Sensing Summer

You’ve been a long time coming.


Lately, it seems like most times I poked my nose into the great outdoors, the wind whipped me back in. So much wind, it feels like it could take a baby’s breath away. It snowed on our Easter trip. Then spring downpoured on graduation Saturday. Every time I ventured to wear shorts, it was a mistake, and we wondered if our tiny plants would freeze that night. 


But last evening, while I drove home from a backyard baby shower, I remembered why you’re worth the wait. 


The window down, I smelled summer arriving. The cool desert breeze ushered out the day that had baked our cars. 


I rejoiced at the sacred scent of mint fields. Passing a neighborhood, I could pinpoint a BBQ party, which reminded me of smokey campfires. On the edge of town, I spied a full-fledged high school baseball game with whole families in the grand stands and the smell of popcorn wafted through my window. The air nearer home smelled awash with sprinkler water from the canals. 


I saw the summer coming, too, in the indigo mountains sketched against a broody blueish sky. I foresee summer for the shape it is, holding anticipated outdoor weddings and getaways to the crested lakes. Memories yet to be made in a cross-country road trip! And I bet you our skies will drip with fireworks on the 4th.

Creamy iced coffee captures the taste of summer. Or mint leaves floating in lemonade with a pin-striped straw. Soon we’ll be tempted to buy a watermelon each time we enter the grocery store. We’ll set to work on corn on the cob and tomatoes rinsed of garden dirt. I guarantee Luke and I will hear the hum of Braum’s air-conditioning as we order ice cream as a reprieve from the midwest heat. Dip my yogurt cone in chocolate, please!

 
I feel you, summer. Grass like cool carpet. Stiff, rosy skin from too many hours floating the stone-clear river. A textured picnic basket full of sparkling water and egg salad croissants. A smudged pair of flip flops. A book and a fishing pole, plus the hammock and Star River. Heartfelt fellowship underneath sparkly strings of Edison bulbs.  

Summer, we hear you, too. Cicadas and crickets. A snowy birch log breaking in the smoldering ashes. The thrill of hearing an outdoor musical underneath the stars and a quilt. The rush of melted mountain snow pushing through the ravines. Praises sung in a backyard for all the neighbors to hear. 


Little Judah, in the backseat, can you smell it? It’s summer, and you’ll be meeting it for the first time, just around the corner. 

The Liebster Award

Liebster Award! ... So, what is the Liebster Award? | Abroad American

Back in December, Laurel nominated me for the “Liebster Award.” She writes at Laurel Jean. Thank you for the nomination, friend!

Here’s how the award business works, which I understand is a way for you to meet new bloggers and have some fun, too!

  1. First, thank the person who nominated you, include a link to their blog, and add the Liebster Award badge to your blog and/or post.
  2. Answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you.
  3. Give eleven random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5-11 fellow bloggers.
  5. Notify your nominees that you nominated them for the Liebster Award.
  6. Last, but certainly not least, ask your nominees eleven questions.

11 random facts about me

  1. My favorite story genre is books set in America’s 1900-1960s.
  2. I always appreciate a well-timed quote woven into a conversation.
  3. I have 7 younger siblings that I’m quite proud of.
  4. I’m a bit of a foodie but only recently discovered my love of cooking. I finally realized the kitchen is a place for creativity — for example, I’m enjoying the freedom to not measure exactly or always obey the recipe. This turns a chore into something exciting, though it does come with risks! I’m glad my husband is an easy food reviewer.
  5. I love a good garage sale and feel disappointed when I drive past a sign and can’t stop. You never know when you could find a good deal or a great treasure. However, I tried to host one last summer, and though parts of it were fun, it was kind of a flop.
  6. I hope to find timber this summer (translation: I intend to go to the mountain forests and smell the pine trees).
  7. I am studying the book of James with the ladies in my church. I’m blown away by all I’m learning by emphasizing the book’s context.
  8. I always choose my giraffe mug whenever possible.
  9. Whenever my sisters and I use the Marco Polo app to talk, we often use the squeaky voice filter, and none of our husbands understand the hilarity of it.
  10. One of my favorite things is driving back roads with sunny, window-down weather, perhaps to a coffee shop or friend’s house.
  11. And for my 11th fact, here’s a pic of my cute baby.
He’s two months!

