Fun Fact Friday – March 31, 2017

Fun Fact Friday!

  1. “Moleskine” notebooks are my favorite! Thick paper, sturdy cover, elastic band to hold it closed, variety of color options for the cover, paper can have lines or grids or be completely blank … so good!
  2. We use Moleskine notebooks for our shared journals with the kids. We write something to the kids in their own notebook, place it under or on their pillow, they respond, then place it under or on our pillow, and so it goes back and forth. Perhaps I’ll do a post about them, some day?
  3. Papa and I just bought a new bed (yay for Costco sales)!! Our old mattress, a very low end “sleep number” bed, was well over 10 years old. Needless to say, it had seen better days. The air chambers were wonky and making various areas bulge and stick out, making for an interesting night of sleep. The new bed is so big and fluffy it almost feels like we are climbing up a mountain just to get onto it! hahhaha!
  4. As a kid, when I would color a picture, I would try to get every color of the rainbow onto the paper, somehow. It felt more balanced and full of life with all of the colors.
  5. After taking off my shoes and socks the other day, Taz exclaimed in wonder, “I’ve never seen your bare feet before!” Even though I know that statement is untrue, it does speak volumes to how often I wear socks and shoes.
  6. It is not uncommon to have someone share something vulnerable with me and follow it up with, “I’m not even sure why I told you all of that!” I guess I naturally invite people to share their heart with me. I am always so honored when someone does so.
  7. When I was about 19 years old, I broke a small bone or two in my hand when I went running full speed into the side of a car when trying to race across the middle capture-the-flag territory line. I only had eyes to get to safety, the parked car was not even in my line of sight until it was too late. Ouch!
  8. It is hard for me to sit still. I am a mover … even if it’s subtle movement (like playing with a pen or holding a beverage or shifting my leg positions). I like having something to DO.

Living and Active

I often enjoy listening to various podcasts in the mornings while I get ready for the day. One of my very favorites is done by Heidi St. John, The Busy Mom. As I was listening to her latest series, “Becoming MomStrong,” she said something that jumped right through my iPhone speakers and grabbed me. It’s a phrase I have heard hundreds, if not thousands, of times throughout my life. But this time, I couldn’t shake the words from my thoughts.

Those words were:

Living and Active

Heidi shared about becoming Mom Strong and instilling God’s living and active Word into our own hearts and into the hearts of our children. His Word is powerful.

The context of those words are found in Hebrews 4:12 (italics, mine),

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

I kept turning those words over and over in my mind. Even in the hustle and bustle of the day, my thoughts would return to this verse and those two words.

This morning, I couldn’t just think about them any longer. I needed to study them. I needed to chew on them. I needed to meditate on them. I needed to process them through writing.

For those that may not know, I am a word person. I love knowing the meanings behind words to get a more full picture of what is meant when they’re used. I desire to keep things in context, especially in God’s Word. I want to delve deeper to understand the original intent and purpose of the words and phrases used. The Bible is so much richer when we are able to do this.

To satiate my hunger and thirst for more, I pulled out my Bible, my journal (to process my thoughts) and two of my all-time favorite books:

  1. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (American Dictionary of the English Language)
  2. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

If you love words and studying God’s Word, get these books!! They are incredible and invaluable.

I started my studies by simply looking up the definitions and origins of these words.

I know both of them are adjectives as they describe God’s Word. What kind of Word is it? It is living and it is active.


