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A Peek Into the Last Two Weeks + my goals for this week

We were snowed/iced in almost all of last week! Not only did the kids have fun playing in the snow (see below), but we also made lots of yummy food — like this Magical Molten Chocolate Cake.

“If you could go back and tell your younger self a message, what would you say?” An interviewer asked me this question recently as I was recording a podcast for my upcoming book release.

I knew immediately what I would say: If I could go back almost 15 years ago to my 25-year-old self, I’d look her in the eye and tell her gently: “You are loved more wholeheartedly and fully by God than you can imagine. You don’t have to try harder, be more, do more, or achieve more to attain His love. You are enough in Him. You are already — as @jenniferdukeslee says — ‘pre-approved’. When God looks at you, He sees a beautiful creation made in His image.

“You can stop beating yourself up over where you have failed. You can lay down that heavy burden of guilt you’ve been carrying around that you’re not doing enough. And instead, you can rest and receive His love for you.

“Someday, you are going to begin to understand the depths of His love for you. Someday, you are going to start to grasp the glorious grace of the Gospel and how it’s not just for the future but also for the very real real and messy of the present every day. And when you begin to understand this, it’s going to change your life — and give you more freedom and joy than you ever dreamed was possible!”

I didn’t quite say it that eloquently on the interview, but I hope my heart and message shown through: understanding and living as loved has radically changed my life!

If you could go back 15 years, what would you tell your younger self? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Note: If you want to hear more about this journey I’ve been on to live as loved, be sure to pre-order a copy of my new book, Love-Centered Parenting (available from Amazon, ChristianBook.com, & Bookshop.org).

I got a new Rocksbox set in the mail! Have you ordered your free set yet?

Kaitlynn fixed her hair into a ponytail one day! She has the sweetest personality and has really started communicating and it’s just the best!

We made a batch of Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists together.

This batch might not look that pretty, but it sure was yummy!

We could not believe how much snow we ended up getting!

The view outside my office window one day last week!

She was not a fan of sitting in the snow!

But as long as she was held, she enjoyed it!

All the neighbor kids had the best time sledding and building snow men and playing in the snow for hours while we were all snowed in. It was so fun to see kids of all ages come together outdoors and have fun together!

After a long break from figure skating, Kaitlynn decided recently that she wanted to go back to it! It means some early, early mornings at the rink before school, but she’s loving it and is quickly getting her jumps back (she almost landed 4 fully-rotated axels yesterday!)

Kierstyn has been going with Kaitlynn and me on Saturdays to the rink. She loves watching the skaters — especially the young ones!

Silas’ team just wrapped up their final basketball games of the season. They ended up losing most of their games, but they played hard and learned so much character in the process!

In contrast to last week’s snow, it was almost 70 degrees today, so we took Kierstyn out to play out in the grass. I think it was her first time to be sitting with bare feet in the grass and she loved it. I’m excited for warmer temperatures ahead so that she can enjoy lots of time outside in the coming weeks and months!

The biggest event of the past two weeks was Kathrynne’s baptism. Our church held a smaller baptism service on Wednesday night at youth group and each baptismal candidate got their own tank! Kathrynne bravely shared her testimony of putting her faith in Jesus and was baptized in front of a room full of young people. (Watch a short video clip here. And yes, we celebrate baptisms big at our church — including with confetti and cowbells!!)

She asked me to prepare something to share before she was baptized and, with lots of emotion and tears (my heart felt it might burst!), here’s what I shared:

“Over 16 years ago, you came into this world and we gave you the name Kathrynne Elizabeth. Kathrynne means pure and Elizabeth means gift of God.

Our heart’s desire for you since birth was for you to live a life that points others to Jesus — a pure gift of God to the world.

Tonight, you are publicly professing your faith in Jesus and your desire to honor Him with your life. We couldn’t be more proud of you and the young woman of God you are becoming.

In the days, weeks, months, and years to come, there will be times when you will be tempted to choose things that dishonor the Lord and don’t bring glory to Him.

Our prayer is that you will remember tonight in those moments and remember your desire to publicly identify with Christ. It might not be cool to do so. It might mean that you are the only one who is choosing not to do something that everyone else is. It might mean that people misunderstand you or even make fun of you.

But I can promise you this: you will never, ever regret your decision to honor the Lord and choose to glorify Him with your life.

We love you and we will always be standing on the sidelines and cheering you on your journey of faith!”

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Log 8,000 steps/day = 56,000 steps for the week.

2. Finish 3 books: Praying Women, Growing Slow, and Can’t Steal My Joy.

3. Fill out my habit tracker every day.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 10 pages of A Boy’s War as a family. Read 10 chapters of The BFG aloud to Kirerstyn.

Work/Blog Goals

5. Set up live event for my book launch night. (More details coming!)

Fun Goals

6. Have an At-Home Date with Jesse (we’re going to use one of the Date Night in a Box Kits we got from Happily.)

How are things at your house? Did you get snow? I’d love to hear if there were any highlights (or hard things) in the past two weeks. Tell us in the comments!

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11 Comments

  • Guest says:

    Gosh, it’s hard to know what I’d say to my younger self because so many things you don’t learn until you experience them. People can tell moms of babies that they WILL sleep through the night one day but that doesn’t make you rested in the moment, you know?

    I guess a few things I’d share as a – look, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’ve made a lot of good decisions both. Here are some things I’ve learned:

    – You’re 30 and you feel like you’re financially behind. You’re doing REALLY well. It doesn’t feel that way when you’re comparing yourself to people 20+ years older than you who have had more time to save and invest.
    – Babies aren’t your thing. They just aren’t. And it’s okay. It doesn’t make you less of a woman or less of a mom. When your kids are preschool age, it gets really fun and you love watching them learn and grow. When they hit school, you hit your stride like a boss! You’ll look back and realize the hubs loved the baby stage but felt less sure with school age. You’re both good parents and you complement one another with your strengths and weaknesses.
    – You will never miss what God has for you. Repeat this over and over because it’s a lesson you kinda struggle to learn and remember. He knows the plans He has for you, for your good. You’re smart and stubborn and a hard worker but not so smart and stubborn that you can mess up the plans of the one and only God.
    – You’re going to start therapy in a few years. Do it sooner!
    – Listen, I know you hate being on medication. You’re going to find that a low dose of an anti-depressant does wonders for you. Do you judge the diabetics who take insulin? No? Then let go of the hang up and do it earlier. You’ll feel much better.

  • Jen says:

    Congratulations on Kathrynne’s baptism, what a significant and special day for her and your family! Yes, we got snow all month here in PA, including one storm that was 27 inches! I am ready for spring! Looks like there will be professional baseball this season and we have a minor league team in the area that we are very much looking forward to getting back to this year after a completely canceled season last year. Hubby is about going crazy under the “stay at home” conditions we have been enduring!

  • Natalie says:

    Thank you so much for these words of what you would say to your younger self. I needed to read them so much. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Katy in Africa says:

    No snow here!
    Congrats on your daughter’s baptism.
    And my kids and I really enjoyed the BFG!

  • Katy in Africa says:

    I’d tell my younger self:

    Trust in the Lord and follow Him. Don’t allow yourself to start down the paths of self pity and selfishness… When you realize you are going down those roads quickly run back to your heavenly Father, He is the source of joy and peace.

    Read your Bible, it has the answers

  • Karrie says:

    No snow at all! Our daughter got ours in Texas. We muddled through with sunshine. So no grand adventures here in Hotlanta!

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