Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer Reading

Okay, who am I to be endorsing some good reads?
I am one of the worst readers out there. It's just never been my thing. I'm even more shocked it's making it into my blog archives. Reading has always been hard for me. I can't stay focused and my mind starts wandering. Often times, I will start a book, get halfway through, and just never finish.

However, I'm finding it's place in this Mom season. My Littles are growing and learning to do and play more on their own. There are parts of my day where they are busy in play and I don't know what to do with myself in these small increments of time, I mean, when I'm not picking up, doing laundry, dishes, or being some kind for zombie robot.
I'm mentally bored, but still not in a stage where I can throw myself into something because I still get interrupted every few minutes to referee, fix something, help put on Cinderella's dress, find her other glass slipper, 'read book,' or 'I show you somp-ting.'

So, I'm in the middle of reading several books all at once. My attention span and dedication to each one is short in this life stage, so throughout the day, I have been picking up and reading one chapter at a time in each book. It's been keeping me focused and growing me deeper.

These books have all been too good to keep to myself. Plus, who doesn't need a good beach or poolside read this summer. :)


The Author is right here in Memphis. "Wife School" is by far, hands down, the best marriage book I have ever read!! It's so easy and fun to read, but sharing insights and wisdom into marriage I have never heard from anyone, anywhere.

This lady is in the mind of every woman and gave me a guidebook to learning my husband and how to really communicate and treat him respectfully. It is now on my gift list to any of my friends who are about to be married. If you're married, you need this book


I finished this book in a women's study this Spring with some ladies at church. It has dissected me down to the roots and spiritual core, for sure!

I opened the pages and couldn't stop reading. I thought I looked to God in every aspect of my life, but quickly realized I am an idolater. I rely on idols of control, security, comfort, and the perfect family more than I do my God. Yikes! Really, I discovered I worship myself.

As I identified this repulsive nature in me, I also found how much the Lord is still calling me to Him. His loving, forgiving nature draws me in and brings me in pursuit of Him.

"Arise my love, my beautiful one, and come away." -Song of Solomon 2:13

P.S. The more you put into this book, the more you will get out of it. I  recommend doing the study guide and discussion in the back of the book even if you aren't in a small group setting.


This has been a great follow up to "Idol Lies." I discovered one of my idols was comfort. Comfort comes in so many forms, but also includes my love for food. I wanted this book to be an extension of my "Idol Lies" journey to fully seek the Lord. I want to crave Him more than I do any of these other things I have built around myself.

Already starting out strong in Chapter 1, Lysa compared our want for food (or insert any idol struggle here) to the rich man in Matthew 19:

"Jesus responds, "If you want to be perfect [whole], go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
The rich, young man then goes away sad because he won't give up the one thing that consumes him. He is full with his riches he can't see how undernourished his soul is.

Jesus meant this for any of us who wallow in whatever abundance we have. I imagine Jesus looked straight into this young man's soul and said, "I want you to give up the one thing you crave more than me. Then come, follow me."

It's not about the riches or the food. It's a heart issue. Is He the one, true thing that satisfies us to the deepest places of our soul? Is He alone enough?


I'm only in the 2nd chapter of this book, but it is already making it to my list. I can't tell you how skeptical I was opening this book, or how corny and somewhat intimidating this idea sounded, the practice of family worship in the home. I always cringed, I mean, seriously cringed when the pastor of the church I grew up in repeatedly said this was a must in every Christian home. I died at the very thought of my parents starting it in ours. Well, guess whose family will be starting it..... 
(I guess, you run from the things you are most called to.)

I have been rolling around an example in my mind to sum up what I have read so far: you don't send your kids to school to learn discipline, respect, and how to act, it starts in the home, just as it's not the church's sole responsibility to be our child's only source and teaching of worship in their life, 
it starts in the home. 

I'm not sure yet what this will look like. It seems so awkward to think about at first. I don't want it to be something we just do. I want it to be a heart act, not a religious one. I want our family to commune with the Lord together.... 
                                         Maybe it's laying on the floor in the middle of our living room with our eyes closed while we listen to worship music together, aligning our hearts to His. Maybe it's sharing our daily life and the Word together at the dinner table and praying for each other at the end of the meal after everyone shares their heart... 

Worship should be a lifestyle. It should be flowing out of our hearts, filling our homes, and pouring into our corporate worship in the church. If our children see us living in a constant state of worship, it's not such a forced and stiff family tradition. It should be what our children seek to experience.