Dwelling; residing; existing; subsisting; having life or the vital functions in operation; not dead. – Webster’s definition #1

Issuing continually from the earth; running; flowing; as a living spring or fountain; opposed to stagnant. – Webster’s definition #2

Producing action, animation and vigor; quickening; as a living principle; a living faith. – Webster’s definition #3

A primary verb; to live (literally or figuratively): life, lifetime, live, alive, lively, quick. – Strong’s Concordance: #G2198


That has the power or quality of acting; that contains the principle of action, independent of any visible external force; as attraction is an active power or it may be defined, that communicates action or motion. Opposed to passive, that receives action; as, the active powers of the mind. – Webster’s definition #1

Having the power of quick motion or disposition to move with speed; nimble; lively; brisk; agile as an active animal, hence … – Webster’s definition #2

Busy; constantly engaged in action; pursuing business with vigor and assiduity; opposed to dull, slow or indolent; as an active officer. It is also opposed to sedentary, as an active life. – Webster’s definition #3

I couldn’t find a Strong’s number for “active” so I looked up “powerful” (which is how the word is translated by the King James Version)

Active, operative: effectual, powerful. – Strong’s Concordance: #G1756

In general, able to produce great effects; exerting great force or energy; as powerful eloquence. The word of God is quick and powerful, Hebrews 4:12. – Webster’s Definition #5

Y’all. Do you see how amazing God’s Word is?

It has life
It is like a living spring or fountain
It produces action
It produces animation
It produces vigor (strength)
It is quickening (springs to life, becomes animated)
It lives
It moves to action
It communicates action or motion
It has the power of quick motion
It has the disposition to move with speed
It is busy
It is constantly engaged in action
It is effectual (successful to produce an intended result)
It is powerful
It is able to produce great effects (cause change or something to happen)

Sometimes, you can also look at a word and help define it by what it is NOT. Scrolling through the definitions above, I found the word “opposed” to help show how it contrasts with what it actually is. God’s Word …

Is not dead
Is opposed to stagnant
Is opposed to passive
Is opposed to slow
Is opposed to dull
Is opposed to indolent (laziness)
Is opposed to sedentary

Are catching this? As I was reading through these various definitions, I was simply blown away. God’s Word is AMAZING! It is incredibly powerful, it is effective, it is active, it is living!!

God’s Word is not dead … it is ALIVE!

Hebrews 4:12 goes on to say it so sharp that it pierces and/or penetrates even dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. That’s pretty sharp. It’s easy for us to often see things as gray, blurred, blended or muddied … but God’s Word does not. It’s pretty clear, it’s pretty quick, and it’s pretty powerful. It divides and separates even those things we have a hard time seeing a distinction or difference. It judges (exposes and discerns) our inner most thoughts, intentions and desires.

It is not dull, but sharp!
It is not stagnant, but living!
It is not withdrawn, but penetrates and pierces!
It is not ignorant or unaware, but discerning!
It is not weak, but powerful!

Friends, as you navigate your day today, I encourage you to actively and diligently wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. It is a powerful weapon. Read it. Memorize it. Know it. Use it. It can do what we cannot do in and of ourselves.

If/When you’re trudging through murky or clouded waters, dive into the clear waters of His Word. There, you will find what you need (even if it’s not something you want).

I actually started out wanting to list everything you can find in God’s Word (hope, peace, answers, forgiveness, truth, direction, grace, teachings, JESUS, etc.), but felt like the list could go on forever … so I simply summarized it by saying you can find what you need. 🙂

God knows. I have the uttermost confidence and faith that He will speak to you through His Word and help you navigate through life as you gain wisdom and understanding from Him …

To God be the Glory!


“God won’t give me more than I can handle”

The blog you will read below is something I wrote 7 1/2 years ago in September of 2009. I recently came across it and thought I’d share it with you. I did not change any of the original wording, although I confess, I was incredibly tempted to do so. I really wanted to make some phrasing adjustments, remove a few things, and add a bit more details here and there. Yet, I wanted to keep it as I first wrote it, so it remains the same.

I do hope and pray it will be eye-opening as well as encouraging to someone, somewhere, at this point in time and season.

To God be the Glory!!


September 11, 2009

Recently, I was reading through 2 Corinthians. No particular reason why that book of the Bible. Although, I had just finished 1 Corinthians, so it seemed natural to continue and read through 2 Corinthians. As I began reading it, a few verses in that very first chapter JUMPED off of the page. I couldn’t help but reread them OVER and OVER again. These are the verses that I read.

