We've had a tumultuous season—many days felt (and still feel) like we're running uphill, or, more accurately, living inside a house caught up in a tornado. Between foster care, Will's job as a worship pastor, and my work, and...oh ya...being mommy-ing and wife-ing...it's easy to get swept away in stress and exhaustion. Some nights we collapse in our beds, exhausted yet achieved. Others, we fall asleep watching our favorite shows and wake up feeling what I could only assume is what a hangover feels like (call me prude, but I've never had one...perks of not drinking).
This season is bringing a lot of change for Will and I, whether it's in my work or his, how we manage our schedules, and how we are focusing our attention. I'm (like everyone else it seems in 2017) pursuing simplicity. But I want to go beyond this just being a catch phrase or hot-for-moment word or thought. I'm chasing after it and all that comes with—intimacy with Jesus, more grateful and abundant living, a more intentional and clear home, a refuge of space for our family, and a hard lean towards generosity.
This season, more than ever, I feel called to having eyes wide open at home as my Tiny Kingdom and place of mission. I feel this pressing to make a space that my husband can come home from the beautiful, messy, chaotic privilege that is ministry and my kids to kick and scream and process whatever comes their way, whether at school, the playground, or the unique visits and dates that come with our circumstance. Here's what I'm reading, listening to, and investing my heart and mind into as I seek to do this season well, with grace and intention:
What I've read/done so far...
Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner This is the BEST book I've read in years. Get it. I promise you will not regret it.
Minimalism: A Documentary (on Netflix)
Right now, I'm reading...
For generosity and mission: This study on Acts along with More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinarbager
For my heart: The Lifegiving Home:Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sarah and Sally Clarkson **note: this book has been SUCH a pleasant surprise. Seriously, rocking me right now. It's a deep well of truth and wisdom on the theology of HOME. LOVE IT.
Simple Matters (Living with Less and Ending Up with More) by Erin Boyle
What's up next, and what's on my radar...
Missional Motherhood (book and Bible study) by Gloria Furman (I really loved Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full so I have hopes for this one, too)
Welcoming the Stranger and Adopted for Life
The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know about Raising Confident, Capable Kids
The Artist's Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children
Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
If you're in a hurry...
If books aren't your jam, or you feel like you don't have time, I'm listening to the Slow Your Home and Bravery Board podcasts when I get time, as well as reading these blogs:
Read My Tea Leaves
Mother Mag Blog —they had a series on the Danish philosophy of Parenting that was awesome. Check it out here.
**I also just discovered Sally Clarkson has a podcast (At Home With Sally)...I haven't listened to it yet, but if it's anything like her book, it's gold.
We've finally settled in and accepted that we are, indeed, a tribe of seven. There are days this is overwhelming and days where this is hard (more than I'll attest to publicly), but all of them are threaded with beauty. Whether the beauty is in the candle I light at dinner each night, or the milestones our mini is hitting, when my hair feels frazzled (more on that in a later post) and I feel like waves are tossing me around, there is always, always beauty in a small part of our day...even if I have to squint my eyes really hard. In short, my goal this year is Philippians 4:8, to focus on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. And if this means shutting off my phone and looking at my kids in the eyes just a little longer, so be it. If this means fighting 'till I bleed for an intentional coffee date with my husband, so be it. If it means giving from what we have, instead of waiting for the overflow to arrive, I will do so gladly, because life is too, too short and I'm tired of drowning. I'm dying to live—and, truth is, the place to start is just there, in relinquishing all that I had in mind for life, for home, and my world, and accepting with joy what mission has been placed in front of me—and I hope the same for you, in whatever season you are in, that you can look up and face forward towards the day that you've been entrusted. Not seeking tomorrow too soon, nor someone else's life or highlight reel, but rather pursuing the intimacy you need to live fully, today.
Thanks, Kevin Rogers for the snap!