Tuesday, February 25

Trinity Women

Here I sit at my desk with an empty pint of ice cream that I started last night. I also sit just three days from flying 538 miles with Jeremy to meet our new six year-old son. Hopefully by next Sunday night, we'll be on a plane with a little boy in the next seat headed home. We still haven't received the big official okay to bring him home, but it looks promising. Pray for us?

I want time to speed up and I want it to slow down. I ache for him to be home and at home here. But I'm also savoring the last days in this chapter of our family as it is right now. The emotions swing up high and they dip down low.

At times, I'm akin to a boxer in one of those silk robes and a mouth guard, ready to fight for the heart of a little boy.

Other moments, I see myself more like Jesus as he's pictured in a children's Bible sitting on a rock wearing a pleasant expression with arms outstretched happily welcoming children onto his knee. 

And then there's the me I'm least proud of. The me who gets fearful and wants to run into the bathroom and hide behind the shower curtain. There will be changes up ahead that will alter my already stretched out, yet happy bubble. And they make me want to hide.

I'm three-in-one.


I think there might be a three-in-one in all of us.

We fight for the stuff we believe in and love passionately.
But we hide from things that threaten our comfort and seek to change us too much. Oh, how we loathe the process of being changed. We're all in, yet search for the nearest exit.

It's okay to feel more than one emotion even when we're trusting God. It doesn't mean we're wrong, bad, off-course, or strange. I like to think of us as trinity women. We each have many facets, yet are one woman. Of course I don't compare us to the Trinity. Goodness. But I think the analogy works.

I've yet to meet a woman who is able to hold steady in just one emotion before walking into the unknown. There's usually fear coupled with tingly excitement. A healthy dose of confidence mingled with self-doubt. Sadness mixed with pure joy.

As it is right now, when I move into battle for a young heart, Jesus fights for me. Even if I'm trembling rather than bold.
As I love people and open my life to them in His name, Jesus continues to envelop me in His. Even if my arms are weak.
And if I hide from what I fear, He'll tuck in behind the shower curtain and whisper the truth about my future. Even when I doubt.

And He'll do the same for you when you do your thing. That multi-faceted woman thing.

Since Jesus holds our future, we really should believe Him. It will turn out okay in the end. Maybe your okay will come next week, or maybe not for a year or even a far-off ten, but one day it will be made right. That sounds depressing, but it's true. And good.

So tell me, trinity woman, what emotions are you facing as you step out into the unknown?

Tuesday, February 18

When the One You Want to Help the Least Needs You the Most

An exhausted young mother tosses the question out onto social media, "Does anyone have any tips for getting a baby to sleep through the night?"

Commenters eagerly pounce.

We love to share our opinions. We love to share what has worked for us. We're eager to see our chosen method be successful for someone else.
I'm convinced that posts asking for advice receive the most comments of all.

She'll get answers touting the benefits of co-sleeping, Ferberizing, sleeping on baby's floor, rocking, Babywise, The Baby Whisperer, baby wearing, shushing into baby's left ear, crying it out, white noise makers, earplugs, vibrating bouncy seats, and the ever-faithful wisecrack about giving the baby Benedryl.


Another woman asks for help with a decision: "Which paint color do you like best for our kitchen? Peacock Attack or Blueberry Muffin Top?"

She'll receive loads of votes, leaving Blueberry Muffin Top at the top of the podium, but last on the list of enticing names. We love to make swift and easy decisions. It's satisfying to share our two cents, and we feel useful. Even in the smallest sense.

But then there's the woman who posts that she's struggling. Again.

"When will the family drama ever end? I'm so sick and tired of this. I don't think I can do it anymore. I can't focus at work. I'm so distracted and lame when I'm with the kids. This. Just. Isn't. Working."

Ah, yes... the social media downer. These are the posts we love to scroll right by without giving them much thought., except to type out a chipper, "Praying!" Maybe she's being dramatic or is just feeling lonely at the moment.

Either way, why should we get involved? It sounds like a private affair.
She might suck us dry if we reach out a hand.
She might start calling every day expecting something.
She might want to be like friends or something.

But do you know something?

While the circumstances she finds herself in may be private, a caring voice or gesture of friendship is always appreciated. Sometimes it's a lifesaver. Quite literally.

She might actually need you.
You might be just the one to help her rise to the surface and breathe in a gulp of fresh air for the first time in forever. (I couldn't resist. We're big fans of the Frozen soundtrack around here.)

Your words of comfort and hope just might be the ticket to freedom for her. She may feel the arms of Christ around her because of the steps you've taken in love toward her. When others scrolled right by, you stopped.

Just like the woman who touched Jesus' robe. She was making a desperate plea. But she dared not come right out and say. "Will you help me, Jesus?"

She came in the back door by simply touching him.
And He stopped and gave life to her wilting body.

Maybe your friend can't come right out and ask for help. Maybe she doesn't know how. So what if we just offered it?

