Happy Monday, friends.  I'm attempting to put some words in sentences this morning, but considering my lack of sleep these days, it could be a little dicey to say the least.  For a word girl like myself however, I need to spill some of these words and thoughts ruminating in my head and heart so I'm giving it a whirl anyway.  I have loved sharing so many pictures of these last 7 weeks with you, can you believe it's been 7 weeks since I blogged from my hospital bed and shared our first glimpses of Walker with you??  Time is both flying and yet standing still.  I thought today I would share some of what's been running through my mind and a little more about how it's really going around here.   I don't know about your neck of the woods today, but here it's dreary and overcast, the perfect day for this kind of post.  And a cup of coffee, or three.  I'm not sure I have the bandwidth for a well organized post this morning, so I'm offering you more of a jumbled collection of thoughts...that's sort of an accurate depiction of my life right now anyway!  Ha ha!  There's not a whole lot of order going on yet...

  • And then there were three. 

So how is the adjustment with another child?  Well, speaking strictly from my perspective only, it's amazing.  Like really satisfying and fulfilling and completing.  I look at all three of my little peanuts and I think, wow, this feels so sweet and right.  Adding Walker to the mix feels like a missing piece of our family has been discovered and set back into the original puzzle.  A year ago I never would have thought we were missing a piece, but now I see how the Lord has created a perfectly orchestrated picture that included space with Walker's name on it.  And I love it and it's been a beautiful seven weeks.  

But I am tired.  Sometimes I'm totally overwhelmed.  I long for a break.  I don't always enjoy the nursing schedule.  And life feels a little out of control sometimes, mostly due to the chaos of daily living...things like dishes, laundry, the mail...they are never ending and I just always feel about a week behind.  BUT, we'll get there.  In general I would say that I can tell a big change in myself this time around.   Now that the visitors are gone and life is feeling more "normal" I am realizing how much more relaxed I am with a newborn.  Things that would have phased me with Ava and Carter just don't ruffle my feathers so much with Walker.  I guess by now you figure out that everything is just a season and most things they will grow out of or will resolve themselves.  I don't panic about leaving the house and yet, I don't feel the need to get out unless it's really worth it for one of us or all of us.  Rather than feeling like I'm missing out and stuck at home, I've resolved to cherish this season and make life as simple as I can get it.  On purpose.  I don't want to miss anything with my kids and Trav right now, I've got enough on my plate just to make it through the day.  And while I'm typically antsy to jump into stuff and commit to "adult things" this past year the Lord just taught me to be more still.  To only say "yes" when He made it crystal clear.  To be OK with NOT doing what everyone else is doing, but to just focus on Him and move when He tells me to move.  And it was such a freeing year.  He brought so many unexpected things, things I never could have handled with all my regular "commitments" on my plate.  And so now I see how that is impacting my mothering.  Simple feels better.  For me, and for Trav and the kids.  I have a lot more to give when I'm not being pulled a thousand ways.  That's not a new concept but it has been a key one for me.  

Yes, having three has required more juggling, more planning and sometimes it empties me of all I have. For example, I looked at the clock this morning at about 9:30 and realized I'd heard "Mommy!" about 546 times and Walker can't even speak yet.  Maybe that's the hardest part.  Just dealing with needs, wants, cries for attention, requests, and tears.  I'm stretched to balance it all, but you know, the Lord gives abundant grace and strength when I'm weak.  He helps me take a deep breath and tackle one thing at a time and He forgives me when I blow it and respond harshly, enabling me to apologize to the offended and washing me with mercy that helps me and keeps me from drowning in defeat.  For every victory, there are ample defeats, but His mercy is new every morning and great is His faithfulness.  

Yes, GREAT is His faithfulness...I can attest to that in a brand new way with 3.  For my friends who are Moms of two or less and are wondering about having a third, of course the Lord is the one who knows and decides to give the gift of life, and I can only speak to my experience not yours...BUT in almost every way this has been easier than I imagined and SO TOTALLY WORTH IT!!  I'm not saying the days aren't long or hard, they definitely can be.  But not any more difficult that just having two.  Have a third  :) Children are a blessing from the Lord and I find myself repeating that often.  This chaos, this physical drain, this season of's all a blessing from God to me.  To us.  He gave us these gifts, all three of them, and tells me that they are a reward.  He says they are arrows in our hands and it's our job to point them to their target...I am grateful for this reminder.  It helps me find purpose in a day that's filled with messes, accidents, feeding schedules, meals and endless clean-up.  

