Monday, June 29, 2015


Here we is the end of June. We are halfway through 2015. When I think back on the first half of this year, the last word that comes to mind is peace.

I lost my mom in February, and two weeks later lost my grandpa. Definitely not a peaceful time in my life. 

Recently my family has gone through a lot of changes. While some are good and exciting, it still comes with stress, unknowns, and no peacefulness.

I found this definition of peace:

-freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquillity; serenity.

That's basically the total opposite of how I've felt lately...
I've had relationships fall apart, distanced myself from others, and cried a lot when I've been alone.

My friend, Elizabeth, recently went to Israel, and sent this e-mail to me:

In Israel, they use the word Shalom a lot. Shalom means Peace. It was a word that I needed to hear and learn, especially lately. I had no idea that word would mean what it does to me. Now I'm passing it on to you. 

Shalom, friend. Love you and praying for you. 

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I didn't realize it until this morning, but the real reason I have no peace, is because I'm fearful. I'm scared of the unknown, the unexpected. Lately I've had so much crashing down around me, that I can't see how to get out of it. But I see it now. Peace...freedom of the mind from anxiety. That's what I crave, what I need.  I realized that's what I needed when listening to a song I've listened to a lot after my mom passed away. It's the song "I am not alone" by Kari Jobe.
When I walk through deep waters
I know that You will be with me
When I'm standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear
I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me
Side bar: Listen to this adorable version of it. I LOVE that he loves to sing with me :)

I underlined "I will not fear", because when that line was playing I stopped singing, and started crying. I've been so fearful that I haven't even allowed Christ to give me His peace that He is willing and able to give. 

This is it:

Matthew 6:30-34 (The Message)
30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
So now, what does this mean? I don't really know. I do know this, though--He cares. He loves me. He wants good things and not bad things for me. Nothing good comes from worry--only destruction. It destroys my mind and my attitude. I should probably write these verses on a poster and wear them around my neck. I do know this--I want to actively pursue God's gifts for me. He has them there for us all. It must break His heart when we are too fearful or preoccupied with our lives that we don't stop to accept what He so willingly wants to give.

I'll leave you with lyrics from another song that has meant a lot to me for many years.
"Table for Two" by Caedmon's Call

Well this day's been crazy
But everything's happened on schedule
From the rain and the cold
To the drink that I spilled on my shirt
'Cause You knew how You'd save me
Before I fell dead in the garden
And You knew this day
Long before You made me out of dirt
And You know the plans that You have for me
And You can't plan the end and not plan the means
And so I suppose I just need some peace
Just to get me to sleep.

I'm participating in a blog circle with some amazing and beautiful women. Click here
to see Jana's recipe for peppermint brownies. I LOVE that she has a paleo version :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

His mercies are new every morning...

Sorry, before you read my words, you need to read this first:

Basically, I could have written this...and I hate myself for it. There are days that things go simply wonderful, but those days have been few and far between lately. In the midst of packing and preparing to move, I haven't gotten enough sleep and things seem to keep piling on my plate. 

Yesterday, I got off work, picked up the boys, and then rushed to swim lessons (because who doesn't sign their kid up for swim lessons the week they have to move?!). Then we went to the grocery store, because I haven't been all week. By the time I got home, it was 6:30 and I was done. I carried in a sack of groceries, set it down, and walked off to go get more stuff out of the car. As I turned around, the sack crashed to the floor, spilling 3 pints of blueberries ALL OVER THE FLOOR. I lost it...I screamed. I was frustrated with myself and that now I had created more work for myself. Even though the anger wasn't directed at him, Noah immediately started crying. I could see the effect my reaction had on him and it wasn't good. I calmed down quickly because of that, but I felt awful. I asked him to forgive me for screaming and getting frustrated. He then continued to ask me multiple times "are you going to scream again, mommy?" Yep-no "mom of the year" awards will be coming my way. After about the 4th time he asked me, I said to him, "Noah, mommy messed up. I should not have screamed. I am very sorry. Can you please forgive me?" Of course he said yes and then needed a kiss right away.

