Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 comes to a close...

So it's the last day of the year...the funny thing is that while others are looking forward and coming up with resolutions for 2014, I'm stuck thinking about 2013, and it's not good. 

I have a confession to make...

I hold an extreme amount of anger, hurt, and sadness in my heart. 2013 contributed to that quite a bit, but also made me realize just how ugly and dangerous this is. 

I've always been able to deal with my feelings, to process things that happen and cope with whatever was going on. However, I'm not sure if it's just that there has been a concentration of negative experiences with particular people *or* if I'm just becoming aware of the fact that I'm not as good at handling my emotions as I thought I was, but everything came to a head this year. This was the year that I let it all get to me, this was the year when I would think daily about how hurt or angry I was about a particular situation or person. This was the year that anger and sadness clouded my days, polluted an otherwise happy existence.

What happens when you've read so many books your shelf is full, or prayed so many prayers that have gone unanswered, or cried so many tears over all of this that you just can't *anything* anymore? 10 years of suffering, 10 years of hurt and anger and resentment...and I'm still stuck, suffering and begging God to deliver me from this awful, dark hole. Anger has a hold on my heart, and I desperately need to break free. 

What happens when you desperately try to repair a relationship, pouring your heart and soul in to an apology, and the person shoves it all in your face? They don't want to forgive you, they don't want to admit their part in the failing of the relationship. You pray and you pray for God to help you accept this, but He doesn't answer...it's just quiet. The person has a negative opinion of you...they just don't like you and there's nothing you can do to change that. There is no way to repair the relationship because they don't have any desire to have a relationship with you at all. 

To a person like me, a highly emotional, empathic person, this is absolutely devastating. To be told there is nothing I can do, I'm just not liked...for a person to act like they could give a hoot about me, about my desperate efforts to understand what I did to make them so unhappy with me...it's like a death sentence to me. I have allowed myself to fixate on this very fact this year, and I'm so sick and tired of letting this run my life, letting this dictate my mood and feelings. 

This is my attempt to banish my anger and my hurt. I have no idea where to start or how to do this, but 2014 has GOT to be different. I am hopeful that I can leave all the negative in my heart back in 2013 and grow as a person in 2014. I am hopeful that I can recognize when I'm starting to fall in to old habits. 

This is the last time I'm going to speak about this. This is the last time I'm going to let these thoughts or these emotions around these particular situations take up any of my energy or time. I have to move on, and I'm hoping that I can do that successfully this year. Hopefully 2014 will be a year of renewal for me, and although I highly doubt that the situations/people I'm writing about will really ever be resolved, hopefully I can learn to move on and live my life without being consumed by the negativity surrounding them. 2014 is going to be the year I quit focusing on lost causes and start focusing on relationships and activities that enhance my life and that of my family.
Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review: Women Living Well

Women Living Well
Courtney Joseph
Rating: Three Stars

I was really excited to review this book for Booksneeze. I follow Courtney's blog and I think she puts out such an amazing example of what it's like to be a Christian wife, following our husband's lead, and embracing our God-given role in marriage, family, and in life. In Women Living Well, Courtney takes the time to tackle issues such as parenting, home life, being a blessing to all those around us, embracing our roles as supporters/helpmates, and coping with living in a digital age. Not only that, Courtney uses several examples from her own life and plenty of Biblical references to further add to the book and ensure that what she is expressing is truly rooted in God's Word. 

For the most part, this book is wonderful. Courtney does a great job of explaining just how essential we are in our loved ones' lives, as well as how important it is to maintain a constant line of communication with God and strive to please Him. However, I do feel that she uses examples from her own life a little too much. Authors frequently use examples from their own lives to really drive home a point they're trying to make, and I get that. Seeing how someone has applied what they're saying in their own life can be very valuable, especially when the reader may not be too sure about what the author is saying. In part of the book there is a sequence of "marriage challenges" that Courtney lists out,  and in one of the challenges she, well, challenges the reader to pray for their husband. She then follows with an example that she uses symbols to remind her to pray for her husband, like when she looks at her wedding ring. Those types of things add to the understanding and that's not what I take issue with in this book, it's other ocassions where it seems like she wants to share her personal experience rather than how maybe God used her experience to work through her...I just felt like the book was *full* of her taking opportunities to talk about herself. I found that highly annoying and more than once had to skim past the part where she talked about herself to get to the point she was trying to make. 

