A Big Giant Update

1. It’s customary that when I return from a blogging break, I make a list. Too much in my head to try and tie it all together in pretty paragraphs.

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2. I have jumped in the essential oil world with Young Living Oils. I can’t say emphatically enough that I wish I had tried them sooner. I kid you not. If you want any more information or have questions, please comment below or email me. I would be happy to share my experiences. We have seen significant improvement from things such as allergies (took my symptoms away 100% within a minute, I know hard to believe, yet true) to headaches, to drastic improvement with some issues with sensory processing with my children. I adore them. I’m all in. #wouldntyouliketobeahippietoo

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*totally loving when there are awesome friends who give your kids a fire station tour, complete with putting out the fire (or knocking over the cone), just because they’re cool like that.

My guy still talks about this, weeks later. Thanks Jeremy.

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3. I have been able to do a bit of photography. My calendar is starting to fill. It’s nice. I have missed it, yet enjoyed my time off as well. So many new places for photography. Seriously inspiring. When we first heard about the job opening in Missouri, I have to admit I had to look up exactly where it was. I just knew it was in the middle. This place is absolutely gorgeous.

leessummit Collage*head on over to Green Jeans Photography on Facebook to see more highlights from these fun sessions

4. How are we REALLY doing? My kids are adjusting. My church is seriously unbelievable and has taken my kids in and grabbed their hearts right quick, my whole family really. Don’t get me wrong, this move from Ca to Missouri has been incredibly challenging at times, but that much more rewarding as well. Every single thing is different. It isn’t just the obvious things like leaving family and friends, etc. Everything, everything here, is unfamiliar. The clouds are lower and the formations are incredible,  there are weird bugs, the sky moves (the clouds, like a lot) while the earth stays still, green is a whole new shade of green, the weather really does change every 5 seconds, it’s humid sometimes, it smells different, it feels different, and yes it looks different; mainly it’s flat, well not flat, but rolly like. I don’t see the Sierras here and there isn’t a palm tree to be found. There are no spare the air days. There are water towers everywhere, it rains in the spring and summer, I have seen more lightening here in the past five months than my entire life combined previously, times 10, people say “pop” for soda, they ask what earthquakes are like, I have had to explain smoking to my littles (it’s way more prevalent here than where we came from), lightening bugs rock my world. Even the Carl’s Jr. here is called Hardee’s. Go Figure. Cicadas are ridiculously loud as is the thunder. I have learned more about hunting, than I ever thought I would. I never get caught in traffic. Our house is the same size here as in Ca, just 3 stories instead of 1. 8 ft ceilings instead of 10-16 foot ceilings.

Different.

Nothing BIG is necessarily different. It’s just a thousand little things.

I get asked these things all the time. Yes, there are “regular” stores in Missouri…Target, Chipotle, Office Max, and Hobby Lobby. All the same things we were used to.

For a girl who lived a 40 years in Ca. I was ready for a change. So as different as it is, it’s been fun too. I guess it’s the season of dual emotions coexisting constantly.

Happy/ sad. Adventorous/ fetal. Excited/ homesick. Confident/ terrified.

No big deal. No wonder I am tired.

It has been an unbelievably stretching year for all of us. Because a million little things make up your world and when they almost all disappear, it takes some time. It just does. God never wastes an opportunity. He takes every challenge, every heartache, every new experience and works them all together for good.

It’s been 9 months that we have been here. The time that it takes to grow a baby, or the time it takes to move a family of 6- 1770 miles away and create a new life.

There is freedom here. Watching my husband be loved on and trusted and free to do and be who God has created him to be means the world. It is a gift that I watch unfold a little more each day and one that I cherish. I would follow this man anywhere…and the parting words from my dentist in Ca was, “you must love your husband if you would follow him to Missouri.” lol.  Turns out he led me to a little well kept secret in the midwest.

Don’t get too comfortable. Comfortable is no way to live. No way at all. God is the Master Creator and He molds and stretches and changes. Sometimes He reaches down and grabs you and moves you and does it quick. Sometimes He allows you to come all kinds of undone and puts you back together in the way you didn’t know you needed. It’s incredible. I trust. I am grateful. There are no words to express how grateful I am.

To. Be. Here.

