Friday, September 22, 2017

Encouragement with some changes...

Putting chickens away definitely has its benefits. 🐔🙌 To God be the glory!
After much time thinking and praying over what I want to do with this blog, and it has been a long process (more on that another day), things are going to change up some here. Eeeeck, I know change, but change is good!! I have been blogging for 9 years, long time, I am probably in a category of one of the first, ha! 😉I really didn't have the intention at the time other than just sharing it with family about our kids and a little peek into our lives, since we live over a thousand miles apart from them.

However, this blog over the last few years has offered me some wonderful opportunities. I guest-posted for a while on another blog about faith, I have been a part of many wonderful book and music album reviews. I have had requests for prayer, been thanked for sharing encouragement, and thanked for sharing something that helped someone else say, me too! I enjoy sharing encouragement and letting others know none of us are in this alone, and I love sharing my faith in hopes that it may help someone, even if it is just one person. Big bonus, I have made some great friends through here too!!

I thank my many readers, many whom I have never meant, y'all are awesome!! However, because there are so many of you, I don't know and most my family now get pictures through Snapfish and Instagram, I won't be sharing many pics of my family here. Instead, I am going to keep this as a place of where I share about faith, encouragement, maybe some homeschooling (because what I do), and continue along with book/album reviews. Because books, nothing more needs to be said about that! I do love writing, though I would no whereas consider myself one. So, if you are a family member or close friend, and don't want to miss out on photos of us follow my private Instagram account. I am not sure if I will continue to post weekly or what the pace will be, it may be more sporadic, along with some surprises! You do have an option to subscribe to this blog, there is a link on the side of the blog. Anyhow, that is where I am at with this, so now for my favorite part, some encouragement:

"Believing we can have it all — all the time — is a myth and a lie and a joy stealer. What I do believe is that we can have God’s best for us. A full life and life to the full are two very different things.
One is about grasping, the other is about receiving.
One is about cramming in, the other is about room to breathe.
One is about striving, the other is about trust.
One is about control, the other is about letting go—sometimes for a moment and sometimes for always." Holley Gerth new book here, preorder your own copy at but join the Fall Facebook group to study the book with all of your friends. Click here to sign up:

"My life is marked by Jesus rather than defined by my scars."

The daily readings in this book are really moments to breathe, can't wait to share more, but don't miss out this preorder special at
Always praying for our homeschooling days!

A few great posts I have read over the last couple weeks:

Thank you Jesus...Simply put, worship is giving God glory. He certainly is worthy! We don’t need a worship band to truly worship. We don’t have to drum up an emotional response to glorify God.

Some good hard truths...Bring honor and glory to God through your very ordinary lives. God means for you to be diligent in the work he’s called you to. He is pleased with your diligence and glorified in it. As we apply this instruction to our own lives we have to admit our tendency to laziness, to succumbing to the billion-and-one distractions that surround us each and every day. Then we have to admit that sometimes we discount or diminish ordinary work, thinking there is greater value and worth in “sacred” callings.

Parenting encouragement....Parenting is sacred, smelly, exciting, crushing, frustrating and expensive. It’s the most important thing that people ever do and to be completely honest with you, it scares the life out of me.

Peek from Holley's new book 💗 ...Believing we can have it all — all the time — is a myth and a lie and a joy stealer. What I do believe is that we can have God’s best for us. A full life and life to the full are two very different things.

This made my heart sink, but what encouragement...An empowered life. A life overflowing with His presence. A life marked by Him, rather than defined by my scars. I love my Savior and I’ve been rescued by Him. If I have to walk around with scars on my heart, on my body, and even on my face, they will never match the scars received by Jesus on my behalf.

Oh yes, so needed this reminder, from my daily Bible study...It will take tenacity, guts, resolve, and determination. It’s a fight to not let the enemy take ground in our lives or in our families. It’s a fight to do what’s right in God’s eyes even when others say it’s old-fashioned. It’s fight to hold fast to the truth of the Word of God in love and kindness, without watering it down or creating our own interpretation as a means to excuse sin. But friend, we are in good company. We are not alone in this fight of faith.

