What an incredibly heavy month March has been. If you’re on my email list I lovingly refer to as “Coffee with Christa,” then you know that this has been a season to lament. Holding my son extra close, things have still felt out of control for much of our world (not that control was every something we truly had). I started these monthly “Things I’m Loving Lately” blogs initially because one thing I miss sharing on social media are the little things, but also because we could all use some simple joys in our lives. I don’t know about you, but I need to see the good, to celebrate the joy I’m finding in the mundane and daily grind. Here’s some things I’m loving lately:
- 90’s sitcoms: Be still my 90’s loving heart, I discovered some of my favorite shows I watched growing up on Hulu & Disney Plus, and it has brought me so much joy. Maybe it was because I was a kid, but every time I turn on an episode I just say with full nostalgia, “How great was the 90’s?!” I am currently going through Step-By-Step, which if your family were TGIF fans like mine, you looked forward to this show every week! I miss the ridiculous comedy yet real storylines, bringing a sense of lightheartedness and hope to life while still pointing to some real issues families were facing. Also, you just CANNOT get better than the theme songs of shows from the 90’s. My son is growing up in the era where you can “skip intro” and rewatching Step-By-Step it’s breaking my heart a little. I mean if you grew up in the 90’s, who can’t sing every word to the intros of Fresh Prince Of Bell Air, Saved By The Bell, Full House, and “Step by step, day by day…” Can we also talk about the fact that the intros were the full song, like at minimum 2.5 minutes?? Those were the days. I’ve now officially entered that time in adulthood and parenthood where I’m starting sentences with, “Back in my day…” (yes Millenials are at this age now). Anyways, these shows are bringing me joy nightly when I turn off my brain before bed, remembering a simpler time.
- Yoga in the mornings: If you read my January edition, I have had a nightly yoga routine (thanks Adriene with FWFG) for at least the past year. At the beginning of the month I felt like my body had hit a wall, so I needed to change things up and try something new. I have been so tired in the evenings, I felt like I was either skipping too many or just not moving as well as I know I could. I am not a morning person and haven’t been doing yoga in the morning every day, but at least three to four times a week I’ve gotten up before Kai, before the sun, and before coffee (gasp). But I will say even though in my mind I am groaning, by the time I get off the mat I feel so good. Energy has been moved, my body and mind are awake and fresh, I have felt more productive throughout the day and more patient with Kai even. There is something to getting up before him when I can, so the day is started quiet and without a stream of demands before I even crawl out of bed. I’m also going to bed earlier and sleeping deeper, so altogether, I think it’s a routine I’ll stick with as much as possible!
- Spring weather: It is spring in Texas, and we are loving it. After the snowmageddon in February, I am soaking in and appreciating this sunshine more than I have in the past. Right now is the “sweet spot” where it’s cool in the morning, and a perfect 70 degrees in the afternoons. This doesn’t last too long before it starts to swelter in those temps I will not even type right now, so we are getting as much outside time as we can. I love after lunch hearing Kai say “I need some Vitamin D” and running out to the backyard, me quickly behind him with a book to read aloud in the sunshine while he plays in his sandbox, picks me wildflowers and dandelions from our yard, and sprays water on the fence like he’s “painting.” This also means spring showers and thunderstorms, so I’m kind of loving the sunshine day, calming rain at night.
- These Soft Tees from AE: Listen, at this point in motherhood and early 30’s, when you find something that really works for your body and is practical in your wardrobe, you buy one in every color. I bought these one whim, from a promo email that was buy one, get one for $10. So I bought 4. Then I put them on and I went and bought 2 more. And if others weren’t sold out, I literally would have done the every color and print friends. They are literally the SOFTEST shirts EVER. Not only that, they are breathable fabric, and when you live in Texas and you’re chasing littles, you need something that doesn’t cling. Super flattering, you can do the cute french tuck, tie it, dress it up or down. I find these to be on the “nicer” side of tees and higher quality than ones I’ve bought at Target for less, and end up having holes in them within a month. So I’m not mad about these filling my closet, because they are the best!
- Jubilee Album By Maverick City Music: Again if you are on my email list where we have a weekly chat over coffee together, you know that I really fell in love with MVM’s Christmas album, particularly one song that I am still returning to. There’s something about the spontaneity of the worship that really gets to me, and the writing hits me. To be perfectly honest, I’m not much of a fan of Christian music often times, because it all starts to sound the same and I feel like more “contemporary” Christian music lacks a certain depth. I’ve found myself going back to the hymns I grew up on, because there is such a richness there, clearly tied to Scripture, and not a strong “performance” feel. Maverick City is really what I turn to when I need that truth sung over me in times my spirit needs to be reminded to be still. As we celebrate Palm Sunday this weekend, enter into Holy Week, Good Friday, and finally Resurrection Sunday, I could not think of a more perfect album to listen to. At the end of 2020, Advent felt more near to me than ever before, and I feel the same about this Lenten season. Just take a look at these words from the very first song, Jubilee:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
I’m anointed to bring hope
The promise fulfilled in a moment
We’re still watching it unfold
There’s good news for the captive
A proclamation for every soul
This liberty is for the broken
An invitation to be made whole
Listen for the free man singing, “He’s delivered me!”
Look out for the woman shouting, “His garment made me clean!”
Listen up, for the season’s changing
He’s rebuilding everything
Listen for the people shouting, “This is jubilee”
During Lent I’ve studied Joshua and am working through Mark, and this is just ever sweet to me seeing the Lord’s hand upon His people, both Old and New Testament. Having just read both of these miracles that are referenced in this song in Mark, I see the tenderness of Jesus in His ministry, and with us as He set us free through His life, death, and resurrection. There’s another song in this album called Ruins that I love, that just reminds me that it is not hopeless, He is not done.
I look around and all I see are burning buildings, barren trees
Hopelessness is starting to wreak havoc
Son of Man I know you see
The deepest depths unknown to me
You have planted seeds among the ashes
You rebuild, you restore
All that’s broken, from the ruins
You redeem, you return
All that’s stolen, from your children
That’s what you do
I would love to hear what you are loving lately and where you are finding joy, even in the smallest things friends. I encourage you to turn off the news, shut down social media, set your phones aside, and be present right where you are. Our brains and bodies and spirits need that time away from it to see and celebrate the good that is before us. And just for kicks and because it is spring, here’s my new favorite picture of Kai with a lamb. It just makes me want to look for land so we can have a little homestead.