We are currently reading this book with our small group. I feel so inadequate to describe this book. Most of what you will read in this book has not been taught from the pulpit or has sadly been misunderstood. It has reminded me who The Holy Spirit is all over again (as a person) and to welcome Him into my everyday. I want to be in constant relationship with Him and not an aspect of the Godhead I am missing out on. Jesus said, 'it is better that I leave you so that I can send the Helper to you.' (John 16:7). 

"As a Church, we've chosen to view Him as a 'holy entity' rather than as One who is most holy. His desire is to be our closest friend, yet we have limited His involvement in our lives. The sad truth is we have inadvertently rejected the most fulfilling relationship available to us." -John Bevere.

My NEXT reads

Find yourself reading any of the books on my list? I would love to know your thoughts and experience with the book!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday, Tyler!

This weekend we celebrated Tyler's 2nd Birthday! I can't believe how much this little guy wanted to prove how much of a big shot he is before the big 2! I had to keep reminding myself a "3" did not belong on his cake.

He decided in just one day last week that he was going to use the potty and that was it. Seriously! I'm pretty sure this is the easiest potty training experience to go down in the record books, especially for a boy. There was no help from Mommy, just like anything else he does, he wants to do it himself first.

At his party, I had to keep wiping all the watermelon and cake off of him, but it almost seemed like he was embarrassed his Mommy was fussing over him. He said, "I do it!" and would grab the cloth from my hands and wipe his own mouth and shirt each time. ::sniffles::

I'm always blown away at how smart he is and how much he understands. He can count to 10 and sing his ABC's. He has most people fooled by his shy, quiet personality, but his vocabulary is more extensive than that of his sisters. Show off! His favorite song is "Jesus Loves Me" and loves all things cars, trucks, farm animals, and dinosaurs.

Car and truck play is very serious. He is always lining up all of his vehicles or moving them along the back of the couch or table with slow intentional movements until he breaks out with a "Hi, car!" to his other car. :) All boy is in his bones, but he leaves a soft spot for Mommy in his heart, which I will hold on to for as long as I can!

His birthday was a sweet spot in the mist of some rocky places lately. We have had tough decisions and small bumps over the past couple months. I needed the goodness of this weekend to overflow my heart.

It was refreshing to have family over for the party and to spoil our little birthday boy. It made for a special Father's day weekend.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Tyler! 
We love you!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Struggle

We are just starting to find a true normal in our household. We are starting to get out and do things again. Live life. Feel the breeze.

After Tyler was born, I dealt heavily with postpartum depression, and then found after getting through it, I still wasn't myself, but kept going, thinking everything was normal. I mean, what is normal after having kids, right?

Test results found that I had Hashimoto's, a form of hypothyroidism. It explained my constant energy deficit, depression, weight, and other symptoms. Parenting, or disciplining, during all of these times was whatever wasn't going to cause a fight. I was too exhausted to fight or push forward most days.

Fast forward now to the other side and there has been quite the power struggle in our house lately.
(Mmmph....I hate admitting, talking, discussing the dropped ball here because we are still picking it back up....)

We have such good kids. The best. I love them so, but there are certain discipline issues that have got out of hand. I have to repeat myself 10x to get anyone to listen. If I discipline for not abiding or bad behavior, it becomes the biggest meltdown, no one who has ever met our girls would believe, so it's easier to give in and negotiate. And then there is Tyler, who now has full blown, on the floor, tantrums almost every time we visit the grocery store.

I said, ' I will never be that Mom! '
But that's me. Yep.

Disciplining our kids or acquiring their respect has become my biggest challenge. The one I thought would come easiest to me.

We took our dilemma for prayer in our small group and they shared their wisdom and prayers. Someone hit the mark about disciplining them from a place of love. And there it was. I had listened to other's advice, but with no real basis from which I could start because picking a tactic was not supposed to be my starting point

I first had to realize I forgot my purpose. I lost myself in the every day. I forgot what I was doing. I forgot it's not about surviving through each day, or having my kids listen to me, or get through a store run without public stares. It's about loving them and honoring the Lord. 

And then, of course, comes the disciplining out of that.

Gary Thomas, in his book "Sacred Parenting," said it well, "When God does not supply our motivation. We may raise a more courteous and obedient child, but we won't pass on what is of ultimate importance. If parenting were only about behavior modification, Jesus would have praised the Pharisees and kicked dirt on the adulterous woman. In other words, I'm saying that our own spiritual quest must drive our parenting. Unfinished or neglected spiritual business inevitably works its way out through our relationships in a negative fashion: we become more demanding, more controlling, more intolerant, more resentful."

