March 28, 2013

what two has taught me

How can I even put into words the change that happened in my life two years ago when he was born?  My own flesh and blood.  My heart, staring back at me.  A love carrying a responsibility and joy that I've never felt before.

Two years ago, 7:23am, my sweet Jude Michael was born.

And sweet he is.  In-between the non-stop running, jumping, train-and-tractor-loving, rowdy two-year-old that he now is.  The kid daily breaks a sweat just running in circles around our house.  But he always was a Mama's boy and he still is.

Even at two, he often wants to be held.  Asking for a hug.  They may only last for .2 seconds, but this boy needs affection.  He needs his snuggles and kisses.  And then, just like that, he's done.  Off to build legos or play race cars.
It's only been two years out of my twenty-eight-and-a-half, but I still find it difficult to remember life without him.  But I do know that I am a better person because of him.

He's taught me a bit about selflessness.  And how I'm far more selfish than selfless.

He's taught me about patience.  And that I don't have nearly enough without whispering prayers throughout my day.

He's taught me about responsibility and intentionality.  Two things I carry on my shoulders.

He's taught me to not take life so darn serious and just be goofy once in awhile.  (Just ask him if he's a duck.)

He's taught me that trains, tractors, bulldozers, cranes, tow-trucks, mixers, diggers, and dump trucks are very very important and they each have a specific name and purpose.

He's taught me that the 5 second rule really exists.

He's taught me that childhood is not as long as it once felt.

He's taught me that the seemingly monotonous day-to-day routine is where the kingdom work happens.

He's given me more of a sneak peek of the unconditional love that the Father has for us.

Jude Michael.  The first most precious gift ever given to me.  I am so blessed to be your Mama and to guide you in this journey as you grow.  You are a joy, and I love you.  Even when you are acting your age.

Happy 2nd Birthday, my sweet boy.

March 21, 2013

life shared :: Kristen

“Mom, I want you to play Mario and save the princess!  Can you save the princess?” 

This is what my 3-year-old, Kaitlyn, was saying from the backseat as we were driving home from dropping my 2nd & 1st grade daughters off at school. 

“You want to just sit around and watch me play video games today?”I asked.  Yeah!, was her reply. 

Recently in our house, my oldest two have learned to play Super Mario Brothers on our Wii.  The cry around our house has been, “Save the princess!”

My sister and I used to sit and play Super Mario on our old Nintendo years ago.  We  had so much fun conquering and chatting and bonding. 

I haven't had (or made) much time to attempt to play the new Super Mario on Wii, but suffice it to say that I'm out of practice!

While I was driving back home, when Kaitlyn asked me to save the princess, I suddenly began reviewing times in my life when I have called out to God to save the Princess (me). 

There was the year of experiencing three miscarriages.  There was the emergency delivery, NICU stay and ongoing issues with our oldest daughter.  There were times of financial distress as a one income family.  There were times of seemingly never ending stress as a mom of two toddlers who were 18 months apart, one with sensory processing disorder which rendered her hyperactive and strong-willed.  There was my husband's brain tumor.  There was my husband's job loss.  There was relocation.  There was hospital bed rest because of pregnancy complications with our third daughter, and her NICU stay.  There have been streams of medical bills. Even now, there are smaller things.

I have cried out for my ultimate Hero – God.  He may not always do things in the way that I envision, but He is there.  He has come through to rescue me from these curve balls that at the time made my world stressful and anxious.  He loves me.  He has adopted me as His daughter, His princess. 

Just as Hannah cried out in her prayer, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your handmaid and [earnestly] remember, and not forget Your handmaid...”, she is asking God, her Hero, to save the princess.  Indeed, we see a few verses later, “...and the Lord remembered her.”  He answered her prayer.  I've experienced this over and over again in my life. 

How about you?  Do you know that God loves you?  Do you know that you are His daughter, His princess?  Do you cry out to Him to save the Princess (you)? 

“Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you,” 
Isaiah 43:4a

God cares about you more than you could fathom. He even has the numbers of hairs on your head counted. (Matt. 10:30) Your name is tattooed on the palms of His hands. (Is. 49:16)  Nothing can separate us from God's love.  (Rom. 8:35-39)  Bask in those awe inspiring truths today. 

God can and will save His princesses!
Kristen is captivated by Jesus; wife to her high-school sweetheart; mom of 3 amazing girls.  Kristen lives in central OH, where she writes, blogs, is in MOPS leadership and lives gluten-free. Her blog is On Wings & Waves, where she writes about faith & spiritual growth, parenting her daughter with Sensory Processing Disorder, gluten-free recipes, and advocating for children.  Kristen also contributes to the blog Fancy Little Things for their healthy self and gluten-free topics.  She is currently co-authoring a book about the spiritual issues surrounding miscarriage.  Her eBook, 31 Days of Prayers for the Busy Woman is available for free on her blog in PDF format, or you can purchase it on Amazon for Kindle. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the book go to Zana's Fund, a special needs orphan in Lithuania. 

March 20, 2013

remembering his name

The big one's vocabulary is exploding these days.  I adore the absolute joy on his face as he finally has words to express what has been going on in that little brain for months and months.

This morning he is walking around saying, "I Jude!  I big!".  I'm putting the dinner in the crock pot and he's weaving in and out of my legs as I attempt to measure the broth and seasoning.  I feel him hug my legs as he says, "Mama?  Mama?  Mama?"

"Yes, bubba?"

"I Jude," he points to himself.

"Yes, I know.  I named you."

And as I remember his name and the story and meaning behind it my heart swells.  Praise.  A precious gift, this boy was.  So desperately wanted.  Not that my love and want for him is any different than that for Isaac.  But Isaac was the sort that I didn't know how our family needed him until he was part of it.  We longed for our first child for years before we met him.

Later in his room, I get his attention.  "Look at Mama's eyes," I say.

After repeating myself a time or three, he looks.

"I love you.  With my whole heart.  You are so special to me."

I'm trying to remember to tell him this every day.  It's easy to let a day pass without looking him in the eye and making sure that he hears these words.  That I am for him.

He smirks.


Did I tell you he turns 2 next week?  

Still.  I try to take this moment to remember that this is how our Father feels for us.  The type of unconditional love I feel for this boy that grew in me and that I named.  The ownership and responsibility I feel.  How much more does the Father that designed us care for us?  So much.

March 18, 2013

the thing about being 8.5 months old

Here's the thing about being 8.5 months old. We're ending one season and right on the very edge of the next. A friend once told me that she felt that babyhood seemed to end at 6 months and toddlerhood started to peek through soon after. For us, that season seems to have been stretched out.

The first-time mom in me would be eager to see my sweet boy conquer the new feats. Crawling. Climbing. Cruising. But the second-time mom that I am knows that will come all too soon. So, I'm not rushing it. And I'm not concerned.

For us, being 8.5 months old means that crawling is on the horizon, but not yet here. It means being content to sit and watch big brother and roll in laughter, without necessarily feeling the need to keep up. It means napping twice a day, eating lots and lots of baby food, and needing complete and utter focus and silence to complete a nursing session without distraction.

Being 8.5 months means getting on hands and knees to only scoot backwards and deciding that rolling is a more effective means of transportation. It means not liking it at all when mom even considers leaving the room, much less being out of sight.  It means that everything in sight must be touched and tasted.  It means making the sweetest cheeky cheese smile ever seen.

It also means that the baby days are quickly passing by.  I know that it is literally a matter of days before this boy takes off crawling, standing, and cruising.  I know that in a matter of months he'll be walking.  And the little peanut that contentedly sits and snuggles in my lap will be on. the. go. and will resemble more of a boy than a baby.

