Daily Reflection--Life's No Picnic

 

 

 

I remember when I first met my husband, I was 14 and he was 17. I asked him “What’s your idea of a perfect day?” He responded: “A quiet picnic outside, a slight breeze in the air, and a nap with you beside me.” 
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It was romantic and cute. I loved it and have thought back upon it often, especially since becoming a parent. Quiet picnic’s are a rarity and naps are hard to come by. Honestly, life with kids is no picnic at all.  
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I don’t have to rattle off to you the myriad of drudgery tasks that must be done each day to sustain another human beings life. Let alone amount of social functions you will give up and the amount of showers you will miss. 
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But I stop and ponder, what does his perfect day look like now? I’ll wager a bet that there is still a nap in there somewhere, but I bet it doesn’t include just me snuggled up to him anymore, rather our whole family. 
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As life has changed so have our dreams and hopes. Now we think about their hearts and what their perfect days would look like. We are trying hard to lean in and allow God to form us.
 

 

 

Daily Reflection--Which Way?

 

 

 

Ever make a parenting decision and just felt unsettled? This year we have made a huge transition in the way we school and I have to admit, I have never really felt settled in the matter. 
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This past February, when we had to make our schooling choices, I had prayed a very specific prayer. Because I felt so all over the map about the matter I knew I would need a very specific sign to help us make a decision. And God showed up big time.
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But here’s the thing. Even now, three months in to the new schooling adventure, my heart is still not settled. My feelings are still all over the map and I honestly feel like I don’t know what is best for my child. But I do know one thing. God does and He showed up and showed me the way. And even if my feelings aren’t settled. God’s are.

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So I’m relying on him in the midst of my confusion. Even if I feel like the path is unsettled beneath me, He will make so my feet land on firm ground. 

 

 

Daily Refections--Work Boots

 

 

 

“Mommy, do you have a favorite pair of shoes?” my daughter asks as she slips on her pink sparkly “cinderella shoes”. I had to think about this for a moment. Then I smile warmly “Yes. My work boots!”, I reply. Then the inevitable question: “Why?”
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Let me explain. I’m not some rough and tough tom boy who just loves to get dirty, but I’m not really known as a girly girl either. I’m somewhere in between. But whenever I slip on my boots, its because I’m going out with my kids. We are headed out for an adventure in nature that is likely to be dirty. And being in nature with my kids is my absolute favorite time to cultivate their hearts. 
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Something about being with God amidst all the things he has created, spurs on such great conversation about how big and mighty He is. We talk so much about how he cared to create all the details around us. The thousands of species of plants and bugs. The towering trees and giant bolders. They were all created by him and his fingerprints are so easily seen in this setting. 
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What are your favorite shoes? 

 

Daily Reflection--The Pumpkin Farm

 

 

 

Some places will always be nostalgic for me. The seaside restaurant where my husband proposed. My great grandfathers farm where I picked blueberries as a child. Kings Dominion (a theme park) where I braved my first roller and fell in love with daring feats. And the pumpkin farm….
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We had been planning the trip to the pumpkin farm all month. The date had been carved out for the coming Saturday. Thursday afternoon my husband came home to show me the memory photo his phone had sent to him that day. It was the two of us, at the same pumpkin farm eight years earlier. We’ve attended every year faithfully since that first visit. I looked at the picture warmly.
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Skip (my husband) and I had just decided that week to begin trying to start a family. I was so excited at the prospect. This had been my only real dream since I was a child: to be a mom. I didn’t know it then, but the coming years would be met with difficulty, sadness, and loss. It would be two and a half years before the Lord brought our first baby into our arms and not just into our hearts. 
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Whenever I step out onto that hay covered field I’m met with a rush of nostalgia for the Emily that was so excited to be a mom one day. This year as I watched my babes climb, play, and have all the pumpkin farm fun, I couldn’t help but be thankful for the things God has taught shaped in me these last 8 years. 

