2021 Joy Dare- Day 39

Dare

Good morning friends! When I stumbled upon this Dare back in December I was going through a time of real struggle when I was seriously having trouble being grateful. I found myself being grateful for the same thing over and over again. Coffee…..coffee…coffee…sunshine (not that there was much in December here in upstate New York) and a few other things. I’m not saying that it’s bad to be grateful for the same things over and over again, but sometimes we have tunnel vision and we lose sight of all the other blessings God has given to us. And then I “just happened” to stumble upon this Dare while scrolling through Pinterest. I had already read Ann Voskamp’s Book One Thousand gifts so I was intrigued. I checked out all the images and I was certain this is what I needed When I chose this challenge for this year I had no idea what the rest of the year held BUT God did!

Are you willing…..

So I want to ask you are you willing To take this Dare? The great thing is- you don’t have to commit to the full year! You can just start with one month AND you can start Any time! It really is so simple and it changes your perspective! I Dare you to take this challenge~

Day 17- 3 Gifts Ugly Beautiful

  1. gloomy gray skies-so sad yet intriguing
  2. broken lives changed by Jesus- amazing
  3. Dying fields- turning brown- yet there is a beautiful fall aesthetic

Day 18- A Gift fixed, folded, freckled

  1. fixed-Hubby putting LED light fixtures in my craft room
  2. folded- clothes that are folded in the Cedar Chest for the future
  3. freckled-Kiddo’s #4’s freckled face!

Day 19- 3 gifts In Conversation

  1. Conversations with my prayer team this week
  2. Conversations with our future Bible study leader
  3. Hubby had a very encouraging conversation with a friend in ministry

Day 20- 3 gifts in Salvation

  1. Grace
  2. Hope
  3. Peace

Day 21- 3 gifts in information

  1. Books
  2. Podcasts
  3. Conferences

Day 22- 3 Gifts rattling, receding, redeemed

  1. Rattled- my emotions this week as I have continually come face to face with some hard realities and broken relationships (not mine but ones of close friends-it’s hard to watch)
  2. Receding- a falling away- it hurts to see. it’s painful to watch
  3. redeemed- Countless stories that I can name right now where God took brokenness and turned them into something beautiful. He redeemed those moments for His Glory

Day 23-  3 gifts in silence

  1. early mornings
  2. Outside devotions
  3. spare moments stolen away in my craft room

I’m so glad you came by for the Joy Dare this week and I’m praying You all have a fabulous week full of gratitude and Joy!

And how about You what have you found joy in this week?

For more Joy Dare posts click here and for more Choosing Courage Posts click here.

To Check out The Joy Dare and One Thousand Gifts  by Ann Voskamp click here.

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Change: Week 5 Update

Change

Good morning! And I can ACTUALLY say that! I have and am in the process of making some big changes around here. As much as I have loved this writing project for 100 days I have hated every minute of the schedule I was keeping! I have been thinking and praying a lot about how to change the cycle I was in but nothing came to be until yesterday.

And then I remembered something……

Let’s Go Back in time (Cue Time machine sounds and funky music)

See the girl over there sitting in the old brown restaurant style booth. She’s had a busy afternoon and evening and now she was settling in to focus on her schoolwork- She’s a college student. She has a lot of trouble focusing She always has. She has so many things bouncing around in her brain.

But recently she made a discovery. She discovered that if she spent 30 minutes writing creatively then she could focus really well. And right now she is the only person in the room (that’s why it’s her favorite spot) but if she hurries she can get the creative writing in before the mad rush of people come into the student center for snacks and social time. So she put her head down and began scrawling down the new idea that had been bouncing around in that brain of hers all day.

Something Magic

With Each passing word that flowed out the end of her writing utensil her brain became alive and focused and driven. She had focus like she has never had before. Words came quickly and she almost never had to stop, erase or rethink the wording.

And then she was done. She would pack away her writing piece never to return to it again. And then the truly magical thing happened- She pulled out her schoolwork and she began working At some point the quietness turned into a murmur and then to a dull roar. There was chaos going on around her but that didn’t matter Her brain was calmed and she could focus on anything now. The time came fore her to close her books and she headed back to her dorm room. She changed, climbed into bed and laid there wondering why on earth she couldn’t fall asleep. Her brain was fully alive and functioning, not in the haze it had been that afternoon.

*cue time machine sounds and funky music* with a brief stop at yesterday.

Is that that the same girl?

The time machine comes t a screeching halt in front of a blue house and hey is that the same girl sitting out from with her journal in front of her.? The posture is the same. Hunched over her work. Her hair is the same color just shorter and she looks older. But she is just as busy scribbling away. She stops. She looks up. She is thinking about something. The girl in the booth didn’t do that. A smile spreads across her face. She picks up a strange flat box sitting next to her. Her fingers fly across the screen. Oh wait the front door open a teenager comes out, he’s holing a soccer ball, and he starts talking to her…He calls her MOM. She answers his question and he goes back inside. Wow a lot has changed for that college student sitting in that booth from so long ago.

