Wednesday, January 9, 2019


I have a few goals for this year. Its the first time in about a decade I've actually been thrilled to set some for myself, goals I really want to accomplish. I will admit - they are not earth shattering and they will not make me look like Wonder Woman.

But they are my goals nonetheless. 

#1     Read 13 books (at least!)

#2     Eat healthier (no dairy, watch portions and limited sugar)

#3     More physical activity (walk every day)

#4     Read through the Bible (personal plan and student plan)

These are lofty, I know. As the excitement wears off, it will be tougher in the daily grind to prioritize. But it always feels good to follow through with something!

To read through the Bible, I'm currently using The Bible Project. It has a website and reading plan plus videos and the kids love it so far. It does not hail as the boring stuff I've used before. This actually has an overview and goes at a quick space. So we'll not be studying Genesis forever and ever, Amen. I also have a personal plan - simply the ESV Bible Reading plan. It's literally a checklist. Right now I'm in the Psalms. It is so contemplative to simply read through the Scriptures versus analyzing every jot and tiddle. I'm not saying studies are bad (believe me, I am a study guru), I've just never read through the Bible in one year before; and it is a totally different experience.

As for eating healthier, this is not a super fun goal because it seems like I commit to doing this every year. What makes it more fun, is that it is not strict. I can eat some dessert here and a snack there. What makes it different is that I'm noting down what I eat, how much, staying away from dairy (my body has an allergic reaction) and limiting sugar intake. 

To make the healthier lifestyle count, I want to be active. Park further away, take the stairs and walk as much as I can. My goal is to walk every day but sometimes that is just not possible - either because of the weather or because I don't have anyone to walk with me for safety. However, I've made it work a handful of times! I have used a time where I would just sit and wait for a class to be over to instead go outside and walk. Or stand up for computer time versus using a chair. Or volunteer to do work others might do instead.

I don't trust myself to commit to doing a workout video. It is like pulling my hair out to do that. In my opinion, it is SO boring! I would rather see nature and inhale that fresh air. Plus, its inevitable in every great workout to bounce, and my joints just can't take that kind of impact anymore. Pilates and yoga are great...I may be willing to do a few videos with those. But besides that, count me for going outside. Yes, even in the rain.

Lastly, but not least, I am reading away! I've already started about four books, which won't be listed here, for posterity sake. As soon as I'm done reading, I'll post a review. I started off limiting myself to only a certain category of books but thought "What the hey, I'm reading whatever strikes my fancy!" Especially since this is my first year doing a reading challenge. So far, I enjoy my reads. 

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Its amazing in this day and age on social media, how many use it to gain acceptance or approval. Literally, some teenagers or *gasp* adults would DIE without the companionship of cyber relationships. Which to me is very sad. It bespeaks the condition of our world, the lie of media, the discontent of who we are as people, especially a people who have need of God, His love, and yet we push Him away for a measly substitute every day.

I, in my finite ways, push him away too. I do it without thinking because though God has transformed my heart to love Him, it is still earthy and selfish and will not be perfect until that Day. Until then. I race on, and press on, endeavoring to throw off self and put on Christ, allowing Him to infiltrate every area.

Currently, I'm reading a few books given to me as gifts this Christmas. Home Body by Joanna Gaines, The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, in addition, A More Perfect Union by Jodi Daynard and Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I'll not likely be "done" with Food Lab for a looong time, as its a cook book, and Home Body is quite extensive but the other two I'm hoping to finish by the end of January. I've low expectations of myself these days, as I try to prioritize my days, otherwise, I'd be sitting on my hiney reading all day while my kids starve. A huge exaggeration but, seriously.

Right now, I plan on making a little tea and starting breakfast for my kidlets. We literally have two more days of Christmas break. I am sad! I love not having to wake up, pack lunches, deal with homework and rush kids to and fro. But the kids thrive on schedule, so it will be good for them having to be back on track.

Lately I've been watching my kids closely and can tell which one needs special attention. I notice, literally only a half hour of time individually with them doing something they enjoy means the world. With B, its either discussion or a mind game, K it's snuggling and talking, R, its an activity or snuggle, C, its playing "tickle me and kiss me", wrestling, or reading a construction book. All very fun distractions from mundane life. I love my kids.

