No More ‘Pain in the Neck’

I could probably write every one of my posts each week sharing about an experience from substitute teaching. Maybe that means it’s just that entertaining at times or there are an endless amount of life lessons offered when I’m at the schools.

Just yesterday I was teaching p.e. again and we were in an intense game of line tag when a little brown haired gal (cute as ever) quickly but cautiously made her way to me. She was holding her neck with both hands and the words that poured from her panicked voice were this:

“My neck is hurting and I can’t move it!! It hurts really bad!!”

She paused for a few seconds and seemed to examine my expression and then without wasting another moment she dramatically blurted out, “I think it’s broke! I think my neck is broken!!”

Side-note: You guys here’s why I shouldn’t be allowed to adult most days because for a half a second I entertained the idea; I was like “oh shoot what if it actually is!?”

I’m a bit sensitive about neck injuries ever since my dad’s dirt bike racing accident that left him a quadriplegic, so I’m gonna give myself the benefit of a fair excuse.

I gathered myself and asked her what happened and if she could turn her neck slowly from side to side. I’m assuming she must have strained her neck a bit when she was running and that was the cause. Calmly and rationally we made ‘headway’ and determined her neck was in fact still intact and she’d be alright. After the reassurance, off she ran for more line tag just like that!!

Boy can I ever relate to the symbolic storyline of that whole deal when I compare it to the things I’ve freaked out about throughout different stages of life.

I was a skilled self-diagnosed hypochondriac for years…worrying about anything from my children’s health to well-being, to what people thought of me, to finances, to my premature gray hair which by the way was probably multiplying rapidly because of my worrying…the list “went” on…

And quite frankly it all made up my own definition of a pain in the neck.

I’ve come so far away from those worries…except my soon-to-be-sixteen-year-old driving in a few months…that one I’m still working on letting Jesus take the wheel entirely. I’m getting closer with this too though!

After reflecting on the “broken neck” scene from yesterday and because of the over the top drama I laugh just a smidge and it causes me to ask one question…

How many of our worries are all done in vain?

As I’ve looked back and taken inventory over how God has seen me through my trials, I’ve noticed that not one of the things I’ve ever given worry to have actually prevailed. Ever! The odds of victory are in God’s favor. They’re not for me to chase!

Some of the very first verses that I memorized when I came to faith and realized God’s word is the answer in all situations were on the topic of overcoming worry:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6

Give all your worries and your cares to God for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

Those, among a few others, were such a blessing of truth and still speak to me today when I tend to wander away from practicality.

Just like I had to comfort that young fretting sweetie in my p.e. class yesterday during our game, God is always available and willing to do the same for us, no matter the amount of physical or emotional pain we struggle with. He’s a Perfect Healer and we can find relief from our burdens through worship, fellowship with other believers, prayer, and reading His word!

Tag, you’re it!! Let’s not waste any more time in unproductive worry when there’s so much more to life! To Him be the glory!!

Choosing Kindness in 2021

Each year I choose a word to focus on and this year my word is kindness.

Side-note: Last year my word was surrender because I knew it would help me give up control-freak issues. After covid unexpectedly came along surrender might have subconsciously been anyone’s word. Spritually-speaking I had the opportunity to grow and it ended up being a valuable lesson to live by. I learned to surrender in many ways throughout 2020 and had sort of this give-it-to-God mindset to go along with my word of surrender.

Ok so back to this year, it’s been really cool to see how often I’ve physically seen the word ‘kindness‘ in my presence.

I sub at quite a few different schools and in a majority of the classrooms and hallways I’ve been met by my word. There are posters, paintings, and phrases of encouragement containing the word kindness, all serving as personal reminders to me.

Outside one of the school’s windows that faces the playground is painted ‘choose kindness’ and another one that reads ‘kindness matters’.

It’s interesting to me because those words have probably been plastered all over the schools for years but until kindness became my word (this year) I think it went unnoticed on my radar, so to be aware and take notice has been refreshing.

Kindness isn’t something I want to take for granted. When I see that word I don’t want it to be just a simple reminder of my 2021 word of the year rather I want it to speak deep into my being. I want it woven into my heart and felt within my thoughts and actions. I want it to push me to literally show kindness and recognize it when I see others living it out.

