Wednesday, October 14, 2015

You are Enough!

This truth has been really hitting me lately, that I am enough. How completely refreshing, knowing that I simply am enough! It's contrary to what the world tells us, and what we tell ourselves. I often feel the need to be improving, learning, and doing. I feel the need to better myself and strive towards, better. Better health, better wife, better mom, better at schedules, better at homeschooling, better at organizing... Life in general seems to find me constantly coming up short.

Generally it's a good thing to strive to learn and be productive and help those around you; but things can become unbalanced quickly when you feel yourself constantly coming up short. Notice I used the word "feel." Feelings are neither good nor bad, it's what you do with them and how you use them that dictate the good or bad that can come of your feelings.

So what do I do with my feelings of inadequacy? Normally I start with a list! And then that materializes into hours spent reading books, blogs, Pinterest, and compiling a four week plan! But where is all this getting me? And where is the bench mark for me to check if I am enough? We all know not to measure ourselves against others, so what do we use? Ourselves? Yesterday? Last year? I don't think any of those things are really useful in letting us know if we're doing alright long term. I have used all those comparisons, but yet somehow, at almost 30 years old I can't seem to ever feel like I have it together enough. I'm never quite balanced enough, doing enough. I constantly struggle with being enough.

So where do we go? Well, God's word of course! What does God say about us and how we should view and measure ourselves?

We all come up short and lacking!
For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God,
Romans 3:23

Rules and laws don't just show us what to do, they prove we can't always follow the rules and laws!
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
Romans 3:20

So where do we turn?

God is all about grace and giving that grace to us! He saves us from messing up the rules and failing. Grace isn't a onetime thing, but a gift we receive every, single, day. Why? Because He loves us. It's His gift to us.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
Ephesians 2:8

We should stick close to God, because anything good we do will only be because of Him!
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5

We can boldly say, the Maker of Heaven and Earth helps ME! What more assurance do we need that we are going to be alright?!
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2

It's always good to learn new things and how to run things around us a little more smoothly, but the things we do or don't do should never be an indicator of if we're "enough." Because we are never enough! Only God is enough. And it's only in Him that we are at rest. It's only when we are abiding, trusting and depending on God and His grace are we enough. It sounds simple doesn't it? Almost too easy? It is! It's simply-


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Good Morning Dear...

Good morning dear friend, and what a wonderful morning it is!

Not that there's anything specific about today or this morning compared to other mornings, but just the fact that it is morning makes my heart glad! I wasn't so glad on first waking up. Every inch of my body felt exhausted and I wanted to stay under the warm covers. The room was so cold and wrapped up in my little cocoon of snuggly warmth the last thing I was thankful for was the fact that it was time to get up!
But I got up, stumbled around a bit as I made hubby a lunch, and took out the dogs. After he left I sat there in the kitchen sipping my mug of hot water ( did I mention I lost my voice?!) staring blankly at the floor while thoughts of the upcoming day came rushing in before I even had a chance to feel awake.
Kids, attitude issues, school, teaching, today's obligations, tomorrows obligations, what am I making for dinner, will I have time to stop for gas this morning, will my voice return so I don't sound like an ogre at today's MOPS meeting... Everything came flooding through at once before I even had all the sleep out of my eyes!

This happens to me often. It doesn't seem to matter whether I  wake up early or later, but upon waking my mind goes from groggy to fast forward in the split of second. I have two options then: have my coffee and get going with my day and start on my list of things, or take time to spend one on one time meditating on God's word and seeking His face in the quite.

Seeking Christ is what my soul longs to do! I want to feel His peace and His presence and His calm in my life. But that requires my time, which is so hard to hand over to Him. It's not for a lack of trying though! I sit in the quite, knees bent and eyes closed to come forward to Him with prayer, and if I'm not falling asleep I'm trying to block the running list of things going through my head. Waiting still before the Lord is most definitely a learned attribute! And it amazes me after 15 years of morning prayer time I still struggle with waiting quietly and patiently before the Lord!

