I know it was a day well lived if at the end of it, all I want to do is write. 

do you ever have those days?  what’s your “thing” you do to celebrate a day well lived?

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our morning started with my best girls + their babies around the christmas tree sipping coffee [and mimosas…don’t tell] and cuddling babies.  then listening to my kids [or one of my kids] sing jingle bells at their christmas program.  and finally ending the night at starbucks for a couple of hours with a good friend…sharing our deepest desires and dreams over hot tea.

these nights I feel encouraged, I feel alive, and AWAKE to the purposes and dreams God has FOR ME.

my sweet friend Jody and I have been meeting together on Tuesdays this fall + it’s time I deeply cherish.  We are going through Stasi Eldredge’s book “Becoming Myself” – usually reading and talking about 2 chapters at a time.  This week we talked about fear + dreams.  Y’all, my dreams list was over 3 pages typed…

but reading them to her, I felt alive.  I felt awake!  ready to go out and be the woman God has called me to be.  To do the things that give me life, as opposed to the things I “should” do, or things “everyone else is doing”.  way more to come about the fears and dreams I’m peeling the layers back on…

back to tonight…Jody thew down a challenge this week to reach out + encourage people!  be inclusive of people!  if there’s someones Facebook status you read daily and you never comment, leave them some love!  send an sweet “thinking of you” text, a spontaneous voxer message, whatever it may be…reach out.  love like you aren’t scared! 

so many times we can feel left out.  forgotten. looked over.  not enough.  like we are missing out [I know, FOMO].  if you feel that way, and I feel that way, then chances are there are lots of others who are in the same boat. 

so let’s throw a life preserver out to them – lets love them, encourage them, include them, be an unexpected source of love and encouragement to them.  

my friend Brandi is one of the best encouragers I know.  One time I asked her how she became a great encourager – and she said, when she needs encouragement – she just decides to give that out to someone else!  What a concept, yall.

I want to be that kind of friend!

so reach out – show some love.  online. in real life.  at the park.  to your neighbor.  whoever, and however. 

and just a side note – people that put their life online don’t think it’s weird when you tell them you “stalk their blog”, or like their instagram pictures, or have been encouraged by their story/writing.  when someone emails or leaves a comment that my words or story meant something to them – well that gives me the courage and joy to keep writing.  I’m taking my challenge to some of my favorite bloggers this week.  a little bit of encouragement goes a long way. 

who can you encourage this week?

  • Elizabeth - Oooo… I LOVE that encouragement tip! I need to do that! And also I should check out that book. Right now I’m really wondering what my purpose is, so a little direction would be great. :)ReplyCancel

  • Haley - Love this– and you were that kind of friend to me this week, Wynne– your thoughtful gift meant the world to me– and YOU were that unexpected source of love & encouragement to me!! Thank you & now it’s my turn to pass it on to someone else in need of love & encouragement:) xxo HaleyReplyCancel

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So I’m starting to think this “silly little thing” I joke about having called FOMO (fear of missing out) is more of a legit fear than I give it credit for. After going analog all weekend + being left alone with my thoughts I realize this FEAR is real.

It makes me feel not enough. Not good enough, productive enough, fun or popular enough. It makes me worry that I’m not giving my kids the best childhood memories I can (or “should”) give them and the list goes on…

This is magnified then with social media when I can visibly see what amazing adventures everyone else is on! We “should” be doing “that” instead of sitting home in our pjs all day (says my inner voice) but ya know what? that day we needed to rest.  and there’s freedom when we embrace the story God is writing for US.

There is freedom that comes with living the life God has for us! For you too.

This weekend I decided to quiet that inner voice by logging out of social media – and the results? Magical!

Instead of caring + comparing what everyone else was doing, I just focused on US, and what fun we could make for our little family! I wasn’t experiencing something awesome with my kids while also crafting my instagram caption in my head- I was just present!

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We had so much fun distraction free that I want to do it every weekend [let’s be honest, it won’t happen though].  I even read books for 5+ hours Saturday and am now dreaming again in a new way- dreaming the dreams God has for ME without fear. Staci Eldridge says in her book Becoming Myself.

“fear makes us retreat, love causes us to advance”

One of my “whys” for social media is to document our families lives so I won’t stop posting, I just want to be more intentional with living in the freedom that is avaliable to all who believe. 

