Things have escalated quickly

A whirlwind start to 2021

Hi friends!

If you read my last letter, you might remember me mentioning our family’s fascination with all things Little House on the Prairie. The episode of Pa building the family home by lantern light each night after work sparked a conversation around our dinner table about what it would actually look like if we pursued our dream of owning land and building a home, complete with gardens and goats and chickens and the whole deal.

The conversation quickly morphed from the kids discussing which farm animals they would take care of (Aven called the cattle and assigned the chickens to Elowyn) to the actual logistics this kind of change entails.

For us, this specific dream has been sitting on a shelf for about a decade. I can’t say there was just one factor causing us to pull it down off the shelf for a second look at this particular time, but more of a culmination of many things. Things like the current real estate market, wanting our kids to be young enough to enjoy the magic of life on land, & the freedom that homeschooling affords, to name a few.

In the following days, Brandon drew up some house plans and we began crunching numbers. Before we knew it, we were talking with our realtor about selling our current home, asking my parents about moving in with them, and discussing house plans with builders. That was at the end of January.

As I write this on March 4th,

our current home is under contract after a couple days on the market. (!)

We are living at my parents’ house. (!) 

And we are actively on the hunt for land. (!)

You could say things have escalated quickly! It’s overwhelming and exciting and surreal and sort of scary, all at once. 

Much of our plans are still TBD. We are considering different locations, and unsure if we’ll build a traditional home or a barndominium. (Have you ever heard of those?) Despite the whirlwind we’re currently living in, we feel peace and certainty from God about what’s ahead. 

This story is to be continued, but I wonder…do you have a dream you’ve put on the shelf that needs to be dusted off and brought prayerfully before the Lord? What dreams are we sitting on that could be used for kingdom purpose? To bring glory to his name? To lift his banner high?
Ask him about it. Consider what would be the first step toward that dream. Next, write it down or tell someone about it. Then keep praying and walking in obedience as God leads.

Perhaps the space between dreaming and doing is smaller than we think.

More from this past month:

  • Aven turned 7 years old on February 6th! (here’s a link to her birth story on my blog)

  • Finn turned 4 years old on February 16th! (here’s a link to his birth story)

  • Aven decided to cut her hair super short and she got her ears pierced for her birthday. Basically she looks like a preteen now. (waah)

  • Because moving isn’t tiring enough (insert heavy sarcastic tone here), we also had a tiny and simple Prairie Party for Aven & Finn (inspired, of course, by Little House on the Prairie) and it was adorable. They have requested joint birthday parties since Finn’s first birthday, but I fear we’re on the verge of a shift in that pattern. I’ll be writing a blog post about the Prairie party soon, with more info and pictures, if you’re interested.

  • We went on a homeschool field trip to The Story Shop (the most magical children’s bookstore in all the land). If you’re in Georgia and you haven’t been, you must plan a trip. It’s worth the drive; just be sure to plan for a day when they’re having story time in the secret Narnia room beyond the wardrobe — like I said, magic.

  • In much sadder news, we had to make the extremely hard decision to put our 11 year-old boxer down after a cancer diagnosis and rapidly declining health over the past month. Hudson was our first “baby” and was Brandon’s actual shadow. You realize the weight and significance of their presence even more so after they’re gone. We miss him so much.  

What’s saving my life right now:
Simple toys, and less of them. As we prepped for the move and purged a ton of old toys, my kids gravitated toward the tried & true staples. Play-doh, sensory bins, blocks, Water Wow activity books, bubbles, and of course BALLOONS. Never underestimate the power of a bunch of leftover birthday balloons when it comes to easy entertainment for kids.

Donation Pick-Up. Where we live(d), I scheduled the kidney fund to come once a week in the month leading up to the move. It’s crazy simple - I just placed everything on my porch (no large furniture) and they pick it up for me. Maybe check to see if you have a donation pick-up service in your area? It saved me so much time since I wasn’t having to load my car and make multiple trips to a donation center.

What I’ve been reading:
Just before the move, I had started reading Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland that was a gift from a friend. It hooked me right off the bat. I’m only 20ish pages in but I can already tell you it’s going to be on my must-read list.

What I’ve been watching:
Not much free time these days, but the other night Brandon and I decided to veg out and watch a movie and I was tasked with picking what to watch. I randomly came across October Sky, an old movie that I used to love but had forgotten about. It was so good! If you’re into NASA/space at all, you should definitely watch it. It’s based on a true story, and those are my favorite kind.

Good & beautiful things I’ve read or heard lately:
You know what I want my kids to say about my parenting when they are grown and gone and maybe raising their own families?
“She loved it.” — Katie Blackburn
(We don’t have to love every second of every stage of motherhood. But what’s the impression we’re leaving our kids with? I think this is a good reminder for me to consider the long haul when I’m overwhelmed in the minutia of the every day.)

“God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.” — Elisabeth Elliot

The JourneyWomen podcast featuring Jen Wilkin: “What is God Like?”
Jen is a super wise Bible teacher and I love hearing her speak! I think you’ll enjoy this episode and be spurred on in your faith.

Talk soon, friends! If you want to chat more about anything I’ve written here, you can reach me by replying to this email.

Thank you for reading! Happy dreaming.

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