Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bible Journaling: Isaiah 12:2

Learning to trust is hard. Fear has this way of blocking us off from trusting at all. Why would we choose not to trust? Because we are scared of being hurt, let down or betrayed. But the thing is, that is not how God works.

God should be trusted. Because, honestly, we are the ones that let him down. We betray him and we hurt him. I have done all these things to him. But he has not done a single one to me. In fact, he stays and loves me through all those times that I have turned my back on him. He has stayed with me even when I chose not to trust him.

So, I try now to focus on this:


"God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid" -Isaiah 12:2

Fear will cause me to isolate. Fear gives me anxiety. Fear can take a hold of me and make it impossible for me to function. But God is trustworthy. And when I need him, he always shows up. He can be trusted. I do not need to fear because I walk with God. 

I keep striving for this. To let go of my fear and be able to trust completely. I do not have to be afraid. I do not have to have anxiety but the truth is, is that I do. But the trust part comes when I talk to God about the struggles that come and I learn to lean on him. He has made my anxiety less and my fears less. 

So, I will not be afraid. I will stick with God. He saves me.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Letter To Her


There are so many thoughts that run through my head. It's been two and a half years since the affair was revealed and all this time has been spent dealing with the aftermath.

There are so many things that I have wanted to say to you. And for a long time it would have been a long list of anger and hurt. Sometimes it's still a reaction to the pain that drives me into a crying mess. Because I loved you.

That day I found out that my best friend was not my friend at all. It effects so much more of my life than expected. My memories of years of friendship became tainted and moments of my life that I would look on with fondness are now clouded in the betrayal. It calls to question all the time we spent together. And it breaks my heart.

My heart breaks for lots of reasons. The loss of you is a big one. Or at least the who I thought you were. But my heart aches even more that I had to give up your family as my family.

I am so devastated in how I walked away from your children. I abandoned them. I was someone in their lives and I had to turn my back on loving them. I was so consumed and lost in my own pain that I could not even bear speaking with them. I had to avoid noticing them when I would see them at school because I knew that my relationship would never be the same.

I vividly remember the last time that I had contact with your son. He wanted to talk to my little one. I stood there just watching them. And when it was time to go, you were calling him from behind me, he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me. And I couldn't hug him back. I stood there numb and he hugged me. I was so consumed with my own anger toward you that I couldn't return the affection that he was giving me.

The memory of this hurts me still. Two years later. There is no way for me to be able to ask for forgiveness for my part in hurting your children. I am sorry for their hurt. I'm sorry for turning my back on them.

I don't really think there is much more that I can say. Because there is too much to say and it would never be enough. I could never fully express the hurt or the sadness that I associate with you. Even though this letter was a long time coming, it is not what I expected it to be. My goal is not to try to hurt you or anything like that. More than anything, it was just time to get some of these thoughts out of my head and for them to be shared.




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bible Journaling: Hebrews 12:29

There is nothing better than remembering the power of our God. When I read this verse it reminds me of how powerful he truly is.


Let's look at this verse with the one before it. It says,

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire". 
                                                                                                                -Hebrews 12:28-29
We are loved and in the presence of God who is unshakable. He is overwhelmingly amazing. My goal in life is to be with him. His power and spirit are so much that it consumes me whole, like a fire blazing through a field. My hope is that his fire grows within me and everything that I touch will then become alight with his flame and be consumed just as I have been. And the end result will be less me and more him.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Miss Blogging

My brain is always racked with ideas and plans and the best intentions. But when life happens and things get busy the first thing to suffer is always my blog.

School took a lot out of me last semester. I was reading and writing constantly. The work felt endless at times and I was also taking one of the hardest classes I ever experienced. But the rewards were worth the work as I ended the semester with straight A's!

A lot has happened over the last couple months in general life as well. Michael and I renewed our vows on our 12th wedding anniversary. It was simple, beautiful and perfect. The growth we have made as individuals and in our marriage is incredible. Another area in which hard work reaps the best rewards. I have been wanting to share all about it. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of it. My parents do though. And one day, maybe I'll get my hands on them and share about it.

I spend a lot of my days trying to live right where I am. I have a tendency to let my mind wander into those past moments that make my heart ache and eyes tear up so I actively spend my time trying to be who I am right now and live right now. Not focusing on my old life that I am not living anymore. I have a good life and that's what I want to remember.

The kids are growing so incredibly fast that I feel like I can't keep up. Sidda is on her way to middle school and looks more and more like an adult everyday. MJ has found a new love in baseball. He played his first season and wants nothing more to play it all the time. And Anya... what can be said about her? She is four, going on 16. She loves clothes and accessories and posing for a camera. And on top of everything else I find my kids so astonishingly funny and witty. All three are also so sarcastic at times we have to attempt to reign it in. These three keep me busy and on my toes constantly.

