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faith, family, simplify, Simply Living for Him

God Gives You the Time for What is Important

How do you have time? How do you do it all?

These are questions I have been asked, and really they are very easy to answer.

#1. He does it all. I don’t. I truly believe God gives me the desire, the time, and the energy to do all things. I do nothing (good) apart from Him.

#2. You make time for what is important to you. I believe that if I am in God’s will doing His work, He provides plenty of time to get the tasks done. It is a joy-filled life to not be chasing my tail, but chasing Jesus. I don’t feel like work is drudgery, but I am grateful for every opportunity I am given.

As I sat outside yesterday in a business meeting with my life and business partner, my love….I just felt incredibly blessed. We don’t have to run in separate directions every morning, running separate lives. Our work and life and ministry are all intertwined.

I believe God has given us opportunities and I do not want to waste them. Life is short and I am half-way through. It is time to live the life I have always dreamed of.

Photo by Farmhaus Studios

I have seen first hand what He can do when we chase after Him hard, and let Him lead us. He has provided abundantly more than I ever dreamed of in my life.

My family is my ministry first, but together, we are reaching others.

I also want to keep it real and remind you all…half of the time (maybe most of the time…even right this moment, actually!) these blog posts you read were written in the early morning hours from my bed while in my pj’s sipping coffee. Yeah, I could tell you it’s glamorous and I am sitting at my desk with all my neat little ducks in the row. But usually, my writing takes place in crazy places! 😉

And I also wanted to reiterate the fact that although life may seem busy, I believe my life would be much busier and complicated if I worked outside of the home and my children went to school. Many people juggle way more hats than I do by working 9-5, and bringing kids to school or daycare each morning.

My kids would be in three different schools right now if they were in school. Praise the Lord, they are all home with me each day, and we are not running out the door every morning.

I am thankful for a busy but pretty simple life. We are busy doing things we are passionate about. And when you know you are in God’s will and doing the things HE has called you to do (none of this was my idea 😉 ) there is so much joy, it energizes you even more for the next assignment.

Photo by Farmhaus Studios

So today I am thankful for the blessing of work, ministry, and life. All intertwined as we grow closer to Him, love Him more, and make Him known to everyone we come in contact with.

Photo by Farmhaus Studios

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© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


faith, family, Simply Living for Him

The Heaviness of This World and The Glory That is To Come

Life has been heavy lately. Really, really heavy. Tragedy close to  home. Tragedy far from home. It’s everywhere these days. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense.

God is good. Then why all this bad?

That’s a loaded question…

But, He is good.
That is truth.

Even when…
people are dying,  people are suffering, and it feels like the world is in a downward spiral.

He is good.

I remember that Jesus didn’t live here on earth comfortably. He suffered. He was persecuted. He didn’t live a long life by many standards. He died the most painful and excruciating death.

And He forgave in the last moments.
And He rose and defeated death.

By the world’s standards, He was not successful  and He did not live a life of comfort. By God’s standards, He overcame all evil and all death.

And we will overcome.

That’s the beauty. This life is not all there is. We are suffering each day, but Jesus knows our pain. He shared in suffering.

And one day, one glorious day, we will suffer no more.

We are in pain because we focus on this earth. We are in pain because we lose sight of the end. But, this pain is for a purpose. We must believe that every ounce of pain will be made good because God says so in His Word.

And Jesus’ pain was used for good.

Our job right now is to take the message to a suffering and hurting world. We suffer because we think this is all there is. We lash out and we are angry because we only see right now.

If the world knew Jesus and knew that there is eternal peace, it would change everything. We would all focus on what is to come and live this earthly life for Him, and not for us.

We would focus on others and not ourselves.

Yesterday we started to do a small part here in our small slice of the world to share the message of God’s love. We didn’t shout about our beliefs, but we simply reached out to others in a small and simple way.

We set up a farm stand in front of our house to share the abundance of veggies from our gardens. We talked with folks from our little town and hopefully shared a smile and friendship. We need to share to a hurting world God’s love, and that is what we will do.

We hope that through our little bit of sharing food, we can share God’s love. That those who see us, will really see Him in us.