I think this is an excellent post, with a lot of truth to it, and one reason we choose to homeschool...Satan wants us tired, worn thin, and stressed. He wants us in debt up to our eyeballs, and our health failing because we can’t sleep enough, eat right, or handle our stress effectively. He wants husbands and wives fighting over finances, disrespectful teens who learned how to treat their parents based off Nickelodeon sitcoms, and thousands of young children sexually abused by the adults we’re so quick to place our trust in. He wants us busy, but not productive. He wants our plates full, but our tank empty. He wants us looking to society for what’s best for our families, not God’s word as a lamp to our feet. He wants the family unit ripped apart, and many times I look around and see us letting him. We’re not even trying to take a stand.

➽📓Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up 💕 and
Porch Storiesand Fresh Market Friday  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Guest Post: How Humbling Yourself In Your Time of Need Changes Everything (from author of Walk It Out)

A few days ago I finished reading Tricia Goyer's new book releasing October 1, Walk It Out~The Radical Result of Living God's Word One Step At A Time and may I just say it was a much-needed read for me. Tricia has a story that is one to read. She started out having dreams, as many of us do, but had to set aside her dreams after becoming a pregnant teenager and going through an abortion at a young age. It was through her trials she met Jesus and decided to lay down her life to love and serve others. She will inspire you to step out in your faith and comfort zone! She shares her story, she shares God's truth and grace in her book, but more importantly how we as Christians need to get out and to walk out our faith! I have a special post today from Tricia, I hope you will take time to read and to check out her new book:

How Humbling Yourself In Your Time of Need Changes Everything
by Tricia Goyer

            The other day I was cooking dinner when my six-year-old son rushed into the kitchen.
            Beads of sweat slid down his red face. “I’m so hot. You never get me anything to drink.”
            I stirred my spaghetti sauce with one hand as I turned to him. “Excuse me?”
            His voice rose in a full, high-pitched whine. “You never give me anything to drink!” He waved his hands and dropped to the floor.
            I took in a breath and then released in, telling myself to keep my voice steady, calm. “I’d be happy to get you a drink. I just need you to ask.”
            He kicked his foot against the floor. “But I want a drink now!”
            “I know you do.” I peered down at him. “And as soon as you ask the right way I’m happy to get some ice cold water.”
            And then my son stood, smiled up at me and asked so sweetly for a drink of water … NOT!
            Instead, he whined and fussed more. Finally, I asked him to leave the kitchen.
            You know what? He never did ask. In fact, he didn’t get anything to drink until fifteen minutes later when we were sitting down to dinner. He was so bent on complaining and whining—in feeding his discontent—he didn’t want to release his control in order to ask me for help. I would have gladly given him the drink he requested if only he asked in the right away.

Feeding Our Discontent
I wish I could say this is just a little kid issue, but I’ve been there myself. During my teen years I lived in that storm of discontent. I complained when things didn’t go my way. I worried. I fretted. I fought.
            I even took matters into my own hands when I found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy at age 15. My own fears and worries led me to a choice I now regret—I had an abortion.
            It wasn’t until years later, at age 17 when I was pregnant again, that things took a turn for the better. It’s then I humbled myself and turned to God. By this point I realized the whining, complaining, and acting out wasn’t getting me what I wanted or needed.
            At six months along, I wrapped my arms around my growing stomach and prayed, “Lord, if you can do anything with my life, please do.”
            God showed up big time. He not only gave me Himself (which is the best!), He has also led me on a journey where radical, and wonderful things, have happened. This has included marrying a wonderful Christian man, having two more kids, starting a crisis pregnancy center, mentoring teen moms, adopting seven more children, and writing over 70 books!
            God didn’t just offer me a cup of cool water when I asked. He opened the floodgates of blessing. But it took me humbling myself and seeking Jesus to meet my needs.
            This reminds me of a Scripture I was reading just this morning, “I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’ You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life,” Lamentations 5:55-58.
            Mumbling, complaining and griping is easy, but they rob us of having our greatest needs met. Yet when we humble ourselves and turn to God, things will change for the better.
            When we call to the Lord, He hears us. When we turn to Him, He comes. When we call to Him, He reminds us that He is present and we have no reason to fear. When we place our needs in His court, Jesus redeems our life.
            It took a lot to humble me as a teen—two unplanned pregnancies in fact. Yet I’m thankful that I learned back then that when I turn to God He will meet my needs. He will meet them in more wonderful ways than I ever expected.