It's been a huge heart sinker.

This week, I'm starting at the bottom up, putting my hands back on the ball. I have been aligning myself to the Lord, asking Him for my purpose each morning and asking for Him to impart more of His love to me and for me to give, playing more, instructing less (Thanks, Dad).

These past few days already feel fuller (in the joyful, purposeful way). I'm noticing a little more listening and already a lot more love. I'm building new connections and communication with my kids that is hope to last. ::crossing fingers::

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


My parents made a visit this past weekend and bringing with them spoils for the kids. Tyler was the most proud receiving a tricycle with his name in vinyl lettering on the back. Finally, a bike all his own as he has been coveting for like his big sissys.

Entitlement is a big deal in our house. When you have twins that have to share everything down to the same clothes and shoes, it is a no sharing zone if their name or initials is written on any one thing. Tyler learned the rules fast and knew immediately the importance of his bike.

The next morning as everyone was waking, Esther came into our room to inform us: 
"Anna's widing Tywer's bike."
Me: "It's okay. Tyler isn't up yet." 
Esther: (With her arms flailing, jumping up and down, spouting off in a cracked voice) 
"Noooo! Noooo! Mommy!"  
Me: "Esther, I said it was fine. I will take care of it. Tyler isn't up yet to ride his bike, so it's okay. He's not riding it." ::Protesting cries in between:: "Go sit down and eat your breakfast and I will be there in a minute." 
Another "Nooo!" insued with fussing, protesting, and stomping as she walked out of the room.
As soon as she left, my husband piped up, 
"She's Jonah. 'No, God! Justice! Justice!" 

Being that I had just recently finished reading the book of "Jonah" in my Chronological Study, I found the analogy a bit humorous. Reading it, like some of the other books in the old testament, especially those that include the Israelites, I think to myself (with pride and self righteousness, might I add) how hard is it to follow the Lord after He has done A, B, and C, but yet you forsake him, follow other false gods and practices, or when you're a follower like Jonah and God audibly tells you to "Go" to Nineveh, you go, right?!

...so about that pride and self righteousness, I was talking about....

I'm finding in my own life I am much like Jonah and my Esther. Many times my protests for control, justice, selfish pride and righteousness stand in the way of loving others, exemplifying true forgiveness toward others and myself, and keep me from the Lord's promptings.

It's the things that God calls us to everyday that I find myself resisting with my own selfish agenda. I don't allow the Lord's full will to take over my life in trusting surrender.

'Lord, it's not fair for her to keep treating me like this. I deserve to hold on to this and not let it go.'
'Why should I always have to be the bigger person? I get burned every time!'
'I'm justified in feeling this way. I know I'm right.'

Sure, I don't get swallowed by a giant fish in my objections, but I miss out on full intimacy with the Father. I eliminate the full fruits, joy, and freedom in relationships that God would love for me to enjoy or use for His own glory. Often, I would rather cling to bitterness, resentment, control, and comfort, making them into little idols to build around myself, just like the Israelites did even after God parted the Red Sea and all his other marvelous wonders. Ouch! Indeed!

Not only am I hurting myself and causing separation from the Father, but I'm putting God in a box. I'm forgetting His true nature to be faithful and just and ultimately working together for the good of His people who love Him and are called according to his purpose.

I am Jonah. I am an Israelite. I am a 3 year old with a tantrum on the inside.

The ones I think about so harshly while reading the Word, I am now looking at harshly in myself. The Lord is opening me up. He's doing surgery on my heart, cleaning out all the ick. As much as it's scary to let go of the deep, secret things in my heart, it's going to be a refreshing journey of joy and freedom I have yet to experience and instead of clothing myself with bitterness and resentments, I will be blessing others with abundant mercy and grace by the one who abundantly wrapped me in His. I don't want to wither away under God's great goodness (see Jonah 4).

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
-Psalm 51: 7-12

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

To My Hermana

Remember those "feelings" we used to get when we little girls watching Disney movies? The ones no one else on the planet Earth would ever know what we were talking about and would think we were crazy if we ever tried to explain it? It wasn't until the other night I felt like I had full revelation of our experiences.

