Friday, December 11, 2015

When you don't know what to say...

You may have noticed my absence in bloglandia, but then again, I'm not sure anyone reads this, so you may not have. :) Whatever the case, after our move I just couldn't find the words to describe the myriad of emotions swirling around in my heart. I still can't nail them all down, but I'm finally ready to talk about one aspect of this move that has been the hardest.

Moving is hard in many ways. Physically it is demanding as you pack and sort and move things into place. Mentally it is exhausting as you run through to-do lists and figure out all the nuances of your new area. Emotionally you face the sorrow of missing family and friends, of your routines and comforts of "home".

I've struggled to write anything here (though I've tried and deleted a number of posts) because I didn't know how to be honest about the depression that I have been fighting ever since our move. I've gone through nearly a hundred hours of Biblical Counseling training, I've counseled friends fighting depression, I've read the books on Christians and Depression, I honestly believe and trust that God has placed us here, and been gracious in so many ways here. But I've still fought it. And like any war, I've won some battles, and lost others.

The truth is, I have good days and bad days. The truth is, I recognize with all my heart that we are right where the Lord wants us, He orchestrated this move, He gave us our home, He placed us in a part of town that is close to so many things that it's sometimes embarrassing to talk about because I feel so richly spoiled. But there is also the truth that I left some of the most amazing people in the entire world; friends who would drop everything to come cry with me in sorrow, encourage me in trials, minister to me in suffering, laugh and tell silly stories with me over coffee, and our families who we'd normally not go more than a few days without seeing. And to a girl who didn't have a true friend in the world besides her mom until her late twenties, leaving my home and friends was like cutting off my right arm. And maybe my left arm too.

Today was a bad day, I physically couldn't get out of bed until almost 11am, and even when I did finally drag myself out from under the covers, I didn't actually get dressed for another 4 hours. I have no idea if my children did any school work today, for most of the day I didn't care, if there had been a deep dark hole away from everything, I would have crawled in it. I knew I couldn't stay there, so I spent a lot of time reminding myself of all the blessings we have, recounting all the ways the Lord has shown Himself faithful, trying to pull myself out of my "funk". And then there was this "ah ha" moment. Immediately, I recognized the pattern of my "ups and downs" on this journey, and it was a comfort to see the hope ahead.

After visiting a few churches in our first month here, Elliott and I decided on the church we wanted to attend, and recently went to the New Members Class and we are pursuing membership. We feel home at this church, I even found a "loud" friend, as well as an older woman I feel comfortable being transparent with, Elliott has even met a few guys, and the kids are settling in well. Tonight, we were scheduled to have one of the Pastors come over to share our testimonies and ask questions, and I was really excited to have them over. But when I awoke feeling that anvil of depression, I really begged God to show me why. It was then that I realized that joining a new church was a step towards settling here, which naturally means saying goodbye to a piece of home. That's when the lightbulb went on, and I saw the pattern, that even in blessing, every event that makes our new city feel like home means that I am having to let go of a little piece of "back home", and my heart aches.

I don't imagine that recognizing this pattern will mean that the hard days will magically disappear, but I do think that God allowing me to see this pattern was a gift. God showered His grace on me when I needed it most, reminding me that He brought us here, encouraging me that when you love well, there will be sorrow in loss, but also showing me that He is moving here, changing me, and holding me close. Tears will still fall, but He will comfort. 

For my "back home" friends, I hope you know that our doors are always open and there's lots of fun stuff to do here. For my "new home" friends, I'd love to have you over for a coffee. :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Those moments...

We've been on this homeschooling journey for over 10 years now. When I started teaching my oldest (now 13), I jumped at every glimmer of indication that she was ready to learn something. When she'd pretend to read a book because she had it memorized, and ask me to tell her the sound of this letter and that letter and ask me every day to teach her to read, we started reading lessons at 3 years old. When tears fell during lessons, both of us frustrated, both of us clueless about why she couldn't remember what "a" said from one lesson to the next, I wondered what was wrong with my teaching or even worse, my kid. When she started counting everything in sight, apples, blocks, toy cars, I began playing math games with her, then found myself growing irritated because the math facts I was teaching her didn't "stick". She eventually learned to read, though was reluctant and shy for a long time, and she learned to add and subtract, yet she struggled thinking she was terrible at math. Tears shed through these pioneer days caused me to seek better ways. 

