Manic Monday->Evernote Sanity


I shared a little last week about how I use my Happy Planner. I love pretty things. Pens, paper, stickers, decorating, etc. It’s time consuming sometimes. Sometimes I need to be able to jot it down while I’m on the go and I also need to be able to share information with my husband immediately. I also need a safe place in the techno world to save vast amounts of information that is shareable with other places in the techno world. 

My husband loves Evernote. He uses his for so many different tasks, parts of life, jobs, notes, etc that it’s like a living log of his life that will forever record everything about him. He sold me on Evernote. 

I have used it for everything from homeschool planning, task lists for my children to check off themselves, grocery lists, our budget, files for pictures of our children’s artwork (that we can then trash!), planning my business classes and parties, and a safe place to store functional ideas from Pinterest. It’s a one stop shop. All saved. 

It also has a handy feature where I can create notebooks that can be stacked and notes within the notebooks. Um, organizing junkie dream. 

If you haven’t looked into Evernote, there is a minimal version for free and I’ve survived on that alone for 3 years. It’s worth a shot! 

My husband utilizes Evernote so well, I decided it was a great place to share love notes! I created a note and shared it with him. He doesn’t have to keep up with cards and such, and I can post cute graphics to go along with my notes! 

We have some serious health issues, so we also keep track of our medical visits, tests, results, bills, etc in Evernote. 

It’s become a one place stop for all of our records.  

Here’s a screen shot of an overview list when I click on notes. I can save pictures, notes, links, etc. It also has an option to “pin” from the web!

Friday 5>A List

This Friday marks the last day in sharing all of the new series for the summer! We’ve done Manic Monday, Truth on Tuesday, What’s Up Wednesday, Thursday Thoughts, & Friday 5!


Friday 5:: 5 products for you & giveaways!

Today is a special guest post from Tiffany Nichols at ULTA who is going to share some of her favorite products, usage, and suggestions!

Here are a few of my favorite beauty products right now:

Summer is here! I don’t know about you but it snuck up on me in a few different ways. One big way: my legs are WHITE! My poor legs haven’t seen the light since November of 2015 and desperately need some color on them. I do not tan in a tanning bed and don’t recommend it…BUT, that’s another topic for another day. J

Here’s what I’m using on my legs to bring them out of hibernation and ready for all things summer:

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St. Tropez Tanning Kit- $25 at Ulta

(Includes Tan Enhancing Polish, Bronzing Mousse, Moisturizer, & Mitt Applicator)

Step 1: Tan Enhancing Polish:

This feels a little gritty because it is actually a light exfoliator. I use this to exfoliate and prep my legs before shaving. The polish can be used all over to exfoliate your entire body 24 hours before applying the Bronzing Mousse. I used the exfoliator the morning of the event I was attending and my tan turned out really good. But for my rule follower friends, using the Polish 24 hours before will work, too. J You definitely want to make sure you exfoliate with something: the polish, a loofah, or a homemade sugar scrub( I make and use this: I cup of brown or white sugar+ 1/2cup of Grapeseed Oil+ 10 drops of Orange or Lemon Essential Oil  )

Step 2: Bronzing Mousse

Some people prefer using their hands to spread the mousse over their bodies which is totally fine but I prefer a more even application. I need the extra help getting to those hard to reach areas (like my back) so I use the mitt that comes in the box. For best applications, start at your ankles and use the mitt in long sweeping motions as your work your way up.  As you finish, use the mitt to lightly go over your hands and feet. After applying the mousse, do not shower or get into water for about 4-8 hours.

Step 3: Tanning Maintenance & Moisturizer

Use this lotion to prolong your pretty tan! Make sure you exfoliate every so often, reapply the Mousse as needed and maintain your tan with the Moisturizer.

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Buxom Customizable Eyeshadow Palette- $40

I get complaints all the time about how customers have expensive palettes and they don’t use every color. Solution:  Say Hello to this beauty by BUXOM! I am a big fan of customizable pieces like this. There are 40 colors to choose from and YOU get to create your own palette. The colors are pretty, stay on well and are very comparable to other higher end brands, without the big price tag!

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NYX Wonder Pencil: $4.49

3-in-1 Pencil to help Conceal, Brighten, & Line!

I’m all about a good deal and this is a staple item in my make-up bag.  I use this to conceal dark spots, and also as a helper to keep my lipstick in place so it doesn’t feather. I see ladies also using this to brighten their eyes up and give a more rested look. It’s easy to use and sharpen as needed for a more fine point tip.

