Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Thoughts

Guten Tag Bloggy!

I joined in with Good Morning Girls the past 2 weeks to study Thanksgiving in the Bible. It was the first time they offered one of their plans on the YouVersion Bible app. This was SUUPPER helpful because I had the plan and verses on my person always (what does that say about me and my phone??).
Thanksgiving Blog header
As we reflect on giving thanks this Thanksgiving Eve, I couldn't help but share my S.O.A.P. thoughts on 2 Corinthians 9:11-12. Much of the first two weeks were spent thinking about what it means to give thanks, how thanks and praise are always hand-in-hand, and making sure God receives the glory of our thanksgiving. This verse, however, shifted our focus on to helping others give thanks to God as well. 

2 Corinthians 9:11-12 (NLT): "Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those in need, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving--the needs of believers...will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God."

I hope just by reading those wonderful words alone you can feel the meaning and action they call for. If not, let me help you think of it another way by sharing my observations.

First, this isn't a verse that is about me giving thanks to God, but rather helping others 'joyfully express their thanks to God'. 

This is magnificent. Personally, we have too much to give thanks and praise to God about, but don't we want others to find joy in the same way?? Shouldn't our friends and family find the same joy we do in giving thanks to our Lord? And as a friend and family member we should help them find joy!

This verse claims we will be enriched (by God...our personal blessings!) so that we can be generous towards others with those same gifts. Our blessings are not to be harbored, put up on some sort of shelf to admire and dust off every few months when we remember. God blessed us in every way so that we can turn around and be generous! And this doesn't just apply to our blessings of time and money. Too many people think 'God hasn't blessed me with an abundance of money lately. Oh well!' and forget that we can share any and all blessings God has given us. Do you have the blessing of a new stove?? Bake a gift for a friend who is down in the dumps. Did God bless you with some sweet new knitting needles? Knit some baby hats to donate. Did God bless you with two bathrooms to clean? Share them with neighbors or pamper a new mom. The possibilities are endless! 

And when we share our gifts with those in need, they in turn will turn to God with thanks and praise. That should be our goal and motivator. Not the warm fuzzy feelings we get for helping others, but for the fact that our generosity could bring glory and praise back to God our Father. 

Before we part ways and celebrate by eating 100s of pounds in food, may I suggest two things?? First, consider checking out Compassion International's Gift Catalog. They have so many wonderful options for helping others around the world at different price points. Consider donating and making it your gift for a family member! 

Also, Good Morning Girls are doing a similar study for Advent! It also will be offered on your YouVersion app! Surrounding myself daily with verses on thanksgiving was such a blessing and really kept my mind on the season and God. Join in! It starts next Monday!

Advent Study - Starts on Decemeber 1st

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Undivided Mom Launch Week!

Undivided Mom: Finding Christ in the Chaos of Motherhood by Kayse Pratt
Visit the launch page!!
Amazon Description:
If you’ve got motherhood all figured out, this book isn’t for you. Carry on.

If you’re one of the rest of us, struggling through the miracle, you’re in the right place, friend.

Undivided Mom is a devotional for moms who feel distracted, pulled in a million different directions, and really just desperately need Jesus to keep them from losing their ever-loving minds. It’s about mothering with a vision, with a purpose, for His glory, and through His strength.

This is a book for anyone who is longing to find a glimpse of Christ in the chaos of everyday motherhood.

It’s for you. For me. For all of us.
 I was a part of the launch team for this ebook! Purchase the ebook on Amazon for $4.99. (10/913)

My Thoughts:
Let me first state: This book is WAAAY too short!! Kayse Pratt does a fantastic job in this devotional. She easily covers all bases; Biblical devotions mixed with life devotions 50/50. This 14 day devo uses it's odd days to study verses from the Gospel of Luke and it's even days to help moms glimpse God in the everyday chaos. The odd days also include some "Think it Over" points to help you carry God's Word throughout the day, this is a MUST for a great devotional. I just fell in love with Pratt's writing and wished for more!

Personally, this devo was a challenge for myself.
Grab a cup of coffee and join me over at Sunrise Avenue to check out my review on this fantastic resource from Kayse Pratt!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Psalm 19:14

Join the GROW linkup with Faith at Faith, Fun, and The Fergusons!! This past week we spent time meditating on Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
    Lord, my rock and my redeemer (NLT)

Last week we looked at how our tongues can misbehave and 'ruin everything'. This week is the complete opposite side of the coin. Our words do have heavy power over our lives, but they can bring good and blessings just as well as curses and hurt. After feeling the conviction of misusing my words, it is relieving to turn around and find a positive way to use them instead.

In this verse we are reminded that our words are like an offering to the Lord. We want our words to be pleasing to the Lord. This should be a daily prayer! "May the words of my mouth be pleasing to you today, God. Let me speak sweet, soft words the encourage and uplift." Ugh. How many days do we regret something that we have said? How many days do we find ourselves wishing we would have whispered this prayer before getting out of bed? 

Doing this for my family, is hard. Let's face it family can get on your nerves like no one else. It can be incredibly easy to snap at them when they day is loud and hectic and the house is chaos. Speaking pleasing words for my own sake, doing it for a challenge or just doing it on my own, would be even worse. I wouldn't even last one day. But our motivation is this: " pleasing to YOU, O Lord.." My motivation for speaking soft words instead of sharp words in the moment of chaos, is to please the Lord. When we can do that we are truly emanating Jesus, because only by the grace of God is it possible. Choosing kindness in a heated moment is contrary to our human nature. It is not natural, it's supernatural

Is this still a challenge? Heck yes! But once I look at it as a way to please the Lord, I am much more willing. Our heart's cry should be to pursue holiness and please the Lord; to hear God say "Well done, faithful child" when we reach our earthly end. If by choosing my words more carefully can make God smile down on me, I know I must do my best, I must take it seriously. 