During those early years, I read and reread different homeschooling "experts", I struggled with who I believed, what style of homeschooling fit my kids as students and me as a teacher. I wrestled between feeling encouraged by all my blog surfing research one moment, and devestatingly discouraged the next by the picture perfect homeschool days that I'd read hoping for inspiration. 

Somewhere along the line, through trial and error, blood, sweat and tears, piles of curriculum and many moments of hand wringing, I figured out who I was and am as a homeschooler, as a mom. One thing that has changed since the early years, is that I have figured out that the lightbulb moments happen for each child at their own time regardless of whether I push them to tears or wait patiently, even when well meaning folks start whispering "shouldn't he" or making the occasional  "you would think" comments. What I've also discovered is that pushing a child who isn't ready brings tears and frustration to both mom and child. Yet, providing a rich learning environment, giving kids room to soak up, enjoy and explore while awaiting the "lightbulb" moment, results in a quiet cheerfulness even if it does mean we sometimes end up waiting for break-throughs longer than "normal". 

Today was one of those days, seemingly normal by all accounts, we spent the day catching up on school work, doing chores, playing outside. In the evening, Micah was showing Elliott how he had learned to tie his shoes when Grandma Joyce had visited this weekend. Caleb looked on, having never been interested in tying his own shoes before. Now, he was suddenly motivated. Something I've offered to teach for years without any interest was learned in less than three minutes with smiles and giggles. 

I'm not always perfect at this relaxed approach, I get frustrated at not being able to explain a topic sufficiently, or I become impatient in the waiting. I struggle to tell the difference between a lack of understanding or a handful of laziness. But then a moment like this happens, and I'm reminded to keep persevering, keep hoping for understanding, keep praying for my children. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Little glimpses...

I've not been able to articulate all the thoughts percolating around in my head. And I haven't done a fantastic job of photographically chronicaling our adjustment to North Texas. But here's a few glimpses into what we've been doing. 

While the twins were at practice and we were still living in the hotel, we tried finding a Kohl's without taking the toll roads. We got lost and found this really cool pond that had at least fourty turtles in it. 

I love how many push-ups Noah has to do at TaeKwonDo. He's learning a lot about self-discipline. 

Our first trip to the laundromat. Caleb and Micah were enthralled by the huge washers and dryers. 

While we waited for the movers, the kids tried out their new tree. Plans for reading in the tree, eating in the tree, hiding in the tree, were made by all. 

21,000 pounds. I'm still in shock by that number. And especially grateful for all the purging I did over the last year or so. I've come across very few items that I thought, why did I bring that. Because of the purging, it was more like "welcome home". I wish they could have just weighed the books, I wonder how much my paper friends contributed to that crazy weight! 

And now, let's begin. :) 

The church we began attending had a Foundation Dedication party and handed out Sharpies. We've actually settled on this church after visiting a few. I'm so glad we went, our little "mark" on the foundation will soon be covered with flooring, but it's neat to remember all the prayers and blessings soaked into that foundation. 

Our first of three major trips to IKEA. If we were to move again anytime soon, we'd weigh a lot more. :) 

Friends came to help with unpacking. We spent one morning acting like animals at the Dallas Zoo. 

A free Andrew Peterson concert!!! 

Getting to the book boxes slowed me down significantly. I really want things to make sense as they get put away. I'm not sure when I'll ever finish the books. 

We found a living history farm and museum near our house. We spent the day there with some new friends on Friday. 

Hannah has always wanted to see Matilda since she participated with CYT. When we saw it was coming to Dallas, we bought tickets. It was a great show! 

Current state of my art and science bookshelf. I'm off to try to make a little more sense of it. :) 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How we got here...

For 37 years, I lived less than 25 miles from where I was born. Try as I might to convince my mom to put in for an overseas job, we never moved. All through college, I dreamed about striking it out on my own, but I never left my home. In the early years of our marriage, Elliott and I discussed where we would be willing to move, and where we'd never want to move, and yet we stayed close. After we started our family, moving away was pulled off the table, we settled in and got comfortable. We were surrounded by friends, and family, and God blessed us with amazing neighbors as we rooted and grew in our little home in Cibolo.

I never thought it would happen in a million years, yet it did, God showed us it was time to move. It started in the Spring with a prompting in my heart to encourage Elliott to find a position he could be passionate about, even if that meant moving. And then, the Lord tested my resolve for the next six months, as opportunities rolled in from New York and California, New Jersey and Kentucky, Dallas and Los Angeles. Some days, my heart was excited about all the new possibilities. Other days, I felt paralyzed not knowing how to live in the now while we waited for news on the future.

