A little randomness

I haven’t blogged much lately. But we have been living a very full life over here. Some things have been fun and exciting. Most things have been mundane and just normal. Like stacking this wood that Josh ordered. He said to leave it and he’d stack it when he got home, but seeing how I was not currently doing laundry or cooking, I went ahead and stacked the wood and was quite proud of myself.

Mack has been enjoying a little reprieve from football practice and games every weekend. He seems to be doing well in school and spends lots of time with friends. He is on a basketball team with some friends, and they won their first game Friday evening.

We didn’t go watch him play because we were at Josh’s company’s Christmas tree lighting and then took Molly and three friends from college to Tacos 4 Life. But he came in with the team to eat so I snapped a pic. The friends rode with Molly so that she could crown the next Homecoming Queen at Carmel. They only spent one night, but I loved having them here.

Molly is finishing up her first semester at Liberty. It has been a whirlwind for her. She jumped in with two feet and has made so many friends and learned so much in just a few months. The amazing experiences at Liberty never cease to amaze me. She changed her major to Worship Leadership; she is very much looking forward to starting that track next semester.

Ruby has had a wonderful sophomore year at Liberty. She stormed the field last night when Liberty’s football team won their conference!

Ruby also already has a job lined up to work at a camp in Georgia this summer. 12 weeks!!! That’s crazy. She will be a camp photographer. I’m excited to see how it goes for her and see how she grows and matures through this. I’m sure she will do a great job and make lots of friends too.

Josh is just working, working, working. And enjoying being done with the Pastor Search he was a part of! We just watched Georgia get beat by Alabama, which is never a great way to end a season, but whatever. He and I have enjoyed extra time together lately. It seems like we find ourselves together and kidless quite often. We love our kids, but we’re not complaining about this new season.

Mack had a Homecoming Dance to go to this evening. He left here to get his date so I didn’t get photos of them together. Here he is looking so grown though:

And while I’m at it, we had a nice Thanksgiving with my dad and Sheila. The food was amazing. Josh smoked a prime rib. Delicious!!!!

We enjoyed having all the kids under one roof. But the week flew by and the girls took off after we got the house decorated for Christmas!

Josh and I also got a chance to go to Georgia last Thursday to see Brooklynn get adopted by Jason and Merrilee!! It was a very sweet day.

Thankful she is with her forever family now!

And now I’ll wrap this random blog up with a few pics of my dog. Rolo has been a trooper lately. It’s usually too cold to walk outside or I’ve just been too busy. She sits at the door looking at me as drive out of the driveway. Her pitiful face stares back at me and I feel like a terrible dog mom!! But she forgives me after a few treats.

Oh and I started Pilates last week. It has been a good challenge for me. I wanted something to add to my strength training that was also restorative. And I think I’ve found a great option for that! It’s so funny how the motive for movement shifts as you get older. Getting myself up from a sitting position is a main goal. Not falling and breaking an arm or a hip if I can help it is another!

I’m almost done Christmas shopping which is super fun for me!!! I have never been this far ahead, but I hope it helps me enjoy this time of year even more. And who knows, maybe I’ll have more time to blog. And maybe something more in depth than photos and updates on life. 😊

Making Time to Rest

It seems ridiculous to make time to rest as we enter the holiday season, but I’m telling you—it’s time to make time to rest for Josh and me. Particularly Josh.

We just closed a defined season that was marked by stress. Therefore, it’s time to enter a marked season of rest. I’m not at liberty to share details on the stressful season, but trust me when I say we are beyond grateful it’s behind us. Yet, without a conscious effort to turn to rest, something or someone else will gladly fill our days with stress.

I’ve reflected lately on how much better I am at managing stress. Not perfectly by any means, but progressively better. Who knows exactly when my body started to turn on me as I internalized stress at the same time I was entering perimenopause….we moved here in 2016 without a friend in sight, we transitioned out of home schooling in 2018, my mom died in 2019, and then the nightmare of Covid in 2020 were probably all contributors. But when I reached out for help from a doctor and found lots of not-good things going on in my body, I realized much of the cause was my terrible stress management. I’ve learned what my body needed in the way of vitamins and Hormone Replacement. I’ve continued with moderate exercise and tried to make improvements in nutrition. And I’ve said no to a lot more than I ever have before. I’ve realized having two or three good friends is a gracious plenty. I’ve embraced times of boredom. I’ve walked more than ever in my life for the sheer enjoyment of being outside and with a grateful heart that I can move my body. I sleep at least seven hours…but manage eight many nights. I just don’t care about people’s opinions of me, how I use my time, or what they think of my family. I’m less and less guided by outside voices and that is a freeing place to be!