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Benefit Cosmetics Tinted Lash Primer $24

“They’re Real” primes and defines your lashes without clumping. It’s a light brown color and can be worn alone or with mascara. If you wear it with mascara, it helps to make your lashes look longer, separated, and helps mascara to not flake off your lashes. If your lashes feel dry, try this out without a mascara for a little while. It nourishes and helps lashes to feel softer.

I wear this alone on days I don’t need full makeup on (aka my days off when I’m running errands and want a little something on my face).

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Hello, friend! *insert all the heart & smile emoji’s*

Urban Decay Setting Spray

Travel Size1.0oz $14 (shown above)

Larger bottle for $30

I saved the best for last, y’all. Do you know all about this goodness? This. stuff.is.awesome.sauce.

If you’re going to spend your hard earned money on the best makeup, then invest in a good makeup setting spray.

Trust me. Who wants to spend a good amount of time on their makeup then step outside into the heat and have everything melt off or fade away? Not me. I use this specific spray because I need my makeup to last usually 10-12 hours every day. For my oily faced peeps, Urban Decay has a setting spray called “De-Slick” that I high recommend. It keeps oil to a minimum while maintaining the makeup you spent time putting on all the while keeping your face looking FRESH.

 

What’s Up Wednesday>Summer Hair

 

Today starts our new summer series for Wednesdays! What’s Up Wednesday! An enlightening series for what interests and refreshes women.

Today we have a guest post from Cacee Coheley from Peacock Avenue of Wichita Falls, TX and focuses on taking care of our hair this summer!

Summer Hair Care

Caring for your hair can be hard at times but even more so during the scorching summer months!

From heat to chlorine your hair can really suffer during the summer. 

I have a few tips you should follow to ensure your locks stay luscious, shiny, and soft all summer long! 

HEAT:

Defend your hair from all sources of heat, including the flat iron, blow dryer, and the sun. I am a stickler for protecting your hair from heat. My clients ask me all the time what’s the one product their hair needs most; I always tell them the same thing. Your hair needs a heat protectant from the blow dryer and especially from your flatiron. My favorite heat protectant to use is Kenra Flat iron spray or Simply Smooth Magic Potion, you can’t go wrong with either one of those.

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(Tip: if your flat iron and blow dryer have a heat setting turn down the heat on both, unless you have crazy curly hair you don’t need to blast the heat to get your hair straight.)

We often forget about protecting our hair from the sun, it’s an extension of our body therefore we should protect it just as we protect our skin.

The easiest and most effective way to defend your hair against the sun is to spray sunscreen directly into your hair or pull out a cute hat and cover that hair you’ve paid so much money for!😉

CHLORINE:

Chlorine dries your hair to the max just like it does your skin, and it also has the potential to turn light colored hair into a green. I have had many parents bring their kids to me at the end of the summer hoping I can get the green out of their kids hair. (Don’t worry, we can always get it out.)  To avoid this all together, I have a few helpful hints.
As soon so as you get done swimming, go wash your hair with a shampoo that strips all of the chlorine out of your hair.

You can use many products but I prefer Tri Swim or Ultra Swim, then wash and condition to ensure you rid your hair of the chlorine.

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(Hint: if you’re into all natural remedies, try rinsing your hair with 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts water, then wash with your normal shampoo and conditioner.) Once you’ve gotten the leftover chlorine out of your hair, fill a spray bottle with water, add a few drops of coconut oil and sage oil, shake well, and spritz onto hair to add shine and vitality!! IMG_1829

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WASH AND TRIM

Have you ever asked your stylist “how often am I supposed to wash my hair?” OR, “does trimming it really make it grow faster?”
First of all, there are two main types of scalp health, oily scalp or dry scalp. If you have an oily scalp, wash your hair as often as needed. My hair is oily to the max, I can wash it at night and by the very next night my scalp is greasy and looks wet. If you have this problem, let me stress this, WASH YOUR HAIR. I have never dried out my hair by over washing because my hair over produces oil. Now, if you have a dry scalp and can go 3 days without your hair getting oily, then congratulations! You are one of the lucky ones and don’t have to wash your hair daily!  When you wash, always make sure to get all of the shampoo residue out of your hair and ALWAYS apply a good conditioner. Make sure you rinse all of the conditioner out of your hair so it doesn’t leave your hair greasy looking or without volume.
Secondly, frequently trim your hair to cut off those dead ends. When you trim your split ends off, your entire hair strand is healthy and it grows nice and long.
But when you leave your split ends, your hair still grows at the root but the ends keep splitting and break off. Therefore, your hair doesn’t get any longer.  
I recommend 6-10 weeks for a trim (trim is anywhere from 1/4 -1/2 of an inch)  if you are growing out your hair. If you’re wanting to keep your hair at a particular length, I recommend a haircut every 6 weeks!