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

“8For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.”

A little background info about me …

I grew up in a Christian home. To be honest, I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know and walk with the Lord. For that, I am truly, incredibly, forever grateful!! I grew up generally knowing the “right” things to say and do. I even learned all of those churchy things to say. As some often call it, I knew the “Christianese” language. You probably know what I’m talking about. Words like Sanctification, Blessing, Redeemed, Communion and Holiness were part of normal conversation. Well, with knowing all of that, there are many words or phrases that I say/said because they’re just what I’ve always heard someone else say. Not knowing if they’re right or wrong, I just say them, because  … because that’s what’s done.

Have you ever wondered where certain phrases come from?

“You’re a chip off the old block.”

“Let’s get the show on the road.”

“In a nutshell.”

“A basket case.”

These are just some miscellaneous clichés people say, and often there is a history and meaning behind them. We don’t usually think about them in-depth, but we say them. Well, the same goes for church phrases. We say them, but don’t always think in-depth about their meaning or WHY we say them. Sadly, it is often that we don’t check to make sure they are matched up with what Scripture teaches.

Since I grew up in the church, it was easy for me to say all of these random churchy phrases. I still say a lot of them. But, I’m finding more and more that I want to make sure that what I say, truly matches up with what God’s Word says. Recently, I have been mulling over a phrase that I have heard and even said many times myself. That phrase is the title of this post, “God won’t give me more than I can handle.” Have you heard anyone say that before?!  Or, have you said it yourself? I know I have. Many times. I’ve said variations of it, too …

“God won’t give me more than I can handle.”

“God won’t allow me to experience more than I can endure.”

“I know I can make it through because God won’t give more than I can deal with right now.”

Well, as I’ve been mulling over different phrases and especially churchy phrases, I keep coming back to this one for some reason. I’ve had to ask myself, do I believe it? Is it true? Ultimately, is this what God’s Word says and teaches? Does God keep me from experiencing anything that is too much to endure? Does He make sure not to give me more than what I can cope with? More than I can bear?

I know there’s a passage that many people have used to support this phrase, “God will not give me more than I can handle.” That passage is found in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Backing up a bit in the chapter, the beginning of 1 Corinthians 10 talks about the Israelites and their history. How they are examples to us … actually more of a warning to us of what NOT to do. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were. Do not be sexually immoral, as some of them were. Do not set your heart on evil things, as some of them did. Be aware of these things, so that you do not fall. That you, who think you are standing firm, do not fall to these common temptations. You are a common man, too.

It states in verses 10-13 (italics mine):

These things happened to them [Israelites] as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

The chapter continues on with an appeal to flee idolatry and some other stuff, too.

Verse 13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”  (Italics mine.)

When I first read this passage, it was easy to conclude that I wouldn’t be pushed beyond what I can endure or bear. It made sense, especially in light of the phrase I have always heard and said myself (the title of the post). However, upon reading it more and more, it seemed as though I was forgetting the context of the chapter: sin and temptation. I began asking, “Is this talking about life in general, or just about temptations?” Isn’t it talking about how we can learn from Israel’s history so we do not fall to the same temptations as they once did. I’m just not quite certain that it’s talking about ALL of life … hmmmm.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that God is faithful. When I am tempted to do anything that goes against HIS Word, I have the promise that HE will provide a way out. I can stand up under it and not be overcome. I do not have to succumb to those temptations just as the passage says.

I completely agree that God helps me in my weakness and provides a way out of my temptations. I completely agree. But, does that mean that I won’t ever be pushed beyond what I can handle … in general?

I know there are circumstances out there that are HARD. VERY hard. For instance, moving out of state away from every person that I know and love! That’s hard. I know from recent experience. It can be (and often is) a lonely road.

