spirituality

Visions for 2018

 
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I love the fresh start of the new year, casting vision for what it will become, writing out big dreams and goals and praying circles around them, waiting with an expectant and hopeful heart for what the Lord will do. Each year I pray for a word to drive my steps, and this year I was given two... obedience + redemption. Through walking in obedience and relinquishing my desire to control, the Lord will begin to write our redemption story. Redemption from financial burdens, from a season of waiting towards a dream the Lord placed into our hearts. Because we have been obedient and will continue to walk in obedience, He will bring us redemption. It is a beautiful promise.

We have words for our family, our marriage, areas where we need growth, areas of vulnerability. We wrote down practical steps towards achieving our goals, which follows with our theme of obedience. To whom much is given, much is required. And while I'd love to sit on the couch and watch Friends after the littlest goes to bed, the Lord is calling me to more action, more work and a solid day of rest on the Sabbath. Sundays will become church, family meals, outdoor play, trips to the park, resting at home. No work, no technology, no meal prepping, just resting in our blessings and focusing on what the Lord has given us.

 
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Since our family word is presence, Friday nights are family night. Maybe we watch a movie, build a bonfire, go on a short hike or simply take a walk around the neighborhood and have dinner outside, but whatever we do it will be intentional, and we will be fully present. 

We are also focusing hard on some financial goals and using YNAB as a budgeting tool. We've used others in the past, but always go back to this one. There is a slight learning curve, but I really like the accountability of having to enter every transaction into the budgeting software! Our big dream is to have zero debt and pay cash for our next home, and we are making small changes that will result in big overall differences.

We have personal goals, financial and savings goals, marriage goals and God-sized dreams, and I cannot wait to see what unfolds in the months to come. I believe that I have a spot at the table of abundance, that I am a daughter of the Most High King, and that He wants to bless me mightily so that He might be glorified. I pray that you believe those things about yourself too.

Wishing light + love to you and yours this New Year!

Β 

08+09 / 52

     

"Everything old people say about time is true. For starters, it flies. As a kid living through semi-eternal summer vacations, this is hard to believe. But as an adult? Get married. Have children. And then sit back, stunned, watching an absolute roar of gorgeous moments and hilarious moments and exhausting moments disappear - quickly and in tragedy or marching off at the tradtional pace, but disappear they must. Snap a photo or two. Read verses about futility. Watching one's small humans age and grow up packs a serious punch...no matter how many pictures we take, no matter how many scrapbooks we make, no matter how many moments we invade with a rolling camera, we will die...we cannot grab and hold. We cannot smuggle things out with us through death...Our futile struggle through time is courtesy of God's excessive giving. Sunset after sunset make it hard to remember and hold just one. Smell after smell. Laugh after laugh. A mind still thinking, a heart still beating. Imagine sticking your finger on your pulse and thanking God every time He gave you another blood-driving, brain-powering thump. We should. And we shouldn't, because if we did, we would never do anything else with our living; we wouldn't have the time to look at or savor any of the other of our impossibillions of gifts.

My wife and I tend to overgift to our kids at Christmas. We laugh and feel foolish when a kid is so distracted with one toy that we must force them into opening the next, or when something grand goes completely unnoticed in a corner. How consummerist, right? How crassly American. How like God." -N.D. Wilson

Unplugging + Being Present

One of the things my husband and I have been focusing on lately is making sure that we dedicate time daily to disconnect from the constant stream of technology. We put down our computers, turn our phones off and read or just sit together. We take walks around our neighborhood and leave our phones at home. We have a cut off time in the evening for using our computers or tablets or smart phones, allowing our brains time to unplug from the day. I love social media as much as anyone, but sometimes we are so connected to those things that we miss out on what is right in front of us. Be honest. The last time you had lunch with a friend or attended a social gathering, how many times did you check your phone or post a picture to Instagram? Guilty as charged.

We are also focusing on being present. For me, this goes hand in hand with disconnecting. We have realized over the past couple years, and especially recently, how much we enjoy listening to the stories of our parents, our friends' parents and our aunts and uncles. Their lives and stories are so rich with experience, and one day all to soon they won't be accessible to us. I can't tell you how many times I have wished for just one more Sunday afternoon with my mother in law, that I had taken a sewing class with her, that I had more memories. It is easy to be too busy to stop and listen and sit with our older generations, but when you do, it is so life-giving. And the memories are so sweet. 

The same thing applies to the time we spend with our children. My son is almost a year old already, yet it seems like we brought him home from the hospital just last month. I want him to remember his childhood as one full of love, adventure and quality time with his parents and family. I know he is too young to remember things now, but I want to be able to look back on this time and know that not a moment was wasted. Because this is all that we have, this vapor of a life, and I want to make mine count. I want to pour love into my actions, my words, and especially my relationships. And I find that sometimes I need to stop all the noise in order to do that. I need to step away from my phone, my computer and to find solace and comfort in nature, in my role as a mama and wife, and in conversation my friends and family.

So here is to a year of being present, to focusing on what really matters and making memories with those we love the most.