Friday, July 13, 2012

Story

As life here is full of cuddling sick ones, potty training and laundry, and trying to craft rhythm and peace from change all that swirls through my head is "What is it all for, does it matter, who cares?"

This post over at Lisa-Jo's spoke straight to my heart.


Because maybe you, more than anyone else, will be surprised by what you read, by the story that the Word is writing in you, through you, for you.
His story. As lived by you. 
As mundane, ordinary, simple as our life is all of it matters. May we all live powerful, full of Him stories. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yarn Along :: July 11

Knitting and reading have been my source of peace the past couple of weeks. This mama needed a stress relief. Something about knit and purl and the written word is like a balm for my soul.

my little helper this morning

On the knitting front the blanket for my friend's little one is coming along nicely. Very simple knit that I can do anywhere. Also, I added a couple more rows to one of the sweaters. Now I am to the point of needing to add the sleeves. After some research on the best way I decided on the loop cast-on method. (Thank you Techknitting!) Between that and the slipped stitches I am steadily improving my knitting repertoire. :) And the Christmas list is slowly being fleshed out. Really need to get to ordering all the yarn.

As for reading I have been working my way through multiple books lately. Fast Living, Women in the Material World, Lone Wolf, and Wuthering Heights have all been in rotation. Usually the fiction is reserved for bedtime so I can just unwind. Although the heavy subject matter of Lone Wolf made that a bit difficult....great read though. Both the non-fiction books are absolutely fascinating. Definitely must-reads. 

Well, now off for a fun filled summer day. And maybe later perusing all the inspiration over at small things

Monday, July 9, 2012

Counting His Unending Gifts :: July 9

Change, re-organizing priorities, creating some rhythm have been the norm in our house for the past week or so. It is a process and what the outcome will be only time can tell. But we are making changes, taking chances for the better. At times they don't seem to make much sense. Through it all we are resting in Christ, in His grace and love. And through it all we are seeing all He has given.......

moon's glow
plans for the future
sparkling explosions
giant smiles
ice cream bars
lesson plans arriving
unplanned naps
making the team
walks with baby boy
following our hearts

Friday, July 6, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Story

at bastogne

Books are an escape. A way to live a life I dream of. To flee from those too hard moments in life. Just to entertain myself. Or fill the void of loneliness when the hubby is gone yet again. Even to handle huge life changes.

Yet, in the escape the real story gets passed by. My story. These travels around the globe; the moments of pure joy at being a complete family (at least for the next 18 months...the longest he's ever been home); cuddling, teaching, laughing with, and loving on these precious babes; fully sacrificing my plans for His. Just living in the everyday moments of this life. That is a good story.

So, the book gets put down. And I embrace life. I live the story written for me....

Five Minute Friday linking up with gypsy mama

Monday, July 2, 2012

Counting His Unending Gifts :: July 2

The simple moments, the seemingly insignificant things are what makes a life. They are blessings poured out from our gracious Father.


A smattering of His simple gifts.....
spur of the moment invites
plump red strawberries
stained little faces
German soccer
chocolate croissants and iced chai lattes
heads of wheat bowed low
clouds moving over the moon


Friday, June 29, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Dance

Wife. Mama. Homeschooler. Christ follower. A woman trying to find herself. How in all the world to balance it all?

How to fulfill the desires, pursue the passions that God has laid on my heart? How does one find the rhythm of life that God has set for her?

Listening to the beat. Following the Master.

All of life is a series of steps. Two forward, one back. A couple to the side. If I follow the Teacher's steps, in the end it will end up as a beautiful dance.


Five Minute Fridayjoining up with gypsy mama

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Only Requirement

As I reduce, He is enough. As I simplify, He is enough. He is my portion where food and clothes and comfort fall woefully short. He can heal me from greed and excess materialism, and pride, selfishness, and envy. While my earthly treasures and creature comforts will fail me, Jesus is more than enough. In my privileged world where "need" and "want" have become indistinguishable, my only true requirement is the sweet presence of Jesus.


Yarn Along :: June 27


For a bit of change from the sweater I cast on for a baby blanket for a dear friend back home. It's an easy knit that I can take to the park or wherever now that we are actually having some warm weather. The sweater also got a little love this week too. It's just a bit monotonous after a while.

In other knitting news I am attempting to find some patterns for some Christmas projects that I want to start. I am pretty much the slowest knitter so if I start now they should be done by December right? Anyway, does anyone have some good patterns for a monster and an owl? 

As for reading, I finished up 7 and was so impacted. Great book. Now I am reading Changeling and Fast Living. And bits of Educating the WholeHearted Child....good inspiration for planning out our school year. 

