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Simply…Living For Him

Simply...Living For Him

Truly Enjoy the Simple Things- Even Brillo!

“I love this stuff! This is the BEST! When I am older, I am so getting this!”

Brillo.

My 9-year-old was talking about Brillo.

Oh, to have such joy over Brillo!

This evening I was cleaning the stovetop. You know how when the rice boils over and it makes that huge mess, and then when you don’t clean it until after dinner, it hardens and gets gunky? Well, that was my stovetop. As I started scrubbing down the whole thing with Brillo, my 9-year-old came over and asked if he could help. (This kid loves chores and is seriously always joyful about it!) At first, I hesitated because he never used Brillo before and I didn’t think he’d like the messy and weird texture of it. But he took the Brillo and began scrubbing and scrubbing.

He was just so stinkin’ excited about!

Oh, the joy of a child. Over such little things. Over Brillo.

He was excited to see how well it cleaned and immediately after he wanted to Brillo everything! Ha! 

No screens. Nothing elaborate. Just Brillo.

We don’t give kids enough credit for being able to enjoy the simple. We think they need gadgets and entertainment. But deep down, in the nature of a child, I think they have the capacity to appreciate so much more than we realize.

 

Like Brillo…

If you liked this post, be sure to listen to the podcast this Friday, when I will be talking about “Simple Childhood” and how we can keep our children’s childhood simple in this complicated world.

Simply...Living For Him

100th Podcast Episode Celebration!

I clearly remember asking Steve one day, “Can I make a recording for people to download?” I wanted to record a session called, “Back to (Home) School”  that people could listen to on their own time. And so I did. We recorded it, made it into an MP3 and had it available to listen on the website.

Eventually, I made a few more recordings and later officially started a podcast. Back then podcasts weren’t quite a big thing…

The first year or two, I sporadically made episodes, recorded when I “felt like it” and wasn’t very consistent. Yet, folks would write to me and ask when I was going to make more episodes. I really felt like no one was ever listening, and I was just talking to myself! But if I missed a Friday or two, people would write to me and ask, “Where is the next episode?”


What started out as a blog, then a little ebook, then speaking engagements, and now a podcast…Simply Living for Him has become a full-blown ministry and an extension of my heart. I absolutely love what I get to do, and that my mission-to point others to Jesus- really does make a difference.

 

I have met so many people through writing, speaking, retreats, and the podcast…it boggles my mind. People I would never have crossed paths with otherwise. All glory to God. I have been blown away that most people I met at conventions are already podcast listeners! They tell me they are faithful listeners, and I am humbeld. 

SoundCloud tells me I have listeners on every continent (except Antarctica!) and each week, thousands are reached. I am well aware this is small potatoes in the podcasting world, but I don’t live for numbers or the podcasting world…but for true souls. And that is what I found when I actually get emails from listeners or meet them in real life.

So when God uses the podcast to reach thousands or someday even more…or even less…it is all for His glory.

I am looking to the next year and asking God to direct my steps in how to proceed with Simply Living for Him. I want to hold some more local events, possibly more retreats in other locations, and I will be speaking in the Spring (just a little less this year). I am excited to announce I will be speaking for Teach Them Diligently this year in some new locations! Waco Texas, Denver Colorado, and I will be back in Rogers, Arkansas.

So, all that being said…I also am excited that this Friday, that little podcast of mine will publish its 100th episode! And I want YOU to celebrate with me!

I am going to host a LIVE Facebook video at 10 am. And I will be giving away several items throughout the day. 

Some items for giveaways:

The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson

Unhurried Grace by Durenda Wilson

Simply Seeking Him Journal

Real Homeschool

Called Home

$25 The Purple Pear Gift Card

…and more!

So make sure to listen on Friday and check in here on the blog, so YOU can celebrate with us!

Latest podcast episodes:

What I Learned From Purging Clutter•Podcast 96

My Biggest Fear for This Generation of Homeschoolers

Simple Summer-Slowing Down to Enjoy the Days • Podcast Ep 98

Simplifying Social Media• Podcast Ep 99

 

Simply...Living For Him

Jesus is Enough. Our Third Simply Living for Him Retreat

When a writer is at a loss for words…you know this is some serious business! But seriously, I have been trying to find the words for several days now, and they just don’t do it justice. But I will try…

We held our third SLFH Women’s Retreat this past weekend and what an amazing event. I am still processing all that took place, and my lips haven’t stopped praising God!

How do I even begin?

Well, you all know that the past two years, these events were beyond my expectations-you can read about it here and here. But this third one was even more beyond! How is that even possible?

God.

You see, when women come together to simply seek Jesus, it is one of the most beautiful things! This year, 35 women came together from all different walks of life, all different parts of the country (two even came from SEATTLE- all the way across the country!) and all different stages of life. Some of us may never have the opportunity for our paths to cross in real life…

But God.

