Hey There!

Hey There!

Hello friends! It has been a moment!

My last blog post was about three months ago, and I have enjoyed stepping away and refocusing my mind and my heart. But I do have to say . . . I miss this community! I miss writing. But I don’t miss Instagram – at least not yet anyway 😉 I think Instagram, from a blogging perspective, was the most intimidating for me. I felt this pressure to write the right thing, to use the right hashtags, to find the right picture, to post enough . . . it was overwhelming and left me feeling tired and inadequate and frustrated.

So I am back to writing but on my own terms – after all, it is my blog 😉 I know the downfall of blogging and not sharing it on social, but I am ok with that. I like to write, and I love that I have this community of dedicated readers who will hang around with or without social media. So thank you! Thank you for hanging with me through the many changes of life and through all of my feelings and emotions, sharing blog posts and taking sabaticals. I really appreciate you more than you know.

I will continue to post Christian-focused posts as well as all the other lifestyle things, like homeschool updates and a few other things here and there. But I want to hear from you – what are YOU interested in reading? Share below and I will add it to the list!

Again, thank you for hanging with me through all of the ups and downs and life changes!

THANK YOU!

What do you want to read? Share below!

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One Final Word . . . 

One Final Word . . . 

This past week I fought the flu, and my body wasn’t pleased. While lying in bed, one has much time to think and reflect. And a thought kept occurring to me as I lay listening to my boys play. 

I don’t want to miss it. 

I don’t want to mess this up. 

I don’t want to look back when I am 80 and think about all the should-haves.

Social media has many benefits, but for myself, I have noticed a significant drawback: time.

Blogging, posting, podcasting, and the like take time. I have pulled back from social media many times and have yet to regret that time away. 

Over the years I feel that society has put pressure on women that being a mom is not enough. We must hustle. We must work. We must do something other than just being a mom. But being a mom is the biggest, most important job God has given us. We are physically imprinting and raising the next generation. When I look around at the world now, I think we are seeing the effects of the lack of parenting has had. The negative impact of both parents working full-time, putting off raising kids onto nannies, teachers, daycares, schools and babysitters, the lack of stability and good Christian foundations . . . we are seeing it now. And I don’t want to be a part of it. I want to return to June Cleaver’s time and be that housewife caring for my family. Go back to basics and be one hundred percent present in all aspects of my children’s lives. Cook and bake. Homeschool. Read the Bible together. Not concerned about what to post or how many people ‘liked’ an image or seeing what someone else is doing. 

My direct influence is here in my house. With my kids and my husband. I kept telling myself that I am sharing the Gospel so that is ok to post and stay on social. But I must pay attention to this nudge that it is time to step away. Maybe permanently? I am not sure, but I am sure that I get one shot at being a mother and raising Christian men who respect their future wives and know how to be great fathers. Who will go into the world strong and resilient against temptations and know the Truth. This world is so corrupt and the messages being funneled into our brains and feeds are primarily lies. We are being misled little by little, desensitized more and more. When I am 80, I am not going to look back at my social media and think, well done! But what I will look back on is my time with my kids and my role as their mother. I want to see my boys fully grown with wives and children of their own and know that I did the best I could and raised them entirely focused on them and God. 

I am personally reclaiming my role as a housewife and stay-at-home mom fully and proudly. And to say that most women cannot do that, I think, is a lie we tell ourselves. We just can’t homeschool because it is hard or our kids are challenging. We can’t afford to lose a paycheck. Yet we spend gobs of money on preschool, dining out and coffees, on homes that are out of our budgets, on décor and parties that are only temporary. 

We get one chance. 

Our kids are worth our time. They DESERVE our time and full attention. They deserve a mom who cooks meals for them and reads to them. They are not burdens we are to put off on someone else and just hope they turn out okay. It is our responsibility. God has given us these children. Let us reclaim motherhood and all that it entails. Step back to the 50s role of the housewife and abandon these feminist ideals that we must do it all. That we can have it all. That we can work and raise kids and do it both equally well. WE CANNOT. One will always get out of balance. And where will the pendulum swing? 

