the turn from 31 to 32

This year has been one for the books. It has been one of the fastest, fullest, craziest, most wonderful, best, sweetest, difficult, slow, relaxed, and contented years I have known.

  1. We welcomed Haddon soon after my birthday, and our lives have changed in all of the wonderful ways life does when you welcome a whole person into your home, into your family. We are so appreciative to the person who invented the pacifier, and we are so glad that Haddon is the hungriest, happiest, humblest, handsomest Haddon we have ever known.IMG_1356
  2. We transitioned local churches. This transition is something we have done/are doing in full confidence before the Lord, and has been frustrating and difficult in ways I didn’t expect and still don’t remember to prepare for. It’s an undoing and a remaking, and for it I am so glad, and over it I have cried so much.
  3. Tyler has traveled less this year, which affects all sorts of things. We are not glad about it but we do like him, so there’s that. I generally hate when someone replies “oh well now that you have three kids…” or “well isn’t that nice!”…. y’all, that’s dumb. We like going out there for the gospel and His Glory and we love it when Tyler gets to play the guitar and be a small part of this massive movement of God called the sharing the gospel with people. But the cool thing is – it’s one on one relationships that Jesus uses to spread His kingdom and we have three young men who need the gospel and their daddy has been home to share it with them and to show it to them, and for that, we are so. glad. 
  4. We are homeschooling – for real. And honestly, I love it. Y’all are crazy for sitting in carpool and for doing all the homework and for making all of the lunches and doing parent/teacher conferences and all. of. that. stuff. but hey! you be you, and I’ll be me. 😉 at home, with my children, comfortable, drinking coffee, sitting in the sunshine.
  5. At the end of the summer, I did whole30, which I probably at some point said I would never do, and realized I have a gluten intolerance (due to severe joint paint in my hands, knees, and feet which goes totally away when I do not eat gluten) which I am sure I hoped I would never have (I didn’t want to be one of those people) but the pain isn’t worth the bread or the pasta, so I’m a gluten-free girl – what can I say (but HELP!).
  6. Noelle cut my hair. and I was soooo nervous but now I love it! What was I waiting for!? It’s not that short hair = perfect hair, but it is that short hair = great for me now hair!IMG_1319
  7. I have realized sometimes done is better than perfect and perfect – like what you and I both know I mean here – is retarded. Life is dynamic, not static, and in heaven, where we who believe in Christ will be most alive, life will be most dynamic, and nothing will stay still and be perfect (like what we both know I mean about perfect ((think, model-home)). the thing is with model homes – nobody lives there. And if you start looking past the perfect plush furniture and on point paint colors you will realize it’s not comfortable, and it’s nobody’s favorite. which takes away from the immediate shiny-star appeal and makes you realize you want to go home. to your home with your stuff and your dust and your dishes and your laundry and your people. and basically life is made of relationships that are not perfect but definitely alive and unconditionally loved, and also cozy and lived in and loved and (sometimes barely) done stuff.
  8. I am in the middle of writing a bible study. Goodness, just typing that makes me question all of my merit. But!, I am so glad to be writing it. I am so happy that the Lord gave me the space, and gave me the girls to do it with me. The whole undertaking is a lot like doing homework. I just do the little bit that I can, when I can, and I just plod through it. I thought – before I started – that it would be a lot more like floating through, magically writing a gleaming glittery bible study. But it’s a lot more like digging in the dirt work. And I am so happy about that, too.
