Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday morning lyrics

I need you, oh I need you,
Every hour I need you--
My one defense, my righteousness!
Oh God, how I need you.
When I cannot stand, I'll fall on you...
Jesus you're my hope and stay.

Friday, May 9, 2014


God is with us
God is on our side
He will make a way
Far above all we know
Far above all we hope

He has done GREAT things <3

Thursday, May 8, 2014

backpacking, finally

I have been slightly obsessed with the concept of backpacking for a very long time. In high school I was convinced I would thru-hike the AT after graduating, and obsessively researched everything about it. My dad got me a bracelet for graduation (I still have it) made with stones found along the AT.  Years went by, and my interest continued, but I never took the chance to just go.  

A couple years ago I started subscribing to Backpacker magazine and I would read every issue front to back. My dad asked what I'd like for my birthday several (maybe five?) years ago, and I said a hiking backpack. Although I'd never used it for an overnight, I lent it to a friend last summer who was going backpacking up north for a few days.

Dan and I take the kids camping several times a year (we have a pop-up, which is so fun) but I really really just wanted to go backpacking... to be out in the woods, traveling by foot.

So this week I decided I might as well JUST DO IT. (Maybe it was the "She turned her 'can'ts into can's and her dreams into plans" quote I saw earlier this week that kicked me into gear... I don't know...)

Dan is gone M-F at training all this month and next, so I knew it would be just me and the kids. I got some food supplies, packed our gear, told Will he had to wear my (still never used by me) backpack so I could take Dan's larger pack... and we headed off on the 2-mile hike to a nearby lake. 

This was my attempted group selfie by the campfire last night. (It's a family rule that at least one kid must "ruin" every attempted picture, isn't it?! ;))

I set up the tent. Will built a killer fire using his survival matches, and I heated up the chili. Tristan and Hallie found firewood and Livi hopped about, singing and playing. It was lovely.

We squeezed 5 of us into a 3-man tent. It was snug, but not terrible. We went to bed when it got dark, and it started to rain; a nice gentle rain at first, but I awoke sometime during the night to an all-out downpour. I started to get a little worried... but eventually realized that nothing was going to happen that would kill us, so... never mind the creature comforts! It was actually incredibly calming being in the middle of nowhere, tucked in a tent with 4 sleeping kids and rain pouring down all around. (The original "white noise"!) 

We had planned to hike around a little after breakfast and head home after lunch, but with the continued rain forecast, I decided we should just head home... wet, cold kids are not happy hikers!

The kids were total troopers. They didn't once complain about their heavy packs or fuss about the "cold" or rain. We made it back home a little before lunch, and although I am tired, I feel good. I am proud to say I've accomplished my 15-year old dream of backpacking! Hopefully next time we will go for 2 nights and have better weather. (The upside is that now I know that it can be done in the rain!) 

There truly is nothing comparable to being on your own in the great outdoors.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

These are the longest (nights) and shortest years of my life

With the exception of maybe five days this year (and less the last 3 years!), every morning I wake up to this:

Every night, some time between 1 and 5am, she makes her way into our room (occasionally on her own, but usually by calling for me) and spends the rest of the night tucked in the middle.

For all her sass and bravado and gumption and confidence by day, she sure turns into a small, cozy, needy little person at night.

I like to think that every night she spends nestled between Dan and I is helping heal the hurts from when she spent five months of nights alone, in 1/3 of a triple crib, with no mama and no daddy to hear her cries or come to her aid. I like to think her confidence by day is being built up by night, and one day, maybe not too far off, she will sleep the whole night in her own bed, and all these nights will be a distant memory. 

I hope I never forget the sound of her breathing, or the sleepy way she smells, or her sleepy voice requesting, "I wanna lay on your arm..." I know God has big plans for her life, and I like to think these quiet, un-flashy nights of sacrificed space and sleep will someday amount to something beautiful.

And really, let's be honest... who could resist someone that adorable anyway?? 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

when in doubt...

...gird yourself up with truth:

// It is the Lord who goes before me. He lights my way and makes my path straight. I do not need to fear what tomorrow will bring. All things are in his hands, and he is working all things for my good, because I love him.

// I keep my eyes on the prize that is set before me. I run the race and know that I am seen by an audience of One. He knows my innermost thoughts; he knit me together, even my innermost being.

// I am confident that he began a good work in me, and he will see it to completion. When the going gets rough, I will lift my eyes and focus on the joy that is set before me. I will run and not grow weary; I will walk and not grow faint.

// Because I love the Lord, he will rescue me. He will protect me; I will call upon him and he will answer me; her will deliver and honor me. Surely, I would have grown faint and fallen had the Lord not been by my side. He is my helper and my refuge.

// The Lord is sovereign. All of my days are in his hands. I know that he has a plan for me, and I will unwaveringly trust in his goodness.

// The Lord is gracious and kind... slow to anger, abounding in love. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for me. He remembers my frame; knows that I am dust. The Lord is gracious and kind... gracious and kind... gracious and kind.

((this has been a stream-of-consciousness thought-dump; any biblical inaccuracies are mine))
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"Grace cannot prevail...until our lifelong certainty that someone is keeping score has run out of steam and collapsed." - Robert Farrar Capon