what i do when i can’t enjoy every moment

I know I’m going to miss this.  I know I am.

I can see myself ten years ahead, in the land of soccer games, hormones, and big decisions.  I can see myself longing for the days when holding them in my arms solved all of their problems.  I can see myself remembering when I could just stare at her delicate lips, her whole entire hand wrapped around my one right thumb, her feet tucked into my side.  I can see myself looking back on this as a time that, while high maintenance, was also simple, pure, and good.

I know I’m going to miss this.

And that is why they say Enjoy this.

Because they are there, in the land of one, two, or three steps ahead, smitten with their life experience and perspective, and they miss this.

But right now, I am exhausted.  Right now, it’s just a lot.  Right now, when it seems like I have been screamed at by a difficult newborn for two straight months, it’s difficult to enjoy every second.

Right now, I fall asleep knowing that someone is going to need me in mere hours.  Right now the cup of coffee sits cold on the counter in the morning as I move from one to another to another to another.  Right now the circle of feeding of cleaning of driving of consoling of loving of kissing of reassuring of training goes around and around and around the clock.

Right before Lane and I began trying to have our first baby, we went on a backpacking trip in Utah.  A last hurrah of sorts, knowing that our world would never be the same.  A cashing in on a dream vacation that we had talked about doing together since dating in college.  An experience, together, just the two of us, while it remained just the two of us.

We carried everything on our backs that we would need to survive our five nights and six days in Escalante Canyon.  As we hiked for hours and hours each day, I noticed that I had a tendency to just watch my feet.  The rhythmic monotony of watching my legs move step after step after step became a comforting distraction to the pain in my feet and my back and my body.  I was so proud of myself that I only cried once that week- and that was when my socks got wet in the river and my feet were freezing.

But every now and then, I would look up.

And see this.

looking up

I was so focused on the seemingly never-ending step after step after step that I only sometimes noticed the beautiful that surrounded me.

And then we would hit a river and I had to pay attention to my feet again as we crossed, or we would have to climb some rocks, or we started to navigate over slippery rocks as water cascaded over our route.

But every now and then, I would look up.

Life can kind of be divided into times when you need to look down and times when you are able to look up.  Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming navigating the hard and the heavy and the annoying and the dailyness of life.  And sometimes I can steal glances up all day long.

And here’s the thing, I’m not going to enjoy every moment.  I’m just not.  Not when my baby is in a stage of either scream or sleep or scream herself to sleep.  Not when I have to say things like “Stop licking the window!” or “Please put the hammer down.” or “That was our paycheck this month?  Not just like… the week… but that was for… the month?”

And sometimes, I just need to look down at my feet.  I need to pay attention to the details of the days and the details of my people.  Sometimes I need to rock the circle of feeding of cleaning of wiping of loving of reminding of training of grocery shopping of errand running of bath time giving.

But every now and then, I look up.

helping me to look up

And I hear, really hear, Brennan as she narrates our entire day and how she mispronounces some of her words like “I’m going to do it myselth!” and makes sure that I am watching, really watching, as she leaps from tree stump to tree stump in her effort to be a superhero.

I breathe Mae in deep, smelling her baby smell.  I trace the outline of her perfect lips with my finger.  I let her rest in my arms a few minutes extra after she falls asleep, feeling the weight of her tiny eleven pound body in my arms.

I see mischievous Ellie, clever and silly, running laps around the kitchen island with a bright pink cowboy hat on her head, reciting song lyrics as her feet hit the floor.

I fall asleep next to Lane, able to kick my feet out and find his form right next to me, finding myself just as grateful to be his as the very first night we went out on a date.

These moments when I am able to look up gets me through the rhythmic monotony of step after step after step of some days.  Sometimes they are easier to see than others.  Some days all I can steal is a quick glance and the moment is over.

But every single day, I look up.

And that is good enough for me.


on doing hard things

how to navigate life's hard

I sat on the bed of the fancy hotel room in Charleston with a fussy newborn finally, finally, asleep next to me, coverage of the Pope in Philly on the tv in front of me, eating leftover cold pizza from room service the night before because that same fussy newborn prevented me from eating it the night prior.

I had flown to Charleston to offer some words to wives of soldiers.  I had flown to Charleston to speak to a group of women about being a military wife, rising above, staying steady, finding strength, choosing joy.

