It might seem odd to do a little family update at this point in the year instead of the end, but even though the Ohio season refuses to change, our life is budding with new growth. The blog seems like a good format to write about it. We could really use your prayers as we continue to navigate the small and big steps of obedience we feel God calling us to each day.
We've started looking at preschool websites in Dayton for Titus for the fall. We think he would really benefit from preschool next year for a few days a week. He is so very smart and loves being with friends. We don't think he needs it, however, I think he could really benefit from it. It seems wise to give Titus a designated learning environment while I work, as opposed to just babysitting. I've been semi successful in fostering some preschool activities for him at home. We've had a lot of fun, but we aren't always as consistent as I feel like he will be ready for next fall. I'm looking forward to meeting more families from our community through school. We are most interested in a schedule that is just a few days a week for half day sessions. There are a lot of good options in Dayton, so we are praying we will find the right fit. I had near a panic attack one day while looking at them all. Did anyone else feel like they were determining their kid's entire future with this one decision? Man, first kid melodrama.
Matthias is mostly his happy little blue eyed self. He is learning new words everyday, currently his favorites are "nack" (snack), mick (milk), and Dada (as always). His final set of teeth are coming in, and he is super drooly, but otherwise taking it like a champ. We love his ornery personality starting to come out (most of the time), and continue to call him "Baby" even though he really isn't a baby anymore!
Tim recently published his first journal with his research. You can find the link here, and one hundred life points to you if you can even decipher the title. He also presented his work to some famous researchers in his field that were interested in his research. I married one smart cookie! I'm so proud of him. Even though he has a doctorate, he is the same humble man I married almost 8 years ago now.
We are continuing our process with Safe Families, which has been delayed by one piece of paper that got lost in the mail. This may very well be a delay of the evil one, but I know ultimately God is orchestrating this process. We trust God's timing for hosting, and we've been so busy with other roles God has given us, so we have felt relief in the wait. We are eager to open up our home, however, when the time is right. We are still hopeful that April will begin our opportunities to host. In the meantime, we'd like to get a bunk bed set up in Titus' room so we have some beds ready.
Our church, Apex Community, has been through so many changes in the past 2 years. We have lost a lot of beautiful leaders and brothers and sisters from our church community. All the while, our little house church has been thriving. We know, however, that some in our own house church, including our co-shepherds, neighbors, and best friends, will be transitioning on within the next year as well. I can't help but grieve. I remember keenly the feeling of doing ministry in isolation when we first moved here, and I can't help but grasp at the season of harvest we've had the past few years, even as it seems to be leaving us. As Tim and I were processing some of these changes, he held me close and told me he would never leave. I want to remember that moment. The Lord did a good thing when he gave me that man. My husband is true to his word, and he brings me great comfort and joy when I'm sad.
Dayton Women in the Word has kept me busy in the best of ways. I love my job and I love the group of women who serve with me. In addition to leading our content team, hosting podcast recordings for Season 4 and the upcoming Season 5, and writing for our DWITW 365 project, I've been studying for our 4th summer study. I'll be teaching the morning class of our 8 week study through Hosea in June and July. I've been trying to get quiet and hear from the Lord directly on this book before I endeavor to share it with others. Last year, I did not get through Ezra and Nehemiah completely before study started, and I know how hard it was to study myself alongside preparing a teaching each week. It often felt like slipping on banana peels, but God was strong in my weakness! We've added a teaching collective to DWITW, something which I know our community will benefit greatly! This little group was something I could've used three years ago when I started to teach the Bible, and I'm so thankful that others don't have to start from scratch like I did.
Next week, we will be taking our boys on their first plane ride on a small cross country vaca! At the buttcrack of dawn on Wednesday, we will be traveling to Phoenix, Arizona for Tim's cousin Holly's wedding. After the wedding we are going to spend two days at the Grand Canyon with Tim's parents and his sister Lydia. We've ordered some backpack leash harnesses for the boys, and an incredible amount of plane snacks, toys, crafts, glow sticks, you name it! I flew for the first time when I was in third grade, so I'm in awe that Matthias will fly for the first time when he is only one! I'm trying to psych myself up for the adventure, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit my Mommy nerves are a little on edge about flying and trying not to lose them over a cliff at the Canyon. I'm sure it will be fodder for some wonderful writing down the road. I will journal every moment I can.
Speaking of writing, amidst all this, I've been writing my very first book proposal, a project I've been calling The Postpartum Gospel. I thank God I started this blog when I did, as I've been looking back at my writings for book material. I didn't know what the purpose of this blog would be, but I just knew God wanted me to start writing about the insights He was giving me at the time. I've learned much about the publishing industry in the past month, and I'm trying to be strategic and prayerful over each step. As excited as I am about the book, I'm also overwhelmed at times at what I've gotten myself into! I've received an incredible amount of support, babysitting, editing, and prayer from my community. I've written down the names of all the women I know who are in this stage of life that could use some encouragement, and I pray for them as I write. That 3x5 card of names keeps me grounded, and writing on days when it all seems too impossible.
I will end with a passage from Hosea that has given me so much hope at the start of this season. We have the free love of the Lord. Is that not the definition of what it means to flourish? May you receive his love, reader, and blossom like the lily in God's dwelling!