Blog Archives

The Best Gifts are the Ones We Don’t Ask For

You’re four today.

FOUR.

You love Star Wars and big trucks, your sisters and the color green – followed closely by blue and orange.

You have a laugh that goes for miles, your joy even farther. You bring energy, life, love, mad-crazy-hugs and a new perspective to this family.

Isaac CollageAs I sit and remember this day unfolding four years ago…the waiting, the wondering, the worrying if we were both going to be okay. I remember you coming thundering, screaming into this world and exploding my heart into a million pieces.

It may be your birthday, lil man, but I am the one receiving the gift.

We’ve all heard before that God’s ways are not our ways. They are higher, holier, more mysterious and not to be understood fully. The Bible also says that God is the most amazing gift giver. If I, a mom who messes up, loses her temper, gets lazy, gets tired and frustrated knows how to give good gifts to my children – and revels in doing so! (I’m so giddy for you to open your gifts, dude, I can’t stand it!) – how much more wonderful is God, the awesome and perfect Creator of the universe at giving gifts?!

And boy did He knock it out of the park with you!

What’s more amazing is that you are an extra special gift. You’re the gift that God had hiding in the corner only to bring out at the last second when we thought the party was over. You were the gift we didn’t know to ask for, and then with a teary-secret-keeping smile He pulls His hands out from behind His back…

And hands us you.

Oh, the breath taking awe, my son. What a humbling, honoring, laughter-filled gift you are!

With every tackle hug, every belly laugh, every dragon fight, every Captain-America-Weilding-A-Light-Saber-Fighting-Off-Ninjas moment, I stand in utter awe of the little man you are – and are becoming.

I am so thankful that God knows how to give such good gifts – and that He delights so much in it.

So enjoy your day, Buddy. Fall asleep tonight clutching your blankie (don’t worry, it’s totally manly to sleep with one) and your newest favorite toy and rest deep and well knowing that you are loved, you are cherished, you are special.

Happy Birthday, son. I love you.

Just Do It?

Wow, friends…..wow. It has been a heckuva year and a half, ain’t it??

When I wrote this post back in February 2013, I had absolutely no idea what the future held for our family. But, basically, that post means this blog has been essentially dormant for the better part of two years. I’ve had my monthly posts over at The Better Mom, and the occasional post here and there, but by and large I have been silent.

Just Do ItFirst, it was the bustle and busy of our six months in the States. Then it was the stress and uncertainty of not being able to return to Ireland. And for the last 10 months or so it has been the transition and adjustment into our new home and culture here in Vienna.

Through it all, the words just…wouldn’t come. What had become a true source of refreshment, insight and stress-reflief for me (writing) became stress-inducing. When I used to find inspiration and life lessons out and about in the real world, now I was using all my energy and strength to just….function.

Our first several months here in Vienna were filled with apartment hunting, language learning, and generally just figuring out how to, you know, get to the grocery store, how to function in the grocery store without looking like a total freak, settling in to a new home, new schools, etc. I desperately wanted to get back to writing and sharing life with you all…after all, silence is the blog killer, right?? But deep down I really sensed it needed to be a season of silence. Active silence, though. I time of listening, learning, growing.

Now, however, I kind of feel like I’m hiding…avoiding. I’ve been waiting for the inspiration to return, and have not been trying to actively seek it out. It has sort of become now one of those things I know I need to do for my own good, for my own health. Like eating well or working out. You know once you do it you will feel so much better, so much stronger. Yet getting started is the hardest part. Pushing play or stepping out the door for a run…passing by the bakery and opting instead for a home-prepared, nutrient packed meal might as well be climbing Mount Everest. It’s simple physics, really. That whole inertia thing – you know, how an object at rest will tend to stay at rest.

Friends, I have truly needed rest. I’ve needed quiet, introspection, and to walk around for awhile with eyes wide open, mouth clamped shut and just take it all in. However now, I believe I need to get back into action. The inspiration? Still absent. The beauty? I’m still having to intentionally and actively seek it, rather than it slapping me in the face as soon as I open my front door.

Yet…I’m an object at rest…I’m going to attempt to take the first steps of coming back here, of “working out” with you all. I can’t promise there will be deep, beautiful word pictures flowing forth from my fingers to your screens. It may be more like the very first workout on the season opener of The Biggest Loser…awkward…painful…breath taking – but not in a good way. But, friends, you’ve been a safe place for me over the last three years and I trust you will continue to be.

I’m going to just…do it. And hope and pray the feeling follows action. I’ve been waiting until I felt more like myself before sitting down to do the hard work of writing. But could it be that perhaps…just maybe…I won’t truly start to feel like myself until I let the words come free again?

So, thank you for those who have stuck around through the silence. And to those of you who have incredibly joined our little community over the last two years and continued to visit. I look forward to seeing more of you all again.

So…here we go….let’s….do it.

Midnight Holy Ground

Mother presents me daily with a myriad of lessons. However, the most common – and most painful – is the daily hourly lesson of just how extremely selfish I truly am. Motherhood confronts every natural comfort, desire and longing. It stands in direct contrast to what comes easily to me – serving myself.

However, every now and then by grace alone, I am able to get beyond myself and tread on holy ground. Join me at a The Better Mom as I share the story of one of those times that happened a few years ago.

If you’ve just joined us here from The Better Mom, I want to say thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you will make yourself at home, look around awhile, and maybe even introduce yourself.

New Season, New Peace

Friends, I’m tired. It’s been a crazy year and a long, crazy summer. I’m really looking forward to the quieter season Fall seems to be in my mind (even though I know it is no less full of activity).

I’ve felt a deeper sense and need than ever to usher some peace into my home and family in this new season. How about you? Could your home use some peace? Join me at The Better Mom today as I share 4 Steps to a More Peaceful Home this Fall.

If you’ve just clicked over from The Better Mom, please let me welcome you! Make yourself at home, look around awhile and then tell us what your most favorite this is about Fall!

Fall Into Grace

When the World – and God – Seems Against You

Have you ever felt like the world is out to get you? Or maybe it’s God that is against you. He’s displeased with your version of faith and has turned his back on you and turned his favor toward someone else?

Yeah, I’ve felt that way, too. It can be easy to feel that way when nothing seems to be going in your favor.

Join me today at The Better Mom as I share 5 Truths for When the World Seems Against You.

If you’ve just clicked over from The Better Mom, I want to welcome you! I’m so glad you’re here!! Pull up a chair, a warm cuppa, and make yourself at home.

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