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5. I am heading back to California soon for a visit. All by myself. I feel like I have lived an entire lifetime since I left. I can’t even handle the fun I have planned and the way I am going to miss my people that will be staying home. I can’t wait to hug my people in Cali…and I might be visiting a certain magical mouse. Seriously. We left so quickly I didn’t get a chance to say a proper goodbye. To the mouse, not the people…

 

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6. We have been exploring. Mansions, tea houses, antique and thrift stores, neighboring towns, parks, Truman’s house, and our lake. Kansas City has an amazing zoo. My high schoolers went to camp. I went to a retreat and had the opportunity to speak at a workshop there and be in some fun skit type things. My hubby attended and led worship at Man Camp. My daughter turned 14. My parents came to visit. My Nicole has come to visit. My Betsey has come to visit. My Ashley and her amazing family have come to visit. We have also rested. A ton. This summer has flown by and I am so ready for fall. We first came to Missouri last October and it was incredibly beautiful. I can’t wait to see it again.

 

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 *photo credit to Abundant Life Facebook page.

7.  Our church just broke ground on a new building recently. Today I was excited to see the first wall up. Frequent overflow lobby seating, which is way less than ideal, just prompted the launch of another service on Sunday @ 4:30 pm, as we wait for the completion of our new building. We now are busting the seams at a total of 8 services on Sundays and are anxiously awaiting the opening of the new 2100 seat auditorium in the fall of 2015. This church is so exciting. You know why? It’s not because of what they do, it is because of who they are. Followers of Jesus, and Jesus brings people here in number. Jesus changes lives and when you walk in the door you can see it on these faces. I’m so blessed to be here and learn, grow, serve and be a part of what God is doing here.

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*surprise phot0s on my camera rock

8. I ran my first backlight 5k. Well truth be told we walked it under giant lightening and big fat thunder. As if a backlight run isn’t enough, we did it with a thunderstorm. We were drenched to the core and very colorful. It was amazing. Like a therapy session but 1/10th of the price…and I still am finding color in places…

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9. I will leave you with this thought. Please tell me why we have a Bank of the West here in Missouri, when we are more on the east than the west…and furthermore why isn’t it called the mideast? There should be an east, mideast, midwest, and west. Don’t you think that makes more sense? Because it’s current set up is weird. I give you exhibit A….

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and that’s what’s up…

Happy Sunday…More on our first week of school coming soon!

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GIVEAWAY!!!

Alright friends! Here is the deal.

It is time for a giveaway. I don’t do giveaways unless they are a thing that all my friends need in their lives. It’s kinda a rule I have.

I met Alicia through Amy and they are both fabulous. The kind that you hope to meet in real life someday so that you could hug their face off, ya know?

 

Alicia blogs at Investing Love. She has four adorable littles, is a homeschool mama, and beyond creative. Love, Love, Love her blog.

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Anyway, if you homeschool, then you just gotta have these in your arsenal.

Mrs Hutchinson’s Classroom Guides

No for real, you need them.

Homeschool Basics- NOT just for newbies. She included solutions for everyday problems, curriculum guide, tons of printables, and more. $7

and

Planning and Organizing- She included almost 20 pages of printables for you to use as well as tips on how to organize your schoolroom, you lesson planner, your yearly plans, and your daily schedules. This guide also covers tons of tips on getting through the nitty gritty of organizing and keeping things in order. $7

Please go get some cookies and a cup of tea and head on over to sit and read up on the details on these ebooks!

Go HERE!

 

and ya know what? She has another title coming out soon, Make Homeschooling Fun.

and ya know what else? She just released her lesson planner. For just $7. It’s modern, simple to use, cute, and practical.

 

 

Enter below to win a copy of BOTH of her ebooks!!!!  Homeschool Basics and Planning & Organizing!!!

 

Good Luck!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Curriculum 2014-2015

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Last school year was NOTHING like what I had planned. Let me repeat NOTHING!!!!!!!!!N O T H I N G. So plans become nothing short of plans. What I intend to do. I hold them somewhat loosely :) Some of the extras that I had planned from last year, went out the window about the same time my husband’s appendix decided to burst into bits. Then when we moved to Missouri at Christmas time, we went even further down to the essentials! So, if some things look like you’ve seen them before, you have!

BREAKFAST! Each week the older two will take turns having a breakfast date with me and my husband. Mom/daughter one week and Father/son the next. We have a couple of parent/teen devotionals picked out. These will be a time to get away from the noise and happy chaos and just spend one on one time with these TWO teens of mine.