And in this season, I want Josh and I to draw some circles in our lives around those people and things that are the most important to us and learn to say no to most everything else. It’s time to rest.

So even as we enter the holiday season, maybe you could use this reminder as well. Is it time to re-evaluate your priorities? Set some boundaries? Learn to relax and laugh and sleep deeply? Don’t let the holiday season be another reason to put off taking care of yourself and your family. You can do it!


It’s been an amazing football season for Hickory Grove Christian School! They are going to the playoffs this Friday for Game 1, and if we win we will keep playing. If we don’t, we will be grateful for the fun season.

Last Friday we drove to Asheville, NC to play Asheville School. Evidently it’s a boarding school. I was amazed at how nice the campus was—crazy that this is a high school.

I’ve enjoyed watching the team grow and learn to work together better and better over the season. Mack has definitely matured and grown through the ups and downs of the season. I’m thankful for this school and this program. Will I also be thankful for a quiet Friday night? Yes, I will.

Grateful for friends

The girls have made some great friends at Liberty, and this is just a post to say I’m grateful. College is such a unique time of life. So free and fun…even if you don’t fully realize that while you’re in this season.

This weekend Molly brought her sweet friend home with her, and they were such a joy to have here. So chill and fun. They slept, did some laundry, and hung out with Mack some. They ate some good food, did some homework, and went to church with us, ate lunch with some south GA friends coming through town, capped off the afternoon with a Sunday nap and then headed back to school. And we miss them already!

Ruby traveled to a friend’s hometown and stayed there two nights. It seems like they all had a great time, too!

Super grateful for these relationships. Very special!!

I pray they always have their people in every season of their lives. And I hope they realize how special it is to have friends they can count on. A gift from God, indeed.

More than meets the eye

The trees are changing into the most colorful sights these days! Oranges and yellows and reds and every color in between. Just gorgeous!

A couple of weeks ago on a walk with a friend, we were discussing prayer and faith. She reminded me that even in our physical seasons there is so much going on that we cannot see. So much beneath the surface of the earth and in the trees’ deep roots. More than meets the eye, I suppose you could say.

And the same is true in our walk here on this earth. There’s more going on than meets the eye. With our kids, I can be assured that God is at work. Whether I see the work or the results of the work. Whether or not they talk about the work going on in their lives. God is working. In our marriage, He is working. In my struggle with purpose and motivation in this season, God is working. With that neighbor or co-worker you’ve been sharing the gospel with, He is working. In the deep wounds of war, God is working. It doesn’t always seem like it. It’s definitely not always obvious.

But isn’t this faith?!? Faith is being sure of what you hope for and confident of what you cannot see. And without faith it is impossible to please God. So it’s pretty silly when I begin to doubt just because I can’t see what is going on. I don’t know the details of every situation. I don’t know the inner workings of each of my kids’ hearts. I don’t even know what tomorrow holds. I don’t understand the hate and the war. But I can trust God who sees all, knows all, and is powerfully at work in ways I do not know about.

I recently began reading The Hiding Place—“the triumphant true story of Corrie Ten Boom.” And wow was my faith fueled as I read about her life and her sister, Betsie’s life. Taken into custody by the Nazis in 1944, they were treated horribly and had to live in awful conditions. You’ll need to read the book to appreciate all that they endured. But I am amazed at the faith they had in God every step of the way. The love they had for God’s Word and how He allowed them to keep a copy of His word throughout the whole stay. They would read it aloud to their barrack members each evening and while they worked. They must have seen more than meets the eye. They must have heard more than what their ears heard day in and day out. They must have believed that God was with them and that this world is not their home. They lived differently. They loved differently. They actively worked against the hate that surrounded them by loving and forgiving people and praying for those who hurt them. They saw this broken world for what it is and put all their hope in the new world Jesus is coming back to make new.

One move brought the sisters to an overcrowded barrack that was overrun with fleas. They were absolutely everywhere. And that first day Corrie was complaining but Betsie stopped her and prayed, thanking God for the fleas because He says to give thanks in all circumstances. Much later, they found out that the reason they had such freedom to read the Bible outloud every night and the reason the male guards left them alone was because of the fleas. Truly, God was using the difficult circumstances for their good. Betsie decided to see it that way even before she knew it was true.

I’d say they lived a faith-filled life that fueled other people’s faith and continues to do so even today. Even after Corrie was released, she went on to run a home in honor of Betsie who spoke often of a vision “of a home here in Holland where those who had been hurt could learn to live again unafraid.” Someone gave Corrie this home. When she toured the home, it was just as Betsie had described it, though Betsie had never physically been there.

