In the pause between Christmas and New Year’s, when things slow down long enough to think about what the new year could look like, don’t forget to make room to do the good and necessary work of tending to the unseen, hidden places of your heart and soul.
Although it is work that is often not seen by others, it serves as a foundation on which to build all the rest.
Happy New Year!
To help you with the work of maintaining a quiet, steady heart, consider taking the month of January to establish a rhythm of prayer with Secure, my prayer guide and 31 day prayer journal.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram @baker.susannah.
Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, is time for Christians to prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming. Celebrating Advent is one of my favorite things we do a family all year. For ideas on how your family can celebrate Advent this year, take five minutes to watch the video below.
To order your copy of Asheritah Ciuciu’s Advent family devotional, Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, click here.
For daily encouragement through Alicia Britt Chloe’s Instagram posts on the book of Luke this Advent season, click here.
Enjoy celebrating this Advent season and preparing your hearts for Christ’s coming! I would love to hear about ideas and traditions you and your family and friends share as well.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram, @baker.susannah.
Two weeks ago, I shared a new tool I created called How to Turn Loss Into Gain. If you haven’t already seen it, click HERE to download.
I would encourage you over the next several weeks as the year draws to a close that you take some time to pause in a few moments of quiet and use this tool to help you process all of your losses that have accumulated throughout the year.
Because let’s face it: we have all endured loss this year. Lots of it. But hoping and praying for a new year to start and all of our loss to be erased isn’t realistic or even possible.
Loss doesn’t go away when we bury it, ignore it, or wish it away.
Loss is transformed as we honestly process it before the presence of a good God and a faithful Father.
And as we think, pray, and process through all of the loss, one thing remains clear. If 2020 has taught us one thing, it has taught us this: God alone is our stable, secure, all-satisfying treasure.
Period. That’s it.
The economy, money, and job security? Nope.
The reliability of our rhythms, routines, and schedules? Not a chance.
Our school systems and educational opportunities? Not that either.
Our kids’ after-school activities? Hah.
Face-to-face encounters with family members, friends, and people we hold dear? No way.
Oh, wait, our ability to meet on Sundays and gather together for worship? Not that either.
It’s crazy. In one single year, through one single pandemic, every single source of stability and security went up in flames and left many of us floundering in the process.
But through it all, God has remained stable. Every morning when I’ve woken up, He’s still been there. Every time I’ve opened His Word, poured over His promises, prayed and asked for His Presence, He’s come. Without a mask, without conditions, without social distancing, God has been there through it all.
God hasn’t secured all of my circumstances; in fact, some of them still remain pretty shaky. But God Himself has remained secure even when my circumstances have not.
And isn’t that the real treasure? Isn’t that the goodness and the gift we have all been hungering and aching for?
Deep down, buried underneath our desire for stable circumstances is our desire for a stable God who uses all of our circumstances for our good and His glory.
You can’t beat that kind of a deal.
But here’s where I get stuck.
I still want my treasure and my security to be the thing I’m holding onto so tightly rather than God.
I try to demand security and success from things that just aren’t stable. Things like people and friendships and job security and bank statements and my hormonal teenage daughters’ attitudes and outlooks on life. Things like school schedules and school days and after-school-sports and activities. Things like church services and ministry opportunities and gatherings for worship and prayer.
While many of the things on my list are good things, they aren’t things that are fault-proof and immune from instability.
There is a deep crack that runs through everything, whether we can see it or not. Sometimes it takes an earthquake to realize the fault line is there buried beneath the surface as the structures you always thought were stable come tumbling down around you. But it wasn’t that the structures were ever really that stable; the fault line was always there. We just couldn’t see it.
The only stable one is God.
That’s because He is the only thing and the only one in this world without the fault. Without the crack. He alone stands apart from the curse and the crevice of sin that shook the foundation of this world in Genesis 3 when everything fell apart.
That’s why in Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to Me.” Come to Me. Because coming or going to anything else is like building your house on the San Andreas Fault and just crossing your fingers and hoping like crazy when an earthquake comes, your house will be the only thing left standing.