Raising 4 children born in a 4.5 year span and having a miscarriage in the midst of those years, that’s hard! Not much “me time” left at the end of the day. Only more loads of laundry and piles of dishes to be done.  🙂

Homeschooling … whew. That is no easy task. It is hard work!! It adds a whole new dimension to life to be Mommy AND Teacher. These have been and still ARE hard circumstances for me.

I, personally, have not dealt with some of the bigger life altering circumstances (divorce, a close death, physical persecution, major medical illnesses, etc.), but others have. Those are HARD situations. Although they are hard, they are not what I would call, “temptations” issues. They are circumstances that are more than difficult, but I’m not sure they are “temptations.” I may be tempted in different ways on how-to-handle those situations, but the event, in-and-of-itself, is not a temptation. As God Word promises, the temptations I deal with will not go beyond what I can bear. However, that doesn’t mean our circumstances won’t go beyond … does it?

“God won’t give me more than I can handle.” I know I have used this phrase in times of trial. And, I too, used 1 Corinthians 10:13 to help me feel all warm and cozy knowing that I wouldn’t be pushed beyond my limits. But, I honestly have a hard time doing that now. It just seems that I’m adding to the Scripture by making it an all-inclusive to life, instead of keeping it with the context of temptations.

In the midst of struggling to understand this concept more, I eventually stumbled upon the passage I mentioned at the beginning of the post.

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

“8For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.”

Rereading that first verse … apostle Paul and Timothy (and others?) were burdened excessively, beyond their strength, so that they despaired even of life. Wow.

New International Version (NIV) states it this way, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.” That’s intense. They were at a place that was BEYOND their ability to endure? Beyond what they could “bear?” They had the “sentence of death” within them? Suicidal thoughts? Ready to die? Knowing they would die? Death staring them in the face? It’s not just that they could bear no more … they were passed that point. It was too much. It was “beyond [their] ability to endure.”

What was their reaction to such peril thoughts/emotions/experiences? Verse 9 says, they “had the sentence of death within [them] SO THAT they would not trust in [themselves], but in God who raises the dead; who delivered [them] from so great a peril of death, and will deliver [them], He on whom [they] have set [their] hope.”

Isn’t that beautiful?! Not “beautiful” that they were on the brink of death and were despaired even of life and beyond their ability to endure … but that they did not trust in themselves, but in GOD! They put their trust in HIM. They set their hope in HIM. Their faith rested in HIM.

They were truly beyond their ability to cope, their ability to endure, their ability to survive … in-and-of-themselves they could not do it. In their own strength, they could not do it. With each other, they could not do it. The ONLY way they could “endure” or “bear” what was happening, was through their trust, faith and hope in God. It wasn’t that God didn’t allow things to happen beyond their strength to endure, because He did allow it … but as they trusted our God who raises the dead, they were saved. They were delivered!

Verse 10 and a little of verse 11 in the NIV, “HE has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers …”

Our hope is in HIM. We can withstand “beyond what we can bear,” because of HIM.

(Side note to Verse 11: Not only is it our hope in Him that delivers us … but also others praying for us. Prayer is so powerful.)

It’s more understandable (not excusable) now why people are at the “end of their rope” (another cliche’-ick phrase). It’s more understandable why people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope day-to-day. It’s more understandable why people resort to beating their loved ones (or strangers) or why people ultimately take their own life. They are beyond what they can bear. In their minds, there is no “solution” to the problem. No hope. In their thinking, there is no answer. No way to be saved or rescued. There is no way out. What a sad and dark and lonely place.

Without a hope, without a faith, without a trust in the Almighty Sovereign God, there is hopelessness. No hope to be delivered. No hope to endure. No hope at all. Trusting in my own strength will not deliver me. I MUST trust in HIM.

I have the promise that I will not be TEMPTED beyond what I can bear … yahoooooo!! I love that promise.

And, I have the hope that when life circumstances ARE “beyond what I can bear” … I can rest in the hope I have in HIM, my Savior. I can trust HIM, not myself, to save and rescue me.  I love that.


