“I’m TRYING”

Every morning this week Alexa’s woke me up at 5:30 from her purposefully placed location in the bathroom.

This morning, with eyes still closed, I responded audibly with “I’m TRYING.”

Because those 2 words characterize my whole existence.

Trying to be a good wife.

Trying to be a good Mom.

Trying to be a good friend.

And this trying is “trying” me. Stealing my joy. Causing me to lash out at the kids. Making me fall into bed every night exhausted.

My journal ended this morning with these words…

“Father, help me to stop trying. To start resting. To ‘be still and know that You are God’.”

All trying stops at the foot of the cross. With the words, “It is FINISHED.”

Because grace has won. We can rest.

And today, that’s what I’ll do.

“Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do. Let go of trying to control. Let go of my own way. Let go of my own fears. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks.” (Ann Voskamp)

Why I started working and how I’ve changed…

2 years ago I started planning Disney vacations part-time.

To be fair, it was either start working or have another baby.

I thrive under pressure. On the brink of the destruction. About to pull my hair out.

To be clear, it’s morphed into much more than Disney since that first day. Cruises. All-inclusives. Resorts. You name it.

And I love it. Really. I do.

To be honest, I love it so much it sometimes consumes me.

How can I help families save more money? What can I do to generate more clients? Where will my next vendor event be?

To be transparent, I often worship work.

I want to be the best. Hit my goals. Get good reviews. There’s no second place in this success-driven brain I’ve recently uncovered.

To be real, the past couple weeks have been hard. Full on confession.

God, I hear you. I’m sorry. Now what?

To be specific, I now have 5 “non-negotiables” for work.

And no, you’re not privy to all 5. Because some of them are pretty personal.

But I’ll share one…

“I will measure success by JOY, not numbers and GIVING, not getting.”

If 2021 ends with our family happier but my overall sales’ numbers lower…Success.

If 2021 ends with huge contributions but less big vacations…Success.

To be certain, “Aslan is on the move.” In my heart. In our family’s trajectory. In the future of my small business.

And I’m thrilled to be along for the ride.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

You can follow me on Instagram to see how things unfold (And unfold they will)…

For the girls…

It’s true. I got behind in our family’s Bible reading plan almost immediately.

Jeremy and the boys are soaring through Mark and I’m fiddling around with chapter 15.

So I sat down yesterday to dive in. To catch up.

“There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.” (Mark 15:40,41)

If the Bible’s Facebook, these ladies just got tagged.

And I hear Martina McBride’s “This one’s for the girls” playing in the background of Mark’s Instastory.

These women had been with Jesus. They’d walked that long (LONG) journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. They’d ministered to him as He ministered.

They were the last at the cross. The first at the tomb.

They were Moms. They were followers. They were His.

Ladies…”This one’s for the girls.”

You. Your little girls. Your grown ones. The little girls you dream of raising.

God has a place for each of us.

At home. At work. At church. At school.

In our neighborhoods. Grocery stories. Living rooms.

Wherever He is leading you, be all there. Wherever He is leading them, trust His plan.

Cross grace offers future grace for all of us.

Monthly “goal questions” for kids

Any goal-setters out there? If so, you’re in good company.

I’m huge on setting goals, breaking them down, and documenting movement.

Last year I filled my Christmas list with books like Atomic Habits and Smarter, Faster, Better.

Using these resources, we’ve created a list of “goal questions” we ask our 3 older boys each month.

Here goes…

  • What will I do to learn more about God?
  • How will I share the Gospel with others?
  • How will I grow more into the man God is shaping me into?
  • What will I get better at?
  • What will I do less of?
  • What new thing will I try?
  • How will I exercise?
  • How many books will I read?
  • What will I do to help out around the house?
  • What is my big, crazy goal for this month and how will I get there?

At the top of the sheet we use is this verse…

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Because ultimately, no matter how much we plan. No matter how many goals we set. Our kids’ futures rest securely on His shoulders.

And because of everything the cross tells me about God’s love, I find freedom not fear in this letting go.

Set goals. Savor.

2021 is the year I’m finding grace in the set goals and the failed ones.

So many boys…

Homeschool, Private, or Public?

Friends, homeschool isn’t the only way. It’s not the best way. It’s a way.

Private school Moms, I’m cheering for you!

Public school Moms, I’m cheering for you!

Homeschool Moms, I’m cheering for you!

We can get so tightly wound in our circles that our vision blurs. We begin to look around with judgment.

Do you know what God has called you to do?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

Do you know what he’s called your kids to do?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

I have wept this year over school decisions. Jeremy and I have talked. And prayed. And sought counsel.

And while this year we’ve committed to homeschool, we are by no means laying our stake in this privilege for eternity.

Because it’s just that. A privilege.

Our heart’s desire is to raise 5 kids who love the Lord. To love Him with all of themselves. To love Him big enough to do hard things. To go to far places. To glorify Him in every decision they make.

And today we’ll set that example.

By loving the Lord enough to say, “I trust You.”

These kids are not mine. They’re His. Arrows to be sent out into a broken world. Arrows wrapped in love carrying a message of hope.

So this school year, friends, don’t look around. Don’t compare. Don’t compete.

Trust.

We are a privileged people. 

And every choice we get to make…that’s grace.

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