But here I am again, sitting with God's word and my journal, head bent in prayer, trying to hear Him and block out the noise coming within. He reminds me that if I seek Him with all my heart, I will find Him. He accounts for our humanness. He knows our minds wander, that we sometimes feel overwhelmed and don't know where to even start having "quite time" with Him. And I'm remained once again that it's ok!
My heart longs for close communion with Him. He knows this, He built me like this. He built us all like this. He didn't design us like this to make us frustrated once we try to commune with Him and fail. He built us like this so we see how human we are and how much we need Him to fill us up, meet us where were at and pick us up where we let go.

In the midst of my jumbled prayer time I let go. I gave my everything to Him, my short little attention span and loss of words, and just asked Him to guide me. And He did! I opened my bible and read this today:

Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name;
make known among the nations
what He has done.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell of all His wonderful acts.
Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek
the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and His strength;
seek His face always.
1 Chronicles 16: 8 - 11
All a once my frustrated, jumbled bible time melted away. I gave thanks to the Lord for my blessings, a simple prayer of thanks. I love Him and seek him, and sometimes that's enough. There doesn't always need to be a lengthy prayer time, but just a meaningful one where we seek Him and He guides us towards a verse or puts joy and peace in our hearts.
As I seek Him this morning and let go of expectations and struggle with getting my own self under control, I'm reminded by Him once again that I must seek Him and His strength always, in everything, because He can do more in 2 minutes and a few verses than I could ever do in an hour of dedicated, quite time. Being renewed by Him in the mornings, whether it be in 5 minutes or 50, reminds me that I can lean on Him all day to help me with everything. Somehow all the million things I couldn't keep from running through my brain has stopped and is now calm. God's got this and it's all under control, just like He's got me. And you. Or anyone who can pause just long enough this morning to say,
"Good morning Lord! I love you, I need you, I seek you and want to know you. I don't always know where to start or what to do, but that's ok. You do. You know everything and you hold everything. Hold me today Lord. Help me to know you. I love you, I praise you, and I thank you Lord for Your faithfulness. Let my life shine Your light,
So... Good morning dear one! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Although they come early and I'm often fumbling around for the first little while, I love mornings. Sometimes warm and inviting, other times bright and energizing, or even cloudy and agnsty; they always signify a new beginning and a chance to start all over again. It doesn't matter what happened yesterday or what's going to happen tomorrow, today has dawned and it's fresh and new and the possibilities always seem so endless! It's like opening up a new leather bound journal and seeing all those blank, crisp white pages and you sit there holding a pen.

What kind words could you say that would burn brightly into someones life today? How can you help someone in your family today? Like really help, the kind of help that makes them sleep well at night when they think of the way you touched their life? You don't have to be amazing to touch someone's life in an amazing way, you just have to love them the way they need loving that day.

There's adventure out there too. Lot's of adventure.

You should try something new today. There's always something you want to do or look into, today should be that day for you. You try it. Whatever your "it" thing is. Do it!

I love new days and I'm thankful to worship the God that creates them! Today is your day, go write it!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

~ My 100th Blog Post (!) and Some Words about Minimalism ~

How is it mid-June already? The summer comes and goes quicker and quicker each year! We have had a lot going on this year, but I'm trying to find that delicate balance between filling our time with fun and still taking a moment to just breathe and "be". This,of course, can be very hard with three very high energetic and active children! But that brings me to the subject of this post: minimalism. 

The dictionary definition of minimalism:

Definition of MINIMALISM

:  a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity

I don't like the word "extreme". Extreme is a word I try to stay away from in almost all aspects of my life, but it helps paint a picture. "Extreme simplicity" isn't necessarily a bad thing though. :) But aside from all that, I am working on taking a minimalist approach to my household. I simply spend to much time cleaning, organizing, and fussing with all of our stuff! I want it to end! I love plating with my kids, creating, exploring, reading and just... 'being" Even when I'm keeping up well with house work, there's just to much of it! I don't want to spend so much of my time maintaining a clean household and keeping up with our many items, I want to be living life! Not sorting through another box of toys and folding limitless loads of laundry.

A quick search of "minimalists" online will bring up some extreme examples. Those who limit themselves to 100 items, people who insist on fitting everything into a certain number of containers, some even insist on cataloging and photographing each and every single item they own.


