Oh sweet July, you’ve been a month to dream, to talk, to play, to question, to seek truth, to laugh, and to savor. July was the month my husband marked five years of being sober and the month Harper learned to take selfies. It’s the month we hiked and played with friends and finally got a few tomatoes from our garden, and also the month we argued over big things and prayed for resolution that the Lord so sweetly brought us. It seems like life is a pattern of heavy and light, and we are learning the best we can how to navigate it all with the grace the world needs us to. As I look back on the last few weeks of sunshine, I know I will want to remember…
…the day we found out we are having another baby boy. We brought Harper and Cannon into the ultrasound room, and as the technician said “it looks like a brother!” my heart about burst into pieces. My leading lady, my sweet and playful middle boy, and now a little buddy to round out the starting lineup. I could not have dreamed up this life I’m living, but I am crazy grateful God is entrusting me with these babies.
…that we are all dreamers. I read Make it Happen by Lara Casey earlier in the spring, and then when I found out a few people I love had started a book club, well, I went ahead and invited myself to it. Meeting with these girls and going through the powersheets has been amazing for me. I’ve been getting clarity on what deserves my yes and bravery on what needs my no. And I’m inviting God to guide my goals in a way I never had before. The point of this book and the activities with it is to think about what is possible and be intentional towards those things. And sharing the process with other people, listening to their fears and then cheering on their ideas and goals, has reminded me that God did give each of us— yep, you too— a big, huge purpose in this world for Him.
…the way my son wants to snuggle every morning. Mornings have always been mama’s territory, so when Cannon started waking up just ten minutes after me, I was mostly frustrated by it. But then I realized that these days are fleeting, and someday soon he won’t want my lap anymore, then a sweet little routine was born: as soon as I hear him around 5:30, I make a bottle of milk, greet him with a smile, and we go rock in the corner of our living room for about 20 minutes. When he is done with his milk, he turns around and finds a home on my shoulder, and there we sit in silence—with the occasional glance and smile from him. The light is so peaceful in the early morning, and when your baby boy is on your shoulder, so is your heart. When he’s ready, he slides off my lap and goes to find some toys, and I attempt to resume a little time with Jesus before the house is busy again. But these mornings, just me and my boy, will forever be etched in my heart.
…that our words matter. I have been more encouraged by the words of others this month than I can remember. Whether they are congratulatory words, truthful words, sincere words of correction, or encouragement to keep writing, the honesty of so many of my people has been nothing short of soul-filling. Did you know that every comment, every text, every single bit of love shown to me as a mama, a wife, or a writer feels like an instant reason to smile and keep going? They do. I hold on to every one of them. So if you did not know before how full of gratitude I am for your words, you know now. I only hope that my words go as far for others as theirs have for me.
And lastly, I hope I always remember that God’s word matters the most. The last month feels like it has brought with it an unrelenting storm of confusion and sadness in the news, and the vitriol loaded at one another over social media breaks my heart as much as the actual events on display. And still, there is God’s word, that calls to us as believers and reminds of the truths we desperately need to cling to and boldly believe in, as we always have. Fear cannot take over our hearts when God’s words have already taken up residence there, it just can’t. In our home we are constantly remembering the words of Peter, when he reminds us that “we have the prophetic word [the Bible] more fully confirmed [you know, by the empty grave and all], to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” Let’s not kid ourselves, God is so much bigger than our tiny moment in history. Infinitely bigger. And what He has always said never changes: love Him, love others. His ultimate justice cannot be and will not be messed with in any way. Let's not forget that.
Another full, wonderful summer month in the books. We will be soaking in our last few weeks of sunshine before the leaves turn and the routines come back around, and I hope you will, too! Happy August, friends. Let's love well, even better than people expect us to.