the pursuit channel

This morning I woke at 4:30 for my morning run, did some chores around the house, kissed my hubby before he went off to work and then realized none of my children were awake.  This is a rare occasion around here.  I thought about getting a few more miles in on the treadmill, maybe finishing painting our bathroom, doing some work for the 5K race we have coming up, prepping for our homeschool year and finally decided that about the moment I opened the paint can the baby would probably wake up. So I opted for the treadmill, completed a few miles and they still were not awake.  I looked over to my couch in front of our big picture window, grabbed a cozy blanket, my daily devotional that I’m a week behind on and began reading, until…I saw the hummingbirds!

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I love hummingbirds.  We get several each year and I used to spend what seemed like hours watching them with my grandmother.  I could write a book about my memories of her. Such a strong amazing woman, I often wish I could run over to her house and ask her questions about cooking, parenting, the Bible, just everything! Okay, back on track.  I have been bummed we haven’t seen any hummingbirds yet this year and last night I put a new batch of food in their feeder and finally we have them.  So, I sat on the couch, tucked my feet under my yellow lab, read and watched the hummingbirds.  It was a great way to start my day.

One of the devotionals I read was about how our Savior is in pursuit of us.  I’ve gotta tell you I’ve always had trouble understanding that concept.  It’s not because I don’t believe that Jesus wants all his children to know Him and love Him.  But let me tell you what images I have in my head about pursuit.  I’m married to an avid deer hunter.  Is there a word that means more dedicated than avid? Because if there is, that would be him.  Obsessed? That’s it! Ha! To me, pursuit is hunting something down. When we were dating we spent several hours watching the pursuit channel; all these men and women spending their lives figuring out the best way to kill a big buck.  And actually, not even deer hunting, because in that situation they are usually sitting in a tree.  One time my husband told me a story of someone who saw an animal who was suffering horribly and he chased it down and tackled it to put it out of it’s misery.  That’s pursuit. I”m not hating on deer hunters here, I’ve been deer hunting before, if that’s your thing go for it, but to me, Jesus doesn’t have to do all that work to know us.  For goodness sakes He created us.  And when I consider my own children, we don’t pursue them, we are just there, always present, always there for them.  If they fall we pick them up.  We love them, we cherish them, they are ours.

So I guess that’s my perspective on the whole “pursuit” thing.  Maybe I’m more of a Footprints in the Sand kinda girl. I was blessed to grow up in the church so I always knew I was loved by God and Jesus was a part of my life.  That doesn’t mean there weren’t many difficult times throughout my life.  But I don’t have that big, exciting story.  That, I was here and then all of a sudden, BAM I changed story.  I would bet if that was my story I could relate more to the pursuit.  And PS if you’re that person, I love you’re story and I love hearing it and I love that you have it and I don’t think it’s any less valid than mine 🙂 Even in the darkest most horrible few years of my life, I remember being very angry at what was going on and the situation my family was in.  But there was no doubt in my mind that as I sat on my bed crying and praying that Jesus was sitting there with me.  Maybe there are 2 kinds of stories, maybe more…maybe there are Footprints stories and Pursuit stories.  People who have lives that were drastically changed when they began their relationship with Jesus and then there are people who have just kinda always known Him through the ups and downs of life and every once in awhile He’s had to pick us up for a little bit.

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I think I’m cool with that….I’m more of a beach girl anyway 😉

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you.  I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4

I would love to hear your stories of how your life has been, do you relate to the pursuit? Or has your life been more like the footprints poem? Or a mix?!

 

I run to lose weight

Way back when I started running after my first daughter was born I began running mostly out of desperation and frustration.  I had tried “everything” to lose the baby weight.  Everything meaning I had stopped eating a few things I didn’t like anyway and was probably doing the elliptical for 30 minutes a day in my basement slowly enough to glance through an US Weekly magazine and maybe going to the gym every once in a while.