HOLIDAYS! My bloggy friend, Megan, does the BEST thing and it is a perfect opener for our school day. Did you know that there is about a jillion holidays? National Hot Dog Day? How about National Hot Cross Buns Day? We are going to find them and celebrate them! We started last year and it was SO fun. My favorite was celebrating the birthday of the frozen tv dinner. I fed my kids a chicken fried tv dinner at 8:30 am. It was glorious.

DEVOTIONS! JESUS CALLING FOR KIDS

 

CAMERON – 10th grade

Language Arts/ History/ Writing/Bible –My Father’s World

Science – Marine Biology, Apologia

Math- Math U See

Foreign Language- Mandarin, Rosetta Stone

PE-  training for a Triathlon next spring

Community service volunteer- TBD

Elective- Intro to Logic (semester 1) TBD (semester 2)

 

TAYLOR – 9th grade

Language Arts/ History/ Writing/Bible –My Father’s World

Science – Biology, Apologia

Math- Math U See

Foreign Language- Mandarin, Rosetta Stone

PE- training for a Triathlon next spring

Community Service volunteer- TBD

Elective- Intro to Logic (semester 1) TBD (semester 2)

 

EMMA- 4th grade

Character- Building Christian Character

Math- Math U See

History/ Bible – Mystery of History

Science- Apologia, Astronomy

Grammar- A beka

Reading– Book Studies based on Veritas Press Comprehension guides and supplemented with various projects/field trips

Little House in the Big Woods| Milly, Molly, and Mandy| The Boxcar Children

Spelling- Christian Liberty 

Art- Deep Space Sparkle

PE- training for a Triathlon next spring

 

 

 

Looking forward to receiving my boxes and getting things ready!

Fall is my favorite!

 

 

 

 

 

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Memory Lane

In March of 2013, my family settled in to what I hoped to be our forever home. Fast forward to May of 2014 and I sit in the city of Less Summit, Missouri. I had never heard of Lees Summit, Missouri. Everything changed in a very big whirlwind. I didn’t know Missouri was called the Show Me Sate and I had never heard of Abundant Life Church or Pastor Phil Hopper. I sit here tonight, grateful that during a very unsettling year of my life, I was able to blurt out some words to remember. Mostly, so I can remember what God did, how He cared for us, how He comforts, and how He teaches.

Here is the journey of our days during our last school year. I found myself reading it tonight . I pulled out some past posts that tell the story, part of the story. As always, with blogging I crave authenticity. At the same time, wisdom puts forth just part of the story. A blog post could never tell it all and some things just shouldn’t be said. So, here is the part that hopefully shares our feelings, our longing to be where God wants us, but most of all highlights His faithfulness.

The unknown is frightening.

Hebrews 12:2 But let us fix our eyes on God, the author and perfecter of our faith.

June 2013- May 2014 looked a little something like this…

Room 822. An overnight get away. How we did not understand at that time, but we very much we needed to be on the same page for what was coming up…God knew.

Trust. Oceans became on permanent repeat in my head and my heart. NOT a coincidence.

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Setting Up Home. Little did I know, we would be leaving this gorgeous home just six months later.

Our Classroom! Hard work to turn our garage into our classroom.

Pink. Struggling with not having everything done and leaving on a trip to visit family.

First Day of School.  I wasn’t prepared as I wanted to be, but it happened! I had high hopes for the year.

God Reads My Blog. My husband’s appendix burst into a million little bits.

The List. My husband chooses to resign His position and we step out on faith that God will provide a new ministry.

More Listy Type Things. Reality begins to sink in. We have really stepped out on faith. The days of our income are ticking.

Wednesdays. Sometimes God seems slow and sometimes He exceeds your expectations in ways you can’t fathom. God showed us our new ministry in Missouri.

House Hunting. Back to Missouri to look for a place to call home.

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My Prayer. Thoughts just 19 days away from moving.

Six More Days. The last week in Cali.

I’m Kinda A Mess, But Not.  On the road to Missouri.

We’re From California. Figuring out this new life.

What’s Up, Straws. Working through the homesickness.

I Don’t know When To Turn. Life in Missouri.

Home. Offer accepted!

I Miss My Chickens. Settling in.

Back To School, Again. Trying to regain some sort of normal.

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The Hose. This story involves frozen barf and my lack of knowledge of how to deal with the cold.

The Post That Changed Me. Looking back on our time in our little paradise country home.

First Snow. And we do some major crushin’ on our first snow storm.