I don’t share all of this to make any mom or woman feel bad, but I do hope it sparks a thought. An evaluation. Why are we so busy? Why are we striving so hard for things that are not of great importance? Is it for wealth? For stature? For recognition? What is the driving force behind what we do? I have done it many times and found myself in the wrong place. And thus, why I am back to this same thought of it is enough. It is time to stop trying to busy myself and hustle because I have put this pressure on myself. No one else has but only myself. I have told myself that being a mom is not enough. I must do something else – sell this or that, write this or publish that, blog about this or podcast that. Work or do something more. 

But enough is enough.

I would love to say that this is the last blog post that I write or that my book was the one and only, but I can’t say that or promise that. But I will say that currently, in this stage of my life, my role as a mother is the most significant and heftiest role that I have, and I will do it thoroughly and entirely with no more interruptions. No more social media to distract me. No more things of this world to compete for my attention. For now, I am done.

I pray that wherever you are today, in whatever role you face, you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and turn to Him. Because He is all that we need. 

Blessings to you all,

Lauren


Mercy in the Mess Available Now!

Roe v. Wade

Roe v. Wade

I am sure by now you have seen it all across social media and the news that a draft written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to the press indicating the US Supreme Court’s majority would overturn abortion and thus abortions would fall at the state and local levels.

If it is overturned – this is just one step, but the battle has just begun.

Instead of defending my stance for these babies and berating you with information you have heard before, I will use Scripture.

God’s Word is Law and Truth. The living God speaks through His Word and His Word is accurate. Let me remind you:

"You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)

So what does God’s Word – the Law and Truth – say about children, abortion, murder, selfishness, and forgiveness – because friends, if you have had an abortion, you are forgiven when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you confess your sins and turn to Him, He will forgive you. You are never too far gone for God. By God’s grace, there is forgiveness, healing, and hope available to you through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.

But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
- 1 John 1:9 (NLT)

In 2 Chronicles, verse 3, we read that Ahaz did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord and cast metal images for the worship of Baal and sacrificed his own sons in the fire. Imagine the monstrous evil of a religion that offers young children as sacrifices! But even today this practice has not been abated. The sacrifice of children to the harsh gods of convenience, economy, selfishness, and whim continues in sterile medical facilities in numbers that would astound the wicked Ahaz. If we are to allow children to come to Christ, we must first allow them into the world.


"Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep His commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in His ways . . . "
- Deuteronomy 30:15-16 (NLT)

God has called us to keep His commands and His laws are not hidden from us. They are written out very clearly for us. Obeying them is reasonable, sensible, and beneficial.


What sorrow for those who say
    that evil is good and good is evil,
that dark is light and light is dark,
    that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
- Isaiah 5:20 (NLT)

When people see no distinction between good and evil, destruction soon follows. It is easy for people to say, “No one can decide for anyone else what is really right or wrong.” They may think getting drunk can’t hurt them, extramarital sex isn’t really wrong, “it is my right”, or money doesn’t control them. But when they make excuses for their actions, they break down the distinction between right and wrong. If people do not take God’s Word, the Bible, as their standard, soon all moral choices become fuzzy. Without God, they are headed for a breakdown and much suffering.


Children are a gift from the LORD;
    they are a reward from Him.
Children born to a young man
    are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
    He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.
- Psalm 127: 3-5 (NLT)

The Bible calls children “a gift from the LORD,” a reward. Those who view children as a distraction or nuisance should instead see them, as an opportunity to shape the future. We dare not treat children as an inconvenience when God values them so highly.


Then He put a little child among them. Taking the child in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on My behalf welcomes Me, and anyone who welcomes Me welcomes not only Me but also My Father who sent Me.”
- Mark 9:36-37 (NLT)

Jesus taught the disciples to welcome children – which was a new approach during this time when society minimalized children and treated them as second-class citizens. Sadly, we still see this today. It is important to not only treat children well but also teach them about Jesus.


You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.
- Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)

We should have as much respect for ourselves, and our children/babies, as our Maker has for us.

