Baby girl got the flu. And I caught this fleeting moment of smiles. Man, if parenthood isn’t the most gut wrenching thing sometimes. Watching each of my kids get SO sick this week just killed me. Preaching to myself tonight that God created Naomi’s body to fight this, trusting that he’ll give me special wisdom as her mama when I ask for it, and that there will be an end to this madness some day! . On another note... how do I re-enter the world post-flu without being overall terrified of all the germs all the places?? #naomirae #influenza2018
We’ve been hit. Hard. The past two weeks have been largely quarantined as the blasted influenza is passed from one to the next. . The past few years, sickness is a trigger for me. It causes me incredible fear and my mind goes to worst case scenario. I’ve never seen fevers this high in my nearly 7 years of parenting. It’s hard for me to wade through the media’s message of flu = death and the truth that my kids have a virus. It stinks. But they are healthy kids and will be okay. I’ve been overwhelmed by fear many times the past two weeks. . But for now, I’m surrendering. Right here, going to choose gratitude in the face of my fear. I’m thankful that 1) two children are now fever free 2) Naomi has still been spared by the grace of God 3) I have been spared by the grace of God 4) I have an incredible support system of friends and family who I can vent to, who bring meals, and ask if I’m okay 5) Doctors who I trust and who trust me, who I’m able to work with to do the best by my children. . I decided my Psalm for the year is Psalm 33 and I meditated on the latter half this morning. Thankful for a God who is my help and my shield. #preachingtomyself #flubegone
For 2018, a word that keeps coming back to me is rooted. It seems almost odd - to have just been preaching freedom and then a word like “rooted” would suggest being tied down. Quite the opposite. . It is my hope for 2018 that being rooted means that I go deep where I am. It means contentment with what I have and where I am. And in that contentment, gratitude, and eyes-wide-open living in ministry. Moving deeper into my marriage. Pressing deeper into my friendships. Seeking deeper still the hearts of my kids. Knowing that there is no greener grass this side of heaven. It is trusting that the Lord has me here, now, and living into that in a deep way. . Being rooted means that I am soaking up things that bring me life. The roots of a tree will drink the water and nutrients from its soil. It is knowing that Christ is the only living water. And it is knowing that I will become what I behold. So I am seeking out that which gives me life, praying that I might bear some fruit as a result. . A tree must be rooted so it can grow. And with growing comes fruit but also pruning. But I will miss all of that and simply feel dead inside if I don’t remain rooted in the soil. So I hope to grow. I welcome pruning. I don’t want to stay where I am. In that I realize, going deep where I am, surrounding myself with nutritious soil, and welcoming the pruning will bear much fruit. . To me, all of this breathes freedom rather than death. It’s not to be rigid, but rather to take hold of the life I’m given. Life is going to happen either way - whether we spend our moments with intention or not. I have spent too much time with life happening to me without the intention that I desire. I don’t say that shamefully, it is simply the lessons I’m learning. And so this year and every year, I hope to do these things and prayerfully watch the fruit the Lord brings. . At least, that is my prayer for 2018. 💕
This photo seems fair enough. This year was marked by a sweet baby girl. A daughter, a sister. From day one we all were (and still are) smitten. Jordan and I still whisper to one another, “what a gift.” Because she is. The goodness of God brought to us through our sweet Naomi Rae. . But these photos don’t show what is happening beyond the phone. As we all know, these social media photos only tell part of the story, and the same is true for me. I never pointed out that I had tears streaming down my face in one of those photos with my daughter. I didn’t instagram the scolding and discipline that took place between shots of our family photos. I never told the story of how my adoration for my children was deeply clouded by my postpartum depression. I didn’t take pictures of the time I was a puddle of tears on my daughter’s bedroom floor, crying as she crawled around, her brothers peeking in to make sure I was okay. I didn’t share when I would call my friends crying, simply saying, “I’m just so sad.” . I’ve kept quiet here on social media for the past many months. At first, it was because the emotions felt like all too much. What even did I have worth saying? And then I stayed quiet, because how do you even begin tell the story of how you were humbled while still at your lowest and found deep breaths of freedom there? Because somehow, that is exactly what has happened. . I’m not where I was in many of those photos. I can only thank the Lord for his kindness in that. He gently led me to a place where I could no longer strive, I could no longer muster up strength, and I could no longer pretend to be okay. He was kind enough to bring a friend who would dive deep into this pit with me so that we could breathe deep of freedom together on the other side. He was kind enough to expose the lies I had been believing for what they were. . I vulnerably share the pit that 2017 was, because now I look forward to 2018 holding fast to the truth that I am seen, I am known, I am understood, and I am deeply cared for and loved. Something I knew somewhat in my mind, but I didn’t know in the depths of myself. But now I do, and it’s true. . I share it, because it is also true for you.
I had a moment of gratitude in this scene. Brothers, piled on top of one another. Sister, trying her darndest to join them. Gifts, all of them. Days filled with Christmas movies, christmas cookies, sledding, snowman making, advent reading, lunchtime caroling. Today, I was struck with the beauty of this life we get to live. These beautiful children I get to raise. Admittedly, there are too many days I take all of these gifts for granted. But not today. Each of their little beating hearts just sings the grace and goodness of God. So thankful. #griffisbeautifullife #joyinmynow
We’re switching our rhythms. Welcoming the fires, warm beverages all day, reading as much as we want, comfy sweaters (for some of us). With every passing year, I’m seeing more how life is made up of our habits. Here’s to more life-giving habits in this new cozy season. #joyinmynow
Just some superheroes protecting their little strawberry. 🍓❤️🍓❤️🍓
Amidst the chaos of day to day life, I look at these photos and almost have to pinch myself that this is our family. The way God has grown our tribe is not something I ever could have guessed. It’s better. He’s stretched our capacities so we can do nothing but rely on him, and this cross between freedom and grace is the only place I want to be. All of this is a gift. I GET to do life with this crazy group. The good and the hard. I get to. And for that I’m beyond thankful. . Also - this is why we stick with @brookecollierphoto. Somehow, in 25 minutes she can bust out these gems. She has an eye for the art and beauty in the daily. So thankful once again. 😉 (and sorry IG makes me crop series like this 😂❤️)