As my body recovers from so long without sleep, I am beginning to salvage some of my excitement for life. I know it’s Friday, but for the sake of tradition, I simply couldn’t post my Thursday’s Thirteen things yesterday. So here I am bright and early with my warm socks on, feet up on the couch choosing to count the things I was thankful for yesterday and that I’ll still be thankful for tomorrow. Better late than never they always say, right?
- I love the small group that Gabe and I host. I love that they come over every week love our kids and enthusiastically encourage them and notice how much they’ve grown. It makes my heart explode thinking that our kids will be raised with many, many admirers and fans and believers in them and parents and friends. In my eyes and my heart, loving my kids is the same as loving me. They are my lifeblood, and therefore I receive the love extended to them just as strongly as they do.
- I love tradition. I actually have a love/hate relationship with tradition, but that’s a whole other post. What I do love is having the comfort of knowing what’s coming and feeling like we have experiences that belong to us, that unite us as a family and braid together ours with the lives of our friends as well.
- I love the couple days a month when all of the laundry is put away. I still haven’t figured out the whole laundry thing because when my kids are asleep, I can’t put the clothes away–we have creaky floors and doors and a very sacred hour of overlapping naps that I need to soak up doing something other than putting away clothes.
- I love using coupons. Now, I must admit I still haven’t figured it all out (can you tell I’m a giant work in progress?)–if I’m honest, I’ve figured very little of it out. BUT I spent a combined $40 on all of our family’s Halloween costumes this year because I used every JoAnn Fabrics coupons in existence. (Did you see our photo on my Insta? If not, go check it out here.)
- I love when I find a new, cute way to wear the same articles of clothing from my closet, which is filled with some garments from as far back as my Freshman year of high school. (I may have some sort of problem.) I’m trying to minimize the number of things I own and just make my strongest, most loved ones be more versatile, though. So there’s that. I’m trying, okay?
- I love planning fun kids activities and crafts. I wish I would use more of my (non-existent) free time planning fun things like that for Martell so our weekdays didn’t feel so long and so he could get some “educational” experiences before he is shipped off to pre-school. Maybe sometime soon I’ll scrape together some of my free minutes to work on some of that.
- I love sitting by the fireplace and reading with my husband. We read “A Wrinkle in Time” as well as the rest of the books in that series together last winter, and I’ll never forget Gabe telling me then that it was the part of the day he always looked forward to most. So special.
- I love Halloween. I love the way it unites neighbors, brings out my inner creativity, fills my cabinets with treats I can sneak during nap time and bribes for my two-year-old, and that it’s a built in way to make our neighborhoods safer and more familiar.
- I love Jesus. Gosh, I know that sounds so trite and cliche. But you guys, as I study His life in the book of John, I’m encouraged by His unwillingness to live by the law just because it’s the law. I’m encouraged by His challenge of cultural boundaries. I’m encouraged by His unrelenting love for the outcasts, the misfits, the marginalized, the doubters, the servants, and those deeply wounded. It’s so much more than an emotional decision; it’s so much more than a subscription to a moral way of life. I believe with my whole heart that He is a good and loving and tender and worthy Lord of my heart, and yours.
- I love when I surprise myself. I am sometimes more capable than I give myself credit for to do things like cooking a Turkey and loving my kids and making Halloween costumes. (muscle flexing over here).
- I love when people go out of their way to encourage me. Today the sweetest lady at Aldi talked to me about adoption and told me that she has adopted three children through the foster care system as well. They were all grown up, and moved out of the house, but she said, “God bless you, young lady,” and I thought…I need to bless others too. Those moments have a more significant impact than we give them credit for.
- I love when the weather gets cold and I put so many blankets on our bed that they feel heavy when I climb underneath them.
- I love reading “Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted” by Shannan Martin. Shannan is someone whose blog I have followed for some time now. She is a woman whose life I’ve admired and been both deeply encouraged and challenged by. I love her ability see people for just who they are–beloved people with dignity, worthy of belonging, and deeply loved despite their status or race or track record or reputation. She has a gift for seeing beauty in the mundane, and conjuring up a desire in me to live a life more worthy of our King Jesus. She will lead you to question your way of living in ways that make you laugh and cry because her honesty and relate-ability (is that even a word?) feels safe. So, I am prepared to send a copy of this amazing book to one of YOU–my blog followers. If you are not signed up to receive my emails, you can do that in the margin of the site where it says, “Subscribe to receive HopeUnswerving posts via email!” or at the very bottom of your page if you’re reading this on a mobile device. I will be selecting a winner randomly this Sunday. Be on the lookout for an email!
Friends, I appreciate you. Thanks for reading and encouraging me to keep writing. I hope you have the best Friday.