girl's got resolve

Anyone who has a strong-willed child can probably relate to hoping that those character traits that challenge us so fiercely now might be used to accomplish great things later on in life.

I’ve been known to refer to my youngest as “stubborn,” “strong-willed,” and “more challenging than the first” (which says a lot), but recently I also feel like the Lord has given me a little glimpse of how her personality is actually a blessing.

I first saw this glimmer as I observed her secretly one day from the hallway outside her cracked-open door. She played in her room alone (a rare event in and of itself), and I suddenly saw her faced with what would have been a frustrating situation.

She had just spent several minutes meticulously picking up toys and placing then in a bucket she carried, when she tripped and spilled them all back out on the floor. Rather than melting down when all the toys spontaneously spilled back out, she proceeded to simply begin the job again, unfazed by temporary failure.

As I watched her, the word that came to mind was RESOLVE.

This girl’s got resolve– I kept hearing it in my mind like the Lord was revealing a deep truth about her little character.

It was a hopeful glimpse of how the Lord could use her strong personality. I’ve been noticing it more in her now the more I look for it. Sometimes, yes, she’s just an irrational three-year old, stubbornly throwing herself to the ground because she’s not getting what she wants. But other times, I see her unlikely determination, and I pray that the Lord uses this trait mightily for His glory as she grows up.

Since that first day I noticed her resolve, it’s a word that the Lord’s been revealing to me (for me) in more than one way as well. I think shortly thereafter it came up in a sermon on a Sunday morning, and my eyes were again opened to the power of a determined individual.

For 2014, the word I felt was pressed on my heart was perseverance, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Lord would use my daughter’s strong resolve to encourage me. So often I want to wallow in my exhaustion, when I know He wants me to push through and be productive in what He’s called me.

There’s a time for rest, indeed. But there’s also a time to be resolved and determined, and to persevere in the path where the Lord has us.

the life poetic

This is Day 26 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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sweet silent moments

Motherhood doesn’t offer us a lot of quiet moments. We steal them here and there, and even though I’m an extroverted person, I’ve come to relish in the moments when the chaos is stalled.

I get up early so I can make my coffee to the sound of the refrigerator’s low rumble alone, and watch the sun come up above the tree line silently.

I stay up late so my husband and I can finish our thoughts and have a complete conversation.

Of course, the silence is perfect only in small doses for me. Too long in the quiet and it actually becomes deafening to my untrained ears that are so accustomed to loud.

The best quiet moments are the most fleeting– I treat the littles to chocolate almond milk, and while they munch on their snacks we all gaze out at the fountain down below. We’re just together, and I take it all in, reading a few sentences and catching the napkins that almost blow away.

Moments later, of course, they’re off and running, both their feet and their question-filled minds. That’s fun, too. But it’s certainly special to soak in the rare moments with them of sweet silence.

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” 
― Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth

the life poetic

This is Day 25 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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music & beer under the lights

A night out, a bit late (kids asleep on the way there– oops!)

Good music under lovely strings of lights

Good beer, fresh on tap

Babies dancing, kids twirling, friends chatting

Supporting friends, supporting local business

Succulents chilling in friendly style

****

Worth the 3-year old’s meltdown.

Worth the 20-minute drive.

Worth the cost of 2 beers.

Worth the late night out for 3 kids.

****

Live music, outside, on a warm night, complete with friends? Yes, please. Parenthood, you can’t keep us down.

****

the life poetic

This is Day 24 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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don't stress about hospitality

As I documented one day in our life I stumbled upon a lesson I hadn’t really realized that I had learned.

From Instagram:

I’ve learned not to stress about getting ready for community group. I like to be authentic, and all-put-together-and-tidy is not me. These people are like family anyway… But no one likes to step on crumbs so a little pass with the vacuum is nice. Also, Hallee is having a ball and trying not to smile here. Brody is patiently waiting his turn. ;)

I read somewhere the difference between hospitality and entertaining– entertaining is all about me and what I have to show/offer, whereas hospitality is all about serving others.

There’s a bit of beauty in the pile of books in the basket and the stack of mail on the corner of an unused counter, because it’s a glimpse into real life, and it lets the authenticity of who we are as a family shine through. Turning on music (or baseball) and lighting a candle aren’t just nice touches; they too are expressions of who we are as a family.

I do try to clear off all the surfaces we’ll be using with our guests, but I’m not going to put on a facade that in our family every surface is clear and nothing personal is left out. Simply because that’s not us.

And also, I’m better able to serve my guests and welcome them wholeheartedly when I’m not stressing to the max right before they come over.

the life poetic

This is Day 23 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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Finding beauty in the mundane was definitely one of the goals of this month’s series, and the OneDay project with Hollywood Housewife, fit in perfectly with it.

I love day-in-the-life blog posts because we get to see a little more of the real life behind the curtain of a blogger or IG-er’s carefully curated screen.

Here are a few favorites from my day….

one day in our life

To see my entire day, search #onedayggh on Instagram!

the life poetic

This is Day 22 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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roasted corn soup

Last winter, one of our friends did a series of Sunday Soup Nights where she and her husband cooked a batch or two of soup in the crock pot and invited a mish-mash of friends and neighbors over to hang out over dinner together.

