Spring at the Blue House (Starring Baby Goats!)

I walked into this year without any big dreams. My plan was to simply embrace and steward everything I had been given in 2018. Everything I am enjoying today is a choice I made last year. God gave opportunities to me in 2018 and then gave me the courage to say yes.

When I look back, I can’t believe how much I learned and experienced in a year. It was big and unlikely. I could not have imagined it for myself, but all of those big things started very small.


Potted flowers from the grocery store.

A hose (or two. . .thanks a lot, Frankie Tom!).

Two unexpected does in June.

A surprise billy goat in August.

Research on self-publishing.

A hundred other small decisions.

So. . . here we are in the springtime of 2019 and I’m stewarding the gifts I’d been given last year–goats, a porch garden, a published book, new and old relationships. It’s quiet and calm. It’s breathtaking and mundane.

And I’ll be honest, there have been some incredibly low moments this year. March swept in with spiritual warfare and the loss of our much loved (and quite hilarious!) billy goat. Stewarding what I had seemed a small thing to hold. Somewhat discouraging. Definitely beautiful.


My porch garden slowly came back to life in exuberance. Some plants died completely while others died back to come to life again. I am learning what it means and what it takes to garden. . .even in the smallest of places.


We planted from seed packets this year and are watching little green sprouts brave the journey. My daisies started their own idea of spring in February and have vibrantly met April with gusto!


The day after Easter, our Miss Margie decided it was the perfect afternoon to have her two little babies. It almost seemed like she waited for us to be there. Within 10 minutes of being home, her water broke.

I still can’t believe the perfect timing. We got to witness the entire beautiful process! Margie’s little buckling came first soon followed by an adorable black doeling.


The doeling is a spitting image of our buck, Nigel. I miss Nigel, but holding this little bundle of stubborn, zesty doeling is like having Nigel back in its own small way.


The pretty buckling is named Chester and the cutest black doeling I’ve ever seen is named Roxanne. The names just came to us as we watched the two babies in their first hours of life.


And I think the magic of stewarding what you’ve been given is that the gifts double. Maybe the gifts double in the form of two baby goats, or maybe the gifts double in the form of the beauty you get to experience because the gifts exist. Either way, my resolve to steward doubled in responsibility and magic all at once.


I’m not sure I’ve ever loved spring more, but it’s been a process to walk into 2019 with arms open wide. I’m keeping Psalm 112:7 close to me, “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.”


As I tend to all I’ve bee given, I’m learning to enjoy life without fear of what may come or what may never come at all. It’s a year for standing still and seeing, for seeing and tending, for tending and giving thanks.


The magic has doubled in the quiet. The beauty has deepened in the middle. The rejoicing has strengthened after the storm. This is life with God. And history tells me I’m safe to open my arms even wider than this.

When Spring Comes with Snow

February came with the prayer that God would be my Refuge. And, of course, He answered. I spent time in Psalm 31, soaking in the truths, finding my broken-record heart to be carefully listened to by the God of all beautiful things.

I found Refuge.

And I am living proof that God is always ready to receive weariness, discouragement, and a world of disjointed emotions. I am comforted by the Holy Spirit who intercedes for me. I am comforted by the Living Word which floods this desert-soul with truth and burrows deep for the promise of another spring.

For the wonder that I can experience quite a few spring-times in one short year. For Psalm 31 which sustained my heart in the second week of February. And Isaiah 40 which reminds me that God is powerful in both wisdom and understanding while intimately present in my life with love, nurture, and kindness. Read more

This Was 23

Last January, I wrote a post about my dream jots for 23. My life as a 22-year-old was broken up for most of the year. I experienced intense spiritual warfare and disappointment. I had to give up long-held, suffocating views of God to really see the God who sees me, the God who doesn’t live in my box...ever. Life at 22 was a necessary, flat-on-my-face, long fall into the shadow of God’s wings. Here I learned to hope and rest in God.

But then my 23rd birthday came like a crossroads.  And I was ready to fully live. It was time to step into life. My desire for 23 was simply, “I hope I can look back and say, AH, I lived rich. I lived better. I lived LIFE.

 

Perhaps, the best birthday present I receive today is that I can honestly say those words. I lived rich. I lived better. I lived LIFE. In God’s grace and with the boldness He gave me to stop hiding beneath my covers, I was able to open my arms wide and step into life….again, again, and again. Read more

The Greatest Gift the World Can Offer

I’m exhausted of Christian cliches, and I know you are too. I’m tired of feeling the scrapes against my tired heart, and I know you are too. Well-meaning words turn to salt, and trite words reopen closed wounds. So I’m sitting next to you…as close as I can…and I’m telling you this.
You are not a failure because you’re not where you think you’re supposed to be. Your heartache is deeper than the paper-thin statements your friends have tried to use as encouragement. You don’t need to listen to the assumptions people will make for why you are suffering. You don’t even have to listen to their version of God’s perfect timing for your life.

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