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What is contentment?

What IS contentment??? ~Is it having everything you ever wished for to come true? ~Is it having the perfect husband, kids or house? ~Is it...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Coming Soon! The 100 Happy Days Challenge


Hi friends! I'm wanting to document some happiness around here. Life is sometimes hard, and often feels rather uphill-both-ways-in-neck-deep-snow blah blah blah. So to combat that feeling, I've decided to join the 100 Happy Days Challenge. Starting on May 30th (the day after Memorial Day) I will be doing the challenge. It's a great way to focus on the positive in our lives by noticing something that makes us happy each day for 100 days.


I chose May 30th, because to me, summer starts then. Memorial Day is official kick off weekend of summer. So from May 30 until a few days after Labor Day, I shall be documenting something that made me happy that day. I'll be posting on FB and also here. I'll be using the hashtag #100HappyDays, and possibly #TheManCrew as well.


If you want to play along, and I hope you do, you can join the challenge by heading to www.100happydays.com and signing up. You can choose your start date, your favorite platform for posting pics, and even choose a custom hashtag if #100HappyDays doesn't suit your fancy. Hope to see you there and here!


Monday, May 22, 2017

A Sermon on Marriage Parts 2 and 3


If you're looking for the follow up on the marriage sermon series, you can find them here and here. The rest of the series was excellent, focusing first on serving one another and then keeping the love alive, and both of them stepped all over my toes, and possibly Dan's as well. You'd think after being married for 20 years, we'd have all of this figured out. You'd be incorrect. *ahem* Being the stubborn people we are, we still struggle with some of the basics, even though I'd not hesitate to say our marriage is strong and growing. But that doesn't mean we have it all figured out and our life together is perfect. It means that we are always growing and changing and working to make our marriage better...and that sometimes we are more successful than other times.
It does mean that this sermon series was a blessing, and a spring board for several great conversations, and that you're never too old or been married too long to get some tips and learn a few new things.
Thanks Pastor Dennis for this series!

Who Am I?

This is what's on my heart tonight. (I apologize to the people who come here looking for a laugh)



WHO AM I?
If I'm not a nanny anymore, who am I?
If I'm not the sister who handles all of the family drama,  who am I?
If I'm not a mama to a handful of littles anymore, who am I?
If I'm not the powerhouse that can belt out a Sandy Patti solo for special music, who am I?
If I'm not the wife/mama who can "do it all" then who am I?

What if I turn out to be no one?  *crickets*

I'm in a season of change, and change can be frustrating and upsetting to someone who craves routine and structure as much as I do. I'm working so hard to learn to not be so busy, to make room in my/our chaotic life for breathing, relaxing, for Sunday afternoon naps followed by cuddling during a movie, and for spur of the moment activities not to be a tragedy or an unwelcome intrusion to our schedule.

And I'm doing that. I've got the house cleaner, more regularly, more often than probably ever before. The bills are being paid on time because I can not only find the bills, but I have enough mental clarity to remember to pay them. Derek is getting to bed on time more often. *I'm* getting to bed on time more often. I have time to workout, and grocery shop, and get everyone to the necessary places on time. We're eating at home again, instead of living in the drive through lane. I have time to occasionally indulge in a Sunday afternoon nap with Dan, or to meet a friend for coffee, or even blog again (woot!)

BUT, there's also this awkward feeling inside of me. One that reminds me eleventy billion times a day that I could DO more, BE more, SERVE more, if I wasn't so busy being not so busy. And what if I'm disappointing people who have learned to count on me? And what if I'm being lazy under the guise of being intentional? What if I'm overlooking the important while I'm trying so hard to SEE the important instead of the urgent?

 What if?

And, *gulp* what if....when you take away my flaming chainsaw juggling, baking bread and throwing a dinner party while baby-wearing and homeschooling awesomeness...there is nothing left of worth? What if all I have to offer the world is little old me, insignificant in any meaningful way once all the busyness is stripped away?

I.
Don't.
Know.

Lord help me, because I don't know. I learned last year that I was finding WAY too much of my identity in being Dan's wife and his approval of me. And with my boys turning into men at an alarming rate, I can no longer make my identity about being a mama of littles. Life is changing and I'm struggling to find where I fit into my own new chapter of life.