With it being March already I have a few months practice into my word.

Recently I was at the dentist with my oldest daughter who had a tiny cavity filled (her first and hopefully only one ever).

Something I really respected was that the hygienist laid her hand on top of Paige’s hands to comfort her as the dentist used the needle to numb her mouth; it may sound silly but that act of kindness just stuck out so much to me! It was noticeably-caring and that type of thing goes far in this wild world we live in.

From that experience I realized how important it is for me to not only be practicing and showing kindness myself but also to see it in others.

When the dentist reached out to us the next day to check on Paige (yes she does that because she’s amazing) you can bet I made mention of the hygienist’s act of kindness.

Another example of kindness came in the form of a compliment this past week…

I was teaching an elementary p.e. class when a little blonde haired boy complained of his knee hurting. I told him to have a seat against the wall for a bit and see if that might help.

Meanwhile as a crazy loud game of tunnel tag continued that little guy with the hurt knee had apparently traded phys-ed for art class. After a few minutes of resting he excitedly tapped me on the arm and pulled from his pocket the tiniest little notepad and pen and flipped through the busy pages until he came to the one he’d just completed. Amongst doodles it read ‘you are a really kind p.e. teacher.’

It was super sweet and heart-warming.

When I chose the word kindness for 2021 I didn’t know it was going to impact my life in such ordinary ways but that’s exactly what I would’ve hoped for.

In the 3rd through 5th grade Sunday school class I teach at church the curriculum we use has a focus word each month. February’s word happened to be kindness, the description they gave was this:

In our little class we’ve talked about being kinder than you have to be, being kind to those who are different than we are, and being kind to others because God is kind to us. I also told them to be sure and notice how much that word is displayed in their schools!

On the flip side my own kiddos are very aware that ‘kindness’ is my 2021 word so when they catch my irritation in something they quickly remind me to “remember your word mom….” The accountability in that makes such a difference!

Kindness encourages me in a huge way. It’s selfless. It’s a choice. And it truly does matter.

Do you choose a word for the year? If so what is your word and have you seen positive results from it?

If you have a story of recent kindness I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

pic from YouVersion app

Sweet blessings!

Lessons from Grandpa Fred’s ‘Early’ Turn Signal

Every once in a while I reminisce back to the days of my early teen years. Often times that’s a mess of shame but there’s one memory that makes me smile or laugh out loud every time…

My best friend’s grandpa used to take her and I and another one of our friends to youth group a few towns away from where we grew up. I think her grandpa must’ve went to a Bible study group during that same time so it worked out pretty well.

The funny part about it is that he’d put his turn signal on in his classy white Lincoln Town car blocks before we’d ever get to the turn that lead to the church. I’d like to think it was because he was proudly but humbly letting people know where we were headed. Realistically that probably wasn’t the case — but either way (between sips of fruit flavored soda pop that he had treated us to) we’d quietly crack up because of his very early turn signal. I don’t think he ever caught on to our snickering…if so he never let us know.

I wish I could say I remember more about my time spent once we actually got to the church but unfortunately I was too self absorbed at that point of my life and probably present for the socializing more than anything.

Lately I’ve been substitute teaching over in that same little town where I used to hit up youth group and as I pull into town I can’t help but think about Grandpa Fred’s drastic turn signal antics.

It’s amusing to me that this memory comes to mind of all things and so I challenged myself to reflect and dig in a bit.

When driving, a turn signal serves as a warning for good purpose — for safety and protection.

The interesting thing is, that flashing signal before the turn is similar to the way God works. When we read His word, all throughout we see warnings and directions for our benefit, in effort to guide our lives before we step into trouble.

I praise God for that; it helps me navigate on the straight but narrow path.

There are times though when God’s warning signal is flashing and I choose to ignore or reject it. I fail to resort in putting His good word before life obstacles. When I deviate away I’m lost in twists, turns, and dead-ends.

In Psalm 25 verses 8-11 we read, ‘Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.’

