Started strong. Quietly enthusiastic in his quintessential Eli way. Half way up.
A glance down. 
Recognition of how high he is slowly spreads all over his face. 
Upward motion halted. Need to come down apparent.
Unable to let go. One hand gripping at all times.
Watch the others come down, all the others, with his very own eyes.
Others offer encouragement, you-can-do-it's, and eventually...pleadings.
Still stuck.

Started strong. Nothing but patience. We've come so far.
Heart hurts that he feels stuck.
Hate that he feels anxious, fear.
Mingled with pride...look how high up he got!
More patience. Some pleadings.
I know he will get down.
It'll just be on his terms, his time...or when his arms give out.
And I'll be here for the landing.
I'll always be here.
My role as his mom played out in this: I provided the experience, the lesson, the equipment, the encouragement, and a pair of eyes to watch.
He has to climb. He has to trust. And, eventually...he has to jump.
I just hope to get to see it with my very own eyes.

He did it. 
He let go.
We high-fived.
I asked what he was feeling up there. 
He answered...anxious. 
I answered...I understand.
We come up with a plan. Try again. This time only climb to a lower level.
He did it. 
And did it again, one handhold higher.
And again. And again. And again.
Hands blistered. 
Time to rest.
Pride felt, by both of us. 
More than walls were scaled today.
I'm just so very thankful I got to see it with my very own eyes.

I've seen a lot of sauntering into 2019,
messages of work harder, 
do better,
be your best self, ever,

At first glance it seems good,
inspiring, maybe?

Yet, I know the truth of those stories. 
They ring hollow,
for they rely on...well, me

And I know me.
I've been let down by me more times than I can count.
I've been disappointed by me more than I'd care to admit.

Here's my true story,
not exactly Instagram-worthy, but what I've come to know as trustworthy, 
solid, and that which will never ring hollow.

My prayer and cry as I welcomed this new year...

Gently reveal the lies,
bring the false stories to the surface,
for though I appear capable on the outside:

In myself I do not have the strength 
or the wisdom or the ability
to accomplish the tasks to which I am called for this new year of life.

Apart from the very Spirit of God breathing life
into my incomplete and sin-tainted efforts,
apart from the Father blessing and 
my inadequate offerings,
apart from my Lord meeting me
in my stumbling attempts at faithfulness,
no good work will come to fruition,
no achievement will endure,
no lasting benefit will come of my labors.

And so I must come repeatedly
to the end of trust in my own strength,
that I may avail myself
again and again of His strength.

- Every Moment Holy

I am seen and loved,
fully known,
given a ministry, a message,
surprised with a joy I cannot explain,
even on the darkest of days...
Give me the courage to show up as myself in 2019. 
For I am one desperately living in my weakness and resting in His power.

This. Is. My. Truest. Story.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Posterity  - noun
succeeding or future generations collectively:
A photographer recorded the scene for posterity.

December 2018:
Holiday Vintage Ball, 
Holiday visits to and from grandparents,
Christmas Farm lights,
Christmas dates,
trips to the river,
Gingerbread showdown with our life group,
time for finishing long overdue baby books,
Ugly Sweater Christmas party,
cherishing old recipes,
and moments of quiet, creativity, and reflection.


December is past.
A month with the propensity for hurry, for busy, for filling...
Parties, shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, traveling,
and lots and lots (and lots) of family togetherness.
Good things.

And yet, my soul can feel overstuffed.
Like my house when I let the clutter pile up.
When I let the things take over.

It's time to make room.
To de-clutter.
To allow space in my soul...
for sitting down,
for noticing,
and for worship.

And so, we went down to the river.
We took time to sit.
And notice.
And worship.

Making room for the new things,
the new year,
and mostly, resting in the God who never changes.

Image result for image of snow melting

Why this sadness at the melting?
Why this sinking,
as the green and brown emerges?

Snow brings an unmarked, unaltered, unmarred landscape.
Of course, I do not want the beauty of such fresh covering to end,
for it brings forth uncontested satisfaction in my deep places -
such peace, such perfection.

The white immaculacy,
has broken open a window for me,
a wedge through which I have glimpsed
a vision of things as they one day will be,
growing in me a yearning for a place my eyes have yet to see.

May I return now to this life of mud and mess,
thankful for a truer vision and a motivating hope,
trailing with me remnants of that coming beauty.

And so, let this melting do it's work in me,
O, Christ.

Best. Week. Ever.

No, seriously. Best week ever. 

We carved out a week from our lives and schedules for the 1st ever Hambrick Family Vacation to the Outer Banks of NC. Now, we've obviously traveled a lot and gone on other vacations but its always been ministry related or with other friends and family or for just one or two nights. Never have we done a "family only" trip for an entire week...and it did not disappoint!

From swimming to putt-putt, boogie boarding to shell hunting, naps and Phase 10, climbing Jockey's Ridge dunes, sneaking away on dates to celebrate 15 years of marriage, walking the boardwalk, ice-cream every day, bike rides and the kids personal highlight of driving the "gulf" cart...the week was nothing short of perfect. 

The older the kids get the faster it seems to go...and we realize more and more that "they" were right: the days are long but the years are short. And weeks like these are a gift.