Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing. 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.

Monday, May 25

Show YOURSELF Some Grace

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

Tuesday, May 5

Monday, April 20

You are not alone…

This week marks National Infertility Awareness Week, and this years theme is ‘You Are Not Alone’; which is one of the hardest things to remember when you’re dealing with infertility. When it seems like the world is filled with carefree bumps, there are tears and fears that you will never be one of them.

Seven years ago.....

You can find the rest of this post on my new

Wednesday, March 18

Monday, February 2

The Hardest Thing {of Motherhood}

                                    “People who choose to use formula are lazy.”

                                                                                            “Breastfeeding in public is disgusting.”

                                   “Sending your kids to public school is like sending them to a cult.”

                                                                                          “Homeschooling your kids is like being part of a cult.”

                                    “Parents who don’t pay for their kids’ college education are selfish.”

                                                                                          “Parents who pay for their kids’ college education are ridiculous.”The Hardest Thing of Motherhood

Lovely statements, aren’t these? That’s what I see on Facebook, what I hear in groups of moms: People expressing their opinions without any consideration as to what choices others have made in their life, or why, without any consideration as to how they may be hurting others.

Motherhood is hard. Parenting is hard. It is the hardest thing we will ever do. We have been given a little person for whom we have to make EVERY decision, to the best of OUR knowledge, regarding their daily well being and the things that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

The majority of parents don’t take the responsibility of parenthood lightly. Vast amounts of time is spent researching, considering, thinking, researching again, questioning, and seeking guidance. Decisions are not made haphazardly.

The hardest thing I’ve faced in motherhood is other MOTHERS: The cattiness, the comments, the judging, they hurt {no matter what the topic}. This mothering thing…it’s tough! We’re so quick to bash those who do differently than us, so quick to put hurtful words in the ears of other moms, moms who are struggling just as much as the next mom with doing what they think is right for their children.

“For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”
Romans 2:1

I can’t help but think that the ONLY reason why anyone does it is because they don’t realize how hurtful it is, because I would hate to think it’s because they believe that cutting comments are OK to make or will somehow get people to change. If our children behaved in this manner we would not accept their behavior, they would be called what they are…bullies.

Rather than assuming, especially while in a group, that everyone there shares the same opinions take the road of humility: Keep ones mouth closed! Fingers off the keyboard! No one wants to be beaten over the head, repeatedly, by those they come in contact with, that the decisions they’ve made for their children are wrong {based on the opinions of others} and that they are horrible parents who should have their children absconded by Big Brother. Honestly, whatever is being said isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, but it can and will hurt them.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1

I don’t care whether the topic is education, vaccines, daily care, food, or anything else; there is NEVER a reason to be NASTY to other women. There is NEVER a time that it is acceptable to berate other women as being trend following idiots or uneducated. There is ALWAYS a time to extend grace and love and knowledge to our sisters  {and brothers}, from a place of mutual respect and humility. There is ALWAYS a time to remember that we’re ALL just trying to make the best decisions we can.

“Encourage one another and build one another up…” 
1 Thessalonions 5:11

If you’re speaking out of pride, rather than humility, it’s nothing good. If you’re speaking intentionally to hurt others, it’s nothing good. Let’s lift each other up, keep matters of opinion {because, lets be honest…all topics are a matter of opinion} to ourselves in mixed company and social media, instead of hurting people with, what I will assume to be, careless words.

Motherhood is hard. We’re all doing the best that we can with the best that we have. Let’s rise up together and support one and other, instead of hurting and bringing each other down.

*I found this video the other day, which sums it all up perfectly! Yes, it is a commercial for Si.milac {and no I don’t agree with the breastfeeding bashing} but the premise is the same. It’s not a Hate-Debate….it’s motherhood and none of us are qualified for the job.