If you can protect your hair from the heat and chlorine, wash your hair as needed, and trim those dead ends away, you are sure to have touchable, shiny, soft, amazing looking hair. 

 

How I Learned to be Content

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My Problem

In my haste to satisfy the pride of life, I have diligently fed my flesh by trying to be one step ahead of my season. What I found, instead of joy & contentment, was feelings of failure, frustration, unmet/unrealistic expectations, & a restless spirit that settled so deep in my heart I couldn’t see my way out for trying to fix the way I was approaching life.

The gentle nudge I started to hear echoed Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

I quickly clung to my abilities, meek as they are, and hoped to do better. I can be steadfast, I thought. I can work on a pure heart.



What I Didn’t Do

As I didn’t do much struggling or wrestling (that would have required actual effort, and unfortunately, I trying to just do better weren’t going to work for me), I settled with trying to rest on the areas of my life that seemed natural. Once I was working out of my strengths, and even comforts, I could hear the whispers that could only be heard in a stillness.

I cannot, after He has clearly spoken to me about how my outset is not working, continue to work so fervently to be a step ahead of where I am in my life as a woman, wife, mom, or any other aspect of my roles.

Then it presented itself like a blooming plant that is emerging from the blossom that has rested, filled with nutrients and all the perfect setting up for a beautiful, bountiful expression of nature. Contentment. I knew the minute my soul was filled with this, alluring to some, actual manifestation of the Spirit.

It’s not an emotion. It’s not a feeling. It is the culmination of hope, mercy, grace, and trust.

I began thinking “this is so good…I need to write this down.” That pride of life crept back in and then I exclaimed in my heart “this IS good, thank you LORD for getting my soul to a place of understanding, rest, movement, and finally the acquisition of contentment.

Finally, A Looking Glass

It began with anxiety and panic that I wanted so desperately to be ahead of my season, onto the next step, planned/prepared/ready, and without a shred of help from others. The deep sorrow I felt after not feeling prepared and ready when a new phase of discipline was necessary in the heart of one of my children, left me feeling the way I mentioned in the introduction. The trepidation was almost more than my person could handle.

With the newfound contentment, I could almost hear “this is the next step…look at this Scripture….look how God led His people here….look at Paul’s admonishment here….who are you right here…..what the goal for this season…..what is hard right now in your heart….” questions that I haven’t left lurking like I used to when I thought I could move forward and fix the questions with my approach instead of listening to His guidance.

Moving Forward in Understanding

The joy and contentment found in resting in His guidance for where I am now, ABSOLUTELY does prepare me for the NEXT season.

If I am not walking so closely with His guidance, direction, hope, and correction right now, then I will surely suffer more when His planned suffering/trials/chastisement enters because I haven’t absorbed the gentle preparation He was providing all along.

The discipline of the Lord is love. An example from my life would be when He tells me to slow down. Before, I would have rebuked that thought that I don’t have time to slow down because I need to be ahead of my children’s needs (discipline, health, homeschool, etc) or that I need to be working diligently throughout the day to make sure we are ready for dad to get home to a peaceful place (which never happened when I was pushing out the Spirit’s prompting and pushing hard at home). The result of my efforts was stress, anxiety, discontment, and anger. Meeting the words “slow down” with obedience, speaking gently to those around me, opening my heart to the needs of others, always works in great motion towards whatever my future holds.

The sufferings and trials are not big and small in His divine wisdom. They are specific to the days ordained of OUR individual lives and He is faithful and just to give us all of Himself to walk through them.

I learned to be content, by recognizing His ability. That ties up so much in my heart that is lacking trust, faith, hope, and an acknowledgement that He’s in control.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

Manic Monday>Planning with Giveaway

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Keeping It All Together

I have spent most of my adult life changing, re-arranging, re-organizing, over-complicating, and re-creating the wheel in regards to planning.

I try a new planner, I purge in every area of my life, I create labels upon labels, and tear rooms apart, all in hopes of finding a system that works for me.

I got a REALLY expensive planner one time. The first item I wrote in it, it was to schedule a  hair appointment for 10:00 am. I dropped my boys off at my mother’s at 10:15 am because, in my head, the appointment was at 10:30 am.

