Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Faith. Show all posts

Friday, June 12

He Knows

You can find this post on my new blog JessicaMWhite.comI'd love for you to join me over there.

Tuesday, May 5

Friday, February 27

Decisions on Schooling

One of the biggest things that has been on the discussion table for the past few weeks years is schooling for Avelyn. In NY schooling is not mandatory until the child is 6 years of age before December 1st. Last month we received the letters from our local school regarding Kindergarten enrollment and knew it was time to make a decision.

It was not an easy decision, as neither answer {homeschooling or public school} is without pros and cons. Matt and I literally sat down one Saturday afternoon and weighed every option and discussed the entire thing for 2 hours…I’m not kidding.

We talked about the logistics of schooling with a newborn and the triplets, from having the time to homeschooling, to getting Avelyn there and back every day for public schooling. We talked about what is best for her and her personality, what is best for me and my personality, and our personalities together. We talked about the monetary cost of homeschooling and the other costs of public schooling. It was not a decision that was reached lightly.

The biggest fact that made the decision somewhat easier to make, is that whatever we decided doesn’t have to be permanent. We’re not committing to anything for the next 12 years. We’re making a decision for this year, for one child. That’s it. Talk about taking a weight off your shoulders.

So what did we actually decide?

For this year, we’ll be homeschooling 1st grade.

This past school year we did a lot with and working on our own learning and LOTS of reading. I’ve compared what Avelyn is able to do with what is the requirements for Kindergarten in our area, and for the most part she’s spot on, and we still have 3 months of this “school year” to accomplish things.

The other part of the discussion was since we have decided to homeschool what are we teaching, what curriculum will we be using. My sister was homeschooled {I was not}, so I’m a bit more aware of the whole thing than most beginners {but not by much}. My mom always pulled together her own curriculums, but always enjoyed Sonlight for their reading and book lists. Last year I had purchased a bunch of the recommended readings for Avelyn for Preschool/Kindergarten and we’ve loved them all.

Matt and I checked out Sonlight’s catalog and were beyond impressed with the whole curriculum for 6 year olds {which Avelyn will be}. We also felt that this being our first year, with a newborn, and triplets, that having a whole curriculum and lessons planned out for us was our best bet. I just don’t know how much time I would have to figure out what we need to learn and a schedule; this will free me up to focus on what needs to be accomplished and give me a format to do it in.

Of course, I still have another 5 months to sit here and deliberate and hem-and-haw about the decision and whether we’re doing the right thing, but that’s just me. Deep down, I know, and Matt and I agree this is the best decision for us, for now. For right now, this is where we’re feeling our family to be led and knowing that God has it all in His hands, regardless of where our children are schooled.

Here’s to starting homeschooling in September!

Sonlight Blog Party

Monday, January 19

a Word for Every Year

Our Christmas Eve service was about a question the speaker had asked his son, about what is the most important thing to be taken away from Christmas. It isn’t getting the shopping or baking done, it’s not about the presents or anything else; it’s not even about a birth. It’s about what that birth meant, what that birth gave to the world. It gave us HOPE.

Hope | a Word for Every Year

Hope of salvation, hope for the future, hope in all things. Without that birth, there would be no hope in the world. We would exist in a superficial Hope | a Word for Every Year @LifeintheWhiteHouse.comand cyclical life, without any hope for something better or a purpose.

Now just how important is hope? Without hope, we have nothing to strive for in life, because without hope there’s no point. It is a life filled with heart-ache, difficulties and pain. We wouldn’t have hope that things can be better, that people can heal from sickness, that what we’re doing means anything.

Hope is such an important part of human nature that entire industries have been built upon it: Books, movies, clothing, cars, careers…you name it and it is probably founded upon the idea that people are hoping for something.

Obviously not everyone places their hope in Jesus and salvation; but even those self-serving hopes, that we all have, would no longer exist if it were not for His life and death. The world would already be cast into darkness, Satan would already be at the helm, and we would be bound for the fiery pit.

By now I’m sure most people have heard of The Lord of the Rings, written by J.R.R. Tolkien, and most have realized that Tolkien was a Christian, that the entire series of books is written on the premise of Hope.

Frodo is sent on a “fool’s hope” to destroy the ring and ultimately Sauron. There is a part at the end of movie, in which Samwise is asking Frodo, if he remembers the taste of food, and Frodo responds:

“I can't recall the taste of food... Nor the sound of water or touch of grass... I'm naked in the dark, with nothing. No veil between me and the ring of fire.”

