December 31, 2012

2012 in a word

In a year where I have received and been blessed with so much, there is only one word that stands out in my mind to describe the past twelve months.


I've seen bits of the fruit that comes when you count back your blessings to the Giver, and that is what I intend to do here tonight.  

january. My hubby turns 30.  I also joined a Monday morning bible study that would rock my world more than I ever realized.  Some of my favorite people on the planet gather in this little group.

february.  We learn that the babe in the belly was another boy, and we could't have been more thrilled.  

march.  My sweet Jude Michael turns ONE year old.  And we sure celebrated his year of life.  Always so thankful for him.

april.  I work through a lot of my anxieties about having two kiddos so close together.  I can say that 6 months in now, God spaced them perfectly for me.

may. We overcame a nasty bout of hand, foot, mouth disease and a Mama with an ear and sinus infection.  We gave thanks that it wasn't a month later.

june.  My world was rocked with another sweet boy.  We welcomed Isaac Lee into the family and life was never the same again.

july.  I was thick in the baby fog.  And swimming in love for my boys.  Not much happened this month, except for loads of newborn cuddles.

august. In a summer with over 100 degree days, I still work out being a Mama of two under two (and loving it) and learning that it takes loads of grace.  Thankful that there is an abundance of that.

september. Isaac turns 3 months and Jude 18 months and the fog is starting to lift.  I learn a bit about finding my worth and value in Christ and not in any job description (or lack thereof).

october. My sister visits from Jamaica and meets Isaac for the first time!  Such a blessing to spend time with her!  Also, I turn 28.  And I feel little tugs at my heart to write more in this little space.  Just to see what God might have in mind to do with my words.

november. I start to write like it's my job.  The blog changes to Space for Joy and I decide to take this little piece of the internet a bit more seriously. 

december. I'm beginning to find some community in the interwebs and do a few guest posts.  Writing 3-5 times a week sometimes flows freely and other times is not so easy.  In any case, it is good for me, and I do my best to be faithful and write.  Also, Isaac is now 6 months and Jude is 21 months.  The boys are changing daily and being a Mama is my most favorite job ever.

I have much to be thankful for.  

Gratitude is the overarching theme here.  In a few more words...
& writing.

Those are ways that I grew.  That I put much effort into, and that I saw fruit in.  I think this same theme will continue in 2013.

Happy New Year, friends.  I hope your 2012 ends as well as mine did.

December 28, 2012

when giving is so good

Once again, Christmas morning has come and gone.

I remember being a little girl, racing upstairs and seeing the full stockings and the gifts surrounding the tree.  Experiencing my family's love as I received the giving.

As I kid, my heart definitely didn't understand how it is better to give than to receive.  I don't expect my boys hearts to understand something that so goes against our nature, either.  Although we will continue to teach this lesson.

But this Christmas just might be right up there at the top of my favorite Christmas ever list.

Jude is finally to an age that he understands what is going on and can participate.  And it was so. much. fun. to bless my boy with toys that just light up his eyes.  And with the same excitement, he handed out the gifts to the rest of the family.  The sweet boy was quick to make sure Isaac always had his toys to play with, as well.  I pray he always has such a generous heart!

Giving is so good.

And Christmas really is all about the one perfect gift, isn't it?  The Father and the Son who made eternity with Him possible at all.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas.  We are still laying low and stretching out the celebrating, which is why it's been a bit quiet around here.  I'm looking forward to some quiet time, meditating on the past year and thinking about what my goals will be for 2013.  I can't wait to share them with you!

December 24, 2012

that remarkable girl

I think of her often this time of year.  

About that young girl with the great call.

The one who said, "I am a servant of the Lord, let be to me according to your word."

The one who didn't hesitate.

And who rode on a donkey full-term in her pregnancy in obedience.

And I wonder.

Would I be so obedient?

Or would I be Moses?  Would I hesitate?  Begging the Lord to ask anyone.  Anyone but me.