Life In Missouri. Joany goes home to be with Jesus.

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But today. Putting my big girl panties on and finding some FUN.

That One Valentines Day. Shawn goes back to California for Joany’s celebration services and I fall and pee my pants, no really.

Just Some Stuff. We have keys!

Musings From Missouri.  Getting settled, again.

Be Known. Visitors from Cali and aching for normal.

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Our story is far from over. However, it has been 4.5 months since we arrived in Missouri and I would say we are settling in. We have no regrets. We are so grateful that God moved and brought us here. Moving 1800 miles away from your entire life is hard and will continue to be at times. That’s reality. However, it is also reality that we love our new life here. God cares about the itty bitty details and loves us so much. It’s sometimes hard to take in.

Now that the big move part is really over, I am looking forward to see what this next year holds. Life in all it’s daily glory. Trials and joys, hand in hand. I have learned to hold my plans a little more loosely than I did in days past.

Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

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Be Known

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I have thought so many times about what has been hard about moving across the country. It may seem obvious, but it still makes me ponder. Sure, you leave every shred of comfort that you know and love, even the things you hated you find yourself missing. All the familiar is gone, the second you drive away. It was and still is overwhelming sometimes. BUT…one of my children said it best the other day…

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“I just want to wake up and feel normal.”

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And so I got to thinking about how to help make them “FEEL NORMAL”.

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Cue a visit from a bestie and her family. Perfect timing. There is such comfort in souls that are intertwined from years of history. Ones who know you. One who gets you.

It’s irreplaceable.

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It takes time to build that and we will. God provides all our needs again and again.

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It makes me ever so grateful that God knows me intimately, in both California and Missouri.

May I always remember to treasure those hearts that are around me, and to remember in whom I belong in the first place.

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Life is absolutely not meant to live alone.

I am so grateful for my people. Both my dearest of friends in California and the new ones I am making here in Missouri.

…and for my parents who will be here to visit in just 11 days.

Happy Tuesday!

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Why Whole 30?

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A couple of years ago, I was introduced to the 100 days of real food blog, and I went down a road that I just can’t go back. What started off as a fun 10 day challenge {read about our results here} became the beginning of a whole new way of eating. Everything changed. The benefits that we as a family experienced were collectively too big to ignore. In just 10 days! We had the privilege of telling our story, through Melanie Warner, in a recently published book Pandora’s Lunchbox and the most interesting part about it was having the author in our home for a day as she interviewed us and hung out with our family. Picking her brain on her knowledge was so fascinating. It further cemented our changes and our commitment.

It is tough sometimes. This past year has been a lot of changes in our lives and we slipped farther than I would have dreamed back towards our old style of eating. I blame the C word. Convenience. As we have become settled in our new home, we are returning back to our healthy habits and I love it. I read a quote this morning that sums it all up.

What has been seen, can’t be unseen.

I had always been fascinated with healthy eating. I didn’t understand it. 100 days of real food blog made it SO simple to understand. Basically it boils down to this. VERY little of what you buy at a regular chain grocery store contains 100% actual food. Start reading labels. Everywhere. Give the products to your kids. If your 2nd grader can’t read the ingredients…Put. it. back. Better yet pick one of those ingredients that you can’t pronounce and google it. Figure out where it comes from, why it’s there, and what the side effects or dangers are. Then make an educated decision.

Is it more expensive? Yes.

Is it more time consuming? Absolutely.

What I finally had to realize is my health should not be determined by what money and time I have left over. Food is important. Eating well is important. Our food budget is now a non negotiable. I have worked hard to find ways to make it as low as possible, but we raised our budget by 25%. We feel it is worth it.

I used to think I was doing pretty good. I bought dinosaur chicken nuggets because they said all natural and boxes don’t lie, I thought. I bought wheat bread. We didn’t regularly consume boxes of pop tarts, Oreos, and chips. In fact, I rarely bought them. What I did not know was that sugar was in basically every single thing I was feeding myself and my family from spices to chicken. Many of the staples of our diet consisted of chemically induced, factory generated, ingredients that resembled real food, but in fact was not. I honestly was shocked the further I studied.

We are still finding our balance and likely will always struggle to some degree, because we live in a “give it to me now” society. It is no longer the accepted norm to spend an hour to prepare dinner. Not that it has to every night, but you get my point. Faster = better. There is always more to learn and I strive for progress, not perfection.

