Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lists are my friend. Checking off to-dos makes me happy. Organization, schedules, carefully made plans are how I live my life. There are times when those ocd, perfectionist tendencies get in the way though.

Like when I make God another to-do. Or follow my plan rather than His because it feels safer. Or I think I am know better than He does what I need in my life.

That's when life smacks me upside the head and I have to cling desperately to Him, His plan, His purpose. So, I am learning that it is better to not plan. To prepare to meet God, to commune with Him I must let go.....of order, plans, perfection, to-dos, lists, schedules.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

In the letting go I am free of distraction, made ready to embrace what He has for me in the moment. His plans are good.

Yarn Along :: November 30

Not too much knitting or reading around here. Our little family has been battling the plague for the past couple weeks and it has made it so we don't do much other than cuddle, sleep, and watch movies.

However, my birthday gift arrived and now I need some ideas as to what to do with all this lovely yarn. There are some plans for a sweater.....if I work up the courage.....and a pillow for my sweet girl, but other than that I would love some ideas.

for more knitting and reading inspiration check out small things.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesdays Unwrapped

The daily tasks of, cleaning, laundry, teaching, mothering, being a wife.....they distract, lead to busyness, rushing, losing sight of what matters.

Fog rolling in, blanketing the countryside, bringing early darkness forces me to pause, to create a spot of light. And in the lighting of the candle the reason why I live this life comes racing back to me.

Christ. Pure and simple.

I want to live my life fully enjoying all that He has graciously given me. Being so crazed that I miss all that He has for me in the moment just isn't working.

And so I slow, I enjoy the quietness and time at home the crazy thick fog provides.

See more tuesdays unwrapped over at chatting at the sky.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: November 28

Even in the midst of trials He makes it all work for our benefit....even if we don't see it. His gifts are always good.

diagnosis of bronchitis rather than pneumonia
suppositories for small ones (you don't want to know)
thawing the turkey in the sink
last minute Thanksgiving at home
spending time curled on the couch with sick little ones
creamy hot chocolate
twinkling lights
no snow.....yet
making do with what we have
massive stash of yarn
God's message to rest (even if it came via serious lack of sleep and now illness)
my sweet hubby caring for me and the sick kiddos

To Give or Not to Give

America is a massive consumer culture and that is never more apparent than at Christmas. We buy, buy, buy and then the gifts end up broken, unused, or returned. The focus is shifted from Christ, from love to consuming, selfishness.

Now, I am not saying don't buy any gifts or only give handmade. In our family we choose to give only three gifts (as many as Jesus received from the wisemen) that allow for creativity, open-ended play, family togetherness. Aside from satisfying everyone's gift desires we also try to buy from companies that benefit others like Give Jewelry or World Vision's gift catalog. Then as we give gifts to others we are helping those who have so little. It's a small way to live out our beliefs at Christmas.

So, maybe before you begin your shopping (or finish it) this cyber Monday check out Advent Conspiracy. The premise is simple....worship fully, spend less, give more, love all. Christmas can still be all that you want while still honoring the one who's birth we are celebrating.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

When We Stand Together

It's amazing the things society can do when it stands together. Powerful song.

Weekend Links :: November 27

No links this weekend (our family has been battling the plague), just some food for thought.....

As you pull out those Thanksgiving leftovers, there is so much more to be thankful for than just the perfect turkey sandwich.

Let's start with sweet potatoes! Besides being delicious, the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes that were on most American tables this Thanksgiving are rich in vitamin A and play an important role in protecting our eyesight.

Sadly for the 127 million pre-school children and 7 million pregnant women who are vitamin A deficient, not everyone is so lucky. In Africa most sweet potatoes are the white variety lacking almost all beta-carotene that the orange sweet potatoes contain and therefore fail to be a source of vitamin A.

In the U.S. it is easy to forget how serious vitamin A deficiency can be. Each year, it is estimated that 670,000 children will die from vitamin A deficiency and 350,000 will go blind. Almost all of these children are in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Approximately 60 children per hour go blind because of vitamin A deficiency. That means in the time it took to defrost and cook the average 15-pound turkey 4,560 children went blind from vitamin A deficiency.

Learn more about how we can protect the sight and health of children and pregnant women all around the world. Head to Million Moms Challenge.

(information taken from email received from million moms challenge.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yarn Along :: November 23

Well, between two sick little boys and planning lessons I was able to almost finish the doll and added about 12 rows to the wrap. A few chapters were read of Grace for the Good Girl. Hopefully once everyone is healthy there will be a lot more time for knitting and reading.

For more knitting and reading inspiration head over to smallthings.


The monks have got a good thing going with the silence. In the silence they can hear God. They can commune with Him without all the distractions of this world.

So, I learn from these monks at the abbey. I wake in the still hours of the morning. I quiet my thoughts, my heart. All the to-dos and plans for the day are forgotten for a while. I make myself still.