Those words above remind me that scripture is the place to find instruction and guidance for my life, recognizing that I’m a sinner in need of His direction.

And then let’s check out Romans 15:4

‘For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.’

I love the inspiration packed into every one of those words.

When we consider the way the turn signal serves as a blessing for not only ourselves but others as well it pairs up with what we find as we read on in Romans 15…

Verses 5 & 6 have this to say: ‘May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

Notice how Paul’s words here are portraying the idea that when we are obedient to the Lord’s ways it should show in our behavior towards others. Obedience for ourselves and looking out for others is a way to glorify God, sort of this positive domino effect objective.

The same is true with using a turn signal. The advantage in its use is that it’s causing us to be other’s-focused whether we’ve thought about it or not. It does ourselves well when used, but the benefit it serves to others is just as huge. There’s two-way gratuity in it. Likewise God’s word guides and protects us and then we have the opportunity to share that blessing with others.

Looking back at Grandpa Fred’s early turn signal habit does my heart good.

The whole point in that half an hour drive was to deliver a few wild (and for the most part clueless girls) over to youth group — and himself to Bible study.

At the time we may have been giddy with excitement about a turn signal getting clicked on blocks before the turn but in hindsight Grandpa’s focus wasn’t caught up in a turn signal at all. Instead he knew that the real destination was all about ‘driving our faith.’

…Just as though God’s word guides us with ‘signal warnings’ throughout — the real effort is to navigate us closer and nearer to Jesus and His likeness, with our final destination Heaven-bound.

Becoming a ‘semi’ Minimalist, etc. (part 1 of 2)

Here’s the promised post some of you have been looking forward to.😊 BTW I’m out of quarantine — never got sick and honestly loved the time I had at home to organize, relax, and study! It was good for my soul.

Okay I know the title is misleading because while ‘minimalist’ refers to less, ‘etc.’ means more!! BUT here’s the deal, in effort to not overwhelm on a minimalist post 😅, I’ll split this into a two part post. Part 1 (today) I’ll dish out my spiral-story of minimizing on “stuff”, and part 2 (tomorrow) will include tips to help you do the same if you’re looking to declutter.

Disclaimer: I’ve named this post ‘semi’ minimalist and I want to explain — here’s the deal, if you’ve ever watched tv programs on tiny living there are some super extremist out there!! And I kind of admire that, BUT the reality (for me) is that I have a family and I need my life to work and make sense, so maybe I could minimize more here or there but we also need to be able to function decently at the Witt house so this ‘semi‘-minimalist-living is what works for us…

Mostly I receive positive comments or compliments from family and friends when they come over and see my home’s decor or lack there of. Even people have commented on the blog when they see pictures of my house’s content.

People are interested (maybe even sub-consciously) — in less distraction, tidiness, and clean design these days from what I’ve learned. The interest of thinning out can be overwhelming though — not taking action is sometimes a lack of knowing where to begin but having a strong desire to do so.

The enthusiasm has caused me to write this very post to help encourage the fervor.

For me I was always a collector growing up — those creepy little troll dolls, knick-knacks, baseball cards, collector Barbies, etc, etc, etc…

I’ve shared about my adversity as a child and I’m pretty certain collecting (for me) was a coping mechanism. I must have felt security through my stuff and I had a lot of it.

When I left for college I took some of the knick-knack things with me and left a good portion of the rest at home where I grew up.

In my twenties, once Nate and I were married, I began adding pots and pans, wall hangings, holiday decor, craft supplies, etc…

It didn’t stop there. I remember when Nate started getting his first paychecks from the job he’s still working at. It was good money and that was something neither of us had growing up so after the bills were paid every paycheck, we’d spend the rest on this and that — I don’t even know what we’d spend it on but we were definitely living paycheck to paycheck at that point.

In our late twenties we had over $10,000 worth of credit card debt, and another $8000 wrapped up in college debt, some odd amount on a personal loan, plus a car loan or maybe two, on top of a house payment.

One day, when I went to pay a credit card bill, I paid attention to the interest rate!!

Ouch!!

