Marriage

A Servant’s Heart: We need Mary’s AND Martha’s! (5 Thanksgiving Survival Tips)

Do you have a servants’ heart? — the world needs Martha’s like you! (Especially on holidays like Thanksgiving — wink wink.) I want you to know, God loves the way you take care of people. The way you put others first. It’s a beautiful thing.  The trick is not letting all those well-intentioned tasks blind us from […] Read more…

7-Day Memory-Keeping Challenge for “Starting a Family Journal”

Hey friends! I’m launching a 7-Day Memory-Keeping Challenge for “Starting a Family Journal.” With Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years on the horizon, this is the time of year families are wanting to enjoy that quality time together, and documenting memories is a high priority this time of year — so its really the perfect time […] Read more…

My Life Inventory: A stream of memories… the world through my eyes.

I am currently going through a blogging course called Write Your Worth by Alicia Cain. She is guiding us through the process of finding our unique voice and telling our story. This Life Inventory is one of our first activities, which is to go through our memories and document what you saw, felt, did, experienced. Even if your observations were of big world events or something you witnessed happening to someone else, you were still present for them and experienced them, and what you saw became a part of who you are. Here is my list:
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Guest Post : A Heroic Love

When Tragedy Strikes… Dealing with the Questions

Struggling with heartache as I watched dear friends dealing with the loss of their loved ones this week. 2 tragedies among friends in 48 hours. Untimely deaths… Accidents… Spouses, Children, & Dear Friends left behind. This book has been such a blessing and a comfort to me, and an precious reminder of the fantastically good nature of God and his heart for us.

We ask tough questions, so did Ann after her own heartbreak:

“Can there be a good God? A God who graces with good gifts when a crib lies empty through long nights and bugs burrow through coffins? Where is God, really? How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away. Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life is full of hurt? How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?”

– Excerpt from Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts

I am loving exploring the answers to those tough questions along with her the past few weeks… and in light of the events of the past few days — just the reminder my heart needed. Praying for the loved ones working through their loss this week. Thank You, God that you have their precious hearts in your hand. Read more…

I am just the Messenger, not the Load-Bearer : A Post about Letting Go

So lately I have been thinking… how many times do I care so deeply about outcomes with other people that I obsess over their decisions and become “naggy?” Or I keep things inside and become horribly depressed. I worry that if I am not involved and continually “remind” others of the truth, they will continue to struggle — and it will be all my fault. Or if someone is in pain, I believe it is up to me to “fix” them. Can you relate?

I am an emotional, intense, and compassionate person. God made me this way intentionally. I often pray for my loved ones, but sometimes the worry keeps me up at night. This burden that I carry, this heavy load… sometimes becomes too heavy, and I feel overwhelmed. I am learning that this is not the way God intended me to live.

I can care for others, empathize, intercede for them when God places them on my heart. But the burden for them was not meant for me to carry continually. Read more…

#SheSharesTruth ~ Spiritual Mothers

Some of these women in particular really invested in me, inspired me, spoke into my life (You know who you are). These “mother” figures gave a SIGNIFICANT amount of their time, invited me into their homes, and encouraged me as a wife, woman, and future mom (I became pregnant with my daughter during my time there). They taught me recipes, inspired me with their home-making, crafting, sewing, thriftiness, the way they raised their kids, loved their husbands, served the church, volunteered in the community, and treasured their quality time with their loved ones. Read more…

Organizing My Life: My Ideal Day (Free Chore Planner)

In my last post, Overwhelmed Mommies, Finding Ever-Elusive Balance, I discussed the challenges I had been having staying on top of all my responsibilities as a caring wife, first time mommy, and a small business owner. I mentioned a little about how having things in writing and on a schedule helped me deal with some of my stress. It helped make everything feel much more manageable. This post is a sample of what an ideal day for me could look like. Read more…

