Archive | children

Trading in My “Somedays” for Today.

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Today I’m jotting down a few thoughts on perfection…and of the letting go enough to live the life I truly want for me and my family. I pray it will encourage you in some way. To live today. The days literally fly by my friends! With five sweet children born to me and my handsome man in ten years, with him making a career change and me starting a business all within the past five years, with homeschooling and picking up after babies and toddlers all day…things I always dreamt of keeping up with and the ideals I wanted to live out..well you can imagine, some things just take a back seat, the back burner, controlled by the tyranny of the urgent!

But somewhere in the middle of these fun, full, beautiful, crazy, colorful days, I keep thinking….We have to DO the things NOW that are going to define our family, build a legacy. We have to do them now, every year, every day, little by little. It’s the little things that add up to make a life. I don’t want to spend my days thinking “someday” and miss being the person I dreamt of being, building the traditions and memories with my family. It doesn’t mean “doing all the things”….but it does mean deciding on a few things that are important to us, letting go of the perfect time to get started with them, and living them now!

First of all, I *adore* this woman as one of my mentors through her books, blog posts and podcasts: Her admonition for Taking Time for a One Woman Retreat and a follow up to that post called How Are You Doing Caring For Yourself? are the perfect reminders to establish little moments into your yearly, weekly, and daily routines to keep your own soul refreshed and alive!!

It’s so important to take moments for rest, dreaming, and appreciating beauty~even in small ways! Sometimes I am able to do this alone (definitely needed!) and sometimes it’s good for me to draw my sons and daughters into those moments. (I’m trusting that this will become easier and more meaningful to them the older they get because honestly sometimes at this age and stage, if there’s more than one of them sharing these “moments” with me, it can be a little chaotic. ūüėÄ ) So, for me currently, this looks like taking just 15 minutes to sit down with a cup of tea in the afternoon with a book. Not an hour, not two hours. FIFTEEN MINUTES! See! Letting go of the perfect “someday I’ll have hours of time to read…” and instead taking, yes TAKING, fifteen minutes to rest and refresh! It’s adding value to our lives NOW.

I wanted to share a recent example of how letting go of the perfect has worked out for me. I have had years of perfect scrapbook layouts, printing them off at the end of each year, to record our family “history”. I have also made baby albums for several of the children. But suddenly with “all the babies” and the business and another child entering kindergarten. All of those lovely albums came to a screeching halt. For over two years I’ve been thinking….SOMEDAY I’ll get back to those perfect layouts and make more albums! Someday. Someday. But right now I feel a little overwhelmed with the thought of first organizing all those years of photos taken in the meantime!! And I’ve been frozen into inactivity!

A couple of weeks ago the children pulled out the albums from the past and poured over them for nearly a week. Every waking moment in the family room or in their bedrooms was spent laughing at “how cute we were”, asking questions about faith and why we do certain things (prompted by pictures of my sister’s baptism), and remembering good times and even important people in our lives who have passed away! I decided then and there that I was going to stop waiting for SOMEDAY to print their “perfect” photo books. I’m still planning to make those someday, yes! But in the meantime, I want each of them to have a personal little albums of their baby and toddler years. I decided to do it TODAY.

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The easiest way for me to do that was to print little ChatBooks from my Instagram account! The amazing ChatBooks app allows you to do almost anything you need to do~to print photos from your phone or computer, from Instagram, pull in a few from your computer that aren’t on IG, edit your text, take it off completely, print the date or not….I mean it’s so quick and wonderful!! Not every cute picture that I want to print “someday” is on my IG account, but I decided that with the exception of one birthday photo and another family photo, I wasn’t going to allow myself to add extra photos from my computer….because then I would go down that whole I-need-to-make-this-perfect road and it would take me too long to complete and therefore it wouldn’t get done, defeating the whole purpose….

SO, I did it. Within the space of a few days I had designed and ordered a little album with approximately 100 pictures each for each of my four older children. Imperfect, but FINISHED. (This is a HUGE step for me!! Especially when it comes to photos and words and documentation!!)

BTW, have you watched the HILARIOUS Chatbook mom youtube videos??? I laugh every.single.time. Like~die laughing!! They’ve gone virial~over 50 million views~so I imagine you have!


My quality-time daughter was pouring over her book a couple of days ago and asked if we could snuggle in my bed that night and look through her book together. If you know me, my bed and bedroom are *nearly* holy ground and I don’t share them easily! But oh my goodness. I couldn’t turn her down. So that’s what we did. Flipping through those pages, admiring her as a baby and younger girl, she showed me her favorite pictures, and I got a little glimpse into her heart and a few of her current hopes and dreams! Priceless.

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Oh, and now the other children are each requesting “a night to snuggle in your bed, Momma, and look at my book.”¬†I’m so glad I chose TODAY and not “someday” on that task! That I decided to be OK with imperfect for the joy of sharing these moments with them NOW.

I have other long-time dreams and ideals that I’m circling back around to this year. It’s been pressed upon my heart so strongly that these.are.the.days. to do them! So we’re just getting started on some of those. Maybe in the future I can share! For now, it’s going to take *daily* determination to make these dreams a reality!

Praying for you, my friends! Especially you mothers! May we take the time to choose the BEST dreams God has placed in our hearts, make room for them to grow and bloom…to live the life He has given us. Letting go of perfection and living TODAY!