Our interest amount was of course higher than the monthly payment. I was like ‘umm we probably better do something about this!’….so I did the only financial thing I knew to do “best”…

I got another credit card!!

Only this time it was a zero percent interest card and I transferred everything from the other credit cards over and we began power paying that single credit card payment and stopped spending frivolously (tips will be provided in the follow-up post).

I was beginning the process of minimizing without even realizing it.

I’d also picked up on the Dave Ramsey financial plan from a few friends. I never purchased the program but learned enough about it to utilize the idea to my own advantage — power pay bills and use a cash envelope budget for grocery, fuel, and fun money.

Around that time Nathan (thank God) got two large bonus checks and rather than blowing them on junk, we paid off debt. So between the bonus checks and the Dave Ramsey budgeting we paid off everything except a car payment within a few years…the car is now paid off too.

Slow learners…shortly afterwards we bought a camper on a loan and kept it until this past summer, selling it and eliminating that payment.

We now have a house payment only!!!

Throughout the process of eliminating debt (and starting a savings account) I began to feel a weight lifted with every bill paid off…and I wanted “more”….more of that feeling, so I began to purge belongings.

Tomorrow we’ll digger deeper and get into the physical process of keeping, saving, selling, or donating stuff; and hopefully if you’ve felt the desire to change things up a bit in your home and spending habits you’ll be able to gain some insight!

You can leave a comment if there’s anything you hope to see included; because while I’ve spent time on putting this together in what I feel is simple form, I’m hoping I haven’t overlooked any tips (for tomorrow). I’ll try to include whatever suggestions I get, along with my own tips in part 2.

See ya tomorrow in part 2 (Tips on Becoming a ‘semi’ Minimalist).

Removing the Mask

Incase you hadn’t read last week’s post, my grandma ended up sick a few months ago, to the point she spent some time in the nursing home…she’s home again now. Since then I’ve been helping with housework, grocery shopping and errands, and running her to doctor visits.

I’ve not been staying caught up on the Covid hype these days (besides praying over the situation) but I’m well aware that mask are required (no exceptions!!) when visiting the health clinic my grandma goes to each week. The first time I took her to an appointment there was another little old lady who entered the building without wearing one and caused quite a fuss which helped me see that I definitely won’t be trying that anytime soon! Needless to say, she was masked along with the rest of the waiting patients within seconds!

I usually walk my grandma into the clinic to help her get checked in, all along the bottom half of my face remains covered with a handmade mask. It’s one I purposefully sewed for these doctor visits with my grandma. It’s kinda cute if one could ever be, but it’s uncomfortable and a chore to wear; the moment I walk out of the clinic doors I happily peel it from my face and ears and wait in the car until my grandma’s appointment is finished.

Masks are something I’ve been familiar with long before Rona was ever a thing. There was a time I made a habit of wearing a “mental mask” every time I’d step into the presence of public. To anyone who didn’t know me well it looked as if I was healthy — wearing a smile and confidence all the while.

But the truth is that mask I habitually wore covered shame, regret, fear, anxiety and was as high maintenance as they come.

It honestly wasn’t until I began writing again and started this blog that little by little with each word and post that my miraged mask started coming apart one ingrained thread at a time.

And it felt good.

Every feeling, emotion, and experience poured out in this blog has helped encourage this idea of unmasking blocked pain and has brought me closer to Jesus as I learn to let go of hidden feelings.

Our youth pastor had us play a game via Zoom last month where our kiddos had to guess if the celebrity in the picture was smiling or frowning behind a “virtual” mask that had been placed over their nose and mouth. The kids would guess and then Pastor Trevor would click to the next slide where it showed that same celebrity photo but this time the virtual mask had been removed, revealing their actual look. In most of the “masked photos” you couldn’t tell at all if he or she was smiling, straight faced or frowning when their face was covered.

My point is that while mask cover facial expressions — mental mask disguise raw emotions.

…But hiding our trouble can cause us to give way to dishonesty.

It’s a heartbreaking reality.

And I just wonder how many others have been walking around mentally masked (with a mislead feeling of safety) way before this virus showed up?