Even after 7 1/2 years since first writing this piece, I still find myself coming to the same conclusion: I need Jesus, especially in my desperation. HE is my one and only salvation in all of the good, the bad, and the ugly. HE is my way out of temptation. HE is my complete strength in my utter weakness. HE is.

As I reread all of this, I am clearly reminded how much I desire to always seek and know Truth. I don’t want to hear clichés or sayings and take them as the Gospel Truth. I want to constantly examine all things and line them up with His Word. I want all I believe, all I say, and all I have put my hope in to line up with Truth. HE (and His Word) is unchanging … I am the one that is to change and be moldable. Soft and pliable. Lord, mold me and shape me according to your immutable Word.

To God be the Glory!

Fun Fact Friday – March 24, 2017

Fun Fact Friday is here, once again!

  1. Even though it’s “Spring Break” this week for our local public schools, we are not taking any breaks from our daily homeschooling subjects.
  2. Next week, Papa’s parents and sister come to town for a visit! The kids won’t be doing very much schooling that week. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. We get to switch around our weeks off of school to accommodate what is best for our family.
  3. I am a fan of “Melissa and Doug” toys. They are educational and solid in design.
  4. I am quite behind on my emails, texts and blog posts this week. Not sure why I’m so delayed in them, but I better hop to it and get things moving soon!
  5. I had a homeschool co-op teacher (during my high school years) that would put the initials “K.I.S.S.” on my papers/reports: “Keep It Simple Sister.” He recognized, even back then, my tendency to want to use a lot of words when I write. I still can’t help it. It’s how I’m wired. Details, details, details.
  6. I have all of our family wall calendars dating back every year to 1999. It’s fun to look back and see what all was happening, who we were hanging out with, and how busy (or not) we were during various seasons of our family.
  7. I prefer sleeping with heavy blankets as opposed to light and airy ones. The weight helps me feel safe, secure, and cozy.
  8. I learned a trick (an obvious one!) this month for saving money in our grocery bills: shop every other week instead of every week. When I shop every week, I simply buy more than is needed. Shopping every other week pushes us to use up what we have before we invest in more. Less waste. I buy less, overall, when I’m not at the grocery store as often!
  9. I think I’d enjoy visiting Colorado at some point. It seems like a beautiful place to stay for a nice vacation.
  10. I love mountains. They are so majestic, massive, and beautiful. Maybe that’s why Colorado has a certain appeal to me?

A new do – cut off the excess

This past weekend, I went with a friend of mine to a new hairdresser in town. I’m not even sure how the subject came up months ago, but we talked about getting new hair styles together. It took some time, as we moms typically set aside our needs, but we finally made our back-to-back appointments.

She had her first professional coloring (highlighting) done along with a great new haircut, while I had a simple cut and style. It had been almost 2 years since my last visit to a salon. I was long overdue. The dry, straw like ends on my hair were a struggle to deal with on a daily basis. No amount of conditioner could tame the 2-inch long split-ends. More often than not, I’d put my hair up in a ponytail or messy bun just to keep it out of my way. I do have curly hair, but even when it was straightened or freshly washed, I had a difficult time running my fingers through it. The ends were beyond repair.

It was time.

When we were done, both of us had healthy hair and wonderful hairstyles. We didn’t do anything fancy, we just did some basic maintenance and ended up with some fresh new looks.

It felt good.

As we drove home, one of the things we commented on was the fact that we kept wanting to touch our hair. So soft. So smooth. We had neglected the care of our hair for so long, we forgot how good it feels to cut off the excess and be able to enjoy what is good and healthy.

Using this experience, I can see how it can correlate to many areas of my life.

It is very easy for me to have so much going in my life, that I get fried. Parts of me are damaged, worn out, and difficult to control. So, I simply ignore it, put it up and away, so I don’t have to deal with it. It’s easier to pretend all is well. I’ll take care of everyone else, and neglect taking care of myself … literally, for years.