Tonight is New Years Eve. I guess I am supposed to be hosting a party, and putting up some food for it. This will be interesting as I'm still worn out from Christmas. But I love being around family, so that part I'm looking forward to. Here's to 2019!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Spring Has Fully Sprung in the Valley

We are so excited to say - we are moving in to our new home before the month is over! So much hard work and planning has been poured into this much larger space (and much more elbow grease to come) that we can hardly stand the anticipation.

The kids have been extremely patient living in bunk beds and shared rooms for yet another year, as well as taking turns is in one bathroom. Well, there are two, but the other tiny toilet area stops up every other time we use it, so we just avoid it and use it for extra mirror prep space! We've had nothing to complain about: the trip to the Goheen project is a mere under-20 min drive, the kids' schools have been excellent, the yard and storage space has been just right; and we have made new friendships. God has taught us much this year and we are excited to learn even more in the days to come.

One thing I've discovered: If you are not content with where God has you currently, you will never be content. I'm not even talking external things. Sometimes we are impatient with ourselves, who God has made us to be, the kind of personality we have, the attitudes in our heart we must still work on. Sometimes I wish God would fully form this weak vessel that I am because, don't know about you, but I'm tired of failing and having to come to God (and family members) and ask for forgiveness; I'm tired of feeling like I have to meet others' approval (often it's my own imagining) and I'm tired of the burden sin itself places on us. But God IS at work in my life, especially in the weaknesses. There is redemption, healing, love and mercy in the arms of God. He is turning all the gunk into a beautiful pot. He is using me in others' lives, believe it or not, especially my kids'. I need to speak the truth "It Is Well with My Soul" because God has handled everything at the cross, He has an ultimate plan, and He cares so much to have sent me a Comforter in the process. He sits down to dine with me and desires fellowship.

I'm like,"Wow, God. You care about me and take care of just like when I was 9, or 15, etc. You really keep Your word." Quite often, I look back in amazement of answered prayer, or a met need, however seemingly small. God cares for us. He cares for the lilies and sparrows, He cares even more for His children.

This coming school year (yes, I already have to think about that!) has much to hold. I already had to submit my learning plan for my eldest's schooling, since she coordinates with the school system. Also, every year, my husband and I look over the last year and see if any changes need to be made. This year, we decided our eldest needs more oversight, we will possibly keep the little girls in traditional school, and our youngest will attend Christian preschool. Nothing is ever "the perfect" plan, sometimes it has to be tweaked but I love that Mike and I communicate regularly and are usually in sink with each other on what's a good plan for the family. I also like getting the kids' input. But ultimately, even hard things for a while are for their best.

Good night until the next post ~

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Since my reality is quite busy and my brain quite fuzzy, these days I like to lose myself in an excellent book.

Right now I am finishing, at a speedy pace, Our Own Country by Jodi Daynard. I just started last week and I am almost done. Its a fairly easy read, not at a difffult level. However, the plot is not boring, has me intrigued and gives much in the way of historical fact. You walk in the shoes of the people in its era. Its prequal, The Midwife's Revolt, was excellent, and I hesitantly continued to the next book (because most trilogies stink, take Hunger Games, for instance). Not disappointed!
I am currently listening to the audio version of The Night Gardener by the brilliant Jonathan Auxier. Brilla and I recently finished his Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. So well done. It's like unlocking a treasure when you find an author who blows your mind with his language and intriguing plots and climaxes.

We recently tried to get through Fablehaven but weren't feeling it. The plot didn't really mesh.

Next on our list are:

The Thief Lord
Inkheart (same author)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (The Lightning Thief)
Julie and the Wolves

Brilla is currently reading A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. She is in love with it. Basically, she adores pottery. Because of this book, we have ordered a pottery wheel and she'll be working on that soon.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Can't believe it has been an entire year since I said good-bye to Grandma. Somehow I knew deep down when I waved then grabbed a second, lingering hug, I was saying farewell until Heaven. Yet, its still hard. Fresh loss is like that. The memories are so close still.

In all honesty, my grandma had some funky views on things; we even had disagreements about numerous topics. But we could converse like this because our relationship was close; we were best friends. I loved her not because she was perfect, but because she was mine. Our grandma sent straight from God as a gift into our lives. She left behind a huge legacy. Had she not become a believer, my father would not have been drawn to Christ, and my parents would not have taught me God's ways, and I might never have come to know His peace in my life, and ultimately would not have that well to draw from for my children.

