Taking Stock

Every time I have written in this space of late, I have had to apologize for my long absence. I would like to get over that by writing more frequently. Does it matter to the world if I write? Probably not. But it matters to me.

It matters, because I have four pairs of eyes that watch me every single day. They watch to see if I mean what I say. Writing is important to me and so I need to write. I am raising children who I pray will pursue their passions despite the naysayers and the critics in their life. I pray they would be the unique individuals God is making them to be. Doesn’t it then follow that I would pursue my own passions and seek to be who God has made me to be?

Today, I had coffee with a dear friend and as we talked, I was reminded of why I write. And then I asked my friend to hold me accountable. Turns out, she is really good at that. And so, I am writing this post, because she has challenged me to do so. It’s a “taking stock” kind of post- one where categories have been given and the expectation is to write whatever comes to mind. Random. This is good. This is my life right now!

Thank you, Cass, for always inspiring me, always challenging me and always loving me.


Making : Right now I am working on an advent calendar for my kids. Last year, our Christmas season was incredibly busy as we moved into our new home on December 12th. I am so excited about the opportunity to do our advent calendar tradition again this year. Each day in December, leading up to Christmas, my kids will open up an envelope that contains a Christmas activity, event or service project that we will do that day. It is a lot of preparation, but the rewards are exponential.

Cooking : This week, my kids have helped with the meal planning and preparation. Lindsay made lasagna rollups, Ethan made meatloaf and Gibson picked a taco bake recipe that I actually ended up making, because he was busy raking leaves and playing with his little sister. I love involving my kids in cooking! It wasn’t until I put the shopping list together that I realized they all chose something with ground beef in it! As a result, we will also be making a fish dinner this week.
Drinking : I can’t stop buying apple cider every time I go to Wegmans. And pumpkin spice lattes. I am fully embracing all things Fall- at least for a few more weeks!

Reading: I finished reading “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty in two days. It is my current book club book and not a book I would recommend to everyone (some mature issues and swearing), but I love books that tackle hard issues in a fun way. Moriarty nails this genre. I am currently reading “Life Creative” by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart. It is about inspiring moms to live out the creativity God has worked into their lives. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m feeling inspired already. I am also reading “Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World” as a resource for the Sunday school class I am teaching on Biblical Femininity. It is written by Carolyn McCulley and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand what the Bible really says about women and their role in society.

Wanting: My daughter asked my husband what he wanted for Christmas this year and he said, “Peace on Earth”. More than ever before, this is truly what I want. I am so saddened by the division in our world, in our country and in the Church. I know it is naive to think we could all get along, but reconciliation seems so unattainable. There is so much hate, so much discord, so much condemnation. And so, I continue to pray for truth in love, unity of spirit, and genuine compassion.
Looking: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fixing my eyes on Jesus. I am tempted to look in so many other directions and then I wonder why I am anxious, bitter, frustrated and angry. I need to look in the right direction and keep my eyes focused there.
Enjoying: It might be completely unpopular to say this, but I am enjoying having my kids with me all the time. There. I said it. I love seeing them when they are at their best. It’s a joy to watch the excitement in their eyes as they learn something new. And rather than feeling overwhelmed without a moment to myself, I actually feel the opposite. My oldest is able to babysit her siblings freeing me to go grocery shopping alone. Or meet a friend for coffee. And my older ones read to, play with and take care of the younger ones. It’s awesome. When they are at their worst, I know why. I know if they are tired or struggled with a concept. I don’t have to worry about them being misunderstood or getting into a fight with friends. I’m there to mediate these things and I know the hearts of my kids better than anyone (except their Daddy- he knows them pretty well too!). I am able to confront sinful behavior and witness the joy of reconciliation (clearly, I could write a whole post on this subject alone!).

Waiting: I’m waiting to hear good news after weeks of not so great news. Waiting is HARD!
Liking: I’m liking the feel of Sadie’s fur as she snuggles up next to me. This puppy has been a lot of hard work. But she is also a great joy. Even when I don’t like what she does, I still like her an awful lot.
Wondering: What will our country be like after next Tuesday? I have always had a strong dislike for politics, because it brings out the very worst in people. I struggle to understand how wonderful people (generally) can be so venomous and speak with such hatred towards others. Do we really love our country? If we do, then wouldn’t we be seeking unity rather than a system that further divides and alienates anyone who disagrees? The strength of America has become its weakness.
Loving: I am loving the vibrant colors of Fall. I watched a leaf fall today, gently carried by the wind and I was left wonder struck.

Listening: My little ones are in bed, their siblings are at youth group. I am listening to the whir of the refrigerator and the occasional sounds of my husband’s saw as he works on a bench/locker system he is making for our mudroom. I miss seeing him as often as I would like (he has been working every spare moment to complete this project!), but I am so grateful for his ability and his passion. We are the lucky ones who get to enjoy his hard work in his shop!
Giggling: I find myself laughing every single day over something Ainsley will say. The other day, Lindsay said that she felt really good about being able to memorize the definitions for her science test. Ainsley said,  “You’re one smart cookie!” She saw “the gum tree” at a college we visited and said, “Free candy!”  And often when she says bye to her Daddy, she says, “Bye, Buddy! Hope you find your Dad!” She’s funny, she’s witty and her vocabulary is ridiculous for a three year old. Yep. She makes me giggle.
Celebrating: I have a friend who turns 40 tomorrow. And one thing I have learned for sure in the past year and a half is that 40 is worth celebrating!
Embracing: I forgot to mention that I am in a Bible Study that is working through Priscilla Shirer’s book “The Armor of God.” It has been so good. Lately, my life has felt like a series of attacks and rather than fighting back, I am learning to recognize the enemy at work to distract me or to level me. But while I am recognizing these things, I still find myself falling into the same patterns of wanting to please everyone or feeling like I have to change in order to be loved and appreciated. And so, I am choosing to embrace the truth of scripture. This week, the kids memorized 2 Timothy 1:7 and I will leave you with this…

The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.

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