Again in this verse, we see the mouth and heart connected. What comes out of our hearts will lead to our mouths so both must be pleasing to God. We can only speak these pleasing words, if we place pleasing words in our hearts. Spending time in God's Word is essential. This one, simple, profound fact is what is at the root of all our word verses. Tongues flowing with honey is simply not.possible. without first planting the Word of God in your heart. 

Conclusion? We've already learned that our tongue can easily ruin our lives. Now we see how what we say can bring a smile to God's face. Quite obviously, the tongue is something we really must quick a tight bridle on! The importance of these verses is hitting me smack in the face and I know this is something I need to pray for stat. Psalm 19:14 is going to become my morning mantra. I pray it becomes yours as well. 

Thanks for stopping by friends! Do you pray over your word choices? Will you start now? 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Proverbs 13:3

GROW in His Word

This week's GROW verse was Proverbs 13:3 "Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin." (NIV). This week, I really enjoyed a mash up of NIV and NLT verses. I will add the whole NLT here:" Those who control their tongue will have a long life;
    opening your mouth can ruin everything."

Zech Mash Up Translation: Those who guard their lips preserve their lives; opening your mouth can ruin everything.

This month as GROW focuses on the words of our hearts, I am feeling particularly convicted. I don't want to admit to myself, much less a lovely group of women, how awful my tongue is. There is no guard on my tongue. I get angry, I try to bite my tongue, but it builds up inside and end up spewing even worse. I need a guard, and that guard is the Living Word of God, so this month I am challenging myself to listen. To not shy away. To not avoid. God may convict, but He does not condemn! 

What is the importance of guarding my lips?? It preserves my life!!! This doesn't mean that if I speak a harsh word I will keel over on the spot. I am sure we have all referenced Luke 6:45 at least once "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." (NIV).

When I speak harshly, I am displaying what is really in my heart. If my heart is really full enough of anger to speak harshly, I do not have enough Jesus love in my heart. If I do not have enough Jesus love in my heart, I am sinning, sinning, sinning and thus slowly dying, dying, dying. The Word of God brings life! Yet if I do not have that stored in my heart I am not truly living. I guess that makes me some sort of zombie!!

So guarding my lips preserves my life, both here on earth as I work to keep my lips and thus heart clean, and in the afterlife, 'storing up treasures in heaven'. THAT seems rather important. 

The second part of the Zech Mash Up Translation seems pretty apparent to me. "Opening your mouth can ruin everything". Everything. Everything. Your children, stung by harsh words. Your friendships, over in a blink. Your marriage, slowly corroded by bitterness. Your walk with God, losing life with anger instead of gaining life through storing up the Word. Everything in your life will be touched and affected, unless you can guard your mouth. 

If this week's GROW verse doesn't show us the importance of watching what we say, I don't know how we will ever get the message. Watching what we say will be hard at first, sometimes we may literally need to put our hand over our mouth to keep from saying what comes up. But by replacing those words with His Words.....slowly, but ever surely, we will get there. Our first response will one day be soft, gentle, God-filled words. And they will bring life.

Anyone else further along the path on this than me?? Share your tips, helpful verses, or other thoughts below! Meet you there!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hebrews 10:24-25

Hello, all my lovely GROW friends! I missed you all last week! I got pretty sick and didn't do much of anything Internet related for the whole week. Even still I am under the weather. I am also trying to draft this post with Hubby and Baby Girl hanging on me, so please bear with any incoherent thoughts. This will also probably be short! But, I didn't want to miss out on another GROW linkup, especially in light of this week's verse!!

The verse this week was Hebrews 10:24-25: "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." 

Uff-da! Is it just me or are these verses just heavy?!

Verse 24 is just fantastic. I feel like it should be the motto of my life. Let us think of ways to motivate one another. Okay. Let's get real, friends. How can I motivate you to acts of good works?? In which ways can I help you in acts of love?? God didn't want us to just say "Ah, what a mighty good verse. We should do that" and part ways.

Let's get practical. 

I feel that the GROW link-ers are pretty close. Each week we spend our time contemplating the same verse, looking at it from all angles, growing close to God, and sharing our thoughts and insights with each other. GROW is one way to motivate each other. But who is willing to take it the next step? Our GROW posts motivate us to think about God and grow in our walk, but how can we motivate each other to acts of love and good works? This is where God really wants to take us.

I am dying to read everyone else's posts on this verse!!

Verse 25 is just as involved. We cannot neglect meeting with each other. It's why I am here, writing brief thoughts to share with you. I didn't want to neglect meeting with you again. The importance of meeting with other Christian friends hides in the last bit "especially now that they day of his return is drawing near".

I think we all know how much of a struggle this life can be. Motherhood is tough. The world is changing so fast. Our children will be growing up in a world where videos like Miley Cyrus' latest is the norm. We need to be meeting together and encouraging one another. As the day of God's return draws near, it is going to get worse. As Christians, we will have nothing but each other to turn to on this earth, to look to for parenting help, homemaking help, work place help, educational advice... But if we become wrapped up in our own little busy worlds, if we neglect our time together, we miss all of that, and we miss community that God intends for us.