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Running wasn’t ever something that I loved, as a matter of fact, I pretty much hated it.  During junior high and high school I was a sprinter, and pretty good at it without having to put forth much effort.  I was able to compete at the state level both individually and as a part of a few team relays.  I remember a few conversations post baby that led me to believe running was my only option if I was serious about getting back into shape.  The first was with my family practitioner.  We were discussing my migraines and some medication options that might give me some relief.  She mentioned that she would not put me on any type of medication until I began exercising regularly,  lost some weight and began following a healthier diet.  I remember leaving stunned; not angry, just stunned.  I knew I was overweight for my height but to be honest with you, compared to people around me, I didn’t seem large.  Don’t get me wrong, I was completely unhappy with how I looked and felt, but I almost wanted to say, what about all those other people?! That’s why I love my doctor, she knew me and she’s straightforward, that’s what I like about her.

Next up, chiropractor.  If you don’t see a chiropractor, just find a good one right now.  That is my family’s stop EVERY time when we don’t feel well.  I won’t get on that soap box right now but I have trusted our family chiropractor for information on such a wide range of subjects and she has never steered me wrong.  In that office they always focus on the whole patient and I greatly appreciate it.  So again….chiropractor, how do I lose this baby weight??? Running.

The worst part about their responses was that my husband, the soldier, had been telling me the same thing for years…crap. So I started running, if you could call it that.  Thank God we lived in the country because I was horribly embarrassed.  I walked most of the way.  I swore my asthma that I had been diagnosed with as a child wouldn’t allow me to run.  It took me about 45 minutes to complete 2 miles and I complained about it when I got back BIG time.   I hated it, I hated it every single day. I kept telling my husband I just wasn’t a runner.  He didn’t understand, he was a runner, I wasn’t.  After all, I had asthma. And remember, I just had a baby. Also, I was a teacher working full-time, so he didn’t understand that, I was exhausted. I had shorter legs than him.  I mean I had all kinds of excuses. I felt weak, I felt tired, I felt lonely, I felt like I would never get there.  I cried, I didn’t feel like I was seeing results at all.  Until one day I did.  And then, in April of 2010, 10 months after my first daughter was born.  Hold on can I say that again? All of you who want fast results like I did? 10 MONTHS AFTER MY FIRST DAUGHTER WAS BORN. I could run a 5k.  IT TOOK ME 10 MONTHS TO BE ABLE TO RUN A 5K.  I met up with a friend for the first time ever and we were nervous, we had no idea what we were doing, but we stuck together and we did our first ever 5K.  Can I tell you that on that day, my weight didn’t matter at all? I felt powerful, strong, happy and like I was a part of something I had never been a part of before.  I felt like I was someone worth looking up to for all those little girls and young women who were there, cheering on their mommies and sisters and friends and family members.  I knew in my heart that this was a part of me that I needed and that my daughter needed to see.  It had nothing to do with a number on a scale.

Here I am, 7 years in.  I am a runner.  It brings tears to my eyes to even begin to write about what God has done in my life through running.  I’ve had the opportunity to complete several 5K races, 5 mile races and a half marathon.  (My goal is to complete MANY more half marathons!) I have been completely fortunate to run through 2 pregnancies.  That woman who I ran my first 5K with is my “sole sister”, we have completed trail runs together, much-needed runs that feel more like therapy sessions, we trained for the half marathon with a group of amazing women (love them, I could write an entire post about each of them!) and completed that entire process together, she and I continue to grow and change in this thing called running together.  I have been encouraged by family members and friends who amaze me by their motivation to begin running when they aren’t sure they can do it, then they allow me to be a part of the journey as they never give up.  Words can’t describe the support my husband has given me, whether he’s running with me or waking me up at 4:20am when I don’t hear my alarm and giving me the hand signals for you….go…run? 🙂 so that the kids don’t wake up.  He’s my forever #1 cheerleader, I adore him for that.  And my absolute favorite lesson from running that I never expected to learn was what I’ve been able to give.  The running community is all about being a team and supporting each other.  If you told me 7 years ago I”d be directing a race with a group of friends for St. Jude, my response would have been “I don’t run, I hate running.” The fact that I’m able to use running which is so close to my heart and show my children that their body is a tool that can be used to care for others is more than I could ever ask for.

So the moral of the story? Take care of yourself.  If for no other reason than you don’t wanna miss out on this!  You don’t have to run, but do what works for you to take care of your body because it can be used to do some pretty awesome things while you’re here on this Earth and people are watching you! So encourage them, bless them, create a team with them and be their cheerleader.  You never know where you’ll be in 7 years but this body is going to be what will be taking you there!