With the exception of that, the book is actually quite good. I did really enjoy the marriage challenges part of the book, and it was nice to finally read something that did align with my core beliefs. It also feels nice to be validated as a submissive wife, a mother who truly believes my most important job *is* my family, and that it's okay to be a "Time Warp Wife". 

All in all, I would recommend this book, more as a "fun" read than an informative read. I give it three stars, and if you would like to read it yourself you can purchase it at Amazon. 

I was provided this book free of charge in return for my honest opinion. Anything written here is my own, personal opinion. 
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Being a Blessing

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
-Philippians 2:1-11

As I'm sitting here enjoying my morning coffee that my husband so graciously put on this morning, I started thinking about what a blessing he was to me and how many ways he's blessed me throughout our marriage. Then, this verse came to mind. I think this hits home with me because it talks about the humility of Jesus; He had a servant's heart and was always looking to be a *blessing* to others. I believe that we are called to do the same. 

I read a book a little while ago called "The Blessing", which I reviewed here on the blog. While it got the message across perfectly fine the first time, I really let it swirl around in my brain and began to understand exactly how important a blessing is, and how it can come in different forms than just a verbal blessing, at least in my opinion. 

What are the ways we can be a blessing to another person, or what are some ways to bless someone's day?

When I was first married I had a really hard time understanding my new "role" as a wife. Sure I knew about cooking, cleaning, and all that other stuff, but I really didn't fall in to the role effortlessly, I struggled...a LOT. My wonderful husband saw my struggle and asked what it was about my day that made me so stressed out. Well, we had two young children in the first two years of our marriage, so I was not only learning how my "wife" hat fit, but also had to learn the ins-and-outs of motherhood. I was struggling with housework, cooking, taking care of myself...and then my husband said it: "One of the best ways to bless me, bless my day, is to cook a meal for me. The house can go to pots, your hair can be in a messy bun, but I feel truly loved and appreciated when you cook a meal for me." Ever since then, I make every effort to prepare meals for him. 

Do I really feel that I am blessing my husband when I make him a meal? Yes, I most definitely do. According to Dictionary.com, a blessing is something that promotes or contributes to happiness, or the act of one that blesses. My husband is most happy, feels most loved when he has food prepared for him, so that is a blessing to him. 

To me, it's not the fact that I'm *just* preparing a meal for him-I pour tons of love and feeling in to cooking for him. I pray while I cook, I pray while I pack his lunch, I pray while I'm serving him. There is NOTHING wrong with having a servant's heart, in fact, it's what we're called to do.

I want to add that while we all have things that are important to us, I think it's necessary to note that my personal belief is that there is a distinction between something that is a blessing to us, and something that is important to us. My children are not only important to me, they are a true blessing; they bring joy and love and peace and so many positive emotions to my everyday life that they are a true blessing. My cooking pans are important to me, I'd be sad if they, say, caught on fire and burned to dust...but they're not necessarily a blessing. They're a tool I use to bless someone else. I often wonder if others believe that items we cherish could be a blessing, or if they're mere objects that are important to us. I can say that my grandmother blessed me with a beautiful pin of a Violet that I will cherish, but is the item itself a blessing to my life? I suppose it depends on which way you look at it!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Let the Beatitudes Be My Attitude in You

Let the Beatitudes BE My Attitude In You
Begin the Quest
By Marlin Harris
Rating: Four Stars

I am always looking to learn more about the Bible, deepen my faith, and see what God hopes for our lives so I was ecstatic to receive an e-book of this title to review. Let the Beatitudes does not disappoint. This book is an excellent resources for learning and understanding the Beatitudes and provides an extremely in-depth examination of them in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand format.