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

Monday, January 5

State of the Blog—2015

Have you read this post yet, by Tsh Oxenreider of The Art of Simple….go read it, it’s awesome, but stay here and read this first. Blogging is changing. Has been changing for quite some time. I noticed it myself, especially this past year. People don’t read blogs anymore and if they do, they’re reading from a phone or tablet, that doesn’t make commenting all that easy. Then there is the whole thing with Instagram and micro-blogging: Why spend hours looking at blogs when you can just take a gander at a convenient feed to find out what people are up to?! I get it. I’m guilty of this myself. State of the Blog

See, something happened in Blog-World: It became very commercial. There was a lot less of life and stories and a lot more of how-tos, do this, and don’t do that, from people who didn’t give you a glimpse into what their reality was, because it became a business. I got enough guilt in my life without seeing everything I should be doing or not doing, without knowing just what someone else is not doing to tell me what I need to do {Phew! Got all that?!}

All of this is because of the endless list of things that bloggers get “told” that they have to do…I’m not even sure by whom. Last year I kissed social media goodbye for several months, this year I’ve had enough of it again. Facebook is a losing battle, there is no way to win at it, because I don’t have the time to dedicate to keeping a page updated AND keep on top of the games that they play. I still love Pinterest and Instagram, and that’s what I want to do this year….WHAT I LOVE. You can see there’s already been some changes around the blog this past weekend: There’s no more links for the social media I don’t like to use.

All this to say that I need to simplify my own life. I love blogging. I love sharing pictures and ideas and words with you, but honestly I don’t even know who you are anymore; there’s certainly not much traffic coming here every day or comments. And I think I’m ok with that…I’m going to HAVE to be ok with that, because nothing I’ve tried over the past year to grow my blog has helped :-)

Going forward…

I may or may not be changing my domain url this year. At the end of 2014 I made it a point to get my URL out of google’s control {still using blogger though}, and at the same time I purchased {I purchased both through}. I’d love to move to wordpress and self host my blog, but I do not have the extra money to do that.

I may or may not be blogging on a regular schedule. For the past few years I’ve tried to do a rotating schedule of MWF/TTh, but that just hasn’t happened lately. I’m not going to be choking up your email inboxes with posts, but I am going to try and be a bit more regular {I’m shooting for 2 posts a week}.

Now I have some questions for you, and I really want you to take them to heart and share with me. I started a blog because of infertility, obviously I don’t come across as a legit infertile anymore {something about having 4 kids}, but I’ve refrained from blogging more about parenting for several reasons. One being that the few readers I do have were/are infertile and I don’t want to alienate them, two being that I feel nowhere near qualified to write anything about having kids. So I’ve avoided it, other than updates on the kids {which I do for myself}.

I have several book ideas rambling around in my head, from a parenting book {yea, I know what I just said} to a freebie Christmas cookie recipe book to some fiction to I don’t know what. I highly doubt I’ll get any of those written this year, but maybe I can start with some series posts.

Here are the questions:

*Do you like giveaways? What kind of giveaways?
{I have a ton of ebooks that I have in a stash to give away}.

*What things would you like me to blog about?
{Any topics in particular, questions you have, post topics you’ve enjoyed over the years, product reviews from our kitchen renovations, source posts etc…anything?}

*Would you be interested in a private Facebook group over a Facebook page?
{I’d love to build a community with you, but I know that blogs are limited…especially in regards to creating a conversation}.

*What is your preferred social media form?
{Do you prefer things to be in your inbox or through instagram, pinterest etc? Can I follow you?}

*What can I do to better serve and bless you?
{I don’t want this to be a place you stop in occasionally, I truly want us to be friends. I want to meet you where you are, with what you need.}

If you want, email me: 

I hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, December 2

When You Don’t Know What to Say

Last month was a really hard time for several of my friends, all of them for the same thing…the hope and loss of a new life. While it isn’t some special awareness day for those who have babies in Heaven, it is a day that I want to share the memories of their little ones, because each of those little ones was desperately loved, desperately wanted, and is desperately missed.