Overwhelmed Mommies, Finding Ever-Elusive Balance

A little moment of honesty: It is really hard sometimes to take care of myself and the home as a first time mom. I put everyone else’s needs first. It is so hard to find time to do simple things like shower every day, brush my teeth (I know, yuck), much less do my makeup. And most days my hair is a disaster or the carpet needs vacuuming. I can’t remember the last time I scrubbed the toilet or even attempted a workout. Dishes and laundry seem to never get done. They may seem like simple things to someone else, but everything all together feels overwhelming at times, and so I think some weeks I just check out and stop trying. If I feel like everything as a whole is too much for me to handle, I just let go of all the little things all together. Read more…

Mommyhood is a lot like Groundhog Day (Five Needs of a Stay-at-home Mom)

Mommyhood is a lot like Groundhog Day. Do you ever feel like this? I totally do. It seems like this is especially true for us stay-at-home moms that I have talked to… We easily get into this repetitive sequence everyday, and it is easy to get lost in the mundane nature of daily life caring for a tiny baby.

Motherhood while our children are small can be the most fulfilling and meaningful thing in our lives right now, but it is easy to feel isolated and sometimes bored with the redundancy. That’s why I am learning it is important to be purposeful about fitting in variety into your life. This can be a challenge for me with little Olivia, and sometimes I go weeks with my head in the sand until I finally come up for air. That is when I am reminded that there is this big exciting world out there full of amazing things to see and do, and wonderful people to meet and talk to.

But somewhere along the way, our tiny world of changing diapers, feedings, naps, baths, and running interference between baby and off-limit objects, (or in some cases between baby and the poor dog) we can lose sight of the bigger picture. It occurred to me on some days that baby could use some variety maybe as much as mommy does. So I am starting to make time to get out of the house, meet friends, visit with family, go to the park or walk around at the mall. Play dates are another awesome treat. Baby gets to interact with other babies, play with someone else’s super cool toys. Mommy gets a chance to have a conversation with a grown-up, and have her need for relationship met. Read more…

5+ ways to build a relaxing mood in your home {after a long hard day of work}

5 ways to build a relaxing mood in your home, after a long hard day of work.

Think of your 5 senses when getting yourself in the mood for sleep, or the weekend. After watching my daughter all day this is a treasured time for me when I can recharge, refocus, and have some much needed me time or couple time. This is important with a little one in the house because we are often so focused on her, our evenings are sometimes the first time when we can focus on each other, say hi, and talk about our day. Read more…

First Weeks at Home as a New Mommy {Plus Raising Babies in Romania}

The Waiting, the Trauma, and the Blessing :: My Birth Story

I have been wanting to write out my birth story for a while now, before the details start to fade away. I want to be able to tell my little girl the story how she was born, and how much she was loved… Little Olivia Grace took her sweet time. 40 weeks of pregnancy came and went. Still no sign of my little butterfly making its way out of my cocoon. I felt huge, exhausted, and nervous as this was to be my first birth. Read more…

My Husband was my First Kiss ~ Part 2

It also helps to keep the philosophy that any boundary you set is very easy to cross over even with the best intentions. We are human and it is in our nature to push things too far and slip up. We all do it, it happens, and though it is not God’s best for us, He does have boundless grace and redemption for even our messiest mistakes.

Knowing how human nature operates, if you decide you want to wait to have sex for the first time until your wedding night, don’t make your boundaries while dating “we won’t ever let ourselves have sex,” because you KNOW we all screw up. Set the boundaries well before you even get close to that point. I guess that is my advice. Read more…

My Husband was my First Kiss ~ Part 1

I had always established in my mind that if and when I ever dated, that I would not kiss a guy unless I knew I could marry him, and I would not have sex until my wedding night. It was not enough for me to like a guy, I had to know his heart. I was taught to be very protective with my heart, and I think this approach protected me from getting attached to people who were wrong for me or would have hurt me…I wanted my first kiss to be with the man I was going to marry. Insane, right? Read more…

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