That is life without hope: A life without any joy or pleasures at all. Before His birth there was the hope of His coming, after His resurrection there is hope without ceasing. Hope can be fleeting, for those who put their hope in things and circumstances, but there is nothing that can happen in this world that can remove our hope if we trust in Jesus and His truth.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10

Wednesday, October 8

Who is the Creator of Life?

I was reading a blog post the other day, which dealt with the idea of a designer God, designer babies, selective abortion, and several other trains of thought that devolved further into whether or not reproductive medicine has a place in the Christian world. Every paragraph I read, every comment, went further away from what the original article was about {how we’ve created for ourselves a “Designer God”…which I agree with} and more about the “proper” Christian stance on reproductive medicine.

The more I read, the hotter my face grew. Every comment became a new fuse lit in my bundle of dynamite, as people who have no idea about infertility, no idea about adoption, continued to express their opinions on those who pursue infertility treatment. Right down to the writer commenting that infertility treatment was abortion in reverse {still trying to wrap my head around that one}.

I know this common opinion has been expressed throughout the internets, that by seeking reproductive help people are playing God. That they are circumventing God’s will, by seeking treatment. Newsflash: THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD THAT CAN GO AROUND GOD’S WILL. NOTHING. End of story. Who is the Creator of Life?

My husband and I went through quite a bit trying to have kids…constantly worrying that we were somehow playing God. We prayed. We talked. We sought counsel from pastors. We asked that God take away our desire to have children. We looked at our alternatives. We came to one conclusion: There was nothing we could do that would force God’s hand. If having children through pregnancy was not in the cards for us, there was no treatment that we could do that would make it happen. ONLY GOD CAN CREATE LIFE!

People always figure, “why don’t they just adopt?!” People would…if it were that easy, but it isn’t. We had looked into adoption, but what most people don’t realize is that adoption costs money….a lot of money. It takes time….a lot of time. And the big thing…it isn’t guaranteed. There are so many children out there in need of a good home, and so many couples who desperately want to give them the home and love that they deserve, but you know what…the system is flawed and it doesn’t always happen.

To call infertility treatment “abortion in reverse” is disgusting: It is belittling of a very real and very serious epidemic in the world, the desire to END inconvenient life. It is an attempt to equivocate those who end life {which anyone can do} with those who SEEK to welcome new life. Yes, sadly, abortions do happen due to overly successful infertility treatments; but a lot more abortions happen on a whole without any relation to infertility treatment. To earmark couples who are struggling to create a family as kin to abortionists is….. I don’t have words, because the whole thing just makes me shake in anger.

The bottom line, and my wish for Christian couples struggling through infertility, who already feel guilty for their inability to conceive, and for those who think they understand infertility, and pass judgment on others who can’t get pregnant from sex: Only God can create life. That’s it. No one else. Pursuing infertility treatment no more makes that person a creator of life, than the person who has sex.

Every doctor will tell you the same thing. They can explain how life begins, the science behind it, the reasons why it may not work, the reasons why it may, but no one can re-create the exact moment in which life begins. All the pieces can be put together perfectly, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. Just ask all the heartbroken couples who have tried to have children, through reproductive medicine, only to be told that nothing happened.

It is not possible for man, in anyway, shape or form, to create life: It is not a gift that God has given to us. He has given us the knowledge and tools to make it possible, particularly for those who’s own bodies may not be able to, but to actually create life, to get those cells replicating and heartbeat fluttering that is a gift still held only by Him.

Monday, June 30

How to Have the BEST SUMMER YET!

You can find this post on my new blog, Click HERE.

Tuesday, May 13

The Lie

Has Satan ever told you a lie? Did you accept it as truth? Not doing what you felt you should be doing? Continuing on in fear because you were believing what he was saying? I have.

Most of my life I have not lived brave in God’s truth…I’ve cowered in fear, accepting Satan’s word as truth. Honestly, I think the first time I chose not to listen to Satan’s lies, to accept the truth that I am marked as Christ’s own, that He has a plan and a purpose for my life, was in pursuing fertility treatment to have children. The Lies

And it’s in that same area that Satan is trying to cow me once again.

But this time I can see it for what it is; this time, I didn’t back down. I saw it for what it was and prayed.

With everything that has been going on with my sister’s health, Satan has been whispering in my ear that I’m crazy for even thinking about welcoming a 5th child into this family, that there is no way in hell that I could handle it, that I’m not mom-enough to do the work, that we really only are surviving 4 kids because we got 3 of them out of the way at once {please don’t tell me I’m an incredible mom because of triplets…I’m not, I’m just a mom}. All of those things are lies.