You can read more about how God can show up radically in your life in the book Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time (
If you pre-order Walk It Out before October 1, you’ll also receive 30 Days of Prayer as You Walk It Out FREE  (I am going reading and praying through this now, it is a helpful resource)! Details here:
Thank you Tricia, for sharing your story and this message! Now for me to Walk It Out! 
#walkitout #booklaunch 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Matthew West ~ All In CD, Review with Give-away!!!

I so enjoy listening to music and today I received Matthew West's newest CD ~ All In in the mail!! I have been listening to it all afternoon. The music of his newest CD will encourage and lift you up. Also some great songs to dance to, but I won't share my moves with you! Trust me, you are not missing anything, but my kids think I am good, ha!!The song Amen is a great one to dance and sing along and give praise to our Lord "If you're a new creation, Amen, If you got that feel good in your soul, that hope that won't let go..." and the song The Beautiful Things We Miss, is a great reminder to slow down and be thankful for what is right in front of you, "I don't wanna miss it, I don't wanna look back someday and find, everything that really mattered, was right in front of me this whole time, open up my eyes, Lord, keep me int his moment just like this, before the beautiful things we love, become the beautiful things we miss." 

The whole CD is going to be on repeat here for a while. This new album releases September 22, so be sure to check it out. Here is a little information about Matthew's heart behind the album:  
Matthew wrote his new album All In with the goal of encouraging himself and others to get up off the sidelines of their faith and really live it out – to go all in in your time with God, all in with your family, all in with your community, and all in battling your fears that may hold you back from becoming who God made you to be. Along that same theme, Matthew will be launching a 6-week All in Challenge on his social media starting 9/18, and each week Matthew will be challenging his fans to go all in in a different part of their lives. What does it look like when a heart that knows Jesus takes a step and holds nothing back? How can we go All In in the places that mean the most?

Social Corner:

Broken Things (story behind the song):

All In (Story Behind The Song):

#ALLIN  #FlyBy

I do have one CD to give-away to one reader, to enter be sure to like or comment on post no later than September 24, 2017. 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Weekly rewind, encouragement, and snapshots!

Get 30 Days of Prayer As You Walk It Out FREE today if they pre-order Walk It Out. Details here:
Lately, my mind is bothered by many things, things I see, things I hear and I am thankful that I am back in the habit of daily Bible reading and writing scripture, it is what keeps me from saying or doing something stupid (though it still happens from time to time). Seems to be so much judgment and pointing fingers, where is the grace? To which I will say I am guilty too, sigh, so why I need to give myself a heart and mind check and get into the Word of God to know the right response should be, because if I were to let my feelings have control (feelings are not always truthful), oh mercy I don't even want to think about it. So I go to the Word, read and write and let it meditate into my heart and mind! I let God's Word and truths transform me, because isn't that what we are supposed to be doing? I think some of us have forgotten that step, we come to Christ to be saved because we are lost sinners and then think, great now I am good, whoa, back up, I am not good, only my Lord is good and it is through Him that I am good. Yes, I am a mess and many times need grace, which we all are in need of, but I don't want that grace that was gifted to be misused, I want to learn and grow in my faith, so that I can be a light of Jesus in this world (it is what God calls us to do), my children need me to be and the people around me and the people I come across, need me to be too. This requires me daily to walk in faith, yes daily, giving up my needs and wants and taking up the cross of Jesus Christ. Luke 9:23 If anyone would come after Me, let him/her deny himself/herself and take up his/her cross daily and follow Me/Jesus. So I ask myself is my heart self-focused or on Christ and others? Yes, this kind of walking in faith will cost us, it is a personal sacrifice to do this, but Jesus sacrificed it all for us. So we should be willing to do the same for Him! Will it be easy, no, but it is worth it!
I was reminded also in God's Word how much He loves me, He says take heart, daughter your faith has made you well (Matthew 9:22). He calls us His children, daughters and sons. A faith in Jesus changes everything, His love, His truth, and I am reminded again Jesus is everything and enough for me. Lord help me when I fail and not waste this precious life you have given me and the callings in my life to live out your truths. For the days when I am tired and feel like I am not enough, I remind myself of your truth, Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in.