God

If you’re interested in donating to the race I direct, please visit http://www.runsignup.com/rw5k or you can checkout the facebook page at 3rd Annual Reagan Wednesday 5K.  Thanks for reading!

why I love hillbillies

My first experience with county fairs didn’t come until I was in high school.  My boyfriend and his group of friends raced demolition derby cars and I would spend my summers anticipating him winning as I stood and watched from the sidelines.  I’d watch each heat of cars as the mud would go flying in the air praying there wasn’t a fire and that he would finish the night’s derby safely without having to jump out of his car.  I don’t remember having a bad view of the people at the fair but I remember viewing them as hillbillies.  Now before you go judging me on this, I have never thought of a hillbilly as a negative thing.  Honestly.  The people I met at the fair were always kind to me and struck me as the kind of people who didn’t care at all what they looked like. They were friendly, would chat with you all night long and weren’t stuck up at all.  I liked them and I enjoyed spending time around them.  I genuinely loved going to county fairs with him and watching him race. Meeting new people from all around the state was a lot of fun for me with him by my side.  I loved hearing the stories they would tell of the effort they put into preparing these cars and watching their children play at the fair as they raced.  My husband and his buddies spent all summer getting their cars ready and racing them and I took part in as much of it as he and his friends would let me.  I wanted to soak up as much of him as I could and if that meant helping get derby cars ready, I did it, if that meant going to fairs, I rode along.  At one point my friend and I even made shirts that said “Save a car, ride a driver”.  I know, we were classy.  But it was a fun part of my life, hey fair people….hillbillies, whatever you want to call them, are fun people!  You get to hang out with animals, watch demolition derbies, go on rides, eat delicious food (nobody said it was healthy) , watch the kids play on the playground, and just have a good time together.  It reminds me of the atmosphere at the campground.  Many nights we would spend all day driving to a fair, wait in line to check in, walk around eating funnel cakes and drinking lemonade shake ups, go on some rides, watch the guys participate in the derby, drive half way home, stop at a Monicals for pizza, drive the rest of the way home, and then camp out at someones house and sit around a fire and have a few beers. And so went many of my summers after high school.

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Once we had kids of our own, the demo derby lifestyle has taken a backseat and we haven’t been to any county fairs in quite a while as our own children aren’t old enough to participate as far as showing livestock or projects independently yet.  But this year we were determined not to miss out on the county fair.  My husband really wanted to take our kids to see the rodeo.  I hadn’t even seen a rodeo before so I was pretty excited to be going for the first time.  As the day went on, our chances of getting to the rodeo weren’t looking too great.  The temperature was 90+ degrees, it was VBS week at our church so we were all exhausted, I had a terrible migraine, so we were thinking maybe we better sit this one out.  After a bit of back and forth, we decided it’s a once a year thing and we were going, so we packed a bunch of water, were prepared for the reality that we may have to come right back home and made the drive to the county fair.

 

We got there, looked at all the livestock, let our kiddos see some of the entries of their friends and then found some seats to watch the rodeo.  Now the rodeo was awesome.  So cool.  My kids loved it, it was entertaining, they mixed it up with barrel racing, bull riding and cattle roping.  There was a portion of the show where the kids got to go out and have the opportunity to race and try to win a bike.  But that wasn’t the best part of the show.  To me, the best part of the show, was where all these HARD working men and women and children…these hillbillies, people call them.  These families who have children who are disciplined enough to rise early and feed and care for animals, work on projects like cooking, sewing, training animals and building .  They stood for the flag, they sang the national anthem together, they prayed together.  They stood in silence and honored men and women who have served in the military together.  They stood and honored men and women who are serving as police officers together.  It brought tears to my eyes.  All these people had to get up the next day and go to work and do life, but they were brought together by this commonality. They were proud to be American, they were praying together and honoring those who were serving together.  It wasn’t a holiday, it’s just what they do because it’s right.  That’s why I like spending time at the county fair around hillbillies, hard-working American families…..love them. They were there that night just being themselves because they don’t know how to be anything else.

 

10 o’clock brunch anyone?