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IMG_3685IMG_3819IMG_3821there’s something so freeing about freedom.  When I’m free from this fear of missing out, I’m free to enjoy my life and my family!  I’m free also to celebrate all the amazing things other people do.

All of a sudden I see their God story in a new light: not out of jealousy, or envy, or fear that they got it right and I didn’t…but freedom to love! and to celebrate!  this is the way to live, in TRUE freedom.  “for freedom Christ set us free” – Galatians 5:!

 

what do you fear?  how could letting go + surrendering that fear allow you to LIVE MORE FREE?? 

  • Lauren Casper - I so get this. I feel this way when I see pics from conferences that I wish I could have gone to. Yes to freedom!!!ReplyCancel

  • encouragement challenge. - […] we can feel left out.  forgotten. looked over.  not enough.  like we are missing out [I know, FOMO].  if you feel that way, and I feel that way, then chances are there are lots of others who are in […]ReplyCancel

if you follow me on instagram, you no doubt either loved or were annoyed by my constant disney vacation pictures I posted the week before Thanksgiving.  If not, here’s your chance;) We had an absolute blast at Disney with the kids – the holidays are the time to go!  So magical, romantic, beautiful, and really the word is just magical.  I hope our kids have many years of memories at the happiest place on earth.  there’s something about seeing the magic through their eyes.  we are so blessed to have this adventure together!

here’s some highlights from our time there!

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I was on the phone with a friend today and we were talking about Christmas.  advent.  and I said, ya know, I’m starting to feel stressed that I’m not stressed.  that’s sure weird.  this morning, my husband delightfully took the kids to school after I clothed and fed them and I got back in bed.  I SLEPT for an hour!  y’all, for real?  I took a hot bath with my cup of coffee and she reads truth devo on my phone.  I lingered around my kitchen, writing notes, and listening to worship music.  I took a friend lunch, stopped by the store, and was done in time to pick up the kids early from school.

As I was talking to my dear Melissa, I realized something.  I think in this crazy transition and “in between” season things have been a lot simpler this Christmas.  [with trying to sell the house and all + not knowing when we are moving].  I didn’t put any ornaments on our tree, Christmas card pics were re-scheduled and I don’t even have a date yet [or cute outfits] much less an actual card to send out [starting a new trend/easter!], very low fuss decor around the house – just my all time fave pieces, I did most of my Christmas shopping online the weekend after thanksgiving with small businesses or fair trade companies, but sadly didn’t do my big “I can’t say the words because I almost got sued” post for all your shopping needs.

I think it’s so easy when I look at what everyone else is doing, to get stressed.  We don’t have the big fancy company Christmas party to go to, so there’s no shopping for a sparkly new outfit…we still haven’t taken the kids to take the obligatory picture with Santa….we don’t have a million Christmas parties to attend….but this year…this year I’m trying to not look at what everyone else is doing, but instead look ahead.  

this past Sunday at church, I realized that one of the sins I so easily get tangled into is comparison.  I do it all the time – I compare my kids clothes to friends kids, or I’m not as good of a cook as her, or man she takes real pictures of her kids and I just use my iPhone, her gift wrapping so so creative..the list goes on and on.  well I want to stop looking OUTWARD and start looking ahead.  and also doing what is LIFE GIVING to me.  and realizing those things those friends are good at?  those things give THEM life, not me.  so why do we compare when God made each of us so different?

this season?  it’s called the advent for a reason. advent in the dictionary literally means “the arrival of a notable person, thing or event”.   advent means shifting your focus on the true reason of Christmas – celebrating the birth of Christ!  I’m doing this amazing advent devotional called Sacred Christmas and Becky says this,

“This isn’t something you get right.

This isn’t something you have to do. This is something you get to do. This is something

that helps you to focus more on Jesus when everything around you is chaotic” 

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This hunger I have for God?  It started with this advent season.  this centering on Christ.  being still.  getting in the word.  waiting on him!  being OK not being stressed because that’s what “I’m supposed to do”.  We don’t get it all right.  I miss a day here and there.  I want desperately for my kids to get it, and we are reading Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the greatest gift. , and we are loving it but I mean, they are 2!  Is it sometimes mom rallying the troops..yes.   I want to do things with them that show them this season isn’t about us, or the parties, decoration, presents….that doesn’t look perfect though.  again, they are 2 [in denial they are almost 3].  yesterday mid trying to deliver little christmas cheer to our neighbors they stopped to play in the leaves at our neighbors house!   we aren’t going to do it all.  but we focus on Christ.  we look to him.  we look ahead.  

