Tuesday, January 3, 2017


"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)

Yesterday was the kids' last day of Christmas break and we had nothing on the agenda except to be together as a family.  We had plans to go out to eat for breakfast, explore the book store together and spend a little Christmas money, play games, smoke ribs, read books, and finish out break with Pete's Dragon, our last unopened movie from Christmas.  After a good run at Christmas, a productive start to finishing the bedrooms and bathroom in our basement, and a goal of establishing a good rhythm and routine for our family in this new year, I was so excited to start our first Monday of the year with a focus on our family, and a whole day to prepare my heart and our home for a productive and rewarding year.  

For the most part, our day looked just as I had hoped it would.  We started with a good work out, rewarded ourselves with our favorite breakfast burritos from Cottonwood Canyon, visited the book store and the pet store, and spent the afternoon at home, playing lots of games, eating a good supper, and snuggling up on the couch for Pete's Dragon before bedtime.  The day had fulfilled my desire for what I intended it to be, yet, all day I felt a sting of overwhelmed and anxiousness deep in the pit of my stomach.  I kept trying to suppress the feeling, to be present and let it go, but I was distracted by other things.  I kept revisiting my goals for the year, thinking of things to add to my already growing list for the week - to email and reconnect with that friend, to serve that neighbor, to respond to that neglected text message, to sign up for that class at church.  It was clear throughout the day that I was battling two sides of the same coin - thoughts rushing in to LIVE INTENTIONALLY, to FIND and LIVE MY PURPOSE, while at the same time, trying my damnedest to simply be a good mom and wife on our last day off together.  

I'm not sure I've ever felt more excited and ready to head into a new year.  We have a lot to look forward to this year, and with the added time I've put into reflecting over some goals and intention for the year, I'm ready to be more centered, focused, and purposeful in the year ahead.  And although there were times yesterday when I started to question my big dreams and goals, worried they were causing more pressure and more stress, today I realize it was anything but that.  God is ready to use me in 2017, but there is also an enemy at work, who sees my hope and excitement and knows he has to work even harder to steal that away.  To take a perfectly good day with my family and whisper, You are not enough.  I know God provides everything we need to face each day and find joy in it, but I also know there is an enemy who tricks us into believing we are not enough.  

Heading into this new year with goals and dreams for living on purpose isn't always going to be easy.  But it's not supposed to be.  And at those moments when I feel distracted by too much, when my mind is spinning with questions of how to balance, where to invest, and what purpose looks like today, and when I start to feel the enemy creep in and steal my joy, it's up to me to surrender.  To choose God first and the blessings he has prepared will not be taken away.  I am not enough alone, but I am more than enough with Him.

Yesterday afternoon, in the truest of "unplanned" moments, after a day of quiet anxiousness and questioning, I found myself in the recliner with Cruz nuzzled beside me and Mila on my lap.  Cruz wanted to read a new Pete the Cat book, a long one we discovered, and Mila climbed up with little blankie and giraffe baby.  As I listened to Cruz make his way through the words, I nestled my cheek on the side of Mila's face, playing with her hair and rocking the chair with my tiptoe.  It was gloomy outside, but the pretty lamplight in our office made me feel peaceful and happy.  By the end of the book, Mila had fallen asleep in the crook of my arm.  I did nothing for the next hour, just rocked her softly, read a few pages in my book, listened to her snores, and thought about a powerful God who provides just what we need.  Mila rarely falls asleep anywhere but her bed and hasn't been rocked to sleep since she was a baby, but she did last night.  And that sweet moment, when the distractions faded away and my heart felt more at peace than it had all day, was just the reminder I needed.  And there is nothing more purposeful than that.  

It was a good winter break, filled with slow rhythms that are so good for each one of us.  Favorite moments include...

...a quiet day after the rush of Christmas, a day to stay in pjs all day, and play with all our new stuff.  Mila's Calico Critters house, lego set after lego set, and many other things.  It's no secret I have a thing for Christmas jammies, and these fair isle sets from my mom were some of my favorites.  

...quiet afternoons with Cruz while Mila slept.  I'd turn the tea kettle on, make Cruz some cocoa, set out a plate of cookies, and we'd hang at the table for legos, crafts, puzzles, or games.  I love my new tea kettle from mom so much and got a lot of use out of it this break.  

Look at that bokeh!

...Mila never missed out on a cup of cocoa!

...family game nights for the win!  

...a movie theater adventure, just me and the kids.  This movie was the perfect Christmas break movie - all things entertaining with a good message for all ages.  And Matthew McConaughey's voice. :)

...a successful week of pottying!  She did SO good this time around, just in time to turn three next week!

...a quiet "crafternoon."  We got another supply of Kiwi and Koala Crates for Christmas and always love seeing what each box has in store for us.  Highly recommend these!

...Home improvement rats for a few days.  You know, just drawing on scrap pieces of board while Mom and Dad painted ceilings and hung shiplap in the bedrooms.  We stayed in the same "paint clothes" for two days and made quite the mess, but we also made progress!  And Saturday morning, the kids and I had a little NYE paint party.  They loved adding a little more primer to the wall and we made sure to play good dance music to keep our energy up.  Looking forward to step 1 of this big basement project being complete.

...a visit from Papa Curt!

...A just-right New Year's Eve with good friends.  We bowled with the Susongs, and afterwards, shared flaming volcanoes and a family dinner at Golden China.  The drinks were strong, the food was delicious, and we closed the place down (at 9:30!).  Things got a little out of control when we all took Beau's obsession with Ric Flair a little too far and laughed until tears were rolling down our faces.  Big laughter like that is a good way to end and start a new year. 

...UNO games with this guy.  He's good, and beat me three times to one yesterday. 

...A breakfast date at Cottonwood Canyon.  There wasn't a table for four, so we took advantage of the situation and had our own little dates - Cruz and Mila shared cinnamon rolls and orange juice at their table, and Beau and I relaxed at our own table for two, savoring every last bite of our to-die-for breakfast burritos.  To say we are excited about getting to eat our favorite farmer's market food all year round is an understatement!

...And lastly, this.  Cruz reading to me in one arm while his little sister sleeps in the other.  My motherhood dreams, right then and there in that recliner chair.  


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