And that's OK.
Jesus loves me, even in my mess. Jesus knows who I am, who I was, and who I'm going to become. That is so comforting. I shall cling to His hand while I walk this new path. I'm still confused and I'm still feeling blown around by the winds of change, but I know I'm safe in His arms.
That's good enough for me, even if I don't know what's around the next bend.
To be continued...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I INTENDED to blog, but...

...the evening simply got away from me. I'm working on being IN bed by 10pm and it is currently 9:52 so I'm just waving and wishing you all a good night's rest. I'll be back soon!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Screen Free Week Follow Up

The Bad News: It appears that we totally stink at SFW. Like abysmal failures. Not that the effort wasn't there, just that we are way more addicted than I thought. Oops.
On Monday, I allowed DT to download an educational game and try it...for over 30+ minutes.
On Tuesday, he watched some tv while we were waiting for G to finish up her riding lesson because he was bored and hadn't brought along anything else to do.
On Wednesday, he had to tag along for Sister-Girl Night and so Roger downloaded him a few games on his Xbox and we didn't want to be rude.
On Thursday, we attended Community Group and the kiddos all played games on one of the parent's phone. *le sigh*
All the days, I checked my email constantly, had I-Miss-FB-pangs, and checked my bank account like it was going out of style. I even read a book on my Kindle, although I'm not sure if that counts against me or not.
And by Friday morning, Dan was home and watched TV all day long.
EGADS!
The Good News: While there was obviously MUCH room for improvement, all is not lost.
We played tons of board games together and with the B-Bunch girlies and laughed ourselves silly.
We played and worked together outside in the beautiful spring weather.
We ate better meals because we had 'time' to cook.
We cleaned the house and then enjoyed our clean home to welcome friends.
We read lots of books because we weren't always attached to a screen.

Bottom Line:
Officially, we are terrible human beings because we could not even manage one 24 hour period without screens.
Unofficially, we are members of the 21st century in America and it's practically impossible to go a full day without using any type of screen at all. We work on them, play on them, socialize on them and even do school on them.

The takeaway? It's frustrating to me that we did so poorly, and I want to do better, but I'm willing to see the positives of the effort we made. So I'm going to call this past week a wash and start making plans for at least one ACTUAL screen free day per week this summer.
Anyone want to join us?

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Sermon on Marriage


Pastor Dennis started a sermon series called "Til Death Do Us Part" this week at MPCC and R2R. It was fantastic. You can watch it here.
Here's the highlight reel:
~You can't have a lasting marriage without God in first place, and quoted the verse about a strand of three cords not being easily broken. God is the third strand.
~Live with a sense of urgency. The time is NOW to focus on the important things, not the urgent things. Life will keep on throwing things in your face. Make time for the things that matter. NOW.
~He ponders why people say their vows once and then never seem to remember them again. He wonders why aren't our vows framed and hanging in plain view where we can see them every day and remember the oath we've taken to love and to honor and to cherish.
~Favorite quote from the sermon: "It pleases Christ the MOST when a wife serves and honors her husband in the times he deserve it the LEAST." (ouch)

Dan was really leaning into the sermon like I was and he stopped at the store on the way home to pick something up while I was caring for the B-Bunch critters and preparing for the BBQ we were about to attend. He came in the door and said he thought of a craft I might like and to [lease stay in the kitchen for a few minutes.

After several curiosity-filled minutes, he came back and asked me to come see what he had done. And then, this...
Time is fleeting. The time is NOW. Focus on the important NOW. We aren't promised tomorrow. 



Our vows: framed and hanging in the dining room near our wedding photo. And a cord of 3 strands.
And then, we both cried. (Getting old and feeling all the feelings is for the birds, but I digress) He cried because he loves me so much and did something that made me so happy. I cried because he loves me so much and because I knew the sermon touched his heart.
We may eventually figure out this marriage thing. {heart}
Life is good, y'all.

Friday, May 5, 2017

**Interrupted**

And, just like that, Screen Free Week has come to a full stop. 

Dan is home for the weekend and he likes to watch movies and TV episodes on Netflix when he isn't working. That's fine, he's a grownup and can make his own decisions. However, he really likes to have someone to watch with him, and since DT and I've been missing him all week, we want to hang out with him. So...we decided to skip the rest of this week for Screen Free and pick it back up next week for a few days to finish our full 7 days. I'm still off of FB (which is my major time-waster anyway) and I read an entire book today. I should really consider having a day off more often.
Screen Free Week, don't get any funny ideas, we will catch up with you next week.
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