If you ask, yes, it makes me sad.  I ADORE the baby stage.  The squishy, cooing, gurgling, bitty baby stage.  I am already feeling the itch for #3 but sanity tells me that we need to wait.  I sometimes worry that I'll never feel done having kids even when I need to be.

So, yes, I'm sad that my baby is growing up.  I suppose I better get used to it.

But on the other hand, I have another boy who is turning two in a matter of days (10 to be exact)!  And with every new stage I find myself more and more in love with being a Mama, more and more in awe of our Creator, and more and more challenged to be on my knees before Him.  While, in my opinion, the toddler stage is far more challenging as a Mama than the newborn stage, I absolutely adore each and every stage that Jude has gone through, including this one.  He continues to grow and learn and blow me away with his humor and his smarts.  I've never once thought, ya know - I don't like this Jude very much.  I wish he would go back to being baby Jude.  Because we've come so far in two years and I love every part of his two year journey.

So, while I am sad to see my little bug growing bigger, approaching a rite of passage of sorts into toddlerhood, I know that I will love the next stage as well.  And the next.  And each part of his journey, because I have the pleasure of watching him grow and learn and explore the world for the first time.  And it is simply amazing.  I don't think that will ever get old.


psst... Did you see the $100 giveaway happening this week on the blog?  Don't forget to enter!

March 16, 2013

when pruning brings life :: guest post at Fancy Little Things

I found myself face to face with God's sovereignty.  Three years ago, after a journey that involved miscarriage, devastation, and the bleak understanding that control was not mine to have, I started to let go.

You would think that, in those circumstances, the stark reality of my own lack of control would find me further in the pits.  But that isn't what I found at all.

It was a Sunday morning at church, with a tear streamed face, that I felt God say, "I am more powerful than science.  Trust me."  In that moment I finally felt freedom to surrender my worry-filled anxiety and desire to control.  And, in return, I found hope.  I found unfathomable love.  And I found unexplainable peace.

Pruning is a difficult thing.  Cutting off limbs and buds, many times that may appear healthy to the outsider.  But the gardner knows that what is better is yet to come.  By removing this limb or bud, we can grow this tiny plant into a beautiful garden some day.  But only if it remains tended by the gardener....  

{big} P.S.  Have you entered the giveaway for a $100 Visa gift card yet?  Take a peek below and enter to win!


$100 giveaway :: a little St.Patty's blessing

 photo StPattys_zps54e4bc73.jpg

There's a few things I'll never turn down.  Free money, and a simple way to bless someone else being two of them.  So, when I heard of this opportunity to gift one of YOU with a good ole' St. Patty's Blessing, I couldn't say no! 

I'm partnering with the lovely ladies above to give away a

$100 Visa Gift Card

That's right, $100 to spend on whatever your little heart desires! Need new clothes, now you can go get some. How about some new dishes or linens? Done and done! Don't want to spend your own money on a new vacuum for your Spring cleaning, well then here you go!  Or maybe an anonymous gift to a family in need?  This giveaway could be a blessing to anyone!

There is only one mandatory entry.

We just want you to let us know what you would spend your hundred bucks on!

And the other entries are bonus entries to up your chances of winning!

(but seriously why wouldn't you want extra entries?)

The giveaway ends on March 23rd.

Good Luck!

March 14, 2013

life shared :: Samantha

I'm doing a bit of a Thursday theme over here, sharing stories of other ladies whose hearts I love.  I'm so happy to have Samantha from The Peanuts Gang sharing her heart over here today!  

* * * * * * 

Hi! {waves} I'm Samantha - a mom to two little fellas and wife to one big fella. When I'm not blogging, you can find me chasing Charlie & Jack, figuring out how to hire a maid, and making a very part-time job work amidst it all. Thank YOU for taking time to listen to my story!

Almost seven years ago, around this time of year, I was about to embark on a journey that I had no clue awaited me. What started as a surprise pregnancy in law school turned into a struggle to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and have babies.

