What You Can’t Get Back

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Time is precious.  It’s a gift.

In fact, it’s one thing you can never get back.

Maybe it’s because I’m now a mom and I see in front of me the impact that every minute of my day has — the minutes I sit and play, the minutes I stand and cook, the minutes I type and scroll and edit.  They all have an impact.

I can only do so much.  I can spend time with my baby, cook , write, clean, run my little photography business, put effort into our marriage, visit with people, spend time with family… but all of those things add up.  And to things beyond these bounds I have to say no. Other things may fit back in at some point as the ebbs and flows of life adjust, but this season right now is full and I want to be able to do each thing well.

We think we have all the time in the world but the reality is that we don’t.  We have the time that’s been given to us, an exact amount that none of us knows; but we know it’s time that is only used once.

Friend, you can only do so much.

Comparison will only lead to emptiness.  Working yourself harder and harder will lead to emptiness.  Filling your days with more and more will not be the source of your joy.

There are busy seasons, and there are slow seasons, and both can be good.  But look at your current season and see if you’re making the most of your time.  Not by how many deadlines you can meet and goals you can accomplish, but by how meaningful and sufficient each day is.  What things are you doing?  And why are you doing them?

Time is precious.  It’s a gift.  Don’t waste it.

Dear Diary

It’s getting cold here.  My feet and my hands get really cold sometimes and it’s hard to keep them warm.  If I have socks on my feet I can stay warm but sometimes my socks come off…  I like to move my feet a lot and so they just come off.  Mommy puts them on and then they come off.

Yesterday Daddy woke up and he was so cold he put all of him under the blankets so I couldn’t see him.  He told Mommy it was time to turn on the heat in the house because it’s too cold, and Mommy laughed.  Maybe she doesn’t get cold like Daddy and me.  I don’t know what house heat is but I think it’s probly a real good thing, cuz Mommy finally turned it on last night and now I’m not that cold.  And Daddy didn’t put all of him under the blankets again.

When we go for walks sometimes it’s so cold I just sit on my hands in my stroller when Mommy pushes me.  So my eyes move around but I’m too cold to make me move.  Mommy says it’s a good thing I like hats because I need to wear them now sometimes, when it’s really cold.  But she said it’s going to be colder soon too and I don’t know how but I guess it will be.

Mommy’s real excited too because there’s a thing called Cwismas soon and I get to have it.  But I have to wait a little time.  I think it will be nice, but I don’t know what she’s talking about.  But I think it is cold too.

And I know I’m a-pposed to say my name when I’m done here, and I don’t always ‘member to do that.  So I will today after Mommy helps me say the first word.

Sincerely,

Levi

God Provides

Earlier this week I made some phone calls to update our mailing address, since we recently moved.  One of those calls was to our insurance company, and I was informed that we’d also need new policies issued since we’d moved to a different State.  So the representative and I spent some time going over the policy adjustments and costs, figuring out what I’d need to pay going forward and how we could keep the rate low.  (She was so helpful!)

The new policy came to a certain rate, but if I paid that day our rate would be less per month.  Of course I’d pay right away!  Looking over our previous plan, she noticed our automatic payment was due the following day – something I hadn’t even thought about.  She was able to stop that payment and start our new plan instead.

I don’t share all this to brag on the insurance company, although they’re fantastic.  Rather, I share because God provides.  The littlest details; I was able to call and make adjustments before our next payment was due, instead of having to pay double.  We also were able to keep the monthly rate near the same as what we had before.  And, our conversation ended before naptime did.

If these little details hadn’t worked out as they did, would He still have provided?  Absolutely.  It would have looked different, but He would have provided.  We could have paid double, the rate could’ve gone up significantly, Levi could have woken up and screamed — and He would have provided for each of those things.

There is great peace, indescribable peace, that comes with knowing and believing that He provides.  Seeing how He provides over and over and over increases our faith to believe He’ll provide in the future.  He is good!