Spoiler alert: it won’t.
2020 has shown us that.
But 2020 has also shown us a God who, in His severe mercy, sometimes allows the earthquakes to come. He allows us to tremble, crack, and even fall so that we will move the foundation of our hearts from a fault line to Him, our only stable, secure source.
A process that has sustained me through this year is a way of praying I started when we brought our youngest daughter home from China. During those first few years we had her home, every morning, I woke up a wreck. And every morning, I would sit down with my cup of coffee, my journal, and my Bible, and start writing and praying my way through the Psalms. During that season, I was forced to deal with places in my heart where I had built on a fault line instead of the steady, secure presence of the Lord.
Over the course of several years, God moved from me from insecure to secure. From unstable to stable. Not because I changed. But because where I went to for my security changed.
I stopped going to my people, my parents, my friends, my kids, and spouse, and most significantly, I stopped going to myself, and I started going to God.
Because I couldn’t hold it together anymore, I started going to the One who held me. And once I did, He started building my broken heart back together.
If you are in the same position today, I am holding out hope for you. This is not hope or healing that comes quickly, easily, or magically. It comes slowly, quietly, purposefully, and deliberately as you commit to praying and processing your life before the face of God.
There are six steps in processing and prayer I used and still use to this day:
- Get Real.
- Root It Out.
Get Real – I set my timer for five minutes, and I get real before the face of God. During those five minutes (and sometimes it stretches to ten), I word vomit everything that I have been holding in from the day before. I admit who I really am, what I really feel like, who has hurt me, and how I have hurt others. Sometimes my pen doesn’t even lift off of the page. My sentences are strung together word after word and line after line and the only one who can really understand or know my thoughts is God alone.
Repent – Once I’ve gotten everything off of my chest, I repent. I name my sin as sin and I call the evil in my life for what it is. I cry out to God and ask Him to deliver me and heal me from the separation and hurt my sin has caused in myself and others. If someone has sinned against me, I use this time to name that sin as well but then to forgive and leave the person and the offense in the hands of God, hands much more capable than mine.
Root It Out – This step is the game changer for me: I then take a few moments to process and think through what led me to my sinful or stressful behavior in the first place. Behind every sinful, fearful, angry, disdainful, lustful, hurtful thought, action, or attitude is a lie I have been believing about who God is or what He can do. Because of this, I have to root out the lies I have been believing about the character of God and people or things I have looked to secure my footing instead of God Himself. Many times, my sin is a recurring pattern in my life, not just a one time offense. So stopping to think through, Why did I say what I did? or Why am I so envious? or Why was I so quick to take offense? or Why can I not forgive? or Why did I react with so much anger? is huge. This is what moves me from staying stuck to freedom on the other side.
Replace – Next, I replace the lie I have believed with the truth. I diligently and actively search God’s Word and take the truth and the promises that He shows me and begin to apply them to the beliefs in my heart and head. I think through the implications for His goodness and character in my life, and I stop agreeing with the voice of the enemy who condemns and accuses me. I start to actively agree with the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ who speaks to me through His Spirit and His Word, who forgives me and pardons me, who loves me and covers me, and who restores and directs me down path of right relationship with Him and with others for His Name’s sake.
Release – Then I release my day into God’s capable hands. Sometimes this looks like sitting quietly for five minutes and thinking through a verse in Scripture word by word or line by line. While I pray and think through the words, I release worry, fear, or shame, and receive God’s forgiveness, mercy, and steadfast love. Sometimes this looks like getting down on my knees or sitting with my hands, palms facing down, to release or surrender specific people and events in my day to the Lord. If certain emotions of fear or stress pop back up during my day, I can go back to those few minutes in the morning and remember, “Stop. I don’t have to worry, I don’t have to stress, and I don’t have to fear. I have already released this into God’s capable hands and He’s got this. To try to pick it back up again is trying to carry something He alone can carry.”
