Here are some lovely moments, tough lessons, and cute pictures from this past month!
At the beginning of this month, we went camping at Sebastian Inlet State Park on the east coast of Florida. We felt like we had the beach all to ourselves, and the crashing waves were incredible reminders of God’s power. Peter and I enjoyed sitting by the campfire after we put the kids to bed. He knows how to make the perfect golden marshmallow, and I discovered that roasting grapes is a terrible idea. But we're really terrible at making time to just sit together, so it was nice.
In Vero Beach, we visited an art museum, which was a fantastic experience. There are so many good reasons to take your kids to art museums. We’re built to behold.
Stephen started a leaf raking business and a foot massage business, and it’s been adorable. He uses his income to pay his employee (Piper, who spends her money buying foot massages), re-invest in the business, and buy craft supplies and gifts for others. It’s all quite adorable and I love it.
Evey turned one and has been such a delight. Piper has made noticeable progress in her personal maturity and the kids have been a joy overall.
What I Learned:
Whelp, we elected a new president. When I told Stephen the results, he said, “Uh-oh.” I asked him what he would’ve said if Clinton won and he said “Uh-oh, too.” He gets it. Either way, America has lost. Sad day. We’ve been learning about the Roman Empire in homeschool, and it’s been crazy watching even the strongest, biggest empires fall and become almost-forgotten ancient history. I’m not saying that America is an empire, but this awful election combined with studying world history has really tested whether I think this world is it, or if I really do believe there’s an everlasting kingdom coming someday where truth and righteousness reign. I have great reason to believe the latter and I must never forget it!
Peter strongly encouraged that I hire a bi-weekly housekeeper, and I’ve been very troubled every time I’ve considered this in the past. I have a lot of stigma associated with hiring a housekeeper (much of it probably as a result of the movie “The Help”) and I kept telling myself “I should be able to do it all.” The reality is, however, at least at this point, that I cannot. So having someone come every other week to do some deep-cleaning has been a tremendous, albeit humbling, blessing.
I also learned that I have become far more materialistic than I realized. I have accumulated so much stuff. Just because something would be awesome for me doesn’t mean that it is awesome for me. I have enough stuff to live multiple full lives, and yet I’m finding my own life to be chaotic and unpeaceful. So I’ve begun to do a lot of purging and a lot less buying. Last night I stayed up till midnight going around the house filling garbage bags with anything we don’t love, and I’m hiding the bags for a month to see if we actually miss any of it. I’ve even been using grocery shopping excessively, which resulted in a pantry-cleaning marathon that looked like this:
It’s been a humbling month. I’ve seen aspects of my character that were even worse than I imagined. I had a conversation with a friend that lasted many hours and over which many tears were shed, but through her, God poured out so much wisdom into me and I saw so many ways in which I desperately need to change.
I quit Facebook a couple weeks ago and it has been so liberating! I’ve gone through a bit of an identity crisis (I have all these sweet moments and nobody will ever hear of them!) but it’s made me question whether I really believe that faithfulness is profitable. If I pour myself out for those who are actually in my life, I can still have a life full of meaning, right? Um, duh! So it’s been great not feeling angry, jealous, annoyed, self-righteous, or insecure every time I get on my phone.
Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson - Rich, original songs from Old Testament to new celebrating Christ. Love, love, love.
A Slugs and Bugs Christmas by Slugs and Bugs - Half the album is full of goofy, fun songs, and the other half is meaningful and still kid-friendly.
I’m still trekking through the Bible. I’m not going to finish it this year (bummer!) but I think I’ll finish the OT this week. It’s been a goody study. Nahum surprised me some really potent stuff:
Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
The LORD is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
(Nahum 1:6-8 ESV)
Stuff I Wrote:
Things I Love About Evangeline, Year 1
9 Ways Social Media is Hurting Me
When You Give a 4-Year-Old a Nikon...
Meaningful Presents for Anyone That You Can Order Online
And now for a picture of my cute Piper:
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My name is Hope.
I'm 26, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 6, 4, 3, and squishy-baby. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
Quick links to some of my posts:
Articles I've Written on Other Sites:
Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today