[more book reviews]

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I’m excited to say that I’ve been asked to review the She Reads Truth Bible.

It hasn’t shipped yet, I just got approved. and I. Can’t. Wait.

Genesis

As a visual learner who also needs to hear, touch, feel things before I really get it, I think this Bible is going to be amazing. I’m posting my hopes for this Bible before I even get to feel it with my own hands. Maybe you’ll get one of these first copies, too?

They’re equipped with things like devotionals- which is something that I NEED. and i can’t wait to dive in.

Who is looking forward to hearing more about it?

 

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[closing time]

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You guys remember this right?

“So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits, I hope you have found a Friend. Closing time. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
I feel every ounce of this song. Though I’ve usually thought of it as the bar keep saying “Get out of my bar, I’m tired” and not in the sense of Closing on a house, packing up our belongings and moving along. Making an end at one residence and allowing it to be someone else’s new start.

We got the e-mail that we can close next week and I SCREAMED when I read it and called my husband to make sure he saw it (he didn’t. he was driving.)

1 down. 2 to go.
We should be able to close on the house we are moving to in just a few days after we sign the documents on house 1.
We should have house 2 up to snuff in a week or two and have that on the market, then we will cross our fingers and keep praying that God will show us some mercy and good grace and sell the house quickly. It will be hard to manage a second house from an hour away. Please join us in praying that we sell my college home quickly.
WE ARE SO EXCITED.

[things to come]

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We’re getting ready to close on the house that we have lived in for the past two years, our first years as a married couple and as a family. There’s an eensy weensy little spot of me that is sort of sad to see it go. Most of me is relieved. I had these huge fears that we would be trapped there for the rest of our lives and I would feel cramped and tired and stuck. But we’re not even living there now. And it feels like I can breathe again.

We’re staying in the house that I owned before we got married. Sleeping in a room I’d never slept in before, remodeling rooms I’ve dreamed about but didn’t have the know-how to be able to do. Painting, cleaning, continually boxing items. Always finding out that we have TOO MUCH STUFF and our storage unit is TOO full. There have only been a handful of items we have *really* wished we had on hand, that were packed away. one of them we bought to replace while we wait to unpack all our items- a mini food processor, from an estate sale, in mint condition with all the accessories for $2. It was really hard to pass up. And I mean, we’ve definitely desired to have two of them a time or two before. So now we have two.

We’re trying to renovate and continue living our lives, but really, we’re tired. My husband especially. Because my Prince is a dreamboat and he works all day at his office and then comes home, puts on his boots and goes upstairs to build walls, tear out dividers, hang mirrors, paint things, put in trim and more. I ache from sitting at a desk all day, to a point that I don’t WANT to do physical things unless it’s as simple as walking. I clean the house and then I’m over-exerted. Depression and anxiety are running high right now and are never more than an arm’s length away, hello fall season- i see you.

We’re also only three weeks away from closing on our dream house. our farm. we’ve met the owners of the house and fell in love with them. the wife is so sweet. she cried when we met and reached out for a hug but realized we’d only known each other a few seconds and pulled back. I hope she comes back to visit in a few years. The thought of moving is dreadful. I can’t envision spending one more day messing with our belongings and moving them again. It feels so laborious. I just want to be settled in our home.

It feels like we are always busy. Always doing something, even on the nights that we have to veg out and watch a tv show and eat on the couch because we are so tired. Our emotions are tired, or mine are at least. I can’t deal with my overworked husband who spits out words like fire and doesn’t realize how crushing they can be. I can’t handle it. And I can’t handle the ins and outs of parenthood right now. I just can’t. I am at a point where I need a safe place and I need a cozy chair and blanket and a book or 10 to curl up with and recoup, but there is no time for it.

I’m looking forward to learning to garden and learning to be the canning queen of 2018.
I can’t wait for goats, chickens and some day cows, even though i don’t really want cows.
I can’t wait to build the photo studio of my dreams, right on my land.
I can’t wait to take walks in our back yard through our hills.
To wake up and see deer feeding from our trees.
To have our home.
To create our farm.
I can’t believe we’re really doing it!

[breaking old habits]

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this is not step parent related. at all.

im an avid nail biter. like. the worst of them all.

my nails are shorter than my finger tips. my pinky nails are smaller than my 9 year olds nails.

my husband literally will grab my hands in church and hold them down if he sees me biting.
or rub my leg.
Or grab my arm
Or just scowl.
he HATES it.

and it makes him cringe.

 

so i’m on day 4 of no biting and my nails are shiny and clean and are driving me BONKERS. Lord help me.

[on teenagers]

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First off, let me just say this: I can’t deal with teenagers.

Maybe it’s because I was technically still a teenager less than a decade ago.
Maybe it’s because we seem to live on different planets.
Maybe it’s because I still have some teenager-like tendencies (queue the rolling eyes and temper tantrums that rear their head when i least expect it.)
Maybe it’s a lot of things.

