Reading: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
I don't know what you think about most kids storybook Bibles, but honestly, a lot of them feel dry and dull and shallow, if you ask me. I get bored reading them, which might also translate into my kid's attention not being captured. (Then again, maybe not. Have you ever been begged to read and reread the Dick and Jane books?)
I want my children to grow up knowing truth from the Bible. I don't want it to be watered down. I don't want gory details to be left out completely. I don't want the Veggie Tales version to be the only version they know.
I read to them directly from the scriptures and Carson and I are also working on memorizing certain passages. But sometimes, just like their Momma, it takes a story version to make something stick to memory.
Recently I heard about The Jesus Storybook Bible, and after seeing it in person, Herm and I decided we would gift it to Carson for Christmas. It's got beautiful, whimsical illustrations. Each story has details that a lot of other storybook versions I've read left out and it's got a bit of humor in it too, which I love. Every story always points to Christ, the center of God's wonderful, redemptive plan.
Carson absolutely loves this book, and asks for Herm or myself to read a story, or five, to him every night before bed. Since Christmas he's been talking about Noah and the ark, about Jonah being swallowed by a fish, about a giant named Goliath... These stories, and even the scripture passages we are working on memorizing, are becoming real to him because of this book.
I highly recommend this book. Every family with young kids should have a copy.
Loving: The slower, more relaxed weeks right after the Holidays.
It's rather ironic, because truly, my life is not busy. I'm home most days with my kids. Our week nights are spent together as a family, with the exception of Wednesday night, when we are with our Care Group from church. Weekends we often host friends or sometimes travel. I'm always doing something -- never bored or lacking projects, often even wishing for a few more hours in each day, but schedules and agendas aren't a huge part of life for us.
Over the Holidays however, there is a pressure I feel, mostly self-inflicted, from the events and gatherings and festivities and traveling. From Thanksgiving through New Years, every year, life feels intense, and if I'm not careful to keep myself in check, stress becomes a part of activities that should be joy-filled.
But Christmas is over and January, with the cold and snow and long days at home, has seemed to relax all of us again. I've been realizing lately that there is a pressure I put on myself all the time, where I measure my worth by how much I am able to accomplish in each day. Having two young kids can change things, and subconsciously I was putting pressure on them too. It resulted in bad attitudes all around, mine being the worst.
I'm being more intentional this month, to stop what I'm so often focused on --the daily tasks, of laundry and cleaning and cooking, that no matter how many times I do them, they'll never truly be done-- and spend more time playing or reading or going on coffee dates or library outing with my kids. We're only a few weeks in, but so far it's been good. For all of us.
Dreaming: Of a few upcoming trips we have for 2017. Tickets aren't booked yet, and I know time has a way of changing things, but at this point it looks like I'll be able to cross number eighteen, Visit a New Country, off the 25 Before 26 birthday bucket list! (I hate excess usage of exclamation points. Doesn't that defeat the purpose? But in this case, I almost made an exception, thinking that one really isn't enough to convey the excitement I get whenever I'm boarding a plane bound for a brand new destination.)
Wishing: For this necklace from Noonday Collection. It's one of those statement pieces that I think would go with everything. A teal blouse, an olive sweater, stripes, neutrals, colors. Everything. And it's on sale!
At times I really miss those days of being an Ambassador for Noonday. It wasn't a mistake to leave, I know that. The timing of signing up, then becoming pregnant and having a baby wasn't great, so stepping away was a good choice. But still, the community of women I got to know, and the company as a whole... you couldn't get much better than that. I still love my Noonday.
Thinking About: What new dish I should try, in order to be able to cross number eight, Try a New Dish, off the list. Last time I made Jamaican Patties. They were quite tasty. This time though, I'm not sure what I want to try. Rules of the game: It's got to be something I never made before with ingredients new to me. Any suggestions, foodie friends?
Listening To: Noel by Lauren Daigle. Christmas is long gone, but this song won't be going anywhere. It's powerful.
Watching: With fascination as Carson is discovering the world around him. We can't go anywhere without him asking me what certain road signs mean, or what letters and numbers are on receipts. He'll point out the recycle symbol on every cardboard box he can find, and he loves to let me know my name is actually Sarah. Today as we were driving he casually mentioned that this is the way we go to Pennsylvania when we're visiting cousins. And yes, it was a section of road we don't travel often... unless, we're going to Pennsylvania to visit cousins.
Trying: To master a headstand. (Yes, I'm really working on crossing things off that list I've mentioned far too many times in this post.) Today I got myself up to position successfully. I'm thankful, though, for that wall behind me, otherwise I would have tumbled completely over. Balance isn't quite what it should be yet. Also, my neck is rather sore. Most likely that, too, is a sign I'm not doing something right. Perseverance. And a massage. Both are things I need to keep going.
What about you? I would love to hear about things that are currently going on in your life!