Every month in 2019, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into the previous month. I thought this would be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our month and recap some of the highs and lows and special memories of the month.

April started out with getting to have Audrey & Jeremy Roloff to our house to be on the podcast.

Then, I left on a school bus with a bunch of 7th and 8th graders to help with our church’s Middle School Camp.

I’m not part of student ministry at our church but my good friend Lauren (who is a leader in student ministry at our church) was telling me they were short on leaders who were available to go to the 7th-8th grade camp.

Well, I got one of my crazy enneagram 7wing ideas and said, “I’d be happy to go if they could use my help!”

It was the BEST weekend. And that’s kinda crazy for this introvert/Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) to say seeing as I stayed in a cabin with 20 girls/leaders!

In fact, I kept thinking all weekend, “Maybe I should do student ministry!!” But then I remembered that this is my season to be in women’s ministry and my plate is a little full right now between that and being a wife and mom and working full-time! 😉

But folks, I just LOVE middle schoolers! And I especially loved getting to hang out with my favorite middle schooler who was there (Kaitlynn).

We went deep and talked about what it means to live wholeheartedly. We worshipped together. And there were tears and lots of raw honesty and heartfelt conversations and prayer about very real and painful struggles.

There was also plenty of fun. Zip-lining (my happy place), trying to flip on the giant swing (I didn’t succeed!), cereal parties, awful and hilarious karaoke, dance parties, and so much laughter.

{Kaitlynn’s notes from one of the messages at camp.}

Oh and two hours to Kentucky and back with 34 very sugared-up middle schoolers that involved wasps on the bus, Gummi Bear throwing, singing, and heavy rain the leaked through the bus roof for at least an hour!

There wasn’t a dull moment and I’m so grateful for all of it — and to the amazing leaders who invest so much into these kids’ lives. I have a whole new level of respect for them!
Also, I loved getting to serve alongside Lauren. She’s such a good friend and a gift in my life and getting to serve with your friends is one of the best ways to deepen your relationships. Zip-lining together doesn’t hurt, either (see last photo). ❤️

We also ate so many Homemade Energy Bites. I lost track of how many batches we made this past month!

My friend, Katherine, invited me to go with her to see John Crist at the Ryman. And then she totally surprised me when we got there by saying she had bought as front row seats! It was pretty cool to be up that close!

I am so grateful for the kind, gracious, and giving people God has put into my life like Katherine. She is always encouraging me and I love it when we get to hang out.

She came to me on Sunday morning in April and asked if we could both wear our matching “fancy” dresses and high heels to church (thank you, Amazon!)

I honestly was planning to wear a super casual outfit to church and there was part of me that wanted to come up with an excuse or reason to say no to the extra work it would require to get “gussied up”.

Plus, people don’t really dress up much at our church and I knew my shoes and dress would likely make me stand out.

But then it hit me: My 11-year-old daughter wants to *match* with me. This is a GIFT. Who cares if I stand out? Who cares if people wonder if I accidentally got my dates wrong and thought it was Easter?

Yes, it meant taking a little extra time but the smile on her face and the excitement when she saw me all dressed up was SO worth it!

Then, as we were walking into church, she reached for my hand to hold it. And I could see how crazy proud and happy she was to be matching her mom.

These days are fleeting. These moments are priceless. And this little choice I made to “say yes to the dress”, was 100% worth it.

April also included a LOT of flag football! Silas was chosen to be the quarterback and the rusher this season, so he had a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and he handled it so well. (Though I admit it’s stressful to be on the sidelines as mom!)

We finished out 9 months of the Discipleship Program by me leading a session on remembering, rejoicing, and re-telling what God has done.

We studied Joshua 24 and the stones of remembrance and then we all made our own stone.

Here was my stone — with the word Enough on it. A reminder to me that God is enough for me and that I am enough in Him, something that He has taught me over and over again this past year.

Jesse’s grandma, whom we all affectionately refer to as “Oma” had a health scare in April and had to be hospitalized and then have bypass surgery. Jesse got to go to Wichita to be with his family the week of the surgery and I was so grateful he was able to go. We got to see her the following week when we went down to Easter. She’s such a fighter and was already back home and determined to make a full recovery and be better than she was before!

I’ll admit, I kind of felt badly when I saw all of the cute dresses, adorable matching outfits, and beautiful family photos in my feed for Easter.

We didn’t even get a family photo for Easter because we spent most of the day traveling back from our whirlwind weekend trip to Kansas.

As I was kind of feeling sad that I was maybe the one of the only people on the internet to not have an Easter family photo to share, I realized that it’s okay to march to the beat of a different drum.

I can appreciate and celebrate the cute kids and big smiles and pretty dresses and adorable coordinating outfits. I can celebrate my friends and online friends who are posting these.

But that doesn’t mean I’m less of a mom if I don’t have photographic proof of the Easter we had.

As the saying goes, “Her success is not my failure.”

Instead of a coordinating matching Easter outfits photo, I did get this photo the day before Easter — which makes me so happy because there were so many laughs involved in our quick stop to treat the kids to lunch at one of our favorite fast food restaurants in Kansas: Spangles!

Note: I made the mistake of saying on Instagram stories that I like Spangles better than Chick-fil-A. Let’s just say, the internet did not like that. At all! But hey, what was that I said about marching to the beat of a different drum?

Silas spent quite a bit of time in April working on his science fair project — which was a remake of Kathrynne’s: a tornado simulator.

Jesse and I went and looked at tile for our bathroom since we’re getting ready to remodel it. We had no idea what we were doing and I had to ask the lady, “Could you tell us what goes on the walls and what goes on the floors?”

We spent the last few days of April on a trip to Destin, FL. It was our first time to go and it every bit lived up to the hype people have given it!

I am so grateful for the gift of these friendships. And if there’s one thing I can encourage you to invest in and prioritize, it’s life-giving relationships.

People who believe in you, but who will also call you out when you need some hard truth.

People who will celebrate your success, but who ultimately love you for you — not how many followers you have or how much money you make.

People who will laugh with you and cry with you.

People who have seen you at your worst and still love you.

People who see the best in you and who bring it out of you.

People who give you the freedom to be 100% uniquely you, with all your quirks and baggage AND gifts and talents.

People who don’t make you feel like you need to be more or be less.

And when you find these people, prioritize the relationships, even when you are tired or stressed or have a lot on your plate. It’s so worth it!

Don’t have these kinds of relationships? My best advice is to start reaching out and being that kind of friend to someone else. ❤️

Yes, I’m in the above beach picture. Can you spot me in my accidental bearded disguise?? 😉

I cannot stop laughing at this photo from our beach trip.

We were trying to do one of those cute “everyone jump at the same time and look all happy and graceful and excited to be at the beach” photos.

Only, when I jumped up and excitedly flung my hands into the air, I smacked Jesse in the head really hard and then hollered out in shock from the pain in my arm and the concern that I had hurt him.

He was fine. I was fine. But we forever have this perfectly timed photo to remember the moment by.

Also, notice how completely opposite we are compared to our friends… who, as someone messaged me earlier, look like they are professional “photo jumpers.”

There’s a little peek into our April. How was YOUR April?

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