This round of A Glimpse Into Our Life includes a peek into our life lately.
A Glimpse Into Our Life
Around here these days, I’m…
finished cleaning up from the holidays. Some years this project seems to go more quickly than other years, and this round I would say was probably our easiest yet. With a lot of the extras pulled back this year, there was more space…less rush…more time…less stuff – Did you feel this way, too? At times, I felt sad about some of the things that were different, but there were other things about it that were nice…things I don’t ever want to forget…things I want to do the same again next year.
wrapping up another Aubrey Day celebration. Sweet photos are still rolling in, and we are loving each and every one. We are so grateful to the family, friends, and strangers who celebrate with us each January 15th – your smiles mean the world to us! We always include them in our annual family yearbook, and our kids truly enjoy going back and looking at all of the photos. If you ask Aubrey what she gets to eat on Aubrey Day, she says “Cookies – Yummy Cookies!”, and this year, my parents had a pizza delivered for her for lunch that day – to say she was thrilled about that would be an understatement!
Quick Little Story: The other night, David and I were sitting around talking. Aubrey – who was sitting nearby listening – looked up at us and said, “Crazy People!”, and we laughed ’til we cried.
Our Family’s Story is Available Here
renewing my teaching license. Every three years, my teaching license comes up for renewal, requiring me to stay up late lots of nights after my babies go to bed so I can submit six semester hours of coursework – and a couple of weeks ago, I clicked SUBMIT on my final course. We ventured out for milkshakes to celebrate, and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more relieved! There have been years when I’ve kind of enjoyed taking these required classes, but this time around, it felt like pure torture. I was totally distracted by a million other things and honestly, I just needed those textbooks to go on to the donation pile where they belonged. Shame on me – the woman who is typically fueled by a passion for learning! ha!
continuing to read, read, read. Over the past several months, I have been reading like crazy – mostly non-fiction reads, but I took a break in December to enjoy some sweet Christmas titles. Richard Paul Evans is my favorite author to read at Christmas time. He and I do not share the same theology, but we share the same love of cozy Christmas stories. ha! Speaking of theology, I also did the Paul David Tripp Advent readings throughout the month – I highly recommend those if you want to grab his book for next year. After the holidays, it was back to my regular books. When I read one I especially love and think you would find encouraging, I add it here to this list.
working on minimizing our stuff. My big moment hit while watching news footage of Hurricane Harvey – yes, back in 2017. I don’t know what it was about it, but as I watched families sift through their damaged belongings, I was overwhelmed as I started to wonder: If my home was damaged in that way, which items would I actually miss…and which items really hadn’t mattered much to me after all? This is when it began…a journey to minimize our stuff. Some people would say this work needs to happen in a weekend…or maybe within a month’s time…and while I do believe there is power in working quickly, it has been a much longer process for me. I have wanted to be a good steward of the items I have been parting with, and I have really enjoyed the process of finding new homes for those items!
I have found great inspiration from Joshua Becker as well as the Minimal Mom! They maybe wouldn’t be on board with my three-year-long process that is still a process, but they both seem to encourage families to find what works for them – and I’m definitely doing that! I have been selling things….donating things…asking friends what they can use – I’ve actually liked doing those things, but I like even more the mental space that I’ve cleared up by minimizing the stuff that was taking up space in some areas of our home.
visiting family. Our family lives out of town, so we always love the chance to get to spend time with them. Our recent visits have included snow which has been fun. Here in the Carolinas, we have yet to see a big snow, but we’re still holding out hope we might at least get a little bit.
Bonus Points if you can spot the Walmart bags on the kids’ feet – Southern Mamas, I know you understand.
stepping back from social media. I have all kinds of passionate thoughts about every single topic from the past year, but I’ve never really used my public social media spaces to discuss those kinds of things. I have simply been available in those spaces because I love connecting with and encouraging other families as they walk out their days. Over the past several months, I have been working to set up other options for our This Little Home of Mine community – platforms that actually share our content – and to encourage those who want to stay in touch with us to join our email community as that will be my primary focus going forward.
For setting up alternative tech options, I have been called every name under the sun – from people who know very little about me…from individuals who I’m sure would align themselves with an ideology that is supposedly centered on empathy and unity. I am not surprised by these attacks – I expected them – and I ignore them. Am I leaving Facebook and Instagram? My personal Facebook account is no longer being used…my business pages at the moment are simply being used less. I’m still working through what to do. It’s tough.
From a personal perspective, the overall role that social media now plays in our lives is outrageous. When did we allow it to take over everything? From a patriotic perspective, its overreach is unacceptable. I unapologetically reject it. From a business perspective, it has gotten very expensive to beg platforms to show your content to your followers only to still be limited in your reach. I love spending time with my friends there – when I’m allowed. Those things combined make it complicated for a gal who loves my community of friends in those spaces – yes, friends – to enjoy being there right now, but there are other ways to stay in touch. So I’m exploring those.
I’ll keep you posted – unless I’m shut down for sharing my thoughts more openly there in recent days – which unfortunately is something that is now part of how we think when we share something because somewhere along the way, the definition of “freedom of speech” was hijacked and we all sat in silence and let it happen.
Did you miss the last A Glimpse Into Our Life post? Check it out!