Maybe more importantly, am I being obedient in my call today?  The one that is before me at this moment.

In my marriage.

In my mothering.

In my friendships.

In my walk.  My coming.  My going.  My doing life.

As I anticipate the great celebration of the arrival of Christ this advent season, I pray for a faith and obedience like the one whose human body carried Him.

What a remarkable woman Mary must have been.  

December 21, 2012

photos instead of words

It has been one. of. those. weeks.

Not complaining.  I'm just being real.  

Isaac's cold turned RSV turned bronchiolitis had me a bit freaked out, I'll be honest.  I had a difficult time sleeping after hearing his cough and wheezing.  My heart was anxious at times, nervous that we would end up in the hospital because my punkin is still so little.  But I am so thankful a for caring doctor who got us what we needed right away.  Thanks to "Nebby the nebulizer" we are on the up-swing.

And thanks to loads of friends praying health for my family.  Seriously, thank you.  

That said, my brain is mush.  I've got nothing left come 7:30pm and the boys are in bed.  And I'm feeling a need to retreat and fill my mind and my heart with some goodness before I speak again.  So today we're going to do a simple phone dump.  Photos instead of words.

Not that it's much to look at, but if your week has been like ours, anyone else's four walls will do just fine.  

Enjoy, friends.  And have a super BLESSED Christmas weekend! 

December 20, 2012

solitude | from the archives

I wrote this one last January, but my heart is needing this today.  So, I thought I would share a post, and a quote, that reminds me to turn toward the one who brings life.

I'm being challenged today to find solitude in Christ.  Less stuff.  Less distraction.  More HIM.  Less facebook.  Less TV.  Less entertainment.  More listening.  More JESUS.

Why does that seem so difficult?

What are you challenged by today?

December 18, 2012

La-ya Mama

I can't be sure, but if it is so, my heart may have just skipped a beat.

I sit with the sick little one in my lap, because snuggles are truly the best remedy for those sick eyes.  The big one is complying by watching yet another episode of "Bob the Builder".  For sanity's sake.  It is one of the few children's shows that doesn't get under my skin after the billionth time.  And listening to Jude try to sing the theme song is just precious.

So we sit.  We snuggle.  Getting through the day.

He gets up from his chair and comes over to me.  He lays his head in my lap and gives me a squeeze.

"La-ya Mama"

Is that what I think it is?

He's learned the names of all the transportation vehicles (car, truck, bike, tractor, train, choo-choo!).  He knows all the animals and he tells me each meal if his food is cold or hot.

But this.

"La-ya Mama."

My Mama heart soars.

"I love you too, punkin boy."

And just like that he walks back to that chair and plops his booty down like he hasn't just rocked my world with the words I heard for the first time.

A gift in the truest form.

"I love you too, punkin boy"

*linking up with Emily of Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped.


December 17, 2012

the gift in the everyday

My weekend was filled with kleenex.  Sneezes.  Coughs upon coughs.  101.3 fevers.   A dose or two of Tylenol.   One boy who slept really well and another who did not.  Red, watery, sick eyes.  And lots and lots and lots and lots of extra snuggles.

I hate having sick babies, but there is a sweetness in being forced home in your pajamas with nothing on the agenda but being held close.

And at the same time, I could not shake the happenings on Friday.  Twenty babies who are now with Jesus.  But twenty Mamas who ache for their arms to hold them close even one last time.

I don't mean to sound morbid, but after reading One Thousand Gifts, everything kind of changes.  My lens now views life in terms of gifts.  Because in all reality, I know I don't deserve anything.  I don't have a right to anything.  I am not even guaranteed another breath.

And as I care for my sicklings this weekend, in light of the tragedy, I am thanking Him for the gift of being able to care for my little ones who are sick.

And I hope that I continue to have this perspective.  Weeks from now.  Months from now.  Years from now.  When I'm tempted by entitlement or my own rightness or ingratitude.  I pray that I'll instead turn to gratitude and realize that life is a gift and every piece of it.

