#1 – I have a partner to help me pick up the pieces. Recently, my son Jack pulled flowers from a flower bed in our yard and scattered them all over the ground. I was heartbroken and scolded him, which caused him to have a meltdown. He did not understand and I was so frustrated. I wanted him to see why what he had done hurt my feelings and why it was not the right thing to do to those flowers, but he only got more upset and yelled louder. That afternoon, my husband very quietly sat down with him and explained why what he did was wrong, then went and gathered the scattered flowers, put them in a jar, and placed them in the center of our kitchen table. That simple, but profound gesture reminded me that I do not carry the sole responsibility of picking up the pieces. When things go wrong, I have a partner to help me put things back together.
#2 – There is great #peace in coming to love, appreciate, celebrate, and live in your home – whatever and wherever your home may be. This month, I read The Nester‘s (Myquillyn Smith’s) new book The Nesting Place, which fully embraces the concept: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. I identify so much with the author who has moved many times, is a renter, and lives on a tight budget. Our family has moved to seven different homes in the past five years, all of which have been rentals. We have rented everything from my mother’s basement to an apartment, a large house in the suburbs to a small home by the sea. For many years, I struggled to take pride in our homes. As a renter, I felt lesser than a home buyer. Truthfully, I felt like a failure. I had friends who were able to buy their first homes and settle in, while our family was constantly moving and struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck. We were so transient it felt pointless to decorate and, with our security deposit looming, I worried about being charged for something as simple as hammering a picture on the wall. Myquillyn’s book made me feel proud of the homes we have made and convinced me to tack up our favorite wall hangings and paintings without fear. And, for the first time, I feel comfortable to live in my home. It is so freeing!
#3 – Black tea heals sunburns. One afternoon after a family hike, I came home looking a bit like a lobster. Ok, a lot like a lobster. So, I went on Pinterest and found this sunburn remedy from One Good Thing by Jillee and it worked! With a little black tea and a couple of sun-free hours, my sunburn was gone! See my very own from-lobster-burn-back-to-normal arm with the help of black tea below :)
#4 – Fitness isn’t about the perfect body, it is about caring for the body God gave us. My dear friend, Aprille from Beautiful In His Time and I are setting out to help moms pursue #faithfulfitness that celebrates the bodies God gave us and to encourage one another along our fitness journeys. Join us each Friday as we explore Faithful Fitness! We’d love to have you :)
#5 – Savoring simple draws us closer to peace. This year, I set out in pursuit of peace, and God has not disappointed in the opportunities He has presented to help me find and embrace it. Earlier this month, I joined the #banbusy project at Abundant Mama and it has been an amazing exercise in savoring simple, appreciating the now, releasing fear, and embracing joy. I did not realize how busy I was, how cluttered my days were until recently, so I am working now to create a better balance in our family’s schedule and in our home.
#6 – Sometimes marriage can feel like dancing in the minefields, but that’s what the promise is for.
My husband and I have been through a great deal together – Crohn’s Disease, unemployment, bed rest, preeclampsia, an autism diagnosis for our son, seven moves, and much more. Through it all I am learning that this life is not comprised of one random act to the next. It is forged in a series of moments by a Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves. It is in that trust we embark on the journey of marriage. And when we lose our way, He is there to lift us up, to bring us from darkness to light. To bring us together through sickness and health, good times and bad, rich and poor. That’s what the promise is for. (To read more about the promise of marriage and what it means to me, please visit my guest post for The Marriage Diaries at Let Why Lead.)
#7 – God meets us where we are. Sometimes I feel as though God is by my side, at other times He feels distant. The truth is, though, He is never far. This month presented many challenges and, admittedly, there have been times when it was difficult to find the silver lining. Rather than trying to hold in my disappointment, I shared it openly and honestly with God. And you know what? He met me there. He met me in my disappointment and frustration. No matter what, He meets me.
So how about you, friend? What did you learn in May?