Like breathing or eating or peeing.

I have to write.

Dishes are piled up in the sink, a child is doing cartwheels off the couch, the puppy is chewing a lovely pair of shoes…

And here I sit, typing away on the computer with a smile on my face looking, as my husband says, just like Stevie Wonder. Only white.

I mean seriously. Life is delightfully full. My time is wrapped up in relationship. I have a wonderful, stud muffin man who melts me with his kisses, four adopted littles (12, 8, 5, 3) who do cartwheels off stuff, four bigs (31, 28, 26, 25) who are launching cool life adventures and a sweet mama who offers wisdom and support in the chaos. Add a cute little puppy who snuggles and wags and chews. And well, you get the picture.

So when am I going to write?

I know I don’t have time, but writing feeds me. I have to do it: like breathing, eating, peeing. It’s something I was born to do. And somehow writing to you about things happening to me – helps me see God better, feel him more, notice him more. And I so desperately want that. I don’t want to miss a single God kiss. I need him. Not only that, I need to share him with you. Share this with you. That’s what we are wired to do. Share life. Share Jesus. Share joy. Share laughter.

Oh, and I’m not the only one meant to do this. You have to do what you were made to do too. Because I feel him when you do. When you sing, dance, write, speak, paint, comfort, parent, teach. Do it, friends. You make him real to me, to us all. Please!

So there you have it. I’m all passionate and full. I’m ready to roll and this is my final blogging home.

I will import all the content from GodHasDimples and WhenHopeComesHome and will do the rest of my writing here. I promise.

Will you join me? Go do something you were meant to do and feel God’s pride and joy! Don’t worry too much if you don’t know exactly what it is. Try lots of things and see what gets you up in the morning with a smile on your face – making you look a whole lot like Stevie Wonder.

And then do it.

Can’t wait to see it!

Smiling big,

Elsa

Oh, and if you would like to receive these in your e-mail, you can click here and sign up to subscribe. 🙂 And then please let me know what you’re up to, so I can cheer you on too!

COUSIN!!!

She called her “Cousin.”

Not by her name, “Hannah,” but by her relationship. Like she calls us Mama and Papa and Oma, Hannah was Cousin.

And she said it a lot.

“Cousin!”

“Cousinnnnn!”

“COUSIN!”

Savannah adored the time with Hannah, her 14 year-old cousin visiting from South Carolina. They swam, they jumped on the trampoline, they played chase around the kitchen.

Savannah called to her cousin with such love, such longing – and she does the same thing with other people in her life.

Our new neighbor is “Neighbor.”

“Hi Neighbor! Do you want to come over and play?”

Her gymnastics teacher is “Coach.”

“I can do it by myself, Coach!”

The terms coming out of a three-year-old are endearing. Adorable. Cute.

Although even all grown up I love it when Brian introduces me as “My bride” or calls me “My love.”

It made me wonder – what if I did the same thing? Addressed people solely based on their relationship to me?

Friend, professional hair fixer, acquaintance, pain in my tushie…

God does it. Not the pain in the tushie part, but calls us by our role in his eyes.

Beloved

Son

Daughter

Bride

Treasure

Apple of my eye

Family

So that’s my random thought for the day, friends. You are his beloved, his treasure. Defined by love. He’s calling you.

Beloved! 

My son!

My daughter!

Rest in your name on his lips, your meaning to his heart.

You are his.

Give up, little mouse! It’s hopeless! Or is it?

The little guy wouldn’t give up. Brian, Hannah (my niece) and I watched as the tiny mouse reached from underneath the fireplace to grab one of Savannah’s balls. He pulled, he yanked and it just wouldn’t fit.

I filmed him. Added some goofy commentary. We laughed harder (see the 20 second video Here).

That little mouse tried to pull that ball through for a good 30 minutes, convinced that either the size of the ball or the solidity of the fireplace would eventually give.

It didn’t.

I kept laughing, Brian laughed, Hannah laughed. And eventually we went to bed, promising to buy a mouse trap in the morning.

This morning I woke up and the ball was gone. Gone. That little mouse figured it out. I have no idea how, no idea when, but while we were laughing at his foolishness, he was figuring it out. Darn if that little fighter didn’t make it happen.

I underestimated that critter.

And he taught me something.

Never give up.

You just might find a way.

No matter what big humans might be laughing at your efforts.

Savannah, Justin Bieber and a Dark Night

I’m 45 years old and I downloaded a Justin Bieber song.

It’s true.

Sure it was a while ago, but the lyrics came to mind this week.

As long as you love me, we could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke.

Now that’s sweet.

This last weekend Brian and I went camping up in the mountains. I carried Savannah on my back in a cool little pack and Brian carried all the rest of our gear – tent, sleeping bags, diapers, food and a million other “just in case” essentials.

And yet I was the one to get all the compliments from the other hikers.

“Wow, way to go.”

“Good job, Mom.”

Brian carried twice the weight and received half the glory.

I married a good man.

mtn1

So we got to the campsite, six miles up a long and winding trail. By the time we arrived, I was drenched from head to toe in sweat and my shoulders were aching. I was thrilled to see the cabin where we could check in and Savannah was thrilled to see all the other hikers. She doesn’t know a lot of words yet, but it doesn’t seem to matter. She’ll hold a conversation with just about anyone as long as they nod at her animated noises.

We finally headed off to our site, set up our tent and nestled into our jammies. I wondered at Savannah. This was her first time out in the wild. Her first time camping. Her first time hiking.

Would she hold up?

I wasn’t sure what a dark night and the cold mountain air might bring. I could picture us trying to rock her as she wailed at the injustice of it all. Where is my crib? What have you done? Why is there a bear nibbling on my ear?

Waaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

We laid out our sleeping bags and snuggled her in between us. She pulled her blankie up to her nose and looked around.

mtn2

Her eyelids did the sleepy shuffle and Brian and I exchanged smiling glances above her head. This just might work!

The sky darkened and Brian and I whispered a sweet conversation until our own bodies settled in.

At home Savannah usually wakes at 4 a.m. I’ll sneak in, give her a pacifier and off she’ll go to dreamland again. On this trip she woke up several more times than usual. Maybe it was the dark, the noise of the fellow campers, the colder night air.

I thought she might get undone, but instead, she woke up and reached out her hand. She touched my chest, “Mama.” She reached over to Brian, “Papa.”

And went back to sleep.

Four or five times through the night, “Mama,” “Papa.” Back to sleep.

She didn’t care if it was cold. Dark. Different. As long as we were there, she was fine.

I had a tougher week this week. My heart was hurt. I was tempted to pout, wail, ball up my fists. But then I remembered Savannah and her nighttime touches, and instead I imagined myself curling into my God’s arms, tapping his chest, “Papa.”

He’s there. I’m safe. And as long as he loves me, I can face anything.

Enter Justin Bieber: As long as you love me, we could be homeless, we could be starving, we could be broke.

Of course the week didn’t bring anything near as dramatic as all that, but the song came to mind. And yes, that’s why I downloaded a Justin Bieber song at 45 years old. It makes me think of my God and it reminds me of what’s important, no matter what this life brings.

He loves me. And I desperately need that.

But don’t expect me to dance. Or flip my hair as I gyrate my hips.

I have my limits.