I'm hoping to return to blogging fairly regularly here. I know that I have to make the plan to make it happen and not let life coming at me get in my way. So, this was just a quick update and now back to life.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

You Make Me Brave

Have you ever had a song that just hits your life at the right moment and yet once that moment has passed, instead of sparking memories, it almost haunts you?

I hope it's not just me.

When Michael left me and I was stuck and felt so lost without a full concept of what I was going to do and how I was going to make it.

And then I heard it, the song that would become my own personal anthem. I held on to the words of Amanda Cook & Bethel Music because what I needed in this time of fear and confusion was to know how to be brave.



Let me tell you, I was not brave. I was so low and weak but knew that I had to wake up each day so I needed my God to make me brave.

You will make me brave
You will make me brave
You who called me out beyond the shore into the waves
You will make me brave
You will make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way

I would pray these words. I would sing them out. I played the song so many times that Anya would sing it with me and ask to hear it.

And each and every time I would sob as I prayed because I didn't have my own strength to move. I questioned every moment of myself, my every thought and decision. I questioned everything that I knew. The only thing I knew was I could lean on God and that he would make me brave.

And he did. Even when I didn't know it. He made me brave when facing some of the most difficult moments of my life.

But now, though I love the song and its words still speak to my heart, when I hear the words I am transported right back to that time, when I was begging God to save my marriage, to hear my cry and to make me brave.

And immediately I become a sobbing mess. The beauty of the lyrics still hits me deep and I remember.

But as times continues to move I realize how much I need to remember those times that were hard. I need to remember the times that nearly broke me and left with nowhere to go.

Those memories are where I remember that God never left and how much my life has changed.

I know how far I have journeyed in two short years.

Without reminders of the pain I wouldn't see the new strength in my marriage and the wholeness of my family.

I wouldn't know the power of grace and forgiveness.

I'm becoming better at letting these memories wash over me\and finding a way to rejoice and celebrate where I stand right now.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Life Keeps Moving

It's amazing how life continues move along right around you when you feel like your life has just stopped. The world just keeps moving and the clock just keeps ticking on.

This is what it felt like when I saw my life crash around me. I was fighting for my marriage and to keep my family whole. I had one single goal each day and that was just to survive to the next.

That is how I lived for a long time.

My body and soul were in a constant state of survival mode. Each and everyday was a battle. It was battle in pain and hurt and the need to protect my children as best as I possibly could.

I was a complete and broken mess.

I spent my whole days crying. I cried for my hurt. I cried for my children. I cried out to God over and over again asking him to please help. I cried for Michael and I prayed for him.

We spent months rebuilding and only focusing on how to keep our marriage together. If it was going to survive the betrayal it was going to take actual work to put the pieces together. Not just back together, but in a new a better way. A way that would make us stronger.

We worked hard. We used whatever resource we could in order to strengthen us as individuals, as a couple and as a family.


And the whole time we were working we were in our own protective bubble. This bubble did not leave room for other people. It was only really for the five of us. And time kept moving all around us.

And suddenly it's two years later. Our family is strong. Our marriage is stronger than it was before. We are good.

But it's also two years later and I'm just beginning to step out of my protective zone. I'm realizing that others lives have continued to move as I've been stuck. People I used to know have different lives, some have moved, gotten married, expanded their families, kids have gotten older. Some loved ones have even passed away.

Their lives just kept moving forward all the while I expected it all to freeze around me and wait for me to come back in.

Kind of a selfish thought, right?

Of course I knew that their lives wouldn't just stop and wait for me. But in my mind they are as they were two years ago. To me, they are the people they were then, even if they've drastically changed their lives since.

How can really expect them to be exactly the same as they were when I am clearly not?

So many changes have happened in me I do not feel the same as I was then.

Life just continues to go on. The world keeps moving, the clock keeps ticking, the kids keep growing.

 And really, it's for the best.

It's a reminder to me that I do not have to be stuck. My life may have been altered two years ago and started in a completely different direction than what I had envisioned, but I made it through. My family made it through. We are not stuck and we are not who we were. We, together, have put in the work and made the choices that make us stronger. We are more whole, now as individuals and as a family.

Did I want the pain and the heartache? No. Not on your life.

But do I want the outcome of a life that has moved forward and to be in a marriage that I know is more than I ever imagined? Yes.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Bible Journaling: Joshua 1:9

Sometimes I need a simple reminder that I can be strong and courageous because I know that God is with me. Just as Joshua encouraged the Israelites as they were getting ready to move into the Promised Land I can also be encouraged. With God with me I have no reason not to be strong and courageous. I belong to him, so I am safe, no matter what the world throws at me.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

DIY Carpet- The Living Room

After the success that we had installing new carpet in MJ's room we were trying to decide what room to tackle next. We were really leaning toward getting the girls room done but that would be another room that Michael and I wouldn't really get to enjoy. We would be in it only occasionally. That's when we decided that we should do the living room next. It is where the whole family is the majority of the time.

