Recapping May

As my husband and I laid down to go to bed last night, I snuggled up to him and sighed.

“This month has been crazy.”

“Yes, it has.” He agreed.

So far, in May, we have gotten the chickens outside, finished the coop, built a run for the chickens, finished our outside perimeter fence, cleaned out the laundry room of chicken evidence.

We took the kids to the doctor more times this month for illnesses than we have in their entire lives combined (except regular check ups), both kids were on nebulizer treatments for wheezing, Patrick had his tongue tie release surgery, he successfully swallowed Tylenol and ate potatoes for the first time, then promptly refused to eat any more solids.

I have gotten and mostly recovered from a hip flexor strain, causing me to miss a full week of training plus another week of recovery training, making me feel behind and unmotivated to catch back up to my training plan.

We discovered we had a budget line item incorrect which meant we were in the red instead of in the black.

I have started, and nearly finished, my first novel and created a plan to write a second. The second should have been my first, as I did all the prep work, but then I got stuck and as I was writing down an idea for another, it just turned into its own novel at its own time. I will soon be one of the 3%.

We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary, Mother’s Day, and my 30th birthday all this month. We had a party for my birthday and got to hang out with friends, which was really fun.

We had to replace the tires on our van unexpectedly.

We planted and fenced our first garden out here. I’ve also set up and had torn down and set up again a diaper drying line.

We discovered a local place to buy chicken feed and mulch for our gardens.

I’ve even managed to read my Bible a few times.

Mae has started reading along with some of her books. Well, “reading”. She has them memorized, but it’s sure fun to read a book with her and have her say all the words as you turn the page. She’s also becoming something of a toddler, with all the blessing and cuteness and unpredictable rage that comes with it. Those moments where you stand there and think “What in the world am I supposed to do now?”

Patrick has started real crawling. And not putting EVERYTHING in his mouth as much. He’s more just checking it out with his mouth, which is WAY less dangerous. Suddenly, I feel like he can be outside on the ground with me doing something else for a few minutes and he’ll probably survive. He even crawled up on our outside step yesterday while I hung diapers outside to dry.

 

I look back at this list of adventures just one month has brought us and I think, yeah, it’s perfectly normal that I’ve felt a little stressed over the past few weeks. I realized, though, that in the middle of it all, I prayed (though not as much as I should have) and I carried on. Sure, the household chores fell a little behind or I spent more time hiding behind a screen scrolling through facebook or writing my book than maybe I should have. But we kept on rocking and rolling.

Because really, that’s how life goes. A calm season followed by a busy season followed yet again by a calm one. Things were really starting to feel manageable for probably the first time since Patrick was born, and then May hit. And it was whirlwind of this and that and here and there and buying this and finding that and scraping together something for this project over here.

But June is tomorrow. And a new month will begin. I will try to get back in the saddle of a more intentional, disciplined life. I will try to get back to reading my Bible nearly every morning again. I will try to be faithful again to my training plan. I will try to do some more things from my 30 30s list. I will try to pray more instead of stressing. I will try to have lots more short conversations instead of trying to carve out time for a big long conversation. I will try to be more honest with my feelings and my words in person, which is really hard for me. I will try. And when life drags me back under the surface of the water, I will keep kicking. I will give myself grace. I will give others grace. I will remember that this is a short season in life where things are so intense and so demanding.

I will be more intentional to reach out to my friends and continue building relationships.

This thing called life isn’t meant to be lived alone and we have to try really hard to make those connections that build our villages.

Jesus Christ came that we might have life and have it to the full. He came to give us a life that lights up in our bones and radiates from our soul and gives us meaning in our short time here on Earth. The devil prowls around, sneaking, trying to destroy us. Trying to snuff out that life. Trying to drown us in the busyness of life or the worries or the stresses. Jesus comes to give us life, to breathe into us, to carry us when we feel like we’re drowning. The devil tries to push us further underwater.

Friends, where does your life come from? How have the seasons in your life challenged your walk with God? How have you grown closer?

 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -John 10:10

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If you can stress, you can pray

Man, it’s been a while again. I’ve had all kinds of things I want to say and yet have just never quite found the time to get in here and write them down. Life in our house has been very busy over the past few weeks.

We finally moved our chickens outside a couple weeks ago, on the 1st.

six little chickens all in a row

We had them in our dog’s unused kennel once they outgrew their rubbermaid brooding box. These darn girls kicked pine shavings chicken poop out everywhere in the laundry room! We were sweeping up crap at least two to three times per day. Needless to say, I was really happy when they finally graduated to being outside.

Chickens outside

They appear to really like the new coop and we find them roosting up on the various roosting bars, strutting around, and trying to eat the paint off the door. They are definitely liking their new space, though, and are thriving outside. That makes me very, very happy.

We have finally introduced them to outside and you can see them here, here, and here. The seem to only be brave enough to come outside when we’re around. We are okay with that right now because we haven’t completed the perimeter/yard expanding fence yet, but it will get done tomorrow. Then we can feel a little better about leaving the chicken door open when we’re not out there actively watching. We have wandering neighborhood dogs and cats and I would hate to have someone’s pet come and kill my chickens. So far, I tend to leave our dogs outside if I’m going in and leaving the chicken door open. At least that way, nothing’s coming onto our yard without some pretty hearty notice.

We’ve also been dealing with a some breathing/wheezing issues with my two year old, so we’ve been doing nebulizer treatments three times a day in addition to the regular home and house and daycare duties. We’ve also had a number of appointments for my son and his tongue tie that we also discovered earlier this month.

He just had his tongue and upper lip ties released yesterday and it didn’t seem to slow him down any, so that’s good. Plus we were all up pretty much all night and crazy early in the morning. On the plus side, everyone took really good naps AND slept through the night AND slept in late. However, I’d like to not make the up late part a regular routine.

I also strained my hip flexor about two weeks back and it really flared up again last weekend, so I’ve been off from running for a few days now to let that baby heal up. It’s amazing how much of your life is determined by a nice, healthy, functioning body. I feel that minor ache in my hip so much and there are times it can even affect how I walk! I’ve been trying to be good about being a little less active to really let it heal up so that I can be back out running early next week. I will have to take it easy for a week just to make sure I don’t re-reaggravate it. I have to say, though, the break from training just as all the kid issues were hitting was a blessing because it was simply one less thing I needed to worry about and try to fit into our busy schedule.

It’s definitely been a little stressful for me around here, but it’s all part of life. The big thing that I’ve been able to reflect on is being so grateful for friends to lean on and who will point me to prayer when I just want to sit, stare into space, and stress about everything. I have been reminded so many times to just stop and pray. If I have time and energy to stress, I have time and energy to pray.

I am hoping that now that the real craziness of May is over, I can be over here a little more writing and sharing. As it stands now, I hear my two precious kiddos upstairs hollering, chatting, coughing, and just generally alerting me to their awakened status.

 

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.  –Philippians 4:6 (MSG)