As this new found knowledge has collided with my desire to be physically healthy, I found Whole 30. It was the missing piece for me.

I have a basic knowledge of my food and what I am eating and NOT and that is awesome, but it is time to turn to balance, how I eat, and why I eat. The next level.

It Starts With Food

Buy it. Read it. Try it. Whole 30 is just 30 days. It cost nothing.  It is just 30 days. I haven’t even made it through yet, but I know what I am going to find on the other side.

Whole 30 does not require supplements, shakes, pills, drops, or anything else. You EAT FOOD! For me, it really made sense. Absolute sense.

You eat the food God created, the most nutrient dense food you can find, and your body responds in amazing ways. It all boils down to that.

What if the migraines you suffer with your whole life could disappear because of a change in what you eat? What if you could feel more energy? I could go on and on, but look at it this way…

 

The ingredients off of a chicken sandwich from Chick Fil A: (straight from their website)

chicken (whole breast filet, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached wheat flour {with malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, nonfat milk, egg], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane as an anti-foaming agent]), bun (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, folic acid], water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, contains 2% or less of each of the following: liquid yeast, soybean oil, nonfat milk, salt, wheat gluten, soy flour, dough conditioners [may contain one or more of the following: mono- and diglycerides, calcium and sodium stearoyl lactylates, calcium peroxide], soy flour, amylase, yeast nutrients [monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate], calcium propionate added to retard spoilage, soy lecithin, cornstarch, butter oil [soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid added as preservatives, and artificial color]), pickles (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, alum, potassium sorbate [preservative], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, yellow 5, blue 1).

 

I learn this new road because I don’t want chemicals coloring my pickles. I just don’t anymore.

There is another option.

You can buy bread with five ingredients.

You can buy and eat real food. The way God made it.

Try it for 30 days and see, but you may never ever ever go back.

I am finishing up day 5.

I want to feel amazing. I want to have enough energy to do what it is God has me on this earth to do. That is the bottom line. So, I am turning to His creation to do that. Food has far more influence on our day to day life then I think many times we give it credit for.

Have you even done a whole 30? Let me know your best tips if you have!

Happy Monday!

 

 

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Easter And Stuff

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Easter has come and gone again. I love what Easter is about. However, honestly, I am not in to the eggs, and dying, and new clothes, and baskets, and all of that. I know how grinch like, but it’s true. We are pretty low key around here about this holiday. Church was spectacular this past Sunday. Every single bit pointed straight to Jesus and what this holiday is really about. It was fabulous.

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Last Thursday we picked Grandma J, Shawn’s mom, up at the airport and she left today. She braved our post cross country move chaos of a house, that courageous soul. We spent a lot of time focused on Shawn getting ready for church services, playing games, watching lightening, exploring Kansas City, cooking, and just chilling.

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We went downtown Kansas City the day after Easter and it is pretty much one of my favorite things to do these days. So much to explore.

Power Light District

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Union Station

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Crown Center

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I hope you all had a marvelous weekend celebrating and being together with family and/or friends.

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Also, thank you for such encouraging emails, messages, texts, and comments after my recent post about my own health journey. It is always so amazing to me how many struggle and understand exactly what I am saying when I write about this. When I feel like hitting publish is the world’s stupidest idea ever, I do it anyway because in my experience stupid often times brings about the best possible things. This time, yet again, it did.

Satan sure uses junk food, over eating, under eating, too much exercise, not enough exercise, eating from boredom, eating for comfort, eating for every wrong reason there is, laziness, pride, addictions to success, addiction to control, fear of failure and the lot of it to lure us straight away from the foot of the cross.

I heard or read recently somewhere to stop living according to your feelings and live according to the truth. This is my focus. Laying it down. Living arms wide open. Giving Him control. Day by day. Minute by minute…

“Lord cleanse me of anything that breaks your heart”.

AND IN OTHER NEWS…

P.S. You know what people? My pantry worked!! The shelves are still up and nothing broke. Thanks to Rocky and LeRoy at Lowes and their hour long consult extravaganza with me to double check my plans (blog post to come), and a long distance phone consult with my dad when I hit a small problem, I have a shiny new pantry. Plus, this past weekend, I wallpapered for the first time. My dining room is getting all fancy too.

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p.s.s. I stepped behind the camera for a few head shots of this stunning girl, this past weekend. She was one of the very first people I met when we landed in Mo for the first time. Only fitting she should be my first official client in Mo as well.

