Saturday, December 12, 2015

New Beginnings

I have sat at my computer multiple times this week and just sat there...  I want so bad to write on my blog because I love writing and I love my little space on the world wide web, but I honestly don't even know even know what to say anymore!  I admit that I have allowed doubt to creep in and make me feel silly for even having a blog and writing.

Is anyone reading this anymore?

Do people find me interesting?

Does my happiness about life come off as annoying to others?

Those may seem like silly questions, but they are three of many that swirl around in my head whenever I think about updating my little space.  This moment is a perfect example!  I almost hit the backspace button and deleted this whole post before I even got started because I don't want to seem like I'm fishing for affirmations.  Because I'm not searching for that!  I'm just...writing.  Haha!  I enjoy writing!  I have kept journals ever since I was a little girl.  I would ramble on and on because I felt like I had so much to say.  When I read things I have written in the past I feel a little silly and wonder why those thoughts seemed so important to me at the time, but, I really enjoy what I'm writing about in the moment and it helps me feel better to get things on paper...or in a why not?!

One of the reasons why I haven't posted in over a month is because of my many doubts.  I need to get over my fear of what people think and just start writing again for myself.  I love looking back at the pictures I have posted of my life, my children, our vacations, family, etc.  I have shared funny moments and I have also shared some of my worst.  I need to remind myself that this is my space, for my own personal enjoyment, and if other people want to look in they are more than welcome to, and if they don't want to --- they don't want to!  It's OK!

With all of that silliness being said, I am ready for new beginnings!  There are some big changes that are going to take place next year and I would love to share them with my friends and family!  I was telling Paul the other day that God works in mysterious ways.  We should never, ever, ever put our life plans in pen because God likes to change things on you and you need to be able to erase some plans to make room in between for God's plans as well as your own.  I haven't really learned that lesson yet, but that's OK!  I'm enjoying the lesson.  I sit back, laugh, and shake my head at His handiwork.

I will post more details soon, but right now I will just say that I'm thankful for new beginnings!  I'm excited, happy, and anxious to get started on our new adventure!  I can't wait to write about it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


I attend one of the local Christian church's Bible study here in town and we just finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I know that God had the women of that church choose this book specifically for me and what I was going through in my life.  Life had thrown Paul and I a curve ball and I felt like I was struggling with my head barely above water and I needed a helping hand desperately.

Paul has been furloughed since April of this year.  During that time he was able to find a job as a handyman as well as help with a lot of responsibilities at church.  Between him working his odd jobs and me being able to get my old data entry job back, we were able to pay the bills and we had food on the table.  For the most part I felt peace about everything that was going on.  God has always been faithful in the past and I knew He would help us through this time.  Every month, after paying the bills and buying a week's worth of groceries, I would feel my chest tighten and tears stinging my eyes ..... every month I would have to pray again that God would give me peace about our situation and remind myself that He is always faithful.

When I went to the ladies' Bible study I had no idea what this book was about, but it didn't take long for me to realize my life was about to change for the better.  We read the book through the week, then every Tuesday we would watch a video from the author that would be incredibly deep, and after watching the videos we would have group discussions and talk about even deeper issues going on in our lives.  It was uncomfortable sometimes, for me, and I'm sure all the other women, because we don't like to talk about the things we are dealing with.  I know for me, I hate talking about my weaknesses and struggles.

Eucharisteo.  Grace.  Joy.  Thanksgiving.

She taught us about the Greek word eucharisteo -- this is the word that can change everything: eucharisteo—it comes right out of the Gospel of Luke: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them … ” (Luke 22:19 NIV). In the original language, “he gave thanks” reads “eucharisteo.”

The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.” Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. Chara. Joy.

Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo; the table of thanksgiving. The holy grail of joy, God set it in the very center of Christianity. The Eucharist is the central symbol of Christianity. Glynn, doesn’t the continual repetition of beginning our week at the table of the Eucharist clearly place the whole of our lives into the context of thanksgiving?

One of Christ’s very last directives He offers to His disciples is to take the bread, the wine, and to remember. Do this in remembrance of Me. Remember and give thanks.

This is the crux of Christianity: to remember and give thanks, eucharisteo.

Once she introduced eucharisteo in the book, I have done my best to have grace, to be thankful, and to have joy every single day.  Sometimes it isn't easy when the kids are spilling cups, bouncing off the walls, or not taking their naps so I can get some work done, but I don't let it discourage me.  I am not perfect, but each day I strive to be better than I am today and hopefully I will be where I want to be!

