Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Quality Time, All of the Time

This is a guest post by Joy Prouty (@joyprouty). Joy lives in Washington State: homesteading, baby chasing, picture taking, homeschooling, Jesus seeking, great big dreaming & finding the good in every day. You can find out more about her photography on her website: wildflowersphotos.com .
raising arrows pnw foggy fog mountains early morning

This is a picture from our bleary eyed walk at 5:30am. Taking a big breath to gain some parenting motivation for the day, I opened up the book Raising Godly Tomatoes to this:

"You need not commit a fixed portion of the day to deliberate play or "quality time". Every minute spent with your children should be quality time, even when disciplining. Just a minute or so of attention will greatly please a child and confer love and security. When they come to you, stop your routine and make yourself physically and emotionally available. Smile! Answer their questions, give them your undivided attention... this reflects the importance of ENJOYING your children, extending your love and approval when they come to you all those precious little times throughout the day." - Elizabeth Krueger.

OH how many times I put my kids off because I'm "doing something." Yes, there are always 200 things to get done, but today I will try to look them in the eye with gentleness...even after they whine "mommy! mommy! mommeeeeeee!" It may not be convenient, but it will be a step towards being the kind of mommy I want them to remember me being.

Who's with me?

(original post appeared on instagram)

Monday, August 11, 2014

How Many Times Do I Have To Repent?

do not provoke your children

"Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged." Colossians 3:21
It's really hard to apologize to Phoebe. It's really hard to humble myself and repent to my three year old. Some days I have one of those days when I fly off the handle too many times in a row and I feel like all I'm doing is repenting and reconciling, and I want to make a cosmic deal: "I apologized 6 times already, God. Isn't that enough?? She's only a kid. She's not gonna MAKE me reconcile." 

Then I think of this verse: Colossians 3:21. And I remember what it used to be like growing up with a father who got angry a lot and never apologized. And I realize: there isn't even a shimmer of doubt: reconciliation with my daughter is what I MUST do.

These lessons of reconciliation with my daughter have softened my heart and opened me up to deeper mysteries...What does reconciliation look like between adults?...What does it feel like to forgive people who have never reconciled with me?...What kind of freedom awaits when I'm able to just let petty squabbles go?... 

And I pray..."Oh Dear God, please hide my feelings and my fears and my hopes in you. Let my identity be redeemed by you. Fill me with your purpose, and make my heart whole. Amen."

-- Erin || ekwetzel.com || @ekwetzel

(original post appeared on instagram)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fertility and God's Perfect Timing

phoebe wetzel arrowchildren raisingarrows

We want four children. That's what we'd always say when we talked about family plans, even when we were still dating. We wanted 3-5 kids, to be approximate, but there was just something that felt perfect about the number 4. Then we married. And we tried. 

And tried. 

And prayed. 

And, finally, God blessed us with Phoebe. Now we've been trying for two years to conceive again, and we are waiting on God's perfect timing. 

It would be easy to be upset every time a friend gets pregnant, but I don't. Babies are good news! It would be easy to wallow in jealousy, but there is always the voice of God in my heart telling me to trust his perfect timing. And I do. 

But, not always...sometimes I am sad and anxious about our (in)fertility. However, these moments of sadness are mere temptations that enter my mind. Then, I offer the thoughts up to God. 

And do you know what glory God has worked in our lives? Well... 

There is something else that Matt and I have talk about ever since we started talking about our future family: adoption. The seed of adoption has always been hidden away in our hearts. We'd say, "someday" and "maybe"...but now that we see it is harder for us to get pregnant, we find deep blessing in our circumstances. 

You see: if we popped out babies easily, I fear there would be no room left in our lives for our adopted children. But God is good. He has given us exactly the amount of fertility we need. And the seed of adoption keeps growing & growing in our hearts. Now I truly believe it will one day be a reality. 

I'm thinking we might try to adopt in 3 or so years? It's hard to tell with these things. But I do see God working in our hearts and our lives and creating something magnificent...something we could have never imagined on our own. 

And in the meantime? 

In the meantime I will pour over beautiful pictures of big families full of kiddos. I will let God fill me with hope.

-- Erin || ekwetzel.com || @ekwetzel

(original post appeared on instagram)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Beautiful Little Messes

star stickers mess

Today I am thankful for all the beautiful little messes my three-year-old makes in my life. Because, when she stirs things up, it helps me to see what really matters. Not a perfect house. Not "getting things done." I am not designed to be the Controller of my life; God is behind the steering wheel and He will get us where we need to go. So, let's roll down the windows and let our hair blow in the wind. And let's stop to appreciate the piles of stickers and toys scattered around the house. And let's be thankful for the little children that bring stickers and toys and beautiful little messes into our lives.

-- Erin || ekwetzel.com || @ekwetzel

(original post appeared on instagram)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Team work makes the dream work!

This is a guest post by Kelly Roselle (@kmroselle). 

kids in pyjamas pjs at a window
I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Team work makes the dream work!"

Being a family means we work together, help each other, and we're a part of the same team. We're on each other's side. Always! These little people clean up their own messes, in their own little ways. They put their dishes in the sink, their trash in the garbage can, and their clothes in their own drawers.

Solomon takes his dirty clothes to the laundry room, helps bring in groceries and loves to help me cook.

Adalyn is a nurturer already. If her brother hasn't taken care of something, she does it for him, without being asked. She also loves helping with the dishwasher.

All of this gets a little (a lot) messy at times. They're slow and imperfect, but so am I. I'm letting them learn, and letting them grow, and we're working together to make a home and a life. None of it's perfect, and there are still things lacking all the time. But we do it together. We learn together. We forgive each other.

And love keeps us all afloat.

(original post appeared on instagram)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Safe Harbor

balloon pink lost fly away

I told her to keep the balloon inside. 

When she brought it out, I told her to hold on tight. 

Of course, within seconds, she lost her grip, then cried and cried as it floated away. 

I didn't say "I told you so." 

Instead, I hugged her. We waved at the balloon until it was out of sight. She said she was sad the balloon was gone. I said, "I know," and asked her to help me unload the car. Because sometimes, when we face loss, we don't need anyone to rub our faces in it. What we need is compassion. 

And I want her to trust that I'm a safe harbor.

-- Erin || ekwetzel.com || @ekwetzel

(original post appeared on instagram)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


This is a guest post by Christie Lacy (@christielacy). She is a portrait photographer. You can find out more about her on her website: christielacy.com.

tomatoes in hands fingernails painted

The sun shines bright and hot all day long. And as it starts to dip low she heads outside to seek and forage. Peeking under all the overgrown bushes to find a beautifully ripened gem or three or five. Sometimes, she let's those moments linger, taking her time to see what she'll find. It makes my heart happy to know that she is enjoying those moments in nature; that she relishes in the blessing of uncovering what God has provided. And that, my friends, cannot be found in a grocery store...

(original post appeared on instagram)