I was in tears at the very thought of adding to our family. I was seriously questioning my sanity and my motivations for wanting another child. I had all but convinced myself that there was no way that we’d be having another child, because this is hard. And Matt just listened to all of it…knowing better than I.

Then His truth whispered like the gentle spring breeze into my heart…. “but it won’t be like this”.

And I cried some more, because it won’t be like this. It won’t be while living in my in laws basement {however nice it may be}, it won’t be my sister’s baby {while we we’re seriously worried about losing her}, it won’t be in the middle of a huge home renovation. It won’t be like this. It won’t be now. And in that I can take comfort. And even if it were, God would there.

Satan’s lies are one of the single most damaging things anyone faces. Even our children, no matter how small they are, Satan is already attacking them: Telling them they can’t do something, that mommy and daddy don’t love them when they’ve been disciplined, that there are monsters under the bed and things in the dark.

We need to see these lies for what they are: The wedge that Satan is trying to create between God and us. We are not called to live in fear; we are not meant to live a life filled with worry. Our God will only ever speak truth to us, and sometimes that truth will hurt, but it will never cause us to be fearful.

What is a lie that you’ve caught Satan telling you? What did you do about it?

Monday, May 5

Pride and Poopie Diapers

You can find this post on my new site, Click HERE.

Tuesday, April 22

Bring the Rain

Despite the sunny, warm weather this past weekend it poured: Buckets and buckets full. I woke up on Friday morning, thinking about the ensuing craziness of the weekend. Matt’s brother and his family would be visiting for Easter weekend, which meant that there would a total of 6 kids and 3 dogs, in addition to adults, tearing around the house all weekend.

I checked my email, “Dad is back in AFib”. I called my mom to find out what was going on. The game plan was to actually try the cardio-version {electric paddles to try and shock the heart back in rhythm} in the hospital later in the day. I talked to my mom around 4:30 and it didn’t work, but they were going to keep him overnight for observation and try some different meds.

My mom calls me around 8pm, “You’re sister is on the way to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain: Do you want to go with me?” Fortunately all the kids were in bed, there was tons of family around, and I walked out the door, fully expecting to be home before midnight. Not so.

My mom and I arrived in the ER around 9pm, to find my sister literally writhing in pain on a gurney, my nephew {who is only 4 weeks old} not happy, and his daddy really worried about the both of them. A little while later they send her in for a CATScan to see if she has appendicitis. We hang around the room waiting.

“We found something rather disconcerting in your CATScan.” Let me just say that is NOT something you want to hear…ever, but especially not at 10:3pm in an emergency room. There was air in my sister’s abdomen, which was causing all of her pain; however, they thought that perhaps her small intestine had been punctured and thus why there was air. Emergency surgery immediately.

4 hours later, at 4:10 am the surgeon comes out to talk to us: “We had to remove a foot of her small intestine. There was a stricture that was causing the intestine to swell and become blocked, leaking gas and waste into the body cavity, we also removed her appendix so that there is no question of appendicitis in the future: My assistant and I believe she has Crohn’s Disease.”


And just like that…the rain poured down: My father is in AFib, that was non-responsive to shock treatment and my sister had a foot of her intestine removed and may have Crohn’s. And I’ve already been on emotional overload between family visiting, kids that are torqued from our new living arrangements, and just a general chaos.

We were ushered into recovery, where my 21 year old sister lay in a bed, moaning in pain, tubes in her nose, her 4 week old baby cuddled sound asleep against my chest, completely unaware of how his world is about to be rocked. And the rain came down.

I went home. Slept for 2 hours, then proceeded with my day per usual; phone attached to my head talking to my mom, my dad, and every one else trying to figure out just what was going on with every one and keeping everyone else in the loop.

At 7:15, just after the triplets were in bed, my dad called asking me to come help him with my nephew {my mom had gone back to see my sister—the hospital is 45 minutes away}. Out the door I went again. But it was different.

The ride home later that night was different. Instead of fighting the torrents of rain and trying to figure out which way was up and which way was shore…I floated. I rested in the cool evenings setting sun. And there was peace.

In the rain I still couldn’t find the spoken words for prayers or praise, but there was Him and there was hope. Because in the black of that Friday and Saturday there was the hope of Sunday: While Satan may think he’s won the battle, he’s already lost the war. While we awaited the Resurrection morning, the Resurrection had already happened, 2000 years ago, and in that we were free.