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Loving God

I used to write regularly about my health journey. Recovering eating disorder, yo yo dieter, and exercise addict that I was. I have learned so much in the past years since I really began to change my life in healthy ways. It has been a slow and terribly painful process. I am not very nice to myself. I do NOT have any concept of how to live “in the middle”. Balance is a bad word in some areas of my life. These are areas the Lord has been working in my heart tremendously.

I have never written about anything else that has had the same response as when I write these posts. I have connected with people and have pen pals and prayer partners and it has all been pretty encouraging. Until one day, I was the brunt of someone’s cruel words. My worst fears being talked about behind my back. You see, I like control and I like victory. I like it a lot. I expected that when I decided to get healthy from the inside out that it would happen quickly. However, the war that was taking place in my soul was this: I know how to manage my weight, but not one tool I use is healthy. After I read Made to Crave, I had such a deep desire to give God this area of my life, but I created chaos in the process. I didn’t know what to do. I planned to read the book, do the questions, get permanently fit, and be able to cross this problem area off my to do list. Heck, I even went on to teach the class twice. Here I was two years later, still blindly stumbling around and still trying to learn how to exercise moderately, eat healthy, and do so in a way that had me at a healthy weight. BUT as I learned I had layer, after layer, after layer of issues I needed to deal with. I had been so open and transparent with my journey that I began to fear what people might be saying about me. That I wasn’t making progress, that I still needed to lose weight, that all of these efforts were doing nothing. Then it happened. Those words were said in the cruelest of ways and that fact killed me. I don’t know how people can possibly be so downright vicious. It’s never fun when your worst feelings of failure are brought out into open and used so carelessly for other’s entertainment.

It honestly sent me spiraling and I shut my mouth, tight. I chose to go down another path of another program that I thought would work great, and faster, and then it didn’t “fix” me. Because the reality is I am not after solely a healthy physical body, I want even more than that to learn what I am supposed to, give God ALL areas of my life, and live with absolute peace in my heart. I am not trying to be a super model, but I will not settle for mediocrity. I firmly believe that God calls us to take care of our bodies the BEST that we can. Whatever we “look” like is not really up to us, but the choices made on a daily basis in these areas are. I know how to over exercise and under eat with the best of them and honestly what fueled that discipline was control and anger and as I lay my control at the foot of the cross the results were no longer something I seemed to be able to attain. Praise God. I am having to learn how to do this like a stinkin’ little baby. From scratch. From the very beginning and it is messy. Super messy. Give me a capitol S and a capitol M. I have never felt so human. Giving up your all to Jesus sounds pretty when you sing it in church. When you are down in the trenches dealing with deep past issues and pain it can be a lot more difficult.

I don’t remember a day not struggling in this area in my entire life and much like teenagers today cut themselves, girls back in my day punished their bodies mercilessly with all kinds of horrible things and I quickly and without much thought joined right in and developed a big issue. A big internal issue that I chose to begin talking about recently. I recently read something online where a gal had gained a big chunk of weight in a short time and was embarrassed to go to her dr. She finally did and as the dr. entered the room, she quickly began explaining her weight gain when he stopped her and said, “we all have scars, some are just more visible than others.” Amen. and Amen.

So true. My flesh desperately wants to bury mine. However, doing so leaves me trapped. It’s not an option.

So, this is the road I am on. I still am on it. God is here. I am learning. I am mad, frustrated, happy, and hopeful in the best way.

I have quoted Lysa’s book many times on this blog, particularly the line where she says, “This is a spiritual journey with great physical benefits.” I wholeheartedly agree. This journey is far more about my walk with Christ than my waistline.

You see, I don’t need one more program, one more eating plan with colorful containers to tell me what to eat, or one more app on my phone. Although all fabulous tools and ones I will continue to use…what I need is more of Jesus.

I surrender all.

A song easy to sing and hard to do.

I have started and stopped programs more times than I have put my socks on in this lifetime and yet every single time I get knocked down or fall and get back up there are lessons learned. Lessons riddled with humility and filled with His grace. I have learned so much about nutrition and fitness and tried so many different methods that it makes my head hurt. BUT, ya know what? None of them are my answer. Not one. I firmly believe Satan wants to keep our heads spinning. Try this, try that. This one will work. That one will for sure. The truth is they all work. Every single one of them works, if you do them. The truth is they all end. Jesus doesn’t.

