Saturday, October 1, 2016

october ONE.

It's crazy that another year is nearly gone.

It's crazy that this year
has brought a TEENAGER into my life,
that my baby girl turned one,
that I lived through and overcame post partum depression,
that I lost my grandfather, who helped raise me,
that I made new friends,
that I helped launch an entire women's ministry,
that we went through the hardest six months ever and lived to tell the tale.

It's been some kind of year! And I just pause and think about where I was one year and two years ago. You guys, I was suffering, internally suffering. My world two years ago a mess of pregnant hormones and prenatal depression. It was crumbling so hard and fast that I decided I was no longer mentally, emotionally, or physically equipped to homeschool my kids and I ran straight to the school and enrolled them. I spent nearly every day in bed for a minimum of half of my waking hours. I couldn't cook, I couldn't read, I couldn't speak to people, I could not even make decisions. I didn't know what to feed myself, I didn't know how to live my life. It was so sad. It was a deep, dark pit. I was not a great human being. I was mean and in a constant state of frustration.

One year ago, I had a bitty three month old, and things were looking up. The prenatal depression did not fully manifest into postpartum depression. (Praise God!) I had trouble getting my stride back, sure, but having my daughter sort of started a healing on my heart. She was a redemption song in my life. She was the last baby I never knew my heart needed. My boys are a part of my everything, without a doubt. But my baby number six, my daughter, she has completed us in ways I didn't know were possible. And juggling a newborn and going back to homeschool and not knowing about our job situation, it was all challenging back then.

Now, this year, this life. It's so beautiful. It's hard as heck some days trying to balance a busy, nursing toddler, while homeschooling five boys, and planning out ministry things, and then saying YES to even more scary things the Lord has asked me to step into. My heart is still healing, my heart still has moments where those dark feelings try to creep in and take over. But heavens, I am so thankful to be where I am today. To have found a hope to cling to when my daughter was born, to feel redeemed, to feel whole, well... that is one of the best feelings.

I'm certainly in a busy season in my life. And listen, y'all. I don't do busy. Like, ever. My kids aren't in activities, for that very reason. I'm fine with saying no when I need to, for realz. But right now, this busyness, I don't mind it. I am not complaining one bit. I'm just fully aware of what it is, I am acknowledging the busy. This busy is bringing me joy, perhaps even restoring some of it that has long been forgotten. Working for the Lord, not for man. Saying yes. Doing things afraid. Being fully myself, never too much, always enough. Remembering exactly who I am as Brooke, a daughter of the King. It's a glorious season, and I can't believe this is my life right now.

And we just can't believe it's October and we get to wear October colors!


Monday, September 26, 2016

the happenings lately.

Oh my wow, you guys. It's been over four months since I've uttered a word or dropped a photo onto this space!! What!?!? A lot has been going on, actually! And I've been doing everything but editing my personal photos and blogging. The absence wasn't intended, but maybe somehow I needed it.

We are homeschooling again this year with all the kids doing book work. If you'll remember, last year, I only schooled my first grader (barely) and my big two did Monarch, online. That did not work out. But I was coming out of the throes of prenatal depression, so I was in no place to do much teaching.  This year, though, I am so much better. Thank God. The prenatal did not turn in to postpartum. At least not long term. So I feel more like myself, and that feeling grows each and every day. I honestly think there is nothing more life sucking or draining than depression. It grabs hold and unleashes every bit of darkness that it can throw at you. There is a praise on my breath each morning because I have overcome that pit. All of that to say... I am now teaching all five boys this year! Am I qualified? .... ummm, not really (ha!), but I'm called, so I do. We're currently in our third week and we are moving right along. I only have one boy who likes to visit LaLaLand when I try to teach him (lol)! So I call that a win!