The Truth About Getting Married Young

The following article is from another friend of mine, Emma.  Emma and I met in Belize, are about the same age, and each have a sweet little boy.  She shares some good thoughts on marrying young and learning to work together, modeling marriage after Christ and His bride, the Church.  Enjoy, and feel free to leave your thoughts below.  :)

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The Truth About Getting Married Young

Before I got married and had my son I remember people making me feel like my life was over. As a young person there is a stigma that when you have a kid or get married young your “life ends” and the fun stops. When I thought about people I knew who were already married, it didn’t make me feel too excited either. People who were already married gave me the vibe that after a certain point in marriage you just learn to tolerate each other. Or that they started out in love but at some point began to hate each other. This, of course, led me to feel anxious for my new life that was quickly approaching. I felt like my fiancé and I entering into marriage was like really good friends that were afraid to date because they didn’t want to ruin their friendship. I wanted to get married but I didn’t want to fight non-stop or hate my spouse one day or even just learn to tolerate him. I liked the way things were and I didn’t want them to change. I’m glad I didn’t let peoples impressions of marriage affect me because it is the best decision I have ever made. That being said this is my take on my first two years of marriage. Some of my rookie mistakes and some helpful tools I have taken away.

Now my marriage is not your average newlywed marriage. Mostly due to the fact that our first gift as a married couple was our beautiful son. Marriage is a challenge enough on its own, it’s like walking a tightrope between two skyscrapers with inadequate training. Adding a child to the mix is like deciding to ride the tightrope on a unicycle instead of walking. Throw in my husband finishing his fifth year of college and three moves between South Carolina, the suburbs of Philadelphia and finally to our home in the heart of South West Philadelphia.

The biggest lesson I had to learn in my marriage was complete and utter reliance on God. In my marriage and my life there was so much change, instability and uncertainty. Moving several times across multiple states, school, jobs, child and no money. Sounds like a recipe for disaster but somehow we are both still standing and the only reason is God. The biggest test of our reliance on God as a married couple was when we moved from South Carolina back to Pennsylvania. The gist of the story was that I wanted to stay in South Carolina with my family but my husband was feeling led to finish school back in Pennsylvania. We were butting heads for a while unable to make a decision. At this point we were only six months into marriage with a child trying to make this life changing decision. I didn’t want to budge on getting my way because I wasn’t settled on believing God really wanted us to move all the way back to Pennsylvania. The thing that made me change my mind was after talking with our pastor.

Our pastor shared with us Ephesians 5:22-33 which explains what God says about husband and wife. However he explained it in a way that just clicked and made sense to me. Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” In Ephesians 5:25 it says, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” The way its worded makes it seem like the woman has to do all of the hard stuff. We have to submit to our husbands and all the husband has to do is love his wife, that’s easy I’m already lovable. But it doesn’t just say love your wife it says, “Love your wife, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Our pastor explained how God died on the cross and made the ultimate sacrifice for the church. God isn’t asking the husband to just love his wife but to be willing to sacrifice everything and every part of himself for his wife.

Later on with that in mind my husband told me he would be willing to stay in South Carolina for me. It would mean he would lose a year or more of school because none of his credits would transfer. He said even if it meant he would be behind in school he would sacrifice it for me. His words meant a lot to me and they helped me to open my heart and my ears to God about what his plan for us was. Before I wasn’t willing to listen to anyone not even God because my family was my everything. But I believe everything happened the way it was supposed to. If I would have just blindly “submitted” to my husband because he said so I would have resented him at some point. If I would have forced my husband to stay in South Carolina I would have been just as bad as eve in the garden convincing her husband to go against God’s will. But because my husband was patient with me and showed Christ to me through his actions it allowed me to come to my own conclusion and get on board with the big picture.

To refer back to the beginning of this article, no my life did not end when I got married and had my son. It did get 10 times harder and forced me to adult way more than I would want to. But there is almost no words to explain the pure joy of raising a child and growing with your soulmate in Christ and in life daily. Your life begins when you start your own family. It is absolutely hard but it is all worth it and almost impossible to remember what life was like without them in your life.

 

Original article found here

Dear Diary

I’m in my crib and I’m wide awake but Mommy isn’t getting me.  The thing on the ceiling is making noise and talking to me, and sometimes I like to talk to it too.  It’s moving and I like to touch it when I can.

I’m covered in a blanket and I rolled over it…  I’m stuck.  But I like sucking on my thumb (Mommy calls me a turkey when I do that).  And I have a toy to put in my mouth; it’s a fun toy.  I did call for Mommy a couple of times and I’m going to again, because I’m done sleeping.  I took a long nap all night, so I don’t need more naps.  It’s time to play!

Today I don’t know what we’re going to do but I hope I get to play in my new toy.  I get to sit and stand in it and it has things for me to play with.  I can move anywhere and get toys — it’s a lot of fun!  My grammie got it for me and it’s great.

But I need Mommy.  I need her to get me out of here so I can play with it, because I’m done with the thing on the ceiling.

Mooooooommmmy!