 

 

Daily Refection--Cuddle Up

 

 

 

Ever have one of those days where you just don’t want to get out of the bed? Don’t really want to face the day, and the activity it will bring? 
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It’s not that I don’t feel grateful for my life. I know that most of my problems are first world problems and I am immensely blessed to have all that I have. But, some days. I just don’t want to get out of bed. 
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 I think of the mornings I have to drag my son out of his bed for school. When he wakes on his own he is usually cheerful as a bird. But if you wake him, watch out! He’s a bear. And when he is, I find myself bristle. I’m irritated by his mood. I need him to get up and get ready. 
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But this isn’t grace. It’s not the fruit of the spirit. It takes discipline to get up when you don’t want to. And teaching our kids discipline is always an opportunity for discipleship. Discipleship cannot begin with irritation, I remind myself! 
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Did you need a reminder today? 

 

 

Daily Reflection--The Little Monkey

 

 

 

When he was little, somewhere around 18 months or so, his uncle gave him the nickname “little monkey”. It could have been that we were a little Curious George obsessed at the time but, mostly he just loved to climb. 
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He is still this way, though as he has gotten older he shy’s away from his cute nickname. 
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As he scaled rocks 100 times his size he stopped and looked around, amazement and excitement written across his face. “Mom, this is my dream!! It’s like God made this place just for people to climb.”
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He’s getting it. He’s seeing his Heavenly Father’s fingerprints in the midst of his everyday! 

 

 

Daily Refection--Mid-Flight

 

 

 

Going away from my family is always a 50/50 for me. Half of me is excited to be on my own and relish my freedom. I love the time of quiet without interruption for full thoughts to form.
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But, going away also means a lot of work. Prep to make sure all things are lined up: healthy meals, backpacks, snacks, notes for lunch boxes and rides to extracurriculars. Sometimes it doesn’t feel worth it. It can be very streching.
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But then somewhere midway through my first flight I realize the prep is so worth it. My kids feel my love for them even I’m not physically present. In the midst of their everyday hustle, my presence is still there. If I am like this as an Earthly parent, how much more can their Heavenly provide for them, even when he seems like he isn’t physically present? 
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Are you cultivating their hearts in the midst of your everyday hustle?

 

Daily Refection--Behind The Wheel

 

 

I’ve spent a lot of time right here. To be honest, it’s not my favorite. I’m not naturally a person who loves to drive. I can only remember once in my career as a mom  where I deliberately drove my kids around so they could sleep. 

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But I’m learning to use this space to cultivate their hearts. Worship music , audio books, conversations about nature passing by. 

Just because it doesn’t feel natural to me or it doesn’t seem like a useable space in my life, doesn’t mean it can’t be used. All things and creation points to His faithfulness. All moments can be used to cultivate their hearts towards Him if only we are willing to find it in the midst of our busy.

 

 

Daily Reflection--UNO

 

 

 

“It’s your turn mommy”, he announced after successfully skipping his Dad’s turn. He had already won once and we had rallied to beat him this time.
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My little playing partner bumped me, excited to take our turn. She chose the card, and played. She loved every minute of it. They watch as we laugh and joke along with the game. They chime in, skipping one another, having to draw cards. When someone has a poor attitude we bring them back with a warm smile to the jovial party. 
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We are cultivating their hearts in the middle of the everyday. 

 

 

Daily Reflection-- Days I Wish I Could Change

 

 

 

 

There are days I wish I could change. Times I wish I could pull back again from time and do them over. 
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It was fall break, we were going camping. We were supposed to have left the night before but I came down with strep throat, quarantined for 24 hrs. So here we were packing up, getting ready. He was so excited!
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So excited that he couldn’t contain it. Or at least looking back I can see his behavior for what it was, I just couldn’t in the moment. He posted his sister to exasperation, made a disaster out of his room, wouldn’t stay outside when asked.
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I needed to pack. I needed to think clearly through the drugged fog I was dragging myself through to get us to campground. I asked him to go to his room for some quiet. He went but screamed for me. I lost it.
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Because I feared we wouldn’t get to the campground on time do to the beautiful hike to the top of the mountain and had a glorious family moment with all of there together in nature. Sadly in the future he will remember the time I really lost it before camping, rather than the beautiful moment we had at the top. 
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We have to see our moments for what they are. I didn’t. This is one of those days I wish I could have a do-over.