Receive – Finally, I receive. I receive the reminder that the Spirit of God is with me for every step of the journey ahead. Sometimes I do a slow breathing exercise for 1-3 minutes of breathing in for four seconds and then exhaling slowly for eight seconds. While breathing, I focus on a particular word or verse God has used to speak to me during my time in prayer and His Word. Sometimes this looks like turning my palms up to receive the reminder that the Holy Spirit is with me, and I am not alone. The life I live is lived by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20). I am not able to believe or live out His promises in my own strength. I am not able to build the foundation of my life on Him alone without the help of His Spirit. I do all those things through Another who lives in me. And I must continually remind myself of this and position my heart and body in such a way that receives the life and help He has to give.
Does this process take time in my day? Yes.
Does this process take time before I see consistent change in my own life? Yes.
But let me tell you something: it works.
It works not because I gradually become a better person but because the foundation of my heart is moved to rest upon the only stable, secure source that exists. I grow more stable, more secure, more confident, and more at peace because my heart is rooted in an unshakeable God.
Be on the lookout in the next two weeks for a new downloadable PDF to help you with this process. You can subscribe by clicking HERE to have this tool delivered straight to your inbox, or you can check back on my website under Free Tools in two weeks.
But for now, set a timer for five minutes each day, and give yourself permission to get real about your day, about your year, about your losses.
Start to immerse yourself in Scripture (the Psalms are a great place to start) and root out the lies you have been believing about who God is and what He can do.
Start by repenting of your sin and unstable ways as God shows them to you.
Start replacing the lies with the truth of God’s goodness, power, and desire to work on your behalf.
And finally, start to receive. Receive the power of the Holy Spirit in your life (John 20:22) to help you live out your identify as a fully loved, stable and secure child of God.
2020 is almost in the past, but God’s goodness, love, and power to redeem is what’s waiting in the future.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram, @baker.susannah.
I still remember the day I didn’t make the 7th grade girls volleyball team. I stood in a cluster of girls with bangs and braces around a bulletin board in the school hallway while looking up at the list of names pinned to the board. I still remember the flushed feeling of my face and the disappointed and embarrassed ache in my heart when I realized my name wasn’t on the list. It was as if the list bore confirmation to the subconscious thoughts always circling around in my head and heart – “Yep. This just shows you’re not enough – never have been, never will be.”
Rejection hurts, no matter if you are 13 or 43.
But while rejection usually has the first word in our ears when we miss the mark or miss the grade or don’t make the team, it doesn’t have to have the last word.
After you’ve been rejected (and let’s face it – who hasn’t been rejected? It’s part and parcel of living as a human on this earth), it takes a ton of work not to see all of life through the lens of “not enough,” shame, embarrassment, and failure. It’s hard not to make inner promises and vows of, “I don’t need them,” or “I’ll just show them later,” and walk off either stuffing our hurts or spewing our hurts in unhealthy ways.
Lately, I’ve found that I need a refresher course on how to walk through rejection. Not just for myself, but for my kids. Because with the start of every new school year comes the start of new friend groups, new teams, and new tryouts. Everyone tries everything and everyone on for size to see if you fit the group and make the cut.
And it’s a funny thing – when your kids enter junior high, if you’re not careful and watching your heart and your step, you can feel like you’re entering junior high all over again as well.
So as I hugged a friend tight this week and prayed through a hurt her child had received from rejection, this is what I had to remember for myself, my friend, and our kids:
Rejection happens. That’s because life happens, and we live in a fallen world. I think my goal for so long was to rejection-proof my life. I thought if I could only be a good enough or if my kids could be good enough or take good enough lessons, make good enough grades, or be good enough friends, I could fool-proof our lives from rejection and its crippling effects.
But that just isn’t possible. Rejection is going to happen for ourselves and our kids. So at some point, I realized I could either continue to walk through life feeling continually hurt and offended, or I could change. And that meant my goals needed to change as well. Instead of trying to insulate my life from rejection, I needed to change the lens on my life.