  • Friends 
Oh my, we have been encouraged by so many friends this summer!  I am grateful the Lord answered my prayer for friends a few years back.  I am also grateful that He gave me friendships that didn't look exactly like I thought they would.  He's given me several dear friends that are older, with kids who are grown; friends who have kids in the thick of the school years; friends who have no kids; and friends who are walking in the same footsteps I presently am.  Some friends are here in town, some at Church, or in our small group and even across the country.  And they all have given me such perspective and wisdom because having a baby is a sweet way to hear from all of those friends! I am so thankful for so many meals that have been dropped off at our door, for gift cards, for phone calls, for texts and for visits over coffee or at the park.  Life is rich when we consider the ways that God wraps His arms around us through other people.  I could not have survived these early weeks with the sanity I have remaining, if not for dear friends who have served us and loved us well.  One verse I have been focused on concerning this kind of friendship is from Proverbs 11:25... 
"Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered."  
That's the kind of friend I want to be, and the kind of friends I've got.  It's also my prayer for each of them, that they will be enriched and feel watered because of the way they reached out to love us.  What a gift the body of Christ is!  As I get back to cooking most of our meals again, I'm constantly reminded that a delivered meal is an incredible ministry! Note to self, make more meals for people!!  

  • Change
Life is full of change isn't it?  We are walking through big changes this summer, adding Walker to our brood was the biggest change but now we're getting ready to send Ava to Kindergarten in just 16 days.  Yep, I'm counting now.  As the kids say now, I'm feeling all the feels.  I'm equal parts thrilled for her and sorry for me and then thrilled for me and sorry for her!  Postpartum hormones are not helping the cause.  After a year of deliberating and praying about school choices, I've got a real peace about the neighborhood school she is attending and I know it's where the Lord has led us for this coming year.  We got a letter in the mail this weekend, telling us who her teacher is, which was fun for us to finally know.  I can't believe Kindergarten is upon us, I really just gave birth to her, didn't I?? Five years has flown by (like seriously FLOWN by) and I know this is just the beginning!  I can't believe my years with her at home are now almost over, and yet I am so thankful that I can look back at these past 5 years with no regrets.  I love all that we shared together and certainly, we have lots of afternoons together when she gets home from school! But I know this new chapter will change the dynamics of our daily life and I'm doing my best to get on board with it instead of mourning it. She is so excited and I don't want to squelch that in her.  I know the first day of school will likely be a totally different story for me (not her) but for now I am her cheerleader and we are enjoying the anticipation together.  I'm also determined to make the most of these final summer days!  I LOVE Fall, but I am hanging on to summer this year a little more tightly than before.  It's so surreal to be getting emails about school lunch accounts, bus routes, and back to school nights!?!  I have babies, how are they old enough for this??  Ahh, change...we've got it on all fronts right now, but I'm pressing in to the Lord, the one who never changes!  Thankfully He walks me through all of it day by day.  

  • Spent
A friend commented on a post of mine last week about being spent right now and I loved that word choice.  That's exactly how I feel.  I am poured out every day, hitting my pillow hard at night with an empty tank.  But in that weakness the Lord keeps sustaining me and giving me strength, just as He promises to do.  Isaiah 40:29 says, "He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength." Definitely a promise I can attest to.  In the middle of those long nights when Walkie is hungry, I am amazed at how God sees me through.  It's totally a different experience with each child as we age a little more...we aren't bouncing back as quickly from a lack of sleep like we used to! But hour by hour we get through the days and manage to do what's right in front of us, which I know is of the Lord.  Thankfully Walker is sleeping in longer and longer stretches, 6 hours last night in fact!  It won't be long before our nights are a little more regular and not as interrupted.  I'm not sure if we'll laugh or cry when that first full night comes!  I know it will feel amazing and yet, it's just another sign that these baby days are fleeting...oh, these days are so good.  Not knowing what the Lord has planned for our family, I just want to soak this all up and treasure it in my heart forever.  If this is my last shot at a baby, I don't want to waste this and wish the days away, no matter how long or hard they may seem.  I've got a power source that is beyond me and I'm so glad! 
All is well at our house and with my soul.  I love this journey of motherhood and the sight of three kiddos and alllllllll their chaos. A sweet lady at Church yesterday told me that my eyes looked good for having a new baby, not tired at all!  Ha ha, I think she was being kind because I know they were very tired looking, and her husband even bought me a cup of coffee!  They knew the real deal  :)  Sure my heart is full, my hands are busy and my body is spent, but I couldn't imagine life any other way! What a ride...  
These three have my whole heart and they are each worth every last ounce of energy and then some! 
Truly, I'm just living the dream!  

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