Praying you are able to find the gift in the everyday.

*linking up with Carissa for Miscellany Monday


December 15, 2012

a handmade christmas

I'm certain none of you are last minute shoppers.  You all probably have it all together and gifts are cutely wrapped under the tree.

Then again, you do follow my blog, so maybe we are more alike than I think?

In that case, you've barely started.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite handmade gifts from some of my favorite crafters and bloggers. Let's keep it simple.  Here's the list that you have to check out.

blossom & vine print shop
You've seen her guest post over here, and if you haven't stopped by to read her words, you really really should.  I love Aly's heart and she is one GIFTED lady as well.  She designs prints for your home.  Some are even hand drawn.  The one below is one of my favorites.  And I am a HUGE fan of scripture on my walls.

I received some skin care products from Urban City Organics after winning a giveaway on Fancy Little Things.  I hadn't heard anything of it, but was VERY pleasantly surprised at the quality of these products!  I have been using it for weeks now, and my skin has stayed moisturized even in this dry winter weather.  And all of their products are all natural with no harmful ingredients.  

Another dear blogger friend with a heart of gold.  Amy is about to pop with her second sweet babe and is still cranking out the most adorable things for her etsy shop.  Seriously, check out this Denae doll.  If I had a daughter, she would absolutely have one of these.  I gotta say I am excited that her next babe is a boy so I can see what crafty treasures she'll come up with for a boy.  

This sweet little shop is owned by my long-time friend Maggie.  Long-time as in, since 6th grade.  She is one of the craftiest people I know.  I think she can make anything.  And one of the most creative!  She has some of the funnest (funnest?) items in her shop.  I especially love the idea behind her "Box of Blooms".  A unique way to let someone know they are loved, cherished, and remembered.  I just adore it.  And who can resist a baby in a crocheted helmet?

Natalie makes the most gorgeous hand stitched hoops.  These are just perfect for any girls space.  Grown or little.  A super creative way to get truth on your walls.  I can't wait to own one of these someday.

Another multi-talented lady.  Nicole recently surprised us with some prints she designed, but I'm talking today about her funky and stylish jewelry!  Perfect for a stocking stuffer.  Or, stop by and take a look at her prints that I am eyeing for a future brothers room.  

There you have some of my faves.  Hopefully this will give you some ideas for those hard-to-find people.  Or maybe something to add to YOUR list.  In any case, you are helping to support a handmade-creating Mama and that makes the gift that much more meaningful.

I was not asked to or compensated in any way for recommending any of these products.  I just love these items and the ladies that make them!

December 14, 2012

come Lord Jesus come

These are my people.  My sweet littles are home.  Safe.  Tucked in bed.  And I'm holding them close tonight.

I have no words to express the ache I feel for those whose arms are empty tonight.  It's a tragedy in the worst way, and my Mama heart just burns with anger and fury over the evil in this world.

I want to cry, but I also want to scream.

This fallen world.  There IS more.

There IS a kingdom.

And one day it WILL reign in it's fullness on a new, sinless earth.

That day is not today.  Today, there is still sin.  Today, there is still pain.  Tears.  The deepest ache.

Until then, we pray.  Your kingdom come.  We seek his His truth to reign in our lives.  Your will be done.  And we become the hands and feet.  On earth as it is in heaven. 

Come, Lord Jesus, come.  

*written in response to the elementary school shootings in Newtown, CT this morning.  Heavy hearts pray peace over those who lost.

December 13, 2012

evening coffee

Most of my coffee dates these days are in the evening.  The kiddos are snuggled in bed and that cues mommy time.

So, if I wanted some one-on-one coffee time, chances are it is going to be at 7:30pm or later.

This also means I'm drinking decaf.

So, welcome.

If you came to my house right now you would see legos and race cars strewn around the floor.  I've decided it can wait until tomorrow.  The tree is lit.  The coffee is made.  And I'm ready to kick up my feet and sip slowly.