Last week my mom invited all the women in our family over to her home for a 10:00 breakfast.  I’m just gonna call it brunch because in my household we are all early risers, so our day was set to be breakfast…brunch….lunch.  I always feel really out of place at big breakfasts because I don’t like breakfast food, I just don’t, never have.  My kids really don’t either. I”ll admit that most mornings we have cereal, oatmeal with some fruit or once in a great while my ladies will get the treat of a frozen waffle.  There are mornings when I wake up, make biscuits and gravy, monkey bread, or something that you would think my kids would love only to find out that they didn’t really get the breakfast gene either.  So, I don’t do it much unless it’s a special occasion or my husband is home to eat with us.  I usually have coffee and my daily Kind bar and I’m set until lunch. I feel like everyone is wondering why I’m not enjoying several donuts and greasy bacon…but it’s just not my thing.  I’m telling you all of this because when I’m invited to a big meal, it takes some convincing for me to get myself to go. For me sitting around eating doesn’t equal fun, and it took me a long time to unravel my relationship with food.  For a very long part of my life people constantly questioned what and how much I was eating and I just wanted to enjoy my Saturday morning coffee and granola bar.

I know…a lot goes through my head when someone invites me to brunch right?!  Fortunately for me and my children, I love the ladies in my family and this day turned out so much better than I’m sure any of us could have ever imagined.  My grandmother had 5 children (God bless her), 3 daughters and 2 sons.  The daughters then had 4 girls and now we have children, so you can imagine we are a big group of women and it can be a bit difficult to get us all together.  I walked in with my 3 kiddos, fruit bowl in hand and of course my little guy’s new toy mower and everyone was already relaxing inside. As we went outside and sat down my mom informed us all that she wanted each one of us to take an index card and write something encouraging down for every lady.  Some of us rolled our eyes, some were feisty (maybe me maybe not) with her but we all agreed and a few got to writing.  No big deal.

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UNTIL…it may have been that she was on meds for her strep throat…it may have been the heat of the day….it may have been that her husband was sick and she had been alone with her kids but my BFF (my daughter once called her my “bif if” , it started one day when she was trying to read BFF) and cousin decided it would be a better choice to speak our words aloud.    Let me tell you a bit about our family, we have been through a lot; loss, divorce, long term deployments, marital issues, broken hearts, lies, anxiety, depression…in other words life has happened.

But something amazing happened, she spoke those words, and then the rest of us followed.  And let me tell you what came from all of those nasty, evil, heartbreaking parts of our stories that I mentioned above; tears, forgiveness, love, joy, laughter, peace , goodness, healing, understanding, truth and support.  We all said things that needed to be said that we wouldn’t have ever written on paper.  It wasn’t all happy, some of the things that have happened were horrible, but they were real and they helped shape us all into the women we are today.  I think that too often we forget the power of spoken words and it breaks my heart to think of all the conflicts, miscommunications and issues that wouldn’t exist if we gave those words the value they deserve. I fully believe that text messages, emails and Facebook accounts are not healthy avenues for working out issues.

So my lessons for the day:

  1. Don’t let your own issues get in the way of doing something fun. Nobody cared what I ate, it’s just an old wound that can open itself back up and I’m aware of it and so completely happy I spent the day there.  In the past I have felt under attack for my food choices and that was not the case at all here.
  2. Tell people what you think of them.  Tell them what you appreciate, what you love, when you are concerned for their well being.  Tell them you’re sorry.  Don’t email them, don’t write a card, don’t put it on Facebook for the world to see, tell them to their face.  Yes, it might make you feel a little bit bad or uncomfortable, but you might need to feel a bit badly or uncomfortable.
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    The next generation of ladies.  They have no idea how blessed they are to have so many fantastic women in their lives!

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22

Reality check

Some days you get up when your alarm goes off at 4:40, you go to the gym before your home is awake, you drive back and watch the sunrise, get a shower without any children coming in to chat, get ready for the day, you sit down to read your Bible with hot coffee, or whatever book you’re reading at the time.  ( Right now I’m getting through the book “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I HIGHLY recomend this book.  But that’s not the point of this post….) Your day begins peacefully and you feel prepared to take it on.  I always feel better when I’ve had time to get myself ready for the day.

