#WCW – International Women’s Day Edition

Well, I haven’t written in almost a month! Things got busy around here. I was going to skip today too because my head is just spinning a bit from other things going on, but then I saw that today is International Women’s Day! I have to highlight someone on this day!

So, today I’ll tell you about my daughter, who is rapidly becoming a woman in her own right. She turned 14 last month and today she had quite the milestone of getting her braces off! Ugh, now she’s even more beautiful.

Parenting is such a funny experience. It all happens right in front of your nose so you don’t really see what’s happening. Then you look at a picture from a baby album, or remember how old you are, or write on the invitation to the birthday party the age of your kid and the reality smacks you upside the head. She is growing up! She is not a baby anymore! All the things they said when she was a toddler are true! “It goes so fast.” “The days are long but the years are short.” “This too shall pass.”

22431_301334152450_5771074_nYep, we conquered teething and sleeping through the night, potty training and not eating poisonous things from under the sink. She does NOT still use her binky (phew!)

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I no longer worry about her having separation anxiety or whether she’ll learn to tie her shoes. She’s spent the night away from me too many times to count. She eats her vegetables and makes her bed. We’ve moved on from Dora the Explorer to Harry Potter. The milestones just keep piling up.

She’s an amazing daughter and I’m so excited to watch her turn into a lovely young woman. Next year she heads to high school and while I simply cannot imagine time going any faster than it already does, I know that it, too, will ZOOM. So, I’ll share some hopes I have for your future while I have this moment. (Your baby brother is currently very happily banging on an empty coffee can. This could go on for MINUTES!)

I hope you always believe the TRUTH about yourself – that you are talented, intelligent, creative, beautiful, full of potential, worthy of love, and loved immensely by your family and by God.

I hope you continue to surround yourself with friends who support you and who you support. Girlfriends are life – treasure them! Bring them over for dinner – we love your friends and we love a home full of girls’ laughter.

I hope you take time to pursue your dreams and passions. Go to school. Travel (just always call me when you get there, ok??) Try something crazy. Enjoy the adventure of your life. We’ll always leave the light on for you.

I hope you know you are more than your GPA, your transcript, your list of activities and accomplishments, your eventual college acceptance. Your achievements will be so important, but they’re not everything.

I hope you’ll remember you come from a line of strong women. We support you and cheer you on. Your grandmothers and great grandma are women who have not always walked easy roads, but who have gained resilience from walking those roads with dignity. Their legacy is an amazing one and I’m so glad you get to know them. I hope you keep up your own relationship with them as you grow older.

I love you my sweet girl. You and your sisters and brother fill me with such hope for our future. Happy International Women’s Day!

 

End/Beginning Rambles – Blogging and #WCW

I’m spending these first couple weeks of the year now that the kids are back in school reflecting on last year and making some new goals for the new year. It’s pretty shocking that I hadn’t written or posted anything since August of 2016. The fall was definitely the most busy I’ve been in a while, and I got out of the habit of writing.

Besides being busy, I think I’ve really struggled with what to say. I had lots of thoughts during those times, and my blog is, of course, supposed to be the spot for thoughts…but none of them would come out coherently. There was (and to some extent, still is) too much jumble – election politics, racial division, worldwide unrest and refugee crises, and on a personal level my own new life stage and several close friends dealing with major life moments.

But I do miss this writing and I want to do more to add something kind and beautiful to the world. It sounds pretentious that I could create something beautiful, and I doubt I’ll succeed every time. Hopefully the pursuit will itself be positive in the long-run.

As I’ve looked back over the year and sat stumped about what to write, I marvel at many of the people around me. I have some really amazing friends who are doing such great things. I’m going to challenge myself to write something each week, coinciding with Woman Crush Wedesday (#WCW) and tell you all about one of my amazing friends. The goal is to write one each week! I’m excited and hopeful that this venture will get the juices flowing and will allow me to brag on some of my favorite people 🙂

I’ll end with this quote from an unknown source:

Here’s to strong women.

May we know them.

May we be them.

May we raise them.

End/Beginning Rambles – Spiritual

It’s the new year and I’m still thinking about last year’s events and experiences, trying to figure out if there was a theme or a direction and wondering where to go from here.  I started the year (2016) thinking I’d do the one word thing, but that didn’t really stick. It was a year of a lot of experiments – new job, new baby, new ministry opportunities, new volunteer priorities, etc.  It’s probably obvious that it was hard to nail down one idea or thought for the whole year.  But one thing I did do last year that I’ve never done before is to read the entire Bible in one year. I’ve started to try this multiple times, but have never succeeded. So it was pretty great to spend the last few moments of my awake time on the 31st reading the last few chapters in my reading plan.

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This picture is what my app opened to every day – pretty sweet in my opinion!

I ended up loving the plan I used – it was the Solid Life Full Bible Plan on YouVersion. Here’s the description: “The Solid Life Reading Plan helps you understand the entire Bible. The Old Testament is read once in near chronological order and the New Testament is read twice, beginning the year with Luke and Acts, the first 60 years of New Testament history. Psalms are often read on the same day as corresponding events. Historical books such as the Kings are read along with contemporary prophets. May you hear God’s voice as you read!”

I loved the chronological nature and the matching up of the prophets with their corresponding events. The sprinkling through of the Psalms was great too. Reading about David’s experiences running/hiding from King Saul and then the Psalm written during that time was a really rich experience.

I highly recommend this plan for anyone wanting to try and read through the whole Bible. It was a commitment of reading several chapters per day, but it was doable for sure. I started it knowing I would be “stuck” for multiple nursing sessions per day in the beginning of the year and just made a commitment that I would read at least one chapter on my phone per nursing session before I played a game or scrolled Facebook, etc. It worked perfectly for the stage of life I was in. There were definitely times where I just did it to put the check mark down on my mental to-do list but I really experienced a renewed love for scripture as well. Going forward, I’m not sure where to land.

 

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more bookmarks – the searchable bookmarking ability is one of my favorite parts of reading on the phone.
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a sampling of the verses I highlighted this year.

 

I’m not nursing as much anymore and will soon be totally weaning my son so I don’t feel as tied to my phone. Without that, I’m wondering if I should go back to doing more Bible reading in my paper Bible, or journaling more. I still haven’t landed on a plan. The more I think about it, the less I want a ‘plan’ – I think it was really good for me to have gone through the discipline of reading the whole Bible, but it’s super easy for me to get task-oriented and I need to find ways of building in a habit/routine/discipline that is not focused on completing a task but instead is an internalized intentional spiritual practice.

I’ve enjoyed watching what other people are putting in to place this New Year and plan to spend more time this week figuring out my next steps too. I love the possibilities the New Year brings and want to be purposeful in spending my time.