How joyful are those who fear the LORD —
    all who follow His ways!
You will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
    How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,
    flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees
    as they sit around your table.
That is the LORD's blessing
    for those who fear Him.
May the LORD continually bless you from Zion.
    May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.
    May Israel have peace!
- Psalm 128:1-6 (NLT)
Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
- Proverbs 1:7 (NLT)

And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in His own image.
- Genesis 9:5-6 (NLT)

Here God explains why murder is so wrong: To kill a person is to kill one made in God’s image. Because all human beings – even babies in and out of the womb – are made in God’s image, all people possess the qualities that distinguish them from animals and should be treated more highly because we are made in His image. God wants us to recognize His image in all His people – including babies.


So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
- Romans 8:1-4

Thank God! He has declared us free from our sins!

This life-giving Spirit is the Holy Spirit, who was present at the creation of the world and He is the power behind the rebirth of every Christian. He gives us the power we need to live the Christian life.


I have so much more to say on this topic, but I am going to shelf it for now. I pray that if you haven’t accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you repent of your sins and turn to Him. By His grace, we are forgiven. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and not by our own efforts or works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Grace alone by faith alone.

Mercy in the Mess Available Now

Be God’s Person – Not You be You

Be God’s Person – Not You be You

While reading 2 Kings 17, I was reminded of God’s powerful wrath and multiple warnings to the Israelites. The Lord judged the people of Isreal because they had copied the evil customs of the world and followed their own desires instead of worshiping the one true God.

Recently I have been inundated with messages about false prophets and have been paying close attention to people I follow on social media that are your “big” Christians if you will. I am not going to call anyone out, but I have personally noticed some of these people that I use to admire recently sounding as if they are more concerned with prosperity and self rather than the true Gospel.

Reminder: those that create their own religion tend to live selfishly.

As Isreal learned, to live for oneself brings serious consequences from God.

You can die to self or die for yourself. Die to self means that you take up your cross and proclaim the Good News of Christ, no matter what. Or you can die for yourself – which will end in eternal death.

Determine to be God’s person and do what He says regardless of the cost! What God thinks of you is infinitely more important than what others think of you. Don’t worry about what others may think – I know, easier said than done. But by reading God’s Word and spending time with my Father, I have learned over time that no one’s opinion of me matters more than that of my Father. By not caring about others’ opinions about you, you can turn away from the customs of the world much more easily.

And so, dear brothers and sisters,I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
- Romans 12:1-2

Here, Paul warns Christians not to copy the customs and behaviors of the world that are usually selfish and corrupt. But our refusal to conform must go deeper than that. “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” – only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates and redirects our mind are we truly transformed. It is easier as Christians to just avoid worldly customs, but we can still be proud, arrogant, covetous, selfish, stubborn, envious. We have to give these selfish behaviors to God and nail them to the cross – die to self, raise up our cross, and be set apart from the world that values pride, lust and worldly success.

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
- 1 John 2:15-17

What God thinks of you is infinitely more important than what others think of you.

Don’t be “you” – be God’s person.

Be set apart from the world.


Mercy in the Mess Now Available!

Why We Don’t Do Santa Anymore

Why We Don’t Do Santa Anymore

Honesty is something that I try very hard at, especially with my children. I want them to know that they can always trust me and believe what I say is true.

A couple years back, though, it slapped me in the face . . . my eldest son, who at the time was just six years old, came running in from playing with a friend and told me that I was growing poison in our garden. He was adamant that my newly sprouting cilantro was poisonous because his friend told him that it was. I told my concerned six-year-old that, no, in fact, it was not poisonous and was an herb used in food and cooking. He was determined and informed me that it was poisonous. I finally got him to stop yelling at me and told him that no, it was not poisonous but not only that, I would never lie to him, and he can trust me. 

Santa.

Immediately Santa popped into my head. I will never lie to you . . . unless it’s little fibs about Santa.