Harris refers to the Beatitudes on page 1 as "God's heart language"...a language in which profound meaning and intent are displayed, and Harris definitely communicates each of the beatitudes to us using what I believe to be *his* "heart language", as this book is thoughtfully put together with Harris pouring a whole mess of intent and love and meaning in to each of the beatitudes in a successful attempt to convince the reader how important the Beatitudes are, as well as the meaning behind them and some Biblical examples illustrating the Beatitude Harris is discussing. 

I am not ashamed to admit that I had no idea what the Beatitudes were...I didn't grow up in church and my family didn't read the Bible. I identify myself as a "baby Christian with so much to learn" and I definitely found this book helpful. So, I can definitely speak from a perspective of not understanding or knowing much about the Beatitudes and say that this book was definitely helpful in clarifying the Beatitudes and conveying their importance to me. I am not sure if a more advanced Christian, one who is already familiar with the Beatitudes, would have as much to gain from this book as I did, but it might. The Biblical examples in this book are aplenty and the explanation of the Beatitudes is quite good. 

Overall, I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is unfamiliar with the Beatitudes. 

You can purchase this book at Amazon  

I was provided a copy of this book in e-book format from Booksneeze for my complete and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
Saturday, November 9, 2013

Motherhood: In the trenches

Now that we're on baby number 5, most people assume that I have it "all figured out". Well, I have a confession to make: I have no idea what I'm doing. The funny this is that each baby is different, each one has their own idiosyncrasies and things that they like and dislike...it takes time to figure them all out. Just because I've had four babies before does not mean I "have it all figured out". Sure, the things like diaper changes and bathing are the same, but even figuring out nursing with this new little babe has been a challenge. I've learned that she's quite picky-she doesn't like to nurse on my right side at night for some odd reason, and she has to be held *just so* if I want her to eat! She hates button-up outfits, I presume because it takes too long for me to get them buttoned, and she also doesn't like hats on her head. She LOVES her swing, loves blankets, and hates tummy time. 

The truth is, my fifth baby, my precious Violet, is kind of a difficult baby. She's not in pain, she's not crabby, she's just Violet...always wanting to be held, always wanting things her way :) In truth, this makes me feel like a total rookie when it comes to motherhood because all of my other kids weren't really like this. I could actually *set them down* and go to the bathroom...

But Violet, she's really putting me to the test. Some days it's a struggle not to get frustrated, but I keep remembering Psalm 139:13-16:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.  

The Lord created Violet just as she is meant to be, she is truly fearfully and wonderfully made. She is a gift, and I'll do my darndest to remember that, exercise patience while I figure her out, and thank the Lord for her being in my life. She's here for a reason, she's mine for a reason, and at times when I feel like I have no redeeming qualities as her mother because I can't get her to calm down, to nurse, or to change her diaper without her peeing on me, I just remember that she's mine, God saw fit to give her to us as her family, so there must be something I'm doing right :)
Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm *back*

Well, I've been away for my blog for quite some time now, mainly due to an extremely rough 5th pregnancy and a delivery that didn't go quite right. Hopefully I'm back now for good and will be posting regularly. I plan on adding more reviews not only for books, but products as well and I'd love to do some Bible studies and critical thinking things here on my blog. 

In short, my pregnancy and c-section were plagued with complications. These had me laid up for most of the *year* and there is still a long road ahead of me. My c-section was a nightmare and I ended up getting a seroma which required reopening my entire incision in order for it to drain. Since then I've been going to the doctor 2-3 times weekly to have my incision cleaned and repacked. It's been awful. On top of all that, I've had to take several different kinds of antibiotics due to the staph infection and a secondary infection that developed in my wound. 

So, it's not been fun, but I'm really looking forward to using my blog as an outlet!
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Interesting issue about homebirth

I seldom talk about my experience with my first baby, mainly because it was extremely traumatic. However, today I'm ready to really talk about it, because there was an article I read on a blog that concerned me. A lot. 

Apparently a midwife was arrested because certified professional midwifery in Indiana is illegal. Being a CNM is perfectly legal, but they don't recognize the certification of a CPM. This lady goes to jail, all heck breaks loose, doctors comment...

One doctor stated that he didn't mind doing births without monitors, but basically that birthing needs to be done in a hospital. I am here to say "No it doesn't!" Women have been birthing babies for thousands of years, and up until recently, the births happened at home. Oh my, my, my Mr. Obstetrician, how did we *ever* get by without you? 