So go out today to a suffering world. Share a smile. Share any small way that you can…and let this world know, Jesus is the answer to all pain and suffering. May we all share in His glory together some day.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


faith, family, simplify, Simply...Living For Him

Is It “Just” Stuff…

Moving can really test you. Here I am amidst a sea of boxes, many I didn’t even know existed up there in the attic these past twelve years…they’ve been home to cobwebs and little stinkbugs…out of sight, out of mind.

As each one came slowly down from the attic, I couldn’t believe how much was up there. It like one of those clown cars where they keep coming out…over and over…box after box.

I peered inside…some were really just junk. Easy decision. Toss it. Simplify, simplify, simplify. After all, I’m the lady who writes about simplifying. Purge. Only take what’s necessary. I keep repeating these things.

And then, I slowly peel back the fraying cardboard box, the somewhat musty and dusty smell hits me, and it’s like I am swirling back in time...years and years, way back. Way before the days of mommy hood, even before adulthood. Boxes of memories. Pictures, letters, trinkets, things of the past (lots of times I’d rather forget…the high school box…the difficult years) start flooding my eyes. I don’t even know where to begin. I find my baby book, my 8th grade year book, pictures of loved ones long passed, notes, cards…it’s almost too much. I save that box for another time.

Then there’s the big Rubbermaid bin of my daughters elementary years. The time she learned to write her name, her first books, her first phonics lessons, her math, her Cubbies vest, her scribbles and scrabbles.

“Do we really need to take all of that stuff?” my husband asks. “No,” I think. “We do not need to hold onto these things. After all, I haven’t looked at them in years, and didn’t even know they were up there. ”

But, as I unfold that tattered and worn paper, with her very first sentence written on it…the memories…the scared mom who didn’t want to homeschool…the little bucked tooth girl who I taught to read…and write…and do math…all the while, not knowing what the future would hold…and here I am in the future…knowing how it turned out. My past collides with my present. Memories flood my mind.

I start to dump the whole box into the garbage. Until, suddenly, I can’t. I just can’t. I start piling it all back into the Rubbermaid bin.

So, where do we draw the line on this simplicity stuff?
I know some of it is just stuff…but it is also a living testimony that shows where we have been and what we have become.

It really is just “stuff.” Yet, it is very hard to part with. So, I make the decisions on what to keep and what to part with. Part of the past I don’t want to remember, but it is what made up this life God has given me. The memories of my high school years, the years I dated my husband, our wedding, early parenthood. It is all such a part of this wonderful life He has given.

So, I sit here torn. I know it is just “stuff” and just one more thing to move. It will probably end up back in an attic for many more years, home to more little stinkbugs and cobwebs…but it is part of the legacy I leave. I think about my future adult kids…is that the next time these boxes will even get opened…when they clean out my things…someday…will they look through these things and see the legacy someday? I decide to keep some of it. Yes, I know I am simplifying, but there are some things that I just can’t let go.

Then I smile, I see what my eighth grade English teacher wrote in my yearbook…“Keep Writing…” Hmmm, isn’t it funny how life turns out. I never expected to be still writing…and here I am. Then I laugh, as I read a story I wrote and in red it reads, “Watch your tenses.” Something I still struggle with today. Oh, the past has a funny way of showing up…I am thankful for these reminders of who I am and where I was.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


AWANA, family, fun

AWANA Closing Ceremony 2010

Last night was the closing ceremony for AWANA.  For anyone who does not know what AWANA is, it is a Bible club for kids where they meet weekly learning God’s word, memorizing scripture, playing games and fellowshipping with other kids.  We have participated since Grace was a Cubby.  3-4 year olds are “Cubbies”, K-2nd grade are “Sparks” and 3rd-5th grade are “TNT’s.”  Our kids love Wednesday nights at AWANA! More info about the program can be found here.

Last night was the closing ceremony.  Grace earned her first book award as well as silver award.  She completed her whole book, plus some extra work for the silver award.  Luke completed his second book, the review of his second book, and an extra credit book!  John completed his second year of cubbies and next year will move up to Sparks.  After the  ceremony there was a cookie party with friends.  It was a great night!

Grace receiving her awards
My “TNT” ~which stands for Truth and Training
John and the Cubbies performing their Cubbies Song

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved