A few years ago I decided to wave the white flag on sending out Christmas letters and started sending out Groundhog Day letters instead.
Speaking of Groundhog Day, word on the Punxsutawney Phil street is that we're going to be experiencing 6 more weeks of winter! I know those of you back east aren't the least bit thrilled about Ol' Phil's shadow forecast, but to those of us here in Cali that's good news. ;)
Groundhog Day, 2015~
(photo & letter)
(photo & letter)
Over the last year the phrase “and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine” has become a sort of anthem for me. Like many I can become so consumed with “Keeping up with the Joneses” (yep, even the Joneses do it) that I lose sight of ALL I do have. The words “and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine” have caused me to pause and delight in what IS MINE that I can’t afford. And let me tell you there's A LOT!
Every morning Michael kisses me, tells me again, “I’m so glad that you’re my wife.” ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Listening to Noah play his guitar. ~and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
The way Emilie and Josie play, create, and enjoy each other. They're the sweetest sisters ever. ~and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
It seems like my high schoolers are ALWAYS doing school work. I miss them. So one day Josie and I showed up at school and kidnapped them! We stole them away from their responsibilities and took a snow day (besides snow is rare thing nowadays with this CA drought). Having them all to ourselves, to sled, make snowmen, snow angels, laugh, and just be. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
I was invited by someone I didn’t know to be the speaker at a women’s retreat. Before I accepted the gig I flat-out told God, “I can’t do this. But You can.” Over the course of a few months God helped me prepare four messages for the weekend long event. And then HE SPOKE. THROUGH ME. what it means to be anchored in Christ. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Emilie, who is my biggest cheerleader, joined me at that retreat. At one point I put her on the spot and asked her to share who Jesus is to her. Listening to Emilie TELL about her Savior, and how He loves her wider and longer and higher and deeper than she can grasp or imagine. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Waking up to discover Michael and Noah sitting beside each other on the couch, reading their bibles. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
A couple weeks after the kids return from camp at YSSC we receive letters from their counselors, which give us a peak into the camp experience, while also expressing each counselors wholehearted delight in each of our children. Their words BLESS my kids (and me). ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
While camping at Sunset Beach Noah asked me to trek up a small hill to an overlook to view the sun setting over the ocean. He and I had been butting heads for a while, and he’d promised me a good hug if I went. I needed it. I also love how he towers over me when he holds me in his strong arms. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Emilie. This girl gives 110% to everything she does: school, friendship, God, creativity, and especially grace. She always views things through grace lenses. Particularly me. ~and I can't afford it, but it's mine.
When Josie prays. This girl speaks so intentionally to God. She also enjoys studying the bible, and regularly texts bible verses to each of us. She gently points us to the truth she treasures. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
The five of us kayaking alongside seals, otters, and jellyfish (after our timid Josie stopped screaming). They were so incredibly close! ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Listening to Michael, Noah, and Emilie share about their backpacking adventure. Hearing about the vastness of beauty they experienced in creation AND in each other. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Our house full of teens for Friday Friend Nights: playing games, eating tons of food, watching a movie projected on an old white sheet. I love that my kids want their friends here. AND THEIR FRIENDS- these kids make me (almost) wish I could go back to high school just to hang out with them! ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Michael had the thrilling opportunity to photograph a 24 hour, Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls experience in the Gila National Forest, NM. My guy works hard, does so much for our family. I'm grateful my good man had this “wild” adventure. ~ and I can’t afford it, but ti’s mine.
Josie singing a solo to Pharrell Williams' song “Happy” alongside 200 plus choir members. Watching her exude confidence, while listening to her beauty-full voice fill a room. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Laundry, talking, dishes, laughing, taxiing, working, singing, praying, cooking, planting, schooling, playing, cleaning, crying, writing, reading, disagreeing, cuddling, dreaming, forgiving, running, creating, growing… just everyday together. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine.
Finally getting it through my thick skull what the good things of God are! I thought God’s good things were riches and honor and health. But they’re not. His good things are peace and joy and His presence in our lives and the promise we’ll be with Him one day. And recognizing that I HAVE ALL of God’s good things. ~ and I can’t afford it, but it’s mine!
Praying for you to know and live in ALL of God’s good things,