Monday, October 10, 2016

Busy This Week

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary last weekend and enjoyed dinner out and a cozy evening at home.  We actually went to bed early around 7pm and watched the same movie we saw in the theater on our honeymoon, Apollo 13. Thanks Netflix! :-)

Our sons watched Captain America downstairs with Vidangel. If you haven't heard of vidangel, it is awesome! Easy to use and it allows you to filter out the junk from streamed movies, all for a dollar.

Anyway, my husband and I had a lovely time on our date and tried not to talk about our kids. Funny how easy it is for conversation to flow right to them. We are in our final chapter of raising our kids and there is a lot that begs discussion. But still, we tried to talk about future dreams of ours, what kind of house we might have in the future. Travels we might take.

Our sons are now 20 and almost 18 and working full time by day and in the evenings they're studying for their AS degrees from Thomas Edison University. So my time of homeschooling has come to an end. It is a happy sad feeling. Not having family around puts a greater weight on my husband and I to fill in all the blanks and get things right. We are doing okay and trying to focus on finishing well with our boys and learn what God is teaching us.

This week we went to see Swan Lake at the Performing Arts Ballet with some friends in our homeschool group. As homeschoolers, we get discounted tickets to see professional productions along with the public schools every year.  That was a big day because that evening we also had tickets to see the Barnum & Bailey Ringling Bros. circus. Had we not been given free tickets to the circus, we would not have gone.

We're not big circus fans. But since my husband and sons had never been, we were game. I was surprised at how different the circus was from the last (and only) time I saw it 23 years ago. It was all modernized with flashy lights and loud music and the animal acts were rote and much more toned down. No elephants but they had lions, tigers, horses, dogs, llamas, etc. In fact we heard that this is their last year using animals at all. Which is a good thing because there's a lot of questions as to the animals being treated well.

We got to see all the animals outside in their cages before the show and they looked so...caged. The big cats paced a little (a sign of frustration). After the show, we wondered how in the world they can afford to do all they do, and travel with all those animals and people! I have no idea. But the performers were very talented, amazing acrobats. All in all, it was a good experience and I'm glad we got to go.

As I take time to write this blog post, I'm amazed how full our days have been. If you think you're busy when your kids are younger, just wait until they are highschool-college age. And we live a fairly quiet life compared to some! My head spins off it's axis when I think of families who are even busier.

But it is all good and we are happy and grateful for all the things and people the Lord has put into our lives. I am getting ready to go to a friends house for a homeschool mom's night tonight. I am starting to feel that sense of not belonging anymore now that mine are not officially homeschooling anymore. But I love my friends and want to see them so I'm going.
Hope you all have a blessed day!

Busy This Week

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary last weekend and enjoyed dinner out and a cozy evening at home.  We actually went to bed early around 7pm and watched the same movie we saw in the theater on our honeymoon, Apollo 13. Thanks Netflix! :-)

Our sons watched Captain America downstairs with Vidangel. If you haven't heard of vidangel, it is awesome! Easy to use and it allows you to filter out the junk from streamed movies, all for a dollar.

Anyway, my husband and I had a lovely time on our date and tried not to talk about our kids. Funny how easy it is for conversation to flow right to them. We are in our final chapter of raising our kids and there is a lot that begs discussion. But still, we tried to talk about future dreams of ours, what kind of house we might have in the future. Travels we might take.

Our sons are now 20 and almost 18 and working full time by day and in the evenings they're studying for their AS degrees from Thomas Edison University. So my time of homeschooling has come to an end. It is a happy sad feeling. Not having family around puts a greater weight on my husband and I to fill in all the blanks and get things right. We are doing okay and trying to focus on finishing well with our boys and learn what God is teaching us.

This week we went to see Swan Lake at the Performing Arts Ballet with some friends in our homeschool group. As homeschoolers, we get discounted tickets to see professional productions along with the public schools every year.  That was a big day because that evening we also had tickets to see the Barnum & Bailey Ringling Bros. circus. Had we not been given free tickets to the circus, we would not have gone.