One July morning, as my heart was heavy from the months of waiting and the weeks of excitement (Elliott had been flying to a handful of final interviews), I was pulling weeds in the front yard and I cried out to God for answers. I told God that I didn't care what the answers were, I prayed for Him to make our path straight, to give us clarity and direction. I never could have imaged what would happen next...

Tuesday, July 14th, was the morning I prayed in the garden. Less than an hour later, Elliott texted that he didn't get the Kentucky job. The news took my breath away, but I immediately thanked God for His quick answer to my heart-felt prayer. A little while after lunch, Elliott came home early. We were leaving for a vacation the next day, so I assumed he came home early to help pack. But I was wrong. He was fired. Again, shock hit me, but it didn't take long for me to see this news as God further granting my request for clarity and direction. An hour later, Elliott got a call for a lunch meeting with a company in Dallas. We were going to Dallas the next day for vacation. God's mercy and kindness was overwhelming to me, we still didn't have all the answers, but we could see God moving.

Elliott had a great lunch with the folks in Dallas, and even got a call the next day for references. Before we headed home from our vacation on Sunday, we drove around to a few suburbs I had checked out on the web to see where we would want to live if we got the job. We expected to hear a decision by Monday, so when no call came, we both felt a little crushed and disappointed. I realize now what the Isrealites must have felt like, seeing the LORD be faithful to rescue them through the Red Sea to then doubt His care for them as they grew hungry and thirsty.

Tuesday, July 21st, the call came in, and Elliott accepted the position in Dallas. They offered us a generous relocation package and we had to get things moving quickly because Elliott needed to report to work in three weeks. I had already been plodding along to get the house ready to put on the market, now it was just a matter of getting it listed and jumping through the hoops of the relocation. By Sunday, we had all our kids tucked away with friends and family and Elliott and I hit the road on a house-hunting trip.

We saw two homes Sunday night and had a full slate of homes to see on Monday. We saw some lovely homes that were just not "us", and then we saw some awful homes, and a few in between. Then, we opened the door to our last house before lunch and we both knew, this was the house. We were like giddy school kids, we had our realtor call while we stood in the kitchen. There was another offer on the home, they'd take offers through 10pm. We were in a bidding war. We made our offer, even wrote up a little note about what a blessing it would be to our family to be chosen, then we went to lunch, and prayed and prayed. It was a long night of waiting.

Tuesday, July 28th, our realtor called us before 7am to let us know that we had won the bidding war. The house was ours. My head was spinning, I felt so overwhelmed with thankfulness. It was such a relief to know that even though we would initially move into temporary housing, God had already secured a home for us in our new town. Now we needed to get home and sell our house.

We met with one of the relocation realtors as soon as we drove home on Wednesday, we finished getting the house show ready, had photos taken on Friday morning and we were on the market by 11:30pm Friday night. We had only one showing on Saturday at 12:15pm. But that was all we needed because we had a solid full-price offer by Saturday night.

Tuesday, August 4th, our home in Cibolo was under contract. We were just in awe of all that had occurred in the previous three weeks. We knew that God was orchestrating it all, and though my heart ached with the weight of leaving my amazing friends, and saying goodbye to family, I couldn't help but be excited for all the LORD would do in our lives in this move.

We lived in temporary housing for three weeks. We shared a stomach bug and one child got to experience the local urgent care after catching strep throat. But even still, life in close quarters was pleasant and felt more like a vacation than a trial most days. I made the trip home to meet the movers, and clean the house. God showered me with kindness, as friends stopped by with coffee and helped clean bathrooms. When I finally closed the door and whispered goodbye to my house of nine wonderful years, tears fell, but excitement also swelled in my heart, seeing God's continued faithfulness to us.

The last seven weeks have been a blur. This is our fourth week being in our new home, and while we are mostly out of boxes and have already had two different friends spend the night, we still have some settling to do. Our afternoons are predictable with gymnastics and TaeKwonDo schedules. We visited a small handful of churches and have recently decided where we will settle and plug into ministry. God has shown us mercy upon mercy, we are awed daily by His lovingkindness towards us. Tears still fall when I realize I can't just trip across town and have coffee with a friend. I miss my mom, I've never in my life gone this long without seeing her, and I think the hardest part is not the amount of time but the not being able to just drop in and visit on her couch. Even so, God has given me a peace that we are where we are supposed to be, and for that, I am thankful.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Playing in the dirt...

