When You Need a Win

 

IMG_0009You know those days when it seems that everything and everyone is out to get on your nerves.  Then there are those days when the people in your life really are trying to make you insane (I swear they really are):-)  I am currently in a very busy and exciting season of life.  I am homeschooling my two wonderfully independent children (kindergarten and 3rd grade), starting a new health and fitness journey and business, multiple Bible Studies going on each week, pursuing some ministry opportunities, writing and working part-time, oh and our house is on the market.  I’ve been really struggling to keep up and I’ve known for a while now that something would have to give.  Fortunately I was able to quit my part time job, but they haven’t found my replacement yet, but hopefully just a couple more weeks.

Yesterday was the day that it all seemed to come to a head.  My very independent-dare I say strong-willed children- had been feeling the strain of the pace we’ve been trying to keep.  Yesterday they had had enough.  Nothing went right.  I couldn’t get one to write a single word, the other had “forgotten” every sight word, and I was not the patient mother/ teacher that I want to be.  I was frazzled, frustrated, and furious by the end of the day.  They were in about the same shape.  I finally threw up my hands in defeat over the school work.  Going to my room I cried out to God for help.

Waiting for a business question to be answered I logged on to Facebook.  But instead of the answer I was looking for, I found an article titled ” How to Be the Mom Your Strong-Willed Child Needs.”  It was a Christian article with good Biblical advice.  But mostly it reminded me that God has entrusted me with these precious little and not-so little ones.  He knew that we would have days like yesterday and still He in His infinite wisdom picked me to be their mom.  That was a huge wake-up call for me.  My hubby and I set four serious hard and fast boundaries for the kids last night.   We made our expectations crystal clear.

And you know what happened today?  We had one of the best days we’ve had in a long time.  I made it a priority to get up early enough to spend quiet time in prayer and the Word.  Then I got my workout finished before they were up.  Filled up on God’s Word and sweaty I was able to greet my kids this morning with new confidence.  We made school a priority, knowing that we would get to the fun stuff(and house work) later.  Working diligently we all actually enjoyed school, the house still got cleanish, dinner was done at a reasonable time, and no one got yelled at.

I started this post earlier this evening, but was reminded by Wy-Guy that I told him we would play catch with his new football.  I was so happy to be able to tell him he was right and I could save this and finish it later.  I enjoyed 45 minutes tossing the ball around with him and Ms. Sis more than I can tell you.  It was amazing choosing to be in the moment and see his face shine when he caught the ball.  Yes I still have a lot going on.  And yes there are still many tasks that need to be accomplished.  But when I get my heart and priorities right, surrender to the One who made me, relying on His strength I can go about my work joyfully.  I praise God for days like yesterday because their lessons can lead us to days like today and I call that a win.

Playing sight word bingo together!

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Reflections, Resolutions, and Celebrations

New Year’s is such a special time.  It’s a rare time when we look forward while looking back.  We ponder, we reflect, and we plan.  We regret, we hope, but mostly we take a good long hard look in the mirror and evaluate our lives.  Some years we treasure and don’t want to let go of and others we can’t wait to be over and onto hopefully bigger and better things.

I’m no different than anyone else.  This time of year gets me thinking.  My husband and I were married on New Year’s Eve 2005.  We picked that day for a few reasons, but mostly because neither one of us are very good at remembering what day it is.  It wasn’t until years later that I started to see the built in blessing of the day we choose.  While it’s easy to remember, it’s also easy to reflect on our journey so far.  I think that reflecting is a helpful tool for us to stay grateful, humble, and honest.  Anniversaries as well as New Years are a great reminder to check-in.

As I reflect on 2015 I see God working in my life.  I can sum it up in one word, clarity.  This past year God has revealed so much truth to me in so many areas in my life.  I have carried huge areas of unbelief, misconception, doubt, and fear for much of my life.  But by His Grace my eyes have been opened and He has been leading me to such a sweet place of contentment.  This hasn’t been the case the whole year, but as we put 2015 to rest I can see His hand at work preparing me through out the year.

Looking forward to 2016 I have one resolution that pretty much covers everything I want to do this year.  The one word for 2016 I want to define my life is obedience.  I want to obey God’s call in every area of my life this year!  If I do this I know it will be the most incredible year yet.  To quote someone much smarter than me, “Our job is obedience, God’s job is results.”

Here’s to the year in the rear view mirror, the one in the windshield, but mostly here’s to the Creator how holds each and every year for us all for all time.  Happy New Year!

 

Prepared Or So I Thought

shelter

 

Any one who has an actual emergency plan will tell you they realized one way or another that they were not prepared should things go south.  Well today was my day to realize just how unprepared for the unexpected I am.  Thankfully nothing bad happened to open my eyes.  I was reading an article in Backwoods Home Magazine( btw great resource for those who want to live a simpler life) when it became crystal clear that I’ve been living in a delusion.  You see, if you would’ve asked me yesterday, I would’ve told you I was pretty prepared.

After reading this great article and reflecting on how we really live(not how I grew up, but actually live today) I’ve decided to make some changes.  I’m not talking about bomb shelters and communes here, but being prepared should something locally, regionally, nationally, or globally go terribly wrong.  In a series of posts I’ll be looking at:

  • What does being prepared even mean?
  • What does the Bible say about preparing for the future?
  • Is knowledge the key, what should our mindset be?
  • What kind of events should we be “prepping” for?
  • What gear is needed and how to use it?

 

 

be prepared

 

 

I hope you’ll come on this adventure with me.  I’m excited to get going and look forward to sharing all I learn with you.  As always I would love to hear from you, any ideas, questions, thoughts, or experiences.

Why Hope Filled Simplicity?

I’ve been “wanting” to start a blog for a long time now. I say “wanting” because as much a I want to share, grow, and learn with others I’ve been terrified to actually do it. I’ve gone back and forth in my mind, arguing with God and myself. What if no one likes my blog? What if I sound as crazy as I am? I want to help people but what if I don’t help one single soul, or worse yet cause more harm than good. Words are powerful, what if I mess this up? And so on and so on. Then over the last few weeks in my Bible study with my dear friend, we’ve been challenged to say yes to God about sharing our story, make a connection with someone and give them something precious to us. So here I go.
I had the best name picked out for my blog. My blog that was mostly going to be about homesteading, motherhood, marriage, and just enough God thrown in to be nice and Christian. It was cute. It was catchy. It was perfect. It was taken. Yep, not only was the name I wanted taken, but every reasonable variation of it was also taken. Well what now?
I started thinking about what else I could call this adventure when a few of my favorite verses started screaming in my brain. 1Thessalonians 4:11 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and work with your hands, just like we told you.” Sounds like living simply to me. The other verse I couldn’t shake was Jeremiah 29:11. Reading further I realized there is more than the first promise here. Jeremiah 29:11-13 “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. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Here I am saying yes. It is the desire of my heart to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as I love myself. I pray that as Jesus transforms me I get to experience a life of hope filled simplicity.