What I mean is this: when we or our kids don’t make the cut, we automatically determine we are bad or there is something inherently bad or faulty in us or about us. But instead of the lens being rejection, what if the lens we had on our eyes was protection? When we don’t get what we want when we want it, what if we told ourselves and our kids the truth: “What looks like rejection is God’s protection.” And when hard things happen (and they will), if God is our Father, then everything that happens to us or touches us has first passed through His Hands of steadfast, unending love. We must learn to tell ourselves while meaning it and believing it with all of our hearts – “Everything is necessary that God sends our way; nothing can be necessary that He withholds” (John Newton).
“No, your name isn’t on the list for that particular team, but yes, God is working out in your soul an eternal weight of glory that will far outlast anything you could have gained by making the cut and making the team.”
“No, you weren’t included in that friend group or spend the night, but yes, God is protecting you from something you cannot see with your physical eyes and drawing you close to time with Himself that will shape your soul for much longer than a night spent with friends.”
“No, you didn’t get the job, but yes, it’s because God has a specific, tailor-made purpose for you that does not involve the path you thought you would take. He has other things in store.”
We must learn that behind every no is the sovereign yes of God. And learning to hear God’s “Yes” behind every “No,” learning to see protection instead of rejection, learning to see that nothing is withheld from us that we need and behind every “no” is a good Father’s steadfast love, takes a lifetime of following closely to Jesus.
But parents, let me warn you of something I have learned the hard way through personal experience: your child’s vision begins with yours. What your child sees behind the “No” begins with what you see. What your child hears behind the rejection hears begins with how you hear. And if all your child can see and hear on a regular, perpetual basis is rejection and failure and bitterness and anger and shame that life isn’t going the way they want it to or would chose for it to, the first person to look to change is yourself.
When your child hears or receives a “No” when all they wanted was “Yes,” STOP. PAUSE. PRAY. Before you start seeing the decision or rejection or relationship through your child’s negative lenses, stop long enough to put on lenses of your own. Lenses of the steadfast love of the Lord that never ceases and whose mercies never come to an end. They are there for the taking; you just have to choose to put them on. And parents, it takes a lot of self-control not to enter into the negative emotions of gossip or slander or bitterness or – let’s just be honest – envy that go along with rejection.
You and your kids are going to be sad. That’s ok. Feel the pain and sadness with your child, rub their back and dry their tears, but then speak words of life. Speak God’s “Yes” over them when all they can hear is “No.” Speak humility and submission to authority figures and obedience instead of helping them demand their way or the highway.
There is a time to speak up for your child when injustice has occurred, but those times are few and far between. Most of the time, we are to pause, humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God, and let Him exalt us and our kids when and how He wants to do it.
WARNING LABEL: THIS IS NOT EASY. Your children will be mad at you, stalk away from you, and resist hearing you. They will want to demand their own way, stomp their own feet, and sulk in a corner.
STAND YOUR GROUND, MOMMA, AND DON’T LET THEM.
Because what’s at stake isn’t their place on the volleyball team; it’s the eternal state of their soul. What’s at stake isn’t their name on a list; it’s their names written in the Lamb’s book of Life.
And while I wish our kids learned depth of character, kindness, humility and the value of hard work and discipline through making the team, being in their friend group of choice, and getting what they want when they want it, the best character lessons are learned through suffering. The caverns of obedience are carved out through the “No’s” and their ability to remain present, moldable, and humble.
Next week, we have volleyball tryouts, musical auditions, and the start of school on the docket. There is going to be ample opportunity for me to practice what I preach in the days ahead.
So when you see me, feel free to ask me, “Are you seeing rejection as protection? Are you hearing God’s “Yes” behind every “No”? Are you agreeing with the negativity of rejection, or are you choosing to hear God’s words of life and love? And are you helping your kiddos do the same? Are you honoring the authority figures in their life, the parents in the grade who make mistakes just like you do, and are you choosing to be humble?”
I need all the help I can get.
Because at the end of the day, what I want for myself and for my kids isn’t the perfect resume, but a humble heart. A heart that loves Jesus and has been shaped by the fires of suffering and obedience, just as His was (Hebrews 5:8), and comes forth loving God more than we ever thought possible. What I want is for my child’s life to go according to God’s way and not my way, even when His way involves the inevitable “No’s.”