Spring has sprung, Summer has come.
Bright eyed boys digging up wiggly friends.
Giggling girls chasing leaping playmates.

Rain coming down, mud in the making.
The landscape is glowing emerald.
New life erupting silently from between my toes.

Toads and turtles, lizards and snakes.
Everyone needs a glass container so they can "watch".
Tears stream down cheeks when new friends leave.

These last few weeks I had big plans for us to log some good "Summer School" time. Instead, the kids have been filling our days with making new friends of the reptile and amphibian kind. Not wanting to be neglectful or hurtful of our adoptees, I have spent a good amount of time googling about the proper care of our adopted mates.

Meet Toad...

Years and years ago, we adopted a little toad from my mother's backyard because Hannah fell in love with it. We watched that little toad grow from the size of a quarter to the size of the palm of your hand in about two years. We finally released the toad when we had to buy crickets the size of your pinky finger that chirped all night long. So, it only seemed right to allow the younger boys the same experience when they fell in love with a hoppy little friend in my front garden bed. Here was the first toad the kids caught, already pretty good sized, Caleb and Micah called him Tim Duncan because he was a good jumper.

Then, I found him a friend when I was pulling weeds. This one was much smaller, more reminiscent of Hannah's first toad. I was inspired to improve on the flat look of the tank, using some flagstone from our pool decking and some succulent plants I had in small pots. You can see the small toad in the upper right corner on the "mountain" and the larger toad in the bottom center.

The kids have been finding smaller toads all over the last few days. I don't have a picture yet, but there are currently four smaller toads in a 20 gallon terrarium (the one I found weeding, one the kids found swimming in the pool, another I found in the flowerbeds, and the latest one was gathered during an afternoon visit to a friend's farm). We decided to let the larger toad go back in the front flower beds. Micah was sad about that, but seemed better after collecting the last one this afternoon.

Meet Miracle, the Red-Eared Slider...

Photo credits: Hannah

I found Miracle on a road in a shopping center. Not long ago we watched a research video about how a high percentage of folks will go out of their way to drive over turtles. I found the information saddening but had no idea that Micah had been so affected by it until we saw a turtle crossing the road in Kentucky on our family road trip. We had no way of picking that turtle up at the time, and Micah was crying, so we promised that the next one we found on the road we could take home. (I googled whether or not this was legal after the promise was made, and it is, thankfully. And the law about it is a bit comical, in case you are interested.) Well, we made it home from our trip and I went out for coffee with a friend. As we went back to my car, low and behold, a full-grown female Red-eared Slider was crossing the road into a large parking lot. When I made it home with our newest "pet", Micah said he had been praying for a turtle, and it was a Miracle that God answered his prayers, so that became her name. (The turtle's size gave away its gender, she was a full 12" across, and boys only make it up to 10", thank you Google.)

We kept Miracle for around two weeks. The kids would walk with her around the yard, we made sure she had fresh water and food. She really was sweet and friendly, not easily spooked. When the kids picked her up, she wouldn't even put her head or legs in, she'd sit on their feet (which the kids said was her way of hugging them). But she wasn't eating well. And we didn't have a way to provide her with moving water, which was important because mosquitoes were beginning to take a liking to her baby pool. We decided that she needed to be released. We loaded up our Miracle and headed to a local park with a river. Miracle was thrilled to be back in the river and we watched her explore her new surrounding for at least an hour. Dragonflies were also caught, skipping stones flung, and feet sunk into the bank. Micah cried and cried and cried about releasing his best little turtle friend. I think the little man is going to be a vet or a zoo keeper.

This afternoon our reptile adventures continued, and I wish I had a picture, or a video, but I don't. I was pleasantly surprised that no one suggested acquiring the anoles we discovered on my Red Yucca in the front yard because I'm not sure where we would have put them! But we did enjoy about twenty minutes with our neighbors watching a male anole doing his best to woo a female, bobbing his head up and down and expanding out his red bulging neck. The kids started looking for the female and we ended up spotting three green anoles in and amongst the Yucca leaves.

So, while we are squeezing in a little school work here and there, we are spending far more time playing in the dirt, observing nature, and soaking up the rain and sun. Oh, and every other day we stand around to watch the toads slurp up crickets. If you ever want to watch, just come by, I'll make coffee and we can "oooh" and "aaah" and cheer the toads on. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The desires of their hearts...