This has been slowly changing over the past 10 months or so. I’ve cut my commitment level to so many things that sucked my energy dry. Now, I do realize that it is perfectly OK to push ourselves and do hard things; but what I later learned, I was neglecting what was already healthy and good in my life (like my husband, my kids, my dear friends) and focusing on the outer parts/ends of my life. Not that everything was “damaged” or “bad,” but it simply took all of my energy to control or work with it.

Eventually, split ends happen. And, if not taken care of quickly, it can keep moving up and damaging what is healthy.

Time to be intentional. Make that appointment.

So, 10 or so months ago, I started to be intentional. I cut out areas in my life that spread me too thin. They weren’t “bad” things, per say, just … excess. I wasn’t the wife I wanted to be, the mom I wanted to be, the teacher I wanted to be, the friend I wanted to be, or the Christian I wanted to be. I kept myself so busy managing and controlling the chaos in so many places, that I neglected to take care of and focus on what mattered most.

Just as when my junky hair was cut off and I started running my fingers through my hair more, when I cut out the excess, I started paying attention to and caring for the healthy areas in my life. Now, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get dirty or messy on a regular basis, but it is healthier overall. There is more connection and interaction, instead of setting aside and ignoring.

I can’t do it all. None of us can do it all. Sometimes, we simply need to cut off what is distracting us from focusing on the good, strong and healthy. Let it go. It may be painful at times, but it can also be quite freeing.

To God be the Glory!

Fun Fact Friday – March 17, 2017

Fun Fact Friday time! This is the day of the week where you get a little better glimpse into my life in learning various “fun facts” about ME!

  1. I sleep with the ceiling fan on every night.
  2. I am not one to beautify things with decorations, creativity and flowers. Instead, I love to organize. That’s its own kind of beauty, right?!
  3. I use an old school wall calendar to keep track of all of our appointments, commitments and activities. I prefer to see the big picture in writing instead of typed out on a screen.
  4. I love Papa’s big and strong hands. They help me feel safe and secure.
  5. I have had knee surgery twice on my right knee. Once when I was in high school and once during my early years of marriage.
  6. When my fingernails start tearing, getting nicked, bending backwards, or naturally shortening themselves in other various ways, that’s my cue to pull out the clippers. Otherwise, I completely forget about caring for them.
  7. Horses intimidate me. They are so massive, I don’t know what to do when I am around them.
  8. I dissected a frog and an owl pellet when I was in high school. I loved it! It’s incredibly fascinating to take things apart and look at their inner workings … even if it is a dead creature or piece of poop. ha!
  9. When I was in upper grade school, my best friend and I created a time capsule that was to be opened in 1995. I remember thinking it was going to take forever (though it was literally 5 years) to get to open it! The year to open it was 22 years ago. My, how time flies!
  10. I consistently sleep about 6-7 hours every night.

Peace out, coffee

If any of you have read the About: Momma page for this blog, you will know I like to drink my sweet, candy flavored coffee.

2 teaspoons of sugar
3 little containers of vanilla creamer
1 squirt of Hershey syrup
vanilla flavored coffee

Y’all. That is a lot of … uh … sweet. And, I love it.

Unfortunately, my body hasn’t loved or responded so well to it. In the past 6 months, I have gained about 15 pounds (!) and the only thing I have really changed in my diet was drinking more coffee. I’d have a cup or 2 in the morning (yes, with all of that sugar!), then I often have another in the afternoon.

I only started drinking coffee within the past couple of years (in 2015, I believe), but really started downing it in the last 6 (or so) months.

I’m paying for it now.

My body can’t take the influx of sugar as well at my age. Though I realize 38 isn’t old, I’ve heard enough women say that once they hit their 40’s their metabolism levels changed dramatically. Maybe I’ve hit that stage early, who knows? Regardless, I realize something has to change.