This week I am thankful for friends that point me to truth, that pray for and with me. For the church, a place that I am able to worship my Lord with other believers, to learn and grow together in our faith, to help and encourage each other, though there are times we sometimes get it wrong and hurts happen, but that to me is proof of why we are in need of a Savior and the church. For freedom where I live to worship God. For grace and God's forgiveness for the times I get it wrong as it is a reminder of how much I need Jesus, to keep me humble, to grow and transform my heart and mind. If you don't have someone to pray and talk to about biblical truths, may I suggest finding a person and a church to attend and be part of. God gave us each other and the church because He knew we would need people in our lives and a place to go to. It is God's design for us. To grow together, help one another, hold one another accountable, to share our burdens with, to encourage and serve together. You will find all that in the Bible, not something I have made up. So if you are struggling alone, stop, pray and find someone and a place to go to. This may mean you have to be brave and take that step, but let me tell you God is with you and He will not fail you ever. God told Moses to share with His people this message Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. God will not leave you or forsake you. And this truth has not changed for His people then or will it ever change. 

I share the above with you because I need these reminders in my life. Relationships with others is hard, liking people is hard, talking and sharing with others is hard. If it were up to me, I would live on a remote island or in the middle of the forest. But because of Jesus I do not. Faith in Jesus Christ changes everything! His love, His truth, Jesus is enough!

Encouraging reads:

We think we’re to be tolerant and respect their right to choose. But what if we intervened and that one first bad choice stopped there? The rest of the story wouldn’t happen and the spiral of choices would not throw everything out of kilter and destroy a family.
Five words like scaffolding on which to build our days. Five words that are our refrain on repeat, our habit of being here.
The clock reads midnight, the darkest part of night, the start of a new day. I whisper a prayer tucked under the sheets, “God, help me be a Fiercehearted woman who lives and loves and battles like You do.” I don’t want to be an ear-slasher. I want, through Jesus, to be a heart-healer, difference-maker, chain-breaker. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does” (2 Corinthians 10:3).
But Jesus offers hope to every situation, and helps us trade what would have been for the truth of what WILL be
Check out more about the book Daring To Hope and the free preorder gifts at

Snapshots, peek into our life:

Earlier morning frog rescues, saving frog from Peter cat.
Making bookmarks with pressed flowers.
This girl is so excited to go to a princess tea party at church tonight!!