  9. As of the beginning of October, I have a four year old and a 6 year old. I am in this thing. I am a momma. For realz. There is no talking about how I am brand-new at this; no hiding behind some sort of ignorance or naivety. Nope. I am a momma. and not any momma, but one to three little men. I read an article in the latest Magnolia Journal with a question that asked “What sort of mom do you want to be?”… and then encouraged the reader to go be that mom. This is a question I have been asking myself and answering with the Lord over the last little bit. As much as I so admire my friends who are free-falling, driving to the beach without a plan or a care in the world, eating all of the ice-cream and about to fall over with laughter and amazing spontaneity, I am just not her. Because holy moly what if she runs out of gas on the way!? A plan would have helped. And besides that, my plan falls under my principled convictions and fierce passion to live up to those. And my principled convictions are not some trite self-realized, self-identified, self-fulfillment sort of list I have created. They are the very Word of God as the Holy Spirit helps me to understand and apply His Word in my context, and by His upholding grace, I will come under and I will live out of them. This is what I am talking about – I want to be a momma, a woman!, who, if my boys get to decide what gets etched as my epitaph would choose “she sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of the rest was just added on as well”… I want my life, each of my roles and tasks to be about seeking first His kingdom. So I cannot! and pray I will not! be about trite, stupid, and otherwise ridiculous sinful ways and selfish ambition. I want my sons to know I have laid down my life for the cause of Christ, and for His Life to be made manifest in each one of them, little men, big man. I want them to know I did this happily, out of the joy set before me, for their good, and for His great glory. I want them to know with every hug, kiss, hot meal, chocolate chip cookie, and set of clean sheets, that Jesus Jesus and ONLY Jesus is who I want for them. If I haven’t made this clear yet in this paragraph, my face and my heart, my mind and my day in and day out ways are set like a flint toward this desire. Oh God, please, let it be so.IMG_1289
  10. It’s fun fun fun to be married to Tyler. We have been married for ten and a half years and we are realizing one. We are not newlyweds. and two. We are still so young. Ha! It’s fun and funny and the bestest thing ever 🙂 Since we were dating I have been reminding Tyler of my birthday this way : when the clock says 11:06 I tell him it’s my birthday. Thankfully this ridiculous reminder has worked for the last several years; he has not forgotten my birthday yet. IMG_1231
  11. Turning into thirty-two I realize I have only begun, but in all of the ways that I have started to begin, I have set patterns and habits that are forming who I am. Some patterns and habits must be repented of and abandoned, and others must be steadfastly continued. I have begun to realize not only am I not invincible like I felt before I had children, but I am also fragile, fallible, and finite. I am the weaker vessel, and I am a weak vessel. I sin easily; I forget all too often. I am flesh, covered in sun spots and freckles, the beginnings of wrinkles… soft, stretched, and gluten gives me pain. When I haven’t eaten enough or slept enough, I get upset and impatient too fast. And I cannot always control whether or not I have slept enough or… well, I cannot control. I cannot make up the perfect world. Ha. not even the perfect moment. or perfect me. But… I have also realized that if I say I believe that this world is the best of all possible worlds, and I do; and if I say I believe in His meticulous Providence, and I do, then I don’t always have to be on the hunt for the best, and the better, as if it is something to accomplish and gain on my own… I can rest and relax, I can simply wake up today – and see His best, His good, His care, His providence, all around me, for me. So happy birthday to me, and heres to 32.

 

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One thought on “the turn from 31 to 32

  1. Happy birthday Rachel! Wow, I’m 9 years older than you 😉
    I wanted to say we have missed you at Capital and MG! Thank you for sharing a little bit about it in your blog – we love you guys and appreciate you guys and I still have last year’s Christmas card of your family on my prayer wall! I appreciate this: (and I imagine it HAS been quite a transition for your family!)
    We transitioned local churches. This transition is something we have done/are doing in full confidence before the Lord, and has been frustrating and difficult in ways I didn’t expect and still don’t remember to prepare for. It’s an undoing and a remaking, and for it I am so glad, and over it I have cried so much.
    Anyway, happy day of your birth! So excited for Leland and Bethany experiencing their first communion on the same day! It was really all the Lord, since Joel was not even supposed to teach, and since Russ was sick, Joel decided to speak last minute on the Lord’s Supper! And it was perfect, in simple 6 year old terms, and we had decided before service that she could now partake if she wanted to since praying to receive Jesus last month! Thankful for God’s work in their lives! Hope to see you at T2!

    Love and hugs,
    Cathy

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