Gifts that Take our Time and Thoughts: How to Make this Year a Homemade Christmas for Friends and Family


Every year about this time we will start to think about Christmas.  It is kind of hard to avoid with tv stations playing Christmas movies and stores setting up displays for the Christmas season. I go to get my groceries or pick up a needed item for the family and Christmas display are surrounding me.  I find myself starting to panic about all the gifts I need to get and making sure it is the perfect one at the perfect price. Can we say tis the season for all the STRESS!!! Now I will admit I have waited in line at 5am with a friend (who was pregnant at the time) for a store to open up on Black Friday.  The two of us enjoyed laughing at … [Read more...]

Stay Calm, Stand Still, Let God Look Big


A few years ago, our family moved to the Pacific Northwest to be part of a ministry to military teens and their families.  Since we had never lived in an area where bears roam freely, we decided to educate ourselves on what to do should we encounter a bear while out hiking and enjoying the beautiful scenery here.  What we learned in part was that the advice when facing a bear is to: Stay Calm Stand still Make yourself look big In life, we often face big, scary circumstances and troubles. For myself, I am learning that the advice above can also be used any time we are in a difficult, distressing, or discouraging situation. The only … [Read more...]

Listening When God is Speaking


I did a Google search on “How to be a good listener”. The first thing that popped up in my search log was wikiHow and this is the first few lines: Being a good and a patient listener helps you work through many of life's problems, and to see the world through the eyes of others. It enriches your understanding and expands your capacity for empathy. It also increases your contact with the outside world by helping you improve your communication and important life skills which you need every day in life. As simple as listening (and acknowledging) may seem, doing it well, particularly when disagreements arise, takes sincere effort and lots of … [Read more...]

Life As A Closet Introvert

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I like to live in a box. I rarely step out of that box and even more rarely do I let others in. On social media and in forced circumstances I may appear to be an extrovert and outgoing, but let me tell you, in those cases I am screaming on the inside and looking for the nearest exit.  I could live all of my days happily at home with my husband and our two boys and not see another soul for days on end. Or so I thought … My childhood, teens and early twenties were filled with uncertainty and, to be honest, inner turmoil. I hate to admit that I had low self-esteem, but it-is-what-it-is. I grew up with a very critical parent and sometimes … [Read more...]

Sometimes, “No” Means I Love You: Rustic Apple Tart Recipe


“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:17-18 One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was that sometimes, I tell you “No” because I love you.  I get caught up in this Earthly life and I forget that this world is not my ultimate goal; heaven is.  Though I strongly dislike being told “no”, it is sometimes the most loving answer. When my children were smaller and would beg for that second piece of cake, I told them “no”.  It wasn't … [Read more...]

Through Whatever, Lord, Help Me Honor You

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“Have you considered my servant Job?” said the Lord to Satan (Job 1:8). Indeed, Job was someone worth consideration. From the beginning of this oldest book of the Bible, we are told that Job was blameless before the Lord. We are also told that Job was disgustingly rich.   He was blessed with health and wealth in everything under his span of control. And as if that were not enough, Job never did what I sometimes fall guilty of doing—he did not “lighten up” on his prayer life because all was well.  Reading of Job’s righteousness before the Lord, you would expect that he would never fall upon hard times. Yet, we know Job lost everything. … [Read more...]

Showing Your Spouse You Love Him When You Work Opposite Shifts


Recently our house has gone through some changes. We became a dual-parent working household. I won't lie, the adjustment has been big. I hadn't officially worked outside the home in almost a decade. My younger two children don't even remember mommy dropping them off at daycare and heading off to a full-time job. To say that they were surprised would be an understatement, but sometimes these things are just necessary. My husband and I knew what we wanted before I found a job. We wanted to make sure that no matter what they would be home with at least one parent so he took the day shift and I took the evening shift. Since we're a homeschooling … [Read more...]