We need to stick together, we need to be a team, we need to be community. Not where we just check in, get something for ourselves, but where we check in, connect, spend time, pray, and pour into others.

This verse motivates me! I hope it motivates you as well :)

How can we get practical?  Share some ways I can help motivate you to acts of love and good works!! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 2013 Goals

First, a review of August!!!

Ten Goals for August 2013

1. Read at least 5 fiction books.

2. Read at least 3 non-fiction books. Read 2: 50 Fridays Marriage Challenge and Desperate. 

3. Workout at least 2x a week.  I did once a week! Go me. I went on frequent walks with hubby, but don't consider it a workout per se, because we bring baby in stroller and stroll around. 

4. Have "mommy time" 1x a week.  Not even close ://

5. Complete 1 ''big'' cleaning project each week.  mostly :D 

6. Finish season 6 of Doctor Who with Hubby.  And beyond! We should be finishing season 7.2 soon!

7. Complete the "Anything" study from GMG (although I finished the book I didn't finish the study. Oops.)

8. Try 2 new recipes. I tried a new banana bread glaze and an orzo recipe. 

9. Choose 5 signs for Selah and really focus on them all month long. (I have been signing with Selah since 6 or 7 months old. She recognizes "eat" and kind of "more", but I really want to put more focus on this to cut out some frustrations) I stuck with the two signs, 'eat' and 'more', but when I do other signs like 'book' or 'ball' she watches intently.

10. Complete one large craft.   I did some glass painting on my tall drinking glasses. I will try to remember to share a picture soon! 

So, five of my ten goals were completed. Others made good progress and came close. Others weren't even touched. In lieu of this, I think I am going to cut back on my September goals, setting only 5. 

Five Goals for September 2013

1. Workout 2x a week.

2 . Read 3 non-fiction books.

3. Plan and craft for Baby Girl's 1st Birthday Party

4. Complete one large craft.

5. Try 1 new Crockpot Recipe

A short list mayhaps, but hefty goals. #3 will require lists upon lists of its own! Since it is her first and it is really just for me :) I want to plan something nice. Her birthday is in October, so if I can get some of the craftiness done in September, I know I can do some nice things by hand to keep costs down. 

Tell me, what are your September goals? Have any End of the Summer plans? Any Fall Bucket list items you can't wait to check off??

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Colossians 3:16

Time for another fantastic GROW Tuesday! I added my GROW graphic late this time around, just yesterday. I have to admit: I am very disorganized this week. I usually write out my posts the weekend before the week starts, but I didn't get a chance to do that this time. I had a busy, albeit fun, weekend full of family, food, and friends. So I am BEHIND! It is why I am writing and posting this post so late. I also probably won't be able to read the other great blogs until tonight or tomorrow. Maybe as a result this will be a short post?? :DD

Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." 

First, I got hung up on the words 'dwell' and 'richly'. What does it mean to dwell richly?? Dwell means to 'retain for a time' 'to keep attention directed' or 'to speak or write insistently'. Wow. Already I could add layers of meaning to this verse. But still I continued...

Webster says richly is defined as: -in a rich manner -in full measure or similar to AMPLY: -generous or more than adequate -generously sufficient to satisfy a requirement or need. 

And right there, I found myself inundated with meaning. No need to go further into the verse, I am stuck here. So let's be stuck together.

Zech Translation of Colossians 3:16a "Let the Word of God remain in you, keeping your attention focused, speaking and writing continuously of it until it becomes sufficient to satisfy your God sized hole."  

This small part of Colossians 3:16 feels like a cumulation of 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 John 1:9. First, we learned what scripture was useful for, then we hammered home the importance of learning Scripture, and now I feel we are looking at what to do with the God-breathed Word.

What do we do with it? We remain in it. That means we stay, we park, we don't move from. This is exactly what GROW is all about. One verse a week and we set up camp and we remain. As a group and individually we keep our attention on this verse until God speaks life into us. Goosebumps here folks.

Then we speak and write continuously. When the Word is etched on our hearts, it will overflow out of us, we won't be able to stop speaking and writing about God. We will tell our friends about what we have learned, we will tell Facebook and Twitter, we will gush about God to our families. Then our hands will itch for the pen and fresh, blank page and we will write. We will write our verses back out to God, simultaneously writing them onto our hearts, burying them in our minds. Our relationship with God will GROW (see what I did there?) and our lives will never be the same. Soon our fingers will take the words to our blogs and online journals and the world will glimpse our learning words. Hopefully it inspires, hopefully they are interested and the Living Lord takes root in their hearts as well.

Praise the Wonders of God!!

Before I run off and sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God, I better explain the last thing we can do with 3:16a. We let it become sufficient in our lives. I never liked the word sufficient much. It just doesn't sound strong enough. So forgive me as I use 'more than enough' in place of 'sufficient'. As we write and speak and share and GROW ;) we let the Word have a home in our hearts. And those God shaped holes I touched on last week, are filled. Instead of searching for ...just stuff we search for only God. We begin to realize and see how He is more than enough for our lives, our problems, our joys.

I am beginning to see how the Word is more than enough for my life.

