About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul, works full-time at DaySpring, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna shares the good stuff of the regular, and encourages you to see the ordinary glory in your everyday.

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  1. Anna,
    Praying for you in your pregnancy! When you talked about preparing for showings on your house…I remember my “go to” place to hide things was always the dryer lol. It was amazing what you might reclaim from in there after a showing…dirty clothes, Barbie and some of her gazillion pairs of shoes, legos, old magazines and clutter piles…you get the idea. But, to answer your questions, I find my calm in the early morning dark hours before the sun comes up. Holding, smelling, and tasting my coffee and just taking in silence. It’s when the only sounds I hear are the dog’s steady breathing and the birds starting to wake up outside. Claiming peace before the day begins helps me to hold onto it as the rest of the world wakes up and chaos barges through the door. Keep trying to claim that time…it’s worth the effort!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. Hi Anna,
    I remember meeting your family and seeing Josie when she was 4 days old when you brought her to the 2014 In Real Life gathering. You have such a beautiful family, and I know baby #3 will be a tremendous blessing as well. On paper, we have many similarities, though our real stories stem from two very different paths. I, too, have 3 children but had life growing in my womb 5 times. I also can be a summertime scrooge (loved your original post about this) – I also dislike the sunscreeny, bugspray-y, sweaty bodies (that is paired with the refusal to bathe ;o), the sand tracked all over the house and the fishy lake water smell. I am very overwhelmed with work and have been for years – I could work 80 hrs a week and still be months behind in my work. I used to teach my high school track athletes to make life real. Make it count. So many of your blogs resonate deeply for me.

    I found this year, through some very stressful and difficult family events, that I was finally able to slow myself down and let God breathe into my heart and truly live as if I believed He has me on exactly the path on which I am meant to be. And this was my favorite summer ever. I think, for me, I finally was able to shake off the distraction of life and look my babies in their precious eyes and be.there.with.them. Or oddly, sometimes my moments of peace may have come while watching them fussing amongst each other, knowing I am doing my best to have them grow up with a strong love for family and that one day they may long for the days of being in each other’s space or touching one another’s toys without permission. 🙂

    Oh and your blog posts are part of it too! I love your constant reminders that our real lives and mommy confessions and that push to slow down and breathe help remind us that amidst the chaos, we are still enough.

    Fall is my favorite season too. 🙂
    Warmly,
    Sara

  3. I read this and kept saying, “Amen!” to myself. This message has been on my heart lately as well. To slow down and not miss the small moments, because as a whole, it makes up our life. I don’t want to miss it. Having a cup of coffee and quiet time in the early morning helps me breathe. Reading post on (in)courage helps me breathe. I read Psalm 23 this morning and stopped after verse 3, “He restores my soul”. I want to linger there for a bit and savor all the meaning I can of out it. Thank you for your heart and words!

  4. What a timely post, Anna! Thank you.

    Minutes before waking, I can feel the tightening and involuntary seperation of my toes. I’m still in a sleeping state, but also completely aware I’m having a charley horse, again. I say to myself, “calm down. fighting makes it worse. calm down, calm down…” As I accept what it is, my muscles relax and the gripping pain stops short of reaching my calf.

    Often, this is how I claim peace in my life, especially when the chaos or disruption is uncontrollable…I accept what it is and claim calm. Somehow, giving my energy to fighting makes the pain worse than to breathe through it.

    Thank you again for the reminder to claim my peace. Blessings to you and you family.

    Your Sister,
    LaToya

  5. Congratulations. 🙂 ~ “Claim the calm.” ~ I like that. It’s there, but we rush right past it, often overlooking it, as the chaos hollers for our attention. Gonna write that little three-word phrase on a note card, thanks for sharing. 🙂 ((hug))

  6. Thank-you Anna,

    All the best of wishes to you….

    Even though there was lot’s of chaos this Summer when it was quiet I softly heard, “It will be okay.” That usually calmed me down. We gratefully just celebrated my son’s 9th birthday so I’ve been trying not to rush through the last days of Summer. I can feel the calmness of Fall setting in and enjoy the slowness of it. I’ve been trying to use time more wisely not automatically say yes, but instead listen. It’s all so miraculous how He has made the seasons feel so differently. The one sound of Fall I really enjoy is the crunch of leaves. It is the child in me I guess.

    I hope everyone has calm and peaceful days ahead,

    Penny

  7. I’ve been thinking about Sabbath and holidays. Maybe one of the ways they are suppose to work in our lives is for practicing finding the calm. In our culture this is not happening, but I wonder if we aimed for it, wouldn’t we find it more in the rest of the week? Just wondering out loud.

  8. Anna – I love this post 🙂 I am going to share this on my page on a day that gets more traffic. You hit the nail on the head…we tend to complicate things, but often times we can make small changes that are easily done. For me a sparkling kitchen does wonders!!! Ans the small moments do need to be noted and treasured…love this post so much!

  9. Anna, my summer felt like yours: too packed and too fast. Thank you for this reminder to claim calm as we go into a new season. Blessings on your pregnancy and your growing family!

  10. I love the tip to “Fight for it.” In today’s hectic paced world, we are encouraged to fight for fitness, wellness, intellect, a good marriage, but to fight for calmness? Yes. This. Please.
    And you are just one cute mama! XOXO

  11. Anna,
    Congratulations on baby #3! Praying for peace in the chaos of pregnancy, littles, and moving!! Autumn/fall is my most favorite time of year!! This year I claimed “calm/Spiritual whitespace” by quitting my job. My aging dad moved into assisted living last year and had multiple medical issues that caused stress with me and work. Shortly after I quit, though, we had to put him on hospice. I am able to see and spend more intentional time with him!! Also feel more relaxed to do more Church stuff. I feel this is where God wants me for now! Another big change last year was hubby nearly lost his job, and changed it twice. He is starting another job (all with same company & work (CT)) today. He will be working 12-13 hr. shifts Sat – Monday. This will give us more time together. It allows me to cook, and be a better wife for him!!!
    Blessings 🙂

  12. Anna,

    First, let me say I love your writing style. It seeps deep into my spirit. This phrase in particular will get pasted on my writing desk: “these words must feel familiar only because they’ve been so long in my heart.”

    Second, although I am a grandmother of 11 and long past the child-rearing stage, your words minister to me, and remind me to keep pressing for calm in my own chaos, and to be more sensitive to the young mother’s in my life.

    Finally, in answer to your question, I find calm in my chaos in a few ways:
    -Since I work full time, I often go on a 30 minute prayer walk during my lunch hour.

    -If the work day is particularly stressful I will put on earbud in my ear and play classical music and/or will write out one scripture on a post-it note and focus on it.

    Bless you! Thanks for sacrificing to write this at 11pm after a long, tiring day. You refreshed me!