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A Peek Into Our Lives This Past Week (+ an update my goals for 2018)

Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! 🙂

3 1/2 years ago, when we made the huge move from Kansas to Tennessee, it felt like we were starting over from scratch — and it was scary!

We had lived in Kansas all our lives, our parents and grandparents and most all our siblings and their families were there. Because of this, we had people we could call and we knew they’d help us at the drop of a hat.

We knew only a handful of people when we moved to TN, we didn’t have any family here, and there were a lot of days when it felt lonely and sad and we wondered if we’d made a big mistake in uprooting our family to move here.

And yet, we truly felt God had led us to this state, to this city, to make this move.

So we forged ahead in faith that He had called us to this and He was going to provide community and support and friendship for us in this new city.

It hasn’t been easy. It’s meant putting ourselves out there — a lot. It’s meant pursuing friendships that we’d hoped would pan out that haven’t. It’s meant continuing to reach out and invite and show up, even when it was awkward.

But it’s been so worth it. Because this week — as moved to our new house — and we had friend after friend reach out and show up: to bring food, to offer to help clean, to help us load and unload, to invite us over for a meal, to let us borrow their vehicles, to text and see if we needed anything, to come over and help us with decorating, to offer to hang pictures, to come over and just celebrate with us… we realized just how much community and friendship and support we have here. That we truly have those people in our lives that will help us at the drop of the hat.

And we’re reminded once again that you have to experience the awkward in friendship in order to experience the awesome in friendship.

We’re so inspired to look for more ways to be that same kind of friend and support to others. To be willing to take risks. To not wait for an invite, but to be the initiator. To be okay if someone says no or a relationship doesn’t turn out like you hoped. Because all those seeds of friendship, when watered and nurtured and fostered and tended to, will grow into strong relationships and friendships that are SO worth the effort!

Jesse found these pictures as we were packing up for the move this past week.

If I could go back to the young couple we were in these pictures, I would have so much I would want to say.

Superficial things like, “Don’t wear white, girl. It’s not your color.” And, “For the love of all that is good and right, please keep your brows and don’t decide soon after these pictures are taken that you should over-twease them for 5 years!”

But also, much more weighty things like, “The next 7 years are going to be rough. They are going to stretch you far beyond what you feel capable of handling. You’re going to want to give up.

“Your idealistic visions of what marriage and family and life are supposed to be are going to come crashing down in pieces. You’re going to feel confused and scared and angry.

“But you’re going to be okay. In fact, you’re going to be more than okay.

“All those broken pieces are going to turn into something more beautiful and meaningful and deeply fulfilling than you could ever imagine.

“You’re going to learn about how much your Heavenly Father loves you. You’re going to begin to understand the depths of grace.

“You’re going to fall more in love with this man than you ever dreamed you could on your wedding day. You’re going to have three kids who are going to bring so much amazing life into your life.

“And you’re going to experience depths of joy and life you had no idea were possible.

“So when those hard times come — and they are coming! — don’t give up. Hold on. The best is yet to come. God is going to redeem those hard and humbling places in a more incredible way than you can ever imagine!”

I posted this on Instagram this past week:

Last night was not one of our finer family moments. There was tension and anger and unkind words and hurt — on all sides.

When things had cooled down and the kids had gone to bed, Jesse and I stayed up late trying to work through our own frustrations at each other. We finally did — and I’m grateful because it turned into a really healthy and productive conversation about some current fears we both have.

A few years ago, after a night like last night, I would have gone to bed and struggled to sleep — beating myself up over how I had failed. Last night, I acknowledged where I had made mistakes, apologized, and then rested in the truth of the Gospel: Jesus doesn’t expect me to be a perfect mom or wife or person. He knows I will fall short in my own strength.

The Gospel isn’t for perfect people; it’s for sinners. Christianity isn’t about what I need to do for God; it’s about what He’s already done for me.

So when I make mistakes, it’s a reminder of how much I need to remember and rely on Jesus. Instead of beating myself up or living in shame, I can acknowledge my sin, ask for forgiveness, rest in God’s unshakeable love for me, and ask the Holy Spirit to empower as I go throughout my day.

Today is a new day, a fresh start, another opportunity to remember how much I’ve been forgiven, to walk in His Spirit instead of my own strength, to rest in His finished work on the Cross, and to live as loved!

I felt led to share this with you all because I thought maybe some of you needed this reminder, too?

2018 Goals Update

Personal Goals

1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story-driven/biographies/inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.

**Progress: 13 books read so far this year

2. Read through the entire Bible.

**Progress: I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and am all caught up— yay!

3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.

**Progress: 10 notes written so far this year

4. Run 500 miles.

**Progress: 80 miles run so far

Marriage Goal

5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.Jesse and I went to NYC together in January.

Family Goals

6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.

**Progress: I’ve finished one book so far.

7. Take the kids to South Africa.

**Progress: We nailed down dates for our trip!

8. Go on a family road trip.

Financial Goals

9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.

10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)

Business Goals

11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.

12. Launch 5 new courses.

**Progress: 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January and Content Creation 101 launched in February. We’re currently working on a new YourBloggingUniversity.com course that we hope to launch in March and we’re also launching another Blog Coaching opportunity next week!

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