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I just had to get that out.  mostly to preach to myself, to remind myself when I think we should be doing more, or aren’t doing it “good enough”, to take a reality check for my motives.  am I trying to please God or fit into our culture and the world?  so I’m going to try to STOP looking to the left and right and look straight AHEAD at Jesus.

I’d love some advice from you mamas who’s little ones are a little bigger than mine….do they eventually get it?  does it become less “mom says we need to do this” and more the heart of the entire family at some point?  

  • Libby - I can so relate to this post. I tend to think if I am not doing enough, I am being “lazy” or “missing out”, but this season, I has been so blessed with alone time + soaking in the word of God this advent season. Thank you for your words, friend!ReplyCancel

I was huddled in my bed last sunday all day.  I got up to take baths and that was about it.  feeling alone, in pain both emotionally and physically, broken, hurting, misunderstood.  Why do I always have to be that friend?  the one that’s brokenhearted, sending out frantic text prayer requests, and spilling my guts on instagram.  why do I crave people, and relationships, and comfort?  that might be a silly question, of coarse we all crave that.

no one wants to be alone, especially in their grief.  

Though the tears came all day, I knew joy would come in the morning.  if not joy then new mercies, coffee, and grace.  It was one of those days that I couldn’t wait until the sun went down on.  I wanted God, but I didn’t want to go to the effort.  not that day.  My hands came across one of four books I’m currently reading and it just felt right.

 Every bitter thing is sweet is a book I didn’t want to end.  All day I read Sara’s story and thought myself “she’s taking the words out of my mouth”, she has this ability to put into words thoughts that linger in my head but have no way of becoming words.  My story, in so many ways, parallels hers.  She has this way of drawing me closer to God.  

there’s something that’s been rising up in me all week, and I finally have a word for it: HUNGER.  It’s this hunger for Him that’s becoming my testimony.  I am desperate, for Him and for His presence.  I need him.  I am hungry and thirsty for his grace and his presence.

across the table this week with my friend Megan, we were talking about this hunger.  and she said words that rang so true, “it’s the currency of heaven”.  I mentally wrote that down, and it’s been ringing in my ears all week.  This hunger we have for God IS the currency of heaven.  it’s what keeps us connected to him, tethered to him.  There have been seasons of this kind of hunger in my life: infertility, the adoption wait, the weeks after leaving Ethiopia waiting for my kids to come home… but as Sara says in her book, I don’t want to be a hungry soul just for a season.  I want to LIVE HUNGER“.  

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YES.  I want to live hunger too.  I don’t want to be hungry in this crazy season of waiting for Gods promises, I want to be hungry for life.  I don’t want to want him just when my circumstances aren’t going my way, but I want to live hunger.  In one way, I want my circumstances to change so this waiting will end, but in other ways I am extremely grateful for the wait because it’s drawn me closer to him!  in a way I never would have had another way!

“I can discover that our greatest testimony isn’t found in those moments of victory over weakness or even in the moments of hope fulfilled.  It is found in waiting, wanting, adoring.  It’s found in HUNGER”! – Sara Hagerty 

this is my testimony.  it’s now.  it’s before my body is healed and carrying life.  it was before we brought camp + asher home.  it’s in the days that I’m on my knees, in desperation for him alone.  I am thankful for these seasons of waiting, of longing, of hurt and pain that drawn me closer to the one who made me, the one who sees me, and the one who wants ALL OF ME.  

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 12:17

I’ll be over at The Carry Camp tomorrow sharing more about this.

  • Lauren - Oh Wynne, I can’t even tell you how much I relate to this. Hunger for God has been my own personal truth these days, and I just can’t seem to get enough. I also ordered that book last week and absolutely can’t wait to read it!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - This is 100% what I needed to read! This is exactly how I felt about Sara’s book. I finished it a few weeks ago, but I already feel like I need to read it again. This infertility stuff is HARD. :(ReplyCancel

  • Kiersten - Oh Wynne. Sweet friend. You are so loved by so many. I am sending lots of prayers your way!ReplyCancel

  • Libby - YES! That book I ordered for everyone that is going through infertility because it changed my perspective on so many things!!! Standing with you!ReplyCancel