Hello 2019

written words by  Morgan Harper Nichols

written words by Morgan Harper Nichols

It’s the second day of 2019 and thus far all is good. You know that in it self makes me grateful as that was not the case last year. Even all the torrential rain won’t put a damper on this parade. This January I am going to take some time to reflect on how to continue what the Lord started in me this past year. The things that can only start when life seems to be ripped open wide. How to purge all the things that continue to make me second guess. To develop my gifts into purpose. Does this all sound so vague? It does to me too, but this goal is not mapped out and I am not even certain on what will come of it all. What I am sure of though is that I have decided to peel back the layers this month in the form of prayers, that I hope will lead to the written word. To unwrap it all here and see what comes of it. Even if it turns into a personal journal of sorts it will be enlightening to come back to in 2020. To see if any of it panned out or if some becomes frivolous over time. Isn’t time funny like that. Some of the things that seemed so huge over the years when reflected on seem so simple or not worth the uncertainty it may have brought. So this month is dedicated to what I hope is the start of self-care for myself. What is more important in self care than mental, emotional, and spiritual health? I am sure the rest will follow.

xo - Paula

On Repeat - Morgan Harper Nichols Album

Thirteen

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I am sure no words can do justice when it comes to describing this girl. She is everything. She is brave, she is strong, she is tender, she is fun, she is gentle, she loves without you having to love her first. She has a heart of gold and this past year it has been broken time and time again. She isn't one who has many friends so when one says they are done it leaves her very lonely.  She has a hard time fitting into certain groups and has struggled finding her own. I can't tell you how many tears have been shed because she was TOLD she wasn't cute enough, her clothes could be better if only she wore them this way, etc. etc. Her heart breaks and so does mine. As a parent you want everyone to see her as I do. She can be your greatest friend. As a parent I want to go and remind everyone to be kind. As a parent I want to keep her home and protect her from all the lies that we constantly have to remind her are not true. Most importantly though I know our job is to raise her in constant love and support. To be her greatest allies and encourage her to not give up on others or more importantly herself. To never loose her contagious laugh, to always be brave enough to try new things even when it doesn't always work out, to always be kind to others because you don't know what their own battles are. I pray that this year as she enters 7th grade it will go better. She will again have her crew and maybe the naysayers will have decided to silent their judgments. I also pray that if this is not our year again then she will still find the joy in the every day. That it will never weigh her down and silence her brave heart. 

Saturday she turns 13 and she gave me permission to share our struggles with school life and bullying. She is the girl who wants to make this world a better place for everyone or even just the one person who is left in the corner. She is that girl.

*Writing this post was hard. Really hard. At times the screen becomes so blurry through all the tears it became not only emotionally hard to write, but physically. We are and have been in a season of not understanding. I hope this post not only helps those walking the similar path, but also to take a minute before school starts and remind your child in the importance of being kind. Of course it's never your child who would do such a thing, but what if your child could be the one to reach out and check on the one who was pushed again in PE on "accident" rather than just staring and sometimes laughing. What if that one short talk can set them up for not only school book success, but also success in kindness. 

INTERNAL ALARM CLOCK

My whole life I have been one who LOVES to sleep. Even as a baby I pretty much slept through the night. I was never one who would fight a nap and as I moved into high school and college years my much too late nights did not hinder me as I could sleep in to absurd hours. This way of life didn't seem all that bad until I had kids. The lack of sleep pretty much made the babies years a blur. Having two in a 19 month time span made the first few years ones with memory lapses. Like there really are events that others will talk about and I draw a complete blank. Small groups that we hosted, Ellie's 1st birthday party, places I went, and so on.  The kicker I had great sleepers just not enough for my need of sleep. Now the kiddos are at the age where I getting up with them is technically not a must, but a desire. For years I prayed to become this person who would rise before her alarm and not dread the whole getting out of bed thing, because I needed another hour or two. Not sure what happened over the course of this year, maybe it's age, maybe it's an answered prayer, maybe it's the way God designed it all along, but I wake 20 to 15 minutes before my alarm every morning. It gives me time to read my one year bible before the routine of the day begins. It truly has been the greatest gift for me. Granted I have to be sure to be in bed when my body demands it which is between 10 and 11 which is a vast improvement of my 9 to 10 in the past. Also the impending joy of a morning cup of tea or coffee doesn't hurt either. 

Our current tea kettle we have had since our wedding 12 years ago. It's time for a new one and I am leaning towards a matte black to go with our kitchen since it will sit out. The above are my top contenders. Anyone have an electric kettle and do you prefer it over a stove top one? I like the idea of being able to have it off to the side and having a hold temp incase a second cup is in order. 

source: one | two | three | four

In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. - psalm 5:3