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Sunday, July 26, 2015

love hugs

At times I honestly feel like God is smiling down on me.  I can feel His hand on my life so strong.  I like to refer to those moments as love hugs from heaven.  This was one of those beautiful weeks.  I struggle with the blues sometimes.  I can feel lonely often.  I'm in my basement.  Working by myself. A lot. Sometimes I feel like I don't have community here.  I think that's the enemy lying to me. And for reals God kinda gave me a whack upside the head over the last few weeks.  He gently reminded me that HEY THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE! And you are loved.  You are remembered.

There was the recent blueberry picking.  A thrifting extravaganza with a new friend.  A dinner date with a dear friend that moved away.  A catch up lunch date with a friend that I'd lost track of.  There was an adoption shower for a sweet friend I'd met over Instagram, and then an impromptu room decorating thing for her sweet girl she brings home soon.  There was a park date with another friend I met through blogging.  There was an art night at my house with the Gather Girls.  The list goes on... And my girls!  The older they get, the closer we get!  Who knew;)  They were always there, but our bond has gotten deeper. They truly are my forever friends.  And that brings joy deep to my soul.

I do believe with all my heart God brings people in and out of our lives.  There are seasons and it's a good thing.  It can be confusing.  It cannot make sense at all, but each person that sifts through is a gift.  Maybe they are meant to refine you. To challenge you.  To help shape who you ultimately become.  I'm just grateful for a heavenly Daddy who knows just when I need a hug from Him.  His timing is always spot on.

Be a blessing.

my gather girls
 going redder

preparing for ellerie's homecoming!

impasto oil painting...more on that soon

my parent's come this week!!!

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Monday, July 20, 2015


I have no words to say.

Don’t know what I should pray,
God, I need You. God, I need You.
Oh Lord, my faith is tired.
And tears fill up my eyes,
But I will trust You, I will trust You.

Whatever comes my way,
You have taught me to say,

Amen, Let Your kingdom come!
Amen, Let Your will be done!
And through the rise and fall,
You’re God above it all!
Amen! We’re singin’ amen!

When I can barely stand,
You strengthen me again!
I will seek You. I will seek You.
Though troubles may arise,
My hands reach to the skies.
I will praise You, I will praise You.

Whatever comes my way,
You have taught me to say,

Amen, Let Your kingdom come!
Amen, Let Your will be done!
And through the rise and fall,
You’re God above it all!
Amen! We’re singin’ amen!

From everlasting to everlasting!

I am they... AMEN

Be a blessing.

 dappled sunlight
farmy goodness just down the road
warm blueberries off the vine
 a friend who reaches out
a new sweet friend for the girls
trusting Him in all things
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Sunday, July 5, 2015

the closed door and sweet surrender

 A door in the backyard of a house I just knew was to be mine...

We're home after a whirlwind trip back to Texas.  To be honest the whirlwind started long before our plane took off.  After our trip in April, we got home and Texas stayed on our minds.  We unpacked and put things away, but our whole Strahle Soulcation lingered.

So when some generous friends offered to let us house-sit for them back in Austin for two weeks in June we jumped at the chance!!  It would give us more time to explore.  To see the things we didn't have time to visit before. Little did we know a job opportunity would present itself.  Here comes the roller coaster...

A trip to San Antonio...the Alamo

The job for my honey sounded perfect.  The opportunity a once in a lifetime.  So he interviewed and was promised the brass ring and we looked into moving to TEXAS.  We had Realtors.  We told the girls.  We went through the emotional roller coaster of detaching and moving on.  Only to have one door after another close, giving us a clear no to what we thought must be a definite yes.

It's funny how we always pray for wisdom and discernment.  We pray for Gods clear direction.  But when the answer becomes certain it's like really sure?  Why did we go on this wild goose chase if it wasn't from you?  What was the purpose in all that upheaval?

Stanley's Farmhouse Dripping Springs 

I'm not really sure.  Maybe it's to appreciate what you already have.  To make things work where you're at instead of moving on to the next thing. Maybe it's a test to see how we would handle disappointment.  Honestly I think I might be failing in that area a little right now;)

When the no came we were still in Texas.  I'd had some doubts about a lot of things...housing was expensive.  Moving my shop and figuring out what to do with my business seemed impossible. There's always the fear factor with moving the girls.  Will they find friends easily?  Are we screwing up their lives?  Will we like it there?  Is this where we want to be forever??  Because quite honestly I'm tired.  I want to plant roots and build community.  I want my forever home. So yeah a lot was going on in my head.  And the initial let down felt like sweet relief.

The night we almost saw the bats:/ 

And then the disappointment set in.  The sadness found it's way into my heart.  I hate that it did.  I wish I could be all smiles and so at peace about knowing the path we're supposed to be on, but it came and I'm dealing, and it will just take a while to unpack mentally.  To set up house again here.

Remember when I said the whirlwind started a long time ago?  A few years ago I had a pull to Austin.  Some friends moved there.  Every article I read mentioned it.  One of my favorite blogs showed a farmhouse there that I immediately fell in love with.

Then I had the dream.  Our family was in a car driving toward a mountain range.  The dirt road was cracked open and really bumpy.  Then all of a sudden a flash flood came out of nowhere and our car was picked up, carried off the road and started falling... And I jolted awake!

So maybe the dream was prophetic and He was preparing me for the bumpy road.  Maybe the experience was necessary for me to trust Him once again.  Because no matter where we live or what the outcome is I know from experience He has a plan and it's a GOOD plan.  He loves us and cares about everything and He knows right where He wants us.  It ultimately comes down to trust.  And that's where I'm at.  Trusting Him once again for our every day, for every step, for every little detail of my life.  Sweet surrender.

Be a blessing.

 These girls!!  Love them so.
 My honey. 
Remember the Alamo? We do. Sweat running down our backs... Sharing life with my peeps
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