This year really is about simplifying my life, isn’t it? I’ve removed Facebook and Instagram for the year, I have decided I won’t purchase any new books (and read what I already own, what a concept!), and now I’m cutting out my daily consumption of coffee. It probably sounds painful and like I’m missing out in changing my daily habits, but I’m truly finding freedom in … less.

I am hopeful this will be the same way with coffee. I’m not going to ban myself from it completely, at this point, but I will stop drinking it daily. I anticipate that I’ll enjoy a cup of coffee on Saturday mornings with Papa as well as when I go out for a coffee date with friends.

Small beginnings.

This will be my first morning without any coffee. I expect the headaches to begin right around 10:00 or 11:00am.

Bring on the Ibuprofen!

A good kind of arguing

As with any family, we have disagreements and arguments from time to time. The vast majority of these are between our 6 kids.

They can be passionate about many things: toys, books, food, friends, sports, opinions, and being “right.” People want to be heard, validated and respected. It is often in these waves of passions that arguments arise.

We try to navigate these treacherous waters with extreme care. Our goal is to try to get at the root of the behavior. What are they truly saying? What needs are not being met? How can we help them? Once we know what they are truly communicating, we can address it more effectively. All behaviors, good or bad, communicate something. More often than not, some kind of fear is at the root of their behavior. We do our best to listen more intently and read between the lines to see how to proceed.

Please don’t hear me wrong, our kids do not get everything they want in this process. haha! Oh how they would wish. But, we do try to hear what they are communicating behind the veil of their behavior. From that point, we hopefully will know how to lead them through these more heated and highly emotional times using Truth, using God’s Word, and meeting them right where they are in the moment.

Jesus did the same. He met people in the midst of their need. This is our desire, as well. We definitely aren’t perfect like Jesus, but we do seek to follow Him and His ways.

In our home, there is one kind of arguing that I actually appreciate. Not that I love the arguing, but I love what it expresses, in general.

You see, every day, our 5 older kids argue about who gets to go help Munchkin at various points throughout the day.

They all LOVE to go in and greet her in the morning, hold her, and bring her out to the kitchen for all to see her. She is extra cuddly, has the most amazing bed-head, and typically wakes up with a huge smile, which makes it even that much sweeter for them to want to be with just her for those few minutes (more like seconds, really) in the morning. They beg to hold her at every chance they can get.

There is so much love expressed for Munchkin.

In their passion and love for her, it’s easy for them to argue over who gets to sit by her at the table, who gets to hold her when we’re out and about, who gets to buckle her into her car seat, or who gets to have her on their lap during family movie night.

They argue over Munchkin every single day of the week. Every. Single. Day. Though it can be wearisome at times, as the mom, to constantly be thinking about who helped her last to know whose turn it is now to be with her, I am grateful for this struggle. I would much rather have my children argue over who gets to actively love and help someone, than for them to disconnect and want nothing to do with anyone.

And yes, I do completely realize that many of their tiffs about her are based in selfishness, “He got to get her out of her room yesterday, it’s my turn!” But, as I mentioned previously, those are easier to navigate when they come from a place of helping and serving, than from a place of isolation.

We actually ended up creating a system to ease these daily arguments: Bro’s day to help Munchkin is on Monday, Demo is on Tuesday, Sparkle is on Wednesday, King is on Thursday, and Taz is on Friday. Though this system has helped tremendously, we still get arguments here and there (especially if someone else gets her out of bed in the morning because the assigned person for the day is still sleeping). And, that’s OK. We  learn to practice letting go of our personal desires in order to bless others.




Even amidst the arguments, Papa and I will continue to lead and guide our children to love and serve each other well; we will continue to dig deeper to find the roots of their behaviors to better meet their needs; we will continue to learn more about ourselves and others as we navigate familial relationships; and we will continue to cast the vision of foster care, of sacrifice, of being brothers and sisters, and of being a strong and solid family.