But as the weekend progressed, as I was immersed in military world once again, the same thought kept re-surfacing in my mind: Gosh.  This is going to be so hard.  

And it’s funny, because when I tell people that we are getting back into the military for Lane to become an Army Chaplain, I always get one of two responses.  Either:  “Wow.  How do you feel about that?” OR, “Isn’t that going to be so hard?”

And so sitting on that fancy bed with the crisp white sheets, dropping pizza crumbs all over because life doesn’t operate by normal rules when you stay in a hotel, I had to offer myself the very same words with which I answer that question.

See, in asking “Isn’t that going to be so hard?” you’re really asking Can’t you avoid the hard?  In asking that question, you’re really asking Why would you choose something that’s hard?

But I think that is missing the point.

Because what I have learned is that there is more to life than the absence of hard.

We can do everything we can to sanitize our life, keep it predictable, control the outcome, manage our situation and emotions and experience.  We do everything we can to stay as far away from hard as we possibly can.

All the while forgetting that it is in the hard that we find strength.  It is in the dark that we develop ruthless trust.  It is in the uncomfortable that we grow.

If I pray for patience, I don’t think that God is going to suddenly fill me with patience.  What he does is he puts me in situations that force me to be patient.

If I pray for peace, he is going to place me in situations which I have no control over and have to rely on him for guidance and trust that he is good no matter what.

If I pray for strength, instead of injecting me with supernatural strength, he is going to place me in situations that are harder than I could ever walk through alone and in which I have no other option than relying on him who gives me strength.

I think that instead of asking Isn’t that going to be hard? We should instead be asking Is this the circumstance that will develop the character of God within me?  

We should instead be asking Is this the best path for my life?

And if the answer is yes, we go.  Even if it’s hard.

I’m not saying it’s easy.
I’m not saying that I even necessarily enjoy it.

But I am saying that it’s worth it.

It’s worth it to step into unknown and uncomfortable territory.  It’s worth it to embrace life’s hard.  By stepping into situations that are bigger than us we experience a renewal, a strength, growth and life and connection that we wouldn’t have experienced had we stayed within our own predictable borders.

Whether it’s going into the military or adopting a child, whether it’s a hard medical diagnosis or another move, whether it’s a new job or a new baby or an old addiction.

We need to trust that God will show up in the hard.

And as we develop our own trust, our own strength, our own patience, peace, purpose, and joy we can then offer it to others as they go through life’s hard.

So take hope, friend, that as you might be walking into something hard, it never is the final step.  As you step into hard, you also step into purpose, trust, community, authentic joy.

So have hope that hard is never the end.

It’s just the beginning.


when the purpose is in the process

the art of process

It’s been almost 3 years since we felt that first shift in the course. 3 years since both of us began to have the conversations of “I think that God is telling me something…”


“I know… me too.”

It’s been 18 months since we sold our home, gave away most of our possessions, and moved away from everything we knew so that Lane could get Pastoral experience and finish seminary before applying to become an Army Chaplain.

It’s been 18 months of being in between homes.

It’s been 18 months since we moved away from our best friends.

When all is said and done and we finally, finally arrive in our permanent station it will be TWO YEARS of transition.  Two years of not having a place of our own. Two years of 6 months here, 9 months there, 7 months there, all the while growing our family to a party of five.  Two years of being in between friends.  Two years between careers.

And I’ve been very introspective about it all, lately.

Why in the world is God taking two years for us to be in the space between careers?  Why couldn’t He have just let us hop from one to the other without any of the messy discomfort that we have felt as we figured out this transitional time?

Why has it been such a long process?

And I don’t know the reason.

But I do know that there is a purpose in the process.  Things that happen quickly tend to be cheapened.  Things that happen easily don’t tend to grow us as much. Things that happen without a process tend to make us think that we did it on our own strength, because of our own abilities.

Here is what I do know:
Joseph was in prison for two full years before the cupbearer remembered Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams.
Joshua had to circle Jericho 7 times before the walls fell.
The Israelites had to wander for 40 years before entering the Promised Land.
David had to wait 15 years before becoming King.
Paul had to wait 2 years before being let out of Roman prison.
And after all, Jesus was in the tomb 3 days before that story changed.

Just as gratitude precedes the miracles, process precedes the transformation.

Whether it’s the process of creating something- a book, a painting, a life.  Or the more intangible process of being refined and chiseled and learning and growing and becoming.