And I know that you want that too; so let’s commit this year to putting on our lenses of God’s unfailing love and helping our kids to do the same.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? …
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-32, 35-39
It’s been a minute since I’ve posted a blog. Actually, it’s been a month. A long, hot, August month to be exact.
But I’ve found I need to pause in the middle of the summer in order to have enough breath in my lungs to exhale throughout the fall.
The odd thing has been when I stepped back into “normal” – normal schedule, normal fall, normal start-of-school, normal pace of after-school activities – nothing is “normal” anymore. And I’ve been left floundering, a little uncertain as to how to walk into this new season.
I know what “normal” fall looks like, but I don’t know what this fall looks like. This particular fall with school delays and the looming possibility of school closures. This particular fall with mask requirements and a fight-to-the-death presidential election ahead. This particular fall with some things open and some things still closed. This particular fall with so much uncertainty and waiting still fogging the air around us when all we want is “normal” again.
Or do we?
Last Sunday, I stepped back into our church to worship in person again for the first time since March. March. But while I was back in my normal worship setting, I wasn’t the same, normal person anymore. The person who stepped back into the worship center in August is different than the person who worshipped there in March. I’m humbled by my frailties, more aware of my needs, more hungry for authentic fellowship, more desirous of rest, deep rest, than constant, hurried busyness and striving. I’m more aware of my sin and tendencies towards sin, but I’m also more aware of God’s desire to give grace. I’m more confident of my place at His table; I’m more confident of the meal of His broken body and poured out blood that is consistently set before me; and I’m hungrier and more aware of wanting to offer the same meal of mercy and grace that I’ve tasted to others.
So the real answer is “No. I don’t ever want to go back to ‘normal’ again.” I deeply desire the new normal, the new sharpened vision of and taste for the Kingdom of God and my place at His table.
I know so many of us feel that same way. Going back to “normal” sounds unthinkable and undesirable (except for the normal of our kids going back to school and staying there – please, Lord). But the new normal has yet to unfold.
So how do we go back to restaurants and gyms, churches and schools, office buildings and after-school activities with us looking so differently than we did before? How do we go back with our security more firmly planted in the love of the Lord and His firm, unfailing faithfulness than before? And let’s be honest – why would we want to go back when our security in things we thought were unshakeable was ripped out in a moment? Why we would ever want to go back to planting ourselves in shakeable things?
If we all have learned one thing throughout COVID-19, we have learned this: the only unshakeable thing and the only shakeable one is God alone. Schools? Shakeable. Stable healthcare? An illusion. Wealth, bank accounts, portfolios, investments, our entire economic structure as a nation? Gone in a moment.
The only thing that holds us up is the unshakeable Hand of God. Period. End of story.
But please don’t hear this is an admonition; this is truly an admission and a request.
I don’t want to go back. But I also don’t know how to step into “normal” again while maintaining the changes God has worked from the inside out these last few months.
I so keenly want rhythm, routine, and a predictable schedule, and I really, really, really want, my kids to go to school and stay in school.
But more than that, I want my unfailing support to be God Himself. And He alone knows when our time of waiting needs to be finished. Until then, every moment we have in the uncertainty, in the fog, in the waiting, is a gift from Him.
So let’s not waste it.
Let’s press into it. Let’s make the most of it. Let’s allow God to do the work only God can do – uprooting our hearts from shakeable things and planting them in the only thing that lasts – Himself.
So don’t stop pressing into the goodness of God and faithful presence of God in this season of still waiting. Don’t stop seeking Him first and foremost in His Word. Don’t stop crying out and telling Him how you are really doing, not supposed to be doing. Don’t stop doing the work of digging, and seeking, and knocking, and asking, and listening that this season of waiting has given us pause to take.
Every moment of waiting, every week of uncertain pausing, every day of dependent searching, is a gift. Because as the people of God, we are promised the presence of God every time we ask, seek, and knock. And we are promised that door we have been knocking on all of our lives will be opened when we seek God with all of our hearts. And when it is, what we will find on the other side is God Himself, and we will not be disappointed. God alone is worth all of our waits.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened…If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-8, 11
For more encouragement on waiting, asking, seeking, and knocking throughout the week, consider going through my Biblestudy Waiting on the Lord, found HERE by clicking on this link.