The most public of these stories is that of my friend Natasha. Natasha and her husband had hoped to bring home a precious baby girl later this winter, but it wasn’t to be. Hearts broke and questions were raised to Heaven. Unfortunately, so many of the hardest things in our lives have questions that we won’t have answered for many years, but even in that we know God’s Truth.

I know for myself I struggle with what to say, what to do for these precious friends who are walking a valley that I have never experienced. So I do the only thing I know to do: Pray. Because where I fail as a friend, God will never fail. He knows their needs, He knows how to comfort, because he knows the loss of a child. Just as His heart broke for His son, my friends’ hearts are breaking for their children.

I ask you today, would you please lift my friends and their families up, while they are mourning not only the child who was, but the child who would have been.


I do want to share some of Natasha’s writings from the past few months with you, you can find them below.

A Pearl of Great Price {Natasha’s sharing of their loss}
WordSnacks: Bite-sized Devotionals for Your Hungry Moments {The words penned by Natasha during the nights waiting and praying}
Pain Redeemed {when our deepest sorrows meet God} {Natasha’s words of God’s redemptive power}

Monday, November 3

America and the Stay at Home Parent {psst…it’s not what you think}

This past weekend the internet has been a-buzz with the words of Mr. Obama regarding stay at home parents, specifically moms, and how that’s not a choice he wants Americans to be making. While insult and offense are the common response from the Stay at Home Community…I have a different perspective, and it’s probably NOT what you expect.

America and the Stay at Home ParentI know the majority were upset at the trivialization of the Stay at Home Parent, by Mr. Obama on the 31st during his speech at Rhode Island College. I say just the opposite is true: Mr. Obama, and the government, absolutely, hands-down realizes the importance of a parent who stays home with their child, and that’s why they don’t want you to do it. If they can guilt and shame people into believing that their decision to stay at home is negatively affecting them personally and the community as a whole, they win.

Why would the government want a parent home with their child? Someone who is in control of the information that child receives, the activities they are involved in, the people they are in contact with, 24/7? Why would they want a parent home with their child, when they could be out working and paying taxes on their earnings? Stay at home parents are one of the biggest threats to the political agenda.

Mr. Obama does not value the stay at home parent, he values what that parent is capable of doing {raising their child with possibly counter-culture morals and beliefs} and that’s dangerous to the political agenda, because what you believe and what the government believes are probably not the same. Secondly, if you’re at home you’re not making money, and they want your tax dollars to further those agendas.

In case you haven’t noticed, America is not family friendly. We have the worst paternity and maternity laws in the world, we penalize parents who have to take time from work to give birth or care for sick children; this is not a society that respects and honors the importance of a parent {values yes, respects no}. The government very much realizes the importance of a parent being present in a child’s life as their primary caregiver {primary referring to the number of waking hours a child spends with someone}, and they don’t like it.

For years, people have lobbied for better laws and policies regarding a parents availability to care for their children, without being punished, and for years those policies have been caught up in paperwork, never coming to fruition, because the government doesn’t want them to. {FYI If the government wants something to happen, it happens.} Mr. Obama even directly tugged on these heart-strings during his speech, saying, as so many before him have, that this needs to change.

I know this all sounds conspiracy-theorist and that we all want to think our elected officials are following our will and have our best at heart, but they don’t, and I don’t think many people truly believe they do. The government doesn’t want you home raising your children, they want your kids in preschool as soon as possible so they can begin raising your child with their beliefs. They want you back in the work force so that you don’t have the availability to be directly involved with every facet of your child’s upbringing, and they want your tax dollars. Plain and simple.

The bottom line is this: Parents if you were able to make the sacrifices to stay home with your children, don’t feel disheartened, don’t feel that your “job” doesn’t have value, because it does. Stay at Home Parents: Your job is the most valuable job in America, raising and instructing today’s youth for tomorrow’s world, and Mr. Obama knows it. There is no one else on this planet who is better capable of raising your child, no one knows your child better, no one wants what’s best for your child more, and don’t ever let anyone tell you that’s not true.