It’s not about the program I choose, it’s about me. It’s about fear of trusting God in this area. It’s about fear to jump. It’s about the fact that it’s scary and living with my arms wrapped around myself is far safer than spreading my wings to fly.

Bottom line it is about learning that I can’t do this my way, on my own, and on my time table.

I learned at church recently about living in a state of constant desperation for God. While things that pull us away from God can take many many forms, this is mine. It will likely be a struggle for a long time and something I have to chose to constantly surrender to Him. Not doing it my way, but His. He made me in the first place. He knows what He is doing.

He is worthy of my praise.

He is worthy of my life.

I want to learn to obey Him in this area for the sole reason because I love Him. Not for better clothes,  kudos on FB, or even feeling better physically. Although none of those are bad things, my motivating factor must be obedience, to the one who laid down His life for me, and knit me together.

It’s become a very personal issue between me and Him. A struggle that has taken me years to realize to the depth that I do that I am absolutely incapable of doing this without Him.

Moving 1800 miles across the country and leaving behind everything and everyone I know and love has unraveled me in the best way.

May we all learn to live in a state of constant desperation. Dreaming God size dreams.

and loving Him…

above all else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Musings From Missouri

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1. I think I over use the word musings. It is a fancy word. I like fancy.

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2. We are starting to feel settled in our house. There was so much work to do and big ticket items to purchase, but we have the basics almost done. We have successfully obliterated most of the oak throughout the house. The kitchen cabinets are my project for the summer! Over the next year, as budget allows, the frills will come. You know the throw pillows, curtains, candles, rugs, and things like that. I will tackle it room by room. BUT- let me tell you I am in love with this house. I love the feel of it. The back yard view sold me from day one. It seems kinda like you are living in the country, but the other way, one street over is a giant lake and tons of houses. The only big bummer is they will not allow chickens here. That is sad, but I once again buy eggs at Trader Joes. Which, off topic, rumor has it, we might get one here. If you are bored, please go to the Trader Joe’s website and request a location in Lees Summit, Mo. The check out gal told me to do it. She said they listen. Couldn’t hurt, right?

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3. West Bottoms. Oh. Wow. It’s like my dreams came to life. #noreally. Amazing things. In old brick buildings. Blocks and blocks of it, for Dirt cheap. Best. Shopping. Ever. The. End.

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4. I went to a homeschool convention recently and it was so stinkin’ fabulous to be around grown ups. I went to workshops and walked the exhibit hall. It was nice to use my brain. The conferences re energize me every year. I am finalizing my choices for next year. Our SIXTH year of homeschooling???? WHAT?????? :) Never say never, remember that. You’ve been warned!

5. I have always heard that people in the midwest are so kind. I think it’s crazy to generalize a whole geographical region that way. I mean who started that? However, people here are very nice. Very. Not just the people from my church, but it sure does seem people in general are less in a hurry and more willing to engage in a conversation. BUT THEN, the drivers here? Another story. Four separate times I have been cussed at, flipped off, and yelled at in a manner that is shameful. My kids have seen it all and we’ve decided maybe it’s my California plates? Need to change those and see if things improve, lol. It’s not my driving skills. I did nothing. Don’t go there. Really, I’m an excellent driver ;).

6. I went to Kobe Steakhouse/Casting Crowns with a bunch of peeps from church. Had. A. Blast. This Friday we are going to a dinner and the symphony. We are being spoiled rotten and enjoying every second. So many things to do, see, and explore. It’s ridiculously fun.

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7. The weather. Hmmmmm. We had a couple thunder/lightening situations which I heard were “nothing”. Nothing my foot, I say. We just never had weather like that in California. Period. BUT overall, I am loving the change in seasons. It’s amazing and I am SO glad we get to experience it. You know all those activities about the change of seasons you do in elementary school? They make sense now.

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8. Have you ever been to Costco and purchased a tv, 2 rotisserie chickens, and a bag of chips? These items snuggled in with my treasures from West Bottoms and we made it home, chuckling all the way. Not sure why that is funny, but somehow it is.