So go ahead, send her a private message. Call to say that dinner will be delivered tomorrow night at 6:00p.m. Offer to meet and talk or watch her kids so she can just be for a while.

We love to give advice, but what if we loved to give of ourselves even more?

Philippians 2:4
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Tuesday, February 11

Wisdom from Anne Shirley for the Homeschooling Mom

Creative Commons: Mr Moss

As a devoted Anne of Green Gables fan, I can’t help but smile when I think about Anne.

I love the books, the movies, Prince Edward Island, the trouble she gets herself into, the clothing, and the unintentionally wise or hilarious things she says.

I often feel like Anne, bounding from one scrape to the next in my days as a homeschooling mom.


Continue reading the rest of this post over at The Homeschool Classroom, where I'm sharing wisdom that can be found in the words of Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables!

Wednesday, February 5

6 Things I Learned in January

At the end of each month, I like to share what I've learned, mostly so I won't forget and partly because maybe you'll learn from me and not repeat my mistakes or maybe you'll learn something new as well.

January was a month of deeply profound moments, along with some silly realizations and lessons learned along the way. So here you go:

1.  I'm a new Apple product user. I own an iPad mini, and can I just say how excited I was to learn that you can take a screen shot by holding down the home button and the power button at the same time? If that's what they're even called. This has been a game changer for me. I save all sorts of reminders in the form of quotes, pictures, or articles. I know you already knew this, but this was huge for me.

2.  I didn't learn this in January, but I was reminded how much I love listening to some good soul music when I'm making dinner. My favorite songs are Aretha Franklin's Send Me, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's Ain't No Mountain High Enough, and Natalie Cole's Everlasting Love. Sometimes I listen to a sermon podcasts, sometimes worship music, sometimes I watch old episodes of Downton Abbey, and sometimes I listen to soul. You just never know.

3.  Though they might be cute and they may be cheap, don't be tempted buy those skinny multicolored drinking straws at the store. They're so narrow that you'll turn blue in the face from lack of oxygen before finishing your glass of water. I bought them, so I'm determined to use them up one tiny sip at a time. I've tried the two straws together trick, like my kids do at church with those little stir sticks that aren't even straws. But that was a no-go. I love straws and always have them in the house. So if you come into my kitchen, you will nearly always see a glass of water on the counter with a straw in it. But this month, the straws are skinnier and deeply perplexing and I can see the hope of larger straws off somewhere in the distance.

P.S. McDonald's has the best straws. Though the worst food.

4.  After a carbon monoxide scare earlier this month, which had the children and I evacuated at 7:30 a.m., I learned that one should keep the diaper bag stocked at all times with what is needed for a full day out of the house. Because extra diapers are a really, really good thing. Thankfully, we didn't need the extra diapers, but it was a lesson learned. And then there's the issue of food. We sat in our driveway with the paramedics until around 10:00 a.m., and none of us had eaten breakfast. We were fine, of course, but having water and snacks stored in the car for such occasions would have been smart.

5.  If you are anything like me, and you get a phone call on an ordinary day asking you to adopt a 6 year old-boy in need of a family, your first reaction will be a mix of sheer panic and grief. Panic that has you asking, can we and should we do this? And grief that mourns at the sadness of it all. But panic and grief turn into resolve, which then turns into a mission. It took us a week to come to what we felt was the best decision for this little guy and our family, and wrap our heads and hearts around what God was trying to do. While we thought the process to bring him home would be a little quicker, the time to prepare has been good. So good. We've had the time to tether our thinking, adjust our prayers, and ready our children and home. And part of  that preparation involved the building of two sets of bunk beds. Jeremy has worked non-stop over two weekends and every weeknight to get the beds completed. And now they sit ready to be painted and assembled.

He may be brought to us or we may fly out to get him, we aren't yet sure of the details. But either way, a son is coming home, and that's reason to rejoice!

6.  Now this next one completely blew my mind. I've never gone to Bible school, though I secretly hope to take classes someday, even if only online. But each week, as I sit in my women's Bible study, I get a taste of what going to Bible school would be like. A few weeks back, one of our Pastors, came in to give us an overview of Biblical history at the time of the prophets. We were beginning to study the minor prophets, so we were getting our bearings, making sure we knew the background information. Maybe you've known this forever, but it was the first time I'd ever heard it. For years, I've been confused when the Bible talks about the king of Judah or the king of Israel. Why were there two separate kings? What happened? I could have simply asked someone or looked it up, but I didn't.

Simply put, the twelve tribes of Israel had a falling out with each other, resulting in a bad breakup. The 10 tribes who would become the northern kingdom of Israel, refused to accept Rehoboam (Solomon's son) as their king after King Solomon's death. So only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to the house of David, making up the southern kingdom of Judah. Some time later, the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians, leaving Judah the sole remaining kingdom.

My mind was blown. How did I not know this?