Friend, if that happens to be you I want to encourage you with a few verses:

1 Peter 5:7-10 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.”

Writing (which has been therapeutic for me) doesn’t have to be your thing, but going to Jesus (with your afflictions) should be! He is our ultimate cure and promise of hope and mending.

While health mask are “debatably” meant to protect, mental mask destroy opportunities of healing through their ability of false representation.

When we follow Jesus, get into the Word of God, connect in prayers and worship, and form Christian friendships we unravel tightly woven threads of past hindrance and unveil the beauty of the heart in our radiant faces created by a God who never intended for us to be masked with emotional seclusion.

Rather than covering our feelings (risking truth and freedom from burden) let’s embrace our Jesus who will guide and direct us in removing those self-fabricated emotional mask…His love for us through the blood shed on the cross is really the only perfect covering we should desire.

Unconditionally Serving Grandma: It Never “Depends”

I’ve needed the important reminder of being a good servant as I’ve cared for my grandma over the past month. Looking after her has been challenging!

There are visits (y’all will think I’m crazy) when I make a beeline straight into her kitchen just moments after arriving and head right to the Lazy Susan cabinet, which she’s used as a pantry for years. I quickly crouch down, open the door, close my eyes, and let the longtime scent of spices mixed with baking products flood over me and it takes me back to happier days when I was just a little girl making sweet memories with my grandma in the kitchen.

Sometimes I just need reminded of who it is I’m serving.

…Still the same precious grandma just very dependent these days.There are instances where she ask me the same question seventeen plus times, days when she calls me four times in a row but she’s trying to phone my mom, and moments where she repeatedly tells me she’s just ready to go be with Jesus.

Side note: I don’t even think I’m being my typical exaggerated self with that last statement!!!

All of that (together) takes a toll on my “only” granddaughter heart. It’s hard to see someone I admire slip away, going from self-sufficient to considerably insufficient.

Recently (with perfect timing) our pastor’s sermon came from John 13 where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, demonstrating the love in His faithful servant’s heart.

In Bible times footwashing was a lowly job household servants took up when guests arrived. By Jesus’ willingness to wash His disciples’ feet He showed a humble example of equality, not considering Himself above others.

Let’s set the tone by checking out Jesus’ words (to the disciples) in verses 13-16:

“You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

Ahhhh what timely words given the condition of our nation…Amen?!

And verse 17 follows up by saying, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Reading those verses in context allows us to see that Jesus didn’t look at this seemingly unpleasant task as burdensome but rather as a defining teachable moment, filled with blessing.

Overall it was the idea of serving others without applicable conditions, and it still fully applies as an inspiring example to us today.

I want to passionately and actively live out Jesus’ heart-actions, every single time I show up at my grandma’s house.

I learned “Jesus” from my grandma as a child and now I want to do my best to show her “Jesus” right back! Even if it means I’m a 36 year old hauling Depends around in my grocery cart or adding yet another package of toilet paper to her overwhelming stash in the bathroom’s linen closet…or emptying the trash can when it’s not even half full because she’s obsessive over it.

Serving my grandma is an opportunity to echo Jesus’ ways — and staying in His word, reading stories such as John 13, motivates me to want to serve exceedingly and abundantly well, bringing glory to Him all the while!

…This afternoon I’ll head over to my grandma’s to take her to another doctor’s appointment; but today I’m just gonna happen to bring along a foot bath and spa products as well…

CHALLENGE: Take time to find someone to serve as you go about your weekend, surely blessing will be in the midst…and then share your ‘serving story’ with me in the blog’s comment area!!

Take care friends!❤️

Kitchen Remodel and Thought

Alrighty here’s my ‘positive post’ as promised. Sorry I kind of went on a rant for a moment in that last post but I felt I needed to explain…I actually read through that yesterday and had to go through and delete about a half a dozen “and” words!

Moving along…be ready for lots of pics.

For the past few weeks the husband and I have been at work in the kitchen…no Paula Deen dishes getting whipped up here though…

Instead, what was supposed to be just a few hours of putting up shiplap for backsplash on a Saturday morning turned into a two week long project of sanded cabinets topped with a few coats of fresh paint, which then led to the idea of new wall color and custom floating shelves, topped with a make over on our kitchen door that exits to the garage.