We had a major, unplanned disruption to our lives earlier this spring. And there seems to be another gigantic, life-changing one lingering on the horizon. In all the changes, I have had peace and {most the time} am patiently waiting on the LORD. But I am pretty type-A, so lingering makes my head spin and distracts me from the day-to-day, even when I really try hard to focus.

Lately, my heart has been burdened for how things changed in our schedule back in March. The change was abrupt and unexpected, yet we weren't totally shocked. I've referred to that time as an amputation, because it really was an upheaval of all we had done for the past 14 months, no time for goodbyes or graceful exits. One day we were there and the next day we weren't. We went from a full and predictable schedule to a completely wide open and blank one. And as certain dates have come and gone, or I flip through photos on my phone, or kids start the "remember when" conversations, my heart is squeezed just a little more. Regret, guilt, sadness, and confusion all swirl around in my heart. Clinging to the fact that God is sovereign and is doing something good in the midst is the one thing that brings me comfort.

While we were in the swing of things we were pretty busy. And since our "step back,"  I have been wrestling with what it looks like to have six kids and allow them to be individuals. I've gone back and forth about whether it is right and good to force conformity and allow only one family activity (even if it is only enjoyed by a handful of the kids) for the sake of ease and simplicity, or if we are to somehow figure out to juggle each child's desired activity and learn flexibility and put a few extra miles on the car to accommodate a busier schedule.

I'm convinced there is no pat answer to this one. I watch friends whose families all do the same thing and some kids who are thriving, and others (not as interested in the chosen activity) who are discontent and disconnected. I have watched other families torn apart by competing schedules and no guarded time to be together. We've experienced a little of each in our own family as we have tried different things, which raises all kinds of questions in my own heart about being fair and trying to figure out how to allow these kids the experiences they will need to become the people God designed them to be.

So, while we sit with this wide open schedule, we talk about "what we want to do when we grow up". The kids all laugh at the absurd idea that their mom needs to grow up, then they throw ideas around. We've asked the kids to pray, not only for the lingering issue, but also the "once we are done lingering" decisions to make. Summer is around the corner, camps can be a great opportunity to try out new things before settling on an activity in the fall.

I am thankful that I can trust that God already knows my heart, that He knows that the desire of my heart is to pursue those things which He will use to mold these children He has entrusted to us to be the kind of people whose heart's desire is to serve and love the Lord and His people.

How do you do it? How do you balance family time and individual activities? I'd love to hear it.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My silly peeps...

About 363 days a year, I don't get involved in what my kids choose to wear. I mean, I buy them clothes at the beginning of the season, or to replace pieces torn in the wear and tear of an active childhood, but I don't get involved with helping select how those pieces get combined after the tags come off. But twice a year I take control over clothing selection... for family portraits and Easter clothes.

So, here's a few snapshots... I think the silly one is going to make it onto a canvas on the wall!

The little things...

If you know me in real life, you know I enjoy a good cup of coffee. Anytime. Anywhere. I love how it smells. How it tastes. How it brings friends together to share their hearts and lives. And thanks to some amazing friends who taught my kids "The Sippy Cup Song" by Hullabaloo, impromptu outbursts of sing-alongs with a side of boisterous laughter. 

One problem I have found with my love of coffee in the last year or so, is that I have become a bit of a snob. Part of it is practical, if I am going to spend $5 for someone to make me a cup of coffee, I want it to taste good. Really good. Better than I can make in my own kitchen good. Well, after I stopped adding sugar to my coffee, and most anything else as well, I began to realize that I was not a fan of Starbucks anymore; it seemed that they relied too heavily on their sugary syrups to right the wrongs of their espresso. So, I stopped going. Pretty much cold turkey. It freaked out my kids, saved me a ton of money, and simplified trip navigation because I wasn't on the lookout for the green and white mermaid in the sky.

All was well. I even thought about adding a "Friends Don't Let Friends Drink Starbucks" bumper sticker to my car.

And then, Elliott was given some gift cards to Starbucks. I knew it had been a long time since we had been to a Starbucks because as I pulled in through the drive-through one day last week, one of the boys called to me saying, "Why are we here? I thought you didn't drink coffee here anymore." I lamely replied, "I don't, but we got a gift card." And the folks who gave E the gift cards were generous, they gave us three, so I started stopping by anytime I didn't take the time to make my own coffee.