I knew in my heart of hearts that I didn’t want to tell him any tall tales about Santa and wanted him to form his own opinion on the matter, but I also didn’t want him to miss the excitement of Christmas morning and see the tree packed with neatly wrapped presents and the ever-exciting new bike sitting by the fireplace ready to ride. So, I started answering his questions with an open-ended question: “What do you think?” I would nod along, never affirming or denying his thoughts. But after that poisonous cilantro incident, I became much more aware of being honest with my children. I want them to trust me and know that they can come to me for honest, real answers. When they ask me about Jesus, I want them to know that He is real and everything in the Bible happened, not just a tall tale that someone made up. 

A friend of mine shared her experiences with her parents and Santa and I will never forget it. She was very much like my oldest son: quick, smart, keen, observant, and literal. Her parents always told her about Santa and how he would deliver presents to good girls and boys, how he would fly around the world quick as light and would eat everyone’s sweetly decorated cookies and drink the cold glass of milk . . . oh and don’t forget about the reindeer! They always enjoyed their carrots, too! But when she found out the truth, she started contemplating everything her parents had told her . . . “Well, if Santa is fake, is Jesus? Is Mary and Joseph? What about Adam and Eve?”

Boy, that hit home. I don’t want my kids to think that I fib and tell lies to them and exaggerated truths. But again, I wasn’t quite ready to throw Santa out to pasture either. 

Last summer, my then seven-year-old asked more questions about Santa. Honestly, at this point I was ready to just sit him down and tell him the truth. I was tired of the litany of questions and smiling and nodding and just going with it. Yet again I asked him, “What do you think?” To my surprise he said, “I think moms and dads leave the presents under the tree and say that it is from Santa.” 

YES! 

This time I replied, “You’re right, dear.” He wasn’t shocked, disappointed, or upset. He simply replied, “I thought so.” 

I began really contemplating Santa and the Elf of the Shelf . . . why do we do all of this as Christians? Christmas is not about Santa or the Elf on the Shelf . . . it is about God sending His Son to earth, born in a manger to one day take our punishment for sin on the cross. Yet Santa and the elf get almost an entire month of fanfare when Jesus gets one day. We tell our kids to “watch out” because the elf will relay info to Santa . . . how about they just be “good” because we are watching and God is, too? And not only are we just fibbing about Santa one time – it is drawn out to such great extents: moving the elf daily, dragging out about how Santa is watching, leaving cookies and milk . . . I’ve done it, too! I even wrote a letter from Santa to my son! But again, this has been a work in my heart, and we felt moved as parents. And to continue to do it just because it is a “tradition” just doesn’t fly with me anymore. My kids will have a wonderful and joyous Christmas regardless . . . and Santa doesn’t get any of the credit for the awesome gifts they receive (haha!). I took my boys to get pictures with Santa this year for the pure sake of lining up the photos to see how they have grown, but not because of belief . . . and honestly, this is probably our last year.

I want to remind my children that Jesus came as a baby, held tightly by his mother, to save the world from sin so we may live in Heaven with God forever. In addition, this verse hits home: “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

The Bible is true. Jesus is true. God is true. Everything that we read in the Bible happened and it is real. 

I want my children to remember that when we read the Bible, that it is real. That it is true. I want what I say to matter to my kids. I want them to know that mommy tells the truth. So, when they ask the hard questions, even if it is awkward or hard to say aloud, I will say it. I will tell the truth because that is what they need. The world is sinful and already full of mistruths and lies. I want them to know that they can come to me to feel safe and secure. By lying to them about the little things, I am not being the example that I want them to be to others one day. So, when they ask if a shot is going to hurt, I say, “Yes, it will. But it will be temporary and won’t hurt for long.” One day, when they ask about where babies come from, I will tell them the truth and use the actual words of the body parts. I will have the uncomfortable discussions because I want them to come to me to find the answers instead of asking their confused cilantro-is-poisonous friends. 

Not for one second do I judge ANYONE for doing Elf on the Shelf or Santa – this is just something that has been on my mind, and I wonder if you will pray about it yourself. We can still enjoy Christmas and all its magic without believing that Santa is the one providing it. If we say that Jesus is the reason for the season – than let’s act on it! Let our homes, our actions, the way we live show that we are Jesus followers, not the worlds. No judgement here – I promise! I share all of this with you to just stir some thoughts and questions that stirred in my heart: Why do we still do Santa? The Elf on the Shelf? Is it purely because of tradition? The kids will be sad? Christmas won’t be as “magical”? I can attest, after not doing Santa last year and now this year that Christmas is so much more magical, special, humbling, and awesome. Jesus is awesome!