I can’t deal with constant bickering and fighting. I can’t deal with being disrespected. I can’t deal with life not being good enough, while we are trying SO HARD to provide so much for them.

We are in the process of selling house 1, living in house 2 (fixing up as we stay) and purchasing house 3. My prince, 9 and I can’t wait. Prince Charming and I dream about it every single day. We smile and get giddy and I cannot hardly contain how excited I am.

13 hates it. He actually likes the house. He likes the land. He hates the thought of having to work on a farm with us. (Big surprise.)

He is a downer whenever we bring up this thing, this thing we have worked for and saved for and dreamed about and spent so much time, energy, and freaking MONEY on. And he sucks the joy out of anything we mention about it. I can’t handle being lifeless.

When we pick him up from school, his first request is to get snacks.
No. We have some at home.
Pop?
No. You’ve had enough today.
Okay, how about we order pizza (always pizza).
Well, considering dad is in the kitchen right now, sweating over our dinner. Probably not. And probably not because we ate out last night with you. So…… definitely not two nights in a row, thanks.
Can we watch this R Rated movie as a family? Or just send 9 to his room?
……..No? You’re 13? and No.
Can I call my girlfriend at 9:30pm.
……………………..no? what? no. its Wednesday. No. Do you not know what common decency is? Don’t call anyone past 9:00pm. No.

But I’m the monster.

I gave and I gave and I poured out my everything into these kids the first two years of our marriage. And before that, when we were dating. I sacrificed hours at work, sleep- when I’d wake up at 5am to come to my Prince’s house to help him get kids on the bus so HE could work. When I took on three new person’s laundry. When I became a grandma at 26. yeah, I have given a lot of me.

The only thing I hope for in return is an occasional “glad to be here” or a “love you too” when we send them off to bed or off to their mom’s for a week. Some sort of acknowledgement of my existence.

It gets hard to feel like I’m unheard.  It gets hard to feel like I am on my own.

Feel like waving my white flag.

 

 

 

[ Loop Devotional for Women]

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You Have a Helper

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).

My daughter, there are things you know are true—things you can’t see, things you can’t touch. You read my words in pages held together, all stacked, one by one. You read the stories of my presence in my children’s lives. You read about my promises. You see the words upon the page, listen to the sound of them expressed aloud. But what do they mean to you? Am I a God you see around you? Do you breathe Me in, this day?

You hear my name in sermons, read about Me in books. You hear my name tossed around on the lips of believers and unbelievers alike. A believer? A phrase so familiar. . .What is that? What does it mean to believe in something—in Me—as it requires so much faith?

I ask you to wait and trust Me. I tell you to not fear and look for where I am . . . Yes, even in the believing in something yet to be fully seen, you can still see Me. You can still feel Me. And I want to show you where.

There is a place, deep within you, that has eyes that see what is true. My Counselor, within you, the Holy Spirit, gives light, illuminating uncertainty, eradicating doubt, pushing forth understanding to what the world, on its own, can never understand.

This world is not meant to make sense, without the eyes and ears of my Counselor within you, guiding you to see and love and act in ways that do.

You see, it is up to you—my heart within you—to make sense in this misunderstood world. It is your task to see most clearly, from the place where my Counselor resides with you. It is your task to live, to act, from that place, from the understanding I give you about loving whom I say.

You have a Guide who knows Me and shows you the way to live. And it will not align with the ways of this world.

Listen deeply now. Pull in close to hear my whispers: Practice recognizing my voice so when you hear it, you can act. And do it with confidence, hearing Me and seeing me, even yet.

Someday there will be so much more to see, to hear, to understand. But you have enough now. I give you enough to know how to live and love now.

Trust Me.

Live that life now.

Carry Me into the world.

LOOP

little houses for sale.

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While i have been away, it has been nothing less than a whirlwind.

We drove 1400 miles to see the Total Solar Eclipse in August. Our first Family Trip that was more than 2 hours away. We spent every dollar we had. But it was SO COOL. Something I can’t even explain in words, really…

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Pure magic. It’s amazing to see God’s artistry hanging in the sky. What a mighty Creator we serve.

We then kicked our tooshies into gear and spend the entire labor day weekend fixing up our house. My Prince spent a few days before that painting, priming, taping, etc. He painted the whole house in 4 days.

And put new siding on the garage
and we powerwashed the garage door and the entire house
and we cleaned up the yard (which is a HUGE task)
He put new trim throughout the entire house.
He worked in the crawl space.
He patched holes and did drywall
He did so. much. work.
I cleaned a lot of windows. Cleaned a lot of trim work. Cleaned a lot of floors. Packed a lot of boxes (that we now don’t know where they are…)

And we got a realtor over a few days later.
She put a sign in our yard on Saturday
And on MONDAY we had FOUR OFFERS.
We accepted one on Tuesday.
We await the offer we have pending on another house.

IT’S BEEN NUTS.