Every year, when the time comes to renew my domain name, I put it off. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m a chronic email-notification-swiper-awayer, and then I forget about it, or because I inevitably end up letting it expire and it becomes more of a headache than it needs to be.
Whatever the case, this year, I decided I wanted a fresh start to my blog.
Many things have changed since I started it. I began writing here while we were part of the way through with The World Race, so I could have a space to continue writing as we came home. After returning to the States, we started trying to conceive and experienced the difficulty of a miscarriage, conceived again and had Haven, who was born a month early and had a NICU stay, Josh began the perfect job for him-working with inner city youth and camp ministry, and we had Eisley, who has spina bifida.
Along the way, I have discovered that my passion and my heart for this season lies with my children and my husband. Earlier in our marriage, my heart was for the Nations and to serve outward, but now that has changed to serving inward to pour into my family.
As I was pondering a name change, I asked my sister if she had any suggestions. She suggested Mend and Bloom, and I instantly fell in love with it.
Mend is a play on our last name (Mendenhall), and also references Eisley’s spina bifida, and how she was mended (get it?!) after her birth. If you are wondering what spina bifida is, check out the Spina Bifida tab at the top. In short, it is a birth defect that develops in very early pregnancy. A portion of her spinal column did not close all the way, leaving it to be open on her back. She had surgery to place her spinal cord back inside her back at 7 hours old.
I also love the imagery of mending a family together. There are too many times to count when Josh and I have said or done something that hurt or angered the other person. We have a rule that we never go to bed angry, even if that means staying up until the wee hours of the morning to work it out. Or there are the many times that my toddler is being disobedient or just cannot do the thing and she is on my last nerve. Or when the baby is crying and the exhaustion sets in and I feel like there is absolutely no way that I can give any more of myself than I already have. It’s in these moments that I remember that I can’t do this alone, say a little prayer, and find a way to fix it. Mending and holding the family together is part of my job, and it’s one that I (usually) delight in doing.
And finally, Bloom. At the beginning of this year, I wanted to find a word that I could focus on for the year. My first thought was improve, because there were several areas of life that I wanted to improve in. But that felt too rigid and dry. The idea of improvement morphed into thrive. Because yeah, I want to improve, but not so much so that I am miserable in trying to attain these ideals of perfection. I want to do what I can, and celebrate the progress-I want to thrive in whatever stage I’m in. I also want to help my family thrive, in the midst of the crazy, the mundane, and the challenges of life. We’re on the cusp of Spring, and just yesterday, Josh pointed out that a tree across the street from us has the tiniest little blossoms starting to show. I love all seasons for the special things they bring, but there is just something about the first blooms of Spring that makes my heart come alive.
My super artistic doodle-drawn with jumbo crayons over naptime.
So. I hope you will join me on this journey of pouring into my family and helping us to thrive. If you’d like to follow along, there’s a little bar there to the right to enter your email address.
I hope you have a great week!