Sissy is at princess tea party, so my little handsome boy and I are out on a date!
Love this crew. Ready for Sunday worship.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...Gensis 1:1
Not sure what look we are going for today, but none the less he is still a cutie.
Twirling is fun while memorizing Bible verse! Rejoice, Joy, Homeschooling!! Rasing Arrows!
Art and Bible lesson, the walls of Jericho come tumbling down! God is trustworthy, faithful, and can do the impossible!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Becoming Mom Strong~book launch

May I just say, wow there are some really great books being released this year! Here is another, that releases on September 19. This book is by podcaster and blogger Heidi St. John. I have been listening to her for a few years as she also homeschools and is always current on the things taking place in our culture (by the way you do not need to be a homeschooler to read this book). This is a book for us moms, titled: Becoming Mom Strong~How to Fight with All That's in You for Your Family and Your Faith, go to her website at to find out more about Heidi and her book. There is also a journal (which I will be purchasing in addition to this book) and a Bible study guide to go with it! Also, she is helping to train leaders to start MomStrong groups across the country, which I think is so wonderful. I use to be part of MOPS and have coordinated mom groups in the past, and I see the need for mom groups, that models Titus 2, while encouraging and serving together. We all need friends to come along side us and help us in our faith walk, to learn biblical truth, so we can grow and serve together! This is Heidi's heart and why she wrote this book!

So why would I recommend this book to my friends and mom's out there, because Heidi is not afraid to talk about the hard subjects, the problems with our culture today with truth and grace, the issues we face as moms. She is real and honest, she has a deep passion for sharing Biblical truth and a love for Jesus. She encourages me to not shy away from hard issues, to grow in my faith, all while pointing to our very much need of Jesus in our lives. Her book speaks from experience with 26 years of parenting and a homeschool mom of 7. A book to remind us that God's Word contains everything we need to train our children in righteousness, but that it starts with us! The book is packed with lots of biblical wisdom to remind us to become strong in the Lord, so that we can help train up our children in the way to go in this world as strong arrows for God! For those that do not know, we homeschool and our homeschool name is Raising Arrows, so this resonates with me so much!!
So, how do we become MomStrong, like the book title says? Heidi says we first need to be honest with ourselves. Acknowledge our own weaknesses and go back to the beginning, God has provided us in His Word. "The way we find out what God's character is like is by reading His Word. Every other book out there (including this one) pales in comparison to that singular literary master piece. It's the only book you need." 

I have so many notes and highlights throughout this book I love to share, but will share just a few, otherwise this would be a very long post. 
  • Our priority must be hearing from the Lord in every aspect of our lives. If we're not listening for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, we're more likely to fall victim to the latest and greatest parenting fad or to get sucked into the trap of believing we can do it with out the Lord, and that is exactly what the enemy wants.
  •  As parents, we're accountable for training our children in righteousness. The results are up to God.
  • History is worth digging into, because history is more than just a sense of dates on a timeline. History is really HIStory-God's story-the unfolding of the Master's plan.
  • You are preparing warriors who at some point will be asked to choose between following God's law and following the culture. 
  • In this culture of "tolerance", we should expect to be rejected. The way of the cross is to live in full view of the world but to keep our eyes on Jesus. If we're going to live counter-culturally, we need to know who God says we are.
  • The point is that we need to surrender ourselves to what God wants us to do. We need to be willing to do what He says is best, not what our flesh wants or what the world says we should do.
  • The journey we are on is designed to help us trust God in ways we don't expect and can't foresee.
  • MomStrong mom doesn't trust in her own abilities, she trusts in a strong sovereign God. 
  • Invest in friendships with women who are not afraid to bring you into the light. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Life is found in the light of truth, and the truth is found in the Word of God. 
  • Hope that is based on faith in Jesus Christ floats, even in the midst of an ocean of grief and suffering, because when we place our hope in Him alone, our hope is never misplaced. Though we suffer loss and rejection, we don't grieve like the world grieves. We grieve with hope. 
  • Spending time with the Lord is non-negotiable if you want to become the mother God created you to be. You have to make time for God, not excuses. 
  • Our kids can't afford to have moms who are burned out and checked out. They need us to be all in...We're often too distracted to ask God for help with our daily challenges. And Satan loves it when we're too busy to pray. A mom who is too busy to seek the Lord in prayer is easy prey for the devil!
  • By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.~2 Peter 1:3. By His divine power, we can understand God's standard for living a godly life...We need to teach our children that their worth comes from God, and we can't do that unless we believe it too. 
  • God trusts us to raise His children. They're not really ours, after all. They're on loan to us from the Creator. Our job is to train these precious children to hear God's still, small voice above, all the other voices competing for their attention-both today and in the years to come. 
  • God isn't silent on the issues we're facing today...We need to know the truth and stand firm in it. Truth matters to God, so it should matter to us. 