Here was our kitchen before:I decided I was sick of the distressed look so that’s what sparked the decision to paint cabinets at the last minute after the shiplap was put up.

So here was the first step with the shiplap backsplash:For the shiplap we used plywood that Nate cut into 4 inch strips. We painted it, nailed it up with the nail gun and then touched up any nail spots. My excitement lasted for not even a half a second before I decided cabinets were getting painted and all the other hoo-ha.

For the paint on the cabinets I bought a pricey specialty chalk paint from an area seller which was worth every penny spent. It’s called Frenchic Al Fresco, originating from France and I might as well just say it: it’s like a drop of Heaven landed right in the paint can. This stuff glides on smooth as butter, leaving zero streaks or clumps. It also doesn’t require a sealer and can be used outdoors as well.

I’ve messed with other chalk paints but they’ve really been to no avail. This stuff will always be my new go-to every time I paint a piece of furniture.

The floating shelves came about as a result of me wanting to allow a little more natural light to spill into our kitchen, so we removed a few cabinets and replaced with an open shelf concept:

Click this link for the DIY YouTube video Nate used for the floating shelves if you’re interested.

This was the final look after shiplap, cabinets, wall color, and shelves were done. But there was one thing still bothering me…

That darn garage door…such an eyesore…so I got ahold of a tattoo artist (from the area) who’s shop has been closed over the past few months with the virus mess. She’s actually been supplementing income by using her talent to paint customer’s windows, outdoor concrete walls, and sidewalks so I figured why not add a garage door to her art gallery showcase. Click that link to see the local gazette write up featuring Ginny, she’s such an amazing gal. We had an awesome time visiting, plus I took her on a tour of our “impostering farm” afterwards which she absolutely loved.

I’m kind of a nut for wildflowers and they go with the whole farmhouse thing so the flowers are a combination of some of my favorites — sunflowers, poppies, and daises.

K so this is the FOR REAL FINAL look now:

Next up will be that kitchen table project!!…right Nate!?😊

***Without the cost of the door we spent under $200 for this entire kitchen makeover. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or need tips if you’re considering tackling your own DIY kitchen remodel.***

Bare with me, here comes my devotional thought…

I keep standing in my kitchen thinking I can’t even believe this is mine, like I’m “wowed” by the fact that this Pinterest inspired style has taken up residency in my own house…and here it is — at the core truth it’s honestly just a trivial, little earthly thing…nothing fancy…nothing flashy…at all…but I love it!! And in the midst of my awe I’m reminded how God feels about each one of us. He graciously proclaims His love over us even though we hold onto physical and emotional scars and wounds that beg to lie and tell us we’re unlovable, even though our mouths disregard the warnings of James 3, and even though we mess up repeatedly. Right?

Just like my kitchen, no one is really that fancy or flashy because of our natural sin nature, we’re all prone to it. And if a person struggles with that fact, they should consider that even in a “state-of-the-art kitchen” or just a “plain ordinary one,” grease still splatters and cookie-crumbs fall to the floor when either type of kitchen is serving its purpose…

Check out our hope in Ephesians 2:4-5, and soak up these words with me:

“But because of His great love for us, God, who was rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.”

Two words, mercy and grace.

Mess ups, failures, flaws and all…God shows us a better way of life through Christ and He believes that, despite our shortcomings, we are worth more than we could ever fathom. How many of us would willingly give up our own Son on an old wooden cross for another’s life?

But God.

Because of you, because of me. Because of His love for us.

Rather than gushing over my freshly remodeled kitchen…when I stand within its white walls and pleasant charm I want it to serve as a reminder and be whisked by the fact that God loves me exceedingly and abundantly, even though I’m nothing fancy or flashy — I’m good enough for Him!

Thanks for reading today, have an amazing week!!❤️

Just So You Know

I’m pretty excited to share my next post with you! (The ‘happy’ one I’ll put up after this one…)

But let me just say I honestly feel like I can’t even post that next one without feeling a little bit guilty. And that’s unfair and sickening to me.