“Are there…” my throat was dry. “Are there inlaid wood floors inside, and a broad gallery around a central hall, and—and bas-relief statues set along the walls?”

Mrs. Bierens de Haan looked at me in surprise. “You’ve been here then! I don’t recall—”

“No,” I said. “I heard about it from—”

“From someone who’s been here,” she finished simply, not understanding my perplexity.

“Yes,” I said. “From someone who’s been here.

I want to live like I see more than meets the eye. I want to endure hard times as one who knows God is good and that this world is not my home. I want live hearing from God on my circumstances and not taking them for what they seem to be. I want to live a life of faith. Whatever I am going through is likely preparing me for a future endeavor.

Corrie Ten Boom has been quoted as saying: This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.

Liberty University Visit

Words just can’t describe how wonderfully full our weekend at Liberty was! We were more than ready to see our girls—gosh we miss them so much! We met for pizza and wings then checked into the Airbnb to catch up some before going to Mister Goodies for ice cream. Just us five, which I loved.

The next morning started slow, and I was able to wash a load of clothes for each of my girls. They were grateful for that! Ruby stayed the night with us, so we had a little bit of time alone. She’s growing and maturing and is just a lovely young lady that I enjoy talking with.

We met Molly and her gang at the ROT, which is the cafeteria. We all sat together and Molly went around led the table telling about each person. Lots of funny stories came out during this time too.

Then we went bowling! And then got smoothie bowls and then had a little break before hibachi dinner and more ice cream at Rookies!

These girls were sooooo sweet. I absolutely loved meeting each one of them and hearing where they’re from, what their major is, and more funny stories. They are just awesome young ladies!

We enjoyed church Sunday morning with many of the same friends. It was such an encouraging morning! From the music to the sermon and being surrounded on my row with my family and the girls’ friends…my heart was full! But we had to leave them and that is always a little hard to do. But I’m so happy they’re at Liberty and thriving!

I’m extra grateful for this man. He is so generous and loving. To me and to our kids. And to their friends. He has a heart of gold and is wise beyond his years. I love every minute I get with him—even if we both were beyond exhausted and felt every bit of 46 years old. These kids we hung out with were the same age we were when we met. 💗 so thankful God brought our paths together. He is just the best.

Abide study: week two

This morning four ladies gathered here in my living room for week two of our study of I John 1,2&3.

After having some snacks and getting our coffee, we moved to the living room where we talked through some of the questions we answered during the week. I loved hearing some of their thoughts and ideas around what we studied in our homework. Most notably was our discussion around confession of sins to God and to one another. If God already knows our sins, what’s the big deal in confessing them? That conversation transitioned into our fellowship with others and what hinders us from moving beyond surface friendship especially within the church. Such rich conversation!

I remembered a silly analogy, but a helpful one around this topic. Suppose it’s a sin to eat chocolate ice cream, but vanilla is perfectly acceptable. Now I love vanilla and always have. It’s by far my favorite. I’m not even tempted to have chocolate. So when Susy-Q gets chocolate ice cream every other week, I am quick to judge her. “Why can’t she just pick vanilla? It’s clearly the right choice. It’s obviously the better choice. I don’t even know what she sees in chocolate ice cream. It’s a shame really how she has no control.”

All the while, I have never even once been tempted by chocolate ice cream. My compassion for her is at zero. And that is the true shame.

This could apply to any sin. Could it be that the particular sin I’m so sickened by that YOU are involved in is not a problem for me or a temptation for me because of the type of family I was raised in, which was not my own doing at all. And why is it that when I sin, I am quick to give myself all the benefits of the doubt because I seem to think I’m more deserving of patience or grace because my sins aren’t that bad or aren’t too “out there.”

I can move towards more genuine and deep friendships if I’m willing to listen with humility and graciousness when someone shares something their struggling with. And I can share more freely if I realize how much God loves me and forgives me and cleanses me. We need each other! Sometimes we need to go first; other times we need to be the safe place for someone to confess and ask for prayer. But we can be guaranteed shallow friendships if no one is willing to be vulnerable. It takes all of us showing up filled with the Spirit and aware of our own need for God’s Grace and forgiveness in order for true fellowship to happen.

Jen Wilkin’s teaching was so good. She mentioned the scene in Elf where Buddy the Elf hears about Santa coming to the mall, and he yells, “SANTA!!!!! I know him!!!!!” And John is writing to a group of churches in Ephesus filled with people who did not meet Jesus face to face or hear His teachings with their win ears, so he is telling them, “JESUS is eternal life. I KNOW HIM!!!! I saw Him. I touched Him. I heard Him. And I’m gonna tell you all about Him.” I was challenged to examine if and how I am being a witness to Christ in this broken world. And how can I be an advocate for others through prayer? Who needs me to pray for them and am I serious about those prayers?

