I was talking with a colleague about a workshop we were working on together, and somehow the topic of ‘stability’ came up.  He said that he perceived my life to be an extremely stable one, and I found that to be an odd comment since I considered my life to be pretty unstable right now, so I asked him to tell me more about that.

We discovered that we defined stability in different ways – he perceived stability through the capacity to ‘take a hit,’ frequently through the lens of finances; and I perceived stability as a pattern of predictability, creating the capacity to develop plans and a sense of constancy/dependability, frequently through the lens of time.

After thinking about this conversation, I was curious what the dictionary would say about its definition, so here’s what it said:

[stey-buh l] 
adjectivestabler, stablest.
1. not likely to fall or give way, as a structure, support, foundation, etc.; firm; steady.
2. able or likely to continue or last; firmly established; enduring or permanent: a stable government.
3. resistant to sudden change or deterioration:  A stable economy is the aim of every government.
4. steadfast; not wavering or changeable, as in character or purpose;dependable.
5. not subject to emotional instability or illness; sane; mentally sound.

Of course, I think we’re both right to an extent – it’s just a slightly different way of viewing stability.  But thinking about stability as the capacity to ‘take a hit’ and stay firm or steady made me think about what’s been frustrating me or what I’ve been longing for since giving birth to Isabel…or rather my whole life.


New mercies every morning.

Isabel is now 3 months old, and one thing that the Lord has been putting before me as a motif throughout this postpartum season has been the fact that each day I get a chance to start fresh.  No matter how the day has gone, whether it started off rocky or got messy in the middle or the evening ended up being just okay, God’s mercies would be new the next day.

God’s mercies are new every morning.

As someone who grew up in a Christian home, this phrase has always washed over me.  It was something I heard all the time and knew in my head that it was true, and was so familiar with it that I didn’t even know from what part of the Bible the phrase came from.  So I looked it up:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

–Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

Ah, Lamentations.  What an appropriate book for this phrase to come from.  I didn’t know how I would feel when Isabel was first born and how that might change over time.  I had heard/read that it could take some time to bond with your baby, but I had also heard that parents can feel such an overwhelming joy that they had never experienced before, and that they can’t imagine life without their little one.

I feel like I’ve been somewhere in between.

For one thing, I felt immense relief when Isabel was born.  I was both tired and excited to meet this new little person.  And since then, I’ve been a bit all over the map.  For a recovering perfectionist like me, it’s especially hard as a first time mama to figure out how to thrive or even survive when you’re not sure how to communicate with this little person and she doesn’t come with an instruction manual.

There are days where I feel like I’ve messed up over and over and over again.  I constantly have to apologize to Isabel when I don’t know what she needs, telling her that Mama’s doing her best.  Not only do I often feel as though I’m failing Isabel as a mother, but I often find myself failing as a wife in the process.  I constantly need to ask Nathan for forgiveness because I’ve taken my frustration out on him, or am resentful about him not serving me the way I want him to.  I have to really stretch myself to ask him for help when I don’t want to in order to take care of our family.

Each day is a breach into the unknown, and each day seems to be filled to the brim with worries that re-open like old wounds and facing my inadequacies as a human being, with a sprinkling of hope and joy.

But that’s the beauty of receiving new mercies every morning.

After looking up the Lamentations 3 passage, I thought it was appropriate that verse 23 ends with, “great is your faithfulness.”  Again, it’s a hymn that is well-known but has not meant as much to me as it does now.  The last verse and chorus particularly resonate with me in this season:

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see!
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided –
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” Lord, unto me.


My first Thanksgiving Menu

Apparently, due to some of my family’s indecisiveness (we know where I get it from), I am now preparing Thanksgiving dinner for my mom’s side of the family.  While I’m not thrilled about the roundabout way we got to this plan, I am excited to make lots of yummy food!  I’ve never had the chance or time to make anything for Thanksgiving in the past, so I’ve been trying to brainstorm a plan for our meal.  Here are some ideas I have:

  1. Gruyere Mushroom Caramelized Onion Bites or Cranberry Bacon Jam Crostinis or Savory Pumpkin and Bacon Dip – Right now I can’t decide between these 3 for appetizers.  I’m thinking the cranberry bacon jam crostinis would be a nice way to include cranberries without making a cranberry sauce.
  2. Slow Cooker Maple Dijon Chicken and Broccoli – I was thinking, since I am making an entire meal to feed 11 people, I should probably minimize as much work as possible.  What better solution than a slow cooker recipe?  And while I would love to cook a special red meat (no way am I attempting a turkey), my aunt does not really prefer red meat, so I thought I’d go for Thanksgiving chicken.  Self high-five.
  3. Green Bean Casserole – I love making it from scratch, and it can be made ahead of time.  A great Thanksgiving vegetable!
  4. Cornbread Stuffing – I’ve always loved the idea of this, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually eaten it.  I do love me a good cornbread, too.
  5. Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Balsamic Reduction – If I decide I need a second side, I’ll make these beauties.  Love brussel sprouts.
  6. Dinner Rolls or Sour Cream Horseradish Mashed Potatoes – I’ve never tried making rolls before, but now seems like a good time as ever.  I can’t decide if I should make rolls or mashed potatoes, though.  I made these mashed potatoes for Easter and they were a hit.  Or maybe I’ll just end up making both.
  7. Pumpkin Pie – I have not had enough pumpkin food this fall.  I’m an eat-pumpkin-all-year-round believer, but I enjoy the concentrated season for pumpkin, and have certainly not yet had my fill.  I definitely have to make maple whipped cream, too!
  8. Sweet Tea Sparkling Apple Cider – A cocktail, perhaps?