She goes back to scribbling furiously. She stops picks up her head and smiles. It’s almost as if she remembered something. She picks up that flat shiny box again and turns it on . She looks startled. She pushes the chair away from the table gets her stuff together and heads inside. I guess it is time for me to head back to today. I climb back in my time machine and I look back as the front door closes behind her and I smile.

*cue Time Machine Sounds and Funky music*

An AHA moment and a Change

As I sit here this morning typing furiously on my laptop, I smile because I know exactly what that girl was going through…both that one from 20 years ago AND the one from yesterday. Because I am that girl. And I have been frustrated as of late. Yesterday when I was scribbling in that journal- my prayer time to be exact- I was asking God to help me figure out this writing schedule problem. It’s kinda been a vicious cycle over the last five weeks. And just like the girl from 20 years ago I will write my brains out before bed and then go upstairs and read I will be tired but my brain has been snapped back to life and I will lay there contemplating everything from what needs to be done tomorrow to….who knows what else. Then I wake up in the morning and I’m sluggish and unfocused. I have to fight my way through my devotions because my brain is not focused. Then the kids wake up and the demands of the day start.

By the time the kids go to bed at night I flop down in the chair with my laptop and I begin to write. And the cycle starts all over again.

But that me from yesterday had an aha! moment . She remembered the girl from 20 years ago. AND she was writing to another person online who was sharing how she handled her priorities and focused on each one. Her strategy struck a deep chord with me.

Overwhelmed and frustrated

I know as moms (and humans in general) we all tend to feel like this. We have so much to do and keep track of. We have so many priorities to focus on Our kids, our husband, our home, our physical health our friends, church, our relationship with Jesus, perhaps an outside job whether it be at home or out of the home…..and the list goes on and on. and we all feel the need to be balanced and yet we can’t stop the mad cycle.

So as I sent a few DM’s back and forth with Crystal Paine (The Money Saving Mom) about how she handles her priorities the thought of 21 year old me came flooding back as well. About how writing has always cleared my brain and helped me to focus and get stuff done. And then this question resonated deep in my heart WHAT IF I WROTE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING? HMMMM.

The Change

There are 3 things that are going to change over the rest of this week-

  1. Writing will happen first thing in the morning. This might change after the 100 Days of blogging project is over. It may look a little different just in it might not be blogging everyday, but there will be some form of “writing” being done.
  2. I am going to set up a habit tracker of the must do things that NEED to get done every single day. These will be based on my six priorities.
  3. Then each day I will pick out which two priorities I will focus on for that day. I need to learn exactly what “Time blocking” is -that will help the focused time for each day.

I love what Crystal said yesterday in her Instagram Stories. “I only have two hands, so I only pick two priorities to focus on everyday”. She says that when she does this it means that she will visit all of her priorities in focused time at least once a week (obviously it might be more). But then you don’t have to stress over neglecting something.

Wow what a relief from the pressure I have been putting on myself for a very long time.

I know this isn’t the typical weekly update but it is the major thing that has been a frustration for a while and now I have this overwhelming sense of Freedom.

Have you struggled with these thoughts and feelings before? It cycles through for me and I would love to hear your thoughts and strategies in the comments below!

Thanks for joining me for Day 37 of my Choosing Courage 100 day blogging project. If you are new here you can check out this blog post that explains it all.

And if you have fallen behind or missed some posts you can check it out here

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Happy Homemaker Monday

Monday

Happy Monday everyone. Mondays tend to be very low key around here but today was a little different both pups needed to go to the vert and then all the other scheduled stuff that needed to happen. So I got a Buch accomplished but it just didn’t feel like enough!

Breakfast time….what is on the plate this morning::::

Coffee.

  Looking around the house::::

I have lots of work to do….and I mean LOTS

On today’s to do list::::

  • Over the next few days I am revamping how I handle my priorities more on that TOMORROW

Currently reading::::

  • Hello Fears
  • Get Out of Your Head
  • My Bible
  • Corrie ten Boom(biography with the kids for morning basket)
  • S.H.A.P.E.
  • Practical Dreamer

On the TV this week::::

different Strokes and Promised Land

The weather outside is::::

It was GORGEOUS today but the rest of the week is Cooler (60’s) and wet

On the menu this week::::

Monday –  Beef Stew

Tuesday –   Scalloped Potatoes and Ham and salad

Wednesday –   Pulled Pork and French fries veggies

Thursday –   Leftovers and salad

Friday –  Chili and Biscuits

Saturday –  Pigs in a Blanket (Cabbage Rolls)

Sunday – Masjed Potato Sundaes

I never did get to make the cabbage rolls and the Mashed potato Sundaes last week. I will post a recipe or at lease instructions on how to make them.

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::

Clean my craft room

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::

None

One of my simple pleasures:::

Hubby and I working together at night time but separately. Me blogging / planning Him working on his upcoming Old Testament Survey class he is teaching. (Did I mention that hubby took on a part time Professor job). it’s not a typical Professor position but it is part of his passion! Teaching pastor’s!

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Monday

In case you are wondering they are watching for woodchucks!!! It’s Nuggets favorite thing to do.