Before I close: I am stressing about life right now. I coach cheerleading and the school season kicks off next week with practices during baby's naptime and football games during baby's bedtime. Hubby works at night and can't watch her for me. I need to keep the job to pay for tickets to my lovely friend's wedding in February. I am not sure what to do, I am not sure how it is all going to work out. I have been stressin', avoidin', bitin' my nails.......but maybe. just maybe. I can let the Word be more than enough in my life. So if you have a moment, a second, would you pray? Would you pray that I can learn to let the Word of God be more than enough in my life? Thank you dear friends :)

Thank you for stopping by friends. I do so hope you join us for the GROW linkup if you haven't yet. Start this week and add your thoughts about Colossians 3:16 to the Facebook group or link up next week with a fresh verse!! See you there!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bible Verse...Monday!!

Late again. Who here is surprised?? :D

The GROW linkup verse of the week is Colossians 3:16 "Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts."

So much goodness here!! I can't wait to read everyone's posts and thoughts about this rich verse. I feel like I need to do three separate posts, one for each sentence!

Image courtesy of Nuttapong at

Life blurb: Spent Sunday afternoon at the Great Minnesotan Get-Together! And it was HOT! Oh my word. Normally I can go a whole day, but yesterday I made it only four hours before the heat gave me a headache and I had to head home. I also didn't get to eat much. As soon as I walked in the gates I made a beeline for the Food Building and bought the best cheese curds money can buy. Then we trucked over to Big Fat Bacon, on a stick of course. Best bacon of my life. I wish I had pictures to share, but I took them all on my phone and they won't sync up with my computer :((( YET

Eventually we met up with some of our lovely, great friends. It made my day to insert some Doctor Who into the conversation :) Nothing new there! We all ate and walked and talked and ate and walked. I am so glad I got to go this year and even more thankful that I got to go with friends! 

Sadly, I didn't make to any of the animal buildings which was especially sad because they had rabbits yesterday. I also didn't get to see any of the newscasters in action which is always great fun. 

People---I don't know if you know this but the Minnesota State Fair is the BEST! We don't ask IF you are going to the fair we ask WHEN you are going. Most Minnesotans would consider these 12 days close to sacred and right up there after Christmas and Thanksgiving. I haven't always had a chance to go, but when I do, I eat until I am stuffed and love every minute!! 

Does you love your state fair?? Tell me your favorite part!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2 John 1:9

GROW in His Word

Time for another GROW Tuesday! This week's verse was 2 John 1:9. I am going to be open and upfront: I struggled more this week than last. I read the verse several times made my little verse graphic, but I just wasn't connecting with it. Then I finally got the bright idea to read the verse in another translation :) The NLT version opened up my eyes a bit more; I felt like I could finally focus.

NLT: "Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son."

Zech translation :)) Anyone who wanders away, distracted by earthly things from the God-breathed Word, has no relationship with God, and is in a hell. BUT! But if we abide and obey the God-breathed Word, we are loved and known by Father and Son.

Two words or phrases stuck out to me this week. The first is 'wanders'. To me, wanders means gradual distraction. When I wander about the house, I feel aimless, unattached, easily distracted by shiny things. Webster defines wander as "to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal". Other synonyms it gives are ramble, meander, stray, err.

I understand this completely.

I've laid out my pens, my journal, my Bible, my Bible Study. I got my HelloMornings spotify playlist going in the background. Baby is asleep. Ah. Time to connect with God. Before I get started though, I should check my email one last time so it won't distract me later. Wow, someone mentioned me on Twitter, better find out who otherwise it will bug me. Oh that was sweet of her, I better Tweet back. Yay! She is on! AND I was supposed to Facebook my other coach back......which reminds me I better message the captains about bows....I have to find my etsy link for that, look at this bow, or THIS bow! It'd be PERFECT! I better message all of them right now...

Ok, ok. I am sure you get the point. This happens to me just about every time I sit down to study God's Word. I have to forcibly remove myself from these things and make time for them AFTER. But perhaps wander isn't just about the small things, perhaps it is about the big things as well. Perhaps we tell ourselves, this time our walk with God will be different, purposeful. But then again, just like all the other times, LIFE gets in the way. Jobs, kids, husbands, cleaning, planning. Next thing we know, we look around and we are so. far. from. God. 

John said we aren't just far from God, but that we have no relationship with God! This would be horrific. Relationship is the second word that stuck out to me as I read through this verse. I don't think I have to explain or define this word. It is something we all innately crave, relationships with others. We want to be known, we want to be loved, we want to be truly known and loved anyways. Why do you think so many women sign up for HelloMornings, Good Morning Girls, book clubs, MOPS, and mom's groups? But the relationship we truly crave and can only ever fill that hole in us, is God. I preach to me first here.

And John tells us that if we wander, meander, ramble aimlessly from the Word...we will not have relationship!! Are you scared yet?? I can't imagine not having a relationship with my husband, or daughter, but then I think about the Creator of the Universe and how badly I do need Him. I never want to be away from Him! But the great news?? We don't have to lose this relationship at all! We can make a choice!!

And here is where it finally gets practical: We need to be reading the WORD! 2 John 1:9 tells us that if we remain in this teaching we have a relationship with Father and Son. All we have to do is read the Bible. Sometimes that seems overwhelming, that is why something like GROW or SOAP is so great. Just pick one verse, one tiny verse and read it, try to apply it to your life, and then pray. It doesn't have to be fancy just "God be here, show me You in this verse. Amen." If you pray and read the Word, God will respond!!

