Standard

The StepMomma’s 2017 Goals [RECAP]

  1. Decluttering
  2. Fixing up House A
  3. Fixing up House B
  4. Making healthier food and life choices
  5. Saving more moolah
  6. Paying off all debt (excluding student loans, mortgages)
  7. Weekly Bible Studies with the kiddos
  8. Reading my entire bible all the way through
  9. Hosting a Bible study in our home
  10. Becoming a DBA and LLC for my personal business
  11. More family time
  12. Learning to cook one decent meal for the family
  13. Only wearing jeans one day/week…
  14. Read more.

 

I set a lot of goals last year. I’m really happy that 10/14 of these are marked off. Here’s my annual update.

1) We decluttered SO MUCH while we were moving. and now that we’re HOME, we can see what we really.. still don’t need. and it feels SO GOOD. I have a box of dishes I’m giving to 21 when he gets his house, he and his girlfriend are working on it.

2) House A is fixed up and SOLD in October

3) House B is fixed up and has been on the market since opening week of Deer Season. 11 showings. Hoping someone will love it and call it home soon.

4) making healthier choices is a daily choice. Yesterday I ate pizza rolls and pretzels. Tonight I’m eating soup for dinner. It’s a choice every day. But this time last year, I never would have touched a bowl of freshly made turkey soup. Ever.

7) We’re still working on this. But the first year my prince and i started talking, not even dating really, he got me this Beth Moore devotional, i don’t even remember what it’s called. but we’ve started reading it with the kids every night they’re over. It talks about the birth of Christ and is real simple. It helps us to spend 10 minutes with them and get their thoughts or opinions. or just tick them off. Either way, we’ve started.

10) CHECK

11) Now that we’ve moved, we get to hang out as often as we want. it’s so nice.

12) I can make  several chicken dishes. I made a B.A. Lasagna, I make a few pasta dishes. I need to keep learning.

13) I probably wore jeans 2 total days in 2017. I win.

14) This is also a daily struggle. but most days at work, i begin with a few blog posts about topics that are intriguing to me and appealing. I count this as reading, even if it’s not hard, physical books. Now that we’re moved and settling, i want to finish the Magnolia Story and the rest of the other couple books I’ve got open.

 

2018 goals to come.

Advertisements

[she reads truth–review]

Standard

current8817

GUYS. ITS HERE.

The She Reads Truth Bible aims to live at the intersection of beauty, goodness, and Truth. Featuring devotionals by the She Reads Truth team, and Scripture reading plans that include supplemental passages for deeper understanding, this Bible invites every woman to count themselves among the She Reads Truth community of “Women in the Word of God every day.” The She Reads Truth Bible also features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization.

Features include: almost 200 devotionals, 66 artist-designed key verses, 35 full-color timelines, 20 full-color maps, 11 full-color charts, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, carefully curated topical index, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note-taking.

23515574_10210798770226389_170536338_n

I can’t tell you how excited I was/am to be chosen to review this Bible. Because first, me? My little blog? And second? I’ve been dying to have it for as long as I’ve known about it. I was given this Bible to review for B&H Publishing by FrontGate Media.  While I was given the Bible for free all thoughts and opinions are my own and I can’t wait to share them with you. I carried it around with me for a week because I was so proud to have it! haha.

20171125_084329

Okay, I failed miserably and always left my real camera somewhere else (except in this picture it’s just tucked away in my backpack on the table) and never took good pictures and it’s shameful because I’m a stinkin’ photographer and I love using my camera. nonetheless, here’s my blurry cell phone pic.)20171125_084348
Things that I adore about this bible:
1) the color. I was secretly hoping I’d get the coral one and when I tore open my package, I about squealed. They grey one is gorgeous, too but……… CORAL!
2) I love that it has a case. I really enjoy preserving my bibles- I really enjoy keeping them beautiful. I love that I can keep it in a case when I travel with it and keep it solid and as it should be. I also love that it’s a hardcover and I can’t wait to break the bind on it some day!
3) I love that it is simple to use- the glossary is laid out simply, I absolutely love the introduction to each chapter- how there are graphs, maps, charts- everything the visual learner needs.  (See below)2
4) I love the size of it and the room left over on the margins- I’m a note taker/doodler and need that space! I wish i could transfer all my old bible notes into this one and keep it all in one place.