As of today, my sister is doing better. She was finally able to sleep on Sunday afternoon, once they got her pain under control. My mom and I have been tag teaming childcare for my nephew. The hardest part for him is that he has been exclusively breastfed, and within hours he went from that, to bottles and formula, because of the medication and dyes they had to use for my sister. He’s a trooper though.

We received confirmation this afternoon that it is NOT Crohn’s Disease, but that they have no idea what is wrong and are sending it out for further testing.

My sister is really struggling with being away from her son, and stuck in the hospital; and her fiance is struggling with having to be at work, my sister being so sick, and not being around his son {while his mother is also very ill in a hospital 3 hours away}.

My dad is not well. The new meds they put him on making him feel absolutely terrible, and he’s also frustrated that the AFib episodes keep happening.

My mom is trying to keep them all together, and has to go back to work on Thursday.

I know your prayers have been flowing, those of you who follow me on Instagram knew last week what was happening; we so appreciate them and we still need so many more.

Wednesday, April 16

Scrubbing away the black…

Sharing this with you: A piece I wrote for our church newsletter this month.

In just a few more days it will be here: The blackness of Lent cast off in the full glory of Our Lord. Not just a man, but God who became man and died for us on the cross; and not only died, but conquered death and was resurrected. Who didn’t leave us in the blackness of the tomb, despairing, but brought us forth into the light, to the Son blazing in the sky brilliance.

The question is this: Have you done anything to deserve this kind of saving? Dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts of being a “good Christian”? Read your Bible? Tithed? Attended services? Never judged? Gave to the poor? Helped the sick?

I know I haven’t. None of us deserve to be taken out of the blackness of the tomb. Because that tomb is our own hearts. No matter what Scrubbing Away the Black: Resurrection Day and Clean Hearts at we DO, our hearts are still black; there is no amount of scrubbing we can do to unblacken them. There is not a person in all creation that has a clean heart, a heart that has not offended or been offended, felt unloved or withheld love, caused hurt or been hurt.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a
right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10

Our hearts can only be cleaned by God. By Jesus, becoming the absolution for all who follow Him. And in that moment of taking our sins not only destroy them, but death. In Him, in His Death, in His Resurrection we have become clean.

Will we falter? Will we still be human and be hurt and hurt others? And NOT live to His glory? Absolutely. But that’s not an excuse, that’s a fact. We are human, we cannot save ourselves. Only our God can save us, and He did.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do
I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Romans 7:15

However, that doesn’t give us the Get Out of Jail-Free card, to say we love Jesus, but live for ourselves. It gives us the chance to put ourselves aside and show those around us a man who died for all others, when He himself was without blame. To admit when we were wrong, when we have wronged, and when we have been wronged. To forgive, to love, to continually extend our hand in Jesus’ name. To pursue rather than persecute.

This is why the Resurrection Day is of utmost importance, because it isn’t about Spring or candy. It is about life being made anew. And not just any life, but our lives. Our lives being led from the darkness into the light, by the only who has the map, who IS the map.

“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 NIV

While the fuzzy bunnies and speckled eggs are cute, Easter is about so much more than new dresses and bonnets. It’s about God, OUR God, coming to earth as man, living the life we’re incapable of, dying the death we deserve, and at the end of it all saying: I have conquered death, that you may have life eternal in Me.

Wednesday, March 26

Raising Generations Today

This past weekend, amidst the chaos that seems to be my life, I had an oasis. A few hours in which I was able to just be, to listen, to talk, to love and be loved, by other moms. If you didn’t make it to Raising Generations Today this past weekend, I am so sorry that you missed it and you can be sure I will let you know when tickets for next year go on sale.

What is Raising Generations Today {or RGT}? Or #RGTHope on Twitter and Instagram.


It’s a conference in Upstate NY for Moms, birthed from the dream of a friend of mine, September McCarthy. A dream, that the generations will draw together, supporting and loving each other as we raise our children to love the Lord. It was, in a word, incredible; as I knew it would be. Knowing September’s heart for her children, for motherhood, for moms, and for the Lord, I knew that this weekend would be nothing less than Christ’s love for moms.

Now I will share my weekend with you.

My mom was supposed to be going with me, but that didn’t happen. The day before we were to leave, my dad was still in A-Fib after 4 days, and my mom decided that she needed to be home with him. A few hours after that decision was made, my sister {who was due this past weekend} went into labor.

Between me and some other moms, we were able to convince my friend and neighbor to go in my mother’s place.