God ..... is always good and we are always loved ..... even when what He gives may appear ugly.  Ann Voskamp

I could write so much more about this wonderful book, but I think you should just read it on your own and see what you think!  I will close with this story about my husband and I that happened just a couple weeks ago .....
On our way home from visiting family we experienced a life lesson.  We drove through a major town and I suggested to my husband that he should get gas.  He had intentions of doing so, but he figured there would be one more station up ahead every time he passed an exit leading into the town.  90+ miles later, we got off on the appropriate exit leading us to the next major town that is 30 miles away, and we only have 15 miles of gas left in our tank.  We have ran out of gas more than once in our nearly 8 years of marriage so that fear is always in the back of my mind (that is also why I nicely suggested getting gas 90 miles ago, but oh well!) so realizing we would be stranded in the middle of nowhere with four small children and no cell phone service was hitting home fast.

Even though I felt the anxiety creeping in to my heart I did my best to remain calm.  My natural instincts would be to start a fight, but I knew God was giving us a life lesson and I really didn't want to blow it.

We found a little town on the side of the road that we pulled into hoping to find a gas station ..... they had a school, a fire station, a post office, and no gas station.  At this point we only had 10 miles left so we pulled back onto the highway hoping to find a station soon.  Paul and I watched the miles go down from 10, to 9, to 8, to 7 ..... I suggested to Paul that we needed to pray together that God help us, and he made sure to let me know he had already started a long time ago! :-)  I started praying too -- whether in my head or out loud I can't remember -- but I prayed and asked God to divinely help us.  I told Him I had faith that He would help us whether we found a gas station or not.  I had peace as Paul and I continued to watch the gas gauge go down to 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 .....

We drove on 0 miles for a little while, and we saw a bend in the road.  I told Paul with confidence that there was a gas station around the corner and that God was with us.  I didn't know for sure since I had never been in this area before, but I strongly believe God told me.  We went around the hill, and there was a tiny little gas station just waiting for us.

God took something that could have been ugly and taught us an amazing lesson -- though we didn't realize how amazing of a lesson till the next day.

The day after we were home from our trip Paul went back to work as a handyman.  A couple hours after he left he called to say that, after 6 months of being furloughed from the railroad, they were calling him back to work!

Sometimes we feel like we are running low on God's blessings.  We see the blessings meter running down to empty and, though we have no idea how God will do it, we know He never, ever, ever leaves us stranded on the side of the road.  He will always remain faithful.  He just wants to see how faithful you are to Him.

I am kind of surprised at how long of a post this is.  I read through it wondering if I should edit it to make it a little shorter, but honestly I feel like everything on here needs to stay.  So for the few who actually read this post to the end, I really hope it blesses you and you feel encouraged.  I don't know what you're going through in your life, but God does, and maybe He led you to this post for a reason! 

In the stressful times; seek God.
In the painful times; praise God.
In the terrible times; trust God.
At all times ..... At all times ..... At all times
Thank God.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Is it Monday already?  Really?  Friday was just here and I blinked.  My weekends feel too short.  I know I'm not the only one who feels that way.  This last weekend was especially busy because we went to a wedding!  One of my good friends got married on Saturday and I was honored to be one of her bridesmaids.  She got married in the mountains and it was gorgeous.  The weather and decorations was perfect.  I am so happy for her and her new husband!

On Sunday we spent the day with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law eating junk food and watching our football team lose.  That's always a bummer!  But the fellowship was fun.  After that we all made our way to church for evening Sunday school and a rousing game of Fruit Basket Upset.  If you don't know what Fruit Basket Upset is I encourage you to come visit our church!  You will have a lot of fun! :-)

Now it's Monday and we are back to school.  We have done school for a month and Zoe still jumps right into her lessons and is excited to learn.  I am so thankful for that!  I know the day will come that she will not be as enthusiastic so I will choose to be thankful for it now!

In science class Zoe has been learning about water -- how it freezes and turns into ice when it gets cold, how it turns into a gas when it reaches a boiling point, and that the beautiful clouds we see in the sky are teeny tiny particles of ice that form those beautiful, puffy, white shapes in the sky.  She also got to make her own clouds using cotton balls, paper, and her trusty glue stick.

I feel like we have a really good routine going when it comes to getting school work done.  Now that we have found our groove in the school department, I think it's time to shift gears and focus on the cleaning house area...

How do homeschool moms keep the house tidy during the day?

I know all housewives/mothers live in different situations, but if you have any tips or suggestions on how to keep up with the house I would love to hear them!

Max's Birthday is tomorrow!  Our little man is turning 4!  I can't believe he is getting so big.  I love his little personality.  He is such a crack up!  I'm not sure when we will have a party since family is either out of town or getting ready to head out of town...but when we do have a party I know it will be a lot of fun for him!  He is pretty excited about growing up.  He has big plans for his life!