The Holy Spirit was actively in our childhood instilling in us a higher calling for love, romance, and deep intimacy in marriages. I believe those "feelings" were Him being present in our moments. 
(Stick with me here before you find me absolutely ridiculous. I know you probably have a big smile on your face, shaking your head with that look you give me when I'm full of it.)

We grew up in a magical childhood before 4th grade hit, 2nd for you, and maybe a little bit more me with all my singing in the trees stuff. Ha! But thinking about it, we never had a real glimpse of true love and romance. We never saw it in our parents or in those around us. Most marriages we saw were normal or passive, nothing in the 'dreams come true' category. On top of it, our parents separated and you would think our security blanket of trust would be completely shattered, but it wasn't. After having no basis of 'happily ever afters,' we should have stopped believing such romance can exist. Many will still remain skeptical.

When we were caught in the pit of relationships, the farthest from any 'fairy tale,' we never stopped doubting it could still be found. In a way, I think it has kept us unsettled in the mist of terrible choices to keep us searching...it's out there. God has been prompting us to find it all along.

When I had lost sight of the dream, I remember closing at work one night with Erin at the Envy. She had come a long way since I worked with her at the Lobster and she was sharing her story with me. I will never forget her words to me: 'You can have it all. Your own fairy tale too.' It was a huge game changer to put things in fresh perspective after seeing our sweet friend find true happiness.

It wasn't until I met Kyle that all the silly things I had dreamed of started falling into place. You of all people know I had some pretty crazy expectations for a husband. Oddly, I have a husband who loves looking at stars through a telescope with me on warm summer nights or lay in the hammock under the stars (with the kid monitor feet away), or bake pumpkin pie while watching old black & white classic movies in sweet snuggles. And regardless of what Mom said every Sunday lunch, I found one that will cut my steak for me too. ::Inserting your, "Dork" comment here:: Haha!

My future husband knew from the moment he saw me, that I was everything he had been waiting for. He pursued me, romanced me to the moon, and couldn't wait to marry me (with big tears in his eyes at the sight of me). Even with spontaneous romance on the back burner with a house full of toddlers, love is much sweeter and I love being desired every day.

God didn't intend for just one of us to experience great love. We (me & you) were meant to have it and now it's your turn!!

Your love isn't going to look the same as ours. It's going to be just as God designed for you.

I know you are contemplating a lot right now, but in this time, I pray God will reveal His heart and His romance for you. Let it be so much that when you meet "The One", you will recognize him because he came straight from the Father's heart.

I love you. We were created for Big Dreams!

Messages you put in your secret wish jar for me.
Now it's my turn to make wishes for you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Breaking the Bad

This past week, as the kids and I have been taking walks through the neighborhood, we have stopped at a curb to sit and watch passing cars and trucks at a nearby intersection. Tyler especially loves watching all the loud dump trucks go by. In the afternoon, there are lots of school buses that pass through and come into the division. The kids get excited to see the big yellow bus drive so closely and honk. Then, Esther exclaimed, "I want to wide [ride] the chool [school] bus, Mommie." I told her when she was old enough to go to school, she could ride the bus. Of course, that started a conversation that she wanted to go to school now. When we got home from our walk, she went in, put on her backpack and informed me she was going to school. How in the world she knew she needed her backpack, I would certainly like to know.

Thinking about my girls starting school makes my heart ache a bit. It will be here in just a couple of years, which will fly by like months. Next year, they will start preschool a couple days a week and I will find my day not filled up with little toddlers anymore, but little girls.
As I think about these stages being so difficult on my heart strings, they still get bigger.

I have listened to other mothers recently who have been sharing their struggles with teenagers and young adults. I can't imagine being in that place. I can barely think of my little ones as kindergartners let alone young people with a free will and mind. It's kind of scary. There is a lot of weight in being a parent. We have such a small window to make a huge impact on the rest of their lives.

The challenge, for me, comes in not wanting my kids to walk in the footsteps of my past experiences and mistakes. 
How do I keep that from happening? 
Will my life exemplify something they long to have and cling to what is good despite what this world has to offer?
It's something that has been weighty on my heart and talk with my husband often.

This week, I found myself full of questions studying up the end of David's life in my chronological study. It was late. I was staying at my grandmother's house, longing to have a coffee date with a bff, who is a chronological buff, to pick her brain with all my inquiries, but since that wasn't an available option, neither was a wifi network, might I add, I decided to ask the Lord. James 1, says ask away, right?

