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summer starts


Happy summer! Warm weather has arrived and the clover is in full bloom in our yard! Sprinklers have been set up and the weeds and mud are all over my bare feet! Then again, I go barefoot all year round!





Babies love mud. It’s like a scientific rule. If there is mud, they will find it. Considering how our backyard is mostly mud and weeds, it’s like a paradise for little people!





We had a “school fair” again this year as part of our end of school celebration season.





We saved the best work and work the school-age girls are most proud of, set it out on the kitchen table, and have dessert and invite my parents to join.







This year, we served hotdogs and macaroni and cheese.









After that, I saved a few memorable pieces of work, then cleared the clutter to make room for summer time in my sewing/craft/embroidering/photography/school/front room.







We have been busy reconfiguring rooms, straightening drawers of clothes that have gone radically out of control,







and finishing up a year of ballet.





In the afternoons, little ones sleep (or I hope they sleep) and the bigger ones watch Little House on the Prairie or






sit outside and read.





It always amazes me that God shows me pieces of His character and teachers me lessons even when I am simply an observer in a situation, even with my own kids. Growing up is hard to do! I am still growing myself and assisting my own kids in their growing up! This brings me to my knees and definitely shows my need for the Lord. In celebratory fashion, Linley who turns 11 and Ella Kate, who will soon be 10 this summer, had a Princess Diaries birthday party complete with tiaras and waffle bar! Yum!








I knew that even if the girls had not seen the movie before the party, their moms probably have! It will always be one of my favorites because Mia is so relatable. When I was 16, seriously, I just wanted to be invisible. At least I wouldn’t humiliate myself if no one could see me!










My biggest girl loves ballet and now has friends who are auditioning for a special group at the studio that competes and represents the studio in the community. They also take a variety of classes to learn the different styles of dance. All this is fun and purposeful but also takes time and money. We went to the parent meeting and let her know we would definitely go and receive the information and make a decision after that. We attended last year and she and we decided it would be wise to wait.


We attended, received the information, and decided we would pray about it individually and discuss it in the morning, with audition being the next afternoon. In the morning, she decided that this year she did really want to do it, however, Brett and I had reservations. With less than 24 hours to decide and time and money in the balance, we were torn. We wanted her to go and try but also want to make sure there is time for reading outside, playing, and being ten. Also, when I have felt the need to make a quick decision, it often turns out poorly. With Brett working that day, and trying to have a conversation about a big decision, it seemed impossible to come to a wise conclusion, so we advised her that we would not do the audition at this time.


Yes, there were tears. I heard that I was the meanest mom. That did not hurt my feelings too much when she was four, but this time, I felt it. She had no idea I was desperately praying for the right decision and felt completely torn about it.


The thing is, everyone wants a place to belong. There is nothing wrong with that. God created us for community. He gives us friends to sharpen each other and support us in good and bad (Proverbs 27:17). Belonging is a blessing. Wanting to have “the clothes, the bag, and the title” to keep up appearances and feel important is another. The willingness to sacrifice whatever is necessary to feel important, is when it becomes a problem. We all chase status at some point. We all want the clothes, the job, the car, the house, the title, along the way. It’s tough, isn’t it?


It’s hard to let simply being God’s child be our identity. Our heavenly Father said we are enough. We are thrown messages constantly dictating how to live in hopes we will feel good enough. The sweet truth is that we can slow down and know that God thinks we are good enough and loves us. He loves us for Who He created us to be. He does not love us more for the good things we do or how cool we feel. He simply loves us. I love the verse that says,


“He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.” (Isaiah 40:11)


So, in our life story here, even I felt rushed to let her audition in hopes of reaching her dreams, finding good friends, excelling in her dance. I even thought it would be fun to be a part of the moms of the dancers her age. It occurred to me that if God wants her to be a dancer, He has the power to make that happen. God is also capable of providing community for me too. Not sitting on the couch with her feet propped up, but if she is actively enjoying dance, then He will lead her where she needs to go. I don’t need to feel rushed to make sure she gets into this group or takes a zillion classes because God has it all. We became willing to relinquish the rush and give it to God. In the van, I asked her the tough question, “Do you trust God?” Her honest answer was “not really.” I have been there too. We had a conversation about how sometimes we have to just know that God is good and act on that even when we don’t feel that way.



After the tears and the conversation and the spiritual aspect has been discussed, we spoke with some people from the studio and agreed to simply let her audition. I had peace about it at that point. Maybe God wanted me to fully relinquish my rush and calmly let Him take it before I had peace about it. Often, what seems like such a big deal today is not such a big deal in a year.



The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:17


Not everybody is chasing a career in ballet, but most people chase something here and there, whether it be a relationship, job, feeling of importance, money, status, title, whatever. It feels a little scary sometimes, but it feels so much better to take a minute, slow down, and let God have whatever it is that makes me feel rushed or pressured. He has my life and my heart and I can trust Him. We can trust His perfect timing.


Love,

Charis


Pic(k) of the week: Bathing suits and bicycles make for a great start to summer.




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