Another nugget that was so good was about light. John wrote using the contrast between light and darkness and clearly states that in Jesus there is no darkness at all. Jen spoke of a paver in her garden that got flipped over and what was under that paver was lots of icky creatures that had been hiding in the dark. Light exposes. And light also helps things to grow. Am I letting the light of God’s Word and His spirit guide me and shine on my heart anything that needs to be exposed? And am I seeing growth in my life as a result of walking with Jesus? I should!

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”❤️

My statement for the week that Jen asks us to fill out is:

Knowing that God is faithful and forgiving shows me that I am selfish and a justifier of my sin when I should be a confessor and repenter of my sins.”

This week I want to pray and ask God to help me be more grateful for His sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for my sins and not use His grace as an easy out to give in to my flesh. Jesus died for me to have access to God, and He continues to be my Advocate. That’s amazing truth to think about; it should cause me to live differently.

This was a little all over the place but I wanted to get down my thoughts before moving on to week 3.😊😊

Perspective Shift

If you need to know the worst case scenario or you need a list of all that needs improvement or ways life isn’t going so great or is just too hard, I am your girl. This is not a nugget of truth I’m proud of. I’m working on shifting my perspective to a more positive outlook instead of always being on the ready with a bullet list entitled, “Needs Improvement.”

So this week I decided to make a list of what I am doing that is good and right and helpful and on the right track. It helped!

1-I take my supplements. And not just one, but several—vitamin D, multivitamin,Adrenal Rebuilder, & Omega 3 daily and curcumin a few times a week.

2-I got help when I needed it for my low energy and poor sleep. That resulted in a thyroid medication, progesterone and testosterone. my hormones are happier than they’ve been in quite a while.

3- I drink enough water and even add electrolytes daily and creatine almost daily.

4-I strength train three times a week and it’s the highlight of those days. I’m getting stronger and stronger…hello 175 deadlift and 255 hip thrust, among other things. I actually like the gym! It’s the easiest part of my health journey these days. That’s a miracle.

5-I get at least 5,000 steps a day, but usually close to 10,000.

6-I get between 120-140 grams of protein every day.

7-I get extra collagen daily.

8-I switched to a very clean half caff coffee (Fabula).

9- I still wake up and have my time in The Word and prayer time every morning. I think I pray more in this season of my life than any other season before now.

10- I opened my home for a weekly Bible Study!

11-I tried a barre class all by myself today.

12-I am persevering and building endurance under a certain situation that I’d rather run away from.

I’m sure you could come up with your own list, and I challenge you to write it down. Be proud of yourself. Take note of what you’re doing right and good! You can make a “Needs Improvement” list another day. 😊

Abide Study: week one

Today was the first week of Bible Study in my home! This hasn’t happened in way too long, and I’m so glad I finally decided to follow through and host again. We’re going through the Abide study by Jen Wilkin. We will be studying 1,2, and 3 John. Today was just the introduction, and yet I was so encouraged. As I was starting fresh coffee and getting some snacks put out, I heard the words to a song about the Word of God. “The Word was, the Word is, the Word will be forever and ever.” I looked up some verses about the everlasting quality of the Word of God. There were quite a few and it reminded me that I’m never wasting time learning and studying the word of God. I was reminded that two things last forever—the souls of men and the Word of God. So what better way to spend my Thursday mornings than studying the Word with a group of ladies?!? My heart was greatly encouraged today.

I’m looking forward to diving deeper into some of the themes Jen told us to look for—purity of the gospel, assurance of faith, historicity of Christ, what an ethical life looks like, hallmarks of love, what to do with false teaching, and obedience. 😊

Taking the good with the bad

Yes, it’s sad for the girls to be gone. Yes, I like having their two sweet faces and personalities under our roof. But it’s time to have them gone. It would be more strange if they wanted to stay here when it’s time to start using their own wings out in the world. So as much as I miss them and wish I knew a little bit more about their days and nights, I am learning to enjoy some of the positives.

For example, currently there’s a sense of peace that each kid is on mission somewhere being productive and learning. And having a lot of fun doing it. They’re taking steps toward adulthood and independence every single day. That makes me happy.

Another huge positive is a clean house. And no more dorm room piles in every corner. No more wondering whose laundry is in the washer. No more late night friends over playing card games and no more walking by rooms where a child is “just resting” at 1:30pm while they watch a show. That’s not real life, and it annoyed me when it happened.

So today I’m choosing to be happy for the positives of launching young adults.

The house cleaners come tomorrow, and they’re probably going to be amazed that this is the same house as the one they cleaned a few weeks ago!