Also, the Samaritans? You know those people in the New Testament that were disliked by everyone? After the Assyrians conquered Israel, they settled in the city of Samaria, which was the capital city of Israel making them the Samaritans. No wonder nobody liked them.

Please tell me you didn't know this either.

Well, that's it, friends -- that's what I learned in January.
Did you learn anything cool, silly, or interesting this month?

I'd love to hear.

Sunday, February 2

Stitch Fix #1 {I'm Hooked}

Today my very first Stitch Fix arrived in the mail! I nearly tackled Jeremy as he walked in the door with it. But instead I grabbed my iPad and snapped a picture. He was more than happy to pose for his ridiculously giddy wife.

Never heard of it? I shared what Stitch Fix is all about last week HERE.

When I scheduled this Fix, I specified that I'd love to have a tunic (long shirt) or two included. I like wearing skinny jeans, but I'll only wear them under a loooong shirt. I've been scouring stores lately looking for some well-made tunics, but I usually only shop clearance racks, so it's been a challenge to find anything that fits my criteria.

Well, my stylist (I love that I can say that) included two tunics in this Fix, and I was so pleased to see them. And then there's my unhealthy addiction to stripes. She fed that addiction by including three striped items in my box. I love her already.

Seriously, this company has great marketing and sheer awesomeness down pat. Look at those little style cards (above right) giving me ideas for styling the pieces they sent! Genius. And then there was a little personal note from my stylist. She had gone to my Pinterest My Style fashion board (I provided the link) to better understand what I like to wear. Or dream to wear. Either way.

Stitch Fix nailed it. I should note that every time I type out Stitch Fix, I accidentally type Stitch Fitch.

I completely loved all five pieces in my Fix, but I did not love posing for awkward full-lenth mirror selfie after awkward selfie to share this fun experience with you. It was torturous. I took 88 pictures for the five semi-decent ones below. Clearly I need to get better at this sort of thing. Obviously this is not required, but I really wanted to share all of this with you. Who knows? You may end up trying it to!

I have to give a disclaimer right here at the start, because I kept it ALL and you're going to think I'm a regular old money bags. I absolutely am not. I have seven kids -- enough said.  

I was able to buy all five items in this Fix because I had enough credit in my account (thanks to a Christmas gift card and credit from friends signing up to try it too) to cover all but $54.50 of it. So I would highly recommend telling your friends about it, should you decide to pay the $20 and give it a try!

Now that the items of business are out of the way, here's what I got in my box:

Item #1 -  Peach Cream Love, Archibald Printed Henley Tunic

This tunic was perfect, and so, so me. The fabric was thick and nice, and super soft too. It was a perfect fit. Nothing pulling or too tight. This was a natural keeper that I won't be wearing with leggings when I wear it out of the house. Skinny jeans or a skirt are more like it... In my book, leggings go under dresses or are worn to bed. They are not real pants. 

Item #2 - Lasome, Pacific Chevron Print Skirt

See? I told you these selfies were hard. When in doubt, just make a funny face!
I'm so crazy in love with chevron print, but I never expected to find it on an item of clothing in my box. What delight! I love this knit skirt, it is so twirly and flowy, and is made of a thick material. Not like those jersey knit skirts that are thin and stick to you, showing (ahem) everything. The length falls just right on my 5'5" frame. LOVE.

Item #3 - 19 Cooper, Clemency Diamond Print Tab-Sleeve Tunic

This second tunic made me so happy as well. I love the colors (navy/coral), they help get me out of the color rut in my closet. The length is great, and so is the fit. Again, I won't be wearing this in real-life with leggings, but that's what I grabbed today. I love me a good tunic. Long shirts rock when you're birthed five babies and would love some midsection camouflage. 

Item #4 - 41Hawthorn, Corinna Striped Dolman Top

I was excited to pull this shirt out of the box for two reasons: the stripes and the red.
Red is my favorite color to wear and to see, but right now, I don't own any red shirts. For shame! So this little number is a welcome addition to my closet. Plus, it's comfy and fits just right. I'm amazed at how well everything fit. This NEVER happens to me in a store dressing room. In your style profile, it has you list your height, weight, body type, etc... I'd imagine that greatly helps them figure out what will work for your body.

Item #5 - Loveappella, Dellen Chiffon Trim Striped Thermal

You can't tell from the picture, but this shirt is a waffle-knit thermal. It's extremely comfortable, and is trimmed with black sheer chiffon fabric at the bottom. I honestly would have passed it right by in a store because of the $54.00 price tag. But, since I received 25% off the entire box for buying all five items, it was was a no-brainer to keep it too. I really do like it, and it can be worn in so many ways!

So I'd say this first Stitch Fix was a huge success! 

I plan to schedule another fix in the next few months, and have an idea of what sort of items I'd like to see in the next box. Go ahead, give it a try!!! There's nothing like trying on clothes in the comfort of your own home that a stylist picked out just for you. 

I'm curious, which item was your favorite??