I left home on Friday morning, stopping at my parents’ to give my little sister hugs and love before heading out.

In the afternoon, soon after I arrived in Corning, NY {about a 2 hour drive for me}, I was wrapped in a bear hug by the always exuberant and smiling face of a dear friend, her sweet little peanut smooshed between us. It was the first time in days that I felt at peace and loved.

We were able to chat and catch up for a few hours before the rest of my group arrived. It was time much needed, for me, to vent, to talk, to just release so much of what had been holed up in my heart these past few weeks {poor Trina and her friend Claire}, and to be filled with much wisdom that I needed to hear.

Prayer Room

On Friday afternoon I attended a session with Shaun Groves about Depression. I think, to some degree, we all struggle with the hands we are dealt with in life, and trying to find God in them. His session spoke to my heart and what I was floundering with. There was so much truth and raw honesty in his words. Words I needed to hear and be reminded of. If you ever have the chance to hear Shaun speak, take it…you will not be disappointed.

My group, M, S, and R, arrived just in time for dinner {which was delicious!}. After dinner September spoke, sharing her Hope for the weekend, her vision, and her heart for all us moms. It was incredible. And followed by worship led by Shaun. Afterward R and I had Early Bird tickets which meant we were part of a small group of Moms who would get to spend some DSC_0210time with September and Lisa-Jo Baker {one of my favorite moms and bloggers}.

We got some special swag at the party, including cupcakes, a t-shirt, and a book. And we got a ton more swag just for attending the conference! And I gifted myself several books written by the speakers as well {Books are my love-language!}

Saturday morning we had breakfast {which was delicious}, followed by worship in the ballroom. One of the things I LOVED at RGT was the way that worship was worked through the entire weekend, not just at the end of the day.

I attended my first session of the day which was Hope for the Weary Mom with Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker: The pleasure of which I had to introduce them. They broke Hope into an acronym, which I loved:

H-Honestly admit where you are.
O-Openly invite Him into your mess.
P-Pray continuously: Your sons and daughters need someone to fight for the, that person is YOU. Your prayers will never be wasted on your child.
E-Encourage your heart with God’s word. His word exists to give us hope {Romans 15}

It was a great session!

Lunch was delicious {salad and baked potato bar}! September’s children Sang the Word for us during lunch, which was such a pleasure and treat! After lunch Lisa-Jo Baker spoke. This woman defies description. I have met her several times, between Allume and RGT, and every time I have chatted with her she is just so warm and loving and real. This was the first time that I really got to listen to her as a speaker.

She spoke to the hearts of moms, offering Hope and a God who loves us, and is in every thing that is happening in our lives. Who calls us to rest in Him, to fight for our children, and to love them.


In the afternoon I attended Faith Bogdan’s session about the early years, our identities as moms and how we’re not defined by what we accomplish. It was a really great session too, I don’t have any notes on it though, since I was late and had to stand in the doorway.

Afterward, we had a few more minutes to walk around and check out the vendors, before our final farewell. It was a great weekend, spent with some wonderful ladies.


During the course of the weekend there was exciting things happening elsewhere: On Friday afternoon a new mom was birthed, just as the conference was beginning. My new nephew, Oliver Rhys, was welcomed into the world, by his mom and dad, and my mom at 2:26pm.


As for next year’s conference….you can bet that I’ll be sharing here when tickets go on sale. And you can bet that they’re going to be sold out really fast…so please, if you have any inclination of going, get your ticket early. If you end up not being able to go I’m sure there will be moms looking for tickets last minute. If you know of a mom who would be blessed by such a weekend, but wouldn’t be able to go due to finances, get them a ticket.

Friends, you can guarantee that I’m going to be harassing you to order your tickets…ASAP.

And yes, I finally got to snuggle my nephew on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, March 24

Provisions and Promises

I started this post last week, before the crazy started again this past weekend: I’ll leave it as it was.
This past weekend is another post, for another day

Things have settled down a bit from last week. At the very least we’ve gathered our wits about us a bit more and don’t feel like we’re swimming in quicksand.  One of the things I’ve been asking myself is just why is it so hard to remember God’s Provisions and Promises: God's Faithfulness During Times of Struggle at LifeintheWhiteHouse.compromises when the proverbial hits the fan?! While the answer is easy {Satan}, that doesn’t make it any easier to remember it, at least not for me.

Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave your or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:7-8

Be strong. Be courageous. That’s easy enough to do when I’ve got my head on straight and time to think. Even off the cuff, I’m pretty able to keep it together. I’m one of those people who cases a place when I get there…where are the exits? what are the possible situations? I do the same thing in the car or in traffic. I am the epitome of crisis management’s “be prepared”. But even them, I’m relying on me, what I am capable of, and forgetting the only one I should rely on.

It’s hard to remember that God’s got this, regardless of what “this” is. It’s even harder when you feel like God’s let you down, and that’s how I felt that Friday. While the fire was devastating, and many things were lost, and it was another punch to the gut about the building permit and car, my real struggle was with God.

I had been fervently in prayer for the past 12 hours, for our building permit, for our family and for others. Now, before you think that I have this convoluted idea that just because I had prayed means that I think God’s in my court, I don’t. Just as often as the answers may be what I want, sometimes they’re just not. What left me feeling the most deflated was knowing that despite my faithfulness, prayers weren’t answered, and things unforeseen happened {the house fire and the deer}.

My faithfulness, like God goes about rewarding those who have dotted the Is and crossed the Ts on the Christian-To-Do-List. Ha! HE is the one that is faithful, not me. I have no idea what it even means to be faithful: There is only one who is faithful. Regardless of how faithful anyone else on this planet is, there is no one who is as Faithful as God.

He is faithful to the end: His promises and goodness will last forever. Long after I’ve been forgotten. And that’s what I’ve been clinging to: His goodness, His faithfulness, His promise.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

And that’s what I need to remember. This isn’t about me, it isn’t about what I think God should have done. It’s about what God has already done, in and for me: Claiming me as His own, and sending His son to die in my place. It’s about what God will do, what He has promised to me over and over again.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-12

How hard it is to remember that no matter what, God has already provided for our every need and that he will continue to do so, whether it’s our salvation or our sustenance. That He promises to be our refuge and our protection, to never, ever forsake us.

Friday, January 24

Tuesday, December 31

Blog Posts of 2013–The Best of

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013 - The Best of

I thought it would be fun to finish the year with a Top 10 listing of my most popular and favorite posts!

 Gwynnie Bee—“The Netflix of Plus Size Fashion”

A while back I saw an ad on Facebook about plus size fashion. I clicked over, which I never do in Facebook, because Lord knows if it’s a virus or whatever else on there, and was pleasantly surprised. Gwynnie Bee is pretty fantastic. Isigned up for a free month trial, just around my sister in law’s wedding, so that if I needed some nicer clothes I had the option to get some things from Gwynnie Bee.
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Reverse Hospitality: Bringing the Blessings to Them

I’ve stolen this phrase from a friend, because I love it! I love welcoming people into my home. I’ve somehow managed to get over the fact that my house needs to be perfect to entertain {this has only been by God’s grace and 4 kids}. I have yet to decided whether this is a good thing or not; I fear I may have become too lax in this department now.
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The Dry-Skin Dilemma

As much as I love winter, my skin doesn’t. Between the cold weather, washing my hands 50 times a day, and hot forced air heating…my skin gets dry. Fortunately not dry and cracked, but dry and very itchy, to the point of being painful.
I used to use Bath and Body Works Shea Butter, it comes in a big blue tube and would cost around $20 {I’m sure it’s more now}. The stuff worked great, but it’s expensive and had a bunch of other things in it that I wasn’t too comfortable with using on the kids.
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W.I.P Wednesday – Heartland BOM Quilt

The past few weeks {here and here} I’ve been posting about the Heartland Heritage Block of the Month kit that I got from, eons ago {seriously I think I got it at least 5 years ago…I know it was before I was pregnant with Ave}. Well, today I am pleased to say that I have finished the top: YAY!!!!
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What 17 Days without Hot Water Will Teach You….about yourself.

It’s been a week now, that we’ve had hot water again. I’m going to admit it, I’m guilt of thoroughly enjoying having running hot water. No more lugging a 7 gallon pot around the house to bath 4 kids at once. No more sponge baths over the shallow sink because I just didn’t feel like loading everyone up to drive somewhere to shower. No more scalding my hands while trying to wash dishes in a bowl.
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From Busy to Blessing– An Introduction

“I don’t know how you find the time?!”
“I wish I had skills like that!”
“I could never be that organized.”

Ever heard these things? I have. And I don’t deserve such praise. See, I’m not all that organized and I really don’t find the time. I’m rather lazy when it comes to serving others, particularly when they’re in my own family.

