A new chapter.

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Is it just me, or has summer has gone by in the blink of an eye? Just 19 days left until we move into our new home and the clock is ticking. On top of moving and packing, there’s lots of change happening around here. This summer will definitely go down as a new beginning for our whole family.

Perhaps the biggest change affects the girls.

On September 8th, the day after Labor Day, the girls will officially be going to school.

There are various reasons why Morgan and I made this decision. I can tell you it wasn’t easy but it was the obvious one and one that I’m quickly coming to terms with and embracing as each day passes.

Looking back, I can now see the Lord’s hand in this as He gently placed this possibility on my heart last summer. Even though we always said we took homeschooling year by year, in my heart, I guess I wanted to believe we would homeschool for the whole duration. Since last summer, I went through several periods of denial, hard-headedness, avoidance, and fear. I finally got to a point where I was humbled enough to accept the fact that OK…maybe ONE DAY down the road, this would/could happen. But in all honesty, that’s where I wanted to leave it.

Little did I know, ONE DAY is suddenly HERE. And all those loose pieces that maybe didn’t make sense as they were happening, just fell into place. 

Ultimately, my sentimental emotions and the fact that I would miss the girls terribly did not win out. Neither did my selfishness, pride, or anxiety about sending them to school for the FIRST TIME EVER after 6 years of homeschooling. We had to choose what would be best for the girls during this particular season of life. Undeniably, for our family, it was school.

I almost cried in the principal’s office last week. That’s how tender my heart was at the thought of letting the girls go. I did cry on the way home. Why? Because I just knew in my heart God was asking me to TRUST Him with this and I’m not gonna lie, it was hard.

It’s still hard.

But God. He is FAITHFUL. He knew I couldn’t let them go unless all the little details fell into place. And He knew it would be very difficult for me to say yes unless Morgan led the way. We couldn’t be more pleased with the girls’ new school. It’s really an answer to prayer and then some. In many ways, it’s an extension of our church and I could not ask for a better transition for them.

And what about the girls? How are they feeling? Are they scared, nervous, excited?? YES, YES, and YES!!! They are all of those things.

 

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I’m so grateful they have each other. Nine going on 10 is a big change, in and of itself. They are not little anymore. They’re becoming beautiful young women. We could not be more proud of how smart, strong, brave and mature they are. We’ve planted the roots, now it’s time to let them bloom.

 

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We look to the Lord because we trust Him to know what’s best for our family. We cling to His word and His promises because we know He is faithful. We go when He says GO because we want to obey and grow and live the life He’s called us to live, even if it scares us. And although it makes us uncomfortable, we understand that faith means taking risks. And Jesus didn’t come, just so we can play it safe. He’s proven to us time and time again, He knows what’s best and He is good.

Change is undoubtedly the hardest thing in life to go through. Rarely do we ever feel completely ready for it. Sometimes, opportunities are presented to us and we just have to take that leap of faith to see what God has in store.

I’m sure I’ll be writing much more on this subject of school but for now, prayers would be greatly appreciated during this time of transition for our family. Most of all, if you see the girls, have an encouraging word and be excited for them as they start this new chapter of their lives.

And maybe give mama a hug, too. :)

Mamas, teach your boys how to dance.

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One evening, Morgan took the girls to Tae Kwon Do (TKD) so Zach and I got some extra “mommy and me” time. I had the music on so I began dancing with my boy in the living room. And then it hit me. Yes, this.

We mamas have to do more of this. We have to teach our boys how to dance.

I imagined myself dancing cheek to cheek with him on his wedding day and I got all teary eyed.

Lord willing, let it be so.

But I also imagined a free and fun kind of dancing. The kind where your hearts sings and you’re overflowing with happiness and abandon.

 

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After all, who really  enjoys being a wallflower? Life is not meant to be lived apprehensively up against a wall. Life is a gift! It’s meant to be celebrated, used, and sometimes, risked. As mamas, we get the privilege of showing our children what that might look like. But as I’m joyfully swinging Zach around, I’m reminded that it’s not my steps I want him to follow. I want him to listen for the beat of what makes his own spirit soar.

For some men, stepping out on the dance floor could mean the equivalent of pure social torture. I want my son to have the courage to step away from that wall. To possibly risk embarrassment but overcome it with his desire to truly live in the moment. Hopefully, one day, there might be a girl who will want him to lead. Hand in hand, cheek to cheek, one awkward step at a time. Lord willing, he and his forever dance partner will find their groove together.

