Skip to main content

when it just hits you

today i had one of those crazy shifts in perspective. do you know what i'm talking about?
all of a sudden i'm standing there cutting up the pork shoulder to stick in the crock pot and it hits me:

i am so blessed to be doing this. all of this.

this morning i woke up like any other. you know, an eleven week old baby, crying and hungry.

we went downstairs and i made some fresh juice for Reese and myself. 
we had orange-pineapple-apple. seriously delicious and refreshing and perfect. 
it struck me how much joy i actually get from taking a few pieces of fruit and juicing them up into something yummy and nutritious. something that Reese begs me for every day. 
i get joy from that. 
i think it's two-fold: that i even have access to nutritious food for my family, 
and also that i don't mind doing the work of cutting and peeling and juicing for what would seem like little return. for me, it's a huge return-- nutrition. 
and i finally realized in that moment how much joy it actually brings me.

after breakfast was served, i hurried over to the dining room 
to finish up a hoop and some prints that i'd been needing to send asap. 
as i worked with my hands, making something that i thought up in my own head 
and then made a reality and then somehow convinced someone to spend money on... 
it just hit me how much i love this little shop
that's two-fold as well: i get to create and imagine and try and fail and succeed. 
i get to use my mind for creativity's sake 
and not just for balancing budgets or writing papers or passing a class. 
but number two, i also get to help contribute to my family's income at the same time.

once everything was finished and packaged up, ready for the post office, 
i headed into the kitchen to cut up the 16 pounds of pork shoulder we got at costco the night before. 
i know, 16 pounds. but it is by far the cheapest per pound, 
so i get a huge slab, cut it into fourths, and freeze it. 
we're on a really strict budget right now. 
it gives me so much satisfaction, and yes joy
to come up with ways to stick to that budget 
and stretch it as far as it can possibly go each week. 
it gave me joy to know i would have dinner ready by 10am and i could go about the rest of my day. preparing, and not feeling rushed or hurried at dinnertime, gives me joy. 
serving my family, in that moment, gave me such joy.

just as soon as i got the meat portioned out and in the freezer, the baby woke up. 
she was hungry but happy. it was time to feed her. and i felt joy that i was able to do that. 
i know how much of a struggle it is for some women and i don't dare take it for granted. 
last week my milk supply seemed to just shut itself off for a day. 
maybe i hadn't eaten enough, i'm not sure, but it was frustrating and i was flustered over it. 
i'm thankful that most days i'm able to give her just what she needs.

i guess i just had a morning where i couldn't really believe all of this was entrusted to little 'ol me.

and i get to do it all in the same cute house that i got to decorate and make our home.
nothing catastrophic happened at all, but i was just given eyes to see. 
and when i saw, i was thankful. i was joyful. 
i felt useful and needed and responsible and special. and i am. 
God chose me to manage this house, these little girls, this business, and our finances. 
He gave me those jobs and He says they're enough. 
He says they're worthy and valuable. 
He say I'm worthy and valuable. 
in serving my three people, i am also worshiping and serving Him. 
does that even seem fair?

there are days where i feel like i don't do enough. 
i don't run a non-profit or serve in a position of ministry at church [not right now anyway] 
and i don't go to the nursing homes or jail cells to share Jesus. 
all of those are good things and there's a lot i do want to do in life, eventually. 
but today i was struck with a feeling that God sees what i DO do. and it is enough. 
and if i can just see it as enough, i'll realize what an enormous ministry i have in my own home. 
for goodness sake, there are two hearts that are depending on me to tell them about Jesus. 
their very lives depend on that.

there was a time when i prayed for this very life i'm living now. 
i was just finishing up a year of teaching that i had enjoyed, for the most part. 
i enjoyed being able to teach about Jesus and challenge these fourteen 10-year-olds in their faith 
and make them think about the world and God in ways they probably hadn't before. 
and one evening, after my husband said he still wasn't ready to have kids, i cried out to God. literally.
 and what hit me was that my desire to have a baby was so that i could have someone to teach
someone who i could sow into from their very birth, not just for one year in school. 
i wanted to impart the wisdom and truth that i had, even if it was still imperfect and still growing.