Some argue that this is about money, and maybe so. I don't understand the resentment that some OB's have toward midwives or women who would like to have a "less conventional" birth. Side note: Isn't that funny that homebirths, something that has been happening in homes for thousands of years, is branded "less conventional"? *ANYWHO* this guy said that he gets mad when things go wrong and the patient is basically dropped on his doorstep. Okay, of the thousands of homebirths that happen nowadays, and of the kajillions that have happened since the dawn of time, how many of those people have complications that require hospital intervention? 

Now, I do know that things can go wrong, but I'm willing to bet that a majority of homebirths or birth center births go off without a hitch. Just like a lot of hospital births.

This leads me to my issue: the obstetrician talking about agreeing with no interventions...how many women actually know they have a choice? How many women actually request no intervention? And how likely is it that most OB's are willing to do the same?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Better World Books

It is not typical for me to do a "store" review, as I usually sing the praises of my favorite retailers in other ways. However, I figured that since Better World Books was an online retailer and you can purchase their books on a number of market websites as well as their own, I would write up a little something about my experience. After all, doing more reviews is part of my goal for 2011. I've been told they're helpful :)

I have been purchasing books from BWB through half.com and the Amazon marketplace for quite some time. My experience has always been mostly positive, their prices are decent, and their shipping times were a little long, but still acceptable. Do note that their prices change from website to website and it can be hit-or-miss. Their books are usually better quality than stated when purchasing the book; I've purchased several "average" copies of books and been thoroughly impressed by how GREAT they look! 

However, I made my first purchase from their website on December 21st. I purchased the textbook I needed for my class that starts tomorrow, as well as a devotional Bible for women. They had such a great promotion going on, I ended up getting the textbook for $10 less than anywhere else. I threw the Bible in and because of the discount code I had, it cost me no extra money, so I got two books for the price of one! I paid for the "expidoodle" shipping, which was remarkably affordable, so I would get it in 2-6 business days. Factoring in Christmas, they said it should be on my doorstep no later than Wednesday, December 29th. I even got a CUTE email confirming that the book shipped...LOVE IT!

Well, I'm one of those "If it could go wrong, it will" type of people, so when my book didn't get here by the time they stated, I received an email from them seeing if I was satisfied, and if I wasn't to please drop a line. I wrote and notified them that my book was not delivered when it was supposed to, and got an email from "Tracy" almost immediately saying it was most likely lost in the mail and I have two options: Full refund *or* replacements of the books. I opted for replacements, let her know I had a class starting Tuesday, and she shipped the replacements  2 day air. When she sent me the shipping notice, she said she also noted that my original order had been held up in Washington for quite some time, but that it was scheduled for delivery in the next couple of days. She said she sent the replacement anyway "just in case", and provided me with a link to send the other books back at no cost to me should my original order arrive in time for my class.

Needless to say, the original order got here. This was the first time I was less-than-satisfied with the quality, as I had ordered a copy in "like new" condition, and it arrived with highlights and writing ALL over it. My replacement copy was just received and was in excellent condition, however. I was told to send the highlighted book back and we're square.

I have to say, if you make a habit of purchasing books on the internet, be sure to check out Better World Books; they get a solid 5 star review. They have some amazing prices, always have great promotions and coupons, and their customer service is by FAR the most amazing I have come across in ANY retailer, whether a brick-and-mortar store, or an online store. I cannot speak highly enough of BWB, so please, give them a try the next time you are looking at ordering books online!
Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weighing on my heart

I have been a little MIA because there have been some serious issues weighing on my heart. I have to get something down on paper though, as I feel this is an issue that tends to divide some of my fellow Christians.
I feel that there are matters of the heart and matters of salvation. Where salvation is concerned, I don't play around with that. It is what it is. 
Matters of the heart, however, are things that can be subjective. One person may feel convicted to live their Christian life a certain way, while another feels differently. Matters of the heart like this should never cause a division between Christians. Disagreements, usually small and petty, should not divide. Now, I am speaking on matters that are not solely a matter of salvation. 

