Good morning! I have my daughters' favorite song stuck in my head and it's quite appropriate here. It says "Hello, hello, hello how are you?" Then the rest of the song is spent sticking in all the little ways we might answer, like tired, hungry, or wonderful. I'm wondering today, how are you?
We are ready for another week of summer! We only have a few left and I'm hoping and praying they don't go whizzing by so fast. I'm just not ready to let go of summer yet. It has slipped into the spot as my favorite season, easy.
I came across these photos from a couple of months back I never posted and they brought the happiest memory to mind. This was a morning I snuck outside with my Anna Ruth and we walked among the pasture, climbing on hay bales. It was a very, very good memory to me because time alone with the girls is so rare. They're usually both in tow, like little ducklings.
Today I thought it would be fun to do a good 'ol fashioned praise report! Do you remember those? Where someone in church would stand up and give a praise report? I have seen and heard the hand of God very clearly lately in a few ways and think it really matters to write it down. The first was when we were in Eureka Springs for our anniversary. We visited Wilson and Wilson Folk Art, a.k.a. the happiest store ever. It is filled with color and paintings and stitched pieces of art. It seriously looks like you climbed into my brain. The artist paints in-between helping customers so naturally I struck up a conversation with her. I told her how lovely and gorgeous her store was and she was sweet as pie right back to me.
We ended up buying a calendar and throughout this whole time, talking. She told me she grew up watching her mom paint at Silver Dollar City, where they used to have a store and sell duck decoys. I responded that I love to paint and am a mixed-media artist but don't know anyone like me in real life, no other young moms who paint like I do. She encouraged me to keep painting and said she has no art training, it was from watching her mom that she learned. She encouraged me to let my girls see me paint and that it matters to paint with them too. Right before we walked out the door she tucked a book into my bag, for free. It was the story of her family and their art. A nice hardcover book that she "just wanted me to have."
I got chills and tears in my eyes. I don't think anyone (besides Brett) knows how silly it sometimes feels to keep painting when I'm often served a load of guilt for taking the time to do so. Having this very talented, nice lady give me direct encouragement felt like a whisper straight from God, cheering me on.
Fast forward to this weekend. We were at the park for a birthday party and had arrived early to help set up. We were actually at the wrong playground at the park but in the span of the 10 minutes I hadn't realized that yet, God sent along some more encouragement. A Grandma was there with her beautiful granddaughters. She started a conversation with me and we circled around the main topics, like how far apart my girls are and how many grandchildren she has. She then said she was a new art teacher and I (of course) responded very enthusiastically! I told her that was on of my list of dream jobs, which is quite long most days. She said she was a math teacher and "God totally opened up this job for me." Not even having any training as an art teacher, she was able to take the job and pass the appropriate tests to officially become an art teacher.
Once again, she encouraged me to keep at the art. The neatest thing about this conversation though was that she recognized how important the time is now that I'm spending with the girls at home. She told me several times how there will be plenty of time to figure out how to get back into teaching, but that it is so good I'm at home right now. More encouragement....tucked inside my heart to stay.
Last, we've been listening to Hillsong in the car and I love to sing along. I've been telling the girls for a few days what "emmanuel" means because that song has been stuck on repeat.
I asked them this weekend, "Do you remember what emmanuel means?"
Anna Ruth responded, "Jesus is with us."
Yes and amen.
What praise report do you have to share?