Oh my goodness.

April 2017 may have posed the biggest life challenge we've had since we were racing to move out of our house almost three years ago. :) 

In the last 27 days, we decluttered the entire house, held a huge garage sale, went to two midwife appointments, hosted a birthday dinner, had lots of friends over every week, finished Classical Conversations and a few huge assignments with the kids, made food for school events, went to the CC end-of-year celebration, attended an Easter family get-together, sold our truck (we're down to one car now!), and then as usual, I taught my bootcamp and kickboxing classes and subbed a few more. I was thankful to see a happy goal accomplished I'd been working on, and then there were bigger life things happening in the midst of that.

I'm finally taking a deep breath now that it's all almost over! :) I don't want to be that busy again any time soon. :D hahaha!

For the garage sale, I had the kids bring every.single.toy and item they owned downstairs. We went through EVERYTHING and cleaned out and organized what we kept. They made a train from the back door to the den:

The Lord helped me so and gave me strength to do what I needed to do, because I have no idea how we went through the entire house/cabinets/drawers/storage bins and cleaned out everything in about two days while regular life was still happening.

The week after we had the garage sale, we did the same thing with almost every clothing item we owned. Every single drawer was emptied and brought downstairs. We sold our three stand-alone dressers so we downsized and donated a large portion of our clothing as we don't intend to replace them:

I have three bins left to go through of baby items, but we finally let go of the up to 13-year-old baby clothes we had in storage. :) (And yes, we still hope to have more children ;)

Each child still has two drawers in our closet system, and we have our master hang-up closet and three drawers for each adult. Even with the major purge, I'm amazed by how many clothes we still have left!

One weekend we celebrated my dad's birthday:

The kids made their own presents (without my help or knowledge, ha!), and Isabella cross-stitched this paperweight while Noah hand-copied the papers he wrote in Essentials and the poems he wrote into a book for him. :)

Then we had the most lovely Easter morning with sweet friends. My mom sent all the kids a special outfit for the day. They were so thrilled to get a package in the mail. :)

Looking back, we have had a refining month and really, a refining year. God is moving our hearts in a way that is completely changing our lives. 

For the last few years, I feel like the Lord has been pulling on me, drawing me away. Over and over, I feel more and more of a need to keep my head down and focus... to be quiet, get away from the noise, to cover my ears to the world's opinions. I've lost the desire to do many things I used to love doing, and lost interest in the things that used to make me happy. I don't have many words to say anymore.

I'm not really the same person I used to be. And it's a good thing, I'm sure.

It's crazy how when you walk away from the fleshly things you love, how the truth becomes so much more clear. Sin blinds us so. Our hearts deceive us in every way. The natural things that feel so right and good to you are actually killing you. And you can't even tell because you are addicted to them, and you're living under their spell. Leaving them behind will give you withdrawal pains for a while, but once you're free from them you see how they were only full of death and destruction.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that true joy is only found in giving up our entire will, our entire lives to the Father. 

The problem we have is that we think we are, when we're really not at all. 

Abraham could have "believed" Isaac belonged to God, but doing God's will looked like putting him on the altar and raising his knife. 

Moving obedience. 


God wants everything. Every single thing.

Though my hands are shaking, and my knees feel weak... I want to give it all to Him. 

And I trust that He will supply the strength I need to relinquish all of it.

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33