May you all have a very blessed Christmas!

Thankful

Thankful

While homeschooling our oldest son, we read about the very first Thanksgiving. The timing worked out perfectly – about a week ago I found myself reading along to The Good & Beautiful curriculum, teaching my boys all about pilgrims (Puritans) landing on Plymouth. Many died the first winter, mostly from sickness but also from starvation. Squanto taught the Puritans how to plant, work and harvest the land:

Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

https://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving

Unity.

Harmony.

These two groups became one.

They taught.

They learned.

They shared.

They prayed.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us of our trespasses, and forgive those who trespass against us (Matt. 6:11-13).

May this be the prayer for all of us this season. May we pray for what we need for today. May we focus on this moment, right where we are, in whatever season we are in. May we humbly ask God to forgive us of our sins and let that forgiveness flow outwards towards others. May we forgive those around us who have hurt us, who have let us down, who have disappointed us. May we come together in unity and harmony. We have been given so much grace from God and may we extend that grace to others.

Let us remember to be thankful for all that God graciously gives us.

As Christians, we have been given an amazing gift: eternal life!

I pray that wherever you are and whatever season you are in right now, that you remember the greatest gift we have been given: Christ died for our sins so we could have eternal life with our Father.

So if you are waiting – waiting for a boyfriend; waiting for a spouse; waiting for a baby; waiting for a promotion; waiting for [fill in the blank], that you remember that this is just a season and God’s plan is always best.

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 
(Ecc. 3:1-11)

God has made everything beautiful for its own time.

His timing is always right.

We cannot see all that God has planned for our lives, but we can rest in His grace, His comfort, and have faith in God, who loves us dearly.

May you all have a very blessed and healthy Thanksgiving.

No More Self-Care

No More Self-Care

“We cannot give to others unless we fill ourselves up first.”

“It is important to take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.”

Everydayhealth.com defines self-care as “taking care of yourself so you can stay healthy and accomplish all the things you need and want to.”

This buzzword “self-care” has steadily increased over the last few years, and I understand the reasoning: as moms, for instance, we constantly pour ourselves out to our children and husbands, to coworkers, bosses, etc. But the two quotes above can be dangerous if we don’t look at it the right way.

Self-care is often thought of as activities to “fill yourself” with joy, like yoga, hot baths with all the bath bombs (well-played marketing gurus), long walks, manis and pedis . . . the list goes on. But here’s the thing:

WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO FILL OURSELVES WITH EARTHLY THINGS. WE WILL ALWAYS COME UP EMPTY.

Unless we are filling ourselves with the Word of God, we will always feel empty, depleted, exhausted.

It will always be a never-ending cycle of trying to fill a void with earthly pleasures but always coming up empty.

God is the ONLY way to true, everlasting joy, peace and contentment.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Trusting our Sovereign God – knowing that He is in control – leads to a life full of joy and peace. 

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

The only source of true everlasting happiness is found in the Lord. 

“These things have I spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

When we ask for forgiveness of our sins and truly repent, believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us and took our punishment for sin, we are given the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, which results in true peace and joy.

The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. 
The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. (Psalm 19:8)

If we are not reading God’s Word, we are ignorant in the way we are to be living. God has given us a clear standard of living that will bring joy and goodness to our lives. But how do we know if we aren’t actively reading His Word?

“We cannot give to others unless we fill ourselves up first” . . . It is better to say, “We cannot give to others unless we fill ourselves up with God first.” Take care of yourself by reading the Bible, which will flow out to others as well. 

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do. (Psalm 1:1-3)

As mothers, we are to be selfless – caring for our children and their needs. God gave us these babies to raise on this earth – they are His children, entrusted to us for the time being. They are helpless sinners that need a Savior, but they also need our guidance. They need food, love and care. They need our time. They need our attention. Taking care of our kids is not the problem: the problem is we aren’t living the way God’s Word tells us. We are not living each day by His standards, His way. Instead, we take the bull by the horns and plow our own path, which will only lead to destruction.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. (Luke 17:33)

The only way to find life is to find it through God. Life everlasting is only found through Jesus Christ. 