Here's what I know--at 3, Noah is quick to forgive my mess ups. As he gets older though, I know he will form his behaviors around me based on my reactions now. I want to show him now that it's never ok for me to let a situation dictate my actions. Sure, I know things won't be perfect, but I can learn now to have self control.

My favorite excerpts from the article:

Thankfully, God’s forgiveness is not in short supply.  His love is enduring, and His grace is enough.
But most important of all is remembering HOW MUCH GOD has forgiven me, and then forbidding myself from behaving in a way that only hurts my kids and myself.  (Also known as SELF CONTROL, and if we are taking this seriously, we CAN DIG DEEP and find it.)
I have realized that when I handle my frustrations the wrong way, I am being lazy, and selfish.  I am putting my need to vent above my kids need for a reasonable, wise mother.  And yes we are all pushed to our limits, but no–it’s not ok to be a lousy parent.   I wouldn’t let this stuff fly to any friend, co-worker, or human being on earth, so why should I do it to my kids? 

Friday, June 19, 2015

For the times they are a-changin'...

Just like that, June is almost over. We've known we were moving for awhile, but I've somehow delayed packing as much as I could. Now we're down to the wire and will be completely out by next week. 

We will miss living with Momo, Ben's mom. The boys simply love her and have grown accustomed to seeing her every morning. I imagine it will just make time with her even sweeter now that they won't see her as often.

The "fun" part is that we aren't moving into the house we're buying yet, because we are going to do a little remodeling first. My BFF is simply amazing and was too nice to say no when I asked if we could move in with her ;) So for our next adventure, we will move in with her, drive her crazy, then leave before she hates us all (hopefully!!). 

We are SOOO ready to be settled and move into the new place. I'm praying the remodeling and work all goes smoothly, and that I'll be patient, as those things never go completely as planned. 

We are moving into our dream house. In fact, when I found out it was going to be for sale, I started praying about it. That was last fall, maybe around October. Here we are, many months later, and God has brought us here. It may not fall into the "dream home" category for everyone, but it's simple and exactly what we've wanted. It's on a little bit of land so the boys can run and play. Maybe I'll even get some chickens ;)

Please say a prayer for us, for the transitions, and that it will all go as smoothly as possible!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

My thoughts on being late...

I'm sure you've all read the article by now entitled "No, you're not 'running late', you're rude and selfish." (If you haven't, here it is: I've had several friends share the article on facebook, and it makes me cringe every time.

Ouch. I've read it several times and here's the deal. I want to be on time. I really do, but sometimes a kid poops right as we are walking out the door. Sometimes my 3 year old takes a hour to eat breakfast and no matter how many times I tell him "we are going to be late", he doesn't speed up. I have planned and planned our mornings--laid out clothes, packed lunch the night before, prepared breakfast so it just has be heated up--and guess what? We are still late sometimes.
Then there are the days I don't get anything ready the night before and we are 15 minutes early to our destination.

Here's what I've discovered--sometimes you just can't plan life, especially with a 19 month old and a 3 1/2 year old. If my son asks me to play in his room with him and we are running behind, guess what? I still go play with him. I want my family to know that I value them. Outside of my relationship with Jesus, my family is the most important thing to me. So am I being selfish and rude when I let my 3 year old take all the time he wants to eat breakfast? Maybe to you, but for me, that's my life right now.

I'm rarely super late, but yes, sometimes I'm 5, 10, or even 15 minutes late. Thankfully my friends extend grace when I'm running behind. If they were like the article's writer, I'm afraid I'd be without friends.
So today, I'd like to say thank you to my friends that have stuck by my side, even when I'm late.

Beginning this month, I'm participating in a blog circle with some amazing and beautiful women. Click here and see what Lori has to say this month.