What in the world does a planner do for me if I don’t ACTUALLY look at it to check out my day? 

What Keeps Monday Alive


I don’t have the planner life down. Here’s what I do know, I’ve found one that is completely customizable! It’s called The Happy Planner and is available at my favorite store, Michael’s! (I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby before Michael’s started carrying this brand).

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What I also love about this planner, is the massive amount of accessories & items available to make it very personal and custom. I’ve purchased a Home Kit (budget, meal planning, cleaning schedule, and notes section) as well as folders, notes pages, and extra covers which I’ll explain later the purpose of those!

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I purchased the extra covers and folders along with new rings to build my very own planner! I wanted to make one for my personal business (Young Living and blogging organization). It has been maybe I favorite! I also made another planner for my Bible journaling. It’s pure joy to have all of these planners that serve every purpose without having to sacrifice something in order to have just what is offered from a company.

The Happy Planner Punch

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The Happy Planner Folders

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Happy Planner Rings/Discs

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There are so many more spectacular items available at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and of course The Happy Planner Site (they have a Teacher Planner EEK!!!)

As I mentioned, I really enjoy using one of my personally created planners, for my Bible journaling. I scoured Pinterest, (you can follow my board Bible Time Board as well as my Keeping It Together board about Organization) in order to find valuable resources that are helpful as well as practical (and thrifty!).

Here is a wonderful resource for Bible journaling in your planner until I can share more of mine:: Bible Journaling in a Planner

The Most Important Task

The most important tasks in my planner? KEEP THE PLANNER OPEN ON A SURFACE. I know that is probably common sense to most of you, but if I keep it tucked away, organized with other things, or out of reach, I will not look at it. Also, the most important items on my to-do list:: Bible time, school time for the boys, cleaning schedule, prompts to encourage my husband, and meal planning.

How Do You Routine

I would love to hear suggestions and hacks for how you live this life in a more structured way. I’m still a work in progress. My husband is an Evernote machine. I use Evernote and definitely use it to share items with him, but I’m a planner girl. I love pretty things. What are your top 3 items that help to keep you sane? 

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⭐️⭐️For a Chance To Win My Favorite Pens⭐️⭐️

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**Disclaimer** I was not paid, endorsed, or commissioned by any of the above companies or corporations. I just love these products and want to share how they’re working for me!!

Michael’s is having a HUGE sale today for Memorial Day so it would be a super time to go grab a planner and accessories! Check their site or app for coupons!

Homeschool Nature Study

We’re starting something new. It’s uncomfortable to me but totally natural to my boys. It’s already creating conversations, helping them make connnections, revealing their natural curiosity and inclinations, and helping tie together all of our academic disciplines. 

We’re doing a nature study. 

Here are our resources! 

  
We are starting with a basic field guide. 

   
 
This website has been invaluable! We even signed up for a “pen pal” nature friend where will exchange items from their natural environment from somewhere in the world with items we collect from our natural environment! 

You can visit the site here at Raising Little Shoots she even has an ebook for a year long nature study curriculum!

We’re about to add geocaching to our study. I’ve downloaded the app, watched YouTube videos and found resources on social media! 

We made a trip to a local garden and flower nursery to start out hand at green thumb. My parents are incredible gardeners and I’m not. With these boys reminding me, I’m sure we’ll make a go of it. Spring is in the air and so is learning. 

How do you naturally learn with your children?

Motherhood as a Ministry

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I am reading a rich book alongside Scripture. It is geared towards home education, but mostly what I’m drinking deep from this book is the hard truth regarding discipleship of my children. I will be doing a series of blog posts to share with you what I’ve gained from this book and how it has nestled into my heart concerning my role in biblical parenting.

These are my personal thoughts from reading “Educating The WholeHearted Child” by Clay Clarkson with Sally Clarkson

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.”  John 12: 24-26

This verse appoints to us the necessity it is to account for the cost of ministry, given that we have acknowledged our role in ministering to our children. Although they’re discussing home education, I couldn’t help but dwell on the great ministry I have to my children. We have chosen for me to be a stay at home parent since my oldest son (5 year old now March 2016) was 6 months old. After the first month, my husband noticed a gigantic shift in my countenance. He asked if I was doing alright. I told him I was going to pray for definition, but that I didn’t FEEL alright. We were able to talk through my newest disposition and nailed down than my downtrodden appearance was negligence. Of myself. I quickly learned to discern when I needed time to refresh and recharge, but also learned that wasn’t going to be a consistent reality. I learned to find those opportunities even in the presence of my children because my calling was to model Christ to them and He wasn’t about self. In a culture that is screaming at us “you deserve _____” or “be true to yourself”, parenting in a biblical effort means we understand Jeremiah 17:9 “the heart is deceitful above all things”. We can lean into our heart or feelings when discipling and disciplining children. Those two will lie to us and steal the future healthiness and wellness of our children.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will rewards each person according to what he has done.”  Matthew 16:24-27

There is a cost to parenting with Christ in mind and goal. We make decisions and sacrifices with great prayer and focus in order to lead our children to the mind of Christ.