Have a lovely week!
 joining in with small things

Monday, June 25, 2012

Counting His Unending Gifts :: June 25

There are some happenings in life that are not so happy. They are the difficult, life-altering things that come up. Yet, rather than focus on ugliness or my lack of control I choose to look to Him, to speak gratitude for all He gives, to rest fully in His grace.


More of the unending gifts poured out......

resting in God's promises
choosing Him over anxiety
low prolactin levels
amazing grace
picnic lunches
fresh lavender
no more physical therapy for my little man
answered prayers
raging thunderstorms
sunlight breaking through clouds
{over} abundance of dried lavender (my dear girl loves to give me gifts)
iced chai latte and my kindle....alone
Shrek marathons
Seven Sacred Pauses.....a rhythm for our days

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Risk


Risk. It's not just jumping out of planes. Or starting a new home business. Or being in combat. It's not even leaving all you know and are comfy with to follow your hubby across the world. (and that last one was a bit terrifying to this lady, but it's been fun)

It can be as simple as choosing to say no. To live outside society's idea of normal. It can be saying no to consumerism. It is choosing to love until your heart is full to bursting. And that includes your neighbor....even those half a world away. It is following God's plan even though it sounds ridiculously crazy (even to yourself).

And although it's scary or a tad bit weird or not "normal" the lesson in the risk is always worth it. Here's to embracing the risk. 
Five Minute Friday joining in at gypsy mama

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yarn Along :: June 20


Some slight progress has been made over the last couple of weeks. Between family visiting and taking them all over Western/Southern Germany, finishing up the school year, and car issues there was not a lot of knitting that got done. But in a few spare moments I was able to add in a few rows. From the small amount that is done I am so far loving the colors.

As for reading that has also been kind of slow. I just finished Mortal by Ted Dekker. Great book (although there were numerous typo that drove me nuts) and now I just have to wait a year for the third book. :) I am also reading 7. Only partway through that one, but it is a very interesting read and I love Jen Hatmaker's style of writing. And I love the motivation behind the minimalism she chooses. We already have so much while others have so little. It's good to step into their shoes for a while.

Hoping that in the next couple of months there will be more time for knitting and reading since we are free from the normal rhythm of our days. I so love the relaxed pace of summer.

Now off to start our day and then hopefully get some time to peruse all the blogs joining in the yarn along. I have so missed all the inspiration and community these past weeks. 
joining in with small things

Monday, June 18, 2012

Counting His Unending Gifts :: June 18

Paying attention to our lives is a way to pay thanks to our Lord.
~Ann Voskamp

helpful older siblings
mementos of a trip
clean house and full fridge
one last splurge
loving on daddies
Love of my Father
light playing over fields
food for feathered friends
fresh growth in the garden


Friday, June 15, 2012

It's a Small World After All.....


Our world grows ever smaller as technology and travel advance. Children today live in a very different world where they interact with many from different cultures, religions, what have you. And as they navigate their way around this world it is vitally important that they be aware of the differences and have compassion for their fellow man.

Global awareness is a passion of mine and one that we try to instill in our kids. Over at Simple Homeschool there are some fantastic ideas on how to build global awareness in your child. Fantastic read. And for a more personal way to instill global awareness you could sponsor a sweet child like Jen over at 4tunate. Beautiful post. (and a side note on sponsorship....it is one of the simplest ways to touch a life. and it really doesn't cost all that much. maybe just don't buy some coffee or a magazine or whatever it is each week you can't do without and bless another. some options are world vision and compassion.) And just one more that I stumbled across this afternoon....a lovely article on the Huffington Post about raising global citizens.

Have a blessed weekend as you enjoy your corner of the world. 

Five Minute Friday :: Path

some of the ones who keep life interesting

As a young girl I planned on going to college, becoming a lawyer, and living a fantastic life.

Then as a teenager life suddenly veered off course. Pregnant, in an abusive relationship, desperately lonely. All the plans that had been made were changed and just surviving the day was paramount.

Fast forward a couple years and once more my life path changed dramatically. Only this time, instead of my own choices causing change it was God's beautiful grace.

This new path of life I lead is nothing like what I had mapped out as a young woman. It's challenging, exciting, and so very full and beautiful. And I am choosing to embrace it to the fullest.....no matter what detours lie ahead.


joining up at gypsy mama
(so thankful for this prompt today. after a couple weeks away from blogging this was a lovely way to jump back in.) 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Counting His Unending Gifts :: June 11

Oh, it's been a full couple of weeks. Family has been visiting and we've been traveling all around Germany with them. Tons of fun, but really ready for life to be back to normal (whatever that is). As we've had this complete change from normal life though many of God's blessings have really stood out.

the beauty and freedom of staying at home with my children
watching the rain come down on the Alps
rustic rockers
God given peace
shared beliefs and goals with the man
time away to really appreciate home
ancient castles
beautiful abbeys
flowers from the king's garden


 linking up at a holy experience

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: See

The parents are visiting. We have spent the time traveling around Europe and reminiscing. As we have done these things my eyes have been opened.