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Embracing Beauty When You’re a Plus Size Gal

I’m going to tell you a story, about 2 little girls…

Once upon a time there were two little girls, more a like than they realized. One was dressed in long denim skirts, with long sleeve tops, her hair pulled back in a braid; the other was dressed in Adidas tear-away pants, a Korn t-shirt, pumas and a pony tail. What on earth could these two girls, approaching adulthood have in common. Neither of them were dressing for themselves, and neither of them had a clue of what that look should be.
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Giving Loneliness a Name {part 1}

I mentioned during my review of Desperate, that I’ve been struggling with something. I’m not even sure how to explain what it is, but I guess the best word for it is loneliness. I’ve struggled with even writing this post for some time, because it isn’t any thing that someone has said or done that has made me feel lonely and I certainly don’t want someone to take this personally.
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Mamas its OK…

Maybe you’ve spent years and thousands to have that little one your holding, maybe you just wanted to be a mom and it happened, maybe you weren’t planning on being a mom, but it happened anyways. No matter, I want to tell you something…it’s ok to get tired of it sometimes. To get tired of the demands, the discipline, the whining, the not being able to just do “whatever” for dinner. It’s ok.
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Thoughts on Creativity

Over the last few years, and more this past year, a handful of people have told me that my children should be my priority, that this is not the season for me to spend frivolous time on my writing {and blogging}, sewing, photography or reading {for fun} or any other non-necessary creative endeavor. That I somehow am doing wrong by my children, if I continue to pursue these avenues.
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I hope you enjoy this trip down “Memory Lane”….there were a few pieces this year that I was proud of and some that just blew me away with how they struck others. Be sure to share this with your friends and others.


Thursday, December 19

Thursday, December 5

Friday, November 22

Truth in the Tinsel

This post contains affiliate links: Click here for my disclosure policy.

This is the first year, that Avelyn is really old enough to get involved in crafts and projects that involve scissors, glue and other dangerous materials. A few years ago I had heard of Truth in the Tinsel, and was interested in it. Last year I bought a copy and decided we would do it, then I looked at the list of materials and kind of got overwhelmed: It didn’t happen.truthinthetinsel-leaderboard

This year, I decided I was going to take my time and really put the effort into preparing for Truth in the Tinsel, which is what I’m doing now! There’s a whole ‘nother week to get ready for Advent and the Christmas celebrations! Yesterday, I sat down with my printed out copy and set to looking at Truth in the Tinsel and organizing what materials we need to get, but I got overwhelmed again.

I love crafts. Crafting is one of my FAVORITE things to do; with a 4 year old, not so much. Then I read the last page of Amanda White’s {not a relative} ebook, and that clinched it. I don’t NEED another thing to feel like we HAVE to do this Christmas. I don’t NEED another thing to feel guilty about because I DIDN’T DO it. We can do Truth in the Tinsel and NOT let it take over Christmas, and not feel guilty because we accomplish the entire thing! Wooo! That made me feel a bit better.

So what are we doing?cover-230x300

I’m going to see to it that we have some of the materials on hand {we have a good portion of them} for the ornaments in Truth in the Tinsel. There were a few projects in there that I really liked, about half, which is a decent number to do, without leaving my head spinning.

I spent maybe 10 minutes reading through the supply lists, looking at each day, and deciding what I wanted to do. If the bathroom is your quiet place {it’s not mine, with 4 pairs of eyes looking over the gate} or maybe you can sneak into the pantry, go for it, spend a few minutes and just look at what is doable for you.

If you want to do something but not sure what, check out pinterest; there are tons of ideas for things on there. If you really just want to focus on doing a reading each day with the kidlets, but need something to keep them entertained, Amanda came up with this last year, printable ornaments for  Truth in the Tinsel.

These are awesome because they take ALL the pressure off: Print them out, hand them to the kids to decorate {crayons, paint, glitter}, string’em up, and DONE! I plan on doing these for the days that I don’t want to get into a huge project. Voila! You have fun ornaments to go along with the story, with zero effort.

I’ve recently been indoctrinated as the Sunday School teacher in our church, please, hold your applause. I plan on taking 4 elements from Truth in the Tinsel, and matching them up with a craft project for us to do during the 4 Sundays of Advent. Hopefully it works out and the kids enjoy it!

I think the most important thing for all of us parents to remember during this time of year is that it’s not about doing or perfection. If we do nothing more than talk to our kids, read to them, share with them the why and WHO of this season, the Lord with surely bless that.

You can pick up your copy of Truth in the Tinsel HERE, and the Truth in the Tinsel Ornament Printables HERE.
If you or your church are interested in a full out curriculum for Sunday School, youth groups or small groups, you can find Truth in the Tinsel Church Curriculum HERE.