We're not big circus fans. But since my husband and sons had never been, we were game. I was surprised at how different the circus was from the last (and only) time I saw it 23 years ago. It was all modernized with flashy lights and loud music and the animal acts were rote and much more toned down. No elephants but they had lions, tigers, horses, dogs, llamas, etc. In fact we heard that this is their last year using animals at all. Which is a good thing because there's a lot of questions as to the animals being treated well.

We got to see all the animals outside in their cages before the show and they looked so...caged. The big cats paced a little (a sign of frustration). After the show, we wondered how in the world they can afford to do all they do, and travel with all those animals and people! I have no idea. But the performers were very talented though and really were amazing acrobats. All in all, it was a good experience and I'm glad we got to go.

As I take time to write this blog post, I'm amazed how full our days have been. If you think you're busy when your kids are younger, just wait until they are highschool-college age. And we live a fairly quiet life compared to some! My head spins off it's axis when I think of families who are even busier.

But it is all good and we are happy and grateful for all the things and people the Lord has put into our lives. I am getting ready to go to a friends house for a homeschool mom's night tonight. I am starting to feel that sense of not belonging anymore now that mine are not officially homeschooling anymore. But I love my friends and want to see them so I'm going.
Hope you all have a blessed day!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Purging and Surging

We have been in our new house now for about 15 months now and it has been a roller coaster ride! Renovations have abounded all of this time and it's been such a challenge. The dust, oh the dust!!

My husband has done it all by himself with his handy helpers (me and our boys) and I deeply admire the strength, stamina and talent he has put into all his work. He does everything with so much integrity and excellence.

But right before we bought this house, we had a last minute hesitation. We felt at such a crossroad. We prayed and chewed over where God was leading us because all of a sudden, we weren't sure we were supposed to continue living in this state at all.  At the time of that conversation, our older son was gone attending a seminar out of state and only my husband and I and our youngest son were there for this talk.

We sat at our little kitchen table that day and discussed what God was laying on our hearts. We all felt the Lord saying this house would not be where we end up settling. My husband felt specifically that in 2 years we would be relocating again. We all prayed about that and felt that the Lord was definitely behind the word. Later on, our younger son shared that he felt the significance of our older son being gone while this major life direction decision was made, was that perhaps only the three of us would be moving on and our oldest would be forging his own path by that time. A painful thought for my mom heart. But God has a way of giving me little signposts along my journey that help me deal with the emotional blows up ahead.

So this journey we are on is one of God's design as we follow him and pursue the path that he lights before us. There are times it makes no sense and is frustrating and heartbreaking. And there are other  times that we get tiny glimmers of God's plan unfolding before us and feel hopeful. But most of the time, it forces me to simply live in today. Because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is completely unknown. In other words, God is growing me. And growing is exciting, but growing can also hurt. When that happens I cry like a baby to Jesus. He comforts me, I dry my tears and I move ahead.

So living in today is much like driving. Your car is today. What you see in the windshield is tomorrow. But good drivers also must monitor the rearview mirror. It's good to know where you came from.

So as I surge ahead, trusting God, I also think about how much I like to travel light. The less I have to worry about and keep track of, the better. At heart, I'm a minimalist, but I also like to nest a bit. I want our home to feel like home, even though I know it's temporary, which is such a challenge!

So what I have on my plate is having a house full of STUFF (that I've already paired down from the last house!), and knowing that in less than a year's time, that I want paired down to 20%. I don't want to move allllll our stuff again because packing and moving and unpacking stinks. So this time I'm thinking about selling off most of the bulk and keeping only the sentimental essentials. My logic is why should we lug stuff that's replaceable?

So I have had the lovely task of trying to live here in the new house knowing that each beautiful  renovation we complete is not mine to keep. And every stick of furniture is eyed with what I can sell it for. sigh. All while I am trying to make it a home that we can live in and enjoy today. I look forward to the day that we fix up a house and I do not immediately think of what buyers will think!

