Thursday, May 21, 2015

Life lately

It's been a while since I did an update! Here's what's been happening in our house lately:

This is what my dining room often looks like when plotting out a new story. Chalkboards, whiteboards, index cards, and butcher paper are everywhere, as if my brain oozed out of my head onto various things. But, this is how my brain gets organized. One day I want to repaint the entire top half of the dining room with chalkboard paint so I can write notes all over. 

Notice the "he's a CHNM", which is a description of a bad guy in my story. This acronym stands for Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins. ;)

Ah, powerful quote that shows up in the story. 

Embroidering is my new jam. This is my latest project. You only get a sneak peak 'cause it's for someone, and I don't want to give it away :)

my sweet friend, Julia, made this wreath for my birthday gift. Isn't it so pretty??  I love, love it!

We added Ultron to our collection of Marvel action figures. Not pictured is Captain America who is on the other side of the living room fighting off the Terminator ('cause we have him, too). 

Ah, the basement. Up until now, we've used this space to make furniture and paint things. Now that (most of) those projects are done, we cleaned and set up our home gym area. 

We have our old bathroom mirror down here, and I couldn't help pretending I was 15 and taking a selfie. Notice the adorable puppy in the bottom of the photo. He's our shadow. 

Ungleich home gym!

My dad built me this dollhouse and I finally got around to unpacking it. I forgot just how pretty it is!

Doggy love is the best kind. 

Kisses!

He abandoned the kisses quickly because he knew I had food up there. And his stomach is bigger than his heart ;) Not pictured is his brother who was running around chasing squirrels in the backyard. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Today is my birthday

I turn 33 today. I'm taking the entire day off to celebrate. Even now I have a blueberry muffin (one of my favorite things) and coffee by my side. I am immersing myself into a new story for a bit this morning then going to see the new Avengers movie, and I made Twix cheesecake to enjoy later.

I love birthdays. Adore them. I know so many of us cringe when the next birthday comes around. It's understandable. Youth doesn't last as long as we think it does. Our bodies start falling apart at the ripe old age of 25 it seems. And sometimes each passing year is harder when life hasn't turned out like we wanted or thought it should. Birthdays can be invitations to grief and disappointment. Or invitations to hope.

Age is such a gift. I have cellulite and wrinkles and love sleep more than anything these days, but it's worth it compared to the knowledge I have. I was reading 1 John 4:16 last night and it says 'We have come to know and have believed the love that God has for us.'

In college, this was my friend Jeremy's favorite verse. I liked it but I didn't get it then like I get it now. Because even though I knew that God loved me, I didn't understand it. I didn't understand that when I would make horrible choices or endure the horrible choices of others, that God would be there to love me. That His love never wavers. That I don't have to earn his love by doing right or performing well. His love has nothing to do with how I act or what I'm like. Isn't that amazing? The freedom in that love should daily make us stand in awe...the Creator of the Universe, the one who holds galaxies in his hand and orchestrates the details of every single life on the planet, is in love with me. He called me his daughter and wanted to adopt me before he even split the earth from the sky. I am his daughter. And nothing I could ever do could change that.

I get this verse now. Because yes, after so many years, I have come to know and do believe in the love God has for me. Not fully, because I think as much as I trust that love now, it is just a fraction of an understanding.

Do you know that love? Oh I want you to. To know that God loves you upside down, backward, and forward. In ways you cannot imagine with your little human brain. You were made for Him. Not to obey rules and get things right and be moral. But to show him off by letting him love you. Abiding in his love - letting him love you and sitting in the reality of that love and trusting on it - that is the best way to commune with God.

So today, I am 33. A child of God. Believer. Sister of Christ. Loved - completely. I'm a wife, a friend, a writer, a storyteller. A reader, worshipper, interceder.

I love coffee and good workouts. A book is my favorite place to get lost. Cleaning is my drug, baking is my therapy. I love snail mail and hot baths. I love that the God of Genesis is the same God of Isaiah, the Psalms, and James. Sometimes all I need is an hour to clean, or a good cry in a hot shower. Being with my husband fixes most of my bad days. Boundaries are something I am still learning. I love making up stories - it is the best kind of worship. Lists make me sane, summer is my favorite season, and I still get excited on Christmas morning. God shutting doors in my face has turned out to be the biggest blessing of my life. Grace is something I'll never really get. I hope that someday I'm as brave as the girls I write about. I think God chuckles at me a lot. I know He loves me to pieces.