It Will Get Better

It Will Get Better

Do you ever feel like you just hit a brick wall?

Your day was great, until…
The project was a sure success, until…
The relationship was making headway, until…

Until what? What causes a good thing to grind to a screeching halt? Or worse, what causes things to begin slipping backward?

I wish I knew.

It happened to me this week. It was as if, at 3:47pm on Tuesday, my joy simply dissipated. I was discouraged. I was overwhelmed. Even the simplest tasks were grudgingly done.

Trust me, that’s not fun to experience or admit. I’d love to think my life is always perfect…

But I’m under no illusions. 

This week has been exhausting. So was last week. Unfortunately, sometimes the feeling of defeat hangs on for more than a few days when times of busyness, anxiety, grieving, or depression wear out our hearts.

We’re tempted to complain and ask God why he puts us through hard times. My challenge to you is this: Next time you feel discouraged and defeated, ask instead what he is trying to teach you.

Learning experiences aren’t usually fun, are they? They’re hard. They’re challenging. They stretch you out of your comfort zone and past what you thought you could handle. And that’s okay.

There is good news, though: We always get through hard times.

With extra prayers for strength and grace, I made it to Wednesday. And then to Thursday.

And guess what? Things are getting better. Sleep, prayer, and a good conversation with a good friend have been enough to keep my discouragement at bay. (The ice cream didn’t hurt either…)

So, friends, if you’re going through something difficult today, this week, month, or year, here is some encouragement—it will get better. Exhaustion is a reminder that we can’t do things on our own. Thankfully, we don’t have to! Lean on the Lord.

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My Other Family

I already have an amazing family. I love them, and I’m sure I’ll write a post about them sometime. (Never fear, family.)

Today, however, I’m marveling at the indescribable blessing of having been accepted into someone else’s family. As a nanny, I’ve been integrated into their home in a way most people don’t get to experience.

It’s been life changing.

For over two years now, I’ve spent more time than I can count with this lovely family. When I started nannying, there was only one little man to take care of. He was 7 months—still just a baby. Now he’s over two and a half. They’ve also had another little peanut, and he’s now almost 1 year old!

Both of these little boys have claimed a bigger piece of my heart than I’d ever imagined they would.

It’s incredible to see their lives change. I’m able to experience the world through new eyes, and their wonder and excitement overflows onto me!

As their nanny, I spend a lot of time with them. I also really respect and look up to both of the boys’ parents, and I’m so thankful for the chance to work with their mother’s business. She’s taught me a lot about entrepreneurship, design, and so much more. I never even dreamed I’d have that opportunity, when I first agreed to nanny. I wasn’t even thinking about it when I began my internship at Engedi. God certainly works in mysterious ways.

I treasure each day I’m able to spend with this family, and I know I will never forget them, no matter what direction God takes me.


With that said, I was able to take some family photos of them last Saturday at a beach near us! We definitely went for more candids, since we knew trying to pose the young boys would be more difficult. Plus, it was fun!

I love how the photos turned out! Hopefully they do as well. Which one is your favorite?

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Time for a Confession…

Yes. I have a problem, and it’s time for a confession:

Time for a Confession...

I am a notebook addict.

The addiction is tempered by my college student budget and penchant for buying coffee, books, and things I don’t need on Amazon. I don’t go shopping often, but when I do, I find myself wandering down too-familiar aisles, reaching for something new. Charming covers. Soft leather. Luxurious paper. Classy details. I’m drawn to them, and even before I own them, my mind spins with dreams of how I’ll fill them.

I have notebooks designated for a wide variety of uses. Journals. Daily notes. To-Do lists. School. Work. Inspiration. Writing.

The happy little books clutter my shelves and my heart with endless handwritten memories. Page after page filled with scribbles, sketches, and stains from carelessly sipped coffee or tea.

Some of my notebooks line my bookshelves, nightstand, and desk like devoted little soldiers, long after their pages have been filled. I pull them out occasionally to relive or remember. Others are thrown away when their usefulness has run it’s course.