I am seeing for the first time how Americans are perceived in many places overseas as I watch my parents travel.

I am seeing how very different our views of the past are and how some continue to hold tight to the hurt and mistakes.

I am seeing how I have become my own person, with my own identity and views from my parents.

It has been saddening and freeing at the same time. Seeing the growth away from what I was raised in is scary, but it opens me to so much.....more beauty, chances, culture, relationship, life.


joining up at gypsy mama

Survive 125

In the developed world we have no idea what those who live in poverty really face. Their day to day life seem so far removed and we don't fully understand all the challenges that they face.

58: has created a game, called Survive125, that allows you to see what it's like to live on a $1.25 a day and to see if you can survive the month. It is an eyeopening experience.

If you have some free time this weekend I encourage you to check it out. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Opportunity

Today's choice...a picnic over cleaning.

In this life there are so many choices, decisions, opportunities.

Gratitude or thanklessness.

Joy or sorrow.

Stepping out of your comfort zone or choosing to stay where it's "safe."

Investing in the lives of others or self-centeredness.

Losing it over some dirt or sharing in the joy of being a child and experiencing life.

Beauty or ugliness.

Faith or not.

Trust or desperately seeking to control all of life.

To-dos and busyness or relationship.

And so, today, I choose to embrace the beautifully messy life that I've been given by His hand making the most of every opportunity.

joining up at gypsymama.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yarn Along :: May 23

It's been a crazy couple of weeks with life not going as planned. So I found some sanity in knitting and reading this past week. Definitely the best way to calm oneself.


The front part of the sweater is ready for me to start on the sleeves. It's a simple pattern that I am able to knit while doing pretty much anything. And I finally cast on for a sleeveless pullover for myself. It is also a pretty simple pattern so I can just mindlessly knit on it too while traveling around playing tour guide to the parents.

As for reading I finished Radical and loved. Such a convicting book and it has really challenged my thinking on what real faith is. Now I am reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. Seeing how far America has gone from real food is rather scary. Really engaging read. And I am reading Knitting for Peace. It is making me want to go out and buy all the yarn to complete every project in the book. Should probably finish all my other ones first though.

For more inspiration head to small things.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: May 21

The past week was filled with interruptions, inconveniences, weird rashes, military exercises. Nothing that was planned went according to plan. This space where I can get my thoughts out remained silent.

The only way to survive the week was to cling to Him and vent to Him.....not facebook or friends or blog. It all was poured out to Him. And in that turning to Him grace was poured out.

And in all the crazy there was an element of peace. How God's plan is always infinitely better than mine showed through. All that He gives was abundantly clear and dearly appreciated.

So much gratitude for all that He freely gives......

helping hands
watching the man live part of his dream
new tires
registered cars....finally
hail and farewell
snuggly littles
lemon trees....in Germany!
freshly turned earth
flash from the past
quiet moments early in the morning
dirt under nails
God's words penetrating soul deep


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Identity


For years I hated sharing that I stayed home to care for my precious ones. That I sacrificed all the dreams and plans to care for them first. And it wasn't others reactions......it was my own. The frustration, tiredness, anger (at times) that my identity was fully and completely wrapped up in them.


But miracles were worked in......

chubby little boy hugs
sweet smiles straight from naptime
the crazy stories created by the oldest
the random gifts for "the best mommy ever"
cuddling on the couch
chasing them around the yard
the beauty of watching them grow


Just in experiencing the small, ordinary moments of life with them I saw how infinitely blessed I am. My heart swelled with love, joy, peace with the identity I have.....Mama. And I wouldn't change it for anything. 

 joining up at gypsymama

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yarn Along :: May 9

Yeah, same pic as last week. :)

Well, nothing new really this week. Between sick and teething kids, tball, and being the world's slowest knitter I have added a few new rows to the sweater. I did manage to get four skeins wound so that I won't have to do it later when I finish a ball.

Still reading Radical. Absolutely fantastic, challenging book. I am really enjoying it. And for some lighter reading I picked up Mercy by Jodi Picoult. Like usual, she has written another engaging read.

Now in my spare minutes I think I shall head to small things for some inspiration.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Knitting for Good


Caring for the needs of those who live with less, in poverty, in persecution is a deep passion of mine. Yet, being home with my children, educating them is another passion. I struggle to balance the two and find ways to serve, to give. Many times it feels as though there is nothing that I will ever do that will make a difference. A big difference.