*Here’s my disclaimer, because I know I need to say it: I am not seeking to offend working parents or say that they are not in control of their children and the stream of information they receive, or that they are less aware of their child, and I apologize if I have. I know that many parents work out of necessity and would love to stay at home with their children, but that it’s not an option for them. I know many parents work full time and are successfully raising their children in their family’s morals and beliefs. I am specifically addressing Mr. Obama’s comments regarding stay at home parents.

**PS. I also apologize for getting political. It doesn’t always happens, but sometimes it does.

Monday, June 30

How to Have the BEST SUMMER YET!

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

Wednesday, June 25

Highly Sensitive People
Figuring out if you are an HSP and what to do about it.

It’s suddenly a hot-topic on the internet: Whether or not someone is in fact a Highly Sensitive Person and how they should deal with it if they are. Until a few months ago, I’d never even heard the term, and just figured I was an overly sensitive individual.

I’ve been told that I’m too sensitive, that I take things too much to heart; I’ve received eye-rolls when I’ve commented on strong smells {that no one else could smell} or didn’t like how a certain lotion felt. Over the years I’ve adapted, basically by keeping my mouth closed and my thoughts and comments to myself.
  Highly Sensitive People: Figuring out if you are an HSP and what to do about it.
I’ve always just figured I was an oddball, and never given much credence to how things affected me. {In the spirit of full disclosure: I am still very much an oddball, despite being an HSP}.

A few months ago, another blogger had instagram’d a book called “The Highly Sensitive Person”; so I got it, and started reading it. And soon realized that there was an actual, official name for how I respond to things. I am a Highly Sensitive Person {or HSP}. It was a revelation!

I haven’t changed myself since reading the book or put myself in therapy, or ever felt that I was inferior to anyone else, but it’s been kind of freeing to realize that there’s a reason for why I am the way I am, and that it’s not a bad thing.

What is a Highly Sensitive Person?

An HSP is someone who experiences things on a more intense level than others. They don’t have more sensitive emotions or skin or hearing or smell or anything else, but their brains process those things more intensely than the average person’s does. For me, that means I am very overwhelmed about smells and noises around me, by how things feel on my skin {particularly my hands and feet}, and by how other people react to me and the world around us.

Here’s where it’s tricky.

While I am overwhelmed by these things, and they can distract me, they don’t consume {for me} my focus. I can be overwhelmed by a noise or smell, and still be perfectly capable of functioning, most HSPs have learned how to cope with these things. However, there are times that whatever is affecting me, is affecting me to the point that I am unable to focus on what I’m doing, at least until I figure out what it is.

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?

While the book is a great source of information, it was a bit of a drawn-out read, for me: I wasn’t very dedicated to it. It did have a ton of information about figuring out IF you’re a HSP, how family and friends can be better able to understand HSPs, and how to deal with being one if you haven’t done so in a particularly healthy manner.

Here’s the general breakdown on figuring out if you are an HSP: Does the world around you, on a fairly regular basis, overwhelm your senses? It doesn’t matter if it’s sight, sound, taste, touch, or hearing. It can be all of them, it can be none of them, it can be as simple as having a hard time adjusting to changes around you or feeling stressed for no known reason. If so, you’re probably an HSP, to some degree.

The other book, The Highly Sensitive Child, has helped me to really see my children, and realize that 3 of them are highly sensitive people {still figuring out that 4th one}. The author gives a lot of insight into what most people would consider “problem children”, that are really just highly sensitive kids, and need things to be presented differently to them.

What does it mean to be a Highly Sensitive Person going forward?

The bottom line, there isn’t anything wrong with me or anyone else who is an HSP; we just happen to process things differently than most people. While some cultures embrace the highly sensitive person as a well rounded individual, our cultural has demoted sensitivity to be more of a nuisance, thus why many HSPs are perceived as the odd-duck. But we can also benefit from being an HSP, because we experience things much more deeply than others {for myself it’s colors, smells, sounds}.