*This is my little disclaimer...some of you may not agree with what I say here, but I am learning here, so please...don't be mean.

It is no secret that I consider myself a baby Christian. I am relatively new to this whole "God" thing...I don't know a lot, I have a basic understanding of the Bible and am just starting to really get my hands dirty. Therefore, it came as complete surprise to me that there are many Christian women who do not believe girls should go to college. Currently, I'm a junior in college; I am very thankful that the Lord has blessed me with a way to balance handle all of my responsibilities and further my education at the same time. I have personally received comments that it is a waste for me to get my education; it is my husband's job to provide while I run the home. 

I'm sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree on one point here. I do NOT think it is a waste to further one's education; I think it's a blessing. 

I fully believe that it is the man's "duty" (if you will) to bring home the bacon. He has a God-given responsibility to take care of his family financially, to be the protector, and to be the head of the home. I do believe that the place best suited for the woman is in the home. There, I said it. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I really dislike my God-given role as helpmate and housewife, but generally, I know I am where I belong. 

Now, back to the education thing...

I completely disagree that it is a waste for a woman to get an education. For me, there is no better reason to get an education than to be prepared for the future. What would happen if my husband were to die? How would we afford food, clothing, or shelter? Yes, I do believe God would provide, but perhaps his provisions would be through a job that I hold while my children attend (insert gasp here) public school. My education is a life insurance policy of sorts...
Thursday, October 10, 2013

We've come a long way since paper blinds

When Brandon and I bought our first house, we had paper blinds. Yes, PAPER blinds. I cannot remember for the life of me where we found them, but you cut them to size and they looked like those "accordion-style" blinds. We used to hold them up with chip clips :)
I had always made such a huge deal about getting new blinds, but we just never had the money. It bothered me to no end; they were such an eyesore!
Now we're in our second house and I finally got the pretty blinds that I always insisted on having. However, my thinking seems to have changed drastically; do they make me any happier? No. Do I walk out in to the living room and say "Oh my gosh, my blinds make me feel so great?" Absolutely not. Is someone going to come in to my house and say "My, my, what MAGNIFICENT blinds you have?" More than likely, no.
Why on Earth did I press for new blinds when the paper ones were working just fine? Did it really bother me, or was I concerned about what people were thinking when they walked by my house?
More often than not, I believe that the way we live our lives is to appear a certain way to someone else. Some call this keeping up with the Joneses, but in the words of Dave Ramsey, "The Joneses are BROKE!" This doesn't only apply to material things, but ourselves as well. How many of us have crash dieted before a wedding because SO many people we know will be there and we don't want to be "that" person that looks like she completely went to pots? (Raises hand). How many of us have changed something about ourselves because we received a less-than-favorable reaction from others? (Raises hand). How many of us have changed something about our living situation/car/yard/kids because someone expressed a less-than-favorable reaction? (Raises hand). How many of us have made poor decisions with our money because we had to have that latest, greatest gadget/car/house/clothing? (Raises hand).
Has anyone ever wondered why we do this? Why we have this "need" to impress others where we actually alter our lives to conform to someone else's idea of "ideal" or "hip" or "rich" or "cool"?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

My husband rocks...and I can't say it enough. Sure, there are specific events when he's especially rockin' but, that's just no fun to share ONE thing!

My husband rocks because:

He always fills the truck up with gas-I haven't pumped gas in a year...

He takes me on drives. Not anywhere in particular, but he just drives aimlessly and never complains about it.

He made me breakfast this morning even though he was in a hurry :)

He brings in the paper for me

He's always willing to help someone

He pushes me to do things I don't want to do when he knows it will be good for me, and I end up thanking him for it

He knows how to recognize the 'toxins' in my life and tries to help eliminate them-toxic people, toxic habits, etc.

He is never shy about sharing his love for me or his feelings for me

Oh, and have I mentioned, he LOVES me. Not petty love, but true, deep, and honest LOVE. This man would do anything for me, he just wants me to be happy and content. He understands me, he LOVES me, he cares about me.

