Every Season Has a Story

It's summertime!!! 
I read a quote once that said, "every summer has a story." I love that. I tend to think of a lot of things in terms of stories anyway, so this quote really struck me. And the more I think about it, the more I think it can also be said that every season has a story.

In every season of the year, every season of our lives…there is a story being written and woven through it all.

What will our stories say? What kind of legacy will the stories of our days leave for those who follow behind us?

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The summer season is one way I’ve always measured our family time. It seems our years are divided into school days and summer days, with a few holidays mixed in between. 

When my girls were younger, the days were long and the end seemed so far away. So many summers of adventures were ahead of us, I don't know that I really took the time to be very intentional with the time…because it felt like we had so much of it.

But as they grow older, the days seem to be moving faster and the summers are shorter and we’re closing in on the last handful of family summers before they graduate high school and our time together shifts. Sure, we’ll still have some summer time and adventures together…but it won’t quite be the same once they are off on their own and beginning their own adventures.

My oldest just finished 9th grade, so she only has 3 summers (including this one!) left before graduation, and my youngest has just 5.

Just a handful of summers left.

That could be really depressing if I think about it too much, and I could curl up in the fetal position and cry for hours about how fast it’s passing and how little time we really have left and worry that I haven’t done nearly everything that I had hoped.

OR…I could choose instead to embrace each season and the story it is writing in our family, and in each of our lives. Because these days are precious and fleeting, and the only way to slow it down is to be fully present in it.

I don’t want to be distracted…I don’t want to be so busy that I don’t take time to slow and savor these summers, and each of the seasons--of the year and of our life--while we have them.

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Our family is actually facing a pretty major season of change in the weeks and months ahead. (I’ll share more on that soon ;) ) But there are a lot of exciting (but also kinda scary) new things on the horizon that will definitely impact the story that is told through the future seasons of our family.

And the one thing I want to do as we walk through these changes together is to remain intentional and present through every step of the journey. And that includes the story of this summer.

What is written on our hearts through the pages of these days will become part of the greater story that God is writing through each of our lives.

Every season has a story.

And I want to be intentional about the words that fill the days of this season’s story…I want the moments that we share to be like words that strengthen our souls and our family: the kind of words that point to Christ, that draw us close, that bring us joy, that comfort our hearts, that light our steps, and that remind us of the continual and abundant goodness and grace of God.

So I’m spending less time online and more time being present in real life instead. I’m saying no to some good things so I can say yet to the best things. I’m marking the calendar and setting aside intentional time for fun and adventure together. I’m putting down my phone and picking up a paint brush, a deck of cards, a book, a mixing bowl, my hiking shoes, my daughters' hands.

Because how we fill our days is how we shape the story of our lives.

What kind of story does your summer hold? What kinds of words are filling your season today?

Whatever you are facing, whatever kind of story is taking shape in your life, you can be confident that God sees you and He loves you and He has a plan for you. The question is, will we trust Him to hold the pen…?

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You can get this free “Every Season has a Story” printable, along with other monthly goodies, when you subscribe to Little House Studio!  This free 5x7 printable is being emailed to all my subscribers along with their monthly June freebies (a calendar, planning sheets, lock screens and more!). Subscribe now and I’ll send it all to you too!

Happy Summer, friends! May the days of this summer weave a beautiful story of grace into your lives.

Twelve years...

Today I am feeling all the feelings. It’s Emma’s birthday today.  She is 12 years old.

I’m not really sure how that happened.  ;)

Sometimes the day this photo was taken – the first day I wore the name “mom” and held this new little soul in my arms – seems like a lifetime ago. But sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Time is funny like that. All these moments, one after the other…and before you know it, you’re looking back at a lifetime that feels like just a breath.

Because somehow, it’s been 12 years.

TWELVE.

Twelve years of days lie between those two photos. Twelve years of good days and hard days and days I didn’t think I would make it….days full of joy and laughter, tears and exhaustion, challenges and uncertainty, smiles and adventures…twelve years of days full of moments and memories I honestly wouldn’t trade for anything.

It’s been twelve years full of gifts. Twelve years full of grace.

I haven’t been perfect at this mom thing. Not by a long shot. Motherhood is so much harder, and more wonderful, than I had ever expected it to be. I had no idea what I was getting into when they put her in my arms for the first time. No. Idea. I have fumbled and stumbled my way through this thing…and this “tween” stage is stretching me and challenging me more than ever. There are so many days I feel so inadequate to do this great thing of growing another human, of leading this other soul through this crazy broken world.

Because I’m so broken myself. I’m so banged up and bruised up and messed up.

But I just keep leaning hard into Jesus…I just keep trusting His grace to fill in the gaps.

And somehow we’ve survived twelve years.

And with Jesus, we’ll make it twelve more. (Only by then, she could very well have a little one of her own…but oh my word, I can’t even begin to go there! At this point, we just gotta survive middle school ;) )

But I know that day will be here before I know it…the days seem to be moving faster, the weeks are flying by.  Which is why I am more passionate than ever about making the most of every moment I can…seizing every opportunity to intentionally invest in our family and in our girls.  Because even though one single moment may not seem like much…it all adds up. One little conversation, one little family night, one little prayer before bedtime, one little heart-to-heart talk, one little snuggle or cuddle, one little game, one little devotion, one little act of kindness, one little hug, one little word of encouragement…one little moment by itself may not seem to make much of an impact…but together? Day after day, year after year? Each moment is like a little drop of water. One drop may not make much of a difference…but drop after drop after drop, over time…all together, those drops add up and become a raging river.  All those moments we have with our children have the potential to become a river of influence in their lives.

Even the moments when we mess up. Even the drops that are tainted and colored by our mistakes and our sin…those drops add to the influence too. I don’t know about you, but I am so not perfect. I don’t have it all together. Not every drop of influence I give my children is good. Sometimes they see me mess up, they see me fall apart, they see me fail. But I wonder if these moments - the not-so-pinterest-perfect-moments - may possibly have an even greater impact on them than all the “good” I do...because humbling myself and asking forgiveness, being forgiven and still being secure in God’s love for me, leaning into Him and trusting Him even in my brokenness, and finding joy and comfort in His grace…that’s a powerful thing for my children to see.

Our moments matter. What we do with our moments, what we do with our days...how we forgive and how we love and how we talk and how we act…it all matters…it is all making an impact, it is all adding up. The good, the bad, and the ugly...all weaving together into a beautiful tapestry that tells our children the story of God's love and grace and redemption.

So today, on my “mom-iversary”, as we celebrate this sweet, precious, beautiful soul that is my Emma girl, I am recommitting myself to parent intentionally. Even though the days may be exhausting and the challenges are changing and I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time, now as much as ever my daughters need a mom who is leaning hard into Jesus and who is consistently and intentionally adding drops of influence into their lives, who is modeling for them what it is like to live for Jesus, and who is present with them in this moment (not afraid of the future or regretting the past, but fully here right now), finding joy in the middle of the crazy and grace in the middle of it all.  Because this life? It really is just a breath. A precious, fleeting breath. And I want my breath to breathe life and love and joy and grace into the lives of the people God has given me, for as long as He lets me have them.

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