Almost three years after the fact, my blessing finally arrived in January 2009. Fourteen months after that, dreams were dashed again, only to be once again fulfilled in January 2011. Three miscarriages, two sons, one story.

Five months after Charlie's birth, I felt led to share in church about how God had blessed my life. How He had been so faithful in my darkest hour. After service, I was stopped by a man I didn't really know told me how much my story had touched him. Another woman told me about her friend who was struggling with these same issues and a friendship was formed. Two years after that, my path crossed an acquaintance who I began to connect and chat with about her difficulty with having a baby as well. She suffered two miscarriages. And each time, my heart broke for her...because I knew just how she felt. A short time later, her blessing arrived. In December 2011. In the form of a bouncing baby boy. And that man who had been touched by my story? Her husband.

Months before he even knew this would come about in his own life. The other friendship that formed was a quick bond. I watched and prayed with her as she continued to suffer over the child God didn't seem to want to give her. A miscarriage. Then a few years later, she hears my story that Sunday. Another miscarriage. And another. We lean on one another as we each suffer through what were our third miscarriages. But my second Miracle arrives. And so she waits. and waits. She wonders WHY in the world would God do this to her. She wonders if she will die alone or why God just won't give her the one thing she so desperately wants. She tries medicine and treatments. Her struggle now turns to get pregnant and even that doesn't happen. A family struggle and all extra efforts for a baby stop. She focuses. She prepares to move forward. To progress. And in an instant. Two lines. Seven years in the making, her miracle is on its way in April - a bouncing baby boy. No treatments, no medicine, just the Healer and Finisher of our Faith. And so I send up a Thank You to Him. And tiptoe out of the rooms of my sleeping miracles and know that my suffering was not in vain. Our journeys are not our own.

“The best things are never arrived at in haste. God is in no hurry; His plans are never rushed.”

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March 12, 2013

when I choose to be brave

Self-confidence is a valued thing in our culture.  Know who you are and embrace it.  Don't care what other people think.  Be true to yourself.

Be a confident woman.

But is anyone really that confident in themselves when they are truly living boldly?  Taking risks?

Perhaps I am alone in this.  I'm willing to embrace it if I am.  But, I often find that in the areas of my life where I am the most passionate, I tend to experience the most fear.

There is that defeating little voice that says I'm not enough.  It breeds insecurity, saying, who cares about that?  Who do you think you are to do this?  Or simply, that's just dumb.

And it totally snuffs out my fire.  Instead of confidence and passion, I start to feel insecure and even embarrassed.

I start to believe that voice, if I'm not careful.

But what if hearing that voice doesn't mean I'm not qualified?  That what I am made of isn't enough?  Or that it is a just plain dumb thing to do?  What if it means that I need to jump?  Take that risk.  Write that blog post.  Take that job.  Say "no" to that one more thing.  Draft that book.  Be brave.

Fear is often part of the territory when it comes to being brave.  But if that thing that is stirring in my heart is a nudging from the Spirit... asking me to come alive and do what I was created to do, it is a risk I must take.  To express the parts of me that need to be said and need to be heard.  Then I don't need to be confident in myself, but I need to be confident that the one who created me has a plan that must be carried out.  He's telling me that I'm the one for the job.

If I'm seeking Him, there's little room left for insecurity.  For fear.  Because if I believe Him, I know he's got that covered.  Knowing who I am, first and foremost, as a daughter of the King.  With a voice and a message and a reason to be bold.

And we know that Satan has every reason to want to keep us from being bold, radical, in our lives.  He wants us to think that we must have it perfected and be confident in ourselves to have anything worth being bold for.  But in living out of ourselves, we will only run dry.

So, today, me taking the risk is mothering in grace and believing that (with His help) I am enough.  Taking that risk means that I'm going to trust that he has me writing these words here in this little internet space for a reason, and it is not something I should feel insecure or timid about.  Taking that risk means taking my dreams to Him and not being afraid to see them come alive.  It means that I should not be afraid to be my unique self, with all my passions and callings.