The biggest contenders for purging in the next 9 months remain in the unfinished basement that my husband has hopes of finishing. Ah, the basement! I love living in a state where basements are commonplace. They are so great to have! Ours is currently filled with, you guessed it, a bunch of stuff. And all I can think of is how are we gonna get rid of all that stuff before our big move? Or rather, how are we going to recoup our investment on all that stuff? The easy thing would be to donate it all. But if we could sell it, it would be that much better and help with moving expenses.

I believe that purging and thinning our belongings will help us surge ahead. I'm not so sure that I will like hunting down furniture and starting all over again. Starting all over again is hard. The making new friends and starting from scratch is both exciting and exhausting. But I trust that God is doing something new and wonderful, even if I can't quite understand it. I just keep praying that I will stay out of his way and let him do what he wants to do in our lives and in our family.

So many women, I think, miss what God has for them because they're so busy wearing the pants in the family. They heavily influence their husbands and steer them where they think they should go. Men were created to lead. Some lead forcefully, some lead uncertainly, some lead bashfully. But all men were created to lead. It's a wife's duty to let her man lead. I still give my input, but I make it clear that I'll support my husband's final decision no matter what.

One thing I have learned through out this journey is that when I married my husband it was forever. It was for better or worse, sickness and health, richer or poorer till death do us part. There are women who say, "this is not what I signed up for" and they get out. I read that 69% of divorces are initiated by women. How sad! They exchange what could have been an amazing love story just because the going got a little tough. Some of the best stories are from when the going gets a little tough! Am I right?

This is why God exhorts women specifically not to tear their house down with their own hands. That is such an easy thing to do, isn't it? We have SO much power and influence over our husbands. But we need to use that power and influence to PRAY for them, not lead them.  We have to stay the course all the way down the line. When life throws you some curve balls and the road gets bumpy as it inevitably will, let those bumps jostle you closer together. Lean on your man in the hard times and say, "We'll get through this and we'll be better because of it!"

Most Christian husbands are trying to lead their homes, but we women can sometimes get in the way. If we can get out of God's way, offer our viewpoint with love, and then trust God to lead our man where he wants to take him, we will see God's plan unfold.

I don't want God to say to me one day, "This is what I had in store for you if only you hadn't interfered with my leading your husband."

So I have to remind myself, daily sometimes, that this is not my home. Not just this house. But this world. It's not my home. I am on a journey to heaven. And it's not about living the American dream, it's about obeying God. My journey doesn't look like anyone else's and that is okay. My story belongs to God. And he is purging me as much as I'm purging this house of mine. I am learning to hold all that God gives me with a super loose grip so that when or if it is taken away, it won't hurt so much. I want to surge ahead to the place God has for me and the lighter the load the better — physically and spiritually! :)

Hebrews 12:1-2
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What about you? Is God purging something in your life to prepare you to surge ahead? I'd love to hear from you.

Purging and Surging

We have been in our new house now for about 15 months now and it has been a roller coaster ride! Renovations have abounded all of this time and it's been such a challenge. The dust, oh the dust!!

My husband has done it all by himself with his handy helpers (me and our boys) and I deeply admire the strength, stamina and talent he has put into all his work. He does everything with so much integrity and excellence.

But right before we bought this house, we had a last minute hesitation. We felt at such a crossroad. We prayed and chewed over where God was leading us because all of a sudden, we weren't sure we were supposed to continue living in this state at all.  At the time of that conversation, our older son was gone attending a seminar out of state and only my husband and I and our youngest son were there for this talk.

We sat at our little kitchen table that day and discussed what God was laying on our hearts. We all felt the Lord saying this house would not be where we end up settling. My husband felt specifically that in 2 years we would be relocating again. We all prayed about that and felt that the Lord was definitely behind the word. Later on, our younger son shared that he felt the significance of our older son being gone while this major life direction decision was made, was that perhaps only the three of us would be moving on and our oldest would be forging his own path by that time. A painful thought for my mom heart. But God has a way of giving me little signposts along my journey that help me deal with the emotional blows up ahead.