On top of getting back in to the swing of homeschooling, I spent my spring and summer partnering with someone else to get a women's ministry up and running through our church. Listen, this is not your grandma's women's ministry. (But mad respect for Grandma and her Bible Studying ways with other women. Without her, women's ministry would not be shaped much at all). SO, we spent the summer preparing to launch it this fall, and y'all, we had around 160 women sign up to go through our first Bible study as a women's group! Eek!!! It was wild! And Glory!!! because only God could spring forth that much life into something new. We're currently in the middle of that study and it is SO good! It's Open Your Bible by the She Reads Truthers, Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams. We also have some fun things and some heart things and some service things planned, as well as the next studies. We are so passionate about discussion based studies because it just allows for more time for women to chat and really open up and share their story. But darn it if there aren't any studies out there, save a few, that are discussion driven instead of video driven. But it's all fine and well, because we WILL figure this out (because God)!!

One thing The Lord has made abundantly clear through starting up this ministry is this:

You may not feel good enough or qualified enough or strong enough or (in my case) smart enough, but dadgumit, sometimes the Lord calls you to do something, and if you juuuuuust say YES and follow His prompts, he'll give you all the things you feel like your flesh is lacking. Because, y'all, I feel like I am not able all. the. time. But if I just turn heart and eyes upward, He will give me HIS knowledge, and HIS ideas, and HIS wisdom, and HIS strength, and HIS [thing I think I lack]. Isn't that crazy?! and awesome?! and awe-inspiring?! My jaw tends to drop and my eyebrows shoot up into my forehead when I think on all the things I can't do, but He can and will through me and with my life. Wrapping my brain around it takes some effort, no doubt. But saying YES is one of the best things ever, and sometimes the hardest.

I mean, the Lord has put a bug in my ear about a big project, and I DEFINITELY do not feel smart enough or capable enough to accomplish it. So saying YES was and is scary for me, but I'm saying it with heart turned up and hands held open. And being grateful for a partner who is definitely smart enough and able to help see our vision through. I can't wait to share it with you, but for now, just pray we can cast vision and accomplish our tasks with the Lord.

Also, my dear husband went back to work full time after working from home all summer. So we've has those changes going on at home, too. It always requires readjusting expectations and processes when the home life changes. But it's been great! We learned some super big lessons over the summer, and maybe one day, if we get together, I'll tell ya about them in person. So now, I'm home with all six kids all day by myself. And it's taken some adjusting, but we're doing good! Our routine since we started school back up has been such a huge thing, a great thing! It's just what we needed to restore any semblance of order around here (ha!! because you know, six kids and all). I'm excited for my husband, though. He's in a leadership position and totally thrives on leading others. He just has this way about him that makes people like him, respect him, and want to be part of his team. It totally makes me envious, lol! But for serious, he's going to do great things where he's at. And I'm so excited for him.

So that's that. My baby Ruby is 15 months old now, a whopping 19lbs. She's a petite little darling, and she's the perfect girl icing to our boy cake. (yeah, that was cheesy. sorry about that.) But she does make our family so complete and she makes it a thousand times better just because she's part of it! We all love her, and no kidding, I STILL cannot get over the fact that we have a baby girl in our family! I still feel so beyond blessed and just awe-struck, because she is so amazing!

Anyways, I hope to return to this space more (like I always say), but in the mean time, enjoy your week!!

Friday, May 27, 2016


I wanted to get some really adorable photos of my girl in her denim skinnies and my pearls and beads. But. Well, she basically just wanted to crawl to me after a few minutes and I really didn't think I actually got very many because she was so unhappy (tired, actually). However, it turns out that I got a few I LOVE and will be loading them up to to order some prints from our quick mini session! (also, she's 11mths and 3days old now, say what?!).

*sources at the bottom of the post.

because, belly.

This one of her attempts to put the beads around her head. cutest!

 so close!!

Her lips naturally have the most delicious color.

She is such a curious little girl, I just love it! She isn't afraid of much and thoroughly enjoys exploring anywhere she gets a chance!

I really just say YAY to watch her clap. Because, adorable. as. heck.

Hi, gorgeous.

backdrop: Joann
pearls + bead strands: SDCjewelry
photographs: ME! (I also take partial credit for the adorable baby.)


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