Praying for::::

♥♥  Lots of friends and family who either have COVID or knows someone who does. One person in particular is not doing so well but is making strides in the right direction.
♥♥ Our Search Process ♥♥Friends and family who are struggling

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment:::: 

I had t chuckle when these verses were next in my reading of James this evening.

And for more Happy Homemaker Monday posts Check out Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Thanks for joining me for My Choosing Courage 100 day writing project.. You can check out all the other posts by clicking here.

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Not Exactly What I Had Planned

Planned

Today did NOT go as Planned! When I woke up this morning I had a long list of things that needed to be done and accomplished. I had goals and intermingled with those goals and tasks were the everyday things like Google meet appointments, helping the kids with school work, making meals and house hold chores. Nothing earth shattering.

But Planned does NOT mean it’s going to happen.

I am a planner by nature. So I live off of to-do lists and getting things done….and then there are days like today…you know the ones. Everything takes WAY longer than it is supposed to. Or everything seems to go wrong or as this morning goes everyone needs something. It’s not a bad thing necessarily but you start something and then you continue to bounce from one thing to the next and it feels like nothing really gets finished. Take our vitamin boxes for example. I needed to fill them up today. Mine is finished after being interrupted 3 different times and I cannot even tell you how many times I lost my coffee cup as I played mommy pinball.

Sometimes we lose sight of what’s most important…..we forget where our strength and endurance comes from. JESUS! When I was sitting waiting for the next surprise IEP meeting to start and I check todays #Hopewriterlife writing challenge over on Instagram and the word for today is HOPE. So this is what came to mind and what I ended up writing…

I don’t have to plan Hope.

And today is the last day of the @hopewritersInstagram wring challenge. It’s been fun for sure but a little taxing on top of the writing challenge I have going on over on my blog. 

Can I tell you though that this week has been crazy busy and crazy messy! But in the middle of all the crazy and messy I still have hope! Because hope isn’t in an empty schedule or a less stressful day. Hope is a person. Hope is Jesus!
If all lease is in complete chaos we can still have peace and comfort and hope! Because HOPE IS IN COMPLETE CONTROL!

No matter the crazy and messy and confusing and overwhelming- HOPE is always there.

And in the middle of all the crazy- I had peace. It was the exact reminder I needed. The words of my own instagram post hit me like a load of bricks. So as much as I wanted to share my answers to the Journaling sections of Hello Fears (book by Michelle Poler) There is always tomorrow!. Those answers aren’t going anywhere.

Have you had any days like that recently?

Thanks so much for joining me for Day 33 of my Choosing Courage 100 day writing project. If you are new here you can check out the rest of the posts here.

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Blog on Purpose

purpose

Confession time

I love to write. I always have. But you already knew that. BUT I struggle to write a purpose statement. The point of a purpose statement is that it’s short Concise and easy to remember. But if you have been around here for very long you know that concise isn’t on the of the words that describes how I write.

Well back one month ago as I began this writing journey, I began to consider writing a purpose statement for my blog. I could tell you what the purpose of my blog was but it would not be concise.

It rolled around in my head and I have thought many times how to articulate it. bu nothing ever seemed good enough,

A lesson in every little thing

Back in December when I was living every waking second and some of the not quite awake but not quite asleep moments, praying that God will get me through that moment.

Whether it was moments of pain ( That was the majority of the moments) or laying in the ER waiting for the next procedure You can only count the tiles on the ceiling to many times. I quickly learned that God really did care about every little thing. It was a hard lesson. But by the end of December I was taking every little thing to HIM. I wasn’t fretting about the details anymore.

But How Quickly I Forget

Fast forward to now and I am just hanging out pondering all these details – trying to do all the things myself and then when God shows up I sit mouth gaping at the pastor when he answers a question he didn’t even know was asked.

I mean seriously the WHOLE month of DECEMBER I spent learning this lesson…and I just forgot the lesson.

So about that purpose!

There I was listening- taking notes and BAM

Hebrews 10:24 NLT

24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

That’s exactly what I try to achieve her and on Social media. I want people to grow in their walk with God! I want people to grow in their love and good works!

I cannot tell you the number of times I have read the book of Hebrews and never really noticed that verse.. And yet there it is.

Baby Steps

Over the next few weeks and months there will be some changes here on the blog. She will be getting a facelift. BUT what’s more important is that the bones of this blog are sturdy. And that starts with a rock solid purpose Statement. It is what will be what keeps me on track and not lose sight of what I need to be writing about!

I can have a pretty blog but at the end of the day if I have no purpose or lose sight of my purpose I will not have joy in what I am doing! And right now I am loving what I am doing!

Thank you so much for joining me on this growth journey. That is what this project is….It’s pushing me to grow beyond my comfort zone. And it’s helping me to see just what God wants me to write about.

Thank you for being patient with me as I wobble with each baby step on this journey. If you are new here and you are asking what on earth is this girl talking about? Then you can check out this blog post here and if you have missed any of the blog posts you can check them out here.

See you tomorrow for Day 32!

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