So this journey we are on is one of God's design as we follow him and pursue the path that he lights before us. There are times it makes no sense and is frustrating and heartbreaking. And there are other  times that we get tiny glimmers of God's plan unfolding before us and feel hopeful. But most of the time, it forces me to simply live in today. Because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is completely unknown. In other words, God is growing me. And growing is exciting, but growing can also hurt. When that happens I cry like a baby to Jesus. He comforts me, I dry my tears and I move ahead.

So living in today is much like driving. Your car is today. What you see in the windshield is tomorrow. But good drivers also must monitor the rearview mirror. It's good to know where you came from.

So as I surge ahead, trusting God, I also think about how much I like to travel light. The less I have to worry about and keep track of, the better. At heart, I'm a minimalist, but I also like to nest a bit. I want our home to feel like home, even though I know it's temporary, which is such a challenge!

So what I have on my plate is having a house full of STUFF (that I've already pared down from the last house!), and knowing that in less than a year's time, I'd like to have about 20% left to move. I don't think I want to move allllll our stuff again because packing and moving and unpacking stinks. So this time I'm thinking about selling off most of the bulk and keeping only the sentimental essentials. My logic is why should we lug stuff that's replaceable?

So I have had the lovely task of trying to live here in the new house knowing that every lovely renovation we are doing is not mine to keep and every stick of furniture is eyed with what I can sell it for. sigh. All while I am trying to make it a home that we can live in and enjoy today. I look forward to the day that we fix up a house and I do not immediately think of what buyers will think!

The biggest contenders for purging in the next 9 months remain in the unfinished basement that my husband has hopes of finishing. Ah, the basement! I love living in a state where basements are commonplace. They are so great to have! Ours is currently filled with, you guessed it, a bunch of stuff. And all I can think of is how are we gonna get rid of all that stuff before our big move? Or rather, how are we going to recoup our investment on all that stuff? The easy thing would be to donate it all. But if we could sell it, it would be that much better and help with moving expenses.

I believe that purging and thinning our belongings will help us surge ahead. I'm not so sure that I will like hunting down furniture and starting all over again. Starting all over again is hard. The making new friends and starting from scratch is both exciting and exhausting. But I trust that God is doing something new and wonderful, even if I can't quite understand it. I just keep praying that I will stay out of his way and let him do what he wants to do in our lives and in our family.

So many women, I think, miss what God has for them because they're so busy wearing the pants in the family. They heavily influence their husbands and steer them where they think they should go. Men were created to lead. Some lead forcefully, some lead uncertainly, some lead bashfully. But all men were created to lead. It's a wife's duty to let her man lead. I still give my input, but I make it clear that I'll support my husband's final decision no matter what.

One thing I have learned through out this journey is that when I married my husband it was forever. It was for better or worse, sickness and health, richer or poorer till death do us part. There are women who say, "this is not what I signed up for" and they get out. I read that 69% of divorces are initiated by women. How sad! They exchange what could have been an amazing love story just because the going got a little tough. Some of the best stories are from when the going gets a little tough! Am I right?

This is why God exhorts women specifically not to tear their house down with their own hands. That is such an easy thing to do, isn't it? We have SO much power and influence over our husbands. But we need to use that power and influence to PRAY for them, not lead them.  We have to stay the course all the way down the line. When life throws you some curve balls and the road gets bumpy as it inevitably will, let those bumps jostle you closer together. Lean on your man in the hard times and say, "We'll get through this and we'll be better because of it!"

Most Christian husbands are trying to lead their homes, but we women can sometimes get in the way. If we can get out of God's way, offer our viewpoint with love, and then trust God to lead our man where he wants to take him, we will see God's plan unfold.

I don't want God to say to me one day, "This is what I had in store for you if only you hadn't interfered with my leading your husband."