** The Chatbooks link HERE¬†is an affiliate link. Use it and further my album cause~or not. :) I think you might get a free one out of the deal!? But don’t hesitate to print those pictures TODAY if that’s one of those thing you’ve been meaning to do SOMEDAY. xoxo

::A New Bebe in Our Nest::

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~ Chamberlain Lee ~

It’s kind of a miracle that I’m here to write.
But when a true miracle once again enters your world, I guess other miracles happen too. :)
Our family welcomed this little man into our home five weeks ago!
We are loving and enjoying him tremendously, and it hardly seems right
that he’s growing so quickly and is already pushing out of his newborn clothes!

Chamberlain means “officer in the King’s service” and we pray that for all of his life,
he will live in the service of the King of Kings, Jesus!

We also greatly love and respect the character of Chamberlain, a general in the Civil War,
who was so kind, courageous, and loved his country and his men deeply.
He made tough decisions in difficult times that made a huge impact
on his men and on the future of our country!
Phil and I are aware that our sons will likely live in more difficult times
than what we do now, and we pray that they will be courageous men of God,
leaders in their times, who will love the Lord and do what is right no matter the cost.

One might think that we chose “Lee” for another great Civil War general,
but we actually chose it because Phil’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name was “Lee” . . .
but being from Virginia, the family has often claimed relation to General Robert E. Lee,
though full proof of the claim has yet to be validated. :)

he gathering in my room on the Sunday afternoon (one day) after Chamberlain’s birth.
Some brought food, some came to hold bebe, and I also got a foot rub out of the deal. :)

My one-and-only . . . He took such great care of me and kiddos these past weeks.
Made great breakfasts and brought me coffee and news. <3

Oh, my heart.
Love of my life …. we have three daughters and two sons.
So blessed.
So grateful!





::the sisters::

::paternal grandmother::

::waking to this tiny human beside me, melts me, yes it does….::


::Many of my friends and I are having a baby boom among us,
and it’s so much fun to love on each other and our little ones!::


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“You can tell we have #lotsakids just by the way things are!” :)

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::The Drama Queen Sister::

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Snuggles all around. One bebe on his lap, and one on mine.

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M y heart is full with all the bebe sounds and smells and I’m trying to hang on to each moment
as I can see that this little one is already changing too quickly for me to keep up with! <3
So very grateful for this little one.

Birthday Celebrations and Focus Challenge

Note: At the end of this post I mention something that challenged me BIG TIME this week
with my diligence to memorize and help my children memorize Scripture.
And so I just have to ask, how do YOU help your children memorize and how do you motivate/reward them?
I’d love to hear from those who do it! ~Shelly


~Birthday Date with Daddy~

Our first two children were born two years and two week apart, in the summer.
As a result we often did fun outdoor activities and celebrated
with free food at restaurants, free toys at Toys R Us and more over the past years.
It was always so much fun. Except for child number three,
who felt that it was entirely unfair to have been born in the winter . . .
and with no “birthday buddy” at all.

So when baby #4 was due to be born in January,
we were sure to emphasise to #3 that this was definitely now HER birthday buddy. :)
They are three years and a month apart, but it has been fun
to have a “summer set” and now a “winter set”.

This daughter has been a complete surprise in my life, in every sense of the word!
From first learning I was expecting her and seeing blonde hair at birth,
to smiles & laughter day in and day out, while all in the same breath reminding us
nearly every day to pray for “Iraq” which to her means “the persecuted church” in general . . .
and giving her “circle money” to help the poor and needy.
She is a ray of SUNSHINE in our day to day.

And then there is the Baby.
She’s the most sober of all so far,
often observing life with a furrowed brow.
And so, when she smiles at you, you should feel quite special!! :)
She is challenging all of our well-thought “rules” of parenting
that had worked so well with the others up to this point!
Haha! Miss Independant  has arrived . . .
as well as my most difficult teether . . .
the most squishable, huggable, cuddliest,
latest to walk, completely Daddy’s baby . . .
has all worked out to be an amazing combination of
causing us an amazing amount of noisy & stressful car rides
as well as melting of our hearts into puddles
as she presses her little self into us a little closer for hugs and kisses.


I’m so grateful to have her as my third daughter,
and look forward to the ways her personality
will be used by God in the days and years ahead!

I continue to be challenged as I join with my husband to raise these children,
to be eternity focused. In our learning, growing, and living together . . .
One thing that really grabbed my heart this week is the fact
that many children in Muslim families have memorized the Koran
by the time they are eight years old.
Our houseguest this week said that would be comparable to
memorizing half of our Holy Bible. Wow! What!?!?
If people following after a counterfiet are so dedicated and determined
to have their children know and internalize their beliefs,
how much more should I, with the Truth of a Holy God in my hands,
not give more time and careful attention to the Word myself,
as well as help my children to hide it in their hearts as well.
Like I said, that has been my challenge for this week!

Also, talking about this household wouldn’t be complete without a tribute
to the lovely helpers who assist me in various ways:
(I’ve had a few, as they tend to come and go with travels, Bible School, etc.)

Althea has been my house-cleaning & laundry-folding angel two days a week.
She also helps out with story reading, alphabet games,
and math flashcards as needed.
It’s hard to express just how much we all appreciate her!
Perhaps especially when the baby is teething& grumpy as is evident in the picture below! :)

Blessings to you all this week in your particular walks of life!
May the Lord meet you where you are and draw you closer to Himself.
Life is short. Eternity is real. People are hurting and lost and need a Savior.
Let’s be the candle of hope in our corner of the world.

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