hello, old Friends.

Almost without fail the following scenario happens when it has been a while since I've blogged:
  1. Think all day about finally, finally, finally getting to write a new blog.
  2. Happen upon 2-7 amazing, incredible, inspiring blog posts by other bloggers before my carved out writing time rolls around.
  3. Desire to write a post as amazing as the ones I've just read.
  4. Feel totally inadequate in my writing abilities.
  5. Suddenly forget every single blog idea I've been saving for weeks.
  6. Write random blog/don't write a blog at all. {I'll let you guess which option you are currently reading... ;-) }
It took four days in the car to get here, but we finally arrived in Bellingham, Washington. We are so far north that the signs for the freeway read "Vancouver, BC" for 'north' and I'm actually somewhat afraid that I'll get lost and end up at the border before I realize I've gone the wrong direction. Also, seeing "Vancouver, BC" on signs makes me think it is advertising for "Vancouver, Before Christ" (you know, BC/AD) and I wonder how that's even possible to know what Vancouver would have looked like before Christ was alive. The drive up here was absolutely incredible and the landscapes we drove through were truly breathtaking. God worked wonders on my heart as we took in His heart in nature along the drive. Less than a week after we arrived we had opened every single box. Now, just over a week later, we finally have internet installed and I can begin to tell you tales of the road trip up here, the scenery we've taken in, my moving and unpacking hacks, and more things that my kids are teaching me. I have no doubt I'll spend the next few nights up far later than I should be cranking out new posts before my mommy brain forgets them all, but for now, I'll leave you with a nugget I've been mulling over for days. Our oldest daughter has learned how to introduce herself and ask others what their names are. The beautiful thing is that she does this with zero filter whatsoever and it makes me realize how many people a day I speak to without ever bothering to ask their name. Repairmen who come to our door, internet workers here to set up a line for us, grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, and much more. If I don't ask their names or introduce myself, she asks me over and over, "what's their name, Mama?" and if my response is "I don't know" she usually goes up and asks them. It is rather enlightening (and depressing) how many people's names I don't know. What a basic human communication component I'm so quick to forget about. Her habit is encouraging me to notice nametags or ask people what their name is so I can use it. Our names are a gift to us, one of the most fundamental things about our identity, one of the easiest ways to make someone feel loved or even just noticed by using their actual name in conversation. With that in mind, what is your name? What does your name mean (to you)? I'll start: I'm Amanda. Amanda means 'worthy of love' or 'worthy to be loved' in Latin and the meaning of my name is God's answer to my heart's deepest question: am I worthy? Yes, you are My child, worthy of love.
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