Reckless…

Father,

It’s Monday.

I’m not gonna be a great Mom. Not even a good one.

I’m gonna be a reckless one.

One who loves hard. Laughs loud. Surprises her kids with joy. With smiles. With memories.

Why?

Because reckless is the farthest description of my weighted life.

Count. Consider. Count again.

No spontaneity. No surprising joy.

So today. Just today. On a cold Monday.

Father, help me to live recklessly free in Your reckless love.

Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.

Ann Voskamp

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10b

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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Forgive the drama…We’re really excited over here!

“Well, it looks like I’m gonna have to let you go.”

Usually the beginnings of bad news.

“Stephen, you just graduated today.”

Excuse me. What?

Y’all…after 11 years…Stephen was released as a patient from the Pediatric Neurosurgery Department of Baptist Hospital!!

We didn’t see this coming. Thought we’d be doing x-rays for years. Figured this final door of our story would keep swinging open.

But not today!

I hugged Dr. Couture. Had to. Couldn’t help it.

We met in 2007 when he dropped the world’s biggest bombshell on my lap. All while I lay fighting for my own life in the ICU. He handed me procedure names and unanswered questions. And phrases ending with “we won’t know for sure till it’s all done.”

I processed and cried and waited for days. In a world without a husband. In a world that may end without a son.

But for grace…

You know what Dr. Couture told us yesterday?
-They only do this surgery in infants every other year (because they don’t normally make it through the trauma that caused the injury).
-There are only 10 metal plates like Stephen has in the whole world. 10!!! And our boy is wearing number 9 or 10.
-He would never forget Stephen.

And we’ll never forget him. A doctor fresh out of medical school. Who took on a nearly impossible case. Who can’t look at our son without saying, “Amazing.”

But mostly we’ll never forget how faithful God was. In who He sent our way. In how they got there. And in what He used them to do.

We’re over the moon over here. All tears. And shock. And yes…it’s been 11 years but by God’s grace, it’s done.

I know God loves us. Really. I do. I’ve based my whole life on that one big fact. But today…it feels all new and real again.

We serve a God who just keeps loving us. And just keeps being faithful. And just keeps amazing me through His beautiful (but not always easy) plans.

Wow…

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“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20,21)

 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39)

 

 

 

 

 

What we just learned about marriage…

Here’s a little marriage secret we’ve recently come across…

Marriage is easier when you like the one you love.

I committed my life to Jeremy on that hot day in July 2002. I committed to love him forever and ever til death do us part. And I do that. Stay in relationship with him. Through the good and bad. Hard and easy.

But it’s not easy. We’re not fools. We know the value of marriage counseling. We know the tears. We know the silent treatment.

Our walk in the park the last 16 years has been more like a climb.

But we’re at our best when the love is closely tied with the like. When we’re laughing.  When we’re doing something fun. When we’re acting like 18 year old “children” again.

When…tell me please… is there possibly time for “us” with kids and work and life???

It’s been tricky. We’ve had to prioritize date nights. We’ve had to budget for them.

We’ve had to value the “like” as much as the “love” to actually carve out time for us.

And it’s made things so, so much better.

Friends, marriage is tough. Let’s not be fooled. Only by God’s grace can we make it another day. Only by God’s grace can we expect one sinner to love another sinner year upon year.

But along the way. As His perfect love fuels ours. Let’s have a little fun together. Let’s remember what brought us together in the first place.

And let’s like each other while we love each other as we climb these mountains together.

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Psalm 118:23-“This is the Lord‘s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

II Corinthians 5:14-“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.”