Monday, February 16, 2015

Our Greatest Gift

We've had some sunny days lately. Not just cold winter sunny...but the kind of sunny that makes you think that spring is just around the corner

And Harry happened to be wearing a cute new button down shirt (a style that he rarely lets me put on him), so I felt like it was the perfect time for a mini-photoshoot in the front yard.

I'm definitely no photographer. I have a nice camera and lens but there's still a lot that I need to learn to be able to take great photos. Especially when my favorite subject is a wiggly 3-year-old boy.

These may be not be as crisp as I'd like them to be, but his sweet little expressions were just too cute to keep to myself. He truly is our greatest gift!!!

Oh this funny boy. He cracks us up daily. You can follow his "quotes" on my twitter account (there should be a link at the top of my blog). Yesterday I told him he could be my gardener this summer (he was helping me pull a few weeds in the front yard). His response "Okay Mom, I be your garden man!" He brought it up several times later in the evening, so I'm hoping he was serious. I could use a lot of help in the yard work department this season. It's definitely not my forte, but with this cutie helping me, maybe I'll get better at it! ;)

So we leave tomorrow morning for our vacation without this handsome little man. I know it's going to be SO GOOD for our marriage. A whole week to just enjoy time together in a beautiful setting. It sounds like a dream. And I also know that we're going to miss Harry a LOT! But he's in very capable hands while we're gone and I know he'll have a blast hanging out with my it'll be a win-win for us all. Plus...the reunion when we get back will be extra sweet! I'm already looking forward to picking him up from school next Tuesday. We get in around noon so we'll be able to pick him up after his nap :) 

Well, I'm signing off for the next week. But you better believe I'll be back with pics from our trip when we get back!!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

...Up Next

2 0 1 5    Y E A R    M A P

Month One:  M E D I A

Month Two:  P O S S E S S I O N S

Month Three:  F O O D

Month Four:  W A S T E

Month Five:  C L O T H E S

Month Six:  S P E N D I N G

Month Seven:  S T R E S S

.    .    .

M O N T H    T W O   -   P O S E S S E S S I O N S

Josh and I are taking a vacation in EIGHT days.


We seriously cannot wait.

This is our first vacation without Harry. We've left him overnight a couple of times, but never for a full-blown vacation. I know we'll miss him like crazy...but we really need this. After losing the baby this fall it's been a tough go. While I'm doing so much better mentally and emotionally, the loss really took a toll and life just hasn't slowed down. With work, the holidays, and Josh moving into a new detective position, we've found that our time together is limited and usually reserved for our most tired moments. Quality time just the two of us is practically a miracle.

So I figured it'd be best to start "month two" when we return. I should also probably reread this section of  Jen Hatmaker's book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" before I launch in.

Maybe that'll be some of my vacation reading.

I'm actually JAZZED to be getting rid of possessions!

I've got a pile of clothing that I've already prepared to give away, but I anticipate that this will only be the tip of the iceberg. Coming out of a season of lots of giving/receiving, I'm excited to scour our belongings and find meaningful ways to give our stuff to people who need it much more than we do.

I just read this convicting portion of Mark today at church. When a rich man came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life, this was Jesus' response:
"And Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, 'You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.' Disheartened by the saying, he [the man] went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."  Mark 10:21-22 ESV
Oh, how I want to respond differently than this man. What a shame that he walked away. How sad that he turned from Jesus and chose his possessions over the only One who can bring us freedom, peace, and salvation.

I want to choose Jesus over my possessions. And I think that God has a lot to teach me in this area.

So when we return from vacation, I'll be back here to blog about this next area of fasting.

 Lord please humble me and show me how You long for me to change in this area of my life!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

MEDIA :: Reflections

Well it's clearly February. I thought it might be a good idea to sit down and reflect a little on my blog about how the Media Fast went and what I learned.

Surprisingly, a month without media went pretty quickly. I missed TV the most at first, but now that I made it through the first month I hardly think about watching it. The only show I've watched in the past week was Parenthood. I missed the last four episodes of the series (as they aired during my fast) and since I've followed the whole series and loved all of the characters, I enjoyed seeing how they wrapped up the show. There were many tears as I said goodbye the the Braverman family; I'm not ashamed to admit it. I may go back and watch the final episode one more time. It was just so good!

Aside from Parenthood though, I have had no desire to watch TV. Netflix has remained untouched, and I still find myself listening to music or reading books which is a quieter and more fulfilling change.

On the other hand, I have been happily indulging in Instagram. It was the first thing I did on February 1st was redownload Instagram. And I don't regret getting back on. I did "unfollow" quite a few accounts that I used to follow. Not because they're not inspiring people (many Christian authors, and women who run businesses and/or fabulous blogs), but I find that with too many accounts to keep up with I was checking Instagram too frequently, or breezing through trying to "catch up" but rarely able to take the time to actually look at the photos in my feed.

With less photos to peruse, and less of a "pull" to my phone now that I broke my habit of constantly checking feels good to be back on. I like seeing a few inspiring photos, and little peeks into the daily lives of my friends and family.

I took a month off. It was nice to have a breather, and now I can come back with a fresh perspective and a mind that's not compulsively opening the app whenever I grab my phone.

Overall, the fast slowed me down. It reminded me that I don't have to be "plugged in" to my technology all the time in order for my life to be meaningful. God spoke to me in various ways, and reminded me of the importance of relationship maintenance. The kind that takes intentionality and face-to-face quality time. Some positive changes have resulted and I'm looking forward to becoming a better friend in 2015.

I feel the beginning of a change that God has been working on in my heart. It's starting to take shape and so far it looks like a more "present" version of myself.

As I keep journeying through this year, I'm excited to see what God continues to do. He's nudging me to change. And He's equipping me to...with a tender and gentle grace that says "I am with you" and "I will never leave you" in the process.

Now I better go check back on my first blog to see what I had planned to fast from next. I wrote it in a blog post, but should probably write it out on paper ;) lol!