Because of the ridiculous rioting taking place it begs and tries to halt life, everyone’s life…bringing attention to the negative…and I’m just not going to revolve my blog around such nonsense. I have future posts planned that have nothing to do with the latest in news and yet there’s a lie trying to fester within me that keeps saying ‘my posts should only give thought and focus to the mess that’s currently happening.’ …Well that mess has Satan’s ‘yuck’ written all over it. I’m not saying I should be totally ignoring that lie, but I’m not about to feel like I shouldn’t be able to be excited and enjoying life just because of other’s poor decisions and dealings. I shouldn’t have to feel like all of my posts need to wrap around that situation or that if they don’t then I’m being insensitive.

I get the frustration. I get seeking justice. I get the protest. I get speaking out, but doing so with peace!! My heart breaks for the hurt of others. I FULLY want to see each and every person treated fairly and equally…but my posts will absolutely not get hung up feeling like I can’t write or share about the positive things that excite me nevertheless just because of this ongoing madness.

With that, it is my prayer that all people would seek Jesus — replicating His love for others. This might be my only post that ever mentions the latest news and that’s okay, I know where my heart lies. ❤️🙏

Finishing up I’ll leave you with a picture of our family spending Friday evening with some of our best family friends, who adopted four Haitian kids a few years ago.

When people have a discrimination issue they certainly miss out on some of the best, beautiful memories and moments that can happen. These kids are such an awesome blessing in my life and to my own kids as well. We’re so thankful to know and love them!

…and yes their mama gave me permission to post the pic and added through her own words that, “kids are such a shining example of God’s desire for us and they accept people how God created them.”

Thanks for reading friends, take care!

‘He has told you, O man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’ —Micah 6:8

Learning in the Garden

Nate and I decided to plant our vegetable garden (this year) in large containers on our patio outback. This is definitely a means of rookie gardening for us.A few weeks ago when we transferred our plants from their indoor starter containers into the outdoor ones they weren’t looking too hot. I was like ‘ahh great here we go again killing off another season of veggies’…because when we’ve planted directly into the ground in past years that’s typically how we roll so I was bracing myself that this year’s gardening “experiment” would be no exception. But with my doubt, Nathan reminded me, “just give it time, it has to adjust to new soil.”

…And I think he’s right because over the past week these plants have really began to grow. They look good!It makes me think of someone new to the Christian faith; a life without Christ compared to a seasoned life with, should look dramatically different. Therefore those beginning stages can have kind of an ebb and flow effect as a new believer adjusts and learns fresh ideas, almost like a culture shock. Continue reading “Learning in the Garden”

Living on His Plans

When people talk about how they can’t wait for life to return to “normal”, I mentally stand on the other side thinking: ‘but I’m not 100% okay with the old kind of normal, the pre-covid normal…What changes do I want to see made within my family for our “future normal”…What is it that I want to grasp as a spiritually beneficial takeaway from this unique time?’…Because I don’t want to revert back to my Alicia’s world, impatient, on the go self when things do return to “normal”…my true colors usually show up best with a well thought out detailed itinerary…that’s part of my control girl flaw.

I’m trying to figure out how to mesh this current lifestyle (the things I’ve learned during my coronavirus-downtime) with what’s to come when life eventually does return to “fast-paced normal”…and the idea of loosening my firm grip on ‘itinerary-style-planning’ definitely needs to be part of a wiser planning method for myself.

We’ve all seen firsthand now how things can dramatically change in a matter of day to day living.

I have to laugh in spite of myself — back in late February, before I even knew the word coronavirus existed, I had sat down at my kitchen table and counted through my calendar all the days that I had marked down to substitute teach, and there were many. And in my eyes I was seeing dollar signs and the amount of money that I’d be able to tuck into savings to put towards a trip our family has/had scheduled this summer. In the midst of counting sub days I literally thought of how foolish it seemed because subconsciously I knew something could come up and any of those days could be taken from me, none of them were necessarily ever guaranteed to stay locked in. Sure enough every single one of them was canceled out through the end of the school year due to the virus. Continue reading “Living on His Plans”