Honestly, I was surprised how fast He seemed to answer me. So fast, I was kind of skeptical that maybe the answers were just deep inside myself. Fascinatingly, one of His answers I found in the next day's reading plan almost word for word. Ridiculousness!

I can't remember one of my exact questions, but I began questioning along the lines of what good came from David's sin (with Bathsheba)? It seemed like he messed up one big time and paid for it over and over again (lost the confidence of his kingdom, banished by his son, Absalom, the 3 day plague on Israel after the census, fill in a bunch more etcs here). It didn't seem fair (as if any of us are deserving) especially when he truly had a heart toward God. Why did he have to go through so much? Wasn't it enough that he was on the run most of his life after defeating Goliath and then to do it again? Why did he have to suffer so much distress over an entire lifetime before and after sinning?

 The Lord told David:
1 Chronicles 22:9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
The answer goes far beyond just David, himself. It's as though Solomon received David's ultimate earthly inheritance. It was passed down to the next generation.

Solomon received abundant blessings when acquiring the crown. He was given all his heart desired and the ultimate honor and responsibility of building the Lord's temple, which David had always longed to do, but the Lord refused him on account he was a warrior with too much bloodshed on his hands. ::Insert more questions:: Ha!

It felt as if the Lord was assuring me that my many years in sinful struggles would not go in vain. I struggled years in the desert and in earthly warfare so that my children would not. They would be blessed with what I am now passing on with my life.

I have truth to share. Truth that scares me to share. Truth I don't want my kids to see in me, but wisdom that may keep them close to the Lord, and that is true treasure to pass down to the next generation.

As many times as I have wondered, 'why did it take so long for me to be rescued,' I would have not left a day sooner if that's what it meant for my kids to be cut free from any replicating attachments, any generational bondage. I will no longer look back at my past with the same perspective. I was fighting a battle my children won't have to, so they can live in peace.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
    for the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
    that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
    and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
    repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
    though they have been deserted for many generations.
Foreigners will be your servants.
    They will feed your flocks
and plow your fields
    and tend your vineyards.

You will be called priests of the Lord,
    ministers of our God.
You will feed on the treasures of the nations
    and boast in their riches. 
Instead of shame and dishonor,
    you will enjoy a double share of honor.
You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice.
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be recognized
    and honored among the nations.
Everyone will realize that they are a people
    the Lord has blessed.”

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
    or a bride with her jewels.
The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
    Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
    with plants springing up everywhere.
-Isaiah 61

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Keeping Up With the Adams

We just got back from our second beach trip of the summer and celebrating Anna & Esther's 3rd birthday. The day they turned 3 seemed to come with a new set of handbooks. 

When we visited Panama City in May, the girls still had a hatred and distaste for all things sand and waves since their first seaside experience. It wasn't until the day before we left that they figured out how to have their own fun. Three months later and a day after turning the big 3 in Orange Beach, the girls decided to be content and fearless of the sand. Or should I say, Esther took the sand in stride the first day, but proclaimed, "Mommy, I don't like the beach," for the rest of the week. She preferred to play in the baby pool at the condo.

From Beach Bums to Beach Babes
(Left) Panama City in May (Right) Orange Beach in September

Anna grew more and more courageous as the week went on. She would play in the sand, jump in and out of the waves, and scream with excitement. She also loved going down the big water slide with Daddy and Papa. She went over and over again. Esther, on the other hand, went once, but did not want to participate in such shenanigans again (I'm pretty sure that's exactly what she would say if it was in her vocabulary. She is so careful and cautious). Anna was so bold, unknowingly, she climbed up to the top of the slide behind Kyle and was about to go down all by herself until another parent at the top stopped her and started calling out for her parents, us. Hide under a rock, yes, that's ours!

Anna Slow Motion in a Wave

Also within a day of taking on the beach, the girls have enlisted the use of "Why?" into their language specialties. It still hits me with shock every time they say it.

"Esther is going to hold the stars [portable nightlight] tonight."
Anna's response: "Why, Monnie?"

Not only has fearlessness and knowledge inquirers been added to the new resume, but Esther has declared herself expert backseat driver. She tells me when I should "go" and where I should park. If this is just the first week, age 3 should prove to be very interesting.

