Wow, I don’t even recognize my own website – it’s been a while! Where on EARTH does the time go?!?! I had to spend some time getting aquainted with my own writings – I couldn’t even remember where I had left off. So I guess this post will read sort of like a weird Christmas letter…a re-cap of the past year, if you will.

So let’s see – Mackenna started school in the fall and is loving Kindergarten. At the same time, Grayson started preschool three days a week. It was a HUGE adjustment for me, keeping track of two different schedules, homework assigments, field trips etc. But it’s been a nice change for us, and I’ve enjoyed the routine of it all. Plus the time with just me and little Garrett has been nice – MOST of the time (did I mention he’s my strong-willed child?) Let’s just say the post about Graham Crackers and Sippy cups is still playing itself out daily in this house. Any tips on how to handle that are more than welcome!

And in addition to all the “newness” going on in the kids’ lives, I’ve taken on some new challenges myself! After the journey I went on last year regarding my calling as a mother AND as a Christian, I’ve had the privilege of taking some small steps towards real change in some of those very areas. I so fell in love with this book  that I ended up doing a study on it at my church last fall. I had 6 women take a journey with me and what a journey it was!! I think all of them would testify to you that it was a remarkably life-changing experience. We laughed, cried, and encouraged each other as we wrestled with what exactly it looks like to be a Christian mother in today’s world. We cheered each other on as we took some big leaps of faith…SOOOO many awesome things took place that semester. One mother signed on with an organization called “Safe Families” after years of praying about adoption. Another mother learned the simple joy of passing out “goodie bags” to the homeless when she and her family spent a day in the city. Another mother and her son hosted a “Cookies and a Cow” party, where the kids brought donations to purchase an animal for a needy village so that they might sustain their own income. We had the PRIVILEGE of walking with a dear sister through her mother’s passing and we witnessed TWO of us get baptized. It was one of the richest seasons of my life!!!

All of that wrapped up this past Christmas, and since then I’ve started a new Bible study at church called Beholding Him, Becoming Missional. It’s about solidifying your relationship with God by beholding the truth of who He is…then taking that truth into action, as He commands us to in His word.  It’s a great follow up to the Missional Mom book, because it takes the same concepts and strengthens them with Scripture. This time around, I went from leading 6 women to 22 women, which freaked me out. I was super intimidated at first, but I have felt God walking with me every step of the way.  So I just keep plowing forward, trusting in Him that He will have His way. It’s been a growing experience for me and one of the reasons why I have felt convicted to start writing again! I am once again so privileged by the women I have met in this class and just pinch myself all the time that God has blessed me so much in this way. We are in the midst of the study now and I’m still unsure exactly what’s next after this?!?!

If all this wasn’t enough excitement, my hubby and I are also about to hit ten years of marriage this September – woohoo!We are more excited than ever to celebrate this, as we recently went through and intense period of growth and stretching in our relationship. What started out about 6 years ago sort of climaxed these past few months and our marriage was really put to the test.  All I can say is I have been blown away by the faithfulness of God in our situation. He really showed up and did a number on the both of us – in a good way! For me personally, I think I learned what it really looks like to” let go and let God”. I learned about the word “acceptance” and what it means to truly love someone just as they are.  I had a lot to learn about things like Honor, Respect, Submission, and Gratitude. But I also learned that God is big enough to give us grace to do things we could NEVER do on our own.  I had to trust God with some of the most vulnerable places of my heart this past year…but He proved to be so trustworthy! He just grabbed a hold of me and my husband both and extended His grace and love in such a way that we are still reeling from it all. Now we’re currently adjusting to the new marriage we’ve been given and kind of feel like two little honeymooners again! To God be the glory for that. Sidenote: For those struggling in your marriage right now – please just hang on. The storm won’t last forever…a ridiculously long time sometimes to be sure, but not forever :)

I guess that’s all for now! There are many more details I could fill this in with, but I am trying to learn to write more succinctly (BA HA HA HA) No seriously,  I am going to try to leave some mystery for now, but hope to color more things in as I go along :) We’ll see how it goes!

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