Although you can be overcome and obsessed with all that you own, I have come to the realization that you can also become just as obsessed with what you don't have and maintaining a certain quota. I don't think either of these extremes fit me or our family because I simply don't want to focus on what I own one way or another. I just want to be doing the things that will matter for eternity, like reading outside to my kids or snuggling with hubby and coffee, as compared to washing a ton of dishes while my kids play or doing the umpteenth load of laundry while my husband is sitting in the other room.

I'm tired of:
... fighting with the kids about keeping their room clean

... putting off creating things for my home so I can clean my home

... an overflowing laudryroom overflowing closet and nothing to wear

... feeling overwhelmed with my responsibility of keeping up with all the cooking, cleaning, organizing, folding dishes, ect...

Ah! There's so much more! But I'm ready to let go and get going with life. It's time to play more and clean less. Create more and organize less. 
It's summer and our family is ready to have fun and come fall, I'l be busy with homeschooling and don't want the pressure of housework constantly looming overhead.

This will be a ongoing journey for me, as I assume minimalism is much more of  journey thing than a destination thing. Especially for me. But, I'm ready to dive in head first and start having less so we are free to do more!

I'll be posting my progress and sharing in my blog what I'm doing so I can keep track of my progress and help sort out what works and what isn't working. Feel free to follow along and offer suggestions! These are some of the things I'll be working on implementing in our home:

+ Less table/ desk space = less clutter. Get rid of things that only gather clutter and don't enhance our home atmosphere.

+ Freezer meal planning / cooking! By shopping in bulk and cooking a bunch of meals at once, I'll be spending less money, cooking less, and washing dishes less! It's a win, ;)

+ Creating a capsule wardrobe. Instead of so many "so so" clothes, I'll have less clothing but more timeless, classic clothing that works well with a lot of what I own, as compared to so many odd, trendy, or ill fitting pieces. 

+ Less TV! This may not help with actual clutter, but will help clear the mind clutter :)

And of course, clean and toss!

So, here we go! Do you have any tips on letting go???

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Embracing Change in Your Relationship

Happy New Year everyone! I am really excited about this year! Every year I am excited about the coming year, but this year especially so. The last year, the last two years really, have been continually challenging and changing. In 2013 and 2014 We moved across the country, had our third child, got used to living in a big home in the country compared to a little apartment in town (I spend so much more time cleaning and driving!) We started our first official year homeschooling, slowly we are starting to make friends, and my husband started a new job in which he has now worked in two different positions.

My husband and I have dealt with all these physical, logistical, and emotional changes hand in hand together, but oh so differently! Of course we have dealt with change before this, but when you are first married you kind of begin at the same point, the same starting line. Just like in a board game where everyone starts at start. But as the years go by and more and more changes happens within your life and marriage, you can find you and your spouse on completely different pages.

But, change and growth is inevitable. In fact, it's absolutely essential for us to change and go through different seasons of life to grow and mature, especially if we want to mature in our walk with Christ. But change can be hard and growth uncomfortable! I also have learned more than ever before that you and your husband won't always change and grow at the same time or in the same way. This can be really frustrating and even scary ( you feel like two totally different people!) But  thankfully, growing together isn't always the result of changing together! How you face the changes in your spouse or yourself is more important than the change itself.
                                                        Most recent date picture :)

So after going through so much change in the last two years, the last several months I have finally started to feel like we have found our peaceful, comfortable new "normal" in our daily lives  :) There is so much I have learned on how to act... and how not to react when you find your marriage in a state of flux while you and your spouse are changing and rapidly growing. Here are some ways to not just survive the changes and shifts that happen within your marriage and life, but thrive because of them!

1.) Prayer and Praise!

No matter what valley you are passing through, prayer and praise is of outmost importance.... Always! The Bible teaches us that it doesn't matter the circumstance we find ourselves in, the correct response is ALWAYS to praise God. Good day, bad day, normal day, through gritted teeth and a tear stained face day, make a conscious choice to choose joy and praise God, and watch with amazement as He softens your heart and instills joy and peace into your life.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


2.) Don't Let External Stress Create Internal War!

