Before winter “officially” ends for the season I wanted to share these photos from a family walk we took one morning. Zack had been out of town for a whole week and we missed him dearly, so our next full day back together as a family we loaded our basket of winter gear and went on a nature walk. It was so simple, so deeply needed. The winter air, the sharpness of the icy temperature, the lost glove that needed to be found (mine), the squeals (kids), the pine tree hideout where we were spooked by our kiddos. And at the end, fussiness overcame the littlest one and he wanted to be carried by daddy.
These are the tender ingredients of motherhood in the winter. Last year, it felt hard to get everyone dressed and out the door before someone was “over” the wintery scene. The year prior, it felt even harder to get everyone dressed before my nappers woke up. And the year before that, I had a baby growing in my belly plus three children eager to hold my hand. Playing in the snow wasn’t something I did gracefully; easily.
We leave the house with all the ambition we’re able to muster. We return with rosy, flushed cheeks, eager for warm blankets and togetherness on the couch.
Each additional year of motherhood is a step in the direction of independence, yet also dependence. As I teach them how to do more things on their own (independence), I also teach them more about their Creator (dependence) and all that they are: loved, wanted, created with purpose, never alone. They slowly (prayerfully) step away from me and walk towards Him. It’s a mixture of joy and patience, pain and relief.
But the joy runs deep because He sustains me.
Spring, we are eager to welcome you and all the ways you’ll teach us to stand in righteousness and love.
PS. Perhaps you’ve noticed I’ve been quieter lately on social media, or perhaps you haven’t noticed. This quietness is intentional. I’ve come to realize in the last year I struggle to realize how much of my energy I’m “giving away” without being fully aware I’m giving it away. That is, until I reach the end of my energy tank and I’m zapped of any goodness for the rest of the day. Ooof, it’s a bad scenario.
I do desire to write more, share more encouragement, fully lean into the hardships of life as they come (which offers so much beauty despite the pain, it’s incredible!). But I’m unable to do this when I’m exhausting myself through the noise of social media. So if you enjoy what I write here on my blog, if this format feels like a better fit for your lifestyle, your energy tank, your goodness, please stick around. Or share my blog with a friend! I enjoy contributing to the elements of truth, goodness & beauty. They are such necessary elements for a life lived for His glory :)
It is so good to hear from you. What adorable children and how they have grown. Thankful for your peace and so understand the engery not being there I’m past the life you are in but remember all to well. Plus as you age the exhaustion still comes so it is a life battle but we all muster on!!!! Take care and God is so good at watching over us and keeping us all safe
Thank you, Sonnie. It has felt light a profound enlightenment learning about my energy and discerning how I “give it away”. Thank you for taking the comment to share! xx
Winter walks are the best! My 3 are around the same ages as your 4 (7, 5, and 2) and I love how much easier it is to get outside and play when they’re able to help get themselves ready. I have to admit that I’ve often chose to put on a movie instead of playing outside because the thought of getting everyone dressed and then putting everything away again was so exhausting! Also — gardening has been hard with all three at different stages, but I think this is the year when I’ll be able to dig in. I’m so excited!
I hear you about social media. I left Facebook and Twitter long ago, but had a hard time letting IG go… until last Fall. It finally clicked that that there are so many costs associated with it… costs that I can’t afford to pay. I relish blogging and connecting with other bloggers though – it feels so much more honest than quick snapshots on IG. Our lives are so complex and social media is so loud that it leaves very little room for stillness and reflection before scrolling on to the next person in your algorithm. I’m delighted to hear that you still love blogging!
This from your comment stood out —
“Our lives are so complex and social media is so loud that it leaves very little room for stillness and reflection before scrolling on to the next person in your algorithm.”
I consistently offer this space to the Lord to do as He pleases. Taking the burden of me having to share my written work has been so so freeing for me. It’s not my doing I want, but His.
I think it’s wise that you’re letting go of the things you can’t control. For a long time I thought I needed to be on Instagram so that I could get people to click over to my site. The truth was that I got very little traffic from Instagram because people quickly moved on to the next post in their feed. Getting people to read my blog isn’t something that I can control, but I CAN sit down and write every day. And still – I’ve somehow cultivated a small group of kindred spirits who cheer me on (and vice versa) just for showing up consistently. And I think “small” is important because I aim to leave a (somewhat) thoughtful comment on every post I read, which would be impossible on a larger platform like Instagram.
Thank you for continuing to blog, Maggie! I know it’s hard to carve out the time, but you do wonderful work :)