by His Grace, God gave me those babies.
and i want to remember how valuable they were to my heart, even before they existed.

most days are not like today. usually, all those tasks i mentioned would have me overwhelmed. 
a big to-do list is not restful or easy for me. i don't thrive on busy-ness, usually. 
but this day i felt accomplished and productive, while calm and joyful all at the same time.
 only God can do that. 
most days i focus on the timeouts and the disobedience 
and the crying and the spit up and the boogers and the diapers. 
the endless diapers
the monotony and, yes, frustration of most days leaves me exhausted by the end of the evening. 
today brought all of those things, it did. 
but i just didn't focus on them so much. 
and that was refreshing to my soul. 
i want to wake up everyday with that fresh perspective. 
i want to see all these things, these jobs, as gifts and not burdens, everyday.

Lord help us to live each day with purpose and gratitude! 
by your blood, You have made us enough and 
given us more than we've ever deserved, and then some. 
give us eyes to see. 
Your mercies are new each morning, 
and every hour after that.


  1. Beautiful post. It's so wonderful to truly be grateful for the little, or maybe I should say big things :)

  2. I loved this post Aly. You ARE doing what He's planned out for you. In that there is blessing. And contentment and peace. Enjoy it while you are in this season. There will be days ahead for the other things:)
    This post also made me wish, once again, that we lived much closer to one another. Id love to be able to have regular playdates together:)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

on embracing disappointment

sometimes it's the hardest thing we'll ever do to pause our ever-moving-forward agendas long enough to see another person. to have compassion and grace and understanding for them, especially when it interferes with our desires, when it means laying down our own needs in order to meet theirs.

our own motives and our own agendas can feel so important and forefront, so that moment of yielding to someone else can feel almost impossible. like a death of sorts.

because you know what? it hurts to die to self. it just does, no matter how insignificant it may seem to an onlooker.

but i'm learning to embrace all of the emotions that come with disappointments like this, not to ignore them or feel shame for experiencing them (probably the hardest part for me). to feel them, acknowledge them, let them sit there while i figure out the next right thing.

it's hard work to live in the tension of wanting to be healthy and magical and able to live above the waves - while still being very…

here and there

ah, the joys of spray painting. i literally have a hundred picture frames. i've just collected them over the years. usually black or some sort of dark metallic. but since that doesn't really fit my decor style anymore, i'm embracing the spray painting addiction trend that's taking hold of the [mostly blog] world. my husband thinks i'm nuts, until i place everything back into the house and he loves me again because it looks perfect. i even spiritualized spray painting/repurposing here. yes, i really did.

this is my little bookshelf. given to me by my mom. the corkboard is from Homegoods. the other items i've had for years [except the lantern which is a $1 Goodwill find, painted black]. the "a" holds up my books, "j" holds my husband's, and "r" holds my daughter's. she knows that she can only touch her shelf but she always talks about ours. 
i'm thinking i should probably replace the two-moth old baby shower invitation with…

hope spoken 2014 | a little recap

well. it feels weird to be back here in this space. i haven't regularly blogged for over a year. i'm feeling like it's time for a redesign but that's beside the point. i'm really here to tell you about Hope Spoken conference that i attended in dallas 2 weekends ago. everyone has been saying how they need time to process everything. i'm no exception. what i'm about to share is really an email i wrote to casey and danielle a few days after i got home, but i've edited and expanded a little. there is still so much more in my heart and mind that's not quite ready to come out:

i'm finally sitting down to pour out my heart after such an amazing weekend. the first thing that's hitting me is these three girls went with a dream and a mission and a calling from Jesus, and were brave to walk through the door and keep going, as danielle describes it. i'm sure they imagined how beautiful it would be but i don't think they could have imagined just …