In our decisions, consistency and commitment are among the most important.
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation wile the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.  Luke 14: 28-33

It’s a desperate moment when our children’s hearts are bent against Christ because they are caught in a battle of the spirit and flesh. That desperate moment when we waiver whether we are going to swiftly address their heart issue or if we’re going to let is slide because it’s the hard work. The hard work of being committed to biblical discipline and discipleship is what will produce the children we (as parents of young children) see in the teens and their parents relationships that we hunger after for our families in a few years. We watch our mentors and friends with high school and college children who have healthy relationships with positive life choices and love Christ and desire that for our families. It takes the hard work of ministering to our children, making sacrifices, and being committed.

 

How do I find my voice

  
In a single minute we have more access to technology than many of our ancestors would even know what to do with much less care to utilize. I could look up the statistics, but that would be in direct opposition to what I’m thinking on today. 

I’ve seen several posts regarding national women’s day which have mostly included pleas concerning their own daughters finding their strength, voice, wisdom, etc. I don’t have a daughter, but I am a woman. 

I love people and learned how to do that from my husband (after deep conviction from the Holy Spirit that this is a main crux of the gospel). I don’t love as well as I would like and find myself frantic to invest into my children, be active and helpful for our parents (however, they’re honestly STILL doing this in our season of life more than I would have chosen), and to come alongside my husband’s endeavors whatever that may be (him being out after or before work to serve/minister, giving him time alone to rest and Sabbath-though he’s stubborn there due to his lively & passionate desire to be with us, pushing him to take time away with friends, etc). 

I don’t feel neglected or lost in my identity. I know Who I belong to for eternity and for whom I’m living here on earth. My husband is steadfast in ministering to me in so many ways–sleeping in (my love language), encouraging me to have a day for the boys to go to grandparents and I spend time alone (again, my love language) and so many other ways. 

Because sleeping and being alone are my (jokingly) love languages, I am hampered in building friendships. My new diagnosis (Multiple Sclerosis) has given viability to those loved activities (sleeeeeeep please) and anything alone to refresh. There is a take on energy called “spoon theory” and it is referenced by most chronic autoimmune disease sufferers (MS has been thrust into that category, though, like all things MS, still mostly unknown). It basically means you have only so many spoons of energy a day and you have to choose wisely how they are used for the day. Let me just say, on a rare day filled with fatigue, a shower and getting ready is pretty much ALL of my spoons (and it makes me so angry because I’m learning how this does not equate laziness but goodness it so FEELS like it). But, I’ve learned how to maneuver that and make it work for our life because I cannot slow down and won’t. 

Finding my voice takes energy. Finding my voice takes thought and action. I have preferred the written word for much of my life. Want to know what I’m thinking? May I send you an email? Some of my best friends have said “can you just call me?” Because I can text with you into the depths of my heart and you will get more of my soul than anyone on earth standing face to face with me. It’s a flaw for me, I know. It speaks to my heart when you’ll take my test conversations. I have learned that if I want to be loved by a friend understanding that I would rather text, I have to live by understanding they’re a verbal processor and I need to call them. This will land on the hearts of some of my people and make them think I never want to talk in person or on the phone, ever. That’s not true, this is how we grow in finding our voice. It’s not about me being heard. 

Finding my voice is about me growing and taking baby steps to be stronger. These same friends now text and let me process via text and allow me, in my own time, to call them! And I do. I’m much faster to pick up the phone now. It’s not about being awkward or uncomfortable like some of my introvert friends. I’m the most outgoing introvert there ever was and continue to enjoy being around and with people. But, I have a “recover time”. Anyone else? 

This is still my happy place. Writing. Conveying my thoughts, ideas, convictions (risky, given the absurd speed at which “opinion” travels and the backlash that can ensue before you can ask “I can’t have an opinion?!) and hopes, dreams, and fears. 

