photo by rylee hitchner

photo by rylee hitchner

Today marks fourteen years of marriage. Some days it feels like yesterday and other days it feels like an eternity ago. Some days it's hard and other days it's near perfection. Some days we really have to work to connect and other days we fit like a glove. As we navigate through this life I am grateful for the simple fact that we are both in it together. We are both forever choosing each other. We are both striving to be better not only for each other but for ourselves. I think it's important to forever remember that two whole people make for a better team. We find the beauty in the ebb's and flows. We married as practically kids and as the white hair starts to spring {him} and the lines get a little deeper {me} I know that he is mine and I am his and I wouldn't want it any other way. That even includes the days he leaves his whiskers on the sink, again. 

* this photo may be from a few years ago, but will forever be one of my favorites. 

The Narrow Road

As I drove the kiddos to school, after a bit of a rough morning getting everyone out the door, I do what I do and prayed for a God centered shift in their day, as we all needed it. As I prayed I did my normal thing and prayed for them to stay on the narrow road. I am a type A, rule following girl all the way. I try not to be. The Mr is the exact opposite. I too used to be more go with the flow, but something shifted along the way. There was a season of life where I honestly was afraid to mess up. If I tried to be a little "better" maybe more prayers would be answered. Maybe just maybe, the kiddos would not go down the hard path of life and stay on that narrow road. My view was skewed in who the Lord really is. Fast forward today, and I know the Lord loves me no matter all my crazy. I can't earn His love, He just loves me because He promised that from the beginning. My only requirement is to love Him and love others, and the overflow of that is a beautiful wondrous thing. So as I prayed for the kiddos to remain on the narrow road I felt the Lord urge me to no longer view it as the path of basically being "good".

I know I pray this prayer out of desperation that the kiddos won't follow in my footsteps. As my steps were destructive in every sense of the word. I lived {if you can call it that} in pain trying to earn the affirmation of others and doing whatever that took. That would then be followed by numbing out, because doing whatever was slowly killing me. I never thought that I was enough just the way I was. The words of others became loud. The ugly actions of others towards me became who I was. After I decided to make my life live for the Lord when I was 21 I became stuck in having to be "good" now. I stopped doing all the spinning that left me so very empty. That narrow road quickly became my anthem for not doing bad things that would leave me in heartache. It became the road where the Lord could love me and think that I was enough. 

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and the road that leads to life, and only a few find it - Matthew 7: 13-14

During my early morning prayer, I felt a shift in that prayer. A shift in the way I view and pray it. I prayed it in the way that would not lead my own children into feeling that that road is meant to be taken by refraining from doing bad things, but in a way that would lead to true freedom. I sensed that maybe that narrow road was one that could be walked down living in confidence in who Christ created us to be. One that sheds the feelings on how others view us and focus only on how God views us. One that keeps us from striving to please others and instead live in a way that pleases God. That this narrow road is where true freedom is found. At the end of the prayer that once held a sense of conviction and striving now lets me breathe free. It can be hard to not let the world define who we are with so many outlets that speak so loud. As I truly believe that all the "bad" things I went through is not what slowly destroyed me, instead, it was my lack of knowing who I was and the feeling of being lost in this great big world. That was my destruction. Now, as I ask the Lord to keep my children on that narrow road, I am asking for Him to keep His voice louder than the worlds dictation. I ask this so that they will forever be secure enough to live in a way that brings joy and peace through the hope that Christ is. My greatest wish for my babies is that they always feel secure in who they are, no matter what that person at school, in the play yard, and beyond says that they are not. Honestly I am not afraid of the poor choices they may make along the way. What I am afraid of is them forgetting how loved they are and that they are important. Jesus made them great and that is the feeling and knowing I desire them to dwell in. Really that is my for us all. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit - Romans 15:13


The Hamster Wheel of Life

Get up extra early to get Ellie to her AM safety patrol duties, make waffles and lunch, get the kiddos to school, head to my three day a week chiropractic session, head to work on Katrina Porter Designs, pick up kiddos, head home for snack and homework duties, then head to activity of the day, head home, fit in Two Ellie and give time to Kellen Jacob Photography when needed or better yet I crash and hope the Mr was planning to make dinner that night. Weekends look a little different as we consider a weekend Friday and Saturday since the Mr works on Sunday's. Friday the Mr and I try to stick together. It's a date day of sorts as the kiddos are in school even if said date is to the grocery store. Saturday can be filled with kiddos activities or we lay low, but regardless of what we are doing we do it as a family. Sunday is church, meal prep for my Dr diet, baseball currently, and the kiddos and I clean the house. We all have tasks and knock it out in about an hour. Sound familiar? I know all moms and women in general have some form of daily tasks that can leave room for little else.

I had a swim mom ask if I ever get tired of the hustle, when I am healthy, then answer is mostly no. I try to do whatever I am doing at that moment well. When they overlap that is when frustration {as in fly off the handle when the slightest thing goes array} occurs and I can become overwhelmed. I know this is my trigger so I try to order my hours in such a way so that can't happen. Does it always work? no, but I feel like every week I am getting better. Honestly ALL the things I do daily I love. I love being part of the kiddos daily lives, I love my husband, I love design, I love photography, I love Two Ellie, I honestly feel refreshed once the house is back in order. Granted I could do without mopping the floors so that hasn't happened in forever. Gross I know, but atleast they get swept or vacuumed on a regular basis. 

There are days I stop and think about the hamster wheel I feel like I am running on. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this wheel won't run like this forever and it's okay to feel like the repetition could drive me mad. I also have to look deeper and make sure that all the things are God ordered. That I am ultimately following the path He laid out for me. Currently I believe I am and once one of those tasks are no longer a part of who He needs me to be then I will shift and move on. I have stopped planning what the future holds as it never is I imagine. I do find it's always better though. What I do plan on is following His path and where it leads, to better myself in Him, and along the way many doors open and close but I am better for it because God is the writer of my story. How do you all maintain a daily hustle without going crazy? For me I know I need to start and end my day in prayer even if it's only for a few minutes, a good cup of wind down tea and I will never pass on a good book. Of course time spent with friends may be a cure all for me. How about you? 

 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.- Ephesians 3: 17-19