So, if you made it through this essay. I love you. If you read the highlights, we are BFFs. If I rambled (wandered? :) ) on too much, I am sorry. I write to figure things out myself; I can only hope I am coherent. 

GROW in His Word

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How I Blog!

As you may have noticed, I am a fan of How They Blog by Kat Lee. I shared her blog planning kit HERE and I am still using it! Recently, Kat sent out an email asking us to fill out a form about how we blog if we wanted to be considered for a feature. As cool as that would have been, I don't think I have awesome enough knowledge to share with the fabulous bloggers out there in the world. Still, I thought it would be fun to answer some of the questions here on my blog, for funsies. 

My blogging story:
Well, it honestly started when I was back in high school. Probably when I was 16, so ten years ago? Wow. My friends and I all had a blog at livejournal, which TRUST ME was very different 10 years ago. We all had a 'blog' where we shared our innermost thoughts and then we read them all and chatted. Very odd. Very angsty teenager. Eventually the site notified everyone that they wanted to become a pay-to-use site. All our posts were instantly lost! No grandfathering in.

Jump ahead to August 2011. I had been reading some blogs about being a wife and Christian and decided to jump in. I started with sharing random tips, baking, and thoughts about my walk as a Christian. As the years have passed, I have tapered off, and then came back, and tapered off, and etc. I really enjoy the idea of blogging and sharing in community with other wonderful women. Last month, I also started a book blog which I am LOVING! I have always been a book nerd and it is so wonderful to have a place to be truly nerdy with like-minded nerds :)

My Writing Process:
Not very detailed. I keep my ideas on a lovely blog ideas list. You can find many of these all over the web, including one in the How They Blog planning kit. I prefer color and so use the one found HERE. I also keep a running list on Evernote. I love how I can access that list on my computer, phone, or Ipad.

Sometimes I rough draft or outline a post in my blogging journal, sometimes if I have time I write out the whole thing. Then I open up my blogger and type away! I have never lost a post accidentally, but I am sure my time is coming :) I then give it a quick edit, label it, and either save as a draft or publish! Most posts take me 30 minutes to an hour to type up. I am not a 'fancy' blogger, so I don't always have tons of photos to edit, or SEO to follow.

Some of my favorite gadgets and apps:
The only apps I use on my phone (Galaxy s4 represent!) that relate to blogging is Instagram, Twitter, and Hootsuite. I mentioned that I use Evernote for keeping lists, ideas, and half drafted posts sometimes. I also frequently use Feedly to catch up on blog reading when I am out and about.

I don't have a DSLR and I am no longer enjoying the quality of photos my point and shoot produces. Almost all pictures I take these days are taken with my phone. I edit photos in either PicMonkey or Ipiccy, depending on my mood. I also use Evernote and Hootsuite on my laptop, which is not a Mac thank goodness, but a Asus something something with Windows and Office 2000 on it. Not having at least the 2007 suite is killing me!

How I manage social media:
This is still a work in progress. I usually read my Feedly in one bulk go. This means I am processing several wonderful blog posts that I would love to share on Twitter. I often use Hootsuite to schedule these for the day, sometimes 2 days in advance. I do feel bad about not actually being present on Twitter then, but I like promoting good reads and bloggers. This can take me about an hour every few days, combined with the actually reading as well. I try to spend no longer than that catching up on Feedly in one go.

I don't use Facebook for my blog, but do follow several blogs with my personal account. I will usually check this in the morning and give it a quick glance through. Any links that catch my eye I open in a separate tab and read over breakfast or while drinking coffee. These are usually the posts that I am most excited about. I consider Facebook, then, as a sort of preliminary Feedly check.

I do spend waaay too much time reading emails and other blogs. Especially now that I write on two different blogs and follow two different 'niches'. I check my phone all the time and do quick deletes and save other emails or posts for later. I do this while running errands or laying on the floor with Baby Girl.

Wrap up!
Well that is pretty much my blogging in a nutshell. I will have to share more details about my blogging journal and binder another time. I can't share awesome pictures of my office space with you because I don't have one! My laptop, binder, journals, pens take up my tiny four sitter square dining room table. When guests come over the laptop and papers sit on the printer...on the floor. Hopefully this will change in the somewhat near future!!

Thanks for reading my How I Blog :) I would love to hear your writing process! What are your favorite apps and gadgets??

Friday, August 16, 2013

Baby Girl Update :)

Baby Child is now 10 months old!! One more step closer to 12 months! EEP!

Getting photos of her this month was tough as she kept trying to throw herself off the couch. Thanks to her daddy for teaching her that one. 

Well she is a crawling, yelling, standing, eating fiend. Sometimes she fusses over eating with a spoon and only wants finger foods so I am having a stressful time trying to find a safe variety of foods for her. No hubby, peanut butter toast is not okay. 

She is getting smarter and smarter. Baby Girl recognizes 'eat' and 'more' in sign, but still refuses to do them back. Once I do the sign, she gets excited and then goes into whinny mode til she gets her 'more'. We watch Baby Signing Times 1-2x a week together.

Another sign she is growing up: she has been wanting to put herself down for her naps and bedtimes. But only sometimes. So suffice it to say, naps and bedtimes have been a bit stressful for me lately. I never know when she wants to put herself down, and when she doesn't, she resists like the devil. 

Baby Child is making friends left and right. She loves other kids and babies and tries to hand them toys and smack them on the face out of love. I am glad she already has a little 'network' of friends, a little boy younger than her and a girl older than her and yet the same size. I am also looking at a MOPS group and mom's group at a local church where hopefully she can make more friends. 