It may sound creepy to some, but it made me feel wonderful the other day when he told me he was 'obsessed' with me te he :)

For more MHR Fridays, check out Katy Lin's blog at: http://honestandlasting.blogspot.com/
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Like Father, like son!

Like father, like son...

Never has an old addage be more true than this! Owen is so much like his father it's not even funny! Well, okay, it is a *little* funny...hehe.I wish the blankets weren't covering his face...
Thursday, September 19, 2013


I am so excited to introduce the newest member of our family, miss Violet Ruth :) 

She came in to the world at 6 lbs 13 oz and 18.5 inches long. She has blonde, fuzzy hair and blue eyes. She gets her name from both of my grandmothers' middle names, holding true to our tradition of using family names for our kids. 

The delivery and the days leading up to it were nothing short of awful, but maybe that will be shared in another post...
Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review: The Anger Workbook

The Anger Workbook: An Interactive Guide to Anger Management
Les Carter and Frank Minirth
Five Stars

As humans we experience a wide range of emotions on a daily basis. Granted some of them aren't as nice and pretty as others, it's all part of being human. Perfectly imperfect, if you will. I received a copy of The Anger Workbook and really took my time with it, as I was very excited to see what I could learn about anger. 

The Anger Workbook is an in-depth look exploring all the facets of anger; Carter and Minirth use several vignettes to illustrate how anger may present itself or manifest, then follow with a series of questions in an attempt to get the reader to explore their own experiences with these particular forms of anger as well as the consequences of certain types of anger. I found the book very informative and, in a day and age when emotions are simplified to just a handful, I found it refreshing and surprising to learn that often times things that are identified as anger are not quite anger, yet there are plenty of emotions that are NOT identified as anger that should be. 

The vignettes really helped solidify my understanding of the different types of anger and the consequences of each type, so I really appreciated the clear explanation and exploratory questions that were posed during each section. I also appreciated the detail that went in to this book, as it is also laced with scripture. 

All in all I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. It is very seldom that I come across a "self-help" book that is worthy of five stars, but this one really taught me some new things about anger that I am very excited to apply to my life. This book is appropriate for everyone; I truly believe that everyone could learn something about anger from this book.

If you are interested in reading The Anger Workbook, you can purchase it here! 

The "fine print": This book was provided for review purposes from booksneeze.com. All opinions expressed are my own and my honest opinion of the work. 
Saturday, February 2, 2013

Out of the mouths...

Kids say the darndest...they really do. If I had a nickel for every awesome thing one of my kids said, I'd have a lot of nickels, that's for sure! 

Saturday is my "kitchen" day. Since it's my husband's Monday, I enjoy sending him off to work, starting the week with an amazing, home-cooked meal. It's like Sunday dinner on Saturday/hubby's Monday :) It's something I've just recently started and it's something I really enjoy. People meander in and out of the kitchen throughout the day, but I'm a constant fixture in there from breakfast until about 2 PM cooking, cleaning, and getting things set up for the big meal. 

Today, Owen decided to join me toward the tail-end of my cooking. Things were starting to tone down a bit since everything was prepared and was almost finished cooking. I'm cleaning up, washing a few dishes, and my wonderful 7 year old, our second-born, pipes up and tells me about how when I grow old, he'll be there to keep me company. He talked about all the cooking that he would do for me, all the visits we would have together, and how I'll never get lonely. He said he'll drive me around when I can't see anymore, and he'll bring me over to his house to visit his family. 

He then started talking about his family. He hopes to have 10 kids! He hopes to marry a woman that would prefer to stay at home and take care of the family while he takes care of her. He hopes to raise respectful children. But most of all, he's excited to share it with me and my husband :) 

The things that he says make my heart smile all the time, but this took the cake. What he said to me today has had more impact on me than anything he's ever said before. 

Raising a son that wants to take responsibility for his family, that wants to respect his wife and take care of her, and that wants to raise respectful children is a really big compliment to me and my husband, at least *I* think so. I don't know many 7 year olds that think about the future the way that he does, and I can say for sure that his brothers definitely don't. I just find it interesting. 

