Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Mom In Full Control (50% of the Time)

No boys, we are NOT taking care of your aunt’s dog. It’s too much work. I know you said you’d do everything, but YOU KNOW I’ll end up cleaning up poop. I know Bella’s cute, but I like our dog-free home. I know you think it’s nice to help your aunt, but we can help her in other ways. I hear you that it’d be fun, but honestly, I don’t even really like dogs. No. It’s not happening. Quit asking. I'm a firm "no" on this. 

And here we are taking care of Bella. 

The boys slept around the dog like she was a campfire. When I picked them up from school the next day, my kindergartner said, "I just wanted Bella all day long." I could not drive fast enough to get home to her, according to my boys. Bella’s in danger of being over-loved. 

It’s good to be in control of my life. #FiftyPercentOfTheTime


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Friday, March 17, 2017

What I'm Watching & Reading

I love great movies and reads. I especially love when people share with me the good stuff that's inspiring them. So I thought I'd start sharing things I love on my blog a little more. This is what's moved me lately:

1.  I don't want to wreck this movie by telling you the conclusion, but Arrival is a must see. My husband and I had great conversation about the "ah-ha" moment at the end. Plus, it's pretty tame so you can watch the movie with your kids - or at least with the kids in the room. (It might bore them.) How the movie makes you think at the end is relevant to everyone. It will make you less fearful of the hard things in life.

 

2. I also loved this article: The Best Marriage Advice From a Divorced Man. No matter where you are in your marriage, it's a great read. The message goes both ways. I promise, you'll come a way from this article with fresh insight to marriage. 

3. Why God Took So Long To Give Me a Baby is for anyone in the wait, no matter what you are waiting for. It's a great reminder that sometimes, there is a purpose for your wait. God is preparing something (or someone) better than you can even imagine. This is an encouraging read. 

If your reading or watching anything great, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Photography Tips

I'm sharing  ideas of how to capture the everyday lovely in your life. Try these kind of shots:

1. Silloutte pictures. 


2. Zoom in on one object in the shot. (And not necessarily the object you would think to highlight.)

3. Set your camera on the table or ground (or log). 

4. Capture motion. They're never still anyway, so embrace the movement.

And lastly, lower your expectations. I gave up on trying to control every aspect of the shot. If I just try and be creative with photographing what's in front of me, I usually end up with at least one shot I like. And if not, I can try again another time. 

PS - This is updated version of the camera and lens I use. It took me a long time to decide to spend that kind of money on my hobby, but I'm glad I did. Fantastic purchase.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Why You Should Persevere

My son’s basketball team doesn't win a ton. The whistle blows, shoes squeak, bounces echo and then the scoreboard ruins us. But GET OUT OF TOWN, at the last tournament, his team won three games in a row to claim overall second place. Even though going into the tournament they'd had some frustrating final scores - they knew to keep squaring up their shots, rebounding, and playing solid defense. So that's what they did. And their perseverance paid off.

What's going on in your life? Anything you need to persevere through?

For me, yesterday went awry and ended with disappointing news about something I desperately wanted to work out. But, I’d been there before and let negativity stronghold my thoughts for way too long. I knew in the morning, it would all seem more hopeful. I just needed to persevere through the evening. So I hung out with my family (my happy place), watched laugh-out-loud shows, read an inspirational book, snuck in some alone time for prayer and scripture, scheduled good friends to come over (something to look forward to)...I didn't give my mind a chance to spin downward. See like my son and his team, I knew the motions to go through, I just needed to perservere.

Did you just get boxed out? Are you on your last fumes? You got this. Persevere. Keep 
working on ball handling and jump shots. Listen to your gut. Find resources and brainstorm solutions. Tell people what you need, pass the ball as you surround yourself with encouragement. Seek inspiration. Invite the Creator’s voice into your life. Take time to think and process. Practice faith and take baby steps. 

You got this, friend.

Keep going.


Persist.

At some point, you’ll look up at the scoreboard and see that you’re ahead.


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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Parenting Struggles {Noticing Hope}

My two older sons were at ski club and they overheard a boy talking about how he was hungry for dinner but didn’t have any money. So they took the money I gave them and divided it three ways. 

Moms, our kids are listening to us. They are learning the lessons we try so hard to teach. If you’re struggling right now with parenting, hang on. In between "Go to your room and think about why you can't smash your brother's face into the carpet" and "You're not getting up from the table until your seven missing assignments are done," hope will appear. You WILL SEE a shimmer of light in your kids actions that reflect your voice in their life. 

You’re doing a great job, mama. 

Keep on, keepin' on.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mom Life

I think I've been watching too much Downton Abbey because my kindergartner asked for his snack on a tray.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wear Today Differently

There is something so lovely about being called God’s masterpiece. God-an-artist resonates with me. 

My sister-in-law is an artist. She knits, slipstitches and purls skeins into hats, scarves and shawls. She took me to a trendy downtown yarn shop. I followed her around nursing a Starbucks that made me feel like I was artistic and trendy, too. I watched her finger yarn types, match colors, skim through patterns, examine examples, carry around skeins and then return some until her chosen materials matched her vision. Then, on Christmas morning, I opened the loveliest of boot stockings, a hat and a scarf. I could envision her carefully knitting and pulling out uncooperative loops with an artist’s eye that sees the path to her masterpiece. I wear this homemade gift differently, with more sacredness then my machine-made-impersonal-cookie-cutter hat. 

As daughters of God, we are His masterpieces; knitted together by His hands.


“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

Often, we wake up to ordinary life and don’t think of ourselves as a masterpiece. Yet, what if we do? What if we look at the same hands that poured the bowl of cereal as a tool to bring good to this world? What if we are aware of the impact God can make through us at our jobs, in our homes, with our friends, in the ordinary? What if we wear our average day differently? We see it as holy, full of sacred moments. Not necessarily in-a-package-with-a-bow sort of way, but as unique people created by an artistic God who can use all of us (even our quirks) to shine His light in the dark.

God’s masterpiece, created to do good.

Every day.

Who said the ordinary wasn’t extraordinary?


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