Next month I am going into full out birthday planning mode because I won't be able to wait much longer :))

Have a lovely weekend friends!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Bible Verse Wednesday Day GROW Edition


For the rest of August my Wednesday quotes will be the GROW verses. See THIS PAGE for the deets on the GROW linkup.

This week's verse is 2 John 1:9

I like doing this, it gets me starting to think about the verse for the week! 


GROW Linkup!

Hello loveys!

GROW is a brand new linkup started by these lovely ladies:

Kelsey from Faith, Fun and the Fergusons
Faith from Artistic 31 Mama (soon to be Artistic Hands of Faith)
Melissa from Numbering Our Days

Vanessa from Hearts on Guard

GROW is an acronym designed to help us study scripture.

GROW in His Word

Check out my own pinnable graphic HERE.

Each Tuesday these lovely ladies will give us a verse. We then have a whole week to meditate on it before sharing our thoughts on it the next Tuesday. Here is an example post from Kelsey @ Faith, Fun and the Fergusons. This week's verse was 2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness."

God's Word is alive, active, relevant to my life and the world. There are verses to lead me, verses to reveal my rebellion, verses to guide me back to the path, and verses to lead me into righteousness and holiness before God.

I need to take advantage of this free and loving gift, to wrap my arms about it and hold it so close it melds into my body, heart, soul. 

I am looking for guidance in my life. I am reading through Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. I'm struck with how I am the ''crazy, desperate'' mom model. I thought this was normal! And of course they are talking about mentorships and mom groups, but as I think about this verse, I see how the teaching I'm looking for can be found right in my Bible. Bibles are so accessible these days. I have about 80 in my house and then of course the one I use the most is the one on my phone :/

Then there is the part of me that sees what I read and feel overwhelming pressure to do it all. To live right, avoid sin, exude God's love and peace, raise Godly children. It's then I need the rebuking and correcting that God provides. I'm not meant to do it all or wait til I have it together. I need merely be still, accept Jesus, and let Him do the work for me. He already has.

I need to learn to slow my pace, work on one thing at a time, as it were, until its fully learned. Training is like teaching, but tempered by correction and the leading of God. To stop, slow down, and train myself in righteousness til patience, kindness, gentleness are first nature. Yet keeping in mind Who is really in charge and Who I surrender my obedience too. 

As Paul teaches Timothy, all Scripture is God-breathed. This means living and active and relevant. Each verse a treasure trove of God wisdom waiting to find a home in my heart. I pray I can keep the Word a priority and let it teach, rebuke, correct, and train me. 

What are your thoughts on 2 Timothy 3:16? Is Scripture real and relevant in your life??

And MAKE SURE TO LINK UP! It's open all week! :)


Monday, August 12, 2013


I hope you have all heard of Unblogger by Darrell Vesterfelt. I hope I am the last person to have heard of it. Why? Because everyone needs to read it!!

To many of us, myself definitely included, find ourselves struggling, growing discontent and discouraged in this world of blogging. As Darrell explains, we put blogging ahead of our story, when we should be putting our story ahead of blogging. Doing it the wrong way can cause us to manipulate our lives into something we just aren't. We are then just opening the door to frustration.

Thus, we should stop this craziness of stats, platforms, and followers. We should all walk away, pause the calendar, and get back to LIFE. Let's let LIFE lead us back to writing and blogging. And no one more than me.

This is me: "I thought if I could just figure out what I was going to do with my life I would feel better...Looking back I realize part of my mistake was I didn't need a big dream to have a calling. Life was my calling." (Unblogger, emphasis mine.)

I've been blogging awhile and I've tried all the ''secrets to success''--commenting, responding to comments, link ups, Twitter parties, the works. For 3 years. And it has never worked. I was chasing a dream, not my calling. I struggled to find my place, to find my niche.

Vesterfelt explains how our ''first calling is to live with meaning. We're called to this before we're called to write.'' I was trying to write/blog and then live. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram have slowly and quietly snuck into my dreams. I have arranged life around blogging. I have strived for find meaning in every 'mundane' moment just to show the world: HEY! I can do this! I fit in!!

But I don't. I am a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I want to be an unblogger.

UNBLOGGER: someone who does more than follow the formulas of blogging success, someone who longs to live a story worth telling in front of others. ...not really a blogger at all, (just someone) who lives a life of meaning and then just happens to write about it. (Unblogger quote)

What does this mean for me?
I am going to put my calling, ''life'', first. I love blogging, so I won't be quitting :)) But I'm hoping to make my homes more me slowly but surely. I'm only going to share things that I think are fun, interesting, helpful to me. My posts probably won't fit the mold of other faith and mommy blogs. I want to be more honest and real with myself. I want my blog to be an extension of me, and not me being an extension of my blog.

BUT! I also get the world isn't about just ME (so sad). Thus I will be introducing a new bi-monthly feature: fantastic other bloggers!! Yay! There is so much in this life I will never be an expert at, but I can direct you to some great writers who do know it all better than me :))

What does this mean for you?
Well. Hi mom!! :D It probably won't change much for you devoted few. My posting schedule will probably remain horrifically sporadic. And also probably a bit crazed. I'm an eclectic girl who has nothing figured out, yet wants to share life and awesomeness with the world, with you. I would adore you to come along on this wild ride. Heck! If you want to provide some track for me to lay down, I will gladly follow!! But if these words are merely thrown into empty cyberspace, well then: HELLO CYBERSPACE! Somewhere out there God is trying to grab my attention (of which I have my eyes squeezed shut and ears plugged) and I will find Him, grab His hand, and walk along, making crazy stories together. Just Me. Him. And Cyberspace.