To God be the Glory!

Carpe Diem

Mornings, Mondays and Firsts.

What do these three things have in common?

They are all at the beginning.

Mornings … the beginning of the day.
Mondays … the beginning of the school/work week.
Firsts … the beginning of the month or the year.

For whatever reason, any new idea, plan or change I am wanting to implement into my life and/or family … I will always start at the very beginning. According to Julie Andrews, it’s a very good place to start, ya know.

If it’s the middle of the day and I decide I want to try eating healthier, I’ll wait until the next morning (or week, or month, or year) to begin.

If it’s Wednesday and I think of a new daily schedule or routine I want to incorporate into our schooling, I will wait until the following Monday (beginning of the week) to try it.

If I want to attempt a life-shifting decision, like going without FaceBook (social media free) for a long time, I’ll wait until the turn of the new year, on the first, to begin.

Catch that theme? I will wait …

I’m not fully sure why, but I do know this is an action (waiting …) I tend to do.  Hmmmm … that’s probably more of an inaction, than an actual action. Either way, it’s a pattern of mine.

There’s just something about being at the beginning that helps me feel better or more prepared. Perhaps I wait … because it’s a fresh start as I’m not jumping into the middle of it; or because I like projects to be orderly with a beginning, middle and end; or maybe because I fear messing it up before I fully understand or comprehend it. Yes, I like waiting.

Knowing this, knowing I tend to put things off instead of jumping right in, I’m going to try something new for a bit. I’m going to do the exact opposite.

Instead of being afraid, waiting, fearing failure, trying to understand it all, or not wanting to fumble my way through it, I am making a deliberate choice to just begin. No matter when or where, I’ll just start. No more waiting.

This may be reckless, I don’t know, but I’m going to give it a go. I may fall flat on my face a few times, but I’m at least going to fall trying. I don’t want to be paralyzed any more.

One of my goals, as of late, is to try to blog every single day of the week (but still not on weekends). Make it habit and just practice the skill of writing. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to accomplish this every week … but I have resolved myself to be OK with falling short along the way. For instance, I missed posting something yesterday, but that’s OK! I didn’t stress about it, at all. I’m going to live, you’re going to live, and life will continue to move forward.

I simply know I won’t hit any target at all if I don’t even have one to aim at in the first place. But, if I aim and just keep shooting, something is bound to stick. So, I’m going to go for it. If I have the urge to wait and wait for when it’s “best” to begin, I’m going to move to action, instead. Not just do the talking, but start taking action. Again, I will likely mess up quite a bit along the way, but I’m learning to be OK with that.

I just know, if I wait for the “perfect” time or the “perfect” beginning to start everything I want to do or dream of doing, I may end up doing … absolutely nothing.

Nope. That is not what I want. It’s time to get a moving.

Carpe Diem.

Seize the day.

To God be the Glory!

Fun Fact Friday – March 10, 2017

Fun Fact Friday! Today, I will be sharing with you 15 things I have NEVER done or experienced. It will be similar to the game, “Never have I ever …”

  1. Never have I ever been outside of the Americas.
  2. Never have I ever owned a passport.
  3. Never have I ever smoked anything (cigarette, pipe, cigar … anything!).
  4. Never have I ever ran any kind of marathon.
  5. Never have I ever eaten liver (as far as I know!).
  6. Never have I ever gone to Prom.
  7. Never have I ever cooked a lobster.
  8. Never have I ever had an epidural.
  9. Never have I ever been on a snowmobile.
  10. Never have I ever flown or been in a helicopter.
  11. Never have I ever milked a cow.
  12. Never have I ever driven over 100 mph (that I recall).
  13. Never have I ever learned a spoken foreign language (I learned Latin and Sign Language … both are not speaking languages).
  14. Never have I ever been in a car accident when I was driving.
  15. Never have I ever been on TV.

Do you have any things you have never done or experienced that you’d like to share?