And then there are days like today.  Days that never got a fair start to begin because they can’t begin when the night before never ended.  My little man is teething AGAIN, I swear that’s like a year long process, because it actually is a year long process.  My alarm goes off early and I vote not to rise for my early morning gym time which I’ve desperately been needing because I’ve been stuck in one of those ruts I posted about last week.  But this lady doesn’t do well without sleep.  I don’t need a ton of sleep but a few solid hours is a requirement for me.  Our day went on without that need being met and I found myself being a bit grouchy on the phone when my hubby called to check in on us. I realized my tone of voice wasn’t exactly kind that it wasn’t anyone’s fault that our baby hadn’t slept and nobody had any control over it.  We hadn’t done anything wrong for him to not be sleeping.  It wasn’t our lack of routine, we hadn’t kept him up too late, so if I wanted to have a better day it had to start with me.

Some days, taking care of yourself is pretty.  It’s an early morning run, or an evening run filled with beautiful sunsets.  It’s getting a massage or going to a spa day with friends and relaxing with a glass of wine.  It’s meeting up at a park with a group to go on a hike, it’s joining a new Crossfit class in your town and being super motivated about it. It’s trying out a new recipe and your family loves it.  But more often than not, taking care of yourself is hard, it’s making difficult decisions when you want to take a nap and do nothing all day (which I’ve done plenty in the past month with a lack of sleep!) It’s saying , nope, I’m worth more than that when nobody is watching.  Some days it looks like this, and you’re exhausted, you have a migraine and you want to quit running every single second and you feel a tad guilty that your daughters are watching tv that closely to the computer! It’s making the choice to not give up, and finding the right people to surround yourself with that will hold you accountable and not being upset when they do it because you have set goals and you know how badly you wanted them.  Don’t let anything get in your way, not even an adorable teething baby, take care of yourself mama! I’d love to hear how you make it happen!

 

It sure wasn’t the gym, but our homeschool room/den/treadmill area works for us!  I ended up getting in an hour of treadmill time and my baby boy got a 3 1/2 hour nap!  I don’t think my ladies would complain about their hour of time on amazon tv either.  Everyone was happy!

Land that I love <3


If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life

And I had to start again with just my children and my wife

I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today

‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free

And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me

And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today

‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land

God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee

Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA

Well, there’s pride in every American heart

And it’s time we stand and say…


Dear God,

Thank you for Independence Day. Thank you for the joy that fireworks bring. Thank you that because of the sacrifices of so many brave, selfless men and women my children are able to ride their bicycles freely in the streets without fear, I’m able to go for early morning runs, and I attended the church of my choice this morning.  God bless America.  Thank you that my husband and many family members and friends have served in our military because they wanted to and you have protected them, please be near those families who have soldiers that didn’t return home. Thank you for the freedom You gave us through forgiveness; God bless America; please now more than ever, stand beside her and guide her with your light.

-Amen


stagnant

stagnant waterFull Definition of stagnant

  1. 1a :  not flowing in a current or stream <stagnant water>b :  stale <long disuse had made the air stagnant and foul — Bram Stoker>

      2 :  not advancing or developing <a stagnant economy>

Have you ever been in a spot in your life where you just felt yucky? Kinda like that picture? Seriously, whether it was that you weren’t feeling quite connected with your spouse, you keep butting heads with your kids, you feel like you might need a shift in your career, you aren’t happy with the way you look or feel, the way your relationships with your friends or family are going? Things just aren’t moving forward in a positive direction in any area in your life?  You’re just…stuck.  I’ve been in that situation so many times, whether it’s the nasty feeling of being stagnant or just being in a comfort zone, there’s isn’t any room for growth in your life when you’re there.  And it’s so easy to look outward rather that inward to fix it.

From my experience, that’s exactly what needs to happen.  Just as the definition states, YOUR feelings or actions of being stagnant can “make the air foul” which means you can spread that attitude to those around you.  First your immediate family and those friends closest to you and then others you encounter.  Who wants to be known as that person?  We have all been around someone like that.  The person who complains and wants to change but doesn’t, they are able to recognize all their problems and then find someone or something else to blame them on.  Hey, I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve all even been that person.

