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reflection

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I’m feeling somewhat nostalgic today.  Maybe I’m missing my little girl (she left this morning on a road trip with my mom and will be gone gasp four days).  Maybe my house is way too quiet.  Most likely, though, my being sick for almost an entire week has left me feeling emotionally vulnerable and isolated.I don’t think I’ve been sick for an entire week before.  My sister thinks I had whooping cough so I started on antibiotics.  Nights were the worst.  My coughing was so bad every muscle between my ribs cried out in agony each time another rasp would start.  It’s been rough.This morning I woke up, and my first thought was: “I think I’m better today…”Now it’s almost 4pm, and I still think I’m better.  This makes me exceedingly grateful.But as I sit here at the computer, entering receipts and emailing an old friend, I’m overwhelmed by the depth of…

I’ve decided that fall is actually my New Year’s.  Every fall, inspiration hits to recommit to exercise, schedule engaging family nights, be more intentional about fostering relationships, and wow my familywith  several new, revolutionary, enticing recipes.Ha. We’ll see how I do :)I started a new weight-training program today and it felt SO good.  Although I’ve lifted off and on since I was 18, I’ve had a hard time committing to it again~ well, if I’m honest, a hard time committing to exercise in general ~ since we moved three years ago.  I’ve always been a firm believer in lifting weights, especially for women.  Not only does it strengthen your muscles and bones, it boasts an added benefit of building mental & emotional strength and confidence as well.Couldn’t we all use more of that?Now that I’m 41, physical strengthening is especially crucial.  I’m certain I’m losing bone mass and muscle mass and balance and elasticity each and every second. I…

Today I thought I’d share with you my method of organizing my to-do list.  I’ll warn you in advance: this is not fancy stuff.  But it hit me last night that my planning method has become a system I fall back on over and over again.  And if it consistently works for me, perhaps it is worth sharing with you :)For busy families, planning is important any time of year.  However, fall seems to be a great time to start fresh with the beginning of school, new Bible studies & programs at church, first days of extra-curricular activities, yard & house maintenance…..whew!  My mind can whirl for days with all the to-do’s I need to accomplish.My pattern goes something like this:1. My mind is whirling with everything I need to do, and every time I walk in a room of my house, or have a conversation with someone, or read a magazine, or…

August is here.The month when you begin to look back and realize the summer is nearing the fall.  When you suddenly feel the pressure to do all those things you haven’t done yet.  The month when you begin to evaluate whether or not your summer has evolved suitably enough to meet your high expectations.I can honestly say that, for me, this summer has.  Exceeded expectations.  And not just because of what we’ve done or said or with whom we’ve spent time ~ although each has been important and meaningful.  But more because of how His plan has continued to unfold in our marriage and our home and our lives…..in spite of us.This August I want to thank Him because He loves us so much and never, ever throws in the towel over our stubbornness, pride, attitudes, and mistakes.  Waiting on Him is one of the most difficult things I will ever do,…

Do ya ever have one of those projects that quite simply gives you fits at every turn?I just finished one of those.  And in spite of all the things that seemed to keep going wrong, as I take a moment to reflect on the process, I can’t help but appreciate the story this dresser could tell.Which reminds me a lot of our lives.  Of that amazing moment when you look back at a particular challenge or heartbreak and gradually begin to understand God’s allowing it in your life.  Not only does a small understanding of His ways fill you with gratitude for such an all-comprehending God, but it also helps reassure you that in the next hard stage you encounter, God will probably have a diving purpose there, too.And oh, what a story you will tell.This piece told a story from the moment its shape caught my eye during a…

PART ONEI’ve come to the conclusion I’m not a very good blogger.  I don’t post consistently.Sometimes I don’t respond when others graciously visit my blog and leave supportive, kind comments.I throw ideas around, but then don’t always follow through in a later post.And I’m sorry.See, when I first discovered the DIY blogging world back in November of 2010, it quite literally changed my life.  Shaunna was my first blogging hero.Then came Marian.Then Kate.  Then Layla.Since these first few amazing ladies, I’ve discovered many wonderfully gifted and inspiring writers in the blogging community.And I’ve discovered that one of my dreams is to be a more successful blogger.But I’ve also really struggled this last year with what that means, what this technology-based version of myself should look like.Everyone in blogland says to just be yourself, and I do believe that is important.  But I’ve often recognized the temptation to make things sound or look better than…

The first day of 2012.  A brand new year.I’m sitting here in the office surrounded by piles of receipts, candy wrappers, items I plan to mail to Afghanistan for my brother, kids’ thank you notes in need of envelopes, and an empty water bottle that needs to be filled…again.  (However, I’m sipping on an eggnog latte instead, wondering if I’ll buy another carton of eggnog once this one is used up.  Thankfully I don’t need to make that decision today :-))Since we first brought our son Gabriel into the world almost 12 years ago, my husband and I have approached big decisions in our lives with an attitude of “let’s try this for a year and re-evaluate.”  Somehow this approach seemed healthy and allowed for flexibility, growth, and change in perspective.  Over the years, two more babies came, my teaching jobs fluctuated from full-time to subbing to part-time to not at all, we moved…

Elsewhere in the world today, fall’s bright leaves still bring a gasp of wonder.  Cheeks are still nipped by a crisp coolness in the air.  Grass still grows, and pumpkins don’t freeze.But not in Alaska.In Alaska, we have snow.  Everywhere. Yet, as always, it is magical.Yesterday afternoon it came fluttering down, huge flakes dancing outside my window, encouraging me to curl up under a thick warm blanket and take a nap.So I did.In the spirit of coziness and warmth, I came across this wonderful site today:making-your-home-a-haven-challengeBeing the decorator-at-heart that I am, I am often guilty of sacrificing tender moments with my family in order to finish hanging a collage on the wall, or rearrange the furniture, or (enter one of hundreds of home decorating options here).Last night, I painted the outside edge of a starburst mirror while the kids finished their dinners.(I did, however, let them stay up 30 minutes…