And if I'm fully honest, I was completely jealous of MJ's beautiful carpet in his room and wanted to experience it in the living room. 

Our living room is huge. 525 square feet. It's a good size room for our family. Which meant a ton of carpet and padding leaving the house and a ton of new carpet and padding coming in. This room cost three times as much as MJ's room. But still far cheaper than prices we had been quoted.

Here in this first picture you can see that we cleared the room of all furniture and were just starting to pull the carpet up at the corners. Anna and Molly were very curious to what was going on the whole time.

You can see where the seam in the carpet was beginning to split. 

I hated that seam. 

It was like it appeared out of no where one day and there was nothing we could do about it. So the kids and the dogs would like to pick at it. Driving me mad!


Carpet was up and we were starting to roll up the padding. It was glued to the concrete so chunks were left attacked to the floor that had to be scraped up. Tucker was checking everything out. He was not a fan of the room without carpet.


The biggest surprise was the vast amount of dirt that was under the padding. This carpet had been in the house for about 10 years and the accumulation of dirt that was tracked in my kids and dogs and us was unbelievable. 

MJ's room had absolutely no dirt under the carpet at all. This was a shock.


We swept it up into a giant pile and then used the shop vac to suck it all away. We went around the whole room with the shop vac to be sure we collected as much as possible.


It got late quickly. We decided that we wanted to install large chunks of carpet on our busiest week we've had all year. This was the first night we had at home all week and we still spent the day at a birthday party and Sidda's basketball game. 

Oh, and it rained too. 

You can see the bookshelf sitting on the back porch tucked up as much as possible with a trash bag covering it in order to protect it from the rain. Most of the living room furniture was able to fit in the kitchen.

While we worked we watched Blast From the Past. It's been years since we've watched it.


With carpet pad laid and taped and trimmed we started on the carpet. Because of the size of the room we had to seam carpet together using a seam iron and seam iron tape.

Did I burn myself?

The answer would be yes.

It's been nearly two weeks and I still have a mark on my finger where I accidentally touched the hot glue. Whoops.


It was worth it.

The carpet was laid and tucked and beautiful.


We moved the furniture back in and being 2:30am we were ready for bed.

But I got a couple of pictures of the finished results.

Except we just threw the pillows on the couch. They were organized the next morning after some much needed sleep.


I really feel like the pictures don't do the awesomeness of the new carpet justice. It has improved the look and feel of one of the most used rooms in our home.


Do you have any projects that you've done or want to do to make your home better?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Bible Journaling: 1 Corinthians 14:33

There are moments in life that feel like they're full of chaos. We all need some peace. When I am able to focus I can remember who is the best way to peace. God is that.

1 Corinthians 14:33 says: "for God is not a God of disorder but of peace."


The context of the verse is when people come together for teaching and community worship. God will send messages and more than one person may speak, but it is not a time for everyone to talk at once and in a constant stream. It is time for learning from those who are teaching. It is not a time for chaos, but for peace.

And I believe that this is the same in my life. 

When I feel like I am being called all different ways and my mind is going a million miles and I haven't stopped moving in what feels like years I remember God's peace. I focus on Him and what he has done in my life. I remember where he has calmed me, slowed me down and changed my ways of thinking. 

And I know that he can do it again. 

It doesn't make the chaos disappear but it makes it easy to handle. With my mind at ease and God on my side I can take on anything.

Where do you go when life gets crazy?


Friday, January 20, 2017

DIY Carpeting- The Boys Room

MJ's carpet was gross. It was beyond needing just a shampoo to refresh it. It needed a total overhaul in order to clean up his room.


The carpet was stained from when I painted the room and accidentally dropped the entire paint roller on the floor... whoops. The worst of it though was a spot in the closet that, no matter what we did, the cats decided was their own private bathroom. It soaked through the carpet into the carpet pad and the baseboards. His room just smelled and no shampooing, cleaning, spraying could get it out. New carpet was the only way to go. 

We eventually want to recarpet the whole house and being that MJ's room is the smallest it was the "test room" to see if we could actually do this.


So, up came the carpet and the carpet pad, revealing concrete underneath and the tack-strips that needed to be replaced. We also had to replace about half the baseboards.



We went to Lowes and bought our carpet and padding. We had already made a trip earlier to get the tack-strips, baseboards, knee kicker and carpet tucker. We had to get a carpet strip that was 12 X 14. The only way to get it home was to strap it to the top of the van. Don't you love the rainbow shining over our freshly purchased carpet?


