Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Gift

Overflowing love for these precious gifts from my Father.
One of the greatest I have ever received.

Joining up at gypsy mama

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yarn Along :: March 28

Only a bit of progress on the knitting this week. It's been beautiful here in western Germany and so most of our time has been spent enjoying the outdoors.

Still reading You're Already Amazing along with many others over at (in)courage. It's the book club selection this time around and the videos are a great supplement to the book. And I am also reading Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl. Great read so far and I think it will be good food for thought as my daughter moves into the tween years. {I hate that term by the way....she is still just a little girl. Must we force these little ones into a category? That will happen soon enough as they move out in this world. Anyway....}

For more inspiration head to small things.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: March 26

The secret to having it all is knowing you already do.

Loving the simple things He's given.....

capturing the ordinary
H2O--clean and available
purple flowers poking through

setting new goals
moms for social good
a charged ipod

running plans
cold showers
fresh banana bread

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Change in the Making

Surrendering to God.....allowing change to take all to Him. Painful yet necessary.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Loud

Little ones cries in the night.

Tractors racing down the road.

Music blasting from the pub across town.

Crazy silly laughter while playing outside.

Cheers from soccer matches.

Screaming, snot streaming tantrums.

Sizzling, baking, boiling food.

"Guten tag" to friendly neighbors.

Our life is busy. And it is loud. But it is full of love and joy and I wouldn't have it any other way.

linking up here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Searching for Stones

Anyone who has ever read anything about time management has probably heard about the activity where you place some stones in a jar, then small pebbles, then sand, then water. All of these items are to represent the activities or priorities in your life.

I love this simple illustration. When life is filled with the lesser, the not necessary then the good and important are crowded out. Unfortunately in my life I have been filling my jar with all the sand and pebbles first. So, the jar has been dumped out in order to be refilled.

Before the filling though I had to let go of the notion that I can do everything. I had to let go of comparison with others. I had to surrender to God's plan for my life and family. Not easy things mind you, but necessary. So, after some thought and prayer here are.....

My big rocks {the must haves in life}.....

Christ--there must be time with Him daily and preferably first thing. For me, starting with some prayer always makes my day go more smoothly than if I just jump in head first. And then incorporating some hard stops throughout my day to refocus on Him, gain strength and patience.
{this first one is so important. as a perfectionist with a bit of ocd I can easily be sidetracked by my to-dos and let the truly important things slide.}

Relationship--being present, setting aside the to-do list to focus on my family and friends and build those relationships is so much more important than if I mop the floor on Wednesday like I plan. Really, it is.

Homeschool--our children's education is not something we want to do casually. We are teaching and training them for their future and take it seriously. This is one of the non-negotiables of our day.....even if we only get in a bit of reading and a field trip.

Social Justice--helping those who are trapped in poverty, who must do with less or without, who are forced to serve others is a passion God has placed on our family. Finding ways to serve and minister are part of our daily life and something that we make a priority.

Exercise--depression stalks me daily and if I am able to get some sort of physical activity {running is best for me} than I am much better able to fight off those dark feelings.

Outdoors--getting outside each day helps us fight off some of the lurking germs, get some vitamin d, enjoy the beauty of where we live. Plus, it's just fun to play with the kids and see how happy they get while climbing trees or eating dirt. :)

All the rest, the pebbles and sand, are things like knitting, reading, time spent online, etc. As long as my priorities are in place and I am making sure to take care of my biggies each day then all else will fall into place.

Now I am off to fill a jar with some rocks and dirt to have a visual reminder to focus on the big rocks for a more peaceful, joy-filled day. Cause well, I need it.

Some great reads on time management......

Time Management 101 :: Money Saving Mom

Why I'm Glad We're Quitters :: Inspired to Action

Maximize Your Mornings :: Inspired to Action
there are also links to some other great reads on setting goals and creating a mission statement which really help in defining what is a priority in your life.

linked up here

Yarn Along :: March 21

Progress--finally! The front of the pillow is coming along so much quicker than the back. Pretty sure it's because there is so many color changes so I don't get bored like I did with the monotony of the back. Knitting with one color for 26 straight inches is a bit boring. :)

The colors are gray, lavendar, and a deep purple.

Simplicity Parenting is done. So much good stuff in it....especially the parts on soul fevers, finding rhythm for our days, limiting media.....that I am still pondering it. Now I am reading You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth. Only a few pages in and I swear she is talking directly to me. Can't wait to get more into it.