Recently, when I was stuck in one of these spots (which always happens to me a bit in the summer when I get out of a routine!) I was feeling a bit unappreciated and disconnected with my husband and I wasn’t feeling challenged at all with my workout routine so I wasn’t seeing the results I normally do and I got down on myself. My kids did the summer thing where they ask daily what we are doing, even after we spent 10 days on an awesome vacation, so I went to the Bible to read about the virtuous woman.  (Check out Proverbs 31:10-31 if you’re interested in seeing what God has to say about a woman not being stagnant.)

And I wanted to know exactly what virtuous meant

 Full Definition of virtuous

Some words God uses to describe a wife that is worth far more than rubies:

  • she provides
  • she considers
  • she sets about vigorously
  • her arms are strong
  • she opens her arms to the poor
  • she has no fear for her household
  • she extends her hand to the needy
  • she speaks with wisdom
  • she can laugh at the days to come

That looks like it could almost be the opposite for stagnant to me.  If you’re tempted right now to blame your emotions or disappointments on someone else don’t.  Have the conversations you need to have with them, absolutely; but don’t forget to take care of yourself on the inside too.  You were made for more than feeling like yucky water.  Get a good group of people around you that can remind you of that when you need it 🙂 And when you see someone sitting in the stagnant water, get them outta there and encourage them to get to a place in their life where they can grow!

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” 

Proverbs 31:10

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coffee on Kentucky Lake

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It has been 2 years since my family has been on a vacation longer than a couple of nights in a hotel.  Time flies by for us with our 3 little ones and it is 100% our own fault for not making get aways a priority.  We know we need it, but between working very diligently to pay off debt, work/volunteer schedules and extra curriculars fill up our calendar quickly and we have seriously been slacking in the family time department.  An outsider might not believe this as we often go on bike rides together, head down to the river exploring, leave on camping trips or go hiking. We genuinely love spending time together as a family; we squeeze in family time together as much as we can.  That’s the problem though…we squeeze it in. A getaway was becoming necessary for us, and after we returned we were determined that going on more trips is crucial for our family to thrive, maybe shorter, but MUCH more often.  (I”ll keep you posted on how we do with that 😉

We were fortunate to be invited with our family to go to Hickory Hills Resort on Kentucky Lake for an entire week to get away. Our family extended the trip by getting a hotel on the way there and back to make it a full 10 days away.  I would highly recommend this resort if you are visiting the area. They had everything we could ever want and we didn’t need to leave our cabin at all.  The kids could swim in the pool, the lake had a water slide on the dock, there was a playground, a basketball hoop, sand volleyball court, a small arcade, a beach area with kayaks and water bikes and plenty of lounge chairs, which is really all this mama needed!

Here are some highlights of our trip:

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Our family has a slight obsession with turtles.  Every morning, sometimes as early as 6am one of us took the kids out to the dock to try to catch them.  We had one for the entire week held hostage at our cabin before we finally  let him loose.

IMG_0136.JPGSomething I love about vacation is the time we get one on one with our children.  We really get to see their individuality because my husband and I are both there to give our full attention.  Here’s “fashion” as we call her.  We just notice things about them that we might not see on a daily basis.  We get to sit together on the beach and watch them together.  It’s pretty cool.  My husband and I were just in awe at how beautiful our daughters have become.

No distractions: In all of these pictures we are purely living in the moment.  Everyone is focused on the person they are talking to and what they are doing, whether it be throwing rocks, playing the sand, or just floating in the water.  There isn’t grass that needs to be mowed, bills that need to be paid, video games that need to be played, rooms that need to be cleaned, blogs that need to be updated…we were all living in the moment, surrounded by people we love, our week was so refreshing and full of happiness.  I don’t know about you, but I want my children to have more of that in their lives!

Reconnect: The last time my husband and I took a picture like this with each other was probably at our wedding.  Our relationship began through a series of dates that involved fishing and boat rides so this was the perfect trip for us.  Just being near the water brings back such sweet memories for me and I love that my children enjoy the outdoors as well and that we are creating new traditions with them.

I’d love to hear how your family vacations or how you ensure your family gets plenty of time where you are living in the moment with them 🙂 After all God gifted you with those children to care for! Hopefully you are able to make that a priority at some point this summer!

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