If you were here tonight, I'd probably ask you how your day was.  And when it was my turn I'd share about how this toddler stage has brought with it new challenges.  I'd talk about my desire to teach grace over punishment and the struggle I have when deciding how to discipline.  I'd tell you that Jude's breath holding spells seem to be coming back, and it just breaks my heart.  And that he has been a real Mama's boy, which doesn't so much break my heart, since I know it is a phase that I will miss one day.  It only makes getting things done a bit more difficult.

I'd also probably tell you that I think often about our future family.  What it will look like.  And my struggle with wanting to have a plan or even control of it all.  And I want to know right now what it is going to look like.  I would tell you we aren't done having biological kids, but that I still have a heart for adoption and I have no idea what that looks like for our family.  Only that I do hope that it does have a place for our family somehow, someday.

That would probably get me on the topic of my house.  My small house and my growing family.  I'd tell you that we are eager to have more space, but not eager enough that we rush.  I'd tell you that I've come to grips with the fact that I will likely have three children in a small house.  And I'm learning contentment.  While at the same time praying that the cards all fall into place when the time is right.

I'd tell you that I'm starting to meet with a college girl to disciple her.  And how many days I feel incredibly inadequate.  Days where I have been overly frustrated in motherhood and days where I am tired and spiritually under-fed.  I buy into the lies that I have to have it all together to pour into another's life.  Truth is, I really believe it is the opposite.  She'll see Christ in my weakness and I believe that.

Somewhere in all of that, I'd practice listening.  I'd ask about your life.  Your kids.  Your marriage.  Your dreams.  Your time with the Lord.  And I'd do my best to affirm.  Encourage.  Share in the triumphs and the tears.

And before you know it, it's been two hours and our eyelids are heavy.  But I'm still all ears if you have something left to share.


December 11, 2012

be the right kind of friend

You may not know this, but...

I'm married to a rock star.

Yes, it's true.

One of the absolute best lead guitarists there is, I'm certain.

Pre-kids I used to go to all the shows.  The bar and loud music thing is fun, but it's not really my thing. Ya know?  I'm an introvert homebody married to an outgoing extrovert.  I'm perfectly fine with a movie in, but I would always go.  Because it was his thing.  He bleeds music and needs it in a way I can only somewhat understand.  And I've always tried my hardest to be supportive, even when it cost time and money.

That's a thing about men (at least my man).  I think joining in their hobby is a sort of love language.  Being a part of his music spoke his love language.  So I always was.

But since having kids, I hadn't been able to be a part of this piece of his life.  Shows that start at 11 and kids that go to bed at 7 don't mix well.  I hadn't even met most of his new band members.

But, I have a friend who pushed me on this.  You should go, she said.  I'll even watch your kids.

My friend who, has two littles just like I do and was probably ready to crash the second she walked through my door to watch my kids, offered her time.  Because she valued the quality of my marriage.  Like a good friend should.

You should dress up for him, she also said.  So I tried to find something without snot or spit-up on it.  I put on the big earrings and my favorite scarf and curled my hair.  And I was off.

It's so so important to have friends that push you to make your marriage better.  Who encourage you to speak your spouses love language.  Who doesn't just turn my struggles or frustration into an opportunity to complain and bash.  But goes back to who and what real love is.  Pointing me back to Christ.

Marriage is hard enough without friends encouraging negative attitudes.  And friends, we must protect it with all of our might.

In the recent weeks, I've learned of too many personal friends of mine getting separated, divorced, or stories of infidelity.  My heart is so heavy in this way.  Satan hates marriage, that's for sure.

And I was so very encouraged by my friend who took it upon herself to make sure I was able to be a good wife.  And I felt encouraged to be the same kind of friend back.

Friends don't encourage friends to talk bad about their husbands.

Friends don't encourage friends to entertain thoughts that tear apart oneness.

But friends fight for their friends marriage alongside them.

And a wife goes to her husband's show because of it.

Thank you, Molly!! :-)

*linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped