twentynine

a week ago I had a wonderful birthday! We trekked down to the great City of Lakes, Minneapolis, for a fun-filled day with family and friends. And ice cream. And coffee. 🙂 I submit it doesn’t get much better than that!

The fun began with brunch at a cute and vintage neighborhood cafe’ near Lake Nokomis. I felt as if we had stepped back into time to 1962 as we sat at our booth and enjoyed really tasty corned beef hash, etc. I had a particularly fantastic hair day…a nice little birthday present from God. LOL.

From there, we dropped Jack off at his wonderful Grandma Meri’s house and took off to Lake Calhoun for a little paddle boating cruise around the chain of lakes, going all the way to Cedar Lake, back through Lake of the Isle to Lake Calhoun. The only one we didn’t hit up was Lake Harriet. I spent my very early elementary years living near there, so it was fun to revisit my ol’ stomping grounds. Dad used to toss me in his hand-crafted bike trailer and bike around all three lakes and back to our home on Penn Ave. when I was a wee little lassie, sometimes stopping to get me a chocolate chip cookie at Great Harvest bakery.

Rob and Rosanna, who also had my birthday “off” (its so nice when friends have random middle o’ the week days off and can join us for adventures) came along to paddle and chat and enjoy Sebastian Joe’s ice cream and a Great Harvest cookie with us after our lake excursion. We’re trying to do as much as we can with R&R before they (sniff) leave us for adventures in NV and CA later this year. They have been constant friends over the past five years and it is going to be just rotten-hard to see them move. So! We’re living it up this summer while we can. 🙂

Later in the evening, a wonderful collection of friends and family came over to my parent’s house to celebrate with snacks and cupcakes. I was blessed by their presence and many coffee/food related gifts! (What can I say, my friends know me WELL!) Kyle truly made me feel like a princess on my special day. I love that man.

And here I am, one week into my thirtieth year of life. So far, so good! I know there are challenges, blessings, trials and beauty ahead on this journey, and while sometimes I wonder what God has in store…I know He will be faithful as He has been up until today. All I have need of, His hand will provide…He’s always been faithful to me. With that promise, I know this year will be incredible and I look forward to each day He gives me to live!

the will of God

last week I finished a great book that Kyle gave me for Mother’s Day. It has nothing to do with motherhood – it was a novel set in China in the 1900’s about a missionary couple. The author based much of the book on the lives of her grandparents, who were also missionaries to China in that time period. When I reached the last two pages, I was totally blown away by how much I related to the main character’s feelings about the will of God and his life.

I went through this realization about 6 years ago when I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to do next – where God wanted me or what my purpose was at the time. But I WANTED to follow God and I trusted that He had given me a brain and I could choose to do something that was perfectly good and right and He would reveal His will as I went along this path of life.

I was also completely undone (maybe pregnancy hormones came into play, I don’t know) by the last phrase of the last big paragraph – where he says how much God loves him. I needed that reminder because I tend to be very, very hard on myself and not rest in His unending and beautiful love for me.

Anyway – maybe it will bless you too. Happy Wednesday!

I pray that throughout the day God’s will, not mine, be done, whatever that may mean. When I was younger, I thought it meant traveling a road that was straight and confining and predictable, something to be done correctly, like finding my way through a maze where only one path is right.

I thought following that path would always feel true and safe and virtuous and that it would give me a surefooted, foolproof sense about life. This narrow thinking was mine, not His; I no longer believe it.

WHen I am in God’s will, sometimes i do feel comfortable and at ease, but I just as often feel anxious and unsettled, for He often leads me into unfamiliar waters. I do not let these feelings guide me. Over time I have come to believe that God’s will is a mystery, fluid and surprising. Following is like stepping out into something I cannot see, and am frequently unsure about whether I am doing God’s will until after the fact.