The girls may have just turned 3, but our little Tyler is going on 2. Maybe it's because he is a sibling, but he seems advanced for his age. He is already a little parrot repeating words and phrases and is a little tattle tale when he can't withstand bullying on his own. Like always, he still wants to do everything his sissys are doing including painting his toe nails too. He even responded to a lady at the elevator the other day, "Thank you." Seriously?! That's my newly turned one year old speaking! 

Ty has taken on a love for this stuffed monkey that is probably half his size. He carries it around hugging it. It's even more adorable when he goes night night with it. It is always wrapped under his arm, even when he is on his belly. Monkey is next to him with an arm over it's neck, snuggling him close. After putting Ty to bed some nights, after about ten minutes of silence, I will hear a break out of "Eeeee Eeeeee Ooooo Ooooo Ahhhh Ahhh!" on the monitor. It's the stinkin' cutest thing EVER. I guess, he forgot to tell his buddy good night too. 

Speaking of bedtime and big boy moments, there are times when he is playing with the girls as I tell him 'It's bedtime,' he will automatically stand up, wave and in his little raspy boy voice say, "Buh-bye" to his sissys before turning to come up the stairs. ::Tug at my heartstrings:: 

There is such beauty and purity in children that it lavishes my heart to pieces. The things they do eat me up! 

We got to enjoy some one-on-one time with the twins this past week. They are just getting to the point where they are okay with being separated from each other and don't feel like they have to do exactly what the other is or have to go where the other is going. It is true treasured moments to spend time feeding into each one personally. My husband will sure have his hands full trying to balance taking all 3 of us ladies on our own separate dates. Ha!

The kiddos stories are sweetly endless. 

In grown up world, some things are getting easier, while we are still trying to master and balance others. Being tired is a constant state of being, of course. 

I am starting to take on a few outside activities, which I thought would never happen again or at least until all our kids hit school age. I just recently went on a weekend women's retreat and also started a chronological study with a few other Moms. It has been great accountability to stay in the Word and comes along with discussion and guidance in what I am reading. It's so easy for me to space out nowadays when I am trying to meditate.

In addition to being poured in, I am getting a chance to pour out. My friend and I are opening a marriage study this week. I haven't led a study since pre-Kyle and I am overly excited to be diving in with some other close ladies. It feels like I am back on the track to experiencing community again. I have been closed off for so long, reluctant to participate in anything, that this feels like fresh air! 

We are slowly but surely working on small renovations in our house before we tear out our entire kitchen and master bath in the spring. Small decorations have finally been placed on a few spaces on the wall. It's starting to look and feel a little like home around here. 

First Tweeks
(an interuption to all the beach vaca photo sharing)
For a few months now, we have been struggling day to day at a crossroads whether we are staying or moving. Kyle has been on the fast track of promotions in his work and it seems like every other week, a new opportunity is offered or rumored. We recently turned down a promotion that would move us to Philadelphia. It's an unsettling state especially when we are in the mist of trying to make our house a home with all the interior changes just the way we want them.

However, this week, my husband was presented with a new opportunity that would keep us here for the next 2 years before we will most likely have to move as he would be head of another branch within the company. We feel at peace about it, but there is also a lot of fear and uncertainty that pops up. We have no idea until the time comes what locations will be offered, how far it is from our families, is it a place we will love, because we do love where we are. God has led us every step and we have every bit of faith His hands are already paving the way for us, but the unknown is just scary. 

We haven't seen a date night in months, but marriage seems all together sweeter. Before tying the knot, I had two fears: 1.) Love doesn't grow deeper with time. 2.) When we have kids, they will replace my husband's love for me.

In the beginning, I thought that courtship and dating far outweighed newlywed life, but now it's totally opposite. Love and marriage can and does grow deeper. I love a day in marriage more than any one of our dating adventures, which is hard to measure up to, if you know my romancing husband. Ha! 

Marriage is so beautiful. It's lovely. And so very sanctifying. I think what we have is rare and will be an exciting journey to find new levels of love going deep. 

As for the second fear, it has proven to be completely irrelevant. God had a sense of humor wiping the apprehension out of our marriage from the very beginning with our honeymoon twins. Being parents and raising children is an experience we get to share and grow in together, not to overtake in our affections for each other. Kris Vallotton said it best:

"The very presence of our children is supposed to remind us of the covenant love that we share for each other. Their hearts become tablets on which husbands and wives write their love letters to each other."

Our life is far from perfect but it's amazingly sweet. God's goodness, grace, and mercy have a way of showing the beauty in the every day. Marriage, love, kids...God this is good! 

You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalms 23: 5-6