For more inspiration head to small things.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesdays Around the World

Some good reads {and tea} to plan for simplifying our home and life.....and finding joy in all of it.

Find more bits of life around the world at communal global.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: March 19

Daily I am stunned by the grace Christ pours out on me....a fallen, failing, lost woman. His love for me is astounding. My counting of all that He gives...good and a simple way to acknowledge all He has done.

A few of His poured out graces......

mount laundry conquered (at least for a couple days)
paper bag puppets
impromptu puppet shows
head to toe dirt
extended read aloud time
power of make believe

bits of spring inside
soccer fun
tickling little ones
reading Extra Yarn to the little ones

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five minute Friday: Brave

What is it to be brave?

Is it moving to a new country?

Stepping out of a comfort zone to teach?

Going on missions to another new country?

Fighting back depression each day?

It can be all of these. Yet, what it is most of all is learning to be myself. To live out my beliefs and passions regardless of other opinions. It is not an easy road, but at the end of the day all the pain and struggle are worth it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yarn Along :: March 14

sorry for the pooor quality....taken with my phone early this am. The yarn is a deep purple and then a dark lavendar. )

Well, not a ton of knitting going on here. I did cast on for the front of the pillow, but am needing to wind one of the skeins of the alternating color so I can make some progress. And even though I am still slowly plugging away at the pillow I did go out and buy the needed supplies to knit me up a pair of socks. But first that darned yarn winding.

I have been plowing through Simplicity Parenting this week. It's been a crazy few weeks and our rhythm has turned to chaos. Between the house, schedule, and schooling being a mess this {attempting to not be so} perfectionist mama is devouring all I can read on restoring rhythm and balance to our home.

For more inspiration head to small things.

Restoring Rhythm

{Rhythm......movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like.}

We cling to rhythm, the predictable, knowing what comes next of life. When that beat of life changes it can wreak havoc on a peaceful home. Trust me.

Our home and life typically flow in a simple rhythm that allows for everyone (especially my two with security issues) to feel secure, peaceful, relaxed, balanced. However, in the past few weeks that carefully cultivated beat has dissolved.

Each day is a struggle. A struggle to get school, chores, to-dos, errands, extras done. Constantly we are rushing from one thing to the next to get it all done in a day. And always something is left undone.

Frustration is at an all time high in our home. Little ones {and the big ones} are acting out and creating even more discord.

And so over the next month or so I will be chronicling our journey back to a simple rhythm. Hopefully this will restore some of the peace in our home. May it reign in yours.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesdays Around the World

A bit of the beauty of spring brightening our home.

See more slices of life from around the world at communal global.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: March 12

A few of His poured out blessings......

a peaceful morning
tantrum free physical therapy
melting wax
smoke curling from chimneys
frost sparkling trees
bear hugs from little man
patter of raindrops
perusing the craft aisles
a way to serve
quiet moments at the coffee shop

Love this counting of gifts....a simple way to find the beautiful extraordinary in the everyday of life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yarn Along :: March 7

After a week break from knitting I finally got some time this weekend to fit some in. Yay! Other than some finishing touches the felted bag is finished. The little miss that it's for will love it. My replacement needles finally arrived and so I am back at work on the pillow. A couple more inches and the back is done. Really excited to start on the front with all it's color changes. Hopefully will start to cast on for my sweater now that the yarn is in.

As for reading, Simplicity Parenting was put on hold while I plowed through a stack of books from the library. Gotta love when all the holds come in at once. :) Read The Help, The Litigators, and Home Front. Great reads. And now I am back to the parenting book and my stash of new knitting books.

Head to small things for more inspiration.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Simple Day

In our little corner of the world life is moving along peacefully today. Just schooling, being together, and maybe venturing out into the sun if it continues to poke out from under rain clouds. Lovely, simple day.

joining up with communal global for peeks at life around the globe.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Counting God's Unending Gifts :: March 5

Life can be so crazy at times and the best laid plans can go awry yet through it all God's hand is there guiding my life and I am so incredibly thankful. Just some of the gifts....

eradicating germs
kids excited Tim is their brother

Oh, he looks so big in this picture. Love my baby!
a good three miles
overflowing fridge
a day altogether
recording memories
sleeping baby in arms
taxes (yes, we are thankful for tax season as weird as that is)
sleeping baby in arms

My sweet girl waiting to get the ball. (and where I learned taking a picture with a two year old climbing on you is difficult.)