What is the voice of insecurity saying to you?  Chances are, that voice isn't conviction, but fear.  And chances are, this is an area you may need to stand in the face of fear and choose to be bold.

March 7, 2013

life shared :: Chrissy

I hope you all will enjoy reading some of Chrissy's heart today!  She and I got connected via some mutual blog friends, and found out that we live in the same city!  I have written for her a couple of times and so it was long overdue that she share her heart over here.  I just love her story of redemption and the new creation that she is in Christ and her overflowing passion for Him.  Thanks for sharing, Chrissy!

I am honored to be here today with you. My name is Chrissy, and I write over at the PEARL blog.


Especially because I get to spend my birthday visiting such wonderful friends That’s right today’s my birthday I turned 31 this morning…

I wanted to take a few minutes and share with you how God has been working in my life these last 31 years…

I was born… Okay I won't start that far back...

God has worked some pretty big miracles in my life, they are miracles to me anyway.  He has blessed me with 3 healthy, joy filled, Jesus loving, very outgoing children.  He has forgiven me for making some pretty awful choices.  Even this past weekend at the image me set free conference He reminded me that he has forgiven me for having an abortion You can read about my story here.

He also reminded me that I do not need to be ashamed for my past. That my sin have been covered by his blood and now I am as white as snow.  Metaphorically and literally I am pastey white right now! Ha!

I am looking forward to this 31st year of life. I know God has an amazing plan for me and my story, the story he wrote just for me. I want to glorify him in my actions and my words.

journal from paper coterie

I can hardly keep back the excitement inside of all he has done for me.
I am truly a new creation. 

I would love for you to stop over and visit my blog when you have time Although i know it's hard to pull you self away from such an inspiring place as Lindsy’s, I’m sure she wont mind if you promise to come right back!

Have a great week friends. I will be praying for each of you. My birthday present to myself is to be able to pray for you. So please, in the comments leave me your prayer requests And be assured that this week I will spend extra time with my father praying for you!

let's get to know each other...

March 6, 2013

who inspires me

After my post about being more selective with my internet time, I had many people ask what exactly I changed, and also, whose blogs I do choose to follow.

I must say, I am still far from perfect in the iPhone use department, but I can say that I'm starting to make habit of resisting it in my moments of boredom.  And that in and of itself - allowing wonder and boredom at times, is so freeing.

The main thing I did was delete facebook off my iPhone completely.  I'm not near as tempted by twitter or instagram, so for me this was enough for me to detach a little bit.  I also turned off all of my notifications.  Even email.  I check on my terms, not when my iPhone notifies me.  I say when, not my iPhone.

I thought I'd share my top 10 go-to blogs.  The ones that, if I don't have time for anyone else, I am sure to check them regularly.  I read far more blogs than 10 (try about 175 I'm subscribed to) but these all have a special place in my "Favorite Writers" folder.

I will say, I like them all for different reasons.  Some, I love their writing.  Some, I love their wisdom.  Some, I love their friendship.

So, here you have it (in no particular order).

1) Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky
2) Sally Clarkson at I Take Joy
3) Amanda Williams at Life. Edited.
4) Jamie Martin at Steady Mom
5) Melissa Beaver at The Lovely Words
6) Lisa-Jo Baker at
7) Kat Lee at Inspired to Action
8) Aly Allen at Blossom & Vine
9) Cassidy Robinson at
10) Jessi Connolly at Naptime Diaries

Wow - that was a hard list to narrow down.  I feel like I could have done 11 or 12.

Oh, what the heck.

11) Kristin Cho at Lily & Light
12) Amy Davis at To Be Changed

Now go visit one or two of these ladies and say hello. :-)  Their words are worth hearing (in my opinion).  Uplifting.  Encouraging.  Inspiring.  Honest.  Genuine.  Making me want to be a better Mama and wife.