Scripture tells us the heart is deceitful above all things. I have a love/fear relationship with one of my giftings (prophecy). It prompts me to think beyond the heart and feelings (which is healthy) but sometimes keeps me in my head (my momma always said I had common sense 😂) and out of my heart. It has proven to me that I must seek to be like Christ because a prophet sees the hard and real and sometimes misses the mercy and grace. 

Today, on national women’s day, I’m finding my voice by admitting that I have some serious steps to take in building deeper friendships. Our culture of women keep talking about “my people” and “my tribe” and though it sounds wonderful, I want to make sure mine knows I’m just as much a part of being honest and vulnerable in having a voice to share as much as I ask and wish from them. 

It seems ironic to say I’m going to talk and not just listen, but to reciprocate friendship I have to be known, too. It seems arrogant. I have wisdom that tells me many of my closest friends who know me and value me will be elated to know I’m ready to be known, too. I won’t just be asking the questions anymore. I won’t just be saying “I’m okay…how was that….the other day that we prayed about?” 

Finding my voice will be a work in process. When most of us process, we start where we’re comfortable.  I’ve started where I’m comfortable but it’s vulnerable and I’m trusting the Lord to move mountains in my heart and flesh. 
  

On being rooted like a tree

So many of my ideas really do start with good intentions. The threats of others opinions, fear of failure, distraction from more important priorities, and laziness are but a few of many excuses & road blocks to following through with my good intentions. 

As a senior in high school, I felt deeply motivated to follow through with my inquiries of others. If someone was hurting, confused, frustrated, lonely, or even on a mountain top high, I wanted to be the one to encourage their spirit. If I asked, I would continue to check in. If there was a need, I wanted to meet it and continue being a place of provision and comfort. I quickly learned that this wasn’t a task I could complete on my own. This was a learning curve in my walk with Christ, and my walk was a fresh one. I began a sanctifying (being very challenged and refined) process of understanding what it means to be like Christ as well as share Him. It was very uncomfortable. I started missing opportunities and letting people down. It seemed very ironic that in the midst of seeking the only Perfect man and pursing to be like Him, I would actually start feeling disappointed. There are an array of reasons why that happened (and still happens). I started seeing my own needs, and that really got in the way of meeting the needs of others because I began to feel caught up in my own shortcomings. The Lord told me on a few occasions to not meet needs, and that felt wrong, but He knew better. I learned that sometimes we meet the needs He reveals, versus the ones seen by our fleshly eyes. I had to learn that, because I was inadvertently becoming a crutch in the lives of those I was trying to help. I started seeing that walking like Christ and trying to be like Him required complete surrender. 

I think once I started to “master” (that is just such a human way to describe my misunderstanding) how to process through meeting the needs of others, I began to see serious insecurities and needs of my own. This process has continued and evolved. I will elaborate on that in a future post. 

Coming to a place of surrender has been a combination of learning spiritual disciplines as well as a life-giving lesson in standing firm. A wonderful aid (beyond my life-source itself::the Holy Bible) has been “Living by the Book” by Dr. Howard Hendricks, “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster, and 2 very crucial verses. One has always been a life verse for me 1 Corinthians 15:58 and a newer addition for me has been Psalm 1.

I hope you have a moment to look into Scripture today. Even if you read one verse, our hearts know how to tuck Truth so deeply inside that it will always be a place of trust, faith, and courage in Christ. Being rooted means we go much deeper than what appears on the surface. Plant your heart deep today in Truth and trust in the One who gives such abundant life that we won’t quickly wither. 

When I shared with my oldest son that I was learning to be planted like a tree, he told me he loved the trees in his grandparents front yard. So here is a picture of my boys looking very courageous 😍

  

A Fresh Take

I rearrange. A lot. It keeps things fresh and new. However, it also usually creates a huge disaster that I barely finish getting cleaned up before I start another rearranging project/mess. 

With both of my boys having birthdays in November  before  Christmas, I knew we were about to have an onslaught of new toys. It was time to purge and redistribute. 

I purged and purged our school things and toys. I loved several things to their bedroom and decided it was time for the play room to be school room too! I wish I had before pictures of the 2 areas we combined, but I’m not sure you could imagine it anyway. 

Here is our playroom and school room. 

  
    
    
 
One pic of how I managed to pull EVERYTHING out and use every piece of organizational tubs and storage we own 😂

  
So it’s not this clean anymore, but we had room to add in new toys and have to make adjustments before Christmas. But it’s our place!