The Importance of Self-Control.

{This entry was originally posted on July, 10, 2012, but the message bears repeating. Almost three years—and another kiddo!— later, I'm still battling to maintain control. *sigh* However, I love the spirit with which I wrote these words and I'm proud of how it turned out. Thus, I'm re-sharing this vintage treasure from the archives. Enjoy!}

This is a sort of progress report on my challenge to be nicer to and more patient with my family. A few weeks ago, I endeavored to change the way I act when I’m at home--or on a trip--with my family. The impetus for this was the fact that I simply didn’t like how I was acting towards the people I loved most in this world. They always deserve my best, not the sloppy leftovers resulting from low blood-sugar, hormones, a bad night’s sleep, general malaise, or any combination thereof.

Thus, the challenge (and what a challenge it was!) was born.  It began around the time of our road trip and has continued up to this very moment. Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve improved…and I have failed. The point is, I have been more aware of my tendencies, and I’ve learned a few things.

1. I don’t operate optimally when I haven’t eaten or slept well. (God help us all if I’m lacking in both!) So, while we were on vacation, I made a point of making sure I ate on a fairly regular basis, which helped tremendously. Because our family of four was sleeping together in one room, my rest was not ideal, a natural trigger for my bad behavior. We were on holiday, so I wanted to be soak up every aspect of the trip, and I pushed myself to do as many things as possible, substituting caffeine for the sleep I badly needed. It worked for a while, but I eventually crashed and could hardly contain the monster within. Blessedly, my husband took the kids out on an excursion so I could recharge; when they returned, I was happy to see them!

Game of Thrones Is Back!

I was going to come up with some flowery, sentimental post about what a lovely weekend I had with my family, and how it really made me think about how fleeting life is, the changes we're going through, etc.

But, honestly? It's all about GAME OF THRONES!!! It, along with Veep and Silicon Valley, is back tonight, so let me just leave y'all with this gem from Key and Peele.
(Disclaimer: NSFW or kiddos due to strong language.)

Have a blessed week, everyone!

The Strength to Endure

It's Friday, folks! We made it through another week! It didn't go as I'd planned, but I'm glad I made it through. Five-Minute Friday is here and I'm incredibly grateful for its presence. If you'd like more info about FMF, head here to join the party. Happy weekend!
(And for all you fellow Game of Thrones fans, Sunday can't come quick enough!)

Prompt: Relief

As I sit here, attempting to bounce back from the flu, sipping hot tea a bit of port, binge-watching CSI: on Hulu (all 14 seasons are available, people!), I'm struck by how quickly circumstances can change. Really and truly, in an instant, one can be yanked from a nearly zombie-like existence, to an acute awareness of the deeper meaning of life.

A few months ago, I'd have been weeping and wailing about the difficulties of being a sick stay-at-home-mom trying to juggle three children; these days, I communicate openly and honestly with my husband about my needs ("Sleep, STAT!") and do my best to battle through once he heads to work. There was a time when I would've crumbled under the pressure of our current circumstances, but now I embrace them and thank the good Lord for challenging me to rise to the occasion and be present for my family.

The only way to measure one's strength is to test it, and when it comes to our existence, adversity is the best tool. My goal is to be able to praise Him at my lowest points as well as my highest. I believe the fact that I'm praying not for relief, but rather the strength to endure, is proof of my progress.

Image via Habitual Bliss

The Importance of Humble Beginnings.

Hey, Everyone!
I hope y'all had a blessed holiday weekend! For the first time in over a decade, ours was terrifically quiet and introspective, allowing us to meditate on the agony of Friday and Saturday, and celebrate the glorious triumph of Resurrection Sunday. It was a much-needed reminder that a tortuous end can pave the way for a jubilant beginning. If that isn't Good News, I don't know what is!

I watched Divergent awhile back and, having no real idea what it was about (I got sucked into The Hunger Games Trilogy, instead), found it to be surprisingly watchable! There was one scene in particular that truly stood out to me and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind: After Tris joins Dauntless, her first challenge (along with the rest of the new recruits) is to jump into a dark pit without knowing whether or not there will be something or someone there to catch her. I assumed it would be safe seeing as she is the lead character and all, but I still connected to that moment of standing on the edge, heavy with the knowledge that leaping is terrifying, but not going through with it is unbearable.

Painted Desert Indian Center; Holbrook, AZ
This is the kind of space we're in at the moment. My husband and I are completely changing our lives and starting over completely. We literally cannot go back to how things were just a few short months ago because we are simply not the same people. Everything about us different, inside and out, top to bottom.

Smoked Salmon Benedict at Harry's Roadhouse

Our commitment to change is not without its difficulties, however. Uprooting our lives doesn't just effect us; we have three precious babies who are coming along for the ride. Blessedly, they're young enough to see this as an epic adventure rather than a traumatic upheaval (and we aim to keep it that way as long as possible, Lord-willing!).

A morning stroll in Longmont
Despite the many challenges that have arrived—and will no doubt continue to—God keeps on showing up to carry us through, sometimes with concrete ways to navigate various pitfalls, and other times a tender spirit of calm in the midst of a crisis. We pause, we breathe, we pray, we thank Him for His unending grace, and we live to fight another day.

As we were looking for places to live, we ran into a few snags, mainly financial. So many of the cities we adored seemed to be just out of reach. We were discouraged, but continued the search. Right as we were about to give, we stumbled onto a treasure trove of possibilities. The apartments were cozy (read: small) but were in a wonderfully walkable area surrounded by lush greenbelts, well-maintained parks, and plenty of local dining options. Bonus: many of the units come with a fireplace, a feature I've always wanted.

Pizzeria Locale

HAD to snap a pic in front of this killer mural in The Highlands!
Notice how someone's eyes are closed in Every. Single. Pic. What are the odds of that?!
As my husband and I discussed it later, going over some of the options, I realized the magnitude of what we'd seen. God was showing us that despite our humble circumstances, He was giving us the desires of our heart and reaffirming our plans. As long as we continue to seek Him and do His will, we are more than conquerors.

If, like us, you're facing Friday or Saturday, rest assured that your Sunday is coming.

Hot Fudge Sundae at Sweet Action Ice Cream
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin... 
Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

Happily linking up with Mrs. AOK and Friends for the Mommy Monday Blog Hop, today, and you should, too! It's a great group and I can't seem to quit 'em!

Have a blessed week!

Whom Shall I Fear?

Hi All! I hope this post finds you at the starting gate of a long weekend! I'm excited to have the opportunity for a quiet, reflective holiday. I have no big plans other than to spend quality time with my husband and kids, remembering the price that was paid for our salvation.

If you're new here (Welcome!) and have no idea what Five-Minute Friday is, head here to get more information, and maybe even consider joining the party!

Prompt: Good


I've been meditating on Psalm 37 for the last several weeks and it has been giving me everything I need. Seriously. The entire chapter is just overflowing with soul-quenching encouragement. Anyway, I was reading it again when I suddenly had the urge to switch from the NIV translation to the Amplified (Note: the Holy Bible App makes it easy to search for verses, jump between translations and bookmark favorites. Did I mention it's FREE?).

This passage, the one that I already loved so much, became even more precious to me because it spoke directly to had bruised and battered my heart today. The words were precisely what I was hungering for in my spirit. It was such a gentle, yet poignant reminder that yes, God is the source of all goodness, and yes, He is walking with us, ordering our steps, protecting us, and clearing the path for our redemption. With assurances like that, whom—or what— shall I fear?

Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart
Psalm 37:3-4 AMP

Image via Incourage

Happy Easter! He is risen!