10 things I learned this spring

For the first time, I joined in on the What We Learned series with Emily P. Freeman, where we pause to reflect on this past season before moving on to a new one. Here's a random list of 10 things I learned this spring:


1. The most unexpected turns in life can bring the greatest joy.

Years ago, if you would've asked if we would be living in the inner-city, currently raising money to become full-time missionaries, building relationships with the local homeless and the teen/gay community around our own kitchen table, have FIVE children, and so many other things, I would’ve said there’s NO WAY. Not us, no how, no sir. We didn't ask for this, God. We wanted the important careers and the beautiful home and the privileged life. Thankfully He had other plans, because He’s made our lives the richest in ways I never could’ve dreamed.



2. With the fifth child, pretty much anything goes.

If you’d like to become a more relaxed and chill parent, just have more children than you have lobes of your brain. Then you won’t have the sanity or the energy to make a big deal out of non-life-threatening things. For example: "Oh, you picked the dog's dental bone up off the floor and decided to eat it? Ok, cool. That means I don’t need to brush your teeth later, right?" #parentfail #getusedtoit #newnormal



3. I like creating memes.

The whole business side of writing/blogging is overwhelming, but I’m learning. I also learned that I really enjoy creating memes! So yay!



4. Laughing with my kids is fun.

And I don’t do it nearly enough. Laughter diffuses anger and stress, ushers in a spirit of comradery, and creates light-hearted, fun memories.


5. I have never owned my mornings.

Mornings have always been something that happened to me...and I hated morning for it. This was an eye-opening revelation, and so I wrote a little about it {What You Think About Mornings Could Affect Your Entire Day}.



6. There is always enough food.

The neighborhood teens have a knack of showing up at our house right before dinner. Probably because they have no one to cook dinner for them, or maybe because they just want to get away from the chaos that is their home life. Regardless of the reason, I always cringe a little inside when they walk through the door as I'm getting dinner on the table. I can't help but wonder if there'll be enough food to feed everyone.

I don’t know what it is about our sinful nature, but I always feel the nagging urge to store away for myself, for my family, ever doubtful of God’s ability to provide, to turn the not-enough into more than enough. But by His grace, I surrender my fears and serve dinner to whomever wishes to eat, however much they want to eat, and friends, the truth is time and again, there’s always enough food.



7. I love a bouquet of fresh flowers on the table.

For years I avoided buying them because I thought it was a waste. They’ll die soon anyway, I’d think. I’ll forget to water them. I’m not a plant person, I’d tell myself. As it turns out, I actually love them! And they also make for pretty Instagram photos. :)



8. Life with littles is the hardest.

The baby started walking this spring, and there’s absolutely no way around this fact. The need is constant, as is the disasterizing of our house for sport. He’s as cute as he is ornery, and is himself a full-time job, not to mention the other children. I’m exhausted by dinner.


9. Perhaps I will never feel like a competent writer.

My next thought: did I spell "competent" right? Lol. That would be both ironic and sad. I do wonder, however, if I will ever feel confident in my ability, and I wrote a little about those feelings here {For When Words Fail Me}.



10. It’s important to keep showing up anyway.

My daughter said this morning, as she was sitting down to create, “I really have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just winging it.” And I thought, aren’t we all?? But we keep showing up at the table anyway and trust that God take it from there. He creates the most beautiful masterpiece.


The photos are from my Instagram feed, and you can follow along with me there!

What are some things you learned this spring???