And stay tuned tomorrow, as I have a friend who so graciously is sharing part of her story here on my blog.  A story of redemption and truth.  I can't wait.

What are some your favorite blogs?  The ones you must check even if you only have a minute?

March 5, 2013

entering two with patience

With the coming and going of each season, I now find myself thinking back on the one before.  The changes happen so quickly with babies.  I often look between my two boys and am in awe at the difference only a short 15 months can make.

I am in awe of the many things I haven't needed to teach them.  I heard it once said that, "everyone needs to have two babies.  Because you think you did it all with the first one, and then the second one comes along and you realize how much it wasn't you."

I have a boy who is turning TWO this month.  A mere two years ago he was still kicking my ribs and we were planning for a birth that would go completely differently than I had planned.  But today he is running, and jumping, and talking about chop-choo trains and tractors and bulldozers and says "please" and "thank you, mama" and melts my heart with his mischievous smile.

Oh, the mischief.

Did I say that we are nearing TWO?

You never quite know what you are going to get.  And I know it's not his fault, it is just being two.  An answer of "no" may get a calm and acceptable response, or it might get an all-out kicking and screaming-bloody-murder, terrible-twos tantrum.

These are the teachable moments.

For him, yes, but mostly for me.

For him, I believe that this is mostly a stage that will pass.  Of course I try to teach him acceptable responses to anger, to use his words instead of screaming, and to make good choices.

But he doesn't have to take me with him into those tantrums.  Oh, how often I realize that I, too, want to stomp my feet and demand my way with an attitude and heart not all that different from my two-year-olds.  But the problem with this is not only the juvenile behavior, but the way this attitude effects how I view my child.  My heart is no longer in a position to teach and love when I let frustration overwhelm me.

But I do.  Often.  And I hate it.

Dinner time and bed time are often trigger-moments for this two-year-old.  I have learned that, while I must give him a warning a few minutes in advance about what we are about to do, I also must prepare myself to be patient.  Not just yelling, "Jude, sit down for dinner" and expecting an obedient child, only to find myself frustrated when it doesn't go my way yet another night.

For me, it is mind over emotion.  To be patient with my son.  To not hurry him.  To give him options, with the opportunity to make good choices.  To praise him often.

And if it results in the dead-weight-screaming-two-year-old (as it often does), I at least have control over myself.  To continue to be patient and not let the frustration get the best of me.  To not act in anger.  And to not let my blood boil.

It is like turning off your emotions when you feel that they could get the best of you. Going numb to the frustration and irritation and just choosing something else instead.  At least, this is what works for me.  Allowing me to stay consistent and clear-minded.

It allows me to extend more grace.

Do I do this all the time?  Far from it.  But I'm aware of it.  How often do I chose to give in to frustration and anger and complaining?  I know I have a choice.  I have a choice in my parenting, in my marriage, and in my everyday interactions.  A choice that can either turn your heart toward someone or away from them.  Always choosing the relationship or choosing self first.  That's what it comes down to, it seems.

I pray that in all the moments, the good and the frustrating ones, that my heart would be turned toward my child and that he would know I am on his team.  I fail and I will continue to do so.  But in the mere two years I've gotten to know this boy, I know that he is always watching.  So perceptive and intuitive. Understanding and picking up on far more than I know.  The terrible twos are only practice for the many years to come of needing to choose to turn my heart toward my child even when he wrongs me.  When he makes choices that aren't good.  Hoping that he'll see the same patience and unrelenting love that Christ has for us.

March 1, 2013

saving my moments :: why i am keeping distance from social media

The other night, we were having a difficult time getting Jude to eat his dinner.  This scene is not rare in our home.  In a final attempt to make the idea of eating dinner novel and enticing, we offered that he sit in Daddy's chair instead of his booster.  He took to the idea quickly and climbed right up.

Then he got down, ran into the living room to get his toy cell phone, and climbed back up again, placing his cell phone next to his plate.

Because that's what daddy does.  And that's what mommy does.