It takes more time than we thought it would, it’s more complex than we realized, it’s harder than we wanted it to be.

In this world of narrowing our thoughts down to 140 characters or less, of offering ourselves up filtered and edited, and seeing what’s trending this second throughout the world, we can be deceived that life is more simple than it actually is.

Being in the spaces in between feels both purposeful and monotonous.  Life in the midst of the process when it’s neither figured out nor cleaned up can be fuzzy.  Life unedited is messy and not put together and maybe not where you want it to be.

But if we let ourselves sit in the process, to actually sit and rest and stop fighting against not being where we want to be, I think there’s something to be learned there.

But I can’t tell you what it is.

I think

: That’s unique to your own journey and your own process and what you need to be learning and thrashing through with God.


: Life is messy.  It might take you awhile to figure it out as well.

But I can tell you that there is some purpose to the process.  What looks like waiting to us is actually sacred and divine and unseen work.

The time in between tends to be where the greatest work happens.  It’s where God distills us- removes all of the extra “fluff” of our lives until all that is left is Him.

No more pretention.  No more entitlement.  No more arrogance.  No more anxiety.

That’s what has happened to us, at least.  Suddenly, our sharp edges have been smoothed but we look around and realize that it has taken 18 months to get us there.  Our world has come into focus as we’ve gone through this distillation process.  We’re more grateful.  More trusting.  More content. More open-handedly living our lives because we’ve experienced the goodness in this adventure.

Because that’s what this all is, right?  This overflowing, adventurously expectant life that draws us nearer and closer still to who we are supposed to be.

And we all are smack in the middle of the process that our sweet God is taking to get us there.


a recipe idea for you

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any food ideas on here for y’all.  But we have discovered something DELICIOUS and it only feels right to pass on this gem of a meal on to you.  It’s so good, you guys.  And comes together so easily, which is perfect for busy weeknight meals- as you’re thinking of meal planning for next week I highly suggest you give this one a shot.

Chorizo Chips


: 2 sweet potatoes {I tend to like white sweet potatoes more, especially for making chips. 2 long and slender ones fill all 4 of us up, typically with enough for leftovers to use for breakfast the next morning.}
: 1 lb of chorizo {Boulder Sausage makes a great chorizo. We have also interchanged this with Italian sausage which is equally delicious. It has less of a kick to it which our littles like better}
: guacamole
: sour cream

// Slice up the sweet potatoes and make sweet potato chips. I like this recipe the best for making chips.
// While the chips are baking, cook the meat in a skillet on the stove.
// Assemble your chorizo chips : Take a sweet potato chip, layer it with some sour cream and guac to give the meat something to stick to, then add your meat to the top.
// I’ve handled this meal two ways: Put all of the ingredients in bowls on the table and assemble the chips one by one as I eat them OR Put a plate full of sweet potato chips laid out on my plate and take the time to make an entire plates worth at once. Both work great.

That. Is. It.  So easy, right?  This has become added to our weekly rotation line-up we love it so much.  We feed this exact meal to the girls too, but all of the elements are just deconstructed on their plates with maybe carrots or grapes thrown in too and they love it all.  When I make this meal, this is the only thing we eat, but I’m sure it would go well with a good salad or a good crusty loaf of bread if you need something additional to fill you up.

Let me know if you try it out!  Hope you enjoy it!


how we rebuild our ordinary marriage

real love

I remember the first time I saw you.  I remember the time after that and the time after that too.

I remember the walk up the Colorado mountain when you asked me to marry you.

And I remember watching you walk up to me, slowly emerging from the group of soldiers that still carried the Middle Eastern dust on their boots, an ocean and gunfire no longer separating us.

I remember watching you walk through our house holding each of our new babies, bouncing and shushing this tiny new life, so small in your arms.

And I remember walking the trail with you, our safe space, dreaming and planning and venting when those dreams and plans seemed so far off.

And these moments form the framework of our life together, this world that we have built between the two of us.  But it’s actually not the share-worthy moments that hold up this world of ours.  It’s not the events that seem so big, so noteworthy that we stand on.

It is the days that add up between those moments, thousands of them by now, that gather around holding us up that form the building blocks of our world.  An entire decade lived side by side, a million simple moments shared.

This love of ours, this everyday ordinary, embracing the adventure, growing older together kind of love of ours, is built in the everyday small.

Catching each other’s eye across the room.  Squeezing your elbow as we pass in the kitchen.  Grabbing a spoon and eating out of the ice cream carton.  Loads of laundry and belly laughs and sitting on the couch and Saturdays and cookies in the back yard.

Yeah, those are our building blocks.  This life we’ve built, this day after day after day of a life together, we’ve built through the ordinary and the small and the details that combine.

But what about when those blocks crumble?  What about when some of the walls begin to crack?

Because when we stood there on that twilight lit evening in June we said In sickness and in health, For better and for worse, For richer and for poorer.

Because then there are the conversations that become a little tense.  Or the curveball that wasn’t in the life plan.  Or that terrible thing I said when I lashed out at you.

Or the simple fact that we change over the course of our years together.

Can our foundation flex enough to withstand it all?  The two people changing, the sickness and health, the better and worse?  Are our building blocks strong enough to crack but not collapse?

I begin to notice what he’s not doing.  I get bitter with how he spends his time- thinking that he needs to give more of himself to us.

I get caught up in the stress of the day.  The exhaustion of the kids.  The anxiety over the job and money and our living situation.  I listen to worry.

We stop spending time together.  School and work and kids and stress speak more loudly and demand more attention.

We live together, sure.  We spoke when we had to, sure, but hadn’t really talked in a month.  Fatigue from the baby and the strain from work broke us a little bit; total exhaustion and survival built a wedge between us.

So many cracked blocks.

How do we rebuild what’s been broken?

And it’s right in front of me.  Rebuild the exact same way we started.  We rebuild us by living in the everyday ordinary all over again.  We reclaim control over the blueprints of our world, of our marriage, when we remember that we began building in the first place using the simplest of bricks.

And so I make a point to notice what he does.  I tell myself that he just cleaned the dishes.  And make note that he’s playing with the girls.  And that he came home early.  I make a point to notice.  And I remember what he does.  And it changes me.

He invites me into celebration.  We inject a little bit of fun into our days again and don’t take life so seriously.  A sunset picnic in the backyard.  Indulging in chocolate chip cookies for dessert after lunch.  Retelling our favorite moments of the day.

We start talking again.  First with small, simple words.  Then we loosened up a little, embraced a little more silly.  We shared how we were actually doing.  We turned up the music real loud and poured a glass of wine and danced in the kitchen.  We remembered what it was like to laugh together and the more we laughed, the more we talked.

We started building shared memories together again.  We went on hikes and made daily iced coffees and cooked dinner together.  We discovered our favorite local joints and made a summer bucket list.

See, there’s this funny thing about marriage.  In it, because of it, through it, the very most ordinary moment matters.  The simple forms the glue that holds you two together.  Add enough simple, everyday moments together they form a day and then a month and then the years upon years that you live together.

And the simplicity of days forms a strong enough glue to hold together the moments that crack, the days that feel like they’re crumbling beneath you.

I stumble out of bed in the morning- the night and the newborn were hard.  I see you in the kitchen, coffee made, beginning to chop veggies for breakfast, the girls doing puzzles. You let the day begin without me, you gave me space to recover, you serve me in the simple.

And in that moment right there, early morning bedhead, coffee in hand, I love you more than I ever have.


finding what i’m looking for

we find what we look for

Every single night when I put the girls down for bed and we say our prayers, I thank God for the roof over our heads and the food on our table.

The most basic of provisions.  Food and shelter.

I do it to remind our girls, even at their young ages, that there are people in this world who don’t have somewhere to sleep that night and who don’t have food on their table.  Maybe one day they will connect the dots and begin to ask the questions about how we can step into those stories.

But also, I do it as a check for my own heart.  I do it to remind myself to actually be grateful for where we live.

Because our driveway is a parking lot off of two main streets in urban Denver.  We park between the diagonal yellow lines and walk through the chain link fence to get to the backyard of a single family home on our church’s property.  Our front door is actually a back door in this home.  This home is a duplex of sorts, the church renovating the basement into an apartment for us to live in while Lane works there.  So we park in the parking lot, enter through the backyard chain link fence, go to the back door which is really our front door, and go down the stairs into our 900 square foot basement home.

We live subterranean, friends.
Without much natural light.
Or much room for the girls to play without being right on top of us.
Or, for the love, a dishwasher.

