Cliff Notes

Yesterday my oldest son and I ran into Goodwill to look for a 1800’s shirt for me.. HAHA random I know.. So I sent him to look at the books, which thrilled him since books and reading ARE his love language. I searched for my shirt, while he came back a few times asking if this book or that would be a good read. Ultimately, with a little help we walked out of there with eight new chapter books and no 1800s shirt.. hahah.

As I laid in bed after shopping, I laughed at the conversations we had while reading different books summaries.. Some were silly, some where mysteries (which he dislikes), some were biographies, and one was a Billy Graham devotional (which shockingly made it into the top 8). As I thought about each book, I realized how life is so different.

This past week marks 3 years since we moved from our beloved GA home, to my hometown in Florida. If you follow my blog much you know we lived in GA for 10 years, started our marriage there, became parents there, began careers, bought cars and our first home. Made life-time kind of friendships and pretty much loved it. Then in a blink God asked us to move. The move caused challenges in ways we didn’t expect and paths we weren’t looking for, and the deep *joy* searching, we needed.

Its funny –ok not really funny- how life is so different than a book. We get to flip the book over and in 5 sentence catch a glimpse of a life story..then we get to choose if we want to read it or put it back. Levi and I read the backs of about 10 books we DID NOT keep. Four of the books we purchased were classic favorites we didn’t need to read, because they are well known. But we were able to catch a glimpse of the authors goals and then decide to keep or put back.

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Goodwill Finds

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soulmate

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momlife

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things I love

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learning to be me

Life. Or at least mine doesn’t have that luxury. There is no ‘flipping over’, or even skimming through the chapters to catch what’s next. And certainly no ‘put back option’.

Nope.

Instead I have to trust. Trust that my Author is masterminding the perfect, award-winning story. And I am just a character in the book. Once I realize that this story is not about me, but about my Author then I can rest in that truth.

Minutes turn into hours which turn into days.. they float by like words turn pages turn chapters turn novels. Allowing God to direct my steps and actions, takes the guesswork out of the ‘whats next’. I am not writing my story. I am living it, yes but IF I am on my knees asking and seeking.. He will lead me.

I do not get to see the summary on the back – of my life-book. But allowing Him to FULLY use me, gives me the freedom to be used to make my book/life worthy to be pick up and read.

Allow Him to fully write your story. although it will not be roses at times it will be worth it!

Learning to trust the ultimate Author in writing my cliff notes!!

Jessica

Front Door Goals

Every year Joel and I make goals. Along with the rest of the world!! Haha.

Each area is discuss, and through prayer and ‘talking it out’ we settle on a few family goals, personal goals, spiritual goals, couple goals, and money goals…

We’ve been doing this for years. I then highlight a few from each area and make up a cute paper to hang on our front door. Every year we have been able to mark a few off our list.

Except last year. (2018).

I left 2018 feeling defeated in so many ways. We had, experienced so many setbacks since saying a hard ‘yes’ when God called us to Florida. But we had entered 2018 with so much hope. But those 12 months were hard, and when I looked at our 2018 goals on Jan 1, 2019.. I felt like a failure. I took down our ‘family goals’ and

moved on.

I mean, buy a house (again) has been on our goal list since 2017. That meant for 3 January I have wrote that. And it still had not happened. That’s hard.

At the end of January, Joel and I even had a planning meeting for our family, which was to include goal setting. But as we all know.. sometime things don’t go as planned.

So our door was blank. No cute sign. No goals.

February rolled in and I was putting away our ‘2018’ sign and realized we were able to actually check off 3.5 of our 6 highlighted things..

Sometimes it takes more than ‘our time frame’ to accomplish things. Gods timing is not ours. For some of our goals we needed 14 months instead of 12.

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rv business

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Kid free (almost) get away

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boys started music lessons

Renewed hope.

I began thinking about goals. While on the phone with Joel one day he said.. so back in 2015 we set some 5 year goals.. my reminder just came up and we have checked off quite a few of them..

So. Yesterday. I made our highlighted 2019 cute goal sign.

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The word is truth. And this verse stands so true.

Habakkuk 2:2 Then the Lord answered me “write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.’

I challenge you. Write your goals. Even if they are small or seemingly to large .. Looking back and saying.. well that could only have been God.. is such a rewarding feeling.

still learning.

Jessica

 

35 minutes.

Days are so full. Mornings run into lunch which runs into dinner, then kisses and lights out. With a brew of kiddos, my days are extra full, everything times seven. We don’t really have the flexibility to have something derailed us. Whether it is noticing at 7:30am there is no Rice milk for your non dairy kids, or boy #3 doesn’t have clean underwear, (haha yes this has happened..more than once, haha oops) or one kiddo has a melt down. These are stressers for me, which put me in a ‘derailed’ frame of mind. The kids get edgy cause mommy is edgy.

Then the melting happens.

Amongst the crazy and the busy..and the derailing… I am working on being ‘on purpose’ with the 7 beautiful charges around me.

