and have a sweet camera
  • go on a horseback ride with JoeAnna
  • take a weekend trip by myself to write
  • go on a second honeymoon with Rob to England
  • become an expert time manager
  • write a biography of a loved one
  • learn a 2nd language and use it

{not to mention photographing each and every one of these}

More to come…

Summer :: Coming Soon

I’ve been thinking ahead for a while now. Baby #3’s confirmation was my initiation into a bigger and broader world of family life. I immediately starting planning for how to transition my older kiddos into more responsibility and myself into more personal discipline. It has been a productive nine months over here! All this thinking ahead helped me process change slowly :: and that’s my comfortable pace.

Major change #1: Chores for the kids :: Check

Chores

Major change #2: Changing curriculum and deciding on our homeschool schedule for the next year :: Check

Homeschool

Major change #3: Deciding in advance what our summer schedule feels like :: In-process

Summer

I’ve been thinking a lot about the best way to savor this summer. Of course we will be spending a lot of time getting into a new normal as a family of five, but I didn’t want that to define our whole season. I’ve put a lot of thought into summer plans, and I wrote about it over on Examiner.com. Check it out here.

Unity :: 8 Years in the making ::

picmonkey_image We’ve been doing a lot of house work lately. Rob tackling the majors; me scratching at the minors. Cleaning up disasters and preparing for a miracle. We’ve ended days with hugs when no words were needed.

But last night, just for a few hours, we did some heart work.

8 years ago Monday, Rob and I promised to give our whole selves to each other without condition. I like this year’s number: 8. Enough that I feel like it’s something, yet not too much that I feel old or boring. And not too few that I feel arrogant and squeaky.

With everything 8 years has held for us, last night we celebrated! We aren’t just surviving, oh no! We are thriving! And here on the brink of another baby in the house, we are connecting just the original pair of us. The 2 of us that started this life.art.together.

We like who God is molding us to be: unity.one flesh. Happy Anniversary.

 

wedding 2 picmonkey_image

 

Finding Foundation

If I were being graded in life right now, from a outsiders perspective I have received all F’s. Fetal fibronectin, Furnace failure, and a flood. These have fueled my remedial studies of the foundation in my life.

In the last post, I included a picture of our family. The picture was taken on Graham’s 4th Birthday. Thursday, April 11, 2013 was an important day for us all, and it marks the first sign of preterm labor.

The first F.

I often over examine my senses and feelings for my sanity and constitution. I don’t believe myself to be a hypochondriac, no it isn’t that. But I do have a healthy dose of this and I’m continually aware of my inner working: physical and mental. All that to say, when contractions hit full force that night I was alarmed but my intuition spoke calm and I trusted the Calm. We went in to the doctor’s office the next morning hopeful for reassurance that all is well. What we got was a bit of a start instead. I was admitted to the hospital and given rounds of drugs for our little man’s lungs and for contractions to calm. It wasn’t a “close call” for delivery, but seeing the signs of labor starting, my doctor took all the necessary steps to stay safe. Sadly, this short stay at the hospital cost me my son’s birthday party, and earned me bed rest.

The second F.

It happened the same day. As I was admitted, Rob was home with the kids while a furnace company was assessing our current situation for an estimate on a new furnace. Old home = constant necessary upgrades. What he found wasn’t just an out-of-date heater, but a crack in the something-or-other which was leaking carbon monoxide. He told us we needed to turn off the gas ASAP. I don’t think I need to explain further, suffice it to say, we made a sizeable purchace on Saturday, April 20th and had heat pouring through the vents again that evening. If you’re wondering about our air quality before the replacement – talk to me sometime. I can say we didn’t feel healthy at home, and I’m glad to be able to say I’m not crazy – I knew something wasn’t right.

The third F.

Almost one week after I was admitted and put on bed rest, it rained. A lot. First our backyard flooded, and then the water rose in the basement. We have a room in the basement that was remodeled into a make-shift bedroom before we bought it, and they lowered the floor by removing layers of cement which has been a source of concern for a while. All that to say, that for hours on end my husband was moving and removing items from our basement, vacuuming water, and all the rest. He was growing exhausted, and this was all before the new furnace. We were cold, wet, and without my “normal presence.”800PX-~1

Foundation

I’ve wanted to write this post for a whole week now. As I mentioned in the last post, I have been so blessed by this new season in life. I’m learning how to be content in every situation, and it’s provided proof of lessons the Lord has trusted me with in the past. The foundation I need right now is solid as a rock. I’m not boasting in myself or any past accomplishments that got me to a spiritual high. What I’m sharing is a fresh opportunity to get down low to the ground, to search the perimeter, and to check myself in what has been built upon it.

.: life as we know it :.

Image

If I had to summarize life right now with one sentence, all I would want to say is: I love my family.

The Lord is disciplining me, and before any assumption ensues, this discipline is not a harsh consequence due to a sin(s). I also don’t want to give the impression that I’m being made a victim in my own life. And I’m not talking about bed rest yet. Wow. Listen to me, I’m not making sense at all. So let me start again, from the beginning.

I was quiet in the month of March. Quiet down in my soul. I didn’t have anything to write. I didn’t have much to say. I was observing my choices and my routine, and doing the mental math. My living wasn’t equal to the life I’m called to live. I realized through a course of introspection, prayer, and confrontation that I was the problem in the equation. I was the variable that wasn’t measuring up.

And in a song, I heard the comforting calling from the Lord: you’re restless without me.

From that moment, I turned back to Him realizing that in big and small ways I had gotten into a disorderly mess due to my own attempt to do it on my own. That day began the journey of discipline, and I am delighted to say that it is continuing even now.

I’d love to write more in detail of the many things I’ve learned in a few short weeks: reading this book, going to this conference, and hearing these speakers: Dr. Kathy Koch, John Rosemond, Kirk Martin, and Amy Quakkelaar. Through these the Lord divinely planted in my heart the desire, drive, and direction for His discipline.

What does this new discipline look like? I really can’t answer. I couldn’t diagram the plan – it wasn’t my plan to design. I just know this is the beginning of something long-lasting, and although I was at first tempted to throw in the towel when the direction bed rest was spoken, I have since been surprised and delighted by the revelation of the Lord that this is plan A. This is the process of discipline for me. It isn’t a side step, and I’m tickled to see growth in my heart.

I hope this process includes more writing. I’d love to share in greater detail what I’m learning. Life of paper. But for now, just know that I love my family.

Rob who is the perfect partner for me. He gets me and can think like me. His anticipation of my feelings and needs are a treasure.

JoeAnna who is embracing her style and growing in compassion. She is creating and dancing, and she is being hugged lots more from a mama who wants to see and fill her need.

Graham who is transitioning into an independent little boy and learning faster than he is taught. He is driven and competitive, and yet concerned for others to the core.

And our sweet little Emmett. We haven’t met him yet – thankfully! But he is already deeply loved and protected by us all.

We all fit together. We make up this life as we know it. And it’s a good life.