While I expected things to be different this fall, I didn’t expect to still be so weary. And I think it’s because waiting has it’s own particular burden of weariness. While we are not carrying anything tangible in the physical realm, our hearts can strain under the emotional and spiritual burden we carry in the spiritual realm.
If you, like me, find yourself still weary in this season, listen in as I share how to draw on strength and encouragement as you wait.
Yesterday’s post was about getting Boys In the Word of God. As a mother of two teenage boys, my good friend Leigh Kohler spoke from her heart about the importance of the Word of God in discipling boys as they become men and the tools and resources she and her husband, Marc, have used throughout the past seventeen years as parents. To access that blog post, click HERE.
But as Leigh thought and prayed through the topic of discipling boys and getting them into God’s Word, there was a topic she couldn’t help but address – pornography. As a mother of two teenage boys and a sister to four brothers, Leigh knows well the temptation and danger that pornography brings.
Listen as Leigh’s youngest brother, Todd Davidson, shares his struggle and battle against pornography and the tools that helped see him through to freedom on the other side.
Trying to live as if our kids are never going to make mistakes is impossible; but living and praying and keeping our kids in the truth of God’s Word is possible and deeply necessary for all that lies ahead for our children, especially our boys.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find us on Instagram @leigh.kohler and @baker.susannah.
I have known Leigh Kohler a long time. The first time we met – our moms introduced us over lunch – I was a junior in high school, and Leigh was a senior. As we chatted, I remember studying for a Spanish quiz between taking bites of bread. But I also remember this – Leigh had a reputation for being a woman after God’s own heart, even as a senior in high school. From the start, I was drawn to her passion and intensity for life and all things holy. I loved her laugh and quick sense of humor, and I loved the way she made pursuing God an adventure. She made me want to join her in her pursuit of God and others He put in her path.
Twenty-six years later (I’ll let you do the math on how old we are), I still feel the same way.
Leigh is a woman after God’s own heart, and she still has a passion and intensity for life and all things holy. She and her husband Marc have three children, two boys and a girl, and are raising their children with a passion for God’s Word and a hunger for holiness as well.
Since I have four girls, my Kids in the Word video leaned heavily on the girls’ side, so I asked Leigh to share her heart, ideas, and resources on how she has engaged her boys in reading and living out the Word of God (thanks for the great idea, Leti Lusk!). So join me in taking a few moment to learn from Leigh – I know you will be as blessed as I was!
All the resources Leigh mentions in the video have been added to my Kids in the Word list on Amazon. To access those resources, click HERE.
To check out the Bible app she mentions to read through the Bible in a year, click HERE.
In addition to the amazing job she does as wife and mom, Leigh serves as the President of the Freedom Church Alliance, an alliance of churches from around the city united to fight human trafficking in the name of Jesus. To learn more, go to www.freedom church alliance.org. And to receive more encouragement from Leigh throughout the week, you can find her on Instagram @leigh.kohler.
One of our favorite parts of the day is when we gather around the table, pray, and talk about God’s Word together as a family. Is it chaotic? Yes. Are we often tired? Yes. Do we do a lot of laughing? Yes. Are we theological experts? No. But after 14 years of a lot of hard plowing, we are finally seeing the fruit of the time we have created around the table. Listen as we share why this time is so important, hard, yet ultimately fruitful, and some of the tools we have used along the way.
To access the tools we mentioned in the video, click HERE.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram @baker.susannah.
As parents, more than anything, we want our kids to live their lives knowing and loving the Word of God and relationship with Jesus Christ more than anything else. Join me as I share about the challenges, rewards, and value in teaching our kids the Word of God, and the tools that have helped along the way.
To access the tools I mention in the video to help your kids, all the way from infancy through their teenage years, click HERE.
Other great websites with scripture memory and devotional resources include:
- Scripture Memory Fellowship
- Fighter Verses
- Focus on the Family (a great resource for devotionals for all ages of kids)
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram @baker.susannah.