{inspire} worth reading

I planned to post these links on Friday. That was the day that I packed the car. And got groceries. And made sandwiches. And did all the innumerable things that take up a whole day. And now that I think about it, the kids were at Grandma's for a bit too. But somehow {imagine that} I didn't publish this post.

And then we spent the weekend in the lush greenness of Oregon's "wet side", photographing mountains and waterfalls and hanging with friends and altogether enjoying ourselves. Of course, I took a ton of photos.

We got home late. Slept. Woke up. And it's been a whirlwind of VBS and photo processing ever since.

Here's a sneak peak of what I've been doing. Shooting hundreds of photos of cute kids in the morning and spending much of the afternoon with Lightroom.
But what I wanted to share with you in this post are some other things that are definitely worth reading. 

Emily Freeman shares from the heart, speaking the truth of good days and hard days and of holding gifts tight in our memory.

"So we embrace the gifts of the good days when our loves are in line and our hearts feel full. We stuff those graces down deep into our pockets, so when the days get heavy and the wind blows strong, those gifts sit safe close to skin and the fabric of our jeans, pocketed for a time we need to remember."
Kristen shares her struggle after recent time spent overseas. I can certainly relate to this. She ends it with, "most of all, whatever you do, don't stop struggling".

"I am not good at any of this: When I’m here, surrounded by comfort, I long for there. I get sick of all the stuff and pressure and complications of living first world. When I’m there, tangled in a mosquito net, wondering if we will have water, covered in dust, out of my comfort zone in a hundred ways, I revel in the simplicity of life and how close God is, but I long for here."
Lisa is honest with her struggle with crazy life at home with kids and brings it all back to what really matters in her Five Minute Friday post.

"I leave [my husband] politely desperate messages about my threshold for making it through this day. And in Haiti I know there are mothers who wrestle the heat and the pennies and the one-meal-at-a-time prayers who must fight through an ordinary only half related to mine. My more than enough."
Emily {again!} wrote this piece about heart messages almost a year ago, but I found it recently and found it insightful. I haven't cried much lately. I blame it on the whirlwind. When the dust settles I'm sure there will be something to cleanse the soul.

"So what? Why does it matter what makes you cry or tear up? Maybe it just means you’re overly emotional, sappy, too sensitive. Maybe. Or maybe our tears are tiny messengers, secret keepers of the most vulnerable kind, sent to deliver a most important message – Here is where your heart beats strong. Here is a hint to your design. Here is a gift from your inner life, sent to remind you those things that make you come alive."
For those of you with girls, this is the sweetest list from Lisa Jo: 100 Things I Want to Teach My Daughter
Jamie Martin shares a really nifty real world example of incorporating handwriting into daily life.
Check out her post -- Encouraging Handwriting with a Summer Lunch Menu

I hope you enjoy reading those as much as I did.
I wish you buckets of free time and just right weather.
I pray you'll give grace with abandon.

And don't worry, I'll be back with camping and hiking pictures soon.