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

Mommas, hold your babies close and let the Word of God pour from your heart and mouth, but you can’t pour out His truth if you don’t know it yourself. Find real self-care by reading the Bible. Then you will truly be filled.

Attacked but Not Defeated

Attacked but Not Defeated

Sadness.

Anger.

Frustration.

Disappointment.

Anguish.

Maybe you have experienced some of these emotions today, or yesterday, or a month ago, but all of us experience moments in our lives where we feel sad, angry, frustrated and disappointed. We live in a fallen world and until Jesus Christ returns, we will continue to experience hard moments. Hard feelings. Hard people. I have hope in the Lord and look forward to the day He returns to conquer sin once and for all! That will truly be a triumphant and joyous day!! Amen!

Until then, I am in a battle. I have to put on all the armor of God and fight back against Satan and his crew.

Right now I am struggling with a person in my life and it is taking absolutely everything out of me. I feel attacked in so many ways but I do not doubt my God or His goodness.

If you are in the same boat, dealing with a child that pushes your buttons, or an adult that does the same. If you have to work with someone who challenges you daily. If you feel any of those emotions listed above, know that God is greater than your child, your coworker, your emotions. God is Sovereign. He is in control and loves you dearly. And He gives us everything we need, according to His will, on His time, including what we need to fight Satan:

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Put on all the armor of God and be ready to fight, and pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray consistently and earnestly. Pray for your heart. Pray for your child. Pray for your coworker. Pray without ceasing.

Be strong in the Lord.

Colorado Diaries – 2021 {Part Four}

Colorado Diaries – 2021 {Part Four}

It’s the last installment of my Corado Diaries! If you missed it, you can read Part One, Two, and Three of our travels. Today I am sharing our hiking in Frisco, CO + some awesome off-roading adventures!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Frisco

Today was a rainy, cold day so we opted to get a later start to the day and then we headed to Officer’s Gulch to fish. The views were amazing here! The still, clear water to the snow-capped mountains and the falling yellow leaves…it was just so serene.

We stayed for about an hour before the rain started down on us again. By that time, we were all getting hungry for lunch, so we headed to downtown Frisco and grabbed a bit from 5th Avenue Grill. Of course I had to get a coffee at Rocky Mountain Coffee Roasters but was SO disappointed with their coffee! It tasted burnt and was just undrinkable…I gave mine to Stephen and he couldn’t drink it! So, we headed to a cute little bookshop called Next Page to read some books and peruse and I got a chai tea there instead. The lady who worked there was so helpful and even tried to make it a latte with oat milk and a little bit of honey – it was perfect! This bookshop reminded me so much of You’ve Got Mail. If we ever come back to Frisco, CO, I am stopping here for a little book therapy again!

As we drove back home, we stopped and hiked half of the Meadow Loop and Ridge Trail on the Dillion Reservoir. We saw the beautiful snow-capped mountains and the water. It was a perfect little hike to end our day – and we even got a little sleet as we were walking back to the car! Winter is coming!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Montezuma

Boy was today crazy! We rented a Jeep and went off-roading! All that was available was a two-door Jeep Wrangler with no back windows (sorry, boys!) but they really didn’t seem to mind! We bundled the boys up and they just had so much fun riding in the Jeep. 

We drove to Montezuma and did two off-road courses: Peru Creek and St. John’s Trail that hooks to Deer Creek and Glacier Mountain. ‘All Trails’ lists part of this drive as moderate and the other as difficult. Let’s just say it was intense. Peru Creek was bumpy, but Deer Creek trail was VERY intense and got a little sketchy a few times. We stopped at a small clearing and walked around a bit, then turned the rig around and went back down – it was a bit more than we bargained for. All in all, the off-roading adventure was just that: an adventure that we won’t forget! 

