2018's Word of the Year

2018 word of the year- Encourage:
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up... I Thessalonians 5:11

Saturday, January 20

There's a winter storm coming...

We're expecting up to a foot of snow by tomorrow night. This isn't anything that really concerns me because where I grew up a foot of snow wasn't much. But apparently it concerned a lot of people because when I popped into the grocery store earlier it was very busy with people stocking up.

Now, I tend to keep my pantry pretty well stocked with the foods that we usually cook. The downstairs pantry has items that we canned from the garden and then the bulk dry goods like wheat, beans and such. The freezer has meat in it, although not a lot. (note to self: focus on  adding to this) My upstairs pantry contains the foods that we eat frequently. I have a simple system, if I take something out of the pantry I put it on the shopping list to restock. This system really works for me and I rarely run out of things this way.

Many people I talk to seem surprised at my system which I find to just be kind of a common sense approach but then I grew up on a ranch 20 miles from town so you didn't just run to town if you ran out of sugar or cinnamon, you prepared ahead of time. Or you did without.

The last time there was a storm coming I saw my neighbor at the library with a large stack of books. She wanted to make sure she had something to read. I usually have a couple of library books checked out at all times but I also have a large library of my own so it's pretty unlikely that I will run out of reading materials. We also have a large game selection so we can entertain ourselves pretty well if we are housebound.

So if a snowstorm comes and I can't get to the store for a few days I will be prepared, as long as we have electricity.

I'm curious, what do you do to prepare for impending storms?

Wednesday, January 17

Getting Real: Letting Go of Dreams

For a long time I have had a specific dream. About twelve years ago I thought that dream might actually happen but God had other plans for me. Let me tell you, I did not accept the loss of the dream without wailing and gnashing of teeth. I continually reminded God that I had already made plenty of sacrifices and I didn't need to make this one. Honestly, I spent many hours in tears. I was angry at the circumstances that kept me from my dream and I was angry at God because I felt He hadn't kept his part of the bargain. And just like that, the dream was dead, and I had to find a way to reconcile my heart and trust that God had a better plan.

But deep in the recesses of my heart that dream has still had a little spot. I didn't think about it often but it is still there. And I have kept these pictures in my computer to give me a glimmer of hope.

It's not very hard to find these kinds of images and sayings. If you're in the direct marketing business as I am they are everywhere. And they are a good thing, something to keep you motivated but sometimes they can lead you away from the most important things in life. It's got to be a careful balance, making sure we don't neglect the things that God has entrusted to us, for me that would be  my husband and my children. These have to be non-negotiable.

Motivational images and graphics shouldn't be taken as great wisdom or compared with scripture. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5,6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and HE will make straight your paths." That is quite a bit different than what this sign says. Now I'm not saying this sign is wrong, I liked it enough to buy it and keep it in my office. What I am saying is that motivational quotes should not be our guiding light, the Word of God should be. I would think God wants us to dream big, to want to do great things through Him and for Him. The Bible says to seek wisdom and I am trying to do that.

So, this leads me up to my current dilemma. A few months ago the dream came back. The opportunity rose again. The time seemed right since I have a lot of free time on my hands now. My husband is 100% behind me, and people I have talked too seem to think it's a good dream so I started to get excited again. From a business standpoint, from a worldly standpoint it's a no-brainer, I should be moving forward, but...Oh Lord, why is there always a but? But...people I love may be put at risk and that scares me much more than my dreams do. I have wrestled with this for weeks, considering all the pros and cons and last weekend it became clear to me that this is not the time for this dream. Considering my age, this might be the end of my dream. I would be lying if I didn't say this was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make because it was my decision, not someone telling me I couldn't do it. These are the sacrifices we must make sometimes because the needs of others are more important. I am not a martyr, I am not a saint, I am just a mom who knows that my kids need me more than others need what I have to offer. There is a big difference this time, I am not angry at God or the circumstances. I have learned that God's plan is usually always better than mine and I can lay this dream aside without bitterness. Sadness yes, but not bitterness.

Now, the big question is, where do I go from here? God and I are still working on that one. I'll let you know when I have an answer. ;)


Thursday, January 11

My Word of the Year

I have been thinking about what I want to focus on this year then Sunday our pastor was preaching about the importance of encouragement it hit me like a brick. Encourage! I am very quick to correct and criticize but I am really weak at encouraging people, especially my children.

I see other people who are so positive, people who build my kids up when they talk to them. We have a neighbor who is especially good at this. I swear you can actually see my boys get taller when they talk to him because he is so good at building them up. I am so grateful they have these kind of people in their lives but I also see that I need to be more encouraging also.

Wednesday, January 10

Books I Read in 2017

I didn't read as much this last year. I had decided to do a couple of reading challenges and I didn't do any of them. Apparently telling myself that I have to read something is equivalent to rebelling and not getting it done. For the first time in my life I just didn't have any interest in reading. I hope that this changes this year because I really miss reading, just can't seem to focus long enough to get into a story.

Here is the list of books that I read. I I had to choose my favorites of the year they would be:
Nonfiction- Women of the Word by Jen Wilkens
Fiction- This Body of Death by Elizabeth George

  • Get Over Your D*mn Self by Romi Neustadt
  • The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy
  • Love Story by Karen Kingsbury
  • Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson
  • The Cottage by Michael Phillips
  • Well Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George
  • Threads of Suspicion- Dee Henderson
  • Queen Esther and the 2nd Graders of Doom- Allie Pleiter
  • Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George
  • If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock
  • The Shadow on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson
  • Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
  • This Body of Death by Elizabeth George
  • The High Calling of Motherhood by Chimene Dupler
  • Lilac Girls- by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Next Year Country- A Woman's View by Alma Phillip
  • Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
  • The Four Color Personalities for MLM by Tom Schreiter
  • Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Truly, Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  • Women of the Word by Jen Wilkens
  • Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig & Sally Fallon
  • Rain Song by Alice Wisler

Friday, December 22

It's Been a Quiet Month in the Busiest Season of the Year~

December is usually quite busy for me, baking and sewing and attending seasonal events. But this year has been very different. This year I got sick the Monday after Thanksgiving and have been pretty much sick ever since. It started out with an allergy attack and by last week was full blown bronchitis. I am feeling better but still not up to par. This hit me hard and to be honest I'm completely worn down and trying to regain momentum. So, it's a good thing that we didn't really have plans for Christmas. Since all the kids were here for Thanksgiving we are planning a quiet Christmas Day with just the boys. And I am very okay with that. Sometimes slow, peaceful and quiet is the very best thing, don't you think?
We did squeeze in a quick trip to Omaha last weekend to watch our daughter in law receive her masters degree in business organization. This is the first milestone in her goal to become an occupational therapist. She's worked hard and we are all very proud of her. Our son treated us all to see the new Star Wars movie which excited the hubby as much as the boys. I was really just along for the ride. I like some science fiction but have never really been a fan of Star Wars. (gasp, don't tell anyone)
Anyway, the boys get out of school in a little bit so our Christmas break officially begins. I predict lots of movie watching, a little baking, some games and maybe a puzzle to put together. I have a couple of books I want to read, and the boys are looking forward to time off from school.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy the holiday in the way that you choose too. Even it's hiding in a blanket fort in the middle of the living room. :)

Friday, December 8

We are busy enjoying listening to Christmas carols doing a little extra baking. I love Christmas!

Wednesday, November 8

The Enchanting Rose Teacup Exchange

A couple of months ago I signed up for a teacup exchange. This was sponsored by Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose blog.The exchange is where you're given a name and address and send some perfect stranger a package of goodies along with a teacup. In exchange you get one from someone else. I have done different kinds of swaps before and it's always been fun. Monica at the Homepun Heart used to do a shoebox swap and it was a lot of fun. Another swap I did was where we all bought the Bend the Rules sewing book and each month made a project out of it and sent it to someone else. One of the best purses I ever made ended up going to someone in that swap. :)
Ok, back to this swap. I had mailed out my package and then had been busy enough that I completely forgot about it so I was pleasantly surprised to find this in my mailbox. It was a little big to just be a tea cup. It was sent to me by Dee in Colorado and was just so lovely!

Here is a look at what was inside my box. She sent me the teacup as I expected, a nice dark coffee, some cookies, a mug rug, a book to read while I have my coffee and some beautiful fabric with teacups on it!

Here is a closer look at the teacup. I love the blues in it and it just took me right back to a little cafe in Mildenhall where I used to grab a cup of tea with a friend.

Thank you Stephanie for organizing this exchange and thank you very much to Dee for such a lovely package! I really do love it!

If you would like to see the other tea cup and mug reveals you can go here and take a look. What fun this was!