[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
goodness, am i grateful for this series! such a beautiful way to connect hearts. love it! a snippet is tough! i'm a wifey and stay-at-home mama, raised in the deep south, currently living in a cozy downtown apartment in north dakota. i love black coffee, hip-hop and psalms. my husband is my best friend. i often say, many of our days are like a honeymoon, others are like a get-away-from-me-moon. we accept each other's faults, they shape our relationship just as our strengths do. we encourage each other through prayer and listening. he supports me and my crazy ideas, and provides for our family needs. we're adoptive parents to a cute little rascal of a five year old boy.
i'm a work in progress, daily being transformed by the relentless grace of jesus. my story could fill volumes, and i think, no chapter is closed. i'm learning that nothing is wasted. none of my pain, anger, loneliness or shame. every part of my story has lessons for my now and likely for the rest of my life.
i love these words by paul tripp: "grace will drive you to the end of yourself, while it invites you to fresh starts and new beginnings. grace will dash your hopes but never leave you hopeless. grace will decimate your kingdom as it introduces you to a better king. grace will expose your blindness as it gives you eyes to see. grace will make you sadder than you have ever been, while it gives you greater cause for celebration than you’ve ever known." i didn't necessarily have any special plans or dreams for my life. i spent much of my childhood and teen years angry and directionless. once the lord caught me up in his grace and gave me a new life, i traded my aimless rage for joy and hopeful gratitude. i couldn't believe i was given a new lease on life, and i certainly dreamed then of a husband and children to share it with. my dreams didn't include marriage being so much like work. my storyline didn't have chapters on sexual abuse, car accidents, ectopic pregnancies, a hysterectomy or raising an autistic child. but god! he's the author of this story of mine, not me. he is joy. he is hope. he's promised to never leave me, nothing can separate me from his love or crush me outside of his strength. he knows each day before it begins and i'm learning to trust him to make every single one good, for his glory. he's given me new dreams and new vision to see his hands upon every detail of my life. i wasn't made free for myself, but to worship him with all i am. i have not one thing figured out, and mostly feel like a wreck. needing jesus is a good place to live, and i think this incredible story of the gospel made real to me has only just begun!
[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one?
oh, i truly love every part of the day with elijah. and every part of the day wears me out. ha. as exhausting as the hours can be though, he sure is a sweet soul to spend time with! mornings rank pretty highly. he's sure to wake before the sun, and he asks in his cheery morning voice "pbs kids dot org?". we gladly purchase extra minutes of rest with a little ipad time. i love watching him take in whatever he sees and hears. tied with mornings are afternoons. after school he's usually tired a bit, so i may get a few hugs. or we may step outside (if it's not deadly cold!) and walk around the block together. counting things and hunting for monsters. which inevitably ends in me chasing him home. he likes to run :)
[#3] Name 3 Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
i'm fortunate to be inspired by so many women on instagram! choosing only three to mention here is crazy, but a few off the top of my blessed heart:
@natfalls is such an encouragement to me. always reminding me that special needs parenting can be a difficult circumstance to be in, but also the greatest gift! through our perfectly designed kiddos, we have this unique eye for beauty and a direct line to god's mysterious mercies. nat's surrendered to jesus, cherishes her family, she's honest, passionate and wise.
@lovelylittlewhimsy is one of my best real life friends, and everyone needs her in their life! carina's grateful, humble and generous of her precious time and resources. her connected affection for her husband and children inspires me to more deeply pursue connection with my own little family. she's an amazing cook, makes me laugh and draws me to jesus. that's beautiful to me.
@ponymaude has been dear to me for much of my "online" life. we connected years ago, when we both blogged regularly. danielle values the beauty and honor of motherhood, and inspires me in my own role as mama. she's gifted with words and has such an eye for capturing even the smallest detail of glory in an ordinary day.
[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
well, i think motherhood fuels my passion for creativity. it's even an outlet for it! that said, i'm sometimes too dang tired to get the creative fires sparked. i'm tempted to be irritated that i don't have energy left for what i want to get done. i don't have a studio or even a steady workspace. creating happens when i can squeeze it in, often on a counter or side table. that's stressful for me, because i love neat, organized things :) and my creative work feels a little chaotic when i have to pack it up and store it away until the next time a free hour presents itself. keeping things in perspective isn't always simple, but when i remember that my little etsy shop helps support my family, it keeps me motivated and thankful, even when it's not smooth sailing. the privilege of being able to have a fun job on the side of motherhood is such a treat! also, i think it's important to keep our creative muscles toned. even when i don't have shop things to work on, i make sure to always be creating something. and one of my favorite ways to exercise that is making things with my busy little helper :)
[#5] What is a family tradition that you love sharing with your kids?
i've been reading aloud to elijah since he was tiny. it's seldom that he's nestled beside me, and i don't know how much he understands. but i read anyway, while he plays or eats meals. every now and then he'll want me to keep going, even when i didn't think he was hearing me at all! some of my best childhood memories are of my parents reading aloud to me. another tradition we treasure: five guys' fries! we try to go a couple times a month, when patrick finishes work early or has a day off. it's a great place to practice a restaurant environment with elijah and work on skills while having a treat together.
[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home, what image would you share and why?
we are simple folks. our apartment is small and as renters, we're very limited. we have precious few windows, but our bedroom has two huge ones, with the greatest flood of light! i just like being in my room. even if it's only to switch out the bedding :)
[#7] Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
there's not much i wouldn't share, but maybe these drawers full of junk wouldn't make it to my feed. (for me, this is a disaster!) i love a cleared counter top, but rarely have time to put things where they really belong. thank the lord for the place in between, yes? the blessed catch-all cabinet. for gems like old birthday cards, pom pom, iep meeting notes, old baby bib, millions of cords.