Over the past 32 years I’ve just learned how to cope with how I perceive the world around me. Giving yourself a lot of grace is a big part of being an HSP: Understanding how best to take care of yourself and deal with the things that make you sensitive. Obviously we can’t control everything, but I think knowing what’s affecting us, can make it easier for us to deal with those things that we can’t change.

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? What things have helped you?

Other resources for Highly Sensitive People:
16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People
15 Tips for Highly Sensitive Parents
The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron {Affiliate Link}
The Highly Sensitive Child be Elaine Aron {Affiliate Link}
FYI: I’m not a doctor, I’m just sharing what I’ve recently discovered about myself.

Monday, June 9

Blog Silence

If you receive my newsletter you will have heard a bit about this there…

I think I’ve stopped and started, deleted and rewrote this post at least a half-dozen times, trying to figure out how best to convey what I’ve been thinking, feeling, and not saying…I still haven’t got too far with that, but here’s my best shot.

A few months ago I kissed social media goodbye, when I pretty much had it with Facebook and trying to do all those things that blogger should. I committed myself to no longer being a slave to the should dos, and focused on the things I enjoyed {namely pinterest and instagram}; which I enjoyed. There was no pressure to be on everything.

Somehow that started to include my blog, and it’s not because I took a intentional break or I had nothing to say. It had more to do with me and where I was in my head. We’ve been through a lot in the past few months, not all bad, but just a lot. We were living in a house of chaos while we prepped to do renovations; we moved in with the in-laws while said renovations were happening; my sister was {and still is} very sick; and after 70 days we’re still living with my in-laws. For me, it has just been a lot of intense things, that I’ve just…not been overwhelmed by, but processing.

The processing and dealing with all of it has been a lot, and I haven’t had much time and energy for anything, beyond taking care of the kids {which has presented it’s own struggles}. It doesn’t help that I’ve felt like I’m in a bit of a dead-zone, when it comes to time. I walk outside and I’m surprised to see green trees, blue skies, and sun; I’m still thinking that it’s March. Time, for me, has very much stood still. Heck, it only hit me the other day that the fair is 2 months away!

While I’ve been silent, I’m certainly not going anywhere as a blogger. I love blogging, I love sharing {or as the case is most of the time…over-sharing}, and I love talking and emailing and keeping in touch with all of you! I’m hoping that once we’re home, and I’m back in my own space that the blog will pick up again. I have several posts noted on my calendar for the summer already, but I have to actually find the time to sit down and write them.

In the meantime, I’m trying to be more active on Instagram, so you can definitely find me there.
Catch me up on how you are all doing: Any exciting news or fun summer plans? Or boring news and no plans?

And I wanted to share this picture with you all…it’s from the top of one of the local roads on the way to my in-laws.


*I’ve now joined the world of the iPhone; and I love it!

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.

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.

Monday, April 14

God the Carpenter

We’re in it up to our elbows now, or deeper depending on where you’re standing. This morning the forms were going up for the basement walls. Hopefully they can get the concrete poured in this afternoon since it’s going to rain tomorrow. Trusses are coming on Thursday. I was hoping to have a work day this coming Saturday, since family will be visiting, but I’m not sure there will be any work for us to do yet.

I’ve really wanted to share with you just how God has been working before and during this renovation, and a bit more of the inside scoop. IMG_4996[1]

Here’s a secret: Even though I am beyond thrilled that we’re doing this renovation and I’ve wanted to do it for a while, it really was just a pipe dream. This is not at all what I thought we actually would be doing once it was time. We had planned on just fixing the foundation, gutting the area and starting over; the space was more than big enough. But that wasn’t going to work.

