days of now

These are our days. 

The days when our babies are young and we are too. The days when they tuck in the nest of our arms and perch on our hips because they can't fly on their own just yet. One day, Lord willing, they'll be grown and we'll be gray(er) with eyes that ripple with the current of the memories the days we're living now. We'll remember these days when everything we did took three times as long. When we had to make sure the baby slept and the toddler had a full belly. 

This week we spent a day in Newport, KY. I know these pictures make it look like we just drove around eating popsicles and ice cream but that's only because it's pretty much exactly what we did. 

Once they're grown, we won't spend the amount of concentrated time together like we do now. Each day is another log entry into a book that will soon be shelved; perhaps opened and fondly poured over in memory, but never lived again. And, more and more I keep thinking of a time that's fast approaching when they'll have problems that can't be solved with simple things like naps, orange popsicles and comfort from mom and dad. Needless to say, I'm leaning hard into the uncomplicated-ness of their little (but so important!) lives. 

Who can know, except Jesus, what our future will hold? But for now, the God who wrote--and is writing!--the grand sweeping histories of all the world decided this: that our individual narratives would meld and mingle in such a way that you can't read one without the other.

Whatever our story becomes or wherever it take us, I'll always be thankful for this part. The chapters when they were small and we were tired and all of us couldn't remember being happier. 

the celebration of simplicity--in partnership with min.erbs

This season of my life is simple. There's an ebb and flow to our days that's teaching us how to love in the simplest forms. It's holding their frames in my weary arms. It's nursing Scout while trying to navigate Behr through a three-year-old emotional outburst. It's singing them both to sleep; one in the Solly Wrap and one in my arms. Our life has been stripped down to the basics of comforting and caring for  two tiny humans. I'll admit that sometimes I resent the monotony (and the intensity) of it all. But I keep telling myself, These are the days, don't wish this away; don't miss out on the beauty in your mundane. 

And I've found that when I lean in--instead of begrudge--the simplicity of what my life has to be for this short season, I flourish. 

Today, I want to talk about a company that's helping me to do just that. Allow me to introduce you to an all natural skin care line (and the wonderful women behind it!) called MinErbs. If you read 'till the end you find a sweet surprise they've offered to all of you! 

There's something about entering motherhood that opens you up to a whole new level of awareness. My senses have been sharpened to the dangers and wonders of the world . I fiercely want my children to be shielded from and deeply enjoy both.  So when sweet Nikita sent me these products I was so excited to incorporate them into our life. Each product is made in small batches using only 100% locally harvested or ethically sourced ingredients. I feel entirely safe using them on myself and our babies to protect and nourish our skin in healthy ways. 

Both of our children deal with mild dry skin from time to time and the Baby Butter has helped so much with that. We keep the Shoo Bug spray on hand for Behr as he enjoys the last days of summer (but not the pesky the mosquitoes and ticks we have around here). And, finally, I'm in love with the Rose & Bramble Toning Mist Spray for myself. Once again, the song of my days is simplicity, so I only use this product and coconut oil as my "facial routine". And, so far, my face hasn't experienced any of those typical, hormone induced breakouts. I don't even wear foundation now and feel completely confident in doing so. 

I'm proud to share about brands like MinErbs because I can personally assure you that they're run by genuine souls who truly about the products they lovingly create for your families. Please take a moment and read their story and why they do what they do. I know you'll fall in love with them as fast as I did. And because Nikita & Simona are amazing humans they're offering all of you dear readers a 25% discount with the code: BREABIRD25 through the end of August! 

So here's to the simple, slow, soft days. The ones that blend together and seep into memory like raindrops on thirsty ground.

What a privilege to hold this sacred space for the ones I love. 

Inconvenient Joy

It wasn't a good time for a walk. 

We'd been out for hours and still had a thirty minute drive home. Jonathan was leaving at 4:30am for work the next morning. We were skirting dangerously close to bedtime with our two children who thrive on keeping as close to nighttime schedules as possible. My new shoes were giving me blisters.

Like I said, it wasn't a good time. But, we needed this.  

In case you missed it, we just had a baby. And as much as I'd love to impress everyone with how quickly we've "bounced back", the truth is that recovery has been slow. Good and beautiful and full of rest, but also very, very slow. I'm ok with it most days. But there's also times I think I might lose my marbles over how much we've had to be indoors this Summer. 

That's when I end up begging Jonathan to take us somewhere--anywhere--with some green, a bit of sunlight and space to breathe in the open air. 

So we ignored convenience and sought out some beauty together. We watched Behr trot about under the green-burdened trees. We held hands and inhaled relief while the sun softly caressed the earth to sleep. 

I've learned more about fighting for joy in the past year than any other time of life. I've realized that it's rarely ever convenient to push back fear and seek out the light. It's laborious and uncomfortable (and will definitely give you blisters). In fact, it honestly feels easier in the moment to just sit in the dark. But that's when the need to cultivate joy is at it's highest. 

Read these verses and see how many references there are to active participation despite the bleak circumstances the writer is facing:

"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:1-8

"earnestly I seek you" / "I will bless you"/ "when I remember you...and meditate on you" / "I will sing" / "my soul clings to you".  

Joy in the Lord can feel inconvenient but, it's worth every sweat drop of work you put into pursuing it.

>>> 

The pathway back to our car yawned into the embrace of the sunset. I found myself  walking slowly, wading as deeply as I could into the thick stream of yellow light. Remember this, I told myself. Remember this when the days are darker and you need to be brave. There is deeply satisfying, healing joy in the world and God brings it along right when I need it. 

So, no. It wasn't a good time for a walk.

Or maybe, it really was.