Visit if you need some of the supplies to do the projects.

Friday, August 9

Monday, July 29

Flat Tires and God

This past weekend the kids and I decided to go out for the day. We got the car loaded with all that we would need and off we went. Matt’s been busy with fair related things, whether for us or helping out his dad, and there is only so much that mama can handle before it becomes necessary to get out and do something different.

The car was stocked with snacks and water, as well as our jerry-rigged ipad for viewing pleasure, and we were off! The trip to and fro was uneventful. We had our share of melt downs, lack of sleep, and food and sippy cups thrown around the inside of the car {WHY IS THAT?!} . We pulled into the driveway just in time for bed. All in all a successful day that everyone enjoyed!

road trip 1

Fast forward to Sunday morning.

Matt was out of the house early and doing, you guessed it, more fair stuff. He walked in the back door around 10:30. “Did you know you have a flat tire?”


“Well, you do. Completely flat.”

photoLovely. We walked outside together and sure enough, not just flat…riding on the rim, flat. Matt got the tire off and there was a small puncture. I had heard something at one point on the way home, a little while later the pressure light came on, I stopped and checked, but didn’t see anything. We had managed to get home long before it went flat.

I can’t even tell you how HUGE a blessing it was and how IMMENSE God’s care for us was. I know how to change a tire, but changing a tire on the side of a busy highway, with 4 little ones in the car, was NOT something I wanted to do. And I didn’t have to. God completely kept us in his care, carefully bringing us home.

Prayer. Plain and simple. All of it, was an answer to prayer.

Friday, June 28

What 17 Days without Hot Water Will Teach You….about yourself.

It’s been a week now, that we’ve had hot water again. I’m going to admit it, I’m guilt of thoroughly enjoying having running hot water. No more lugging a 7 gallon pot around the house to bath 4 kids at once. No more sponge baths over the shallow sink because I just didn’t feel like loading everyone up to drive somewhere to shower. No more scalding my hands while trying to wash dishes in a too-small bowl.

Most people can sympathize with what it would be like to be a few days, maybe even a week, without hot water…while not camping. Most people have probably experienced that at some point in their lives. An inconvenience, yes, but nothing earth shattering.

Two and half weeks though…with 4 kids….with cloth diapers: Now that’s a different story.
Interestingly enough I heard more than one time how “well” I was taking this whole thing of no hot water.
Here’s my question: How should I have taken it?

Would I have seemed more “normal” if I had ranted and raved about the injustice of no hot water? If I had stormed out of house refusing to reenter until civility had been returned? Should I have cast my husband from our marriage bed because he couldn’t {notice I said couldn’t, not wouldn’t} prioritize waters return?

No Hot Water3
Was it hard to have no hot water? Yea, it was. Was it impossible? No. Did I get frustrated and mad? Yes I did. Did I remain constantly at peace with not being able to wash my hands, easily, while preparing meals? No, I didn’t.

So, what did I learn from all of this about myself. I can manage. I can make a choice to not be negative and demeaning to my husband who was trying his very best to work a job, solve our problem, and not spend a fortune on repairs {which we ended up having to do anyways}. I can make a choice to carry on, life as usual, without letting my children see how we SHOULDN’T respond to the inconveniences in our lives. I can make a choice to look at the bright side, and praise the Lord that we at least had clean, running water.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The bottom line….regardless of any situation, I have a choice, a choice to choose how I react to the unexpected, to the inconveniences. Yes, I could have run around bad mouthing my husband, decrying the injustice of 4 kids and no hot water, and most people wouldn’t have thought I was out of line. Most people would have thought that response was natural, expected and completely OK. Instead…I laughed.

After attempt after attempt to fix, replace, and buy a new hot water heater, ended again and again with no hot water. I laughed. Because it was just so ludicrous that every single thing was not working; there was nothing more to do than laugh. {Don’t get me wrong there were a few strained looks and words between Matt and I…we’re not perfect}.

We have a choice, we always do, even if that choice is not always the easiest to follow through with, we do have a choice.  A choice to model grace for  those around us: Grace not only for the people around us, but for the circumstances we are in. <---- a="" href="" nbsp="" target="_blank">Tweet This!

Of course this week has been so hot and humid, I’ve done nothing but take cold showers anyways :-) But, Lord knows I’m thankful for being able to wash those stinky diapers.

What inconvenient situations have you been in that you responded differently than how others thought you should?