We dropped the Jeep back off at the rental place and loaded back into the comforts of the minivan and drove to Breck to meet up with our cousins that were in town for a bachelorette party! We grabbed coffee at The Crown (yes, again…I think this was my favorite coffee shop), chatted for a bit, then headed home to get the boys in bed and pack up. 

Colorado was so much fun! From all the hiking, off-roading, fishing, spotting wildlife (bear, fox, snake, moose, chipmunk, woodpecker and so much more!), to Clark falling in the river, getting a hook out of a boy’s face, trying new coffee places … it was just a wonderful vacation that was so needed! The yellow trees will forever be embedded in my brain and heart <3 

In case you missed it . . . read about Part One, Two and Three of our Colorado adventures!

Have a glorious weekend, friends! I’ll be celebrating my birthday with my boys tomorrow (woohoo!).

See you back here Tuesday for a very special podcast episode with Liz Bornstein, owner of Fridgefull Thinking.

Colorado Diaries – 2021 {Part Three}

Colorado Diaries – 2021 {Part Three}

Monday, September 27, 2021

Breckenridge

The sunrise was beautiful again today! Clear skies and the sun just peeking over the mountains while I sipped my coffee in silence. Always makes for a great start to the day!

Originally, we didn’t want to hike today but the weather is forecasting rain tomorrow and Wednesday, so we opted for a much shorter and easier hike on the B&B Mile Trail in Breckenridge. It was stunning! I don’t think I will ever get enough of the fall colors – the yellow was just so bright and breathtaking. I’m certain I have over a thousand pictures of yellow trees on my phone 😉 

After our hike we went back to town and grabbed lunch from Kenosha Breck then walked around town a bit. We stopped at The Crown to grab a coffee and I got the chai latte with oat milk – y’all – this was the best chai I have ever had!! We will be back before we leave! We took the kids to Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory and they each got to pick a few candies. After perusing stores for a bit, we headed back to our VRBO for dinner. While we waited for Stephen to go to the grocery store, we played in the falling leaves in the yard <3

As Stephen headed to the grocery store, he noticed there was a fire on the mountain and sure enough – the Ptarmigan Fire burned over 80 acres and many of the homeowners had to evacuate. We could see the smoke from our house, and it just broke my heart to think about all the trees and wildlife that were affected by the fire – not to mention all the homeowners who were probably very nervous that the fire was going to get to their homes, but thankfully it didn’t. We all watched as a helicopter loaded up with water from the Dillion Reservoir and dumped it on the mountainside. Sadly, the fire did not extinguish and kept burning for many days after. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Vail

Back to Vail today!

The smoke from the fire + all the dust just caused some serious allergies so instead of hiking today – much to our kid’s dismay – we headed back to Vail to shop and eat. The boys played on the pirate ship, then we got lunch at Big Bear Bistro, grabbed coffee at Two Arrows Coffee & Bar (I got their maple cinnamon latte with honey instead of maple syrup and oat milk and it was divine!) and then headed back to the pirate ship for a little bit more playtime for the boys.

We left and headed to the gardens where we were able to walk around for a short while until the rain started down on us. As we were driving back, we noticed a bit of “dust” being washed on the highway – but it was white and us Texans didn’t know what it was. It didn’t seem like it could be snow…but as we drove a bit further, we saw snow accumulating on the side of the road – it was snowing! The mountaintops had already gathered a bit of snow and it was so magical! To see the change before our eyes in just one day was so surreal and beautiful! From dry and dusty to snowcapped – it was just so pretty!

Only one part left to share! Tune in next week for Part Four and the finale of our Colorado vacation!

If you missed if, here is Part One and Part Two:

Colorado Diaries – 2021 {Part One}

We just got back from a fall-licious vacation in Colorado and of course I had to document our time so I can look back – this is more of a “diary” with photos so I can…

Keep reading

Colorado Diaries – 2021 {Part Two}

Saturday, September 25, 2021 Frisco and Dillion Today was a beautiful day in Colorado! I woke at 5:30 (still adjusting from TX time), looked out the window and saw a bear in the clearing! He was…

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Hope you all have a blessed weekend!