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Sharing another Instagram post from a friend; Anjuli writes so beautifully and openly, and this post is definitely worth sharing.  I hope it encourages you today, and if not you may you find someone whom it will encourage.  :)

Original post here

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We have such little control over life. Maybe that’s what makes motherhood so darn difficult. We can pour hours, years, give up our careers, and our lives for our little ones and there is no guarantee that everything will be okay. There is no guarantee they won’t get hurt. There is no “fail proof” guide to motherhood, there is only faithfulness.

Faithfulness to the small stuff: the way we tend to their hearts and tasks we’ve been given. Faithfulness to feed, clothe, and bathe them. Faithfulness to listen. Faithfulness to show up to their performances and cheer like a crazy person on the sidelines. Faithfulness to shower them with surprises, adventures, and extra dessert. Faithfulness to love every ounce of their them: all the good and all the ugly.

So when I struggle at night with the big, scary, world out there and the reality of how hard life will be for my kids, I focus deep on right now and being faithful to the tasks right in front of me. Keep at the faithful small-big-beautiful work of motherhood. We can’t control the future, but we can be faithful to love our kids – day to day – and be a forever soft landing for their hearts to come home.

Dear Diary

I know today is Tuesday, and I’m a-pposed to write on Mondays.  But Mommy said people need to laugh on Tuesdays too so I think I’m going to tell a joke.

What do you call a fake noodle?  (You know, the things you eat.)

An impasta!

Hehehe.  That’s one of Daddy’s favorite jokes.  I don’t really get it but when he laughs I like to laugh too.  Mommy says “impasta” is like the real word with an accent.  And she says someday I’ll know what that means.

I made a great discovry the other day.  I know how to grab my feet (you know, those things on you… they move a lot but they’re part of you and Mommy says they’re called feet).  Well I know how to grab them but now I can eat them!  Only not really eat them because they stay on me when I’m done trying to eat them.  I guess that’s what they’re a-pposed to do because I need them for things.

So when I’m done eating my feet I like to eat my hands and maybe my arms.  But if Mommy or Daddy are around I like to eat them too.  Daddy always makes funny faces and Mommy doesn’t really do anything anymore.  Sometimes she laughs and then it surprises me and I look at her and she laughs more.

Hey look, food!  I’m all done writing today.

Dear Diary

We went on a big trip, me and Mommy and Daddy.  We went to the place where Daddy grew up, but I don’t know the name of it.  We got to go in the sky with the birds (except I guess we went higher than the birds) and after a really long time we came back down and walked on the ground like normal.

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Mommy gave me a thing to put in my mouth and it looked like what Daddy has on his face.  It took me some time to know what to do with it, cuz I never used it before.  I just sucked on it and Mommy said I did a good job.  She made me suck on it when we started to go above the birdies and when we started to get back to the ground.  Lots of people said I looked cute with it.

We got to see my aunties and Grammie and Grandpa, which was really nice because I haven’t seen them before.  I think they really liked me.  We also got to see Daddy’s other family, but there were so many people I can’t remember all of them.  I got held by a lot of them too, and they were all nice to me.

It looks not the same as home.  Daddy must know everything since he has been to so many places.  He took me and Mommy to a lot of places and showed us a lot of things.  Mommy looked really happy and she got excited when we drove around.  I think Daddy had fun.  There was brown stuff everywhere — Mommy called it, um, dust — and she said it was why my fingers were so dry.

We did a whole lot on our big trip and I am tired.  I got to sit in a wagon and get pulled in it by a big kid.  Mommy and Daddy made me wear a special outfit and it had a hat too, and I had to ride a bit and then Mommy picked me up and I had to sit on her lap.  It was for one of my aunties; she wanted me to sit and look cute for a few minutes.  So I think I did.

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After I rode in the wagon Mommy and Daddy and I had to stand still and smile a lot, and I tried real hard but I was so tired.  Mommy brought me upstairs in the house and put me to bed.

I like where Daddy grew up.  It was hot and I saw the sun a lot, and I got to see things that made Daddy happy and tell stories.  I like his stories.  Maybe someday we will go back.  But now I need to take a nap, at least that’s what Mommy says.

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Mommy’s Note:

We went out to Oregon last week to see family and attend Josh’s sister’s wedding.  Levi was ring bearer – and such a trooper!  He handled the time change very well and was a happy little guy.  We had a great time with Josh’s family and friends; Levi and I were able to meet many of them for the first time, which was special.  Such a different climate and region of the States, at least for me – but I really enjoyed it!  :)