Heidi has some pre-sale freebies for those that order the book before it releases on September 19 at

Friday, September 8, 2017

Break Week!!! Thankfulness, Encouragement, and Snapshots!

This week was break week in our homeschooling! It was time for a break, as we completed 6 weeks of school, so we took a parent-teacher-student in-service, so to speak! We had birthday celebrating to do, as my daughter turned 9, oh my! I also needed to prep and plan our next six weeks of learning time! This is the time I give the house a little extra attention too, along with projects and book piles that need attending to.

I finished Daring To Hope and can not wait to share it with you all!
This week so many things to be thankful for, family time, beautiful weather, but as my hubs and I were sitting outside one night after a day of celebrating our daughter's birthday, I realized not only is she nine, but we have been parents for nine years also!! So many thoughts went through my head at that moment. How much I have changed since becoming a mom. The challenges parenting sometimes bring. Also, the joys that parenting brings. I do feel that so far we have done a good job, I mean the children are all alive, right!? But in all seriousness, it is all because of Jesus that we have done as well as we have on this parenting journey so far. Reminds me how much I need my Lord and how much I need to trust and rely on my Lord in all things. Parents, this parenting job is one the most important things God has given us to do, and I want to be glorifying HIM with it! My children are a gift given to me from the Lord, and my children need me to help show them the way with my Lord leading me!
Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Isaiah 38:19 The living, the living, he thanks you, as I do this day; the father makes known to the children Your faithfulness.

Psalm 78:4  We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
Ephesians 6:4 Do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Encouraging reads:
We all want our children to understand their value, their true self-worth. But, we want them to focus on the truth. The truth is we aren’t good or wonderful, on our own. The truth is our value lies in Christ and who He is. When we help our children refocus their thinking, removing their eyes off themselves and putting them on Christ, they will see a true reflection of what they are worth. They were created by a loving God who sent His Son to die for them, calls them His own, loves them so much He knows everything about them, and has a plan for their lives.
Dress rehearsals might be helpful in the theater, but they are pretty pointless in matters of real life. Jesus doesn’t come to our dress rehearsal. But come show time, He always shows up, and the whole script changes.
Prayer changes us from the inside out and invites God to work in our lives and the lives of those around us.

By God’s grace your ministry as a mother will not be in vain. There will be fruit. The fruit may not come as quickly as you would wish. Parenting—by its very nature, you don’t see instant results.
No job on earth takes more physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual strength than being a good wife and mother. If a woman is looking for the easy life, she might try teaching tennis, cutting diamonds, or joining a roller derby team. There is nothing easy about good mothering. It can be back-breaking, heart-wrenching and anxiety-producing. And that’s just the morning.

Snapshots, peek into our week:

My men ❤ heading out dove hunting!
Little man and his first dove!
Fun family day out at Land Between the Lakes and the Homeplace!
Beautiful night for a walk and seeing our neighbor's 🐎 So thankful for these two blessings! Happy Labor Day!
Happy 9th Birthday to our baby girl today! You are so loved!! We are so blessed to have you as our daughter!!!
New wheels for the birthday girl!
Working on sewing skills.
Doing her favorite thing! Thankful for great neighbors.
Thankful for a beautiful day celebrating our daughter's birthday together as family! Now the hubs and I are enjoying a peaceful night on the deck! We realized that we have been parents for 9 years!!
This just melts my heart ❤ hubby and the kids sitting by the pond, talking, and enjoying a beautiful morning.