November 8, 2019

These days, and the bigger life

Looking over these pictures on my phone of all the "small" things my children are doing fills my heart. Every sacrifice I've made to focus on being their mother is worth it. Their eyes, their joy, their mischievousness, their struggles, their love--I am grateful to be here to experience it all.

Eric and I went to watch the movie "Harriet" about the life of Harriet Tubman. What an incredible woman. Her life was not without suffering or pain or heartache or fear. Obviously. And so I kept thinking about how she "chose the bigger life." On Gretchen Rubin's podcast "Happier" she's talked many times about choosing the bigger life, which can mean something different for different people at different times (should I buy tent, pursue a different career option, throw that party, etc). So when I watched that movie I kept thinking how Harriet Tubman chose the truly bigger life--she led a selfless life. She could've gotten to freedom and then stopped right there. One could argue that she had every right to pursue a life of peace and pleasure for herself--she had already been through so very much. But she didn't stop. She sacrificed. She put herself in danger over and over again. She faced fears and endured some hard stuff because she chose to put others first. And God used her mightily for that. Powerfully and mightily. Because she was willing to be a part of the bigger picture. Because she chose the bigger life.

I think we all are faced with choices in our lives that could bring us down a path of ease, comfort, and stability and bring pleasure and happiness to ourselves. And that could be ok. OR we could choose a bigger life. A life of reaching out to others and serving and doing things that might make us struggle, weep, stretch, fear, and sacrifice, but will allow God to use us mightily. Powerfully and mightily. And won't choosing the bigger life ultimately bring us bigger happiness, bigger growth, and bigger peace?

Most of us probably won't be asked to physically lead people out of danger and to freedom like Harriet Tubman did. But I think we each have our own mission in life. We have to ask God what that is and how He needs us. Each and every day. We can choose the bigger life by trusting God and being willing to face hard things and to make personal sacrifices to lift and help others. Whatever that might look like at that time in our own life. And it will certainly look different for each of us.

How can I choose the bigger life? Thinking about this question has really helped me face some personal struggles and questions. And so I'm going to keep asking myself that.

Well, I definitely went off on a tangent from my original purpose of this post :)... this is just another ordinary post about our ordinary days.

Layla studied bats at school and her teacher sent these pictures after the day they celebrated and wrapped up all of their learning.

Some brotherly love in the form of tickle torture..

Sweet pea Brinny bean got into the peanut butter. She was all in. And quite happy that I let her continue long enough to take a few pictures.

That tongue!

Kyler worked with Layla on her storybook pumpkin. I'm glad they could bond by combining their creativity and artistic talents.

Crazy hair day for Layla.

Kyler got asked to Winter Formal! I can not beleive that he will be 16 that soon! We are all excited for him to go with Kylie.

Brinna and Perry have such a special relationship. He melts for her. She loves him right back.

Kyler came home from a youth activity with a couple of prizes. He left one at Layla's bedroom door for her to find in the morning. She was so excited by his kindness.

Perry really wanted this moment documented on my phone. He learned to cut his toe nails by himself!

I helped Perry with a special all about me project for school. There were some good answers.
"I am special because I am."
Favorite animal? "I don't like animals."

We got to celebrate Rylie's birthday with the cousins. Good times!

No pictures, but we have also been to nine doctor's appointments for various reasons over the last two weeks--yikes! That kept us busy.