And because this is so very far from the home I expected us to be living in when we are nearing our mid-30’s, figuring out career paths, and living as a family of 5, it can be difficult for me to be grateful about our home.

And so I thank God for it every single night.

Because I know how easy it is to become bitter.  I know how easily my heart turns to resentment and discontent and longing for what I don’t have.

It’s all about the story we tell ourselves.
Because it’s all about how we see things.

Lane and I have been waiting with baited breath for word from the Army about if he got hired as a Chaplain, when he starts, where we’ll live.

And we’re starting to hear word and the pieces of our lives that we’ve been working on assembling for the past three years are finally beginning to fit together.

But we thought he’d be starting in October- it’s not going to be until January.
We thought he would be stationed in Colorado- odds are it’s going to be much farther away than that.
We thought some other things too… but it’s not exactly playing out how we thought it would.

And we will continue to live in our basement home for the remainder of the year until he begins in January.

And these are curveballs.
They feel a little uncomfortable.
Feeling the reality of life in the Army where so much continues to be unknown as they dictate your story feels a little risky, a little out of control.

But I think that there is something beautiful that happens right there.

Right where life meets the unknown, right where risk meets stepping out in faith, right where we need to fight for new vision, that is where God meets us if we let him.

Because here is what I have learned in our 18 months of transition, 9 months of living in our basement home, raising 3 little girls, and our future being completely unknown in the midst of it all (all because God told us to):

You find what you’re looking for.

I could see this delay in not starting Army Chaplaincy until January as a burden // or I can jump into it as our newest adventure.

I could look in the mirror and see the lingering pregnancy pounds as a source of insecurity // or I can see it as a badge of honor that my body grew this little life and rejoice in the purpose behind the pounds.

I could see the messy and small house and get annoyed and frazzled // or I can choose joy that life happens within these walls as healthy and imaginative kids play and create and explore.

I could look ahead to what life in the Army might entail and become anxious and fearful // or I can sit in peace and trust and hopeful anticipation of what we will encounter.

I could get frustrated with the unending requests of my children // or I can fight against the urge to see them as an interruption to my day and see them as the purpose to my days.

I can look around this house and get annoyed at how small it is or how it does not, for the love, even have a dishwasher // or I can thank God for the roof over our heads and the food on our table.

Because we see what we want to see.

And so I make the constant and deliberate choice to change my vision.
Transforming my heart.
Awakening myself to these days.

And opening my eyes just a little wider to see that there might just be another story going on.

So today, I am going to look for joy and adventure and gratitude and creativity and contentment and beauty.

And I have a feeling I’m going to find it.


what my husband said when i was at the very end of myself

too much

By the end of this day, I was at the end of myself.

By the end of this day, I was exhausted and undone and insecure and felt like a failure and exhausted again.

By the end of this particular day, it had been me flying solo with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old and a newborn for a whole day.  It was Lane’s first day back at work, my first day as a mama to three, our first dabble with our new reality.

There were glimmers of it being okay.  I had tastes of the wonderful world we’ve stepped into as we expand our family.  But really, for the most part, I crawled across the finish line.  The newborn struggled nursing and struggled to stay asleep after a whole night of not being asleep.  The older two needed entertainment and activities and food and help and just their mama, really.  But when they got feisty or ornery or pushed their limits, I snapped and yelled and then felt guilty so cuddled and asked for forgiveness but then a few minutes later they needed more than I could give again so I snapped again and felt guilty again.  It was a vicious cycle of a day.

Lane walked in the door after work and I was attempting to fix dinner with a fussy baby in hand, a messy house, and two older kids who had pushed limits all the live long day.

I fell into one of my very worst tendencies: When I am at the end of myself, I turn into myself.  I don’t ask for help, I get snappy, I get annoyed.  I don’t communicate, I build up walls.  I really didn’t want to break, I did not want to cry.  I really didn’t want to feel weak, I really didn’t want to admit my failings.  Even with my husband, especially with him.

And he felt the ice as soon as he walked in the door.

It’s a protection mechanism, really.  When I am on the absolute brink of losing it- when I have {barely} kept it together all day long- I build those walls so that none of my cracks show because I know that so easily the dam will break, the tears will come, and I will feel weak.  In my need for survival of the day, of making through each of these desperate moments, I push the big feelings below the surface and just do. my. thing.