So I have to remind myself, daily sometimes, that this is not my home. Not just this house. But this world. It's not my home. I am on a journey to heaven. And it's not about living the American dream, it's about obeying God. My journey doesn't look like anyone else's and that is okay. My story belongs to God. And he is purging me as much as I'm purging this house of mine. I am learning to hold all that God gives me with a super loose grip so that when or if it is taken away, it won't hurt so much. I want to surge ahead to the place God has for me and the lighter the load the better — physically and spiritually! :)


Hebrews 12:1-2
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What about you? Is God purging something in your life to prepare you to surge ahead? I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dealing With Stress God's Way

Hey ladies, I hope you are enjoying the lovely start of fall 2016! October is here and I am sitting here in my family room with the window open and listening to the trees blowing in the breeze outside. I love that sound and I love fall! 

My family has been going through so many transitions this past year it has been a challenge for me to keep up which is why blogging was low on the totem pole! I truly don't know how other mom bloggers can just keep blogging through renovations and life mayhem but my hat is off to them. I guess just different personalities have different strengths. 

For me it takes me time to adjust to transitions and changes and upheaval. As an introvert I'm energized by quiet alone time and lots of mental processing. I like to figure out where I am, what I think about it, how to process what is happening, etc. 

So I thought I'd talk a little about stress.

There are so many things that we, as women, are juggling at any given time — our husbands, children, homes, finances, schedules, church commitments, school, housekeeping, errands, grocery shopping, meal preparations, cleaning, hospitality. Sometimes they can pile up on us and crush us. Sometimes it feels like we are hurrying all. the. time. Just to keep up. 

Hurrying has sadly become the American way. Once in a while it's not a problem, but hurrying as a lifestyle is a problem because it increases our stress levels. And stress is a killer. Stress causes anxiety, sleep disturbance, fear, worry, disease and death. 

God has made himself perfectly clear in Scripture that we are NOT to be full of worry and stress. Since stress and anxiety start in the mind, that is where the battle must be fought. When we read and meditate on God's words, we are renewing our minds.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

So what is Jesus' yoke that we need to take upon us? A yoke is a coupling traditionally used to keep two plow animals working and walking in unison. So when we take Jesus' yoke upon us, we are literally coupling ourselves to him. And that makes it very easy to walk with him. And when we are yoked with the Prince of Peace, the burden is light — not heavy and stressful!

Our attitude determines how we act and interact with everyone — our husband, children, neighbors, friends and community. Attitude truly affects everyone in our life.  And worry is like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain. Which is pretty ridiculous.

There are a LOT of wives and mothers who are completely stressed out right now. They may not always act like it, they won't always admit it. But they are freaking out inside. It is really something when we come across someone who is peaceful and of good cheer. It begs the question of why, doesn't it? That is an opportunity to share the love and transforming power of Jesus Christ with those stressed out around us. 

If we are trusting God, whom shall we fear? We don't need to be "full of care" when we are yoked with the Prince of Peace.  

God's word gives us so much to think about. When we meditate on God's word, live his reality and walk with him, His peace washes over us. 

And in turn our hearts will be steady, our minds will be clear and our homes will be happier. 


Philippians 4:6-7, says Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 

Psalms 55:22 - Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  

1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Luke 6:48 - He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

Psalms 34:17-19 - The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.   

1 Corinthians 14:1-40 - Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.   

Psalms 119:71 - It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. 

1 Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

So the next time stress, worry and anxiety comes knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, it's for you"! 

Have a blessed day in Christ!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why I Never Use Profanity


It's grievous to hear a professing Christian use profane words, or use God's name irreverently. The Bible says that one day we will each have to stand before the Lord and give an account for every idle word spoken. Every Idle Word.

That's a little mind blowing, but it is right there in scripture. Profanity is defined as 

Profane [proh-feyn,]

adjective
1. characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.
verb (used with object)
6. to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily.
Synonyms
1. blasphemous, sacrilegious, impious, ungodly. 2. temporal. 3. unhallowed. 5. low, mean, base. 7. desecrate.

I wonder if