We knew the foundation was nearly non-existent under that part of the house. Once we talked to the guy who is doing our foundation we basically decided to just tear the structure down. There was no benefit to staying within the existing structure. Because of how unlevel it had become, everything inside would have buckled and broken and needed to be replaced anyways. Not to mention it was going to cost us more to lift and gut, than it was to tear it down and start over.

So, where has God been in this {since I mentioned Him in the title}?

God was quite literally holding our house together and up. Once our contractor got under the addition and started looking around, there was, quite literally, a 2x4 holding the entire thing up, and ONLY a 2x4. Kind of scary.

Then there was that whole troublesome building permit issue, which showed up on our doorstep literally the last possible day for us to call the foundation company and have them put us on the schedule for the following week.

And of course the “where are we going to live while our house gets destroyed?” question. Oddly enough, Matt’s parents built a new house a few years ago, of which we are residing in the basement {which is bigger than our own home is}. Enough room for all of us.

God….very simply was in all of it. Keeping our house standing until we were ready to move forward, putting all the details in order so that we stayed on schedule, and providing for us a place to live in comfortably while the work is done. It’s often so easy to forget He has our backs and is looking out for us, but it’s always nice when we can see what He’s doing.

Monday, April 7

The Hard Truth of Home Renovations

Folks, I have to tell you something, the hard truth of home renovations: I’m scared. This staying up way too late, simply because you know that going to sleep and waking up, is being one day closer to a new reality. Yea, it’s a bit terrifying.

I told Matt earlier, “I haven’t felt this way since the day before I left for Ireland for a weeks long {4 weeks actually} study abroad session: Scared, anxious, worried, and out of my mind, and completely excited”.

This isn’t just a home renovation. This is years of my yearning to unleash my inner architect and designer. Years of kicking off the same base molding, and not so gently nudging it back in place. Years of seeing what our house is and know what it could be. Years of putting aside my greatest form of creativity….HOME.

And I’m just a bit terrified.

I’m RIPPING OFF HALF OF MY FREAKIN’ HOUSE! {Don’t get me started on what can go wrong…like the entire house imploding when we start to dig the new foundation!}

And supposedly when it all gets patched back together, it’s going to be a home…again.

Wise Woman

THE home, that I have had in my mind for the past 20 years of wanting to be an architect, of loving buildings for their bones and their stories. Of recreating myself through nails and sheetrock, 2x4s and power tools. I am the girl, who before HGTV was popular I did renovations; who went to her local lumberyard and was told “You’re like one of those girls on HGTV! You do everything!” and was completely elated at such a compliment and a man’s world that accepted me and helped me on the journey.

To me, this home renovation is very personal.

Every single decision that I have hashed out for this space is being brought to life. After hours and years of before pinterest pin-boards, of graph paper sketches, of lists of dreams and wishes, of tearing out magazine pictures, of storing away all the little details that spoke to me.

This isn’t just a renovation, it’s my being able to get my hands dirty, my shins bruised, and bring the home that has existed only in my mind to life. This isn’t just replacing a foundation and having a kitchen to eat in: This is creating the literal foundation of our family, the kitchen.

I’m sure there are going to be tears. I’m sure there are going to be hurt feelings {mostly mine}. I’m sure there are going to be disappointments. Because those things are no less a part of life.

I am {almost} 32. This home, God willing, is our forever. This home, has seen some of the darkest fears and greatest joys in my life. It holds the people I love most. It’s the home I will create for the next 20 years of kids still living at home, and then {hopefully} visiting grandchildren. And this home, has really nothing to do with what HOME truly is, but it is a labor of love. And I don’t want to miss that.

I don’t know if I will ever get the chance to do this kind of renovation in my life again…so I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to soak up the sweat and blood and curse words and tears that I know are coming. I’m going to stand my ground and know when to concede. I’m going to build the literal home, and the figurative home, that I want to bless my family with.

That’s part of the thrill of home renovations and designs, that somehow all of these little things work together and becoming something good. And I know God is in the details, working it all out….somehow.

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.