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9. I love that God knows your dreams and what will fill your soul and prepares you for things in your life, long before you ever even dream them. Our church and new city are like that for us. We didn’t look on the map and find a “cool” place, and the best school districts, and the perfect weather, and a certain size church. We prayed, God lead us and when we get there, show us the beauty. In fact, to be honest, all I knew about Missouri was that it was somewhere in the middle-ish. But in reality it is this hidden gem that I didn’t know existed and I just love it here. Let me just tell you what God does. He works all things together for my good. This move has stretched us, caused more discussions, arguments, forgiveness, and new levels of honesty in our family then I could have prepared for. It has been stupidly hard and infinitely worth it. The best things in life do not come for free. When you look for the beauty, you WILL find it, wherever you are. For beauty is God breathed and He is everywhere. He hand picked Lees Summit, Mo for such a time is this and I am beyond grateful. This past weekend, I had one of the nicest things said to me I have ever heard. I was thanked because this person said it was apparent that our family moved here with our hearts. There are no words for that to me. For my tired and overworked heart, it clicked into place immediately. This is why the sleepless nights and shed tears have been so many. We did just that. We just want to follow Him with our whole hearts. Whatever that looks like.

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10. I created a wall of our people. I am working on getting the frames all filled, but it makes me so incredibly happy.

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11. I have an empty pantry, not even shelves. It is this weekend’s project. Wish me luck and pray that the unsuspecting Lowe’s dude will make all the cuts I need on the lumber, because I have plans and no saw. Maybe I should buy one.

12. How big does the rock need to be? I mean, really?

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Happy Friday, my friends. I will be back next week, hopefully with a glorious new and well organized pantry!

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Just Some Stuff

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We have keys!!

It was another delay from Friday to Monday. We signed papers Friday night at 9:30 pm. We were just waiting to hear on Monday from the money peeps that the final details were done and we could get keys. So image our torture, all weekend. Waiting. The house was sitting there empty, but we couldn’t get in. On Monday, we finally got word that we were homeowners in the afternoon and this is the response from my realtor. LOL. He is crazy, that one, and thankfully was kidding and met us within the hour. He’s been fantastic.

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Our home is currently getting some work done and we are still hanging out in the rental home. I am a huge fan of DIY but there is just only so many hours in the day and the wish list of projects on this 21 year old home was lengthy. So, we have hired some professionals to tackle a big chunk of some things upfront while the house is empty.

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No doubt, after we move in I will keep myself entertained by doing smaller projects here and there, but I am so thankful that we are able to have this done upfront. After the stress of the last year and the move it was going to be beyond fantastic to have these things all done for us and done right! I tend to cut corners :)

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We have had some time to hang out in the home and I have spent a lot of time flipping through pinterest, wallpaper books, and paint decks. In addition, decorating via text with my mama and a couple of my girls back in CA. I love technology. Shawn and a bunch of fabulous guys from church scraped all of the popcorn texture off of the ceiling and then the pros came in. They have a lot to do and we are 4 days into a 8-10 day job. It is nice to live so close, they call us over often to approve things and they have been fantastic.

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I seriously can’t wait to see the transformation of this house. Can’t wait to be home.

Meanwhile, we have been settling in. I get asked a lot if we are “doing school”. The answer is yes. However, it looks about a million percent different than normal. Thi is one of the 10,000 reasons I love homeschooling. There have been a lot of ups and downs of emotions with this move and I feel like we have been able to work through them with the kids while maintaing their studies. Some days school is at night, some in the morning, and sometimes at Chick Fil A. We have been able to take breaks when we need and go to the mall and ride a train. Go see a matinee and just relax. It has been needed.

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The older two kids have started part time, to take science and study hall and lunch:), for the remainder of the year at an awesome Christian homeschool enrichment school. It is set up like a college, in that you select the courses you want at the time you want and pay for those. Plus they have a whole bunch of student life activities and it has been great for the teens to be there and it has been fun to have some time with just the little ones.

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I have been asked a bunch about our new church. Things are going great and we love it, a lot. It is a perfect fit in so many ways. So many exciting things going on here and Shawn and I both feel incredibly blessed to be a part of it.

I have so many things to be grateful for. I still can not believe I live in Missouri. With the keys in hand and an official address it just seems super real now. A new wave of homesickness has set in and I believe will be here for awhile. As exciting as a new home is, quite honestly we just don’t feel completely at home here yet in Missouri, that just takes time. So, it’s just weird. As we unpack our things and put them away and create our new home over the next week or two, it becomes all the more real…and I am confident it will heal hearts.

Our prayer is to simply be used by Him. That’s what this move has been all about.

Faith. Blind faith.

Following Jesus and trusting Him.

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. ~Phil 4:6

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