Two months in to 2015 already, and up here in the Northwest the sunshine and warm-ish temperatures have been teasing us in the best ways the last few weeks, making Spring feel so close we can almost touch it. (If you don't live in a part of the country that experiences winter, you may never understand this feeling, so trust me when I say we are crawling out of out skin ready to be outside on a regular basis again. And if you do, solidarity, my friends.) This month has always been an unremarkable one to me: it's mostly gray, I'm indifferent about Valentine's Day, and the best times of the year (this means summer) feel farther away than is worth getting excited for. Not so this year. February 2015 will be remembered in my heart as a defining month in my life for the lessons I am holding on to and the encouragement that will truly hold my soul steady for a long time. I have loved this month for so many reasons, for the words, the people, the memories, and the new discoveries.
The IF:Gathering is likely something you are tired of hearing me talk about, so I won't say much more about it here, but you can read many of my thoughts here, here, here, here, and here. I am still rolling the words and meanings over in my head, still leaning in to the huge idea of faith and bringing that to life in my life. But the weekend we cozied up in a little house on the lake with two of my favorite people on the planet will be one I will always remember. (Also, you can buy all of the IF:Gathering sessions here. You will not regret it).
Motherhood. This month has been marked by some of my very hardest days raising my two babies. And I'm not over-stating that: some of my very hardest. Days we did not even leave the house and cancelled all plans because the temper tantrums were out of control, the time-outs were abundant, the only answer I could get to any question was "NO! NO! NO!" and I felt like I needed to stay in the fight for the long haul. I walked in to a group that my sweet friend, Meghan, hosts one Friday a month and one sentence in to my "hi, friend!" opening to her, I started crying. Because I just don't know what to do sometimes. Meghan hugged me and encouraged me and reminded me of the things I had forgotten in the fog of battling with a two-year-old. Two hours later, I was a new mama. Really since the weekend of IF and this Friday with the mom's group, my language and my heart have changed. We are working so hard around here to point our babies' hearts to Jesus, and in the process it is pointing our hearts to him as well. I never knew how much I needed Jesus until I became a mama. This is one of the areas God is refining and humbling me on a daily basis, because I just cannot do it apart from Him. And in the midst of a month that held days I wanted to retreat to a closet, God gave us days I never wanted to end. (A few notes, Meghan is one of the most wise and humble people on earth, and she is starting a website very soon with her heart for Jesus and for families at the center of it. I cannot wait to point you all to her words. Also, she has given me some of the best resources for motherhood, things that changed my thinking and the language I use entirely. You can check those out here and here).
This month the Giving Shop is donating $600 dollars to Wellspring Living. You guys. Six hundred dollars is a lot of money! I'm without words to express my gratitude for you buying necklaces and cards and using what you have to spur one another on toward bravery. As we enter in to a new season we will support a new charity, one local to my hometown of Spokane, but doing amazing work for brave, brave people. I can't wait to tell you more about this in the coming weeks. (For now, the Giving Shop is getting a few touch ups so will be offline for a short time. Please check back soon.)
And just for funsies, I need to tell you that this month I discovered Sea Salt and Carmel KIND bars and my life will never, ever be the same. These things are like $100 bucks a bar so savor them! And I have a new favorite book: the Family Bedtime Treasury. "No Sleep for the Sheep" is the best thing I've ever read out loud. I think I love this a teensy bit more than Harper. No shame.
That's all for this month. I hope it has been rich and full and beautiful and not too gray for you. March, please bring enough rain to make things grow but more than enough sunshine to enjoy them!