And so I put up a wall, pretend to be stronger than I am, and brush off questions of how I am actually doing.

But he knows me.

He knows those tendencies of mine.

And he doesn’t let me pull that crap on him.

And so as I pretended to be so busy cooking dinner so that I didn’t have to answer questions about how our day went, he grabbed my shoulders and pulled me into a hug.

And I started to cry about how I felt like a failure of a mom and this is more than my capacity and they’ve been crazy all day and what in the world were we thinking having a third kid…

And he looked me in the eyes and said “Not every day is going to be like today.”

In nine short words, he gave me the greatest gift I needed in that moment.  Validation that yes, today was hard but also a powerful dose of hope that it will get better.  He didn’t brush aside my feelings, he didn’t try to fix it.

Just a simple Not every day is going to be like today.

And you know what?  We’re five days removed from that day and it has only gotten better.  I’m getting my feet underneath me, we’re discovering our new rhythm within our new normal, and with each new day I can see a little more clearly than the one before and feel like it is, in fact, going to be okay.

Each day has felt a little more alive, a little more colorful.  I’ve been a little more attuned to the whispers of grace, the moments of wonder, the mercies that abound.

Each day has felt a little more free.

I don’t know if many of you have three-week-old babies at home like me, so that might not be your thing right now.

But maybe you are in the throes of toddler tantrums.
Or you just got some bad news.
Or have a husband that works crazy hours.
Or just moved to a new town and feel the emptiness of having to start friendships over.

Or have some other hard thing that just feels like a little too much, like a little beyond your capacity.

So I want you to know:

Not every day is going to be like today.

It will get better.

And as you walk through whatever season life has you in, it’s okay for it to feel a little beyond your capacity.

Because at that exact place- where the end of you begins- is the place that God steps in and whispers just a little more strength, a little more patience, a little more hope, a little more life into your world.

So just keep going.

There is freedom ahead.



the days that don’t stand still

Sometimes it feels like days do stand still, like I last wrote about so many days ago.

You wait and you wait and you wait and then suddenly, all at once,

newborn love

You wait and you wait and you wait and then suddenly- what you wait for is underneath your very feet.  The decision has been made, the move is here, the job begins, the baby arrives.

Life changes right underneath our feet.  We’re on a simple walk, and then we realize there is a burning bush right before us.  Just like that, a moment shifts.

There are days that seem to form a pause between the bigness of life, the monotony and the everydayness forming the cadence of our minutes as we wait for what’s next.

And then there are days that just rush right underneath us as we play catch up with the demands of our world.

Right now my days don’t stand still.

I’m trying to regain my footing amidst the sleepless nights, the half-drank cups of coffee because the 2-year-old needs love and the 4-year-old needs play and the coffee just sits, and the baby needs to be fed and the house needs to be packed, and oh- the laundry, and oh- the tired body.

But then I catch this


and this

daddy playtime

And I take a breath.

Life is a bit crazy, isn’t it?  It seems like we’re always trying to regain our footing from the curveballs tossed our way whether they be large, like a job transition, or small, like the errands that need to be run but just sit, waiting to be checked off.

But despite me feeling a bit threadbare, a bit exhausted, a bit overwhelmed at what the next months hold for us, I do a check in with my heart and I know

It is well with my soul.

And I rediscover some of the joy I had been missing when I was focused on the exhaustion, the needs of these babies of mine, the ever-growing to-do list, the messy house, the transition and the discomfort of the unknown.

newborn love

And I think that is the gift of these days that don’t stand still.  They force us to re-evaluate our vision and what we choose to see in the rush of the moments.

I can choose to sit in the hard
Or I can rediscover and renew and reclaim JOY.

Where do you sit right now?  The rush of days?  Waiting and everydayness?  Would love to hear~



how to find purpose during the spaces in between

journal photo

We are firmly planted in the sands of summertime.  Lazy mornings, lingering in nature, sunscreen scented babies, water play and popsicle-stained clothes.  Hands dirty from playing in the sand, bodies tired from swim lessons and tree climbing, sassy attitudes from playing outside too long and going to sleep with the sun rather than with the clock.

We’re waiting for this baby to arrive, looking at the calendar, counting the days while trying to distract myself from counting the days, waiting waiting waiting.

We sit after seminary graduation and ordination but before Army Chaplaincy.  After late work nights and papers to write but before the responsibilities of the military.  We sit here as our time comes to a close in this city, in this home, but before we have a home of our own.  Saying goodbye to one community before finding it again in our next.