Here are the questions Laurel asked me:

  1. How did you choose the name for your blog? I wanted to weave together a theme for my blog. As I looked at my own writing, I noticed I tend to write about trusting God, with a side of my favorite literature. So I grabbed the theme of courage and plot twists.
  2. If you could work any job for one week, what job would it be, and why? I’m loving my SAHM job! I do like to vicariously explore other careers through book characters.
  3. What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from blogging? You must be filled up to share with others.
  4. What does your ideal weekend look like? It would involve a clean house, hospitality, coffee, a musical, chocolatey dessert, volleyball, a hike, and my favorite people.
  5. Do you set goals for the New Year? Yep! They’re usually a variance of the same things.
  6. What is the best book (aside from the Bible) that you’ve read, and why do you think so? One book I have enjoyed greatly is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It shows the beauty of faith in God and courage in the midst of the worst circumstances. I just love the hope in her story. God truly is a Hiding Place.
  7. What was the best thing that happened to you in 2020? In June we found out we were expecting our first!
  8. Which historical figure do you most admire, and why? In school I enjoyed learning about Clara Barton because of her bravery and strength.
  9. Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? Teaching my children and discipling others! And, hopefully we’ll have our dream home.
  10. If you knew that today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it? What I hope to be doing every day: sharing Christ and His truth.
  11. What is your favorite Bible verse, and why? I’ve always loved Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

My Nomiations for the Liebster Award

Shelli Rehmert — My mother-in-law blogs with both wisdom and wit (one of my favorite combos!)

Bethany J. Melton — Bethany has a gift for gracing simple life with lovely words.

Madelyn Canada — Madelyn is similar to me, in that she taps into writing encouragement from both theology and stories, too.

Kristin Couch — Kristin’s stories on “The Palest Ink” are a delight to read. 

And my questions for my nominees:

  1. Where do you source ideas for your blog?
  2. What is a favorite CHAPTER from one of your favorite books?
  3. What’s your ideal weekend?
  4. Favorite recipe right now?
  5. What’s one of your favorite blog posts you’ve written?
  6. What is your favorite book of the Bible that you’ve studied and why?
  7. What is a life hack you have enjoyed recently?
  8. What’s your dream vacation?
  9. How do you choose the books you want to read?
  10. What’s a book recommendation?
  11. Describe a favorite piece of art you own:

Dear readers, would you like to answer any of these questions? Please do so in the comments or message me! Are you also a blogger? I’d love to know! Thank you following me and letting me take up treasured space in your inbox.

Stories of March

Since I procrastinate like the best when it comes to documenting (both privately and publicly) my life milestones, it’s high time for a personal update. Maybe I delay because certain events feel too sacred to lock onto a page . . . like when you snap a picture but you know your smudgy smart phone can’t capture the justice the landscape deserves.

But, lately, I’ve noticed how much I relish reading a blog post, prayer letter or post with pieces of the author’s heart tangled up in it. When it’s their story, it draws me in as I relate, imagine, rejoice, and empathize.

We love stories.

So I don’t want to withhold my stories from this very special month of March.

March 1st marked three years from when my husband first messaged me and a long-distance romance was birthed. Neither of us knew where a simple message would lead, but with so much in common, our conversation exploded and one thing led to another. After four months of writing and skyping, we met in person, and the rest is history.

March 16th signified our engagement just two years ago. I’ll never forget the roller coaster day that ended with a ring and cheesecake. God is good.

One year ago March makes me think of empty offices, Frozen 2, Greek food, virtual meetings, remote church, and Psalm 34. It reminds me of long springtime strolls, rehearsing the sovereignty and goodness of God.

And now this March is the month where we’re experiencing many sweet firsts with our firstborn son. His name is Judah Charles, and he turned one month today. God answered so many prayers relating to our pregnancy and birth, and we’re smitten with the precious little man! The journey of being a stay-at-home mom has truly been a gift.

It’s stunning how much we love him. While falling in love with a spouse leading up to marriage is gradual (with some uncertainty), love for a child is unconditional and instant. It mirrors how our Heavenly Father loves us even when we are helpless and unreasonable.

Welcome to our family, Judah! We can’t wait to see the story He writes for you.

What are your stories of March?