Stressful situations and change can bring on fights faster than normal, but don't let external stress create internal war. Talk, discuss, get mad, even fight (fairly, without name calling, yelling or threats)  but refuse to be divided. Fights are going to happen in marriage eventually, but don't let a fight or argument steal your peace and define your view of your marriage or your spouse.

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
Matthew  12:25

3.) Remember, This is Only a Phase!

It can be so easy to get caught up in the here and now and focus on how things feel today. But today is really a blessing and a miracle, because although today can be a refection of yesterday and how things are currently, it is also an opportunity to change the your current day and how things will be tomorrow. For better or worse, our lives are in a constant state of flux. Slowly and steadily changing, the little (or big!) choices we make today will have an impact on the way our life will be tomorrow. When you think back on the last 10 years of your life, I'm sure you can see seasons in your life filled with joy and those memories of that perfect day, but also times of pain or struggle. The season of life you find yourself or your spouse in now is not the season of life that will be next. Even if you have found yourself "stuck" in what seems a long season, it is still just that: a season. Jesus gives us hope for our future!

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jerimiah 29:11

4.) Get up and Get out!

Oh my goodness.... Yes! It is truly amazing what going outside can do for your spirit! Stepping out and doing things outside has enormous mental benefits. I used to live in the bitter cold winters of Wisconsin, with babies, in an apartment in town with little to no yard. Not the ideal place to live to get a daily dose of fresh air, but the days I made a conscious effort to get out always helped. So don't just sit there, get out!  (unless it's today, which just happens to be one of the coldest days of the year, maybe go outside next week! :)

                                                                               Photo credit: unknown, found on Pinterest, "uploaded by user"

5.) Determine to respond with kindness
Whether it's you going through big changes, your spouse going through changes or your relationship in general, change seems to make tempers shorter! No matter what you may going though, lashing out at others is never the way to respond! We are called to love one another, and this is not dependent on how we feel. And on the flip side, if it's your spouse who is going through something, love them as Christ loves you. Give them grace, give them patience, love them like Christ loves you.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God
Romans 14:4

6.) Reflection is Good, but Stewing is Bad!
It's been scientifically proven that looking through photographs of past happy memories and times can significantly improve your mood now. This is so true for me! When Im feeling down, going though happy photos from great times always puts me in a better mood. Even better when I actually have some prints made! There is nothing like going to pick up printed photos. Hanging pics, even just on the fridge, is a nice little pick me up. It's cheap too!
But remember to avoid extremes! Reflection on happy times is beneficial, butt sitting around lamenting why things can't "go back to the way they were" helps no one and induces self pity. Don't do that!

Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.
Ecclesiastes 7:10

7.) Find new Things
As long as your going through changes elsewhere in your life, why not pick up a new hobby? Or even just a new book or revive a forgotten hobby that you haven't had time for. When we go through changes or periods of stress, it can be easy to be caught up in the whirlwind of making it through each day and adjusting to whatever new change we are adjusting to. Picking up some paint and a canvas or creating a project has enormous therapeutic benefits! Plant a potted plant, grow your own herbs, pick up photography, step into a library, take a walk, knit a scarf, read a book, paint, learn HTML. The possibilities are endless! Starting a new endeavor enlivens our minds and is good for the soul!

8.)  Spend Time Together
Spend purposeful time with your spouse. I'm not just talking about going on a date together. If you can go on a date, that's great! Go for it! But even more important than a date night is purposeful, meaningful time together. I love date night, but honestly our home dates feel more beneficial to me than "real" date nights. Our home dates are simple but perfect! We put the kiddos to bed early and then enjoy a nice dinner, ALONE! Then take drinks and sit on our front porch together at night and listen to music and just talk. Or not talk. It's just wonderful :) But in the craziness of life, make time for your relationship and make it meaningful time!

Enjoy life with your beloved wife during all the days of your fleeting life that God has given you on earth during all your fleeting days; for that is your reward in life and in your burdensome work on earth.
Ecclesiastes 9:9

If you find yourself in the middle of change, hopefully you can find a few helpful ideas or bible verses to carry you through to the next season of your life. I would love to hear what you do when you find yourself in the midst of change! Have a good day all! And remember,

        The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.            
                                                                                                               Ecclesiastes 7:8
photo credit: