How to Be Delighted in 2020

I’ve talked often about my 2019 garden surprises. It’s hard to get over those little things that are just so delightful. And why should I try? I love being amazed at the tiny beautiful things taking place in my neck of the woods.

But to be surprised + delighted as an adult first takes a choice to be intentional and disciplined.

That seems a bit counter-intuitive, but let me explain.

It’s very easy to get sucked into everyday stress. It’s less work to believe the lie that “we can’t adult today.” It’s more fun to vent and complain about all the things not working well in our lives. Why would we force ourselves to be disciplined or intentional when life isn’t going the way we though or hoped it would? Read more

The Most Un-Christmas Merry Christmas

I had grand plans to embrace the holiday season with gusto. It doesn’t take too much for me to grab hold of the celebratory spirit. But Thanksgiving came and then December came and somewhere along the way that Christmas-y feeling just didn’t really come. I may have listened to more Christmas music in October than in December!

But you know what?

I don’t mind.

It was still so good. It was filled with life. And I let the holidays just be as they were.

That heavily marketed holiday feeling showed its face around Christmas Day and what a nice surprise! Isn’t it a good thing Christmas isn’t about how we feel?!

My sister and her husband visited us during the week of Christmas and we had such a grand time together. We visited our little town, drank coffee, had ice-cream, burned through some Christmas movies, opened stockings, exchanged gifts, played games, had late-night conversations, and just did more face-to-face life together. Right there’s the magic in life!

We plan to keep our beautiful Christmas tree up much longer this year. So many people are quick to take everything down and scarf in the New Year, but I’m still in the land of savoring and thanking God for all that was and is and is to come. I won’t be rushed.

In 2019, gardening held some of the loveliest moments and surprises. From a rose bed planted in September to unexpected stunning snapdragons in October to a geranium bursting to life while snow fell, or the many seeds that fell and got replanted or collected for next spring.

It’s been a year of abundance both on my porch and in my soul. I can only imagine the beautiful things in store for my garden in 2020. How much more God will do in my life! In all of us!

I have lived and will continue to live with eyes wide open, choosing to be easily delighted, basking in the life that spreads and multiplies. That’s just what God does.

I don’t need rose-colored glasses to be excited and confident for another year of winter, spring, summer, fall. God is in my future and He’s what makes it good. And so I will embrace the first day of a New Year because I know it’s simply an invitation for more of this life with God.

I gladly accept.

“God Loves Me, God Loves Me Not”

In the spring, I shared this on Instagram, Little Roxanne looks soo much like her billy goat dad! I’ve even nicknamed her NJ (Nigel Junior) She’s got his wild spirit. She holds her own, is super smart, and SOMETIMES she will show a SPLATTERING of affection (just like Nigel😂). After Nigel died, I hoped one of the goat kids would look just like him. I think I even prayed it. And so came Roxanne. It may just be a goat, but I believe God delights in watching us enjoy what He’s created. God knew I’d feel an extra measure of His care when Roxanne came out looking like Nigel. God is in the details. All the good & perfect gifts. . . every single, tiny one is from God. Never doubt it and don’t ever deny it! Yeah, it’s a goat, but it’s also a display of God’s love! So here’s a small, yet profound question. . .➡️ What display of God’s love are you blind to right now?❤

And I’ll be honest, I hesitated to share that. Why? Because I doubted God actually displayed His love to me in that way. I mean, Roxy is just a goat. She’s an animal. Did God really bless us with such huge, detailed displays of love and use a goat to do that kind of work? What would so-and-so think if I made a big deal about God’s big love using a kid goat as my proof? Read more

7 Tips for a Meaningful Holiday Season

You want a good holiday season. But you’re a human holding tough things. So how can you–and all of us–enjoy the holidays? Here’s 7 practical tips I believe will help all of us live the holidays fully and without regret.

1. Create boundaries.

When I say create boundaries, I mean it. Create them everywhere and be ruthless. Social media, entertainment, how you spend your evenings, your morning routine, all the things you can think of that need intentional care. We should always have boundaries in our lives, but during the holidays it’s good to reevaluate and adjust where needed. Create boundaries that clear clutter out of your mind and help you more easily choose the valuable ways to finish your year well. Without extra noise, you will have the capacity to slow down and savor your life as it is today, and this makes your holidays much more meaningful. Read more