Dancing, is of course a metaphor for joyful living and embracing the moment. So much of that is a choice we get to make every single day. 

Mamas, let’s not be wallflowers. Let’s not raise wallflowers. Let’s take make opportunities to dance with our kids and show them how it’s done.  :)

P.S. I hope you dance.

And just for some giggles. Check out Mama Song.

Is blogging dead?

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It’s true. Many long-time, influential bloggers are calling it quits. Why? It seems it’s become too laborious to regularly pen a provoking thought or conversation. As someone who likes to write, I get that.

Blogs have been a wildly popular medium for about 15 years but with the expansion of social media and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, some say blogging as we know it, is simply dying.

I recently went 16 days without writing a word here. I’m pretty sure it’s the longest I’ve ever gone in over 9 years. I can tell you it didn’t happen on purpose (computer issues) but during that time, I tried to embrace the silence and view it as sort of a summer break.

As a result of not having a computer, I relied more on my phone. For me, the smart phone is a convenience (and a luxury) but it certainly doesn’t satisfy any sort of creativity or expression that longs to flow from my heart. More than ever, I found myself thinking in shorter, quicker segments and therefore my conversations, attention span, and my patience began to mimic just that. With all of our modern conveniences, I find it way too easy to get swept up in the hurricane of a society that craves speed, instant gratification, and mere morsels, rather than any meat or substance.

We are far too easily pleased, aren’t we? Instead of chewing on a thought or really savoring the beauty of a story, we want the quick, condensed version so we can scroll ahead and move on. Maybe you’re even doing that now? :)

A funny thing happened while I was on my unintentional break. I desired to write even more.

In fact, as the days passed, it became clearer to me that I must write more. I realized it’s an integral part of who I am and how I process things. I usually have many thoughts and opinions on various topics rolling around in my head and sometimes, they don’t become clear until I write them down. For a long time, I feel like I’ve had writer’s block. Sure, I can easily chalk it up to “mommy brain” and the season of life I’m in right now. But other times, maybe I’m just a little afraid to share what’s really on my heart. You know, just in case someone might disagree with me or find out I’m not who they thought I was. 

So, it just becomes easier to refrain from meaningful words and record pictures here instead. At times, it’s all I’ve got. Don’t get me wrong. We love the pictures. We love looking back and remembering all the special moments of our lives.

But what about this blogging business? Is it really dead?

For many, I suppose it is. The world is just moving too fast.

For me, this little piece of mine on the world wide web has never been about business. It’s never been about followers, comments, advertisements, fame, fortune, or having a post go viral.

I’ll continue to write because I have a song to sing and a story to tell. And for a long time, maybe I let the outside world distract me or maybe I let the whisper that said your story is not interesting enough to settle in. But until the Good Lord closes this book of mine, I’ll keep on. Even if my writing is bad. Even if it’s only for myself, my family, and a small handful of friends.

I want to write more bravely and honestly. Sharing the things that stir my heart, create passion, and maybe even scare me a little. Sometimes, my perfectionism gets the best of me. It lures me into captivity and I become chained by my own fears. Before we know it, we’re immobile and our souls become cowards.

But the title of this story is called Brave Soul. And thank God, the story’s not over yet. 

 

SHe who is brave 

Come on.  Let’s be brave together.

Birthdays, brunch, and a little bling!

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Melissa and Jill. These two girlfriends are so precious to me! The fact that their birthdays are in the same week made this celebration EXTRA special!!

 

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We were all in the same CBS core group this past year and Shannon will soon be my new neighbor!

After church, we had such a sweet time sharing brunch together at Wilma & Frieda’s. The food was delectable, the gifts were fun and sparkly, and the company, simply divine.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful sweet friends! I’m so grateful to God for both of you.  

“Friendship is a wonderful thing. The love of friendship is often stronger than the love of brotherhood and sisterhood. There is a cord of tenderness and appreciation binding those who are friends which is lovely beyond words to express it…”

“…A person is made better or worse by his friends. If they are well chosen and faithful they build up and make strong the best that is in one. Every true hearted girl loves her friends with a devotion that beautifies her life and enlarges her heart.”

–Karen Andreola, “Beautiful Girl”

Thank you for making life more beautiful, ladies!