Now, confession time. Just before he came up to the kitchen I was sitting there thinking "Why do I bother with this? Why not just have it be like any other *regular* day?" Well, truth be told, if I hadn't been doing what I was doing at that very moment, there's a very big chance that I would have never heard his vision for his future, and that makes me sad. 

But for now, I'm glad that God gave me the opportunity to hear the wonderful things that my son had to say today. It really put a smile in my soul :)
Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Well, we're at the start of another year! That means I've been taking the last few days for some self-reflection to try and determine what direction I'd like my life to go in for the year 2013. Now anyone who knows me is aware that I do not particularly like setting "New Year's Resolutions" because for some reason, I think that automatically sets me up for failure. At what point does it stop being the "new year"? And I also have a hard time with the word "resolution" for some reason. I'm not sure why, but I just prefer to do some reflection and try and find things that I'd like to do for the next year, think about things I'm excited about, and even confront things that I'm nervous about. So, I'm taking this post to do just that, and I'll share it with whomever would like to read. 

First of all, 2012 was a different year, a year that my husband and I had to make some very difficult choices about our living situation and our future. Although we are 100% positive that everything in the last year has been a God-led decision, it doesn't take away the fact that we had to make some painful decisions-they just didn't seem to line up with God's plan for our lives, in this particular season of our lives. I've dealt with a lot of shame, embarrassment, and anxiety as a result of some of these decisions, so I would like to take 2013 head-on and get rid of these feelings. It's a new year, and although I still have some anxieties about the repercussions of our decisions (mainly a fear of the unknown), I need to get over the fact that "it happened" and move on with life. I'm still waiting for a little bit of closure, and I think that's what has had me so up-in-arms over the last several months. Even though we're done with 99% of the stuff, we still have that one thing, that one final detail that needs to be taken care of. I won't say exactly what it is, but if you could pray a general prayer for a detail of our past to be taken care of sooner rather than later, it would be much appreciated!

Now...on to my big list for 2013!

1. I am excited about...
~A new opportunity to start fresh. It's a new year, and that brings about opportunity!
~Establishing new friendships
~Making changes in my personal life that I have wanted to make for a long time
~The future. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us. 
~Summer! I can't wait to sit on the beach and watch the kids play in the water

2. I am nervous about...
~My anxiety. It puts a wrench in a lot of my plans
~Putting my boys in sports! I'm not a fan of competition, but I cannot let that get in the way of my kids having experiences and learning life lessons that will benefit them.
~The future. Yes, I'm excited and nervous about the future. 
~My student loans. Graduating with my Bachelor's degree was a huge accomplishment, but now the honeymoon is over and we have to start paying back those outrageous student loans that I wish I never would have taken out. 
3. I am thankful for...
~Our abundant blessings from last year
~My God and His unfailing love
~Our opportunities to do things we've never done before
~My husband. He has a way of making me a better person
~Our current situation. Point blank: I love where we are at in our lives right now

4. I would like to accomplish...
~Overcoming my anxiety and fears
~A monthly budget with my husband
~Learning new recipes throughout the year
~Being more organized
~a less-cluttered lifestyle and home life
~Reading the Bible more regularly
~Making a monthly meal plan

A general list:
I would like to take more time to read in 2013. I'm not putting a specific number or type of book, but I'm very passionate about reading and it's something I enjoy. 

I would like to get my daughter potty-trained. This is one of those "it has to happen" goals...she's been the most difficult one to train out of all four of the kids. 

I would like to spend more time doing family activities. Our move to Montana really helped with that for most of the year last year, and I have to say that my husband's schedule at work makes it very easy to spend quality time as a family when school is not in session. But I would like to find a way to make family time when school IS in session just as fun and fulfilling. 

I would like to worry less. I plan to accomplish that by spending more time in the Bible and in prayer, as I firmly believe that God really does want us to come to Him with our issues. 

I would like to take a bit more time to cultivate meaningful, fulfilling friendships with both old and new friends. 

I actually do a lot of reflection throughout the year and this list certainly isn't exhaustive, but it's a general idea, a way for me to get things down on paper so it really drills it in to my brain. And there's something about transparency that I find mildly therapeutic :)    

Happy 2013 everyone!