simple joys: the whirlwind.

Oh, hey there! Did you miss me? Did no one think to tell me that life with a toddler is beyond crazy?! Looking back at these two months, I feel like it has been a nonstop churn of morning-work-home-dinner-bedtime, on repeat, over and over, x1000. And yet, somewhere between handing fistfuls of Cheerios to Harper with one hand while I cook dinner with the other, loading way too many bags for 3 people in the car before sunrise, and sitting in what feels like never-ending brake lights to and from work, God has been using every moment to show me more of Himself.

I can’t tell you how many awesome ideas for blog posts have entered my mind over the past two months, only to fall into the black hole that is my brain these days. I thought about throwing all of those “small” thoughts away and starting fresh with (hopefully) bigger, bolder topics to write about in 2020, but through prayer I’ve felt this push to celebrate what God is doing in the everyday moments. And as you’ve probably noticed by now, I’m even grouping this into that series I started way-back-when, simple joys. Welcome back, sweet little series!

Here we go:

on toddler food.
Do y’all even KNOW how many resources are out there for info on how and what to feed your child? It is truly exhausting. When Harper crossed that threshold from “kinda eating some finger food” to “food is now the main part of her diet,” I spent the better part of too many days trying to research what was best for her. In the end, it became abundantly clear to me that yes, it can be loving to think intentionally about what to feed our children. But if I take a step back, what I’m really doing is trying to exercise control over something that I don’t actually have control over: Harper’s health. Thank God that He is truly in control of this, and so I can cast my cares on Him and try to make the best decisions for my family, knowing that every decision I make is ultimately God’s to do with what He pleases.

But hey, we can be so grateful that we live in a time when resources are so readily available to us – if it helps, I’ve listed a few websites / Instagram handles below that I’ve found helpful, both practically and in how I approach this with a gospel perspective!

on seasons of life.
I am a textbook Type-A planner – I would love for someone to lay a road map out before me that details exactly what is going to happen in the next 1, 5, 20, 100 years (even if I’ve learned previously that’s not what is best for me). But as we all know, that’s not what God does for us. He asks us to trust Him today. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), which means He gives us enough mercy for TODAY. So often I sit and wonder, “Why has God placed me in this season? Why can’t I just know what is next?” All the while, God is working. In these beautiful extensions of grace to me, He puts me in a position to ask myself the question, “Has God ever NOT worked something together for my good? Has anything I’ve ever done in faithfulness been wasted?” Nope, God has a perfect track record.

Whatever you might be going through, it is just a season. Sometimes the painfulness is found in not knowing how long that season might last, and I get that. But guess what? The only thing that will last forever is God and His kingdom. Hallelujah! NO pain will outlast the Almighty. And if we’re following Him, we will be a part of that. This is just a season, and we may hit many more moments of weakness throughout, but we have to push forward in truth when our emotions steer us elsewhere: this is only a season. This too shall pass. God is faithful.

on your commute.
After working from home for two years, spending almost 2 hours in the car every day has taken its toll on me. BUT, by God’s grace, I have found such a beautiful use for that uninterrupted time in the car, and I truly believe that God has used it to do some of His greatest work in me over the past year. Enter: podcasts.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to get on the podcast bandwagon, but I AM HERE FOR IT and I am never leaving! There is such an amazing community of believers out there with podcasts talking about everything under the sun as it relates to the truth of the gospel. It has changed my life and my heart for the better, and I’m so grateful for it! Here are a few of my favorites, and I’d love recommendations for others!

on what’s next.
As we look to a new year (although I am in denial as that means Christmas will be over), I want to grab hold of that motivation we all feel and ask for God to do something big in my heart and in my life in this next year. And I’m challenging you to do the same! Honestly, what I’m scared of most is that He might answer that prayer, ha! I typically spend my morning commute praying (hey, another good use for that commute!), and just last week this prayer came to me that I was like, “YES. THIS is exactly what I want to pray as I head into this new year.”

It is simply (in word, not in deed – phew) this:
God, I pray that you will sanctify me, and that I will be obedient as you do it.

I already feel a little uneasy about it, to be honest. But praise the Lord that He doesn’t leave me to do it on my own. I can’t be obedient by my own will, but I can do it when I look to Him and trust that He will work ALL things together for my good. I will fail, and Christ’s blood reminds me that He goes before me. So, with eyes on the cross, I will pray this prayer in joy and in hurt over this next year. Do with it what you will, Lord.

This was a long one, but thanks for reading! Closing this one with the picture we used on our Christmas card this year because I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR! Merry Christmas, friends.

Kirby Ann Photography