But I have learned that while I don’t always know when I’m doing something right, I always know when I am doing something wrong, and I rely on this as I go forward, trusting that He will use my mistakes as well as my triumphs and knowing that He does not ask me to be perfect, or even good. He simply asks me to be His, which to me is the heart of His Good News: that I am deeply and passionately loved exactly as I am, despite the faults that grieve me most, by a God who delights in me more than I can know.

With the gift of renewed certainty when I awake each morning, I rise to meet the day and to praise my dear Lord, and to finish my course with joy.

20/52

i love this tree in our front yard, so when we went on vacation last week and I saw that the buds were about to burst into bloom, I was a little worried that we’d miss its full beauty. But when we returned on Friday, it was in all it’s glory. Harsh weather this weekend caused many of the petals to start falling, but the scent is still intoxicating and delicious when you walk past and the pale pink flowers still make me smile.

All the blooming trees and bushes – lilacs, azalea, dogwood, crabapple, pear and chokecherry, inspire me to want to plant things in the fresh dirt. This weekend I got a bunch of rhubarb cuttings from my parents and can’t wait for those to produce for the first part of summer. Tomorrow I’m going to make a trip to the greenhouse nearby to pick up herbs of all varieties for my hydroponic garden and some flowers to make various pretty pots around the house. I’m not really a gardener, but I try to make our yard and environs pretty for the short months we can enjoy living, flowering plants. 🙂

I am greatly anticipating our Farmer’s Market starting and visiting it on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s to pick up fresh vegetables and fruit from local farmers. Sometime soon I also want to visit the St. Paul and Minneapolis Farmer’s Markets – they are the grandpappys of markets in the Twin Cities – overflowing abundance of plants, fruits, vegetables and other delectable edibles like fresh bread and amazing scones. I could spend a. lot. of. cash. there. 🙂

I really, really love spring and I’m so glad its finally here!

18/52

I’m a week behind!

oh well. 🙂

I got this lovely, lovely necklace from my dear husband on Mother’s Day. I’ve worn it every day since. The same little saying hangs on my dining room wall – its a pretty popular piece of art seen on many a blog, shelf at Target, etc. But I’ve liked it from the first time I laid eyes on it. It’s a good thing for me to remember. A piece of good advice for all of us, I think!

As a person who usually tended to overreact as a rule, I’d like to think I’ve become much more calm and collected. Which is due to anchoring influences like the Holy Spirit, age and experience, my very unflappable husband, wonderful friends and occasionally, a self-imposed time out.

I’ve also come to realize that generally, if its not one thing its another and this world is rife with issues, drama and problems. Thankfully, I’m also promised that I have a Helper who has overcome the world and there is far more to this life than meets the eye. So I do try to keep calm and carry on, imperfectly though it may be.

Necklace: City Thistle’s Etsy shop

17/52

I had an idea in mind for this photo, but as per usual, couldn’t make it happen due to my poor skillz. I need to have some serious one on one time with my poor camera some morning soon and get it figured out so I can do better w/ manual settings and get the look I have in my head onto the camera.

So here’s the photo, in which I wanted to feature our budding chokecherry tree. The others are my “outtakes”/what I wore photos. Basically – I’m just SOOOOO happy its spring! It won’t be long before these red buds turn into beautiful pink flowers and then red leaves with little red berries. I love this tree in our front yard. Happy Spring!

18 weeks…

today marks 18 weeks of pregnancy with Little Bit. In less than two weeks we’ll hopefully find out if this person is a girl or boy! I am ridiculously excited to find out – even more than I was with Jackson, for some reason. 🙂 I really want to throw a “gender reveal” party for our close friends and family with pink and blue food, but I don’t know if we can fit it in before I would explode with curiosity due to scheduling. lol. So we’ll probably just find out and then celebrate/announce it later that day.

I feel like my belly has officially “popped” at right around the same time I did with Jackson – and I am on track for normal weight gain. Thanking God again for a (thus far) healthy, normal pregnancy.