20171125_084658
Morning study of Matthew- I can’t ever get enough of hearing the way that God has/can/will/DOES miraculously heal His kids.23548184_10210798770666400_783487580_n
I promise this is a different book, it just happened to be chapter 10 as well. In church, we are walking through Ecclesiastes- here’s a snap of my set up during the sermon.23549606_10210798774546497_394324692_n
I love these little devotions on the side. They tie directly to the scripture at hand, they’re simple enough but also have enough punch to stop you dead in your tracks. I’m someone who NEEDS simple application placed throughout my Bible. I struggle with reading, applying, comprehending what is written sometimes because of the verbiage and I struggle with determining what is a parable and what is a true story that Jesus is sharing. These devotions pull me out of my confusion and help me to apply the lesson right then and there. It’s 100% what I look for in a bible when I’m choosing my own. 23549743_10210798774106486_421303398_n

Each Book of the bible comes with artwork and it’s BEAUTIFUL. I get excited to find new books so that I can see what piece of art they included. Here’s some examples.

123574266_10210798774506496_1568224678_n
My pooch, Lyla, hanging out and trying to soak in some Jesus with me.

Win 1 of 5 Copies SRT

Want a chance to win your own #SheReadsTruth Bible? Enter here!:

https://www.blessedfreebies.com/she-reads-truth.html

Overall, I seriously LOVE this bible and can’t wait to dig in more. Do you have a #SheReadsTruth bible? Want help learning how to #readyourbible ? THIS ONE WILL HELP. It’s helped me.

Need your copy today? Here’s the link:  http://shereadstruthbible.com

[more book reviews]

Standard

 

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?

 

[closing time]

Standard

Image result for semisonic closing time

 

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]

Standard

1020206629.png

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!

[ Loop Devotional for Women]

Standard

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

Teeter Totter summer update 2. [the one that you should read.]

Standard

Okay my posts aren’t always going to be about a teeter totter summer, but this week it is because its week 1 and everything is upside down.

Last night was …dun dun duuuun.. report card night.
9’s is almost glowing, it’s so good. he has 2 areas he can improve on, but the teacher even said “I think he’ll figure it out. He’s a leader in our class. He is an example. He works well with others, etc.” Everything a parent wants to read about their kid. He is GIDDY with his end of year grades and the positive report his teacher gave him.

13 has had this impending doom hanging above his head for the entire last trimester- he’s known it was coming. Long story short, he barely passed his year at school and we’re searching for summer school as a sort of bonus punishment. He’s lost privileges like television, tablets, cell phones, video games- all of it. very strictly for 3 weeks.

We came to this agreement about 6 minutes after we got the letter in the mail. The kids’ mom came over and my Prince kept saying, before she arrived, that “We would all discuss this and figure it out.” and i questioned him- “You keep saying we. does that mean i get to be a part of this?”
“Unless she outright won’t meet and talk about this if you’re here, yes. I want you to be a part of this.”
*huge internal smile*
Immediately after, she arrives. We all gather on the porch and she even says hi to me before i get on the porch. that’s strange.
we have our discussion and she actually listens to my input, which i am mindful to not add unless i think its very important, since this is the first time i’ve been tolerated. this is going well…

she admits a lot of her own faults in why 13 didnt succeed this year. she admits to a lot and basically reaches her hands out asking for help.
Eventually the conversation is wrapped up. I sent the boys in the house to find a book that they  were playing with the other day, it was their mom’s and her sisters from when they were kids- we gave it back to her and she smiled so big! she said she really appreciated it and held it close. and then the  boys go off to swim.
She doesn’t run off the porch.
Instead she thanks me.

SHE THANKED ME.
and she apologized for the way the last two years have been and blamed it on “momma bear.” and i just told her i understood and i thanked her.
and i told her how much i love those boys. and how much i care for them and just want the best for them. and she just said “Stepmomma, i know. they love you. and care for you. and i’m just grateful to have a support system for them. Thank you for all that you do for them and all you have done. i think things are going to be a lot better from here on out.”

WHAT!

and once she left, i walked right out to the pool and told my prince what she said, and he hopped out like “Should we talk somewhere else?” like the boys shouldn’t hear. and i said no. i intentionally came here for them to hear that their mom came to me and apologized. there was a tangible tension between us the last two years and they have openly talked about her disdain for me. I think it’d be good for them to hear that things are better. and he just smiled, like “You’re right.”

And then we took the boys to Taco Bell as a little surprise, but also because it was hot and we didn’t want to cook.

and then we took them to play tennis and 13, the one who hates all physical activity and outdoors, LOVED IT. he had fun. he smiled and laughed and ran around and then i smoked him in a real game of tennis (PS it was his first day ever of tennis, but still i won.) and then i crushed my Prince in another game of tennis that he tried, so hard, to get me to redo, but i scored on him in all 3 redo rounds. and i won again.

we all giggled and we all smiled hugely and came home feeling good.

this was my favorite day in a very long time.