Here is Michael, nailing in the baseboards. He had to do all the hammering by hand since we don't own a nail gun and for some reason I just couldn't seem to hit the nail and the angle needed to hammer it in. So that job was all Michael's and he did great!

Next we had to hammer the tack-strips into concrete... It was the worst part of the whole night. Nails were bending and not connecting. Something that seemed like it should've taken maybe 45 minutes of work took hours of hammering, over and over again. There was a lot of frustration with this one single job. Hammering tack-strips into concrete is an evil practice. By the end of it my hands were banged up and bruised and ached. Michael's too. It was rough. It was almost enough to throw in the towel but we kept progressing so very slowly.


After we finally... finally... finished the tack-strips we layed out the carpet pad. We trimmed it to the edges of the  tack-strips and all the was next was to lay the carpet. I didn't get any pictures of us actually laying, trimming, stretching or cutting the carpet. By this time it was 1am and we just wanted to get it done.


But in the end, there was beautiful fresh smelling new carpet that looked great!




It made a huge difference in his room and he loves it. I love it!


We got all his furniture moved back in. He has a clean place to play and a room that is great to be in. Even his sisters spent a good chunk of the day hanging out with him in his freshly made up room.





Soon we will be venturing into working on the girls room and eventually the rest of the house. It was a lot of hard work but completely satisfying once the work was done and I could see the difference (and smell the difference). It has the feel of a whole different room. I can't wait to finish up the rest of the house!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Bible Journaling: Psalm 19:14

Anger and bitterness can seep into our lives and take over our minds. When unexpected life troubles come the first thing damaged is our minds. The thoughts and feelings that we hold can suddenly become so negative that there is no escape from the pain that we continue to hold one to.

But there is a choice to change the way we think. It comes with a concentration on God's word and his presence in life. Learning how to be grateful for the good and moving past the bad as it comes. 

When I find myself in a spiral of negative thinking it effect my entire day and spreads out to others around me. It changes the dynamic of the day. But I have to change my mind. It takes practice but I have been learning how to change the way I look at the world. I purposely seek out good thoughts and great memories to change how my day flows. I concentrate on the words I say to be uplifting and encouraging instead of a downpour of negativity.


What can help is remembering that God is here and to look at this verse:
          "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
                   by pleasing in your sight,
                   Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
                                                                  -Psalms 19:14

If my thoughts are surrounded by anger or bitterness or sadness they are not pleasing to God. My thoughts effect my words and my prayers and if they're anchored in negativity I'm doing a disservice to everyone, my family, God and myself. Instead I'm trying to stick to a positive outlook and view the good and be the good on hopes that my words and prayers will be pleasing to God.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Goals

Every year I set goals for things I would like see happen or have accomplished during the upcoming year. While I don't always seem to be able to complete all of them, having something in mind to strive for is always helpful for me as I go through my year. I try to focus more on having goals than having resolutions. Resolutions from the new year always have the feeling negativity for me. The goals that I set are more of something to look forward to giving me the encouragement to complete them.

When I look back at my goals from last year (which you can see here) I am able to see all that I have been able to accomplish.

I exceeded my reading goal of the year (this helped that I was back in school and one class required me to read 9 different books).

I was able to write 28 blog posts, which isn't much over the course of a year, but I'm so happy for every one that I was able to sit down and write.

I was able to date my husband a lot. Michael and I spend time together and it's a great joy to be with him and see how much we've grown in just the last couple of years. I even was able to crochet the blanket I've been promising him for forever.


We also were able to finish Dragon Age: Inquisition. Throughout this year we went back and played all the other Dragon Ages and are currently back in the middle of Inquisition. It's just some easy fun that we can have together.

I also spent everyday reflecting on what was good about that day and I wrote it down. I have a notebook full of good things that happened everyday for the last year. I needed it to remind me that no matter what kind of day I have there is always something good. It helped with my focus and perspective on my life. There is always good happening I just can't let the bad stand in the way of it.

This year it's time to set my new goals. I have some things I want to see happen throughout this year for me and my family. So, here they are:


  1. Read 24 Books
  2. Drink 100 oz of water everyday
  3. Bible Journaling once a month
  4. Blog posts 2 times a month
  5. Try one new recipe every month
  6. Do a project with Michael
  7. Paint master bedroom and bathroom
  8. Go on a date with each of my kids
  9. Go on an anniversary vacation
  10. Take a trip to the San Diego Zoo
This list is shorter than the ones I've made in the past. Many of my goals are to spend time with my family and be healthier. My hope is that this year I will be able to cross every item off this list by December 31, 2017. 

You can always see my goals for this year and years past by clicking the Goals Tab at the top of the page, I try to keep it updated after I complete it,

What are your goals for this upcoming year? Do you have big plans or fun ideas? Share them with me, I would love to know!