We are intentional about not staring at our phones during mealtimes, but what this told me is how much he notices little things like where our phones are placed.  He notices that our attention is distracted by the little box that beeps and buzzes at every email, facebook notification, or instagram like.

And I hate that.

I've made my thoughts clear before, about my utter irritation with everything being connected with my iPhone.  I have thought many days that I want to chuck the thing and get a simple phone again, just so the noise would be drowned out.  Then I remember that I am grateful for the apps that have truly simplified my life.  Yet, those apps that simplify just lead me right back to that device that irritates me so some days.

Sometimes I think it is just how I am wired.  Introverted and often feeling the need to get away and have alone time and privacy, but in an always-social always-connected world, feeling the pressure to "show up" and "keep up".  And then other days, I think that it might be me that is the problem.  Because with a phone that does everything, I have a hard time saying "no" to it and disconnecting myself, even when I badly want to.  I often think it is probably more a self-discipline and heart issue that I must work through.

But I have been thinking a lot lately about the boundaries of my social life.  As I'm realizing that I need to save some things for myself and not share them with the world, I need to decide what that looks like for me.

It may mean that there are some sites that I stay off of completely.  For my own sanity and need for privacy.

It might also mean that make an intentional decision to NOT instagram that perfect photo, because I want to keep that one just for me.

It might mean that I don't check my email or facebook on purpose.

It does mean that the filter by which I share and consume is getting smaller.

Because, not only do I feel the pressure to "keep up" in the sense that I have a status update or an instagram picture to show just how cool my life is {ha. ha.}, my consuming of everyone else's awesomely cook lives doesn't slip by without a subtle hint of comparison.

It's true.

Social media is the new Joneses.

We share the best of ourselves.  Although some share the worst of ourselves (which I will say, nobody likes a facebook rant).  We keep the doors open to our lives, readily available at all times.  But I ask why?

I say I blog for the sake of sharing life.  But there is such thing as over-sharing.  But isn't there some value to saving some of it for yourself?  Saving some words for face to face conversations.  Saving a conversation to be over coffee instead of via facebook for the world to see?  And building a community with people you can invest deeply in their lives.  Not only those you see on a screen.

Along with saving moments is just being in the moments.  And allowing boredom to provoke wonder.  Instead of boredom leading us to consume consume and consume some more, the lives of everyone around us instead of building into our own.

I've come to the conclusion that I need to be careful of how I live my life online.

I recently went through some blogs and instagram accounts and tweeters that I follow.  I unfollowed many.  Because I asked myself why?  Why do I follow people that I know I will never speak to again. Bloggers whose tone is negative or flaunty and stirs up a side of me I don't like.  Posts that don't build me up, but only tempt me to compare or frustrate.  Or that simply waste my time.  (which I believe is valuable, as I now see how quickly it goes by)

Something I do promise here is to be real and honest and genuine.  But I also seek wisdom in what I post.  And when.  Knowing that some things will always be kept private.

How do I deal with this said, social media exhaustion?  I'm praying for more self-discipline and wisdom.  To be mindful of how I interact with it.  To put the dang phone down when I don't need it and to never mindlessly have my eyes glued to it, consuming nothing worthwhile.  To be mindful of what I let in.  Knowing that I don't need to follow this blog and that.  This friend on instagram and that.  It's my choice what I consume, and I'm going to be more selective.  I think, for me, it also means that I simply stop going to sites that are triggers for me to waste time and feel emotionally drained.

All that to say, I love the community that I have found here.  I love that you read and encourage and support me.  Writing out my thoughts helps me process and learn and appreciate the blessings in my life.  Encouraging and sharing life continues to prove that real friendship can be found across the country with kindred spirits that I would have never known otherwise.  So, I will continue to show up here with intention.

But, for you, if my blog becomes just one more thing to distract from what's best and important, only adding to the noise, please feel free to choose the better thing.  I won't be offended.