A health update

This space came to be back in 2008 during a difficult year, filled with health challenges including the pulmonary emboli that almost killed me and led to the diagnosis of a blood clotting disorder and later, a diagnosis of systemic lupus that vacated a previous diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. I've long been a medical mystery and 2016 proved to reinforce that fact. I wanted to chronicle all that has happened here on the blog so that subsequent posts that refer to this years health journey are provided a frame of reference. 2011 was another difficult year health wise with lupus attacking my liver and causing autoimmune hepatitis, a fall that blew out my right knee and required surgical repair of my ACL and medial/lateral meniscus and having my gallbladder removed. Things have been … [Read more...]

Finding Your Identity in Christ (Part 1)

**I had the privilege of sharing at my church's monthly ladies brunch on Saturday. I had a rough week leading up to the brunch (hubby out of town for the week, foster care stress, etc) and had planned to just use a talk I already had prepared from my speaking/teaching days but God had other plans. He led me in a different direction, one that spoke right to my heart and my situation. It resonated with the women present on Saturday so I wanted to share the main points here in hopes it will encourage others as well. Enjoy** I rarely have time to watch the morning news but last week I had the news on in the background and a story about a runaway chimpanzee caught my eye. A chimpanzee in China had escaped from the zoo and taken those trying to catch it on a wild chimp chase including … [Read more...]

What it means to be Pro-Life

A few weeks ago I attended a baby shower. The church was decorated adorably (pink, purple and zebra print) to celebrate the impending arrival of a little baby girl. Twenty women arrived with yummy treats to share. The gift table was full to overflowing and we played the traditional baby shower games. It was a fun afternoon. But, the thing that made it special to me was the fact that, for most of the women in attendance, the mom-to be was a complete stranger. My friend, Karen, had created an afternoon full of love and celebration for someone that we hardly knew. She invited and women came! They came to love on an unwed mama, down on her luck, who is set to deliver a sweet babe in a few weeks. I can't think of a better way to illustrate Christ's love. This mama to be was showered with … [Read more...]

Taming the Temper

I am into round 2 of raising up littles. My four are grown (24, 22, 19 and 18) and we currently have a 10 year old foster daughter and 5 yr old and 2 yr old grandkiddos under our roof. In a lot of ways, I am WAY more laid back and relaxed this go round. But, I have to admit that, more often than I would like, my temper gets the best of me and I react instead of respond to these crazy kids. I could make excuses for that (the sheer amount of words the 5 year old uses in a given day is enough to drive anyone to lose their ever lovin' mind, I promise you) but I don't want to. I want to change it. I don't want to wound them with my tone and my words. I want to pour love into them in every interaction. And, God laid on my heart to work on this very thing this Lenten season. Negativity, … [Read more...]

Watching My Words

I don't know why I choose to observe Lent because I'm terrible at it. Fasting from something for 40 days is apparently not my strong suit. I remember one of the first times I observed Lent I gave up sweet tea. Yes, that sounds silly but I had a habit of going through the Mickey D's drive thru a few times A DAY. It was a thing. What I purposed to do that year was that every time I thought about driving to get a large sweet tea, I would instead turn to God in prayer. God and I talked a lot more and I learned an important lesson. Sometimes our routines can become our enemies. Hitting the drive thru for a sweet tea was a habit, a routine. So, this year when I was praying about what I needed to give up for the Lenten season, I shouldn't have been surprised that another habit came to mind. … [Read more...]

A Step In Obedience

I must admit, it is more than a little intimidating to be publishing a post for the first time in 13 months! For many years, this space was where I came to share my heart, to process the goings-on of my daily life and to (hopefully) inspire other women. Then, for a myriad of reasons, it became increasingly quiet here. Eventually, I didn't know how to break the silence, nor did I have a desire to. I even contemplated saving my favorite posts and just deleting this ole blog, as I felt I had run out of things to say. The reason I didn't just delete the blog and close this chapter of my life was the nagging nudging of the Holy Spirit, continuously saying I wasn't yet done here. I could list the reasons I stopped writing, but it would just be an attempt to justify my disobedience. When I … [Read more...]

One Word 2015: Accept

  I've prayerfully chosen a word as the theme for my year since 2009. 2009: Gratitude 2010: Giving 2011: Grace 2012: Confident 2013: Well 2014: Share and now, 2015 will be the year to accept. Dictionary.com defines accept like this: 1. to take or receive (something offered); receive with approval or favor: I'm going to accept compliments and constructive criticism with grace and gratitude. 2. to agree or consent to; accede to: I'm going to accept apologies at face value and not hold on to grudges. 3. to respond or answer affirmatively to: I'm going to accept invitations to spend time with friends and family whenever possible.  Relationships are priority this year. 4. to undertake the responsibility, duties, honors, etc., of: I'm … [Read more...]

An Organized Move

As a major life change, moving is one of the top 10 most stressful events in life. It requires a lot of time, effort and planning. Packing all of your belongings and then unpacking them is a hassle and disrupts the entire family. Fortunately, there are ways to make moving a little easier. MAKE A MOVING CHECK LIST: Any big job is easier when you break it down into smaller more manageable tasks. So, first make a Moving Check List and pack in stages – starting 4 weeks out. This list can be customized to your specific needs. You can also download free printable moving checklists online. It is never too early to start planning, sorting and packing. PURGE & SORT AS YOU PACK: Sort your belongings into items you want to keep (meaning they are worth packing up, transporting, and unpacking), … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Taming the Playroom

Have you ever stepped on a Lego in the middle of the night? Ask any parent about the pain involved with these little plastic bricks. Have you trampled over your child's favorite happy meal toy in your heavy winter boots?  Those cheap toys shatter into a million tiny pieces. Even though sometimes I may as well be talking to myself, I have tried to make my children understand the consequences of leaving their toys out everywhere. The bottom line is people get hurt and toys get broken when everything is left on the floor.  As any good parent does, you ask your child to clean up their toys.  When you check on them, your child is playing or just sitting in the chaos. There is stuff everywhere.  Since we live in the land of more than plenty, maybe your child just doesn't know where to … [Read more...]

Organizing the Pantry

Last post we talked about organizing the kitchen. Today, we will focus on the pantry. If you are blessed to have a pantry in your kitchen, here are a few tips for keeping it organized: Group like things together.  Use baskets or bins to keep all gravy and seasoning packets together. Use a larger bin to hold baking supplies.  Put breakfast foods on the same shelf and side dishes on another.    {You can find the bins pictured above by shopping my Clever Container catalog here.} Maximize storage opportunities. If your pantry has a door, consider a hanging organizer to hold odds and ends like koolaid packets and individual snacks for the kids.   Consider moving bulk items to clear storage containers.  Instead of bags of rice and flour, you can find clear canisters at dollar … [Read more...]

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