We all shared the most important common thread- Jesus. And that was enough.

Our theme this weekend was Jesus is Enough and throughout my sessions, I talked about how God has always provided for us (not just physically, but spiritually) and He will always provide abundantly for us. Because He has provided the One and the Only thing we need- Jesus. And His death and resurrection are what our very being is centered on. Our life is found when it is lost. When we empty ourselves of us and fill up on Him, Jesus is Enough.

I didn’t record this year’s sessions but I think that is just how God wanted it. Some of them got pretty personal and I shared some of the darkest parts of my testimony. But I did so in order to share that I am TRANSFORMED on the inside because of Jesus. After years and years of searching in all the wrong places for purpose and for life, I finally found it when I found Jesus- and now my purpose is to glorify Him. And as I saw this photo taken of me in Gettysburg, I couldn’t help but think of my favorite Psalm.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

One of the most beautiful parts of our weekend was that we all came together to share our love of Jesus. And we all have a story to tell and at the center of those stories is Jesus. He has redeemed.

Our retreat was blessed with the most perfect weather. The sunrise on the first day was spectacular. Pictures will never do it justice.

And the sunsets in Gettysburg with the amazing fellowship was icing on the cake.

These ladies are so much fun. We laughed, we cried (cleansing tears and happy tears!) and hugged, we prayed, we worshipped…I could go on and on…

Here are some more glimpses of our time together:

The future Simply Living for Him ladies- my daughter with another attendee’s daughters!

Women pondering what it means to be satisfied. Jackie Foster gave a fabulous session!

 

Worship was led by Robin Miller once again. She is amazing! And my dear friend Jackie gave a session- she is so wise.

Friends for eternity!

The 2018 ladies.

Thankful for these people! Their support is essential and they go above and beyond.

 

Last year an attendee was struggling with infertility. We prayed for her. A few weeks later this beautiful boy was conceived…and this year he attended the retreat! BEYOND BLESSED!

As I look to next year, we are not hosting a July 2019 retreat, however, it is not the end of the retreat. I am seeking God’s leading on when and where to hold the next one and how it will look. I know this is just the beginning of what God will do through Simply Living for Him. My mission here is to point others to Jesus and I believe this weekend that mission was accomplished. It’s not to hard to do when your love for your Savior is great!

I went Live on Facebook today talking a bit about the retreat. You can watch here:

As I look ahead to the future of this ministry, I am excited to see what God does. To Him be the Glory!

Simply...Living For Him

A Slow Letting Go…

As I sit here and type, my eyes are filled with tears and there’s that lump in my throat. My head hurts a little and I have that melancholy feeling of sort of just being out of sorts. It that makes sense.

My boys are outside playing with friends. They’re having a good ol’ July water fight. I bring them towels. I offer freeze pops. They keep shooting water and screaming at each other, and barely notice my offers. I mean, they’re certainly capable of getting towels and freeze pops. Seriously, my two teen boys already tower over me. My presence doesn’t feel like it’s much needed. But I still hover for a bit and then head inside.

It’s quiet inside. I walk from room to room, fussing with a few piles, putting a few things away, trying to find a place that needs tending to.

My 17-year old is gone for the day. In her very own car, out with a friend, and then she’ll drive herself to worship practice this evening. I check in and text her every once in awhile.

Just because.

And then I think to myself, “Was it worse when they needed me incessantly, non-stop around the clock…or not much at all anymore?”

The lump is there. The eyes are stinging.

I know. Everyone said this would happen….one day. But it seemed to come out of nowhere, even though it really didn’t. They went from needing me less and less to not much at all.

And of course, we always need our mamas, but it’s different. It’s a different type of needing.

This past year has been a year of transition. A letting go…a little at a time. As we approach the last six months before adulthood for my oldest, the transition has been a good one overall. There have been bumps and there have been hard parts. But overall, it’s been good.

There are just sometimes, when a little at a time, I just ache. I hear that baby voice in my head, but it has been replaced by the low tone of a teenage boy. I pray with them over life choices rather than teaching them to use their “inside voice.” Instead of worrying about naps and schedules, I worry about them driving.

Times have changed.

I remember the endless nights without sleep, tending to needy babies. Those teenagers now aren’t sleeping at night, but it has changed. It’s not because they’re fussy. Now, they want to stay up late hanging out in our room, laughing and story-telling. I struggle to keep my eyes open past 10 pm, because I know to savor those moments, so I stay awake.

It’s a slow letting go…although a necessary one…this time of life. Teens hanging there in the midst of adulthood.

A mom that was always tending to little ones, now trying to find her place in the big one’s lives.

Yes, a slow letting go. For me and for them.

Yet, I love watching them grow. I love who they are becoming. So this time is just as sweet as it stings. Because they are growing into who God made them to be. And all is well.