What did you give up for Lent?

Our first celebration of Lent.

This whole season of Lent is new to me. This is only my second year of participating in it, up until last year I only knew about it because my friends would be giving stuff up, but it never went any deeper than that. I guess I never asked them to explain it; I just took it for what it was.

In this current season, I find myself in, and I know Jesus wants me to really dig in deep and only be desperate for His face! So I find this moment to abstain from something even bigger because I know that it contains the moments for me to seek His face, to reflect on His great sacrifice, to say thank you, and to hear Him in new and hidden ways.

So what exactly will I be giving up? Well, I’m giving up one food-related item and one life-related item. Dairy and complaining! I don’t want to be so rigid that I’m checking labels for the hidden milk ingredient. But rather be mindful to eat things without cheese and milk, like salads and quesadillas and ice cream.

I also realized that I complain way too much. At least outwardly. I know that I am grateful to God, and I thank Him often, but I also know that I do that in my alone time with Him. I’m not so sure that the people around me are aware of my gratefulness because what they hear is the complaints… so that’s what I am giving up in this season, and hopefully, it will become a lifetime exercise in gratitude and thanksgiving.

I hope to grow closer to Jesus and to take responsibility for parts of my life that don’t correctly reflect His goodness to those around me. As well as take responsibility for my body and help it to function at its best.

To those that have only heard my complaints and never my gratitude, I apologize, and I am asking for your forgiveness because the God I serve is indeed a good God who only wants the best for me and you, but how would you ever know it if I never told you?!

So, what are you giving up for Lent? Have you ever participated in Lent? What are some things you’ve given up in the past?

Happy 4th Birthday Kobi

Unicorns! It was all about the unicorns this year with Kobi, and I was so excited to see how on-trend she was (read it made it easy to find items because they were in abundance and reasonably priced). So this year Kobi turned four and we had several celebrations: we went to the zoo a couple of weeks ago, we had dinner and ice cream with some great friends, met up with a past teacher of Kobi’s during the weekend, made sure to continue the pancake breakfast tradition, had a few friends over and she received a good amount of phone calls, texts, cards, video chats, and messages! She really did have a great day and was so excited and thankful for all of her gifts!

I’m exhausted I took the day off thinking I could knock out the set up and then rest, and that didn’t happen, but I’m not even mad or sad about it, because seeing her joy and smile and excitement at the surprises was all worth it!

To my daughter on her last day as a three year old…

Mom and daughter on couch
Kobi and I during her last day as a three-year-old.

My Dearest Katherine,

I am currently happy-sad that this is your last day as a three-year-old. It’s the only way I can explain the overwhelming emotion that is pulsing through my body. I’m trying to find the words, but all I can think of is what color combinations from the color monster book I could use to adequately describe how I am feeling, what would yellow and pink with a little blue be?

You are my treasure, but you are not in a treasure chest. You are an answered prayer, and the fact that you’ve been an answer to my prayer for almost four years now makes me marvel at our God! I’m so grateful to have you here with us, but with every year that’s passed, I’ve gotten sadder because you’ll never be that little again, and the way that you are currently fast-tracking your studies I feel like we have even less time with you before you are off in some distant land telling everyone you know about what Jesus has done for you!

You are so so full of life and energy and joy. Even though I am exhausted at night, I am also so thankful for the blessing you are to my world. The way you love your father is so sweet to watch. Your sense of justice is endearing! Thank you for always standing up for what’s right. I love that you have begun calling us out for the way that we speak to each other because there is the power of life or death in our tongues, and you remind us of that all the time.

This third year has been a great one! We moved to Miami, and it seems to have done us right. You love the letter church and your school, and you are even beginning to learn Spanish.

Thank you for being my Sunshine and for truly making me happy when skies are gray! You single-handedly saved Christmas for our family and have shown me what it means to make everyday moments into extraordinary memories! Thank you for loving people so well and for showing me that I can enjoy them too!

So tonight as you sleep, please know that although it hurts me to watch you grow, you are growing just the way Jesus wants you to grow and don’t ever shrink your growth thinking that will make me happy. I want to see you discover new and wonderful things that I have never known. You truly were created to do great things, and I want to see you accomplish them all! So, my love, I leave for just a little while, for the next letter will be on the first day you are four (in just a few short hours)!

Rest well my love,

Love, your mom!