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The Joy Project
My childhood memories are filled with my older brother, your Uncle . Holidays, birthdays, the "everydays" . I was always tagging along. Riding bikes wherever we could. Barefoot wiffle ball in the backyard. Mimi sending us to the bathroom because we couldn't stop arguing. So many amazing memories of childhood. And then me marrying one of his best friends, you daddy.
I watch you all and I love seeing the memories you are making. Memories that will stay with you a lifetime. There's something pretty special the relationship the two of you share. You spend so much time in the yard daily playing together. Running outside when you get a break from school. Hours can pass as you adventure together. Bubby looks out for baby sissy and you looks up to him. And admittedly pushe his buttons often. But your love and adoration is undeniable. I'm a grateful mama.
I knew my heart was longing for something before you joined our family, but I could never have imagined the joy she would bring them as well.
How's your soul?
I know it's a pretty deep question. Have you thought about it lately ? Does life have you going from one commitment to the next. One day to the next. One year to the next. Do you feel like something is missing?
I believe there are so many of our generation that are tired of the more mentality. More technology. More activities. More stuff. So many are realizing that less is more and they crave space and time to connect and to be still. Not with a phone or a TV to entertain them. Not with more activities just filling space on their calendar because no was too hard to say. A yearning to slow down is taking place in the souls of so many.
My husband and I are co-leading a study at our church with the college/young adults by Judah Smith called How's Your Soul? This week we discussed the power of saying no. And really making our yes answers be ones that count. That our hearts are 100% connected with.
We must have margin in our lives. Time to stop and simply be in awe of God's creation . Time to enjoy God's creation. And most definitely time to connect with the creator Himself.
I urge you.
Take time and really ask yourself how is your soul?
"The beauty that I love is the gift of every ordinary day that's left to me. I want to center my life on the things I'm grateful for. I want to pay attention to what's worth caring about, to read the sacred in everyday life, to develop a spiritual sturdiness I need for that simple, endlessly challenging practice."
This is the mindset I've been challenged to have for years. A mindset that I have challenged mothers and photographers in my workshop to seek.
My camera has been such an amazing tool in aiding me to see the sacred in the everyday life; yet, the images I have acquired are not what I am most appreciative of. I am most grateful that God has given me the ability to see life with such clarity. To see the gift of these days I spend with you all. To see the beauty in mundane moments. The infinite details. To feel the brevity and to seek gratitude, even amidst the challenges. Especially amidst the challenges. To truly realize the importance of being still and in the moment. This way of seeing my days at home with you all has spilled over into all aspects of my life. It really is true that a life seeking gratitude, can bring such a joy filled life of living.
Perspective really changes everything.
And who knew spaghetti oh's and light made such a beautiful combination?
Big sissy had a soccer game today and it was only 10 minutes from the beach. So, of course, we headed that way after her game. We enjoyed meeting friends and having dinner at sunset right by the water. Perfect end to a beautiful day.
When you big sister made you your very own mini snow cone.
"God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing." C. S. Lewis
You asked me if we could spend some time together. Just us. We painted. I loved these words that you chose to paint. May they be imprinted on your heart. This world offers us so many things. Grabbing our attention. Promising happiness. Peace. Fulfillment. A better life. But this world will never satisfy our souls. This world will never bring us the joy, that God can. I pray that in the years ahead. As the world tries harder and harder to make you think otherwise. You will remember these words. And remember true happiness is only found in Him. With Him. His peace, alone, will surpass all understanding. In the joyous days and the hard days. Keep seeking Him.
I love you.
We all had the post holiday blues today. We didn't really want to dive back into school work. So, we made brownies and homemade pizzas and that made everything a little better.
I think we all need a bit more babylike wonder in our world. If you are curious, you explore. If you want something, you find a way to get it. There's no fear. No second guessing. Just going for it.
Today, you decided to climb in the dishwasher. And then decided to throw dishes out. Never a thought crossed your mind. What if that glass breaks? Or what if I fall backwards?
Baby wonder, it's something special. And so is a sleeping baby.
You all were super excited to go to Mimi and Popi's annual New Year's day Parade and Kickball game. It is always a fun way to start the new year with family and friends. Having your grandparents and cousins living so close is such a gift. I hope you never take it for granted.
Yesterday, we began taking all of our Christmas decorations down. Out of nowhere in the middle of the cleaning and packing, tears came over me.
You know, every month that passed in 2016 was bitter sweet. We would celebrate another milestone of your life. Our miracle. Our final baby that God blessed us with. And each month, it was hard for me. Because, no matter what with you, everything felt so fast. And all the emotions felt magnified a bit. It's hard to put in words, but if you've been there you know. When you've dreamed of something so long and prayed so hard and then you are living that dream.. you want to soak every breath in and then some.
Well December came and surprisingly I wasn't anxious about your first birthday. I was so in the moment of the season and grateful for everything we'd been through. The celebration of it all was so beautiful. The reminders all month of Christ and His gift to us.
And then yesterday, as I put everything away it hit me unexpectedly. The year. Your first year. It was over. And for those moments I mourned a bit. I know. I have so much to be abundantly grateful for. But I felt a bit of loss. So many firsts, milestones, beautiful moments came flashing through my memory. And for that time. I let myself grieve that yes it had passed.
But the story doesn't end there. No. There is hope and anticipation of all things new. Yes, time has a way of passing quickly. And I feel like the older each of you get, the faster the years fly by. I can grieve this, or I can keep trying to be in the moments with each of them, learning more about love and grace daily. I am certain, I will choose the later.
Today, I am giving myself grace for those moments of grief. As selfish as they felt, I needed that time.
When you get a snowcone machine for Christmas, you invite the street over.