God is an amazing God to have used this broken, simple woman for His glory. She did not live a glamorous life and was open with the mistakes in her past. That is what redeemed people do. They are humbled and broken before God, and according to his mercy and grace, He brings them up out of the pit. They don't deserve and can't maintain His love, He does it all because He loves them. And nothing can separate us from his love; not cancer, nothing.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

This world is such a mixed atmosphere. We have terrorism occuring in some parts of our homeland, while some parts are completely untouched, tragedy and horror unknown, almost like the occurence is surreal. Meanwhile, others I know have cancer and their lives are turned upside-down while I complain about getting a cold. The only thing truly stable and unmoving is God Almighty. Might these things be to reveal His mercies, His grace, His unfailing love in the midst of the storms of this temporary life?

The longer I live here on earth, the more I look toward heaven to be with my God! Yes, there are moments, days of joy and heart-stopping beauty, but there is also ugliness and great evil. It makes my heart ache for the Perfect to come; it stings my eyes with tears that some must suffer until that Day.

I long to be with you,
My heart is filled with pain.
For those I know must feel
Why do these clouds bring rain?

Asking myself these things,
What is my role to play,
How can I feel the hurt, feel the loss,
When its others who must pay?

Your lasting peace and love,
Are present in my heart,
But when the troubles rise, the lightning bolts,
Will my faith depart?

I cling to You, my Rock,
My only steady, fervent Hand.
My Life, my Healer,
The One Who Understands.


Before time began, You looked at us.
You said, though they care not, I love them.
Though they love themselves, I will die for them.
They don't know what they need,
So I will provide for them.

You paid a price,
You were abandoned in the dark.
You felt the evil of the world upon Your shoulders.
Though Holy, even Your father could not look at You.
Because you were turned to dirt, lust and shame.

That's how much you loved us.
That's how much You gave.
Hell you took, so our souls could be saved!

You stared death in the face.
You took on the bloody cross.
It was horrible, the sin you felt for me.
It should have been me in Your place;
Instead Your plan was more.

Your plan conquered.
It overcame the soul-killer, the liar to mankind.
You breathed eternity
Into the soul of man.

People wonder why there is evil,
But do they ask Who keeps the good in this world?
Who is the Rescuer? The only one who provides life amidst the death?'

Instead they blame Him.
Throwing their bitterness and hurting heart of hate.
Toward the One Who holds newness
For their aging, cracked souls.

But God is better than I,
He waits patiently, for all who are broken.
Who wish to come, and find newness of Life.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Running is a Good Thing

Busy is relative.

I look at my friends who have seven plus kids and think "Why did I ever complain?" I've got it good! Then, I get back at my week and clearly, I am run ragged with my four chillins.

In life, I have learned two things: 

1) You won't get everything you want to get done finished in a day, only the things you need to.

2) It doesn't nearly matter how busy you are, its where or Who you run to for strength in the midst of       it.

Never ever do I claim to have it together, nor do I want to! But from wise older women, I've gleaned these truths. Need advice on how to function as a mom, wife, daughter, etc? Ask the older gals. They have been there and boy, do they have their own stories to tell. 

What are the things they advise in a "busy" mom's life? Love your children, take time to listen, they will always remember the small things, pray. Lots of prayer. And yet, do I take time for that? No, I stay up folding tons of laundry, or stuffing my face with chocolate when stressed, or dig in the most recent counseling book for women. Not all bad things, mind you, but often the most thing needful, to sit at Jesus' feet, is very often set aside because I "don't have time".

My goals this year are not many and not huge. I am at the season in my life where I don't chase the American dream, merely try to meet the schedule in my planner. Thus, don't lure me with degrees for the stay-at-home-mom or financial success in-a-box theories. I want to live life fully as Jesus desires me to do. Most of that looks nothing like the general population expects. It means holding my tongue instead of lamblasting my kids. Loving enough that I give up "alone" time to read with my struggling reader every night. Making notes for my kids' lunches. Praying and singing with my kids before school. Spending time with my husband before bed instead of hanging out on the computer. Doing the unexpected errands for my husband, ahem, boss, because I am, believe it or not, his secretary. Also, come up with a chart for my kids to finish their chores and a creative ways to cook for my family!

We are doing a few other crazy things this year that are out of our comfort zone, but we are thankful we have followed God's leading in them; otherwise, we'd be in over our heads. Its a comfort to know Hes in control and we have nothing to fear.

Ultimately, its not how busy I am, but Who I cry out to. If I really need help, reaching out to good healthy counsel. And being content with where I am, stepping forward bravely in the confidence that I am doing all I need to do in this moment, in His grace.