Only, Christ doesn't call us to do it all, to solve all the problems of the poor. We are just to serve, to care, to give.

And so I knit. There are sweaters, squares, bears. So many simple, easy ways for me to make both passions work together. Those handmade items may seem small to me, but to those who are cold or lonely or naked they are life changing.

It may be a small thing, but it matters to the one.

part two in a series 
part one here

{for some inspiration in what to knit you can also check out the books Knitting for Peace and Craft Activism)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Real

Real is not the image you see on the blog. Or in facebook status updates. The polished, life-is-perfect, I have it altogether woman who steps out this front door is not real.

My two year old doing construction in the dining room. 

It's an image.

The real is the messy house; the teething, not sleeping little ones (which means not sleeping mama); the fight to make a marriage work when your best friend is gone a majority of the time; the heartbreaking loneliness of trying to find that niche, those friends that know you better than you know yourself; the sweat pant days.

Real isn't always pretty or fun or nice. But it's life in all it's beautiful glory. And rather than try to keep up an image I think I'll choose real. It's so much less work. Well, until it's time to clean up the mess.


joining up at gypsymama

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yarn Along :: May 2

Making some progress on the sweater.....although the needles are so small I feel like I am going to snap them. To {hopefully} make some progress in my knitting this month I have set a few goals of things I would like to get done. Maybe having something to new to show each week will motivate me.

As for reading, I finally finished all the books that were in progress. I am now reading What the World Eats. Such an absolutely fascinating, eye-opening read. Really hoping I can get my hands on the other books the authors have compiled. I am also reading Radical. After all the good things I have heard about it I am really looking forward to getting into it. Most nights I can only get a page or two before sleep claims me.

Head over to small things for more inspiration. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Counting His Unending Gifts :: April 30

A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting out the love of Christ. 
~Ann Voskamp

Continuing the counting of God's bounty of blessings......

unexpected evenings home
voices raised in praise
ultrasounds and colonoscopys turning out well so far
hands laid on in prayer
email connections across the miles
sun breaking through
stomp songs
watching my love perform and fulfill one of his dreams


little man's tball
bbq'ing
rest.....lots of rest
smell of fresh cut grass
twirling little ones



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Community




All through my childhood I just knew I would live in my hometown my whole life staying where it was comfortable and everyone was known. And then I met my honey and we moved away. The military likes to do that.

Everything was new.....home, neighborhood, state, friends. And even though it took time, it worked. My closest relationships were formed. Bonds were made that are far stronger than where we live.

And then another move, this time overseas. More newness. A whole lot more. And no friends, no fellowship, no shoulder to cry on when you need it. That nine hour difference kind of makes it difficult. So new relationships, new bonds must be formed.

It's not an easy thing to leave all you know, all the relationship, the closeness but it's such a fantastic experience too. Now those bonds stretch around the world.

Joining up at gypsy mama.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yarn Along :: April 25

the blue yarn is my daughter's and the ball of tan is for the sweater
though that was a pretty non gender specific color

Well, I finished the first square for Knit-a-Square and decided on the yarn I am going to use to knit the first sweater for Knit for Kids. And in some spare moments I began teaching my daughter to knit. She loves to create and talk to this seemed like a good way to spend some one on one time.

Still haven't finished my books that I started a while back mainly because I tired of non-fiction. So, for some variety I decided to reread The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Such an engaging read and a nice break. Maybe this weekend I will finish up those last few bits of the other books I have going.

Head to small things for some more inspiration. 

The Power of Yes

Yes does not come easily.

The no prevents mess when they want to create and craft. Keeps the kids from bouncing around after a sugary snack. Allows me finish up one more task while they go off to do something alone. Doesn't let them zone out in front of video games (even though they've been cooped up due to rain and would really love to just bounce around in front of the kinect). Helps to maintain my sanity when they request to do something that just irks me or inconveniences me or what have you.

But no also crushes little ones hearts. It squashes creativity. It puts tasks, to-dos ahead of relationship. With no there is no nurture, no connection.

And so, yes is making a comeback in our home.

Saying yes to creating.....even if it means we have to spend some extra time cleaning up later. The joy when they proudly display their work is worth it.

Saying yes to reading or coloring or whatever with them.....even though I know I'll have extra work to do once they are in bed. They are only mine for a short time and I want to cherish them.

Saying yes to walking in the rain, baking something delicious, or just plain talking. Relationship is paramount and needs to be nurtured. They need to be lavished in my love and attention.

Cause really, I don't want to look back when they are grown and gone and wish that I had said yes. 
 Joining up here.