It was a yummy dinner-y version of my Ice Cream Sundays that I used to do at our last house. I haven’t quite gotten in a groove with something consistent like that since we’ve been in our current place, which has been, ack! almost two years.  But it was fun to sort of “pass the baton” and see another friend host regular community gatherings like that for a while, stepping outside their comfort zone, and welcoming others in with open arms.

One of my favorite memories of Soup Nights was the week when Brody’s birthmom randomly texted me that she was in our neck of the woods (she lives about an hour away) for the evening. I immediately invited her to join us at Sarah’s house for Soup Night. Seeing her there and connecting with friends from our little community just seemed so natural. Our kids love her (and so do we).

I don’t write about it too much but we’ve had an amazing experience with our open adoption. It was awkward and unusual at first, not surprisingly, but in the last four years we’ve grown to love our get-togethers with both of Brody’s birthparents. A spontaneous, natural hangout was particularly special though.

Five years ago, when we began our adoption journey, I didn’t know what to expect or what the future of our family held. Now, seeing where God has brought us so far has me convinced that this was exactly the path our family was meant to take. Sarah and her husband are in the early stages of their own adoption journey and I’m excited to see things unfold for them.

If you’re looking to cook up some hearty comfort soup for your own community or family, here’s one of my favorite soups that Sarah made for us.

roasted corn soup from GidgetGoesHome.com

 

yum, creamy roasted corn soup

Thanks, Sarah, for sharing this yummy recipe with us.

Affiliate links included, thanks for your support!

the life poetic

This is Day 20/21 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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God doesn't need good people...

This “note” was inspired by a message one of our pastors, Patrick Crandall, preached last Sunday. If you want proof of this quote, just study the journey of Moses in the wilderness as they were in between deliverance and the promised land.

And let this word of truth encourage you. You don’t have drum up goodness on your own.

You just need to come to Him as you are, and He will be faithful to transform your heart to be more like His perfect Son’s.

He can teach us how to love well, walk in freedom, encourage one another, and live in grace.

Come as you are.

the life poetic

This is Day 19 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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landline

Still catching up here… I think you know how much I love books. Reading is one of my favorite ways to explore creativity, beauty, and well, life. It seemed only fitting to include an edition of Twitterature in this month’s series.

Here’s what I’ve loved about the books that have found their way into my hands in the last month.

twitterature-graphic1

 


Emma

by Jane Austen

This was the first Austen novel I ever read, and to be honest, this time it went very slowly for me, despite always loving the story (and of course, Mr. Knightly!). I think maybe its familiarity is part of what has kept it a favorite for so many years. Emma isn’t my favorite Austen heroine by any stretch. In fact this year, I think I preferred Emma Approved to the original (I know! the horror!).


 


Northanger Abbey

by Jane Austen

NA caught me by surprise. I read it faster than I’ve ever read a classic, and it was definitely a record for the Austen novels I’ve been reading. Maybe its starkly different style carried me through quicker. Regardless of why, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


 


Landline

by Rainbow Rowell

Super loved this one. The more I read of Ms. Rowell, the more I love her writing style and her creative stories. The character development is deep, the plot is laid out in a unique way, and the emotion is real (the fantastical element isn’t even that weird or out of place; it just… fits). Bonus: Landline really got my own creative juices flowing.


 


How People Change

by Timothy S. Lane & Paul David Tripp

We read this book with the leadership team at church and it was enlightening and encouraging, and full of anecdotes illustrating its points. Whenever we watch Frozen and the diva troll sings, “Cause people don’t really change,” Gigi and I look at each other and I remind her, oh yes they do. Jesus transforms people’s hearts and lives.


 

Currently:

Read anything good lately? 

Linking up with the lovely Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy. Affiliate links included, thanks for the support!

the life poetic

This is Day 18 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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date night

On Friday we celebrated David’s birthday — the kids spent the night at my parents (thank you!) and we went out on the town. Going out on the town for us meant a favorite local BBQ place for dinner and my high school homecoming game. The next morning, we woke up and had breakfast (after a lovely night’s sleep with no one extra crawling into our bed), and then I took my love golfing.

David is an avid golfer, and I’m not generally a big fan of the game that takes him away for many hours on a Saturday. But together we walked and talked and played and enjoyed a beautiful fall morning outside. I impressed him a tiny bit with my skills and he gave me pointers and tips. It was so fun.

home is wherever I'm with you

I planned all this because I wanted to bless him with things he loves, but the truth is that I had a great time myself. I like to be outside, I like good food, I enjoy sports, but most of all, I just love to be with him.

We laugh until we think we’ll die,
barefoot on a summer night
Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you

Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is whenever I’m with you
Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is when I’m alone with you

~Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

the life poetic

This is Day 17 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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If you are sufficient for your task, it's too small.

We live in a culture that praises self-sufficiency.

But the beautiful thing about God’s paradoxical design is that the weaker we are, the more glory He gets when He strengthens us.

And not only that, but He gives us each other to build one another up, bear each other’s burdens, and hold each other’s hands when the day is dark.

the life poetic

This is Day 16 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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