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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Canned Goods of Summer.

Kelle Hampton posted the following as a caption on Instagram last week.

Under a picture of her husband reading a bedtime story to their daughter:

"One for the parenting canned good cellar --

jars of good, happy, peaceful moments

that we stash away to pull out during the droughts and harsh winters of life.

Our [social media] feeds are full of them --

summer sleepovers, family hugs, cartwheel silhouettes against beach sunsets,

babies sleeping on chests, bedtime stories and smiles for days.

Every moment of every day hardly looks like this.

But maybe we accept that these little feeds are our cellars,

and it feels good to stockpile the best stuff when it comes.

To hold us over during the messy and hard and confusing.

For all the jars I've robbed during the hard times (I took one today!)...

I restocked one tonight.

Stock your cellars."

I love these words.

And here are the canned goods of our summertime.

All the best moments.

And a reminder that all moments are not best.

And that's ok.

Everyone has their sad stories.

Their bad days.

We just like to show the world our happy ones.

And that's ok, too.

Camping with kindreds at Bass Lake.

I do need to pause and talk about camping for a second.

Process, if you will.

We were in tents.

In dirt.

With spiders.

It was hard, you guys.

But we're already planning next year's trip.

It's kind of like childbirth.

You forget quickly because the memories are so rich.

Cove swimming.

Late night campfire laughter after the kids are asleep.

Hot dog quesadillas and Pop Tarts for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ice cream in Yosemite.

But then I remember the spiders.

I might need an epidural next year.

We also crashed my parent's time share for a week.

Newport is our favorite.

Nor Cal beaches are beautiful and all.

But it's nice to actually get in the water.

Thanks, mom and dad.

You are so kind to share with us.

If it wasn't for you all of our vacations would involve spiders and Pop Tarts.

We attended many weddings this summer.

Young adults near and dear to our hearts.

It was a joy to celebrate what God has brought together.

Different celebrations, unique to each couple.

Love is the best.

Praying over the miracle of new life in our church family.

That happened 100% naturally, two weeks after a failed infertility treatment.

I still can't believe it.

Come to Hope, ask for Jen and talk to her for three hours.

Her story is my favorite.

Praying for our pastor on his 39th birthday.

Hearing dear, wise saints thank him for showing them love and grace.

For preaching forgiveness and truth.

For causing them the read the bible with fresh eyes.

For caring for them.

The canned goods of pastoring.

There were the simple days, too.

Visiting a nearby stable.

Turning 10 months.

Although I don't know how that is even possible.

Naps at church.

She takes them wherever she can get them.

Third child.

Golf camp with dad.

Sand for lunch at the beach we can't swim in.

And so many drum parties.

Really loud drum parties.

We're about to enter a busy fall season.

All exciting stuff.

But I'm already overwhelmed at my schedule.

The ease of summer is now tucked away on a shelf.

And I know I'll be visiting that mental pantry often.

Adios, summer.

You've been real.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mildred Knows Jesus. And Lemon Bars.

Kayla embarked on the awkward adventure that is junior high last week.

And you know what?

She is ready to conquer the world.

I am more excited than terrified.

I know she will encounter joys and hurts.

Highs and lows.

My nature as a mother is to want to protect her from all the hurts and lows.

But I can't.

And I shouldn't.

Because I know this is how she grows.

This is how she learns to be a friend.

This is how she learns to function in the world.

So I pray for more joys and highs.

I pray for a good circle of friends.

I pray for her school.

And her teachers.

I pray we have raised her with a moral compass to make good choices.

And if and when bad choices happen, I pray for a spirit of grace and forgiveness.

A chance to point her towards Jesus.

To remind her that we love her no matter what.

To tell her she is beautiful.

And smart.

And kind.

And a good friend.

Every day.

Because sometimes life makes you forget those things.

And junior high is real life.

I'm so excited to see her live it.

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe.

It hasn't been a while since I ate 5 of these for breakfast.

To cope with all my excitement.

Cindy made these for a Hope Church BBQ last month.

And they were gone in 28.7 seconds.

I begged for the recipe and she obliged.

And gave proper credit to Mildred and an old Baptist cookbook.

I feel like I would really like Mildred.

I make a few small revisions.

Real butter instead of margarine.

Fresh squeezed lemon juice for the topping.

I'm into whole foods, you know.

And add a little lemon zest.

Good can be a sin if zest is left out.

Thank you, Jesus.

And Mildred.