I began wondering if I shouldn't have just saved the cards and given them as gifts. I found myself making unnecessary stops through the drive-thru just because I had this gift card with "free" money on it. Kind of like this morning, when I made Caleb leave the house twenty minutes before we needed to so I could swing through the drive-thru at Starbucks.

I may be dating myself here, but do you remember the old TV series, Cheers? I watched it every week. I loved the lyrics to the theme song, "Where everybody knows your name... And they're always glad you came..." The song is like a welcome call to anyone looking for community, obviously, a bar isn't the best place to seek out true Gospel community, but the point is still that there is this safe place to go and be yourself. And maybe, somewhere deep down, that's why I prefer shopping at local places instead of big box stores. Or, if I do shop at a big box store, I'll drive past one that is closer to where I am to get to "my" store, where the aisles are in the right place and the folks at the check-out look familiar.

All that to say, this morning, when I completely selfishly drove through the Starbucks drive-thru, I was surprised to be recognized by the barista. The young woman has served me coffee through that window for at least the last three years. She has seen me looking my best, my not-so-great, and my I-hope-I-don't-see-anyone-I-know worst. And, today, she asked me how I was, said she'd missed me and wondered where I had been, and noticed my new car. Then, she shared with me an update on her life, some amazing things that were happening, and I had an opportunity to encourage her and rejoice with her.

I was immediately thankful that I didn't have the snarky bumper sticker on my car. Then, I was humbled by this young woman, who probably serves coffee to a few hundred people a week, remembering me and chooses to share her life with me, even in a little way. And I was challenged, too. How can I do better in things like this? When my gift cards run out, I'll likely become a rarity at my local Starbucks again. But how can I go about finding a way to become a part of my community, in a Cheers sort of way, but for a much deeper purpose?

Quickly brainstorming, I think of the Farmer's Market I go to every Saturday morning... maybe I should wander more, visit all the booths, and not just pick up my veggies and dash out. Or my local (and amazing) gluten-free bakery... they already greet us by name, maybe we should invite them for dinner. I have a friend who grocery shops on the same day every other week, maybe being more intentional and predictable would foster more opportunities than my current, "Oh dear, the fridge and pantry are empty" shopping schedule. I am realizing more and more that true community is built on the little things.

How are you seeking out your community? Pray for me, if you think of it, that I would do better in pursuing my community, shining the light of Christ wherever I go.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Finding my feet again...

I almost feel like I don't really know how to do this anymore...
Send off my thoughts into the great open world wide web...
Just to get the words out...
To encourage, I hope...
Maybe even inspire a fellow woman bumping along on this journey of mothering...

So, I am tiptoeing back in to the blogosphere. I can't promise regularity. Or encouragement. Or inspiration. But I am going to attempt to be transparent about the ways the Lord is shaping my days and changing my heart; not in a "I finally have it all figured out" way, but in a "you are not alone, this is hard, but God is good" way.

I'll be honest, I do struggle knowing how transparent I can/should/will be, so if I am vague in an area, please believe that I am desiring to share my heart but don't have the freedom to speak into specific situations with all the gory details in such a public forum. It may be that a situation is churning in my life that hasn't been fully resolved, yet the process is worth documenting. It may mean that I have been encouraged by some conversations or events with one of my children, but that I don't have that child's permission to share openly with the world. I might share my own struggle about being a wife who honors her husband and sharing the cause of the struggle would not edify my husband, but the process of seeking to see my heart conformed to Christ's image deserves remembering because it's the sanctification that is important, not the catalyst. Other times, it simply might be too personal to share details on a blog, and I need to protect myself.

If you have ever read my blog, or if you find yourself taking a peek back in time, you will know that I have struggled on and off with the whole social media thing. I'm gonna give it a whirl. We may be having some big changes around here and having somewhere to "jot it all down" is appealing. Especially since I throw out paper journals after I fill in the last blank page. (I have a thing about looking at my own handwriting. I don't like to. But the process of writing is something I love.)

So, while this kind of feels like an un-post, I just wanted to share where I am coming from moving forward. I realize I could have started a new blog, leaving the past in the past, but I'll be honest, I'm not one of the world's best "namers", and I kind of hope that if you look back (or when I do), we'll see God's work woven into the tapestry of my days, weeks, months, trials, and successes.

I hope you will join me, as I find my feet again... Feel free to say "hello" sometime. And I've said it before, I'm available in person, too. And I make some really yummy coffee if you ever want to drop by.