Getting closer.

Merry 2-days-before-Christmas!

May your final days before celebrating our Savior's birth
be calm and Christ-honoring.
 {Psalm 19:14}

Happy Thursday. 
Everything's merrier with a bear on the bum, right?


Tuesday evening.
our sweet, finally-getting-over-all-forms-of-sickness kiddos are asleep.
Grant, in all his fatigue, was passed out early.

I sit with [decaf] dunkin donuts coffee brewing 
and {don't judge} heavy whipping cream awaiting it.
{totally in love with holiday baking that leaves real cream left over for my coffee}

today I played the Goodnight Moon game about 74 times with my favorite almost-5-year-old.

I scoured the house for a pink hairbow for my favorite, insistent-2-year-old that commandeers all my pony tail holders for bracelets.
{our sweet, cuddly, a-tad-obsessive Gracie}

{grace, who's holding her necessary hairbow}

and today, as our Christmas Advent Calendar nears single digits, 
my heart still reflects on how to truly honor Christ in this season.

In this whole fun, busy, stressful, whirlwhind of a season,
does my heart, my attitude, my speech, 
{my life}
honor the baby in a manger?

and if it does 
{and oh, how I long for it to}
how do I reflect that to my family?
to the cashier at Target who was, well, honestly, slow.
and I was in a hurry. 
with a toddler on the brink of making a fast escape 
and streaking through the candy section.

If Jesus is truly the reason for my season, my life should be different. 
Especially the month we're celebrating Him.

my checkbook should look different, the way I handle Holiday stresses should look different, the way I handle kids who want to play but come-on-don't-they-know-I-have-things-to-do situations should look different.

and in all, I've concluded, they should be marked by love.

For even if we give away all we have,
{even to charities and needy kids}
even if we have all faith and all knowledge
{and know the history of Luke and can tell the Nativity story better than anyone}
Even if our house is the prettiest and decorations the best 
and our baking the most impressive...
even in all,
if I have not loved in the process,


As our Advent Calendar gets closer, I pause.
I attempt to love harder, more deeply.
to give more freely and more richly.

Love God, Love others.

My heart.
My time, my life, my energy.

I will embrace the business of this season as an avenue to love.

After all,
that's what it's all about, right?


...Of all the commandments,
which is the most important?
You shall love the Lord with all your heart...
you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mark 12

And we wait.

blood work.

it's a topic that our almost 5-year-old can very matter-of-factly tell you about.
{which, kinda breaks my momma-heart. he really shouldn't know this much about hospitals, doctors, needles, and blood}.

Often his first sign with his juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is fatigue.
well, it's back.
he's exhausted.
really, really exhausted.

so, we increased his medicine to the maximum dosage.

and now we wait
and pray.

wait for test results.
wait to see if the medicine will work.

wait and pray.
wait, pray.
and trust.


He will shelter you with his wings. 
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Psalm 91:4

On Why I Blog

I sit down at my keyboard. a new clean {publish post} page comes up.
I wonder.

Why write?
People...out there {somewhere?} do they read? does it matter?  
it's just my silly little thoughts.
my seemingly insignificant words.

Why write?
there are millions of better writers.
more inspiriting voices.
prettier pictures.
more significant stories.

I pause.
I think.  I process.
I realize.
{I write for our children}.
because with all good intentions the baby books are still half-filled-out, and the memories of swings and nursing and cribs and swaddling and pacifiers fade.
these sweet days with my little ones, these are the days which my heart wishes I could just press pause and tangibly grasp for longer, for more, for deeper.  these sweet days my heart truly loves and I long to capture every messy, silly, funny, special detail and write it on my heart, but somehow in the midst of laundry and naps and playing dolls and zooming cars, I know they'll be forgotten.
so, I write.  I write to not forget.
{I write for our children}.

{I write.}
I write for myself.  
I've read that Van Gogh used paints to portray that which inspired him.
me? I use words.
these words. these seemingly small, twelve-fonted single-spaced words,
they portray that which inspires me.
these words are my heart on paper.
...For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks...
Luke 6
I write because I can't not
I write for me. even if no one read
i would write, for the words spill out. my fingers click, the cursor moves.
my heart overfloweth, and the words must come.
so, I write.

{I write for others}.
my heart aches. 
for orphans. orphans who need love. a home. food. water.
for Christians. Christians who don't know that the Bible truly has 
everything they need for life and Godliness.
that His Word can make an actual difference in these lives of ours, 
these lives that are often hard and frustrating and valley-filled.
as my heart aches, I long to help. to serve. to edify. to encourage.
if somehow, as I write and share our story, our simple story of redemption, grace, and love,  of a man and wife that are trying their best to love the Lord, each other, and others in the most Radical possible way this side of Heaven,
if I can share this story,
and encourage somehow? love somehow? serve somehow?
then to Him be the Glory both now and forevermore.

So, I write.


My heart overflows with a good theme; 
I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
psalms 45:1

tired girl.

sweet grace.
a couple of nights ago, she was tired.
{really, really tired}.

so tired, in fact, that she got a pillow, went over to her dollhouse
and tried to climb in it, saying
{night night, night night}.

needless to say, we put her to bed.

the start of a season.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The season started off last night with some friends coming over for a Christmas dessert party.  
chocolate, candles, sparkling grape juice, and good friends.
{not a lot tops that}

I'm even extra-excited about Christmas this year, as Grant {almost 5} really, really gets it.
and since he does get it, on my heart these days is this:
{How do we really, truly live out the meaning of Christmas?}
How do we celebrate Christ's birth in such a way that it really makes our Christmas different?

Sure, we give toys to charities.
we'll bake a birthday cake for Jesus.
We'll talk about how Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem.
and then a King was born.

But, somehow, some of those activities just seem like an add-on.
you know what I mean?
We're Christians, and should be celebrating Christ, so we're going to bake a cake for Jesus.
all the while spending more than we should on toys our kids don't really need.
we'll give a few gifts to charities.
all the while getting way caught up in the commercialism off it all.

I do love Christmas. I love giving and getting gifts.
seriously.  I love the excitement and the shopping and the snow and the cold and the frenzy of it all.
{and I'm totally a Christmas-Eve shopper and love it}.

I just want to spend this whole holiday season actually honoring the baby in a manager,
all the while baking and eating and laughing and buying and unwrapping.

 so, it's still on my heart:
{How do we really, truly honor Christ this Christmas?}

I have a few ideas.
but, my coffee is getting cold.
and the kids are getting ready to play super-hero and leap off the coffee table with blankie-capes.

i'm off to catch them.