I was sharing with a amazing momma of two, who works full time, owns a business, serves in her church .. frankly just an all around wonderful person.. how life is busy and spending time with each kiddos is SO hard.

**don’t get me wrong we date our kids monthly .. but I’m talking the day to day times.

With such grace she said, “5 minute”. Where I quickly said “uh??” She then explained how she gives her boys each 5 minutes of uninterrupted mommy time. A walk, playing legos, reading a book, jumping on the trampoline, throwing the ball, a tea party.

Just you and them. Looking at them, holding them, talking to them, LISTENING.

She then laughed and said “you can do anything for 5 minutes”.. hahah which is true.. we tend to think… I have no time, where am I going to find 5 MORE minutes.. (well for me that is 35 minute..ACK). But lets get back to the whole point… we are raising adults, with thoughts, desires, hopes, dreams, loves.

To invest 5 minutes is saying.. you are worth it.

I have been Very successful at this SOMETIMES over the last 2 years of being aware of this million dollar pro-tip. Just the other day Joel said.. when was the last time you did one-on-one with each of them.. –insert tears- it had been a minute. But instead of throwing my hands up.. I grabbed my daughters hand and we had the most beautiful walk around our house chatting about all kinds of snacks and tea party goodies.. then it ended with “mom you’re the best mom ever”.

Swoon.

I walked in to find the next child with shoes on ready for his mommy time.

I challenge you no matter what your day looks like to take 5 minutes…

They need it.. BUT so do us mommies!!

 

Ephesians 5:15-16

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Still learning:

jessica

snuggles & joy

The other day Asher (2.5) crawled into bed with me and let me snuggle… as I relished the sweet moment I realized how my big boys don’t do that anymore. How they want different from me. How they want my ears, not necessarily my lap.

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Time rushes by, days zooms into nights and back again… and then I realize.. sometimes I am waiting for ‘perfect’..

Perfect.. kids

Perfect.. house

Perfect.. décor

Perfect.. numbers in our bank

And then I realize perfect is actually right now.

With Selahs feet dangling from the bench during school, when Lydia brings ‘her baby Hannah’ to school –every day- , looking out and seeing Judah ride his tire horse for hours on end, watching Hannah quickly grasp the art of walking and Levi devouring book after book- just for fun.

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Recently I was challenged to find joy… and I struggled.. for the first time ever. And was reminded

“….in his presence is fullness of Joy…” psalm 16:11

 

He desires us to stop and to come to him, when we are busy and life is crazy… and things look NOT so perfect.. he says COME into his presence.. just as I want my kids to come into mine .. how I miss the snuggles.. God misses our quote unquote snuggles to.. when we dig deep down in his word or in prayer.. he want us to be with him…

My goal.. to relish these moments, while leaning on Gods joy.. and spending more time in his presence, and knowing life is good…..

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Rooted.

One year ago this month, God introduced to me to the word “rooted”. Without understanding the meaning.. I felt it calling me, I identified with it, I knew it was mine. As I fast forward one year I see how the Lord went ahead of me and prepared the way.. knowing I would need to cling to it to see me though. Throughout the last 12 months the word “rooted” has morphed into so many things.. with one truth that didn’t change…

Where are my ‘roots’.. when all is striped away.. where are my ‘roots’.. when my child is lying in a nicu bed and has stopped breathing.. where are my ‘roots’

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When our life goals are pushing us to explore possibilities.. and life as we once knew it slowly begins to change..

Where are my ‘roots’. When door after door is opened for us, only to not have a peace to pursue. Then to be lead down one we question daily.

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When for the first time in my life I am surround by people who love me, but feel completely alone, forgotten, sad, where are my ‘roots’.

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This year has taught me.. I can not trust my own joy, or my own happiness I must lean and *push* in on Jehovah Jireh {my provider}, for he is where my roots must run deep. When a storm is raging and the tree bends, the roots are what keep it from falling over and dying. I leave 2016 with a storm in my soul, but welcome 2017 that I {we} are still standing. And that My Jehovah Shammah {is ever present} has not forgotten us.

Thankful for our sweet Hannah Faith entering 2016, Selah’s first ballet recital, Judah’s first try at swim team, Levi learning the entire old testament, Asher saying momma, Lydia’s love of baby dolls, Joel’s never ending dedication to me and our children, and God for showing me daily how to dig a little deeper and be so rooted nothing will separate me from Him.

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“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

“Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, rejoice” Pillippians 4:4

always learning~

jessica

 

hannah faith.

Hannah means Favor and grace.

Today was your dedication. Today we ‘officially’ dedicated you to our Lord. From the moment you were born to a life treating NICU stay when you were days old, to more recently a partial dislocated arm, you our sweet Hannah are Favored. With {already} both Highs and Lows, in your tiny life, we have seen the Hand of God.

Today your daddy and I invited our family to come and stand as witness as we gave you back to the Giver of Life. We thank Him for you, and promise with each breath to Lead and guide you back to Him.

Today your Papa blessed you.

You, our favored child with Great faith, are loved, wanted and prayed for.

love, your momma

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