We sit in these spaces in between.

In between babies, in between jobs, in between homes, in between community.

We wait on each.

And that’s what all of summertime is, right?  It’s a space in between.

It’s the connector of school years, the grounds for looser schedule commitments, the building block between growing children.

Sometimes these in between spaces feel less noteworthy, less purposeful than the milestones that they connect.  Sometimes we can’t wait until the next thing just begins already.  Sometimes it is easier to pay more attention to the big moments than the sleepy, waiting periods in between.

We go, go, go, racing to get to the next thing.  Always wanting to check off the box, always wanting to make it to the next event, always filling our schedule with activities, obligations, commitments.  Anxious for the big moment to come, restless for the next stage of life to arrive, impatiently sitting in the here and now looking ahead to there and then.

But sometimes I wonder, what if these in between spaces are the very most important pieces of our lives?

Those spaces that maybe aren’t as glamorous, that don’t contain a life milestone, that don’t necessarily qualify as an “event.”  Those here and now spaces where you’re just… living.

summertime hiking

I am convinced that it is in these in between spaces that, if we pay attention, form the true markers of our lives.

It is in the waiting that faithfulness is refined.
It is in the mundane that gratitude is practiced.
It is in the silence that hope is sharpened.

Because a whole lot of life rests in these in between times.  A whole lot of life happens while we wait for the next big thing.

What if rather than always looking ahead to what is ahead of us, we instead live in these million little moments that combine to form the building blocks of our lives?

What if we just rest in where life has us?

Maybe you’re waiting on a contract on your house.  Maybe you’re waiting for your wedding date to finally arrive.  Maybe you’re waiting on a baby.  Or adoption paperwork.  Or for the first day of school to just get here already.  Or for the job interview.  Or for home to just feel like home.

What does sitting in the spaces in between these events look like?

Maybe it looks like embracing the boredom and chaos of summer and starting a bucket list halfway through to make it through the final push.
Maybe it looks like starting a gratitude journal.
Maybe it looks like calling up a new friend to ask them over for coffee.
Or introducing yourself to the neighbors.
Or hosting a summer block party.
Or waking up a little earlier than the kids to start the day on your own terms.
Or actually wrestling with those hard questions bouncing around in your head.
Or taking the leap and finally doing something for yourself rather than waiting until it’s convenient.

You’ll know.

What I do know is this: It looks like contentment.  It looks like gratitude. It looks like rest.

I don’t want to spend my hours waiting for the baby to be born or for when we move or for when we get word on the job.  I can’t control any of that.  What I can control is how I spend my minutes right now.  What I can control is what I do in these in between spaces of our summer and our family rhythm.

The milestones of our lives are a piece of our story.  But the time in between tells a story too.

It’s never too late to grab the pen.


easy summertime smoothie recipe

berry smoothie

With these summer months, our schedule is a bit more relaxed and we’re playing outside a whole lot more.  I’m not as structured with meal planning and don’t love to cook in this warm weather.  Smoothies have made their entrance as a daily regular around here- easy to prepare, don’t require the heat of the oven, and are a fantastic method to get some servings of fruits and veggies into those little ones {or yourselves!}.

I love how versatile smoothies can be and our girls gobble them down.  I sip on one every day too, and I love knowing the goodness that’s inside.  I completely believe that kids should be taught to eat vegetables in the original form, but I also know that my kids would only live on carrot sticks and grapes if left to their own devices and smoothies are a great method to get some greens into them without their awareness. 😉

::: smoothie recipe :::

: 1 cup coconut milk {feel free to switch in regular milk, or even water, but I think the coconut gives a bit of a different, yummy flavor}
: 2 cups berries {summertime provides such assortment of whatever berries you love, but you can even use frozen berries here if that’s what you have around}
: 1 cup chopped pineapple
: leafy greens {I’ve used either kale or spinach: 2 stalks’ worth of kale or a very generous handful of spinach leaves does the trick}

–> Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.

–> We all eat a smoothie once a day.  They make a great snack or are an easy side to put next to whatever protein they’re eating at mealtime.

–> We drink them out of mason jars with our favorite straws.  It helps to make mealtime fun, even for adults.

–> This makes 3-4 servings

Enjoy these open, fun, precious days of summer!