As an aside: This post is prompted as I’m struggling to get rid of some of my old notebooks. Half used but well loved, they’ve taken up too large of a drawer for too long. Does anyone else develop attachments to journals? Apparently I do, because this weeding out process is difficult.

It helps that I know that next time I go shopping, I’ll end up with more notebooks in my cart, whether or not I intended it. I’ll give them a good home, and fill them with ideas and love.

Here’s a peek at some of my favorites!

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A breathtaking leather notebook given to me by my boyfriend. He knows what I love!

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Bold. Italian. A Christmas gift from my lovely friend Rachel.

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A gift from my grandparents. It’s so beautiful and ethereal. I’m filling it with story inspiration!

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A beautiful leather journal given to me for graduation by my youth pastor. “Smells like cow!”

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A lovely, soft, Celtic notebook. Actually, this was given to my brother. He wouldn’t use it, so he gave it to me! Huzzah!

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I bought this one for myself… because it’s a good reminder!

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I haven’t found a use for this one yet, but I’ll get there. For now, it’s adorning my desk.

Plus many, many, many more. 

Long Distance Friendship

“Friends come and go. So do best friends. But best friends always find their way back.”

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Melody Bellora and I have been best friends since we were four. We grew up together. I remember the sweet, carefree days of scooter club, Christmas plays, and wearing fuzzy slippers to church. We watched Disney on Ice for my 10th birthday, had craft nights, and went camping.

We shared all aspects our lives, big and small.

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Then she moved away. It was the summer we were both 10, and I vividly remember laying my head on our dining room table and crying when mom broke the news. They were moving to California; which, to my young mind, seemed like Siberia.

I convinced myself they would move back in a couple years, and things would go back to the way they always were. No dice.

It’s been 9 years now, and the Belloras are still happily settled in San Diego, with a wonderful life and community there. They’re as likely to move back to Michigan as my family is to move to California. (Hint: Not very.)

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Melody and my lives have changed incredibly since we were 10, and in some ways I feel that I can’t be even remotely the same person as I was back then. How do we still connect so easily? At times, we’ve gone long stretches without talking… to my chagrin. Somehow, however, every time we see each other, it is as if she’s been here all along. We talk as easily and enjoy each other as much as we used to. We have similar interests, tastes, and senses of humor.

Can friends be made for each other? If so, we are.

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We seem to have developed in some strange parallel way. We have both changed, but our friendship has remained the same. I am so thankful for Melody, and the friendship we’re able to sustain over 2195 miles.

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Moments Like These

Isn’t it so often the little details that are most memorable?

You notice the smallest things about a person when we fall in love. Family reunions aren’t measured by the agenda or itinerary, but by the hugs and laughter. Years after the fact, you may not remember a specific race, but I bet you’d remember crossing the finish line!

It is a precious day indeed that is full of those memories. Yesterday was one of those days for me. 

Moments Like These

It was a normal day at work, and really, nothing that happened was terribly out of the ordinary. But yesterday, it all seemed so significant. So sweet.

In the morning, Little Man helped me build endless block towers, which Peanut proceeded to knock over. Every time a tower would topple, both boys would be sent into fits of giggles, like they had never seen anything more enjoyable.

After both boys had eaten lunch, Peanut and I were sitting on the porch watching Little Man ride his motorcycle around and chase the dog. He came back grinning and holding handfuls of dandelions in his chubby fingers. He presented them to me proudly, dropping them one by one into my hands. “I picked you flowers, Erika!” He held one up to his nose, sniffing it dramatically. “Mmmm, I smell it! Smells good. Smell a flower!”

And of course, I did.

When it was time for his nap, we cuddled in his tiny toddler bed together and read a book. When we finished, he lay down and asked for a song, a hug, and a kiss. I obliged. As I slipped out the door, his little voice followed me. “I love you, Erika! Goodnight.”

Be still my heart. When did Little Man turn into a charmer?

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It’s moments like these that remind me how much of a blessing my job is. How much I adore these little boys, and the precious time I have to spend with them. Someday, they’ll grow up and I won’t see them anymore. They’ll be men, and they might not remember their nanny. I, however, will always have these memories. I’m storing them up in a special place in my heart—a place for happy things.

My heart is very full.

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