Thursday, October 23, 2014

making the pieces fit

We love puzzles around here. I'm pretty good at them, if I do say so myself. I have fond memories of time spent in younger years completing large jigsaw puzzles, especially with my mom's parents.

I remember when Jordan first became interested in puzzles which require the pieces to nestle together. He can do many on his own now, though he still uses more of a trial and error/memory effort than filling in the border and working through like-pieces to finish the middle like I do. Sometimes he even attempts to jam pieces in where they don't belong, only to find it skews the picture, then try again.

My favorite thing about puzzles is that they are predictable. I can pull out a box, dump out the pieces, and glance at the full picture every once in awhile when I'm stuck. I confidently expect an end result just like the box promises me.

Monday, October 13, 2014

sentimental saturday

I was already emotional Saturday when Jordan and I had a conversation about his "mommy blankey."

It was given as a gift for my oldest brother almost 36 years ago, and I used almost daily for at very least 20 years. I stopped sleeping with it on my bed shortly after Jordan was born and gave it to him. He's used it regularly for at least a couple years now.

It used to be dark blue, and full of colorful pattern on the back side. It was sewn with yellow thread and tied with yellow yarn, and though not thick, had a nice layer of filling. Now it's light blue, the only remaining patterns are hidden under the one small spot of edging still attached. I stripped it of it's tiny amount of remaining filling last year, trimmed dangling edges, folded it in half and sewed around, in hopes of helping it last a bit longer.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

the beginning of a new season

Well, since I missed catching you all up on life for the the entire summer via blog, it's time to review the last few months in pictures as well as (more officially?) share the news that we've entered a another new season in our lives.

Long story short - Josh is now the youth pastor at Evangelical Bible Church here in Omaha. He will also eventually switch off with the current worship pastor to lead worship at a multi-site. It's been an interesting half a year since a friend basically said, "Hey, I think Josh would fill this church position I know of for youth pastor/worship leader well!" And we basically said, "Hmmm, no."

God definitely had a different plan, and made it super clear to us along the way. When we said no, when we drug our feet, and when we jumped in with both feet - He showed us time and time again He was calling us to a change we hadn't anticipated!

fireman third birthday

I really tried to be more minimal and memorable this year. It's more important for the party to be practical, enjoyable, and memorable, than super cute. I did pretty well!
We had such fun preparing and celebrating, and with a lot less stress, more fun, and Jordan still plays with most of the things I decorated with - figurines, crayons, fire trucks, his costume, blow up hydrant is getting a lot of use lately, too :) All the graphics (banner, cupcake toppers, his shirt) I made and printed from a graphic set on sale for $1! Thanks to Amazon for almost everything else.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Habits

I figured it out. I started writing about my desire to be less about me and more about God in October 2012, and decided it really all fell under the topic of Faithfulness. I realized today that the component of faithfulness that God has been laying on my heart for some time is.... discipline. Really many of my other posts could fall under that topic as well. I think I've been fighting the need to work on my self-control and spiritual disciplines.

Attentive, purposeful discipline in some key areas are what I need to really repair my foundation.

Friday, June 13, 2014

may flowers

Gotta catch up before Jordan turns THREE next week!
[Ironically we have some pretty "May flowers" that Jordan obsesses over, but I don't have pictures of them :)]

Umbrella crafts ushering in the sunshine after a row of rainy days!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

april showers

I have been super way behind on posting on our blog more often than not this year.
I finally... FINALLY... got myself to slow down a little. I'm feeling more alive and human most days, thank goodness! To turn the tv off more. To get off facebook (thanks StayFocused and RescueTime!) I've been reading my Bible almost every day [so close! :)]. Two weeks ago I actually started exercising again. I've been able to hang almost all laundry for weeks now [as this blog post says it: "Hanging clothes outside is a simple act, but I love it because it makes me slow down"]. I'm going to bed earlier. I'm not chasing so many deals for price matching/ couponing.

Friday, May 23, 2014

write your story

A little while back I was laying down for a rest, singing the words to "Write Your Story" by Francesca Battistelli in my head as I dozed off. I woke up within moments, with the words, "It's in the building experience that you grow," burning in my mind.

I wrote the words down, and forgot about them. Until today. When I felt a stirring in my heart.

But what am I building? Right now, I think I feel like I'm not building anything most of the time. That I'm just here, being. But I'm not. With most things, I believe we're almost always either building or tearing down. If we don't do what we need to maintain or build, things deteriorate. The problem with that deterioration is that it often goes unnoticed as things are slowly torn down. When we finally realize it, it ends up taking a lot more effort to rebuild than it would have to maintain or add on in the first place.

My life is full of things that are deteriorating before my eyes, and I think I've been choosing to ignore that fact, or cover it up somehow. My bitterness, my negative speech, and my weight are just some of the things I see causing deterioration. And I'm using my success in helping save our family money/ pay off loans as well as my "stress-induced nesting-like tendencies" to make myself feel better. [A friend posted the other day about building a life that feels good inside, not just looks good outside. yep.]

When instead I need to seek God's blueprint and restart the building process.

Keywords: need, restart, and process. It is certainly a need, but important for my type-A personality to not focus on the need for the end result, but to find a starting point, and seek the process. If nothing else, to keep the deterioration at bay. To truly seek God's will on who He needs me to be and how He needs me to live, right here, right now. To allow Him to "write His story on my heart."

I really started this post a couple months ago, and I think it's no coincidence the many ways I've realized God has "snuck in" and helped me repair the foundation for what He's growing my story into... Read more as I catch up with April and May in the next two weeks!

to be continued....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

the pastor.

This post is purely informational. I do not mean it any other way, so please try not to read it so :) 

I made a brief post with links to some brief articles on supporting the pastor's wife. Check it out and better support your pastors' wives (one wife per pastor, ha!).

This post, though, needs to be a little longer. If you love and appreciate your pastor, hang with me! I promise you will find at least one way to better support or encourage your pastor, which can only have positive results.

As I was "researching" some helpful tips to share from those wiser than me, I stumbled across some comments about, "Well, ya ya ya, these things are true of any [small business owner, person in leadership, etc]." While that may be true, I'm just looking to share from what consumes much of our lives: a pastor in full-time church ministry! (Both of us have dads who serve/served as senior pastors and have been in ministry our whole lives!) 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

quick tip: little socks

Today I have to share a tip with you that is quite simple, yet quite profound: how to make laundering, folding, and not losing smaller socks an easier task! I'm sure many out there already have good systems, but I felt this worth sharing for those in need :)

When I was pregnant a couple friends shared that their washing machine had to be worked on by a repairman because a little sock escaped the basket. While this is not common, it can happen! Therefore, I always put my son's socks in a lingerie bag! I have discovered, though, that this not only protects the washer, but it makes everything easier!
  • When socks come off, they go in the bag, reducing loss. (Often socks just end up in the laundry hamper and I put them into the sock bag as I sort laundry.)
  • When socks move from washer to dryer, then dryer to laundry basket, they stay in the bag, reducing loss!
  • Since we line-dry in the summer, it also makes that easier, all the socks are right together to clip up easy-peasy without digging, or getting flung into the grass when I pull a shirt out of the basket.
  • When folding clothes, the socks wait in their bag, not getting lost or flung in the shuffle.
  • For those with multiples, each can have their own sock bag if they don't share socks. Less sorting!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

february/march madness

The busy-ness of life has been quite overwhelming for me lately. Part of it is legitimate busy, part unnecessary. Lately I've been spending a lot of extra time on saving/earning a little more money for our family. Also, really working on ways to de-clutter and better organize/run our home. With our jobs, Josh's seminary classes, and the extra work I'm doing (and the time I waste doing nothing online when I could be sleeping...), well, it's been madness at our house this semester! :)

It has been exciting, though, as Josh and I both grow personally in our relationships with the Lord and each other in much-needed ways. I in my Bible reading, and both of us in prayer. As we are becoming better disciples of the Lord, it helps our marriage, and I believe our parenting, too.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

the pastor's wife.

I'm a pastor's wife, and I love it. I grew up as a pastor's kid, as did my pastor husband.

We've been through a lot on both sides of the pendulum and knew a lot of what to expect going into church ministry full time. But, being prepared with reasonable expectations does not translate to making every situation easy to encounter. 

Not that anything bad has happened or that everyone needs tips on how to better support their pastor's wives... but some do. So, either way, if you want to know some ways to best support the wives of your pastors, here are two great articles I would love for you to read:

Next up: the pastor. :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

quick tip: receipt organization

I used to keep all my receipts together, in one giant unorganized pile, like I can imagine tons of people do! I filed bills and statements, but receipts were a mess. For multiple reasons, I really wanted to get that under control. My idea may not be original, but I thought of it and it works great!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

friday five 2-7-14

{I know it's not Friday (though I DID write this for Friday!)
and there's more than five, but I like calling it Friday Five! Ha!}

I can't believe it's already February. Where does the time go?
{Speaking of February, the youngest I nanny turned 3 on Sunday. Un.Real.}
Thankfully, as the minutes fly by, everything slows down for at least a few moments as I relive the joys of roller-coaster-filled weeks.

Friday, January 24, 2014

friday five 1-24-14

Two weeks of family joys might be more the norm now. I can't seem to keep up with weekly, as you know, and I'm okay with that now! :-) I'm going to go with five for each week this time!

all in a day

The last few weeks have been filled with a lot of the same over and over. I think we all enjoy the predictability and familiarity :) But, I realized as we did it all over again today, that I want to remember and share this season. I love the creativity.

Also, in the midst all this we had some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. Ok, so not THAT bad, but enough I was crying most days. But, thankfully, God's mercies are new each morning, and He helps the wonderful, awesome, not bad, very good moments usher in and overpower.

Friday, January 17, 2014

2013 family letter

We got our Christmas New Years letter sent out this last week to some people, but we couldn't send paper copies to everyone, so here's a digital copy! Happy 2014, friends and family!
(It seems to be loading funny the first time the page loads it, so if you see a bunch of squares or characters instead of words, reload :))