Shivering, yawning I come before Him and pour out my heart. I sit and listen for Him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: November 21

From Noah's Ark in Koln....seeing the Sacrifice reflected

And the counting continues.......

willing driver
convicting reads
truth spoken
unexpected gifts
chatting late into the night
his arms
free magazines
quiet talks with Madison
tree of thanks
great, rare beer
date night
overflowing freezer and pantry
Christmas gifts ordered (well, 90%)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Links :: November 19

Most days, the showing up is what I struggle with, but progress is being made.

Say "Yes" to the Best :: Money Saving Mom
Loving this whole series on discipline. Definitely needed around here lately.

A Good Plan for the Day :: A Holy Experience
Quiet moments are few and far between here lately. Trying hard to be more intentional in creating those moments to enjoy each other and God's peace.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Minute Friday :: Grow

Change and I are not friends. The unexpected makes me cringe. New places and situations tend to cause anxiety.

God apparently thought that I needed to get over those feelings. In the last (almost) two years there has been a new little man, Daddy went to Korea for a year....alone....two months after Tim was born, we left family, friends, home and moved to Germany, he left....again......twice (and we've been here only 7 months), the car died and is not exactly a cheap fix.

It's been a learning experience. And as much as I have fought against all the change and chaos thrown my way it's made me stronger. All the things God knew would grow me have done that. I am a better woman, a stronger woman than two years ago. And daily I thank God for it.

Although a slow down on the crazy would be nice. :)

check our more fiveminutes at GypsyMama

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yarn Along :: November 16

No pics of my battery dead. Another thing that got sidelined lately. :)

Well, the knitting and reading has been slow going with homecomings, illness, head injuries, and crazy schedules. But, the doll is almost done. The, that has kind of stalled due to the lack of time to work. I am hoping to get in some dedicated knitting time this weekend though during soccer. Plus, if I get all my projects finished then I will be able to create new pretty things when my giant box of yarn arrives from knitpicks. Yay!

As for the books, I am still plugging away at Grace for the Good Girl and Simplicity Parenting. Reading them right before bed has not worked out. I am so tired I can't keep my eyes open. So along with the knitting getting done by this weekend I am hoping to plow through the books too.

We'll see how my ambitious goals turn out.

For more knitting and reading inspiration head to small things.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: November 14

Crazy week full of unplanned illnesses and injuries but through it all seeing God's goodness. Even in the midst of crazy God still gives good gifts.

respiratory illnesses
a doctor who spoke English
cancelled dinner plans.....twice
gift cards to buy a stash of yarn
steady hum of the humidifier
smell of vicks
red cheeks from chilly autumn air
break from all things technology related
sleepless nights
clean sheets.....multiple times :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Living in the Interruptions

This past week has been filled with appointments, illness, head injuries, and myriad other events beyond my control that threw my carefully ordered plans into chaos. Plans were cancelled, extra laundry had to be done, little ones had to learn hard lessons. Yet, in the midst of all the craziness our family spent much needed time together. We talked, laughed, rested. We got to just expectations, no agenda.

What I thought were huge interruptions to our life were actually a blessing. It allowed me to set aside the dailyness, the routine, the to-do's of life that I impose to fully enjoy my family and re-energize myself. It is yet another evidence of God's grace freely given to me as I learn to be wife, mama, woman who lives to please Him.

Some rhythm to daily life is good, but I think I am going to cherish the interruptions a bit more from now on.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: November 7

Gratitude is the open door to abundance.

More of His amazing graces......

calls with my sister
another year of life
my love returning home
smiling faces
big Daddy hugs on little ones
good food
times of fellowship
choosing to spoil ourselves (which never happens)
investing in family

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekend Links :: November 5

Just a few links this weekend as we enjoy adjusting to life with Daddy again. :)

Powerful Words :: Raising Homemakers

Imperfection :: Simple Mom

Truth About What I Don't Do :: Simple Organic
these last two posts were really a message i needed to hear. after a crazy full couple of months and trying too hard to do it all i am slowly remembering that we want to live a simple, intentional life. i do not have to do everything. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Remember

Remembering the tears as we had to say goodbye.

Remembering the sleepless nights filled with worry.

Remembering why the leaving must happen, why good men must go to war.

Remembering all the small moments missed, all the times thoughts wanted to be shared and couldn't.

Remembering the smiles and shouts of joy as he
walked through the door last night.

Daddy is home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


(Note: there is an actual music video for this song, but I can't link to it from Germany due to certain music rights and whatnot. Check it out if you have the time.)

Even though we live on a small military income, even though I am "just" a stay at home mama I can still make a difference....even if it's a small one. All God asks is for us to love others in whatever way we are able. So, I refuse to not do my part. I choose to be the hands and feet of God.

Yarn Along :: November 2

same as pic from last week. not much has changed. :)

Still plugging away at the wrap and my current reads, Grace for the Good Girl and Simplicity Parenting. There is so much good stuff in them that I have been taking my time to really process all the information. For more great reads and knitting head over to small things.