Jake is officially off for the summer, and I don’t know that you will find a happier wife in the whole state of Tennessee. Having an extra set of hands to help with the boy’s needs is such a gift. It also allows me the freedom to take each boy individually to their appointments and focus. Our summer is packed full with medical appointments but sharing that burden with Jake makes it manageable.

So what is on the summer horizon for the Carrolls?

We have a surgery for Levi in Cincinnati in about 4 weeks. Right now the plan is for he and I to go solo like last year. Traveling with both boys is getting increasingly more difficult the larger each of them get and Covid precautions are still hindering visitation policies when one of the boys has to be in the hospital.

Our annual church youth camp is coming in early July, which is always a fun adventure. This year we have 48 teens signed up to go, praise the Lord!

Malachi’s big Vanderbilt trip to meet with the orthopedic and spine surgeons will happen at the end of July. This has been stretched out to a multi-day trip to meet with all of the specialists.

We have some family adventures tucked into the gaps, and all of our regular appointments and therapies sprinkled in the mix.

We got a head start on the adventures this week as we drove to Georgia to meet up one of my siblings and his family for the weekend. The boys loved the cousin time and got to meet their newest cousin for the first time. We try to be extra cautious about posting photos of others on the blog (for privacy purposes) but these were too sweet to not share.

As I have mentioned, Malachi is tuned in to EVERYTHING happening around him and so making sure to include him in as much as possible is still one of our top priorities. But to be transparent, it is shockingly exhausting and physically taxing to try to successfully be the body of an 8 year old. I catch myself thinking about the days in the future that I won’t be able to physically help him feel included and I wonder how that is going to change our outing decisions as a family.

But for this trip Malachi zoomed down the slides, chased cousins like monsters, crouched in corners playing hide and seek, and went as high as safely possible on the swing set.

We had enough room in the house to divide into two bedrooms, making nighttime more manageable. Being out of our routine and environment is so, so difficult!

But sometimes Pros and Cons Lists shouldn’t always drive decisions.

There may be some times in life when the cons of something will far outweigh the pros. And even though logically it doesn’t make sense to go for it, sometimes you simply have to commit to the illogical route.

Yes, there are consequences and discomfort, but fear of those should never be the reason that we don’t take time to intentionally love others.

If I am being completely transparent I will also note that I don’t have much energy or stamina for these “cons” heavy trips and excursions. Malachi did not sleep well, and we had at least 6 close calls in two nights with pillows that were too fluffy. I ended up swapping them for rolled up bath towels so he wouldn’t be able to suffocate himself. Waking up to him gasping for air is forever one of the most terrifying things.

We will spend the next week recovering from our two nights away, but I am grateful for the memories and the opportunity to see my brother!

Here are some photos from horse therapy this week. Levi got to practice painting the horse and giving him a bath after.

On Wednesday I finished a study with the youth about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7. If you haven’t taken time to read that in awhile I want to encourage you to start to read it again this week, even if it is just a few verses each night. There is so much power in the words knowing that they came from the mouth of Christ and the heart of God.

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only few find it.”

This verse has challenged my heart this week about the intentional nature of my walk with God. We are all given the opportunity to choose the road we will walk on in our faith. We will never “accidentally” find ourselves on a narrow road that requires a Guide for us to shadow step by step.

Sometimes I catch myself going on auto-pilot in my relationship with God. Instead of focusing on keeping my steps in line with His I find that I am aimlessly following the muscle memory of my shuffling feet on that narrow road.

One of the devil’s tactics is pushing our faith to become a chore rather than an intentional journey, which is not God honoring. Before we even realize it we migrate over to the wide road and confuse our movement for steps in our faith walk.

This week I have been evaluating and praying about what my reset needs to look like. The word “intentional” keeps being placed on my heart so I know that is something that God desires to bring to my attention.

Is your walk with God an intentional one? Are you content on the narrow road that faith in God requires?

So many thoughts swirling in this brain of mine, but I need to develop them a bit more before I share them with you! Thank you for taking time to check in on our family. We continue to ask for your prayers- there are specific needs of course but a good summary prayer need is wisdom and strength for each new day.



4 thoughts on “Intentional

  1. Praying for God’s wisdom n strength to be with y’all each day. Also praying for Levi m his surgery coming up. May God ease his PTSD n fears that come from his complex medical life. I’m so happy you were able to spend time with your brother n family! What fun🙂 God’s blessings to your family always, along with my love n prayers. And thank you for sharing your family n darling boys with us!! A Monday morning treat after my Devotions. 🙂


  2. Your thoughts about “intentional” hit me right in the heart! I have done the same thing – going on auto-pilot with God and shuffling along the way. I have been wanting to be more intentional as well and I will be praying for you. I will pray for wisdom and strength for each day as well; I am amazed at how God gives you what you need on such little sleep! Praying too for the upcoming visits and surgery; sounds like a busy summer for the Carrolls. Sending much love, Steph ❤


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