P.S. Read Unblogger

Reading List: Cozy Reading Spot

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Hello loveys,

I was out of town on Wednesday running around the fantastic city of Duluth with my fantastic family. I still wanted to share the graphic I made for this week. I used the verse for next week's GROW linkup. Check out this new linkup HERE at Hearts on Guard. This week's focus verse is 2 Timothy 3:16.



Friday, August 9, 2013

FMF: Lonely

Happy Friday, most lovely friends!

Today is that special day of the week: Five Minute Friday!! Every week Lisa Jo Baker sends out a one word writing prompt. We, the masses, then have 5 minutes to write on that word! No thinking, no editing, and no looking back. 

I love FMF because I just get to heart and brain dump and share that mess with a giant FMF loving community! I hope you will jump in as well!!

This week the word is: LONELY.


Lonely is what I have been for a lot of my life. After high school, all but one of my closest friends drifted away naturally. College was a weird time, and long story short none of those friends really stuck either. I came back home and spent a tough year at home. Alone. Without my husband as he got to tour Iraq. 

I made new military wives. Insta-bond formed over our missing husbands. But what really held us together was them. And when they came back, relationships fell apart and changed, and we were all left alone again. 

Making friends after that was tough. I went to a church that didn't have any young adults beside me and Hubby. "Older" women didn't have time for a new friend as they ran after flocks of children or grandchildren. Then we went to a super large church FULL of young adults, but it was hard to get plugged in and find the sweet spot. 

Seven years of my life lonely for a great friend. I still don't have that one real life friend whom I can trust and call on and live life completely with. I have some friends though and I am hoping it can cultivate into something awesome. 

Through it all, God was there. I would struggle with loneliness again and again only to be reminded again and again that God is with me. Emmanuel. I was never on my own. Times were tough but Emmanuel. Maybe I was home alone again but Emmanuel. Even if my fears were realized and I was alone forever, Emmanuel. I would cling to that promise and find the joy in it. All I need, all we need is Emmanuel. Not husbands, not friends, not new shoes, not decorated houses, not books, not sugar, not air, not life. All worthless without Emmanuel. 


Thanks for stopping by The Christian Sugar Addict!

Consider visiting next week when I will discuss some more painful truths, some gritty details, and how I am trying to work through my loneliness to find Emmanuel.

Five Minute Friday

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Finding my own Niche

I hope you will excuse me this week as I wade through schmuck and regular muck and try to define myself and this place a little better. 

Hello lovey,

I've been avoiding this blog. I fell accidentally and totally into the world of book blogging with Sunrise Avenue. I wasn't quite sure I was going to turn back. Book blogging is completely different than this cruel world of mommy/faith blogging.


I said cruel. We all yearn to fit in, evidenced by the recent Five Minute Friday word Belong. Yet we all act so exclusive and cliqueish. Not outright I believe, but it happens. I do not exclude myself.

Is this harsh?? Mayhaps. Probably. Okay, definitely. But now that I can compare it to another world, that of book blogging, it is so much more evident. In MB (mommy blogging) there is so much pressure to host your own wordpress site. It is one of the most highly encouraged ways to get more followers. In BB (book blogging), you can have 1000s of followers with a site. With MB you have to have a pinnable image and be optimized for SEO. Not so with BB. BB is based in a love of books. Instafriends are made bonding over genres and words. In MB we are supposed to be instabonding because we have nothing more than Jesus in common.

Judgemental me. Sorry. Obviously there ARE exclusions on both sides. I am not trying to say one blog world is better than another by any means!! I am not trying to say people are doing it wrong or that I know what I am doing by any means. But now that I can see MB from a different angle, I am amazed. We all want to be friends and understood, but we make it so incredibly difficult for each other.

The point is this: I don't know how to fit into this cutthroat world. I don't craft. I don't make up my own delicious recipes. I don't throw decorated Pinterest parties. And I know nothing of motherhood. How Baby Girl has survived this long is a miracle of God. I don't have my stuff together. I swear when I get really angry, which seems to be often. I have not a drop of patience. My feelings are easily hurt and I don't know how to play with babies.

I have NO answers.

I tried jamming me into different boxes, but it never felt right. Bloggers would ask over and over what my niche is: "What's your niche?? You have to define your niche!" But all I could come up with is me. I just want my blog to be me. Me sharing me with the world for the sake of friendship on this journey of life and motherhood. This post from  Christian Mommy Blogger was a happy inspiration to me on niches.

I tried to find some blogs like I want mine to be like in an awesome dream world and was hardpressed. I guess my closest niche would be mommy blogging, because I will blog about my mothering hurdles and failures, and the far and few victories. But I won't have answers. 

If you are looking for how to discipline your child in 7 easy steps, you will have to look elsewhere. Or share your secrets with me, friend!! Don't hold back that knowledge! :)

And I love Jesus, but let's face it: I'm thick. I don't get things in front of my face. I don't always see the lesson I should be learning, much less on a weekly basis. So you won't see many posts here about how I related The Little Mermaid to learning about eternal love. Maybe, eventually. Once I get it. But there will be no nice neat packaged answers here.

Don't get me wrong: I LOVE nicely packaged answers!! I read tons of blogs with nicely packaged answers!! It is just not me. And I cannot try to be that lady anymore. So I am going to blog me. And I hope you stick around, chica. If you skip over me in favor of that pinnable blog of 50+ crockpot recipes, I get it. I already pinned it. Those ladies have their stuff to.get.her! But...if you start feeling pressured, I hope you will consider coming back to my (hopefully) pressure free zone to laugh at how I didn't know I was supposed to empty that little tray under the fridge until the whole place stunk like dead fish for a whole week.

I think I like you, let's be friends :)

Are you ever amazed at how hard it can be to make friends, even online? Leave all questions, comments, concerns below!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

FMF: Story

Happy Friday, most lovely friends!

Today is that special day of the week: Five Minute Friday!! Every week Lisa Jo Baker sends out a one word writing prompt. We, the masses, then have 5 minutes to write on that word! No thinking, no editing, and no looking back. 

I love FMF because I just get to heart and brain dump and share that mess with a giant FMF loving community! I hope you will jump in as well!!

This week the word is: STORY


Somewhat ironic that this word was chosen this evening. I spent a large chunk of my day today contemplating what story I am telling with my life. Prompted by Unblogger, I am evaluating my life in relation to the blogging world. Do I tell my story for my blog, or do I write my blog for my story??

What is my story? My life. But is it a good one? What kind of main character am I writing myself to be? Am I one of those main characters who is all 'me me me' or do I remember my good BFF and lend a hand?  Am I a good mother or one of those non-existent parents so prevalent in YA fiction?

God has written a story for my life. But will I like it? Will I ignore it? I feel like I am trapped in one of those choose-your-own ending books. I wish I could pick up an eraser and erase the parts of my character that I don't like as easily as I stamp out bad tasting words on my paper. Good bye bad temper! Good bye extra weight!

Or create my persona based on the interweb. Fantastic crafting skills, type that in! Always seeing God's hand behind every corner of life?? Oh yeah!! Add that bit in! Online we can craft and type and finagle ourselves to be anyone. But I am more desperate for life. Real life. My real story.I want my blog to be an extension of me, and not me becoming an extension of my blog.

What story will my life tell??


Thanks for stopping by The Christian Sugar Addict!

Consider visiting next week when I will discuss some painful truths, some gritty details, and how I am trying to figure out my story.
Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Graphic Wednesday 2

Here it is, Graphic Wednesday!!

I am having such a blast discovering the world of book blogging and diving even deeper into books in general that I just knew today's graphic would be about books!

So please pin it and share it! Hmm...wondering if I should change the name to Pinnable Wednesdays....

Monday, July 29, 2013

August 2013 Goals

I have been a huge slacker lately. I don't have much keeping me on track...with life. Hubby and I created some Family Goals for June, but a lot of them went unfinished. And now it is almost AUGUST and I need some guidelines to my life to keep me going. So here are 10 goals for August, which doesn't include any of my bloggy goals. These may not be 'big' but they help me stay sane!!

Ten Goals for August 2013

1. Read at least 5 fiction books.

2. Read at least 3 non-fiction books.

3. Workout at least 2x a week.

4. Have "mommy time" 1x a week.

5. Complete 1 ''big'' cleaning project each week.

6. Finish season 6 of Doctor Who with Hubby.

7. Complete the "Anything" study from GMG (although I finished the book I didn't finish the study. Oops.)

8. Try 2 new recipes.

9. Choose 5 signs for Selah and really focus on them all month long. (I have been signing with Selah since 6 or 7 months old. She recognizes "eat" and kind of "more", but I really want to put more focus on this to cut out some frustrations)

10. Complete one large craft. 

There you have it! Nothing fancy, but enough to keep me going!

Do you set monthly goals? Weekly goals? I would LOVE to hear about them, for more inspiration :) Leave your comments below!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

FMF: Broken

Welcome FMF friends!

Time for Five Minute Friday. I am linking up with Lisa Jo Baker. Today our word is BROKEN!

Because of some craziness on Lisa's blog, we are sharing our FMF posts on her Facebook Page. Hope everyone can follow along! 


Broken. Broken. Broken. Bleeding. Twisted. Open. 

Ugh. I can barely stand the thought of my Savior's body broken for me. I avoid it, I look away, I am unsure, I squirm, I cry, I deny, I wander. 

I am me. Blogger, mother, wife, coach, reader, Whovian, baker. All this amounts to just me. A tiny little soul here for the blink of an eye in a tiny little corner of a massive universe. There is nothing significant, there is nothing that stands out. I am a firm believer in Ecclesiastes; there is nothing new under the sun. 

Yet. Yet 2000 years ago, some guy named Jesus thought of me. His Dad had told him, "This tiny girl needs your help. She is lost and alone and needs a Hero. I want YOU to help her." And this Jesus replied, "Okay." And he let himself be betrayed by his best friends. He let himself be beaten bloody. And then he carried a wooden cross on his tired back up a hill, where he let himself be nailed to hang, broken. broken. twisted. open. 

Argh. My heart bleeds. My heart twists and can't contain the tears. The thought of it breaks, breaks breaks my heart open. And I cannot deny. And I cannot not cry. And I never want to wander again.  

Thanks for stopping by The Christian Sugar Addict!
Five Minute Friday