Use What You’ve Got

This weekend was rich with things that matter.

It was beautiful.

A while ago, I read a blog post that seriously changed my life (read will bless you!)  The author Mackenzie writes,

“I often worry that I don’t have enough to give.

I sometimes feel like I don’t have much capacity to bless other people.
I don’t have a lot of time. I don’t have much money. I’m not extremely creative.
I look at the “bigger” things that other women are doing; then I look at my one-hour-alone during nap time…

what do I actually possess that could be a blessing?”

She goes on to say  “use what you’ve got.”  

It’s so simple.  But so true.

Use what I’ve got.  Offer it to God.  Watch him change my little corner of the world.  Repeat.

This is the secret to a meaningful life.

I’ve been in recovery from perfectionism for a while.  But more and more these days it’s sticking.   I’m dropping my thoughts that my house has to be perfect to have people over or that I need to stress over entertaining or that I need to have better clothes or hair or body or personality to be worthwhile.

I’m using what I’ve got.

What I had this weekend was a house.  Money to spend on others.   A car to drive to meet friends.  A baby that makes a dear friend smile.  Time to talk on the phone with a friend who had a bad week while I cleaned my house.  Time to write a few emails.   The ability to cook a meal for different friends two nights in a row.  Leftovers to feed more friends.

And I offered it.

And in return, I saw new friends at our table.  My husband’s contented smile after coffee with a friend he hasn’t seen for a while. Old friends at our table, enjoying the beautiful sight of our rainbow of biological & adopted children just LOVING on each other.  The beaming smile of an 8 year old as she learned to frost cupcakes at our house.  A friend who felt comfortable attending church for the first time in a while because she got to hold my chatty little daughter during the service.   A friend who joined us for a walk because he wanted “family time” (I LOVE that extension of our little family, especially since we have no family here in Florida!)  I felt the joy of uplifting conversation, of community, of LIFE…God’s pleasure and His gifts so evident.

I don’t have much to offer.  But somehow, in His hands, I have everything I need.

Photo on 9-8-13 at 6.12 PM #3


Life Lately

My last post was on the deep side.  Here are a few shallower updates from our life these days!

1.  We recently became a 3 car family.

You know, American consumerism and all.  David has a car, I have a car…naturally, our non-licensed driver needed one too!


Thanks to our sweet neighbors for the hand-me-down…and evidently, the giant hand-up to Zoe’s ego:


“They see me rollin…”

2.  Zoe now says 4 words.  None of them are “mama.”  

I’ve been beaten out by a “dog,” a “dada,” a “cat,” and a “duck.”  A DUCK.  Seriously.


Zoe fell in love with ducks on our recent trip to Telluride, Colorado with my family.  The house my parents rented was like something from MTV “Cribs” (it even came with an Escalade!) and had wonderful mountain views but Zoe could have cared less about any of that.  She cared about the ducks in the backyard.

She was so motivated by the thrill of ducks that she learned how to point out the window of the house and say “duck,” prompting her eager servants to take her outside.  Once outside, she would simply stare at the water saying “duck! Duck! DUCK!”  Can we say “obsessed?”


3.  I have a stalker.

Although Zoe does not use my name, she still finds a way to communicate how much she loves and wants me by reaching for, lunging for, and/or crying for me 75% of the time that anyone else is holding her.  When we are “reunited” she hugs and kisses me like we’ve been separated for an eternity, even if I have been standing there the entire time.

Here’s a photographic example.  Context: I had been doing something next to Zoe while she played on the floor when she suddenly decided she HAD to be held by me RIGHT THEN.  I picked her up.  The following passionate reunion occurred:

photo-45The joy, the ecstasy!
(I love my sister’s face in the background of this photo.  It’s like “what the HECK?
She was there the entire time! Why the dramatics?!”)  

Her obsession with me has become a bit wearing.  I now do almost everything while holding her (including showering) because she becomes inconsolable if I leave her alone.   The other day David thought she had gotten injured because she was screaming so loud.  Nope, I had just put her down on the floor next to me while I went to the bathroom.  Apparently I’m now supposed to hold her while I do that…?

Zoe, there’s a song about this and most people find that song really creepy.  Just think about it. Moving on…

4.  David and I celebrated our fifth anniversary!

Five years ago we walked our little baby selves down the aisle and got hitched.  I have made three truly great decisions in my life: accepting Jesus into my heart, choosing to live at a time when life felt hopeless, and choosing to make my life with David.  I’m so thankful for him and the constant encouragement, support, growth, accountability, humor, and fun he brings into my life.  And he is SUCH a great daddy to our little girl.  I just love watching them together!

Zoeanddaddy(Not sure why this picture is so small.  Click to see expanded cuteness!!)

For our anniversary, his mom (who was visiting from Seattle) graciously agreed to watch Zoe overnight so that we could get some R&R.  I had a difficult time with this concept at first as Zoe and I haven’t spent a night apart since she came home from the hospital.  Zoe had been inconsolable recently when someone besides me tried to put her to bed,  and I was scared that she wouldn’t go to sleep, would wake up and wouldn’t be able to be comforted, or would just be really upset.  For weeks before the trip I was wavering back and forth about whether I could go through with it.

An hour into the trip I was enjoying a poolside margarita and thinking “WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?”

David had kept the destination a secret until we got there, and it was a perfect and very thoughtful pick: a resort about 25 minutes from our house so that we could go home if Zoe needed us.  Now that’s romantic!

Thankfully, everything went fine and we were able to enjoy lots of pool time, massages, a nice dinner out, delicious dessert, and a few walks by the water.


034The best part? This view.

045I haven’t seen my legs under blankets at 8:30 am in months.  Getting to STAY in bed with a cup of coffee and a newspaper full of juicy stories to read?!! Unbeatable.

5.  Fantasy football season has begun! A scene from our draft party:


We have 10 players across the US in our league this year.  May the best man sister & brother team win!

Thanks for reading!