Blessings this Week: 04.29.2016 Edition

The antidote for rainy days isn't sunshine- it's learning to find the blessing in the rain.

small blue purple flowers by tree trunk

Speaking of rainy days... we've had a lot of them this week. Thankfully, I have plenty of inside work to get done, and the rain is making things bloom and grow all around us.

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There's a little bird building a nest on the edge of the garage- I see her hard at work in the mornings through the window by my bed. 


"I Didn't Want to Be That Girl!": A Study Review

How often do we look at our lives and ask, "How did I get to be this?" Sue A Allen uncovers the deep pains in a female heart through her new study "I Didn't Want to Be That Girl: A Look into the Life of Eve."

I am insecure.

I worry about saying the wrong thing, about hurting my marriage, about wearing the wrong pair of shoes to the retreat and having people talk about me.

I'm concerned with what people think. I'm concerned about my deep, hard-to-root-out sin. I hate that I have such weak self-control.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- I am quick to point out my own mistakes and flaws.

I think many of us are. 

We see these things in our lives and think, "Ugh. I didn't want to be like that."


When the Bible Makes No Sense

When the Bible Makes No Sense: Practical Steps for Finding Clarity in Scripture

Have you ever gotten to a passage in Scripture and thought, "What?!?"

Or maybe, "... Whaaaaa....?"

Yeah. Me too.

(Like, the entire book of Leviticus.)

So, what do you do when the Bible is confusing or makes no sense?

Throw in the towel? I know that sometimes, that's exactly what I do.


We know that the Bible is not only important, but it's living, true, and the Word of God. And we serve a God who loves us enough to make His character, His will, and His Word clear to us.

Sometimes, reading the Bible can be confusing, but we are so fortunate to have tons of resources at our disposal. Tons.

Here are just a few of my tips for when you come across those makes-no-sense Scriptures.


Blessings this Week: 04.22.2016

Instead of looking too far into the future (and all of the impatience and anxiety that brings), it's so important to stop. To look. To notice the many, many gifts right now. Today.

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After a rainy week, green things are springing up and reminding me that Spring is really here.

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Leaning into It: Finding Myself in the Fear

Leaning Into It | Instead giving in to fear, hiding your talents, shrugging off your hurts, not taking yourself seriously... maybe it's time to lean into it.

I woke up before the alarm on my little nightstand went off. The sun hadn't even started to peak over the empty fields.

I wasn't up because I was perfectly rested. I was far from refreshed and ready for the day.

No, I was awake because my nerves hadn't really let me sleep, in the first place.

See, I was headed to a blogging conference that day. My very first blogging conference. With real live people, none of whom I really knew. And I'd have to talk to them. Like a real person.

No hiding behind a keyboard at this conference. No editing my words before I said them. And I had to wear real clothing... my fuzzy pink leggings (read: my "blogging uniform") would stay in the dresser.

And then, if all that wasn't enough to give me butterflies in my stomach, I would be introducing myself as... a... blogger.



Light to My Feet

Light to My Feet: People argue about the Bible all the time, and yet, in the Psalms, we read that the Bible is a light to our path. Some thoughts about the clarity of the Bible, and what that means for us.
Original image used with permission- thanks to Amidst the Chaos!

A couple days ago, I tripped over the leg of the ladder that’s sitting outside the bathroom door. It's  serving as a towel rack for the moment- yay home renovations!

Fortunately, it didn’t fall over and dent my hardwood floors, and I did a really ungraceful gyrate thing that kept me from ending up on the hardwood floors.

I felt pretty dumb.

Because really, who trips over a giant ladder that’s been sitting there for four months?

Someone walking around in pitch dark, that’s who.


Blessings this Week: 04.15.2016 Edition

It's Friday!

Which means it's time to count blessings again!

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Have I mentioned that our little acreage includes a pond?

Our little acreage includes a pond. And I love it.

The beautiful weather this week made walks down to the pond a daily occurrence.

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God Still Speaks

Have you ever just wanted God to give you an answer? Speak into your life? God still speaks, even today- we just have to be listening.

The air conditioner buzzed in the window, stopping every once in a while to gurgle its' objection to working so hard that particular afternoon.

It was well near ninety degrees outside, and despite cranking the poor AC up, the heat still radiated through our little living room.  I barely noticed.

Trevor and I sat on the thread worn couch- he played solitaire on the laptop... and I worried.

I had spent the past year working occasionally as a substitute teacher. It hadn't been a great fit for me to be a short-term sub, but job openings were few. I knew I wanted steady, consistent work.

I ended up with two choices: a paraprofessional job at a small school, or an office job at the camp where we lived.

I'd weighed the decision over and over, and finally, on this afternoon, I turned to my husband with a big exasperated sigh.

"I wish God would just tell me what to do!" 


Blessings this Week: 04.08.2016 Edition

Also known as the "where's my head at" edition.

Also known as "like a chicken with her head cut off" edition.

It's been a busy week. Busy, but good.

We've officially begun the part of Spring when there's still frost on the windsheild in the morning, but by afternoon it's too warm to wear a coat.

Oh, Midwest weather. How confusing you are.

(And yes, that is a bathtub sitting outside on my patio. What of it?)


Not Finished, Yet

It’s six o’clock, and I’ve already changed into a pair of bright pink, fuzzy leggings. Because apparently my work “uniform” of jeans and a camp t-shirt is too stuffy. It's like the universal symbol of "done for the day."

The laundry I folded yesterday sits in little piles on the living room floor.

We’re having frozen pizza for supper- for the third time this week. Despite the fact that I actually planned a meal, I got home today and decided that cooking is too much work and washing dishes afterward is way too much work.

I have motivational quotes ringing in my mind: “This is not your practice life!”

But you know what?

Sometimes,  I kind of wish this was my practice life.

There are times when nearly-thirty-and-married-with-a-house me looks a lot like college me. Aren’t I supposed to be a grown-up by now?


Half-Truth Prince

I'm going through a bin of my "off-season clothes," putting away the bright tank tops and pulling out thick sweaters. As I stock my little closet for the cold months ahead, I pull on a pair of jeans from last year. The fabric stops just short of my hips.

Too tight.

Way too tight.

I avoid looking at the mirror against the wall as I hurry them off, my face flushed even though I'm the only one in the room.

And even though my bedroom is silent, I hear it so clearly-

"If you had been eating better.... avoided that lunch time cookie... spent more time exercising..."
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Blessings this Week: 04.01.2016

Can you believe that it's April already?

The seasons are changing yet again, and it's fun for me to go back and look at the blessings I found only a short year ago... and my goodness how things have changed.

It's just another benefit, I think, to writing